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Finding the perfect vacation rental on Kauai is a huge job, especially since legislation has limited the options in residential areas. If you’re looking for alternate accommodations (not a hotel or a resort), I tend to recommend condos over apartments and houses anyways as it puts less of a burden on local housing demands. But there are so many condos!! How do you pick a good one?
In this post, I’m recommending a bunch of condo complexes (also called condo-tels or condo resorts) by area on Kauai that I think are good places to stay. I’ve also got descriptions of each area so you can figure out what part of the island is most appealing to you.
Before you start looking around for specific condos or rentals, it’s best to have a general idea of where you want to stay. 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.
I think the best place to find (and book) Kauai vacation rentals is Vrbo. They’ve been around forever and are probably the most reputable booking platform online (with owners and vacationers alike), which means that you’ll find more quality properties listed on Vrbo than anywhere else online. I used to book more often with Airbnb, but I’ve begun to find that they often don’t have what I’m looking for (especially when I want to book a condo/unit within a resort property). So all of the condo complexes I will be linking to are bookable within Vrbo.
Vrbo has an enormous amount of traditional vacation rental listings (condos in resort areas), but they also have so many options that are more “off the beaten path” in local areas. But overall, you’re going to find properties listed by owners who take their rental business very seriously and are committed to providing you the best accommodations possible.
How does it work? By doing a simple search by island (or specific area), you’ll be able to find a wide (price and type) range of accommodation. You can refine your search to fit certain criteria (part of the island, price, style, etc.) before you start weeding through specific properties.
The number of search results you’ll find by island can be extremely overwhelming, so I would suggest putting as many filters as possible (especially price and number of bedrooms) and then viewing the results on a map so you can get an idea for where everything is located.
Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list of every condo complex on Kauai. There are soooooo many, and there likely are some that aren’t on this list that are perfectly good places to stay at. I’ve compiled this list largely based on location, ratings and reviews, and an overall vibe of what I’m looking for in a place to stay.
Princeville Vacation Rentals (North Shore)
The north shore of Kauai is the most gorgeous place on the planet. It has beautiful beaches and the lush green mountainous landscapes that most people’s Hawaiian dreams are made of. As you might guess, it’s so lush because it rains more here than other parts of the island (especially in the winter). The north shore is home to the charming little surf town of Hanalei and some pretty spectacular luxury accommodations. While it’s stunningly gorgeous, it’s also a bit remote if you’re planning on exploring sites on the south and west sides of the island.
These are some of my favorite condos in the Princeville area:
These are some great budget condo options:
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Poipu Vacation Rentals (South Side)
Kauai’s south side is the driest and sunniest part of the island, which makes it very popular with tourists. There are plenty of big resorts so you’ll find plenty of shopping and dining options. You’ll also find a nice selection of beaches but expect them to be more crowded than beaches on other parts of the island. The south side is a convenient place from which to explore the west side (Waimea Canyon and Polihole beach) but not so convenient for seeing north shore sites.
These are some luxury/high end condos in Poipu:
Whalers Cove: Find specific condo units here.
Some of my favorite options that balance nice accommodations and location with a good deal:
Here are a few good off beach options:
These are the best budget friendly condos in Poipu:
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Kapaa & Wailua Vacation Rentals (East Side)
The east shore is often referred to as the “coconut coast” and is the most developed part of the island. This is where you’ll find the most reasonably priced accommodations and its central location makes it a convenient location from which to explore the north and south shores. There are of course lovely beaches on the coconut coast (hello, this is Hawaii!) but you won’t find any awe inspiring backdrops as you will on the north shore and the amenities are usually not as convenient as those on the south shore. You’ll find more “local” beaches on the east side.
These condos are located right in the middle of bustling Kapaa town:
These condos are spread out along the coast near Wailua:
Tips for Booking a Kauai Vacation Rental
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 studio? Be clear about what you want before you start searching.
Read reviews. 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. And when I’m weeding through listings, I also put a lot of weight into the photographs provided. If the photos look professional, it probably means that the owner runs their vacation rental in a professional manner and that is a indication that it’s a good place to stay.
Ask plenty of questions. When you’re seriously considering staying at a specific property, you should correspond with the owner and ask them any questions you may have.
Count the extra costs. Be sure to factor in any security deposits, cleaning fees, and booking fees.
Know the cancellation policy. Each property and owner may have different terms so know what they are before you commit.
Kauai Condos Under $100/Night
I know what people are looking for specifically varies greatly, but I often get asked for the best (i.e. cheapest) beachfront condos, so I’ve rounded up a few specific properties that I like the looks of:
As you can see, the cheapest areas to find condos on Kauai are Princeville (north shore), Kapa’a (East side), and Poipu (south side). Many of the properties listed above are very well reviewed by many people which means they’re “on the map” properties, so to snag dates (especially at these prices!), you may have to book pretty far out as there’s likely to be a lot of interest.
These rates are also STARTING rates, meaning that’s the cheapest rate you’ll find during the slow season (usually late August through September and end of January through February) so if you’re putting in dates for high season (holidays and summer months), the rates may be higher.
Also, I feel like I should mention that if you can up your budget to the $180/night range you will find a LOT more options for condos and vacation rentals (and some may even be two bedrooms so if you’re traveling with others and splitting the cost you may still come out around $100/night).
All photos in this post are from Vrbo.com listings.
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