My trip to Kauai, Hawaii has been over a year in the making! About a year and a half ago, some of our best friends suggested going to Kauai together. My sister works for the Hyatt, and I can get incredible family rates, so we knew we would stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. We were arriving as Hurricane Ana was supposed to hit. Thankfully, it went by the island and we only had to deal with rain and strong winds the first day.
The Grand Hyatt hotel was amazing and had beyond gorgeous views! As soon as you arrive you get "leid" and they have an open-air view of the ocean from the lobby. Here are some pictures of the hotel and the spectacular views from the grounds of the Hyatt.
There are beautiful tropical flowers everywhere around the hotel! Inside the lobby you can find a few colorful parrots, and around the walkways there are little salamanders. One rainy day, we saw this baby salamander inside by our room.
Of course we had to go to a Luau while we were in Hawaii. We went to the Hyatt Luau, but there are a few different Luaus to choose from on Kauai. There was a huge display of food to choose from as well as unlimited Mai Tais, beer, and wine. :) The show included many short songs with a variety of hula dancers, both male and female. The fire dancer was probably the coolest and the girl dancers sure do know how to move their hips fast! Make sure you check out the dates of all of the luaus because many of them are only offered a few days a week.
We wanted to go all out while we were in Hawaii and do as much as possible. We went on Captain Andy's Na Pali Dinner Sunset Sail, which is a dinner cruise up the Na Pali coastline. It was about a 4 1/2 hour boat ride with gorgeous views once again. The staff on the boat is very accommodating and friendly. We were served steak and shrimp with free cocktails, wine, or beer on the ride back. Sadly, my husband got a bit sea sick and didn't get to enjoy most of the cruise. One suggestion I'd have is to book this in advance online to save a little bit of money and that way it doesn't fill up on the day you want to go cruisin'.
We saw a few dolphins on our boat ride! I had to just keep shooting my camera and hope I could get a photo, because the dolphins weren't swimming above the water too much. I took many pictures on the boat ride, but I liked this one of the coastline with the clouds overhead. The Captain told us this archway (bottom left) is a popular scene from many movies such as King Kong and Pirates of the Caribbean. As we almost finished our tour, we saw this breathtaking sunset!
One of the last few days in Kauai, Blake and I went on a helicopter ride. This is something I'd read about online as being one of the most popular adventures to do in Kauai, because so much of the island can only be seen by air. Kauai is also supposed to be one of the best places anywhere to do a helicopter ride. We chose to go big or go home and do the "doors off" tour with Jack Harter Helicopters. Yes, that's right, there were no doors on our helicopter.
Blake was a bit nervous to go after being sick on the boat ride. I also didn't want to have to put him through that again, but everyone at the hotel said we didn't want to miss the helicopter ride and it's a lot sturdier and calmer than being on a boat. They were right! We felt completely safe up in the air, and Blake didn't feel queasy one bit. The breeze on your face was so nice and you had amazing views! He did hold on to the handle most of the ride LOL! while I was just taking videos and pictures like crazy. Can you say GORGEOUS??
Do you see the rainbow over the waterfall? This island is so lush and is called the "garden island". I completely agree when people say this is a must-do for Kauai!!!
Do you want to experience the helicopter ride? Here's a short video of our ride. (turn down the volume, it's noisy!)
What better way to end this post than with a toast! :) Here's a few of the yummy cocktails I had throughout the trip. Mai Tais are their staple drink, but I loved the Lava Flows. A Lava Flow is a Pina Colada with strawberry puree, it's like dessert in a glass.
If you are planning a trip to Kaui and want more tips on places to eat or things to do, feel free to e-mail me and I can give you some advice!