Hanalei Colony Resort: Kauai Authenticity

Let’s get this out of the way right off the bat: There are no televisions or telephones in any of the guest rooms of Hanalei Colony Resort. That should weed out those travelers with an unsatiable need for technology at all times, or at least those of us who admit to such an addiction. What Hanalei Colony Resort in Kauai does have, though, is undeniable authenticity. Built in the late 1960’s, Hanalei Colony Resort is on Kauai’s North Shore, right on the fabled Hanalei Bay, and has been called (by Islands Magazine) one of the most romantic places on Earth.

Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai

When I first stepped into my bungalow here on the north shore of Kauai, I admittedly thought, “uh oh, no air conditioning either?”  But the 2-room suite style bungalows are designed to maximize air flow, with Japanese sliders between rooms, huge windows, and multiple (quiet) ceiling fans.

Hanalei Colony Resort Bungalow in Kauai, Hawaii (Jennifer Miner)

Once settled into the groove of this wonderful, old-fashioned Kauai resort, it seems that unplugged is the best way to experience Hawaii the way it’s meant to be. The north shore of Kauai is far from the urban bustle of Waikiki in Oahu — in fact, the two feel like completely different worlds. While Honolulu is a citified area of Hawaii, not much has changed in Hanalei in the past few decades. Hanalei Colony Resorts reflects this perfectly. Unspoiled, unplugged, unforgettable (that’s the resort’s slogan) sums up the area. I would also add, unrushed. And where better to have the ultimate Hawaiian vacation, one in which we talk with our families, stroll quiet beaches with epic vistas, and unhurriedly meander through our days? Hanalei Bay is so sweepingly gorgeous, with so much surrounding area untouched (let alone undeveloped) by the western world, that it feels like going back in time to a simpler way of life.

Hanalei Colony Resort on Kauai's North Shore (hcr.com)

There are only 52 bungalows here, all of which have 2 bedrooms, a full kitchen, private lanai and two bathrooms, as well as a common room. If you reserve a ground floor bungalow — and I recommend you do — it’s a simple luxury to slide open the door to your lanai and walk a few yards to the beach. Strolling barefoot on the sands of Hanalei Bay is one of the best slow things to do in the entire state of Hawaii: The sweeping, achingly stunning views are unlike anywhere else. The St Regis, across the bay, is the preeminent luxury resort hotel on the North Shore of Kauai, of course, but Hanalei Colony Resort has it trumped for its genuine feel of old Hawaii.

Hanalei Colony Resort Lanai in Kauai, Hawaii (Jennifer Miner)

Listen to the waves crashing and, in their retreat, distant waterfalls send their water in endless plumes. Tropical birds sing to each other as they have since the island was uninhabited by people. Early in the morning, you can appreciate looking at the sea and the sky, the plants and the trees, that have changed little in the past few hundred years. No sounds of televisions or radios come from the other bungalow, no car stereos blast. It’s paradise. This, here, in Hanalei Resort Colony of Kauai, is how Hawaii once was and forever should be.

Thank you to the Kauai Visitors Bureau for hosting this cultural travel experience.

19 Responses to “Hanalei Colony Resort: Kauai Authenticity”

  1. 1
    Les says:

    You have me craving a nice vacation far away from civilization. Oh to trade voices for crashing waves!!!

  2. 2
    Anna says:

    This place sounds like Heaven on Earth. I never heard of Hanalei Colony Resort before but now I’ll dream of it.

  3. 3
    Abbie says:

    Wow – that looks gorgeous!

  4. 4
    Steve says:

    Kauai is beautiful. What a great way to see it — thank you.

  5. 5

    Sometimes, being unplugged and hanging with the family is a vacation in itself.
    This place sounds great.

    I’m off to the Big Island for a quick trip to Hilo. Unfortunately, it is a solo trip.

  6. 6
    Wanderluster says:

    We were supposed to stay here earlier this year but ended up down in Poipu. Good thing… the Japan earthquake hit and the north end of the island was hit the worst – though not too badly, I understand.

    Definitely on our list for next time :-)

  7. 7

    Oh, boy, you’ve given me a serious case of island envy!

  8. 8
    Kristin Mock says:

    Oh, this is making me yearn to return to the islands! While I just returned from Maui a month ago (it was my first time on the islands!), next year, it’s Kauai for me! This place is stunningly gorgeous.

  9. 9
    John says:

    Wow, what a place indeed! Love the beaches and the facilities too. Hey, in case you didn’t know, there is this amazing book that has helped me a lot in making by travel blog look professional and make money out of it too. Hope you like it as well. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004ZZM6YO

  10. 10
    Adria says:

    Looks like paradise! Beautiful photos :)

  11. 11
    Kaithy says:


    I have visit your blog. it provides me very useful information about bay resort. It is very gorgeous resort. I like it. I appreciate for looking this type of wonderful resort. I will visit this resort during vacation.

    Thanks! :)

  12. 12
    Mads says:

    I stayed here a few years ago, and it was absolutely wonderful. Since Kauai is so far north, there is a constant breeze, keeping the air a lovely temperature. We always kept our windows open wide. The television was not missed-this is an amazing resort.

  13. 13
    Donna Hull says:

    My favorite destinations in Hawaii are the old-fashioned ones that give off the true spirit of Hawaii. Hanalei Colony Resort sounds remarkable.

  14. 14
    Sandra Bliss says:

    We first stayed her in 1988 then again in 1992 and were there when Iniki hit the island. We took shelter at the Princeville Hotel and were shocked at the devastation left by the hurricane. Our last visit was in 1996 and the Resort was just as beautiful and wonderful as before. Highly recommend it to everyone who’s looking for paradise.

  15. 15
    Gwynne says:

    Enjoyed your review and am glad to know about your blog…
    We’ve reserved four nights the week before Christmas. It will be my husband and 9 yr. old son and me. Any particular thoughts or suggestions for families with children staying in this general area?…

  16. 16

    Love the gorgeous pix as well as the description. What a great place for a honeymoon or even a writer’s retreat.

    Thanks for joining in this week’s Traveler’s Show & Tell blog carnival, too. I always enjoy your submissions. :)


  17. 17

    this is the fifth time i read the site, good post as always! thank you, Pugh

  18. 18
    Alex says:

    looks incredible!! My wife and I want to visit Hawaii so bad! Looks like this would be a great place to go!

  19. 19
    Thomas says:

    Hello, I am a Bescoverer at Bescover.com and I connect travelers with innkeepers in beautiful places around the world. There is nothing so romantic as a weekend get away at a bed and breakfast, filled with laughter, romance, and good food!

    If you are interested in the world’s best B&B’s you can go to bescover.com

    If you ever visit California check the Cedart Gables Inn in Napa : http://mail.bescover.com/napa/cedar-gables-inn

    Very Romantic!

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