by Sara Wellensiek
Located in Princeville on Kauai’s North Shore, the Hanalei Bay Resort sits above Hanalei Bay, offering its guests breathtaking island views.
Small parties (two people) can rent traditional hotel rooms, while one- or two-bedroom condo units are available for families. All the condo units are equipped with full kitchens, making a stay at the Hanalei Bay Resort like coming home. Plus, families can save money by cooking in condos, or at one of the BBQ grilling areas available for guests to use. Every room has at least one private lanai where you can enjoy meals or your morning coffee with a view.
Families will love the beautiful pool area, tennis courts and direct beach access. For families with young children, Hanalei Bay has relatively tranquil water for Kauai’s standards, so it’s a safe beach to play on.
Venturing off property for food or grocery shopping is easy as a shopping center is just a quick five-minute drive away in Princeville. Additionally, you’re less than a 30-minute drive from some of Kauai’s best beaches and most popular tourist destinations. When staying at the Hanalei Bay Resort, you also have one of the best places to watch the sunset on the island!
Our Editor Loves
- Condo-style units with full kitchens
- Direct beach access
- Tropical themed pool
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Guests at the Hanalei Bay Resort can choose between more traditional hotel-style accommodations and condo units. All rooms on the property are equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, cable TV and at least one lanai to enjoy the ocean breeze and beautiful scenery. Condo-style units are equipped with fully functional kitchens, complete with a dishwasher, stovetop, oven, microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, cookware, tableware, drinking glasses and more. With the full kitchens, every room type has a living area featuring a table with chairs, a sofa and entertainment area.
Hotel and Studio room accommodations are only available for small parties (singles or couples), so families will want to book condo units. Complimentary cribs are available upon request.
These condos are 1,091 square feet in size, with one king bed or two double beds in the master bedroom and a sofa bed in the living area. The rooms all have air conditioning and ceiling fans, along with flat-screen TVs, DVD players and free Wi-Fi. With the fully equipped kitchen, families of four will have all the comforts of home here.
Two-Bedroom Condos are a very spacious 1,630 square feet and sleep up to six people, making them ideal for larger families. Two-bedroom units actually are the equivalent of renting a one-bedroom unit with the traditional hotel-style room connected. Besides the one bedroom, there is another master bedroom with one king bed and a bathroom. The double master bedroom feature is wonderful for larger families or for two families/couples that are traveling together. These units also have two private lanais. Just like the one-bedroom units, the two bedrooms all have air conditioning and ceiling fans, along with flat-screen TVs, DVD players and free Wi-Fi.
The Hanalei Bay Resort has two pools on its property. In the large, free form lagoon pool, waterfalls and tropical vegetation surround you while catching views of Hanalei Bay. This pool area is a quintessential tropical paradise in every sense of the term. You'll find a spa built into some volcanic rock and a sandy shallow pool area with beach-style entry for little ones.
Farther down the path, near the shared grilling area is another pool. This pool is circular, much smaller than the lagoon pool, and lacks the beautiful features that the main lagoon pool has. But for guests staying in the rooms nearby or adults/families who might be grilling, it's nice to have the pool there.
The Hanalei Bay Resort is home to a Peter Burwash International (PBI) tennis facility, complete with two resident tennis pros offering private lessons, tournaments, classes and more year-round. There's even a junior program for kids of all ages. With eight courts on the property (four hard and four artificial turf), this is an ideal tropical escape for tennis enthusiasts! Tennis facilities are open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The property is home to a variety of native plants and flowers, which add beautiful color to the resort. Ask the concierge about the weekly garden tours that are offered.
Scheduled Resort Activities
Families can enjoy scheduled activities at the resort, such as Mai Tai parties, wine tasting events, food truck parties, movie nights and more. All are complimentary.
Bali Hai Restaurant
Bali Hai Restaurant at the Hanalei Bay Resort was widely regarded as having some of the best views in Kauai. Sadly though, the restaurant was destroyed due to a fire in 2011. The hotel has been in the process of rebuilding and there are plans for a restaurant and lounge/bar to be reopening soon (likely late 2015).
Nalu Kai Grill and Bar
This poolside restaurant is part of the St. Regis Resort, located on the shared beach with the Hanalei Bay Resort. Guests of both properties are able to dine here. Pool, beach and cocktail service are available 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Lunch service is offered from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Given the luxury nature of the St. Regis, the prices are by no means inexpensive. But, the views are stunning and it makes for a convenient spot to get food if you're spending the day on the beach.
For families, one of the biggest perks about staying at the Hanalei Bay Resort is the condo-style units with the full kitchens. On the way to the North Shore from the airport, you'll find many small markets and large chain stores (including Walmart and Costco). Stock up on snacks and groceries for easy meals in your room. In addition to the full kitchens, guests at Hanalei Bay can make use of a large grilling area.
Located right along the highway and only about a five-minute drive from the resort, you'll find the Princeville Center. It's very easy to get to from the resort (you don't even need to venture out on to the highway). There are nearly 10 different eateries, including Lappert's Ice Cream, coffee shops, shaved ice and a bakery for casual food and treats. Then, you can choose restaurants that specialize in different cuisines like steak & seafood, Mexican and Thai/Chinese. Less than a 20-minute drive away in historic Hanalei, you'll find a number of other restaurants, as well.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
An activities host is available in the Hanalei Bay Resort daily, just around the corner from the front desk. He or she can help you plan a number of activities in the area.
The Fitness Center, Sundry Shop, Happy Talk Lounge and Bali Hai Restaurant are all closed due to a fire that happened in 2011. The resort is working to reopen them as soon as possible.
Check-in is at 4 p.m. and check-out is at 10 a.m. Contact the front desk to see about requesting an early check-in or late check-out.
The Art of Smart Timing
For those interested in staying on Kauai's North Shore, note that this area is home to very high surf during the winter months (generally October through March) and is generally the wettest side of the island.
As is true of most family travel destinations, Kauai's busiest months are those when kids are on school breaks -- the winter holiday season and the summer months. The high season generally runs from December through spring break (early April). During the holidays, you can expect to pay the highest rates for airfare and rooms. The summer months (mid-June to mid-August) make up the next highest season in terms of rates and number of visitors to the island.
The best times to visit the island in terms of lowest prices are usually during the fall (September through November) and late spring (mid-April to mid-June). These months also are typically regarded as the best weather months on the island.
Humpback whale watching is a very popular thing in Kauai for some tourists. If that's of interest to you, plan your trip between January and early April. During the height of whale season, whales can often be seen from land at various points all over the island. The Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge (a popular whale-watching spot) is a short drive from the Hanalei Bay Resort.
You'll fly into the Lihue Airport, which is the only main airport on the island. From the airport, visitors will take the clearly marked shuttle to the rental car area. Renting a car is a necessity on the island.
On your way from the airport to the North Shore, plan a stop at a grocery store to get supplies for your stay. There is a Walmart in Lihue, various stores in Kapaa, and the Foodland Supermarket in Princeville, just five minutes from the Hanalei Bay Resort.
Public transportation really isn't an option here, so visitors to the island need rental cars. On the way to the North Shore, traffic can slow in the Kapaa area, but there is a bypass route. Drive time from the airport to the Hanalei Bay Resort is normally about 30 minutes barring any major traffic delays.
Complimentary parking is included at the Hanalei Bay Resort. Once on the property, the bell desk offers complimentary golf cart rides to your room from the parking lot. Additionally, you can call them anytime to catch a ride to and from the beach!
For Mom and Dad
If you have a babysitter and are able to have an evening without the kids, plan to head next door to the St. Regis Princeville. You can choose from two different luxurious restaurants: Makana Terrace and The Kauai Grill. Makana Terrance offers "sophisticated casual dining" daily, but the atmosphere is still perfect for a date night. For a more fine-dining experience, you'll want to choose The Kauai Grill.