Snowbirds Rejoice :: Westjet Flies Non-Stop To Kauai

Kauai Falls[trip style = sun + beach]

Recently I went to Maui for an extended weekend.  I thought about going to Kauai, but didn't because there was no direct flight out of YVR and Hawaiian Airlines, my preferred Hawaii-bound airline, did not fly there direct.  Even though I like to travel, I hate to fly, which is why I LOVE direct flights.

This is why I'm SO excited that as of Dec 16, 2009 Westjet will be starting direct service from Vancouver to Kauai twice weekly. To my knowledge, other than Westjet, there are no direct flights from YVR to LIH out of Vancouver, but Alaska Airlines does fly to LIH direct from SEA.

Here are some sample costs & dates for the Westjet Non-Stop Service: Depart Dec 30 - Returning Jan 9: $1010/per person Depart Jan 2 - Returning Jan 9: $915/per person

Here are a few top lux hotels for Lihue, Kauai, according to Frommers: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (tel. 800/55-HYATT): This Art Deco beach hotel recalls Hawaii in the 1920s -- before the Crash -- when gentlemen in blue blazers and ladies in summer frocks came to the islands to learn to surf and play the ukulele. The Hyatt's architecture and location on the sunny side of Kauai make this the island's best hotel. The beach is a bit too rough for swimming, but the saltwater swimming pool is the biggest on the island. An old-fashioned reading room by the sea houses club chairs, billiards, and a bar well stocked with cognac and port. Golf, horseback riding, and the shops of Koloa, a plantation town offering numerous boutiques, are nearby diversions.

Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club (tel. 800/220-2925): Water is found everywhere throughout this resort: lagoons, waterfalls, fountains, a 5-acre circular swimming pool (some 26,000 sq. ft., the largest on the island), and a terrific stretch of beach. The lagoons are home to six islands that serve as an exotic minizoo, which still lends an air of fantasy to the place and, along with the enormous pool and children's program, makes the resort popular with families.

Sheraton Kauai Resort (tel. 800/782-9488): This modern Sheraton (since 1997) has the feeling of Old Hawaii and a dynamite location on one of Kauai's best beaches. It features buildings on both the ocean side and the mountain side of the road. The horseshoe-shaped, Polynesian-style lobby has shell chandeliers dangling from the ceiling. You have a choice of three buildings: one nestled in tropical gardens with koi-filled ponds; one facing the palm-fringed, white-sand beach (our favorite); and one looking across green grass to the ocean, with great sunset views. The rooms overlook either the tropical gardens or the rolling surf.

Princeville Resort Kauai (tel. 800/826-4400): This palace of green marble and sparkling chandeliers recalls Hawaii's monarchy period of the 19th century. It's set in one of the most remarkable locations in the world, on a cliff between the crystal-blue waters of Hanalei Bay and steepled mountains. You arrive on the ninth floor and go down to the beach. Opulent rooms with magnificent views and all the activities of Princeville and Hanalei make this one of Hawaii's finest resorts.

Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa (tel. 800/OUTRIGGER): The lap of luxury, this $200-million condominium project on 13 acres (between the historic towns of Wailua and Kapaa) is located right on the beach within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and recreational activities. The resort, which opened in 2007, has hotel rooms, as well as 1-and 2-bedroom units. Each unit is furnished with top-of-the-line materials like granite countertops; stainless steel appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Fisher/Paykel; double dishwasher; full-size Whirlpool washer and dryer; whirlpool bathtub in the master bathroom; and 37-inch flatscreen TVs in the living room and bedrooms. The resort features a long list of amenities like complimentary high-speed Internet access, a 4,000-square-foot Aveda spa, fitness center, and a 300,000-gallon heated saltwater fantasy pool, with flowing river, garden, dual serpentine waterslides, sand-bottom children's pool, and three sand-bottom whirlpool tubs.

Trip Advisor's Top Kauai Picks: 1. Koa Kea Hotel & Resort 2. The Villas at Poipu Kai 3. Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy 4. Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort 5. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Off-the-beach things to do in Kauai...