A vacation in Hawaii can easily turn into expensive in paradise, so I’m always on the lookout for value-priced accommodations that deliver luxury at an affordable price point. On a recent stay on the island of Kauai, I was pleasantly surprised at the affordable luxury found at the Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay. And apparently, I’m not the only one that thinks that – take a look at the discussion on my Instagram photo of the resort here.
What makes the hotel so great? Like all real estate – location, location, location!
This is beachfront property om Wailua Bay with a protected lagoon for swimming. Next to the hotel is Lydgate Beach Park, one of the best family-friendly beaches on the island. You can walk or bike along the Ke Ala Hele Makalae path which follows the island’s eastern coastline. The resort charge covers a 2-hour bike rental for two people, so head out for a ride and look for sea turtles, monk seals, and other Hawaiian habitues. You’ll enjoy a good workout while you enjoy the natural beauty of the island.
If you don’t feel up to a walk or ride, you can stay on property and lounge by the pool, there are two, or the whirlpool. You can work out if you’d like, but hey – you’re in paradise, and I recommend you get your exercise in out of doors.
The common areas of the Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay are just as you would expect in a tropical environment, a combination of lush greens (remember, Kauai is known as the Garden Isle), sandy beach, and modern hotel amenities. Walking from the lobby to my room I passed by dark green foliage, flowers, and a waterfall. Walking to the restaurant for happy hour, I passed by a sheltered pond as I looked out at the ocean.
If you want to stay on property, there are a few dining options at the hotel.
The Garden Grille is open for breakfast and dinner and serves a fairly typical array of American cuisine, some of which are made more interesting with an island twist. It’s an open-air restaurant with dining inside and out. My recommendation is to opt for happy hour (hours vary, check at the front desk) for a Mai Tai and some small plates.
I don’t usually like Mai Tais, I find them too sweet and syrupy. But the ones here were great – hand poured, real fruit juices not a syrup – and confess to having two. Better yet, the Mai Tai is an included amenity in your resort fee. The small plates that were a hit at our table were the Hawaiian flatbread, sticky-finger ribs, and pulled pork sliders.
Poolside dining is available at Mamahume’s. It’s a more limited menu than what you’ll find in the Garden Grille with a few minor variations. When the weather is hot and humid, I prefer to head indoors for air conditioning and food, but your preference may differ.
For late night snacking, or in my case, hunger on arrival snacking. the Pavilion Pantry next to the registration desk serves as a small store with snacks. There are also some local specialty items like seasonings and sauces suitable for taking home.
If you want to head out for dinner, without going too far, I’d recommend the Bull Shed. Check at the front desk for assistance with reservations.
With so much to do and see, you might think that you’ll never see your room. You’ll be exhausted, so that’s not the case.
While the ocean view rooms are the most coveted, and the most expensive, even my garden view room was spacious and comfortable with a nice sitting area and workspace. Plug-ins were well located and plentiful and wifi was free. Cottages are also available, but I didn’t have the opportunity to check those out.
This is not the fanciest hotel on Kauai, but it definitely provides great value at a great location
The Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay is located in the island of Kauai at 3-5920 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, Hawaii. Rates start at a very affordable $160 night. Parking is complimentary. The hotel is about five miles from the airport and you will most likely want a car.
A mandatory resort fee of $22/day covers Daily Resort Charge will be added to the room rate and includes: Aloha shell lei greeting, Mai Tai or soft drink each evening (maximum of two per day per room), Hawaiian cultural sunrise ceremony (scheduled three times per week), the above referenced bike ride, and cooler and beach mat usage.