We are sitting by one of the pools, the palms swaying gently, the ocean in full view.
I asked the girls what they wanted to do today in the southern part of Kauai—we are now staying at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort (www.GrandHyattKauai.com) —and there is no end of possibilities, this being the adventure island. We could take surfing lessons, walk from the resort to Poipu Beach Park (www.poipobeach.org), where the monk seals are lazing on the beach and we might see a sea turtle. We could go snorkel or tour the terrific botanical gardens or drive about an hour and a half to hike in Waimea Canyon, considered the Grand Canyon of the Pacific with its stupendous cliffs.
“We just want to relax,” my adventure-loving crew says. So that’s what we do, and there couldn’t be a better place to do it—with or without kids—than this Hyatt Resort with its network of pools–one with a water slide we all love and one just for adults, a gentle salt water lagoon for the youngest vacationers and, of course, the crashing surf in front of the sprawling hotel with its lush gardens and swaying palms. The pools are designed to look like natural swimming holes with rock around them. Kids race from one pool area to another, jumping into the pool, heading to the hot tubs.
“This place is awesome,” declares Bradley Mullen, traveling with his wife and four-year old daughter from Palm Desert, CA. “It’s one of the most expensive on the island but it’s worth it for the level of service.”
Jessica Berliner, a physician from Richmond, VA, is poolside with her three kids aged 12 to 5, and her mom. They’d flown from Virginia. “Definitely worth the long trip,” she declares, adding there are plenty of adventures to choose from–ATVing, tubing, a helicopter tour with the older ones.
“Less people on Kauai and less crowded,” declares 15-year old Yuri Tachibana, here with her family from suburban NY but who used to live here. “It’s calm not boring…paradise!”
All around us, kids are playing in the pools, the lagoon, racing down the water slide, kayaking around the lagoon, playing on water toys in the hot tubs. Parents and grandparents are alternately playing with them in the pool and watching them from beach chairs, ordering them hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese.
It is everything a vacation should be—if you can afford Hawaii and to be pampered once you get here. Kim Cheikha, the mom of four, says she’d pick a full-service resort any time over a rental house, despite being a family of six. “I don’t want to do all the work on vacation,” she says.
Besides, “This property is like Disneyland water property for the kids,” she explains, adding she and her husband have been bringing her kids here from southern California for years. “There is not a better family hotel,” she’s convinced.
I need to be here longer. Next time.