Kauai is a standout among standouts. The Hawaiian Islands as a whole are world-renowned for their natural beauty, but Kauai has carved out a special niche for itself. Ask those in the know and they’ll almost certainly point you towards Kauai if you ask where to see Hawaii’s natural side. Hidden waterfalls tucked away in dense tropical jungle, Hawaii-blue waves that crash onto spotless beaches that give way to dramatic green cliffs — the scenes are awe-inspiring. Here at AllTheRooms we write about beautiful places all around the world, but Hawaii, and Kauai in particular, are something else. So how does one go about taking in all this natural beauty we’re raving about? A hotel isn’t quite enough. We need something a little more “out there” that won’t sacrifice too much comfort. With that in mind, check out our favorite spots for glamping in Kauai.
What is Glamping?
First, let’s start with the concept of glamping and how it works in Hawaii. Glamping is mixing a little (or a lot) of luxury into the traditional camping routine. In short, you get the comfortable bed and the nice shower while still feeling surrounded by nature and away from the noisy, decidedly more bothered world. Sounds pretty sweet right? And a place like Hawaii is ideal. A warm climate, plenty of activities and beautiful scenery makes the concept even more appealing.
You may be wondering why we picked Kauai. After all, Maui and Oahu are more common tourist destinations. Well, there you have it. Kauai is a little wilder. It’s known as the Garden Island for its green landscapes and general beauty and the crowds don’t suffocate the island in the same way that they do Oahu or some parts of Maui. We believe camping should be about getting away from it all. Instead of navigated crowded beaches you can explore Waimea Canyon, hop on a sailboat and snorkel the stunningly beautiful Na Pali Coast or hike the Kalalau Trail and take in the views. Make sure you get plenty of photos at Kalalau Lookout. The options for getting out there and seeing breathtaking scenery are almost endless.
Camping is about getting in touch with the great outdoors and we’re hard-pressed to think of a great outdoors we would rather get in touch with than that of Kauai.
Where to Stay?
Here are our three favorite glamping spots on the island. We looked for a range of luxury, a balance of traditional camping and glamping style, and proximity to the nature that makes Kauai so special.
Mountain Cabin Views
We would put extra emphasis on the “glam” part of “glamping” for this cabin perched up in the mountains along Kauai’s south shore. From the jacuzzi-style tub to the decks that looks out over the mountains and ocean, it would be hard not to forget about mainland trouble and kick back here. The one-bedroom makes it look like an ideal spot for a couples getaway.
East Shore Jungle Cottage
Imagine going to sleep to the sounds of the Hawaiian jungle all around you. Seems a long way from your desk right? That’s the idea with this one-bedroom jungle cabin tucked away in a quiet rural area near the island’s eastern shore. We love the porch-style bedroom area and the wooden outdoor shower. The hosts make sure to communicate that guests have to be okay with a few wild pigs running by in the middle of the night or a gecko or two chirping away on the ceiling. The nature part is no joke.
Photo by Kauai Glamping Outfitters
Shifting back to the more conventional elements of camping, Camp Aloha offers tents that appear rather basic from the outside but are quite luxurious on the inside. Colorful bedding and comfortable mattresses right by the water sounds pretty ideal to us. There are single and double tents so you can go as a couple or as a solo traveler. The tents are just a stone’s throw from the water so if you want to wake up with a swim, go right ahead.