Kauai Shores Hotel Review [2024]

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The Kauai Shores Hotel is one of the most affordable resort-like lodging options in Kauai. It’s conveniently located in the middle of the island’s eastern shore, providing an excellent home base for exploring the stunning beaches and mountains along the north shore and the charming, historic towns on its southern coast.

But what’s it really like to stay here–and is it worth the price? After staying here (and paying for it out of our own pockets!), here’s an honest and unbiased Kauai Shores Hotel review, including what to expect during your stay and tips for making it as enjoyable as possible. 

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Building at the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai
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If you’re looking for the TLDR of this Kauai Shores Hotel review, here goes. 

The Kauai Shores Hotel, built in the 1970s, is an older hotel, but with an updated funky and retro-inspired décor throughout its rooms and public spaces. Nevertheless, there’s definitely still some signs of wear around the hotel if you look closely enough (think- random patches of paint on the walls and slightly dated-looking bathrooms). Given that the rooms and the overall hotel itself is incredibly clean, bright, and well-maintained, however, I wouldn’t let that deter you from staying here. 

Moss wall with a sign for the Kauai Shores Hotel in KAuai

The hotel comes with a lot of nice perks- parking, beach access, two pools and a hot tub, a trendy onsite restaurant, free morning yoga classes, and bike and towel rentals.

Between its convenient location, friendly staff, and its amenities, I’d definitely recommend staying at the Kauai Shores Hotel as a good bang-for-your-buck lodging option on this island, regardless of what kind of traveler you are (solo, a couple, or a family). Even adding in the (very annoying!) daily resort fee of $22, staying here easily costs less than the average accommodations in Kauai (which is $465 per night, as of 2022). 

Is that all you need to know? 

Wanna learn more before taking the plunge? Let’s get into it! 

The Location of Kauai Shores Hotel

The Kauai Shores Hotel is located here, in Kapa’a, the largest city on the island and found on Kauai’s Coconut Coast. 

Coconut groves in Kapaa, Kauai

While Kapa’a may not be quite as charming as Princeville or Koloa, it’s still inarguably one of the best places to stay in Kauai—in town, there’s plenty of good shops, restaurants, and food trucks (my favorite!) that are a bit more authentic than you’ll find in the typical touristy towns. 

It’s also an excellent jumping off spot for other adventures around Kauai—for example, it’s about a 43 minute drive from the stunning Hanalei Bay on the north side of the island or just a little over half an hour to the beloved Poipu Beach on the south side. 

Lounge chairs on Waipouli Beach at the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

The hotel is also located directly on Waipouli Beach, a clean and family-friendly beach with plenty of lounge chairs. This beach is generally better suited for soaking up the sun or playing in the sand as opposed to swimming or snorkeling, unless the waves decide to be calm and cooperate (which they definitely weren’t when we were visiting!). Still, it’s one of the best beaches to watch sunrise on Kauai, with stunning mountain vistas to the south, and sounds so peaceful outside your window at night. 

Getting to Kauai Shores Hotel

Unlike some of the larger resorts, the Kauai Shores Hotel does not provide a complimentary shuttle to and from the Lihue Airport. 

I’d STRONGLY recommend booking a rental car on Kauai—this island has so many amazing hikes, beaches, and historic towns that are just begging to be explored that require your own transportation. However, if you’re not planning on renting a car, you can either book a transfer from the airport or rely on rideshare (which I would not advise—it can be really hit or miss to find Uber or Lyft drivers on Kauai). 

The Buildings and Grounds at Kauai Shores Hotel

As mentioned above, the Kauai Shores Hotel was originally built in the early 1970s. Instead of trying to cover up its vintage roots, though, the Kauai Shores Hotel has leaned into the tropical mid-century vibes, with colorful pops of green, aqua, and orange throughout the property.

Colorful building at the Kauai Shores Hotel

In addition to the main building, which houses the lobby; onsite restaurant, Lava Lava Beach Club; and a small general store, the hotel’s 200 rooms are spread out across four two-story buildings, named Lei, Lani, Mauka, and Maile, respectively. In between these buildings, there’s a well-manicured and open lawn, lots of tall palm trees, and some of the hotel’s amenities, like its pool, hot tub, and firepit. 

There’s also a parking lot that provides complimentary space for both guests of the hotel and Lava Lava Beach Club. The parking here is a bit quirky—you have to drive alllll the way to the end of the parking lot to reach the lobby for check-in.

Additionally, the spaces are TIIIIIGHT and quite limited—one night while we were staying there, we couldn’t find a space to park in at all. Accordingly, I’d suggest taking advantage of the complimentary valet service so you don’t have to worry about snagging—or maneuvering your way into—a spot.

Valet at Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

The Rooms at Kauai Shores Hotel

Much like the rest of the property, the rooms at the Kauai Shores Hotel have an updated retro vibe, with a citrus-y tropical color palette, chunky furniture, and curved lighting fixtures. 

The rooms are all impeccably clean and well-equipped with a flat screen TV, electronic safe, coffeemaker (the website is very clear that you’re allotted four Keurig pods daily), mini-fridge, high-speed Wi-Fi, and air conditioner. 

Room at the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

There is also a desk area, but it doesn’t look particularly comfortable or large. So if you’ll need to work for a significant period of time during your time in Kauai, I’m not sure this will be a great fit for you.

The bathrooms are on the smaller side and could use some updating (for example, some of the fixtures in our bathroom felt and looked kind of loose), but do everything you need a bathroom to do. 

There’s only one kind of truly upgraded type of room here, a Deluxe Garden View with a kitchenette. This style of room comes with a full-size refrigerator and freezer, microwave, sink, frying griddle, and utensils. All rooms, including the Deluxe Garden View, come with either two queens or a king bed and fit up to four people.

Balcony at the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

Otherwise, the only difference between hotel rooms is the view you’ll have—standard (you’ll have a view of the hedge between the Kauai Shores Hotel and the neighboring hotel), garden, pool, or ocean. If you can swing it, I’d recommend paying the small upgrade fee for an ocean view—while all of the rooms have a pretty spacious, private patio or lanai, we definitely didn’t use ours very much, thanks to its very scenic view of the hedge and the hotel’s dumpsters!

The Service at Kauai Shores Hotel

Every one of my interactions with the staff here was impressive, with each staff member being incredibly friendly and helpful. To be honest, while a $300+ per night hotel doesn’t exactly feel like a “budget” stay to me, it definitely is for Kauai—but the staff consistently provided the service of a four-star hotel.

That being said, everything has its limitations—don’t expect to be greeted at check-in, with a fresh hand-squeezed cocktail and handmade lei, as is customary at some of the swankier hotels on the island. Rather, you’ll be greeted by a smiling face and helpful suggestions of how to have an awesome time while you’re on the island.

Women checking in at the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

The Amenities at Kauai Shores Hotel

Listen, the Kauai Shores isn’t, like, a full-scale resort, like the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa or Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu—for example, you won’t find a spa or infinity pool overlooking the ocean here. So if you’re headed to Kauai to primarily relax and hang out at your hotel (no judgment, friend!), this may not be exactly the right choice, especially if a more upscale resort is in the budget.

However, if you’re looking for a hotel that has some really cool stuff to do while you’re not off exploring the island, Kauai Shores has PLENTY to offer. Just remember that there is a $22 per day resort fee that’s typically charged at check-in for these amenities (I know… SO annoying)- so I suggest taking advantage of some of them!

Lounge chairs on a beach in front of the Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

Pools at Kauai Shores Hotel

There’s two pools at Kauai Shores. 

The main one is in the middle of the large grassy lawn, which overlooks the ocean and the Lava Lava Beach Club. There’s about a dozen lounge chairs, Instagrammable large wicker loungers, and some cheerful umbrellas here, if you want to hide from the shade. This is also where the hotel’s hot tub is, which fits about eight people—come chill out here in the evening time to relax to the live music at Lava Lava Beach Club.

Pool at Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

The other pool is tucked between the Mauka and Maile buildings, towards the back of the property. It tends to be shadier and a lot quieter, if you’re looking for someplace to just relax in peace.

Dining at Kauai Shores Hotel

The only dining option at the hotel is Lava Lava Beach Club, a lively bar and restaurant that also has a cheeky tropical retro kind of vibe. It dishes up standard American fare, with a tropical twist, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, which you can enjoy either inside the restaurant or on the restaurant’s patio, right on the sands of the beach. My favorite aspect of the restaurant is that it offers live music every single day for SIX HOURS from 3-9 PM—can’t beat that!

Patrons dining in the sand at the Lava Lava Beach Club in Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

If you’re looking to snag a deal here, I’d suggest grabbing a cocktail during their happy hour, from 3-5 PM every day. Note that, when we visited, you had to drink any cocktails at Lava Lava Beach Club—you’re not allowed to take them to the pool or back to your room.

Fitness Activities at Kauai Shores Hotel

There isn’t an onsite gym at the Kauai Shore Hotel, but you do have a couple of options to burn calories while you’re here.

The first way is the complimentary yoga class every morning at 8:30 AM on the oceanfront lawn. What could be more zen than doing yoga as the waves lap a few feet from you?

Woman standing on the beach doing yoga

Additionally, the hotel rents out bicycles, from 7 AM to 6 PM every day, which are perfect for zipping around Kapa’a. 

The Crowd at Kauai Shores Hotel

Have you ever been at some kind of accommodations and felt out of place (e.g., you’re in your 30s and at a hostel where everyone else is 18 or you’re at an upscale resort where everyone seems much fancier than you… ahem, not that any of these are from personal experience or anything)? 

Yeah, you REALLY don’t have to worry about that here. The guests at Kauai Shores definitely seem to be a mixed bag—-older and younger; couples, families, newlyweds, and solo travelers. Everyone is welcome!

Kauai Shores Hotel Review

So would I recommend that others stay at the Kauai Shores Hotel

Definitely—so long as you’re not expecting an uber upscale resort experience, it’s a very comfortable and charming hotel that offers more amenities than most guests will take advantage of and a friendly staff to boot. 

Hot tub at Kauai Shores Hotel in Kauai

In terms of the other lodging options on the island, Kauai Shores is a really good value, offering a relatively affordable and convenient homebase to explore the island, while still providing a few luxuries when you just feel like relaxing near your hotel or soaking in a hot tub after a long day of hiking. 


Do you have any questions about staying at the Kauai Shores Hotel—or about anything on Kauai? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 thoughts on “Kauai Shores Hotel Review [2024]”

  1. Thanks so much for this helpful review. My family has booked a stay here via Costco for this June. The parking situation with a rental car has me a bit nervous. Did you have any damage to your car? Is there nearby, offsite parking available? We booked a room with the kitchenette so that we could avoid eating out every meal. I’m hoping the room is updated and in a decent location. I love all of your descriptions of the hotel. Thanks again!

    Reply
    • Hi Diane,

      We tried to park ourselves, but didn’t feel comfortable trying to park in the one available spot in the lot. Accordingly, we used the complimentary valet service and it worked out fine- no damage to our car! I think getting a kitchenette is a great idea- perfect for making a handful of meals in your room because eating out for every meal is DEFINITELY pricey!

      Hope you have a great time in Kauai; thanks for reading!

      Jess

      Reply

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