Lawai Beach Resort – Family Favorite on Kauai

I want to share a special place with you, it’s called Lawai Beach Resort and it is on the garden isle of Kauai. It has become a home away from home for us as we’ve been coming here since the 90’s. We’ve stayed at other spots on Kauai as well, and don’t get me wrong, there are some nice ones, but our overall favorite is Lawai Beach.

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It sits on a small local road directly in front of Lawai Beach, a small, but gorgeous beach that is highly regarded as one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. This is the South side of the island, which is the sunny side. It’s drier than the North, but if you want a better chance of sunshine (and coming from the Seattle area, we definitely do!) this is the place to be. There are often occasional showers (after all the wettest place on Earth is located on Kauai!) but they are often brief, and bring with them rainbows. Also, a tropical rain is a far cry from the cold drizzle of a NW rain!

Snorkeling Spot Lawai Beach

The resort is small as resorts go, which we prefer. It has a homey down to earth feel and one can while away the day sitting on the lanai listening to the sound of the waves and the palms blowing in the wind. It is comprised of four buildings. The Banyan, The Ali’i, The Coral and Liki Lani. Each building has its own advantages and you will find that people have their favorites for various reasons.

We prefer the Banyan, as the lobby is in this building, thus convenient for attending any classes (examples would be art classes, lei making) they might be offering that week as well. It’s also the location of the video rental room, where one can find juice and water available and puzzles and games. Plus, our favorite pool at Lawai is at this building.

Banyan Pool Rainy Day Lawai Beach Resort

The pool is relatively small if you’re used to large resorts, but it’s never felt crowded in all the years we’ve been coming here. There are lovely plumeria trees adorning the edges and you find yourself floating along with the white blossoms that have drifted down from the branches above. There is a small waterfall that flows over rock and into the pool that our son loves to hang out by and if you look up there is a brilliant bush of fuchsia bougainvillea that sits above the waterfall, and beyond the brilliant blue Hawaiian sky.

Banyan Pool 2 Lawai Beach Resort

There is also a hot tub (though all three pools do have hot tubs). Not a bad place to relax. Around the pool, you will find one of many areas available to guests to grill out doors. There are several tables near the BBQ’s if you wish to dine by the pool as well, or you can take the food up to your room.

The ocean, as I mentioned earlier is directly across a very small street (I’m looking at the water from our balcony on the second floor now, and I can’t even see the road, as there is a lovely hedge that covers it from view, and directly beyond all you see are waves). Hence, you can listen to the waves while you swim in the comfort of a calm swimming pool. If you like the excitement of swimming in the ocean and enjoy snorkeling, please see my article on snorkeling at Lawai Beach.

Lawai Beach

Now, as for the units in the Banyan building they are large and very comfortable for families. This is one of the reasons we prefer this building as well, we find the units are wider and more suited for our family. As these are technically timeshare units, they come with a full kitchen and everything you need to prepare your meals and eat in the comfort of your own place…that’s not to say you shouldn’t eat out occasionally, there are many great restaurants to try while here.

Bedroom Lawai Beach Resort

This trip we stayed in a two bedroom, two bath unit. They have all been recently updated (the project is still underway in some units) with granite counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms, a wonderful walk-in tile shower in the master bedroom and flat screen TVs in the living room and bedrooms. On the spacious lanai there is a lounge as well as a table for four.

Our second favorite building (my mother in law’s favorite) is the Ali’i. It’s located further from the lobby, but really it’s not very far. The units of the Ali’i have a slightly different layout than the Banyan (I should mention, all buildings have both one and two bedroom units available). Most of the units of the Ali’i stare directly out to the water, so the views are AMAZING.

Alii Building Lawai Beach Resort

The pool at the Ali’i building seems a bit larger than the Banyan pool, but it is designated as the quiet pool, so if you have children who want to be loud, this is not the pool for you. Remember, all guests can use any of the three pools on property. There is also a grill at the Ali’i pool, as well as another on the side of the building. There are large pots of chilis and herbs near the BBQ at the side of the building for guests to use, though there’s a larger herb and veggie garden located near the Banyan building.

Alii Pool Lawai Beach Resort
Living Area 5 Lawai Beach Resort
Kitchen 3 Lawai Beach Resort
Balcony Lawai Beach Resort

Directly in front of the end units of the Ali’i building you will find the small two story Liki Lani building. We have never stayed in this building ourselves, but the staff was kind enough to give us a tour of one of the rooms yesterday. It was HUGE. There was no view of the water from the unit we looked at, but the interior appeared to be the largest unit we’ve seen here.

Dining Area Lawai Beach Resort

The final building is the Coral Building. We have also never stayed in the Coral, but have met people who prefer it over the others. At the Coral Building you will find the rooftop recreation center.

Rooftop Terrace Lawai Beach Resort

There is a small gym with machines and free weights, where one can get in their exercise from the cool air conditioned room while looking out at the water. I saw a full rainbow while I was using the elliptical machine the other day! Not bad. Also, in the gym is an area of chairs and tables where one can go to play games or just relax in air conditioned comfort.

Fitness Center Lawai Beach Resort
Fitness Center 2 Lawai Beach Resort

The units themselves don’t have central air, but are designed in Hawaiian style with the slated windows above the large windows that can be left open so the breezes come through (there are also fans). The gym area also has several TV’s and bathrooms. For your entertainment, there is a billiards table, a foosball table and a ping pong table. Just next to the gym you will find a miniature golf course and the tennis courts. There is also a sitting area outside with tables if you want to have a meal with a fantastic view.

Miniature Golf Lawai Beach Resort

The units of the Coral are nice as well. The only downside we see with the building is there are not as many units with ocean views. Full disclaimer, we’ve never stayed in the Coral building and have heard from some that they really love it. As with everything, it’s a matter of preference which varies from person to person. One thing to note here is that the pool at the Coral is the only one that they heat during the winter months (I just learned that during this trip!).

Coral Building 5 Lawai Beach Resort
Coral Building 3 Lawai Beach Resort
Coral Building Lawai Beach Resort

Directly across the street from the Coral is the amazing Beach House Restaurant. For more information read my Beach House Restaurant review.

We applaud Lawai Beach Resort for their eco-friendly approach. They installed solar panels several years ago and recycling bins are located on the first floor. The garden they have in back of the Banyan building where guests can pick herbs and veggies is organic! And food left over by vacationers is donated to the food bank.

Herb Garden Lawai Beach Resort

If you are looking for fun activities to do around the island there is an activities desk located in the lobby where you can book excursions from boating trips along the Na Poli Coast (A MUST DO, if you haven’t done it before) to zip-lining and scuba diving.

The great news is, you don’t have to be an owner at Lawai Beach Resort to stay here! They work with Hawaii Timeshare Exchange.

Sunset Lawai Beach

For rentals through the Hawaii Timeshare Exchange you can visit their website at Also note that if you have some flexibility, you might get lucky and find something listed at their website under Last Minute Specials. You can find more information and photos of the resort on the Lawai Beach Resort website.

Family Photo Lawai Beach Resort

Happy Travels!!

Read what others have to say about Lawai Beach Resort on Trip Advisor, a MilesGeek affiliate.

Hollin Stafford
Hollin Stafford

Hollin is originally from California. After obtaining a degree in Sociology she worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines so that she could combine her work with something she’s always loved, travel. Later she found herself in Seattle, WA where she met her husband and went to work in the real estate field.

She moved with her family from Port Townsend, WA to Sintra, Portugal in 2016. They said they’d try it out for a year and never left! Leveraging her U.S. real estate background and the insights she’s gained over the years into Portuguese life, she works with the Brightman Group, guiding international buyers and connecting sellers. She loves her work and finds delight in helping people find their ‘spot’ in the world.

Hollin's passions also include spending quality time with family and friends, seeking out excellent food and writing. She writes in a variety of genres, from YA, to literary short stories, non-fiction and engaging travel pieces. Her current focus is on writing a memoir about what brought her family to Portugal.

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