Kauai may be quieter than Maui and Oahu, but it does not lack in accommodation options. Sprawling resorts, quaint inns, rentals, hotels, and beach shacks litter the island, but not all are created equal. Some may cause you to be more stressed out than before you arrived. Others, like the Outrigger Lae Nani, keep you in the middle of the action, but make you feel like you are on your own private island.
After 5 days on Kauai Lae Nani is where I finally began to relax. We had stayed at the Waipouli Beach Resort, which was the newest Outrigger property on the island with one of the most amazing pools I’ve ever played in. The kids loved it, we were closed to everything in Kapa’a, and we didn’t feel like we were staying at a property that wanted to rope us in and never let us leave. But it was still a resort, with plenty of families and activity going on around us.
Lae Nani, which is also in Kapa’a, felt like a separate island. It was just down the street from Waipouli, but further removed from the commercial center of town and had a much more laid back feel. We saw a few other families with young children, but most were retirees escaping the winter cold. It was quiet, there was plenty of room to spread out and get away from everyone, and the beach was enclosed making it easier to let Dek jump right into the water.
Our 1-bedroom, 1.5 bath condo was located on the 3rd floor of our building. There was no elevator; Mike got a workout bringing our suitcases up the steps, but once he saw the view he had no complaints. Our lanai looked out on the ocean. There were 2 lounge chairs just waiting for us to plop down in and relax, which I did one morning at about 6am after feeding the baby. It was my most Zen moment of the entire trip. I watched the sun come up, just me. Mike and the kids slept away as I took in the beauty that the island had to offer an earlier riser.
The bedroom was in the back of the condo, but was not noisy at all even though it faced a road. The Lae Nani is off of the main highway through Kapa’a on a side street; only residences were on the road, leaving us with quiet evenings to put the kids to bed and then hang out in the living room as late as we wanted.
We set Ty up in the master bathroom (he always got the best bathrooms), and made Dek a little bed on the floor next to our bed with an extra pillow and blanket. There were no couch cushions or rollaway bed to use, but he was perfectly content. The bedroom was far enough removed from the kitchen, living room, and dining room that Mike and I could still stay up chatting or watching a little TV to unwind after an adventurous day exploring the island.
Beach, Pool and other Amenities
While the pool at the Waipouli Beach Resort was the highlight of our stay, the beach at Lae Nani was where you could find us every afternoon. The water was warm, and not as rough as other beaches on the island in the winter months. There was also a protected pool made of lava rocks that kept the waves at bay, making it the perfect spot for babies to splash around, and toddlers to explore. Tide pools also gave us a little science lesson each day as we discovered what creatures were hiding out during low tide.
The pool was like any other pool at a condo complex. There were no slides, kiddie pools, or a hot tub, but it was an easy place for families to congregate, and couples to lounge away an afternoon. Honestly we were too excited by the beach to even jump into the pool.
Other ways to help you relax:
- Tennis Court
- Barbeque area
- Private laundry facility on property with coin-operated washers/dryers (OK, maybe this doesn’t help you relax, but it sure was useful when you needed to do a quick load.)
Kapa’a is a fantastic spot for families to set up camp as they explore the island. You are half way to the sunnier south side, Waimea Canyon, and Poipu Beach (great baby beach), a short drive to Lydgate Park (protected beach and snorkeling), the Kapa’a Community College Farmer’s Market. You are also close to the north side where you can explore the Napoli Coast, Tunnels Beach (great snorkeling when water is calm), and Ke’e Beach. The town of Kapa’a also boast excellent restaurant options that the whole family will love, along with grocery shops that can save you a little money on snacks and your sanity during those early breakfasts your toddlers wake up for at 6am.
Know Before You Go
- Outrigger at Lae Nani, 410 Papaloa Road, Kapaa, HI 96746. Tel: 808.822.4938
- Free on site parking
- Free Wi-Fi in rooms and communal areas
- Free crib upon request
- Limited house-keeping services (no daily service unless requested. Additional cost.)
Many thanks to the Outrigger Resorts for hosting our family for two nights at the Lae Nani in January 2013 for the purpose of review. As always my opinions are my own; when they aren’t you will be the first to know.