Geographically Hawaii’s oldest island, Kauai is also one of its most spectacular. It’s not surprising then that it’s as popular with those just starting their love story as it is with couples celebrating decades together. While it’s true that the island’s setting alone is enough to spark or rekindle a fire, these romantic hotels and resorts for couples have a keen sense of just what makes hearts beat faster by the beach.
From your pool or beach chairs, watch the palette of hues change throughout the day as the sun hits Makana Mountain from different angles at Princeville Resort (formerly The St. Regis), near Hanalei Bay on the north shore. Oceanfront King rooms in a contemporary island decor have sitting areas, king beds, marble bathrooms with double vanities and oversized soaking tubs and showers.
At the spa, book the Makana Renewal Ritual, a 170-minute indulgence for two with an organic bio-scrub, warming cocoon of algae, scalp massage, shower, body massage and facial, and snag a coveted table at sunset by the window at Hawaiian steakhouse Kauai Grill.
Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach
You and your SO can’t get closer to the water from an oceanfront room anywhere else on the island than at Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort on the island’s south shore, and one of the most romantic Kauai resorts for couples. Accommodations also feature balconies or patios and marble showers with dual shower heads.
Indulge in a side-by-side massage, exfoliating hand and foot polish and warm scalp treatment in a couple’s suite at the spa, then take a dip in the freeform pool or sip Mai Tais in the lava rock whirlpool. After pan-seared snapper or lobster gnocchi at award-winning restaurant Red Salt, sink into oversized Adirondack chairs by the firepit and look for the Milky Way.
Waimea Plantation Cottages
If you long to buy a house on Kauai, a stay in one of Waimea Plantation Cottages’s 61 historic, restored plantation cottages is the next best thing. Oh, and did we mention the 27-acre oceanfront property on Kauai’s sunny western shore stretches along a black-sand beach?
The oceanfront, ocean view or garden view cottages are done up in a contemporary Hawaiian style, each with a king bed, fully-equipped kitchen, living room and lanai. Walk hand-in-hand along the 2-mile beach, cool off in the oceanfront pool or explore the nearby town of Waimea together.
The Lodge at Kukui’ula
Couples can canoodle in a one-bedroom bungalow with plantation architecture and contemporary decor at The Lodge at Kukui’ula, an upscale property on Kauai’s south shore. Golf course or ocean views from the large lanai with outdoor barbecue are joined by a spa-inspired bathroom with freestanding soaking tub, lava rock outdoor showers, master suite with a king bed, hand-scraped hardwood floors, granite countertops and high-end appliances.
Relax in the meditation garden after a couple’s massage at Hi’ilani Spa, settle into the built-in loungers in the infinity-edge serenity pool and then book a cozy table for dinner at hyper-local Umeke Kitchen + Bar.
Expansive ocean views are the hallmark of Whalers Cove, a collection of cliffside condos on Poipu Beach, one of the best beaches in Kauai. One-bedroom oceanfront accommodations have an incredible 1,400-square feet of space, with a master bedroom and king-sized bed, living room, dining room and full-sized and fully-equipped kitchen. (Deluxe one-bedroom condos have 2,000-square feet as well as a Jacuzzi tub and double shower.)
The beach is rocky, but that just makes for watching dramatic wave breaks from the private lanai over a glass of wine at sunset that much more romantic. (The freeform pool overlooks the ocean, too.) The resort will even stock your condo with groceries before your arrival so you can prepare an intimate dinner.
Waipula Beach Resort
The first thing you may notice at Waipula Beach Resort on Kauai’s east coast (located between the towns of Kapa’a and Wailua) is the 2-acre pool complex with its black lava rocks, waterfalls, hot tub and scented plumeria and hibiscus blooms. That’s if you can tear yourself out of your one-bedroom suite and its gourmet kitchen, travertine floors and Jacuzzi soaking tub.
Beach Bliss is an aptly-named couples’ treatment consisting of an 80-minute kukui coconut milk massage right on the beach, and every table at the local and sustainably-focused restaurant Oasis on the Beach comes with a view.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
The two of you can easily find a private nook to spend the afternoon in Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa’s sprawling pools and grottoes, one of the most romantic Kauai resorts for couples. The ocean view suites here have a king bed, separate sitting area, marble bathroom, walk-in shower, spa tub, wet bar and lanai, and Anara Spa is the largest on Kauai, with treatments in rooms that face the gardens.
Among the eight restaurants and bars, super romantic Tidepools is comprised of thatched-roof bungalows floating over a koi-filled lagoon next to a waterfall and features a Hawaiian cuisine-focused menu. Or book a four-course candlelit dinner on the beach under the constellation-filled sky.
Kauai Marriott Resort
Golf is one of the best things to do in Kauai, so if you and your betrothed are into hitting the links, stay at Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue. Its Jack Nicklaus signature course is the longest in Hawaii, winding past the bay and cliffs. Corner one-bedroom suites with wrap-around lanais, whirlpools tubs, separate living rooms and king beds that face the ocean have a sun- and sand-inspired design.
Couple’s massages can be taken in a beach cabana, and Duke’s Kauai serves up pupus, steaks, seafood and Pacific Rim cuisine with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and the mountains.
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Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu on the south shore has the largest luxury villas on Kauai; one-bedroom accommodations measure more than 800-square feet and have a separate tub and sink, lanai and fully-equipped gourmet kitchen, which can be pre-stocked with groceries and beverages. A new multi-terraced pool oasis tempts with an infinity pool, three waterfalls, a swim-through grotto, wooden bridges, two water slides and three Jacuzzis.
Couple’s spa treatments rooms have rainfall shower heads, the island’s only Japanese Ofuro soaking tub and are adjacent to a private lanai. Next to the main pool, Holoholo Grill serves elevated Hawaiian comfort food in collaboration with James Beard award-winning chef Sam Choy.