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Wave Therapy in Kauai

Four properties on Kauai treat you to unobstructed vistas and the seductive sounds of the open Pacific right outside your lanai

Waves and a panoramic view are the perfect recipe for relaxation at The Cliffs in Princeville, Kauai
Photos by Ben Davidson/
The Pacific Ocean from Whaler's Cove
Photo by Ben Davidson/

There’s nothing quite like the sight and sound of ocean waves breaking on a tropical island shore. On Kauai, Hawaii’s nature-soaked Garden Island, the Pacific Ocean collides with the island in an often rough-edged display of raw energy. Waves generated by the tropical tradewinds splash against rocky shorelines with violent power, or spread gently like lacey fabric on soft sandy shores. At places like the south shore's famous Spouting Horn, waves burst through blowholes like whales after a deep dive.

For some, this incessant and moody parade of breakers provides 24-hour aural therapy for the mind and body, both relaxing and rejuvenating, which is why there's no better place than Kauai for a serious dose of wave therapy.

Here are my picks for resorts on Kauai where you guaranteed to be lulled asleep and gently wakened by the nature's own "white noise" machine, the Pacific Ocean.

Whalers Cove, Koloa

Hidden at the end of a quiet residential street in Poipu (the name means “crashing waves” in native Hawaiian), the upscale 35-unit condo is built on a bluff overlooking a historic cove known as Koloa Landing, where whaling ships once pulled unloaded their catch.

Whalers Cove feels like the prow of a sailing ship, its curved oceanfront side creates a unique feeling of being in your own private oceanfront villa. High or low season, you're certain to get an ever-changing mix of garden island weather: sun, rain and mist. And from the lanai of every unit at Whalers Cove you'll get an uninterrupted panorama of Pacific Ocean, with ocean waves unfolding and crashing against the boulder-lined shore every few seconds. It's an enchanting, wild and powerful display of nature, and a real treat for those seeking a low-key but upscale hideaway on the south shore of Kauai.

Sheraton Kauai, Poipu

Long a Kauai favorite, the Sheraton Kauai is a full-service resort in sand-and-sun kissed Poipu. Guests staying in the ocean-facing Beach and Ocean wings greet the morning sunrise. For wave lovers, the Ocean wing is perfectly positioned just yards from the shore; like Whalers Cove, it’s separated by a narrow grass lawn lined by a row of palm trees.

Oceanfront suites blend stylish décor and modern amenities with a tropical flair. This fully accessible room features a private lanai, beautiful wood furnishings, vibrant artwork, an inviting bed, a flat-screen TV, and a bathroom equipped with grab bars, upscale fixtures, and full amenities.

Deluxe oceanfront suites boast spectacular ocean views from a private lanai. This suite provides a king bedroom, a spacious living room, a dining table, a plush sofa and armchair, a flat-panel wide-screen cable TV, in-room movies, a wet bar, a refrigerator, a coffee maker, air conditioning, and full bath amenities.

The Cliffs at Princeville

If you want more muted sounds of the ocean waves and a super wide view of the vast Pacific, The Cliffs is the place for you. Located on the north shore of the Garden Island of Kauai, The Cliffs, a condominium resort, lies within the Princeville Resort on 22 acres of lush tropical garden situated on a high bluff overlooking the north Pacific.

Take in the peaceful view of the ocean from your lanai on the resort's ocean-facing units or pull up an Adirondack chair and absorb the view from on the edge of the bluff on The Cliffs' wide oceanside lawn. It's the ultimate in zen wave watching, and when you're not soaking up the raw beauty of this North Shore hideaway, The Cliffs has many on-site amenities, including two tennis courts, a full-size volleyball/badminton court, a half-court basketball court, two shuffleboard court, a childrens' playground, swimming pool, spa for adults, and a putting green with sand trap.

Hanalei Colony Resort

A peaceful and unplugged hideaway on the verdant north shore of Kauai, the oceanfront Hanalei Colony Resort offers true tropical escape. Described by guests as "magical, heavenly, and paradise," the resort is nestled on a secluded stretch of beach, set against jagged mountain ranges.

Guests staying in the premium ocean suites are approximately 10 feet from the beach, with stunning panoramic ocean views. In a ground floor premium ocean unit, you can step off your private lanai and your feet are in the sand. It's a natural setting unlike any other Kauai hotel. The oceanfront suites at HCR are approximately 30 feet from the beach, but still only a few short steps away. The ocean views are stunning but not as quite as panoramic as a premium ocean unit. They are all just right for a revitalizing dose of wave therapy, Kauai-style.

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