The most difficult part of planning a Hawaiian vacation for me is deciding where to stay. While I love luxurious beach resorts as much as the next girl, most of my trips to Hawaii tend to be pretty active (especially Kauai!), and it just doesn’t make sense to pay an arm and a leg to stay at a fancy place when I’ll be spending most of my days hiking in Waimea Canyon or boating down the Napali Coast. But…sometimes I like a little more comfort than a budget hotel provides.
Luckily, I’ve figured out the perfect way to save some cash and still get amazing amenities by staying in an Airbnb on Kauai! And yippee for you…I’ve got a $35 credit for you to use towards your stay! You can grab that right here.
But before I let you in on some of my favorite Kauai Airbnbs, you probably have a few questions…
What is Airbnb? Airbnb is an online booking platform that connects people who are looking to rent out their home (or condo, guest cottage, garage apartment, etc.) with people who are looking for that type of accommodation. Operating in over 200 countries and 35,000 cities, Airbnb has over 10,000 listings in Hawaii alone!
How does it work? By doing a simple search by island, you’ll be able to find a wide (price and type) range of accommodation. Some Airbnb listings are for a shared or private room in the “host’s” house and some are for an entire apartment, condo, or house. You can refine your search to fit certain criteria (part of the island, price, style, etc.) before you start weeding through specific properties. Once you settle on a property, you’ll work out the details with the host and submit your payment through Airbnb’s online booking system, which mediates the transaction.
Why Airbnb in Hawaii? Airbnb is a popular accommodation source all over the world, but Hawaii is an Airbnber’s dream. Hawaii has a great variety of accommodation options, which makes it the perfect place to try out Airbnb. Since Hawaii is a major vacation destination, there are of course MANY condos to choose form but besides condos, Hawaii has a ton of “ohanas.” Ohana means family (any Lilo and Stitch fans out there???) and in Hawaii the term is applied to separate living units located on the same property as the main house. Many homes in Hawaii are divided up into multiple spaces (each with its own private entrance, bathroom, kitchenette, etc.) while some have a guest cottage on the property. Because so many homes are configured this way, it’s easy to find a private apartment or cottage on the same property with a local host.
How does it save me money? There are several ways you’ll save money on a trip to Hawaii by staying in an Airbnb. The biggest way you’ll save money is that it’s soooo much cheaper than staying at a resort or hotel. On many islands you can find condos or ohanas either right on or just a block or two from the beach. Plus, resorts can get expensive really fast if you have more than two adults staying in a room. Airbnbs are perfect for larger parties who can rent an entire house or multi bedroom condo and split the cost. Another big benefit that Airbnbs offer is the full kitchen (or kitchenette depending on what you book). Having a place to cook some meals and a fridge to store snacks and drinks can really save you a lot. Another big plus to staying in a hosted Airbnb is that they often provide gear for you to use. If you’re staying at a beach resort, they’ll only provide chairs and umbrellas for you at their beach, but an Airbnb or condo will often have chairs, umbrellas, beach towels, coolers, and snorkeling gear for you to use during your stay. This is a pretty big bonus if you’re the adventuresome type who likes to check out different beaches and do day trips to explore the island.
Before I let you in on some of my favorite Airbnb’s, if you’re not very familiar with Kauai, you should read this post to get the lay of the is(land) and decide which area you’d most like to stay.
20 Cool Kauai Airbnbs
Pali Cottage at Waimea Heights: This 3 bedroom plantation style cottage has sweeping views of the Waimea Valley and the ocean and starts at $179/night.
Kauai’s Aloha Studio: This comfy studio in Kalaheo on the south side starts at just $108/night!
Prince Kuhio Condo: Just 20 yards from the beach, you’ll find some of the island’s best snorkeling and surfing right outside this one bedroom condo, which starts at $139/night.
Poipu Beach Guest House: Located in a quiet neighborhood, just still just a stone’s throw from Poipu, this upper story guesthouse starts at $145/night.
Sunny Poipu Condo: This one bedroom condo located within walking distance to sunny Poipu Beach starts at $149/night.
100 Steps to Poipu Beach: Located just 100 steps to Poipu Beach, this two-bedroom condo is the perfect place for a vacation on the south side and starts at $180/night.
Perfect Poipu Home: This quiet two bedroom condo just five minutes from Poipu Beach has pool access and starts at just $113/night.
Poipu Palms: This two-bedroom condo right on the ocean even comes with a rental car and starts at $284/night.
Not sure where to begin with deciding where to stay in Hawaii? I mean, even once you’ve settled on an island (or two), deciding which part of the island to stay on can be tricky, especially if you don’t really know the lay of the is(land). I’ve created a guide that breaks down the different resort areas (and more off the beaten path parts) of each island to make your planning process easier. Sign up below to get your FREE where to stay guide (it’s 6 pages y’all!) and get started planning your vacation.
Kauai Beach Resort: This hotel room at the 4 star Kauai Beach Resort starts at just $99/night with an ocean view!
Aston Islander: This studio at the Aston Islander rents for almost a third of the price (starting at $130/night) than if you booked directly with the resort!
Kauai Getaway Condo: This two-bedroom condo on the “coconut coast” is within walking distance to the Kapa’a bike path and starts at $169/night.
30 Steps to Sand: This oceanfront studio at a lush condo resort starts at just $112/night.
Kapa’a Oceanfront Condo: This newly remodeled oceanfront one-bedroom condo starts at $195/night.
Hibiscus Hale Lani: This second story “ohana” unit sits right on the ocean in one of the quietest parts of Kauai and starts at $200/night.
Ocean View Hale: This three-bedroom home in Haena on the north shore is just steps from Tunnels beach in the heart of the north shore, and it starts at $179/night.
Napali Views in Hanalei: This gorgeous two-bedroom home in Hanalei offers epic views of the Napali and Waioli Stream, is just a short stroll or bike ride to town and starts at $550/night.
Hanalei Bluff: This charming studio offers the most spectacular views of Hanalei Bay and starts at $149/night.
Hanalei Getaway: This studio in a luxury Princeville resort starts at $169/night.
Newly Renovated Condo Princeville: This newly renovated condo in the Princeville Cliffs Resort starts at $164/night.
Oceanfront Penthouse Suite: This luxury oceanfront penthouse condo in the Priceville cliffs starts at $284/night.
Are you all ready to book an Airbnb for your trip to Kauai? Not so fast…read through these tips before you book!
RELATED: 15 Things to Do on Kauai
What should I know before I book an Airbnb?
Here are some tips for booking for Airbnb:
- Consider what you need. What’s important to you? Are you looking for a specific location near a certain beach or resort area? Do you need a full kitchen? Reliable Wi-Fi? A full house or just a room? Be clear about what you want before you start searching.
- Read reviews. Reviews are the lifeblood of Airbnb. Before you even consider staying at a property, you should read up on what people who have stayed there have to say. Remember, you’ll only hear the good points from the host but reviews usually give a much more honest story.
- Read all of the property rules. Different hosts have different rules for their property so be sure to read up on them and make sure that they’ll work for you.
- Ask plenty of questions. When you’re seriously considering staying at a specific property, you should correspond with the host and ask them any questions you may have. There are some Airbnb properties that you can book without approval from the host (a pretty high percentage of the ones in Hawaii), but many require approval from the host before you can book. If you’re a good communicator and you ask thoughtful questions, it will go a long way to showing that you’re a serious guest who will treat their property with respect.
- Count the extra costs. Be sure to factor in any security deposits and cleaning fees.
- Know the cancellation policy. Each property and host will have different terms so know what they are before you commit.
- Contact Airbnb within 24 hours of checking in if you have problems. When you submit your payment to Airbnb, they actually withhold it from the host until 24 hours after you check in. So if you have any issues with your host or your property not meeting your expectations, report it to Airbnb within 24 and they’ll sort out your refund. Once the payment is released to the host, you’ll have much less room to negotiate.
Are you ready to book yet?? If you’re thinking about trying out Airbnb on your trip to Kauai, use this link to get $35 off your stay!
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