Archive for the ‘Kauai Travel’ Category

The Old Koloa Mill Marks the Beginning of 172 Years of Sugar Cane Production on Kauai

Monday, August 5th, 2013

In 1835, the first successful sugarcane plantation was started at Koloa, Kauai with the Old Koloa Sugar Mill. William Hooper cleared 12 acres, planting the first sugar cane ever in the Hawaiian Islands.  Its first harvest in 1837 produced 2 tons of raw sugar and was sold for $200.

While sugarcane had been raised by ancient Hawaiians previously, it was done on small individual plots; it was the first large-scale commercial production in the Islands.

The sugar era also opened the door to a wave of immigrants that are today part of the Islands’ multicultural population.

en33172 years later, on October 30, 2009, Kauai’s last sugar cane company, Gary and Robinson made its final harvest on the island. With the end of sugar production on Kauai, there is just one producer of sugar cane left in Hawaii, Maui’s Alexander & Baldwin’s Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar co. Many feel that Hawaii’s sugar industry may be entering its final chapter and that within only a few short years it will be a thing of the past.

What remains of the very first sugar mill can be seen today in the grass park of historic Old Koloa Town. The mill began with large stone sugar grinders with plantation cut-cane hauled here by ox-cart until 1882 when the train tracks were built.  All that is left is part of its foundation and a 30-foot stone brick smoke stack, representing the rich history of sugar cane in Hawaii.

In 1912, the old mill was replaced by a much larger one to the east, with management changing hands several times, becoming a part of the Grove Farm Company in 1948. That plantation was shut down in 1996.

The site of the old building and its remains was designated a National Historic Landmark on December 29, 1962 with a plaque erected in 1965 stating that the site “possesses exceptional value in commemorating or illustrating the history of the United States.”

Koloa was developed as the company town for the sugar mill with a number of informative signs throughout the town describing the history of the area with most of the architecture refurbished while still remaining unique to a typical sugar plantation town.

Every year in July, Koloa Plantation Days is held to commemorate this rich past. For nine or ten days, depending on the year, the festival celebrates the ethnic groups that came to Hawaii to work the sugar plantations as well as the Hawaiians who welcomed them through music, dance, costumes and food. In 2013, the event takes place from July 19-28 with the 2014 festival to be held July 21-29.

If you aren’t fortunate enough to be in Kauai for this fun celebration, you can find out more about the history of sugar here by visiting the History Center in Old Koloa Town. The center allows visitors to trace the history of Koloa, the sugar industry and life in the plantation era through artifacts and photographs.

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Top 5 Amenities Travelers Look for in a Vacation Rental

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Travelers looking for the ultimate tropical escape often choose the island of Kauai as their destination; in fact, the Garden Isle has frequently been named as the number one island in the U.S. to visit by readers of Travel and Leisure magazine. It’s hard to beat with its awe-inspiring beauty and peaceful, tranquil atmosphere.

Many of those same travelers expect the same when it comes to lodgings on the island. What are some of the top amenities they look when making a decision on which Poipu Beach vacation rental to choose?

Kauai Vacation RentalWi-Fi

Wi-Fi is an obvious choice for business travelers, but some may be surprised to find that it’s ranked number one as the most important amenity for all types of travelers and a variety of accommodation options including Poipu Beach vacation rental, hotels and resorts.

Even travelers on a romantic vacation want to be able to stay in touch with family and friends, upload photos, get travel updates and more. At Hideaway Cove, high speed wireless internet is available property wide. If you didn’t bring your laptop, you’ll even find a staffed Business Center with a computer, fax, copier and printer available for guests at no charge.

Outdoor living space

An outdoor living space such as a porch, patio, lanai or balcony with a view is also highly desired. Travelers want to be able to enjoy the warm climate, watch the birds or even glimpse dolphins as they leap from the water.

All of the vacation rentals at Hideaway Cove offer an outdoor dining area on covered lanais that even include a stainless steel gas barbecue; some also included that coveted ocean view while all offer a lush garden setting.

Private hot tub

A private hot tub is also an important amenity to many travelers. The ability to soak your cares away, or soothe sore muscles after a long day hiking, surfing or taking part in other outdoor pursuits greatly enhances any vacation experience.

Can you imagine enjoying a magnificent ocean view while relaxing in your own hot tub? A Poipu Beach vacation rental at Hideaway Cove can make this dream a reality too.

High-quality bed linens

It’s hard to have a truly enjoyable experience if you don’t sleep well at night. When it comes to a comfortable stay, linens with high-thread counts are a must for many travelers.  You’ll find all the luxurious beds in the vacation rentals at Hideaway Cove feature super comfy pillow-top mattresses and high thread count Egyptian cotton linens.

Concierge services

Concierge services are an important yet often-missed amenity in even some of the finest establishments. Even if you are vacationing in paradise, there are times you might want to spend the day indoors and have delicious meals delivered to your door. Are your muscles craving a massage after a challenging hike on the Nepali Coast or other thrilling adventure?

Hideaway Cove offers concierge services that include an option for a private chef as well as an in-room massage. They can make recommendations as to activities, restaurants, entertainment and shopping or even help make that hard-to-get reservation.

If you thought staying in a Poipu Beach vacation rental meant having to go without some of your favorite amenities, think again. You’ll have everything you want and much more by choosing Hideaway Cove.

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Ocean Views and a Private Hot Tub

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

en21Our Seabreeze Two Bedroom Two Bath  is Hideaway Cove’s most popular accommodation, so reservations should be made at least six months in advance.  Enjoy ocean views from your spacious 1600 sq. ft with everything you’ll need for a relaxing stay. Your two lanais offer options–one for relaxing and outdoor dining and the other for your private hot tub.  The Seabreeze is a favorite of honeymooners, who enjoy the ocean views, hot tub and private hot tub. New additions include a fifty inch HDTV and entertainment center plus HDTVs in both bedrooms.

Seabreeze Poipu Beach Vacation Rental Photos & Video

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Kauai’s Scenic Coastal Path: Yet another Reason to Visit the Garden Isle

Monday, July 8th, 2013

There are many reasons to choose Kauai over Hawaii’s other islands, including its spectacular landscape filled with an abundance of waterfalls, lush gardens and picturesque beaches.  The opportunity to participate in nearly an endless number of outdoor activities can be found here, and just a few years ago yet another was added to that already long list.

kauai-coastal-path-kauai-attractionsThe Kauai Coastal Path offers the opportunity to take a gentle stroll or a casual bike ride along the island’s spectacular shores with expansive views of the dazzling Pacific. The path begins at Kappa town north of Wailua on the island’s east side and heads north past Kealia – it continues to be extended each year.

While there are opportunities for more thrilling, challenging bike rides such as through Wailua Canyon, this path is fairly flat with few hills, making it ideal for people of all ages and abilities who want to get out and cycle

Walk, ride or run and experience breathtaking scenery as it stretches the coastline for miles. From December to May, when the magnificent humpback whales are in the area you might just see these gentle giants put on an exciting display as they tail slap or breech through the water.

is a prime place found along the Kauai Coastal Path for whale watching while dolphins and turtles can be seen year round.

Don’t forget your bathing suit as well as a picnic lunch. Kealia Beach is a beautiful crescent shaped beach over a half-mile long offering sheltered picnic tables. This is also a popular place to swim when the surf is calm. You might remember this beach from the film “The Descendants.”

Along the entire Kauai Coast Path you’ll find numerous pavilions with the opportunity to enjoy outdoor dining and stunning ocean views.

At the end of the path, be sure to take the short hike to Secluded Cove, a beautiful spot filled with brilliantly-colored fish among black lava rock and coral formations.

Bike rentals

You’ll find a number of bike rental shops in the area, including Coconut Coasters. Rent a classic style cruiser starting at $8.50 per hour, with special deals for a half-day, full-day or even an entire week. For a romantic ride, check out the bicycle built for two!

Those with small children can rent a trailer that attaches to an adult bike, while kids ages six through 12 can choose from bikes meant especially for their size.

Kapaa Beach Shop is another great place to rent bikes.  Most shops require you to return your bikes by 4pm, which means having to miss the beautiful sunsets at the beach.  Owner Janie and her husband live behind their shop, so bringing their bikes back after the sun sets is no problem.  Just let them know when you leave that you’ll be coming back after dark.  If you are going to watch the sunset and ride home afterward, please be sure and bring a flashlight as the bike path does not have lights and is very dark in places.

Come to Kauai and see for yourself why so many travelers return to the island again and again.

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Top Things to Do at Poipu Beach: The Options are Nearly Endless

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Top Things to Do at Poipu Beach: The Options are Nearly Endless

Kauai’s stunning South Shore offers visitors nearly endless options for things to do at Poipu Beach. Its breathtaking coastline and expansive climate often lures travelers from other islands. Here you’ll find everything from heart-pounding adventures to more gentle pursuits, with activities to suit the tastes and requirements of nearly all.

Consider these top things to do at Poipu Beach as a great start for creating your “must-do” activities list.

Oceanfront Luaus

The island’s only oceanfront luaus can be found right at Poipu Beach via the Grand Hyatt and Sheraton Kauai Resorts; both are excellent. When the White House put together a luau, they called in the performers from the Grand Hyatt Luau as the evening’s entertainment.

A luau is a must experience for travelers to Hawaii and an ideal way to delve into the rich Hawaiian culture and traditions. Enjoy music, dance, incredible traditional cuisine like kalua pig, poi, fresh fruit and lomi lomi salmon, and of course, most importantly, the Aloha spirit.

The amazing hula performers and fire dancers make for what many refer to as the best luau throughout all of the islands – with the unsurpassed sunsets of Kauai and the dazzling Pacific as the backdrop.

Poipu BeachSwimming at Poipu Beach

The Garden Isle’s alluring southern coastline offers some of the most pristine white sand beaches in the islands. Some of the best swimming, surfing, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling and boogie boarding can all be found within a one mile stretch of shoreline. Poipu Beach has a large protected area and is the only beach on the south shore that is lifeguarded seven days a week. This ideal place for young children and infants is sometimes called “baby beach.”

Poipu Beach was also named “America’s Best Beach” by the Travel Channel as well as Dr. Beach with its series of golden sand crescents that are strung together to create an idyllic place to advantage of the many water activities available. A lifeguard keeps a watchful eye here seven days a week.

Biking

One of the best ways to enjoy the crisp ocean breeze and spectacular beauty of Poipu Beach is to get out on a bike. Outfitters Kauai, located at the traffic circle (look for the yellow submarine) has bicycles and helmets available for rent.

For a heart-pounding thrill, join Outfitters Kauai on their guided downhill bike ride through nearby Waimea Canyon. They’ll drive you there in an air conditioned Mercedes van while your bikes are towed in a trailer behind. At the top, your guide takes the lead on her bike while the van follows the last rider in line, blocking traffic and making this a very safe ride. You’ll take in the magnificent views of “The Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” a breathtakingly beautiful canyon that is ten miles long, a mile wide and over 3,500-feet deep.

Scuba Diving

Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach is an excellent location to shore dive. Rent gear and tanks from Seasport Divers (located next door to Outfitters Kauai.  Remember the yellow submarine just after the traffic circle.  If you prefer a boat dive or would like lessons, Bubbles offers both plus a certification program.

Surfing and Stand Up Paddle Board Lessons

Poipu Beach is a great spot to learn to surf and stand up paddle board (SUP). Charlie, a former professional surfer, is one of the most patient instructors we know.  With an hour to cover the basics, you’ll be “hanging ten” in no time.  Nu Ka Moi Surf Shop, right at Poipu Beach, also rents surfboards and offers lessons.

Kauai Paddleboard

Dine Alfresco at Brenneckes Beach Broiler

Enjoy open air dining with a fabulous view of all of Poipu Beach at this popular restaurant.  It features a varied menu with everything from burgers to fresh fish.  Speaking of fish, you can’t go wrong with the fish tacos. There is also a large bar area with lots of HDTVs for sporting events.

Eat a Shave Ice

One of the most popular taste treats in the Hawaiian Islands is shave ice and it’s available right at Poipu Beach at Brenneckes Deli. Located downstairs from the restaurant, the deli also has sub sandwiches, sodas, potato chips and beer.  What more could you ask for?  Try one of the giant brownies at the counter where you pay for your purchases; homemade and very good.

Watch the Sunset by Land or by Sea

The best place to watch the sun set into the water is at The Beach House Restaurant.  You can sit in the newly redecorated bar, have a pupu (appetizer) and a glass of wine and watch the sun sink into the sea.  If you’d like to stay for dinner, be sure and call for reservations first. Or you can bring your beach towel and sit on the grassy area in front of The Beach House.  If you’d like to watch the sunset from the sea, there are sunset sailing trips that depart from the Kukuiula small boat harbor in Poipu Beach.

With nearly an endless number of things to do at Poipu Beach, you’ll likely be planning your return trip before you embark on your journey back home.

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4 Reasons to Choose Hideaway Cove for Your Romantic Getaway

Monday, May 13th, 2013

If you’ve made the decision to visit the Garden Isle for your romantic escape, you probably already know that the breathtaking isle is often referred to as the best when it comes to a tranquil, romantic setting filled with spectacular scenic wonders. From awe-inspiring sunsets to cascading falls, translucent freshwater pools, picturesque beaches and emerald colored-mountains that dip dramatically down to turquoise waters, the scenery is hard to beat.

When it comes time to choose the idyllic place to stay, there is no doubt you’ll want accommodations that meet or exceed the best of what the island has to offer for the ultimate Kauai romantic getaway, including a blend of the ultimate in relaxation as well as romantic activities and more thrilling adventures.

We believe Hideaway Cove is the ideal answer for honeymooners, those who are celebrating an anniversary, or any type of romantic holiday – here is a look at just four of the reasons why.

en11Concierge Services

A special vacation deserves special treatment and the ultimate in pampering. We’ll go out of our way to ensure each guest has an unforgettable, fantastic experience by providing the services that will help you to do just that.

Looking for the best beach to view the most gorgeous sunsets on the island? Do you desire an intimate, upscale dining experience? Want to know where the best tours or activities can be found? Our concierge services will make recommendations based on your needs and even make the reservations for you so that you can spend your time enjoying each other’s company and your ideal Kauai romantic getaway.

Private Chef

Have you ever fantasized about having a private chef? You can make that dream come true at Hideaway Cove – what better time to utilize this incredible amenity than on a Kauai romantic getaway? Concierge Services will make all the arrangements while you indulge in Hawaiian-inspired cuisine featuring fresh, local ingredients without having to leave the comfort of your home away from home.

In-room massage

A couples’ massage is an especially enjoyable way to spend time relaxing together, allowing your cares to melt away in the presence of each other’s company. If you don’t want to head out to a spa, an in-room massage is another option you can choose at Hideaway Cove. A side-by-side massage is a wonderfully romantic experience.

Luxurious rooms

Of course, your ultimate Poipu Beach romantic vacation must include a luxurious room to come back to after a day of enjoying what the island has to offer. Elegant furnishings here are top of the line including four-poster carved pineapple, canopy and sleigh beds with high thread count Egyptian cotton linens. Baths offer Jacuzzi tubs and rainfall showers, just right for two.

Enjoy the endless sunshine by dining outdoors in your covered lanai, or cuddle up together indoors and enjoy the entertainment center featuring a large cable television, cable radio, CD player and DVD player.

We think you’ll agree that Hideaway Cove is the best choice for a romantic getaway on the Garden Isle.

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New Poipu Beach Fine Dining

Monday, May 13th, 2013

The Poipu Beach area, where Hideaway Cove is located, has always had a large concentration of restaurants.  Several years ago I would mention to potential guests that there were 10 restaurants within a mile of our property.  Although not all of the new locations are within a mile, they’re probably within two miles.  That’s because the majority of them are in the new Kukuiula Village Shopping Center.  Here’s a quick run down of what’s new on the fine dining front.

FINE DINING

Kauai RestaurantJosselin Tapas Bar and Grill-808-742-7117.  Owned and operated by Jean Marie Josselin of Pacific Cafe fame, this is a fun, well decorated restaurant with a full bar.  Don’t miss the sangria, which is served on a cart that is wheeled to your table.

Merriman’s Fishhouse- 808-742-8385.  Merrimans became pretty famous on the Big Island as one of the first pioneers of the farm to table movement in the Hawaiian Islands.  Peter Merriman located his restaurant literally out in the middle of no where and it required a 45 minute drive from Kona to get there.  His Kauai location has struggled, changing from the original steakhouse (with locally sourced beef, of course) to the present fish house.  The decor is plantation style, you have any ocean view and the food is fabulous.  The only caveat is that the prices are high, even by Kauai standards.  We have foodie friends who come to Kauai twice a year and rave about their experience there.  See Casual Dining for the downstairs cafe.

Tortilla Republic Grill-808-742-8884.  Located upstairs from the Margarita Bar and open only for dinner.  This is not your traditional Mexican restaurant, with tacos, tamales, rice and beans.  The chef trained in New York and brought back with her a variety of recipes that are sure to delight anyone who likes good food.  Some of these tables also have ocean views.  Be sure and try one (or more) of the margaritas.

 

 

 

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Best and Worst Airlines for Lost Luggage

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Nearly 1.8 million pieces of luggage were lost, stolen, or damaged by major U.S. airlines in 2012 — and that’s just on domestic flights. While it sounds staggering, mishandling 3.09 bags per 1,000 passengers actually represents an 8 percent decline since 2011.

“The rate of mishandled baggage reports filed by carriers is at an all-time low,” says Department of Transportation spokesman Bill Mosley. (The problem reached crisis level in 2007 when U.S. carriers lost or damaged more than 4.5 million bags.) “A number of factors are helping to reduce the rate,” he adds, including improved on-time performance and new baggage-tracking technologies.

Of course, the airline you fly also affects your chances of sticking with your bag. Regional airlines like SkyWest (ranked a lowly 13 out of 15) tend to have the poorest records, while budget carrier AirTran comes in at No. 2.

Before you book your next flight, find out which airlines are best and worst for lost luggage. And if you don’t have a choice and need to book one of the airlines in the “worst” category, be sure and follow the tips in our last newsletter to help speed your bags back to you if they’re misplaced.

The Airlines below are ranked from worst to best based upon statistics compiled by the Department of Transportation.

15. American Eagle – 5.80 baggage reports per 1000 passengers

14. ExpressJet (a SkyWest subsidiary) – 5.52 per 1000

13. SkyWest – 5.26 per 1000

12. Mesa (operates as Go!, United Express, U.S. Airways Express) – 4.68 per 1000

11. United – 3.87 per 1000

10. Southwest – 3.08 per 1000

9. Alaska – 2.93 per 1000

8. American – 2.92 per 1000

7. Hawaiian – 2.88 per 1000

6. Frontier – 2.22 per 1000

5. U.S. Airways – 2.14 per 1000

4. Delta – 2.10 per 1000

3. Jet Blue – 1.88 per 1000

2. AirTran – 1.58 per 1000

1. Virgin America – 0.87 per 1000

How does Virgin American obtain a rate so much lower than everyone else?  They are a relatively new carrier (six years old) and they’re small, only 52 aircraft to 17 domestic destinations.

This was a continuation of the article by Joe Yogerst from Travel and Leisure Magazine.  I hope it helps with your travel planning.

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Seven Tips To Avoid Lost Luggage

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

One of the unpleasant facts of life when traveling by air, is that sometimes airlines lose or damage baggage.  Although the overall percentage of lost baggage is going down, airlines can’t take all the credit.  Changing passenger behavior has played a key role: as airlines have zealously adopted baggage fees, there’s been a dramatic drop in the number of checked bags.

Punishment has also helped. “Airlines face potentially greater liability for lost baggage today than in years past, giving them greater incentive to prevent baggage problems,” says Mosley. Since 2009, the DOT has increased baggage liability limits to match rising consumer prices; the domestic limit is now $3,300 per passenger.

Compensation is surely on the minds of those who still have the unpleasant surprise of arriving without their luggage. To avoid that fate, Sarah Schlichter, editor of IndependentTraveler.com, has these tips:

1.  Whenever possible carry on your baggage and don’t check it.

2.  If you can choose a non-stop flight, rather than one that requires changing planes, that’s a plus.

3.  Arrive at the airport early.  Baggage handlers will not be rushed and are less likely to make a routing mistake.

4.  Always display your contact information on your luggage.

5.  Purchase a permanent baggage tag rather than using the paper ones provided at the ticket counter.

6.  Put a copy of your travel itinerary inside your baggage.  Should it be lost, the airfare will know where to send it.

7.  Invest in high-tech luggage tags with radio frequency microchips, such as the SuperSmart Tag and Rebound TAG. While both devices make it easier for an airline or airport worker to match a bag with its owner, they rely on the bag actually being found and reported.

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