Aston’s 3.5-star Islander on the Beach is a charming plantation-style hotel and one of Kauai’s best oceanfront values. The lobby was redone and is now open-air with ceiling fans and a veranda that looks out to the wide green lawn and pool complex. With their great location on the island’s east coast, their six acres of prime oceanfront land, lush gardens throughout the property and now, beautifully renovated rooms, the Islander has become a very special getaway on a very special island.
You are encouraged to enjoy the “Islander Sunrise Starter” continental breakfast (coffee, cold beverages, and pastries) while it is offered. You can start your day off right with the Islander Sunrise Starter in the Ohia Room, available Monday to Friday from 8am to 9am.
You can relax on a lounge chair on the lawn, or spend your time by the pool. The beachfront pool area offers barbecue areas, a large sparkling pool, jet spa and a poolside bar, The Sand Bar, where happy hour runs daily from 4pm to 6pm. On Saturdays, you can relax during Manager’s hour from 6pm to 7pm with discounted beers and Mai Tais, with live Hawaiian music. Live music at the pool bar is from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. The beach is beautiful, wide and white, but swimming is not recommended due to strong currents. But if you love to swim in the ocean, just a few minutes away are beaches with calmer waters and some great snorkeling areas.
Across the street is the Coconut Marketplace, an open air shopping center with stores and restaurants. The Wailua River is just five minutes away and is the longest navigable river in all the islands. One of the most popular things to do is rent a kayak and paddle up the river where you then stop and hike to a waterfall – it’s quite an unforgettable experience.
A short distance away is the 19th century plantation town of Kapa’a, well worth a stroll through. It’s a charming, funky town with lots of small boutique-type shops, unusual items to purchase, including some unique items made in Hawaii and a varied choice of restaurants. Drive to the South and visit Kokee State Park and Waimea Canyon, called the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. There are great hiking trails in the Park and Canyon area. Go in the opposite direction and be in the land of Princeville where pristine golf courses and luxurious resorts are the norm.
Some recommended restaurants include Eggberts, great for breakfast, located right next door in the Coconut Marketplace. The charming Café Coco, just off the main road of a canefield in Wailua serves excellent gourmet fare cooked to order at cafe prices. Then there is Café Portofino serving excellent Italian dishes at reasonable prices located in the Kauai Marriott and The Lighthouse Bistro Kilauea in the Kong Lung Center on the way to Princeville, serving great food with an eclectic selection.
Although Kauai is not known for their night life, you can always check out Whaler’s Brewpub, located at the end of the road in Ninini Point, Lihue. Perched over the harbor, they specialize in seafood, but are also known for their selection of great appetizers and their burgers. There is live entertainment on Tues. and Fri. to Sun., the place is extremely popular, the food is good and the company interesting. And, if you’re there during the winter months, you might just see a Humpback Whale or two swimming past on their way to Maui.