Jordan and I wanted to go to Kauai to celebrate our anniversary and we thought the best way to do so was to relax on a resort. We chose to stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa located on the South side of the island. During the winter, the South side is the drier side and we wanted to try our best to avoid the rain that this island is known for. When we entered the hotel, we were immediately greeted with leis. I definitely felt like I arrived in Hawaii. In addition, we were given a bottle of champagne, champagne flutes, and a pineapple because it was our anniversary. I could not have asked for a better welcome.
We stayed in a partial ocean view king suite. Our view of the ocean was slightly blocked off by a wall, but honestly, it was still a great view. We had a lovely patio that we ate most of our meals on. You can walk right on to a patch of grass that is shared by other patios nearby. I loved walking around in the mornings and occasionally seeing a rooster run across looking very lost. Within the room itself, we had a lovely king sized bed, a couch that I used to work on, a table, and the usual fridge/coffee/TV/robes amenities. The hotel provides two water bottles for the guest, which made my inner sustainability supporting side jump up with joy. I love how they do not provide plastic water bottles and actually have water bottle filling stations conveniently around pretty much every corner in the resort. The water bottle is also great because you can carry it all around the resort with you without having to waste plastic cups at the pool facilities. I'm still using the water bottle after the trip, so I can continue to stop wasting plastic.
As for the bathroom, it was definitely my favorite part of the room. It was HUGE and had a marble countertop and floor (perfect for those bathroom photos). The toilet was also one of those fancy bidet toilets that automatically cleans itself and turns blue when you walk in. They also have FREE self-serve laundry that includes detergent! This was perfect for Jordan and I because we were hiking in the mud and did not want to repack muddy clothes into our suitcase. The hotel also offers paid laundry services if you do not want to wait for the laundry.
For our two-year anniversary dinner, Jordan and I ate at Tidepools. Tidepools is one of the many restaurants on this resort, but it is definitely one of the fancier and pricier ones. The restaurant is located in a tiki hut-esque building. There is a beautiful Koi pond surrounding the restaurant and you can see the fish getting fed throughout the night. The outdoor seats are amazing if the weather is warm outside and they seat you in big comfy chairs. If there is a wait, you can sit by the bar and start getting your drinks on! We started with a Pineapple Julep and Shipwreck Surfer. I definitely tasted the rum and was immediately in a tropical mood.
For the meal, we were given bread and truffle oil butter. Honestly, I ate so much bread dipped truffle oil butter I was pretty much full by the time the appetizers came out. It's probably one of the best butters I have tried and I really like trying different types of butter. As an appetizer, we ordered the Polenta Crusted Scallops and Crab Cakes. The seafood tasted incredibly fresh and the display of the food made it even more appetizing to eat. I would say the crab cakes are better than the scallops. Unfortunately, you do not get a large quantity for the price, but at least you have good butter. For the main course, I ordered the Opah and Jordan ordered the Local Snapper. The Opah was hefty and there was a lot of fish in the dish. The Local Snapper had a Chinese food taste to it because it came with rice and I tasted some vinegar in the fish. Both dishes tasted fresh and they were delicious (p.s. try putting the truffle oil butter on the fish, it's amazing).
Around the resort, there is also so much to do. There is a calendar that is given to you for hourly activities that take place around the resort. There was morning yoga, morning walks around the beach, zumba, lei making, and so much more. The activities go from morning to night to accommodate everyone's schedules! The resort also has bi-weekly luaus to give you the complete Hawaii experience - it is approximately $100 for all you can eat food and drinks.. Definitely check with the schedule when you get there to check what day it is on, so you don't miss it!
If you just want to pamper yourself, there are shops and spa services for you. Stores, such as Sunglass Hut, are located on the resort and have many great beach wear items, bags, sun accesssories, and more. The Anara spa offers both individual and couple massages. There are then special deluxe spa packages, such as the Hawaiian escape, Kauai clay, Float Therapy and Garden Massage, and more. There is definitely one on the list that will fit you perfectly. I know beach bod is important, and so does the resort. The Anara spa also has a gym for you to get that morning workout in before hitting the waters. There is also a new beauty service on the island that can do your makeup. This is often used for all the weddings that occur on the resort.
Aside from the busy activities, you can de-stress in so many ways on this resort. My favorite way was the lazy river and the beach. By the pools, there is a place where you can rent tubes to float down the river. It's the perfect way to just enjoy the sun. There are fun little waterfalls on the river to add a bit of adventure to your lazy river journey. There are many pools including ones with volleyball nets, an adult section if you want to get away from kids, and a family friendly pool section. And of course, there are hot tubs for those chillier days. The hot tubs are very spacious and can fit a lot of people, so don't worry too much about them filling up. If you want to jump into the ocean for a salt-water swimming experience but are scared of sharks, they even have a salt-water lagoon. It looks like a mini beach right next to the actual beach and is very fun to swim in. For the beach experience, you can then walk five mins to Shipwreck Beach right on the edge of the resort. There are lounge chairs everywhere and hammocks for you to sunbathe, read/watch videos, or just sip on a margarita. To the left of the beach, there is a small cliff that you can hike up to to see the most beautiful views. Many people come here for sunrise and sunset to watch the beautiful pink view.
Overall, I loved my stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa and definitely need to come back here again. I would rate it 4/5 only because it was not all-inclusive, the food and drinks were pricey, and the hotel looks a little older than other resorts. Also, the resort is very big, so it does take a while to walk across the hotel to get food especially if you live on the side facing the parking lot. However, these points do not detract away from the experience. The service, facilities, room, location, and activities were all amazing. I used the concierge service a lot and they were very helpful with telling us what hikes to do, when to do them, and some local tips and tricks to the island. I highly recommend this resort especially if you are celebrating an anniversary - it is definitely a super romantic place to be!
If you are planning a Kauai trip soon, don't forget to also read my Kauai Travel Guide to get some recommendations, tips & tricks!