Aina Kai means land and sea and it is the name of one of many homes offered by The Parrish Collection. We loved this house. Even though our suite was enormous at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa*, the kids liked having their own room. At the Parrish home, we could hang out by our pool, go downstairs and play video games or board games or gaze at the ocean from our deck. (*If you go to Hyatt and book this hotel, Traveling Mom will receive a referral fee.)
Everything in Kauai is expensive (especially food) because almost everything is imported. No one wants to cook every night of a vacation but having a fully stocked kitchen is a money saver. There were lots of meal options including a private chef experience, grocery delivery, and take out of course and the location is close enough for eating out. I loved the management’s attention to detail like the condiments in the kitchen, beach towels, and the basket of local treasures (especially the killer banana bread) that was waiting for us upon arrival. Even the garage was stocked with water toys and beach necessities. The only shocker about staying in a Parrish Collection home was the ticket price. The cost for a week during high season runs a very reasonable $600-$800/week.
The location is close to everything: town, the beach and outdoor activities. One of the activities we did was a 2 mile easy kayaking trip on the Hule‘ia River with Outfitters Kauai, returning on a motorized canoe. Our guide kayaked with us, fed us lunch and took us on a hike through Hidden Valley Falls where we found real awapuhi to condition our hair. We also dropped from the Tarzan swing into the refreshing pool of water and a few of the very brave slid into a lava tube.
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Our home was 1 mile from Brennecke’s Beach, which is packed with people riding the waves in spite of the DANGER sign. A little further down are more Poipu Beaches with calmer waters and lifeguards. We walked to the beach every day, rode the waves, learned to surf at Kauai Surf School and enjoyed feeling like we were part of the Hawaiian community.
My husband is not a water fan unless it’s a pool with waiters who deliver fruity drinks with umbrellas. My nickname for him is SandHater. You can interchange Sand with Surf, Water, Ocean, Lake, Swim. Somehow we convinced him to participate in a family surf lesson with Kauai Surf School. The owner is a surf pro and has been in business for almost 15 years. But what gave me the most confidence is that he is a dad – of 5. His son was there helping out. He always teaches safety first, then technique. He had his own way of teaching and the kids were riding waves quickly. Even SandHater rode a couple (on his back or stomach but hey). I absolutely recommend this company as a safe and prepared place to take lessons.
We reluctantly left Poipu Beach but we took our share of ohana and aloha with us.