One of the main reasons people hold off on a Hawaiian vacation is because of the high costs. If you’re interested in saving money on your trip to Kauai, you can save quite a bit by shopping around for cheap hotels in Kauai.
As most areas on the island have banned AirBnbs, it’s not easy to find accommodations on a budget. We’ve saved you some of the hard work with this list of cheap hotels in Kauai for the best value. These are places that travelers who we’ve talked to have recently stayed and what we know from a combination of years of experience on the island.
Be sure to check out the quick FAQ after for general pointers about the cheapest area to stay in Kauai, when to visit for the best deals, and how long you should visit.
Cheap Places To Stay On Kauai On A Budget
Kauai Palms Hotel
Located just 5 minutes from the Lihue Airport, the Kauai Palms Hotel is a great place to save money for adventures around Kauai instead. Established in the 1950s, this classic Hawaiian hotel has been updated to include modern comforts but maintains the old-school charm and aloha spirit.
You can choose from a standard or deluxe room with the basic amenities of any modern hotel. There is a studio with a small kitchenette, a private studio cottage, or a 2-bedroom cottage complete with a full kitchen and small living space.
In terms of convenience, it’s really hard to beat the Kauai Palms Hotel. Guests are within walking distance of many of the restaurants and shops of central Lihue. It’s a great spot to set up as your base for the whole trip or as stress relief on days with early or late flights. The airport is close enough that you can almost see it from the door of your room. It can be quite a lifesaver on long travel days with early morning or late evening flights.
Thanks to the affordable rates at the Kauai Palms Hotel, you can have a lot more money to put toward experiencing the island’s charms or one of its many fun excursions and tours. From this central location, visitors are less than an hour’s drive from nearly any attraction on the island like Kalapaki Beach. Even some of the furthest spots are right around an hour away, and you get to see most of the island along the way. Check rates.
Hotel Coral Reef Resort
Established in 1956 on the shores of Kapaa Beach, Hotel Coral Reef Resort gives guests direct access to Kauai’s beautiful coastline. Conveniently located just outside of historic Kapaa, this classic Hawaiian hotel has a traditional atmosphere and is certainly one of the most affordable hotels in Kauai.
The feel and style of Hotel Coral Reef are reminiscent of old Hawaii, with a calming, home-away-from-home feeling with all accommodations. Rest easy in one of four available room types. Standard rooms with basic amenities and a city view, or splurge and reserve an oceanfront suite with your own private lanai overlooking the beach.
You won’t have to go far for something to do if you stay here. Directly in front of the resort, you can find a walking path that you can use to take a leisurely stroll all along the east coast of Kauai. This fantastic trail stretches for miles from Waipouli Beach to the south all the way up to Paliku Beach to the northeast side of the island.
Thanks to the small size and limited number of rooms, the service at Hotel Coral Reef is top notch and you’ll feel like family. Guests are well taken care of, and you can save some serious money to visit Kapaa and support local tourism.
Based on my own experience with the area, the Hotel Coral Reef Resort is certainly one of the cheapest places to stay on Kauai without giving up too much in comfort. Those renting a car will be happy to know that parking is free. Check rates.
The Kauai Inn
Just 3 miles from the Lihue Airport, the Kauai Inn sits on 3 lush acres of tropical paradise that guests can call home. The location is just outside of the city center so you get the best of both worlds. A little tropical mountain scenery along with the energy of this small island town, just a short drive up the road.
Since it puts you close to Lihue, this gives you the freedom to book any sort of adventure or tour on the island. Charter a helicopter tour, take a surfing lesson, or stay on land for an offroading ranch tour. Many of Kauai’s tour operators work out of Lihue and are ready to show you the beauty of Hawaii.
All of the basic comforts of home are in every room at The Kauai Inn. Perhaps unlike home, you also have the stunning surroundings and general vibe of Kauai. This won’t stop you from feeling at ease every day when you return to an inviting space with an outdoor pool and hammocks to lay on. They also have air conditioning so you never get too hot and free parking.
The Kauai Inn provides a great level of customer service at an affordable price. Combine this with the convenient location and short distance from the airport, and you’ve got another great cheap stay. Check rates.
Plantation Hale Suites
Plantation Hale Suites is surrounded on all sides by the untouched natural beauty of Kauai’s east coast. It’s between Wailua and Kapaa right off of the Kuhio Highway. This is a fantastic spot to visit the north shore, east coast, and verdant interior of the Garden Isle.
You can stay in an apartment or condo-style place. There are one and two-bedroom suites that feature a full kitchen as well as a living room. Depending on your preferences, choose from a garden view, ocean view, or pool view. All of this from your private lanai or patio, a standard on every guest suite.
Beach access is a few steps away from your door, as is the public trails system along the coast. This puts you in a prime location to go on a one-of-a-kind walk along the beach at sunrise, which can be breathtaking on this side of the island. Otherwise, go for a swim in one of their swimming pools.
Plantation Hale Suites gives convenient access to all of the activities and scenery of the north shore without having to spend a lot. Visitors stay in apartment-like suites for a fraction of the price of many of the resorts around the island and are just as comfortable. Check rates.
Kauai Shores Hotel
Just off the beaten path near Wailua lies the Kauai Shores Hotel. It’s comfortably lodged between Lae Nani and Waipouli Beaches. This affordable, old-school Kauai hotel is brimming with personality and has the beach steps away from the rooms.
On the days you decide to hang out by the pools, you’ll have the convenience of Lava Lava Beach Club for all of your food and beverage needs. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just drinks, stop by daily from 7 AM to 9 PM. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to dine like the locals, you’re a walk from shops and restaurants along the nearby highway to Kapaa. Yogies will be happy to know they host daily yoga classes in the morning.
Whether staying in a garden, pool, or ocean view room, guests can find the same level of simple comforts and vibrantly colored decor to match the tropical surroundings. The focus at the Kauai Shores Hotel is on the beauty of Kauai itself, of course, but it’s a good place to recharge for the following day.
You get a free night for any stay over 5 nights and a package deal that includes daily breakfast at Lava Lava Beach Club. There are also discounts for advanced booking, bundles that include airfare, and the chance for a discounted car rental rate. There is free parking included as part of their prices.
These savings on top of the already fantastic daily rates give you more money in your pocket to spend on experiences. Check rates.
Banyan Harbor Resort
Banyan Harbor Resort is within walking distance from the world-famous Kalapaki Beach, a legendary little stretch of manicured sand sloping to the sheltered waters of Nawiliwili Bay. It’s one of the best cheap places to stay in Kauai.
If you’re looking for cheap stays that can give you a taste of what it might be like to live in Kauai like the locals, Banyan Harbor Resort is ideal. The entire resort is made up of condo-style accommodations complete with full kitchens, living spaces, and various bedroom layouts.
You can walk to the many restaurants, shops, and tour companies that operate out of Lihue. If you’re not sure what you’d like to do and want some tips, the friendly staff of this budget-friendly resort can point you in the right direction. It’s always good to have local expertise on your side when you want to enjoy your vacation.
Be sure to look for discounts for multiple-day trips. There are also discounts for AARP and AAA membership, prepay discounted rates, and the chance to get a night for volunteering with one of the local non-profits. Check rates.
Kauai Beach Villas
Kauai Beach Villas is part of the Club Wyndham family of hotels and has fantastic vacation rentals. One or two-bedroom suites featuring a private patio and a dedicated living space can have you feeling comfortable.
The property is located on a privately held section of Kauai Beach, so the sand is just right outside your front door. Guests can spend an entire day of their vacation just exploring the nearby shore, which remains a largely untouched long stretch of sand and rocks.
Lihue Airport is close which makes this an excellent option for the first and last days of your trip, or save even more and make it your home for the entire duration. Being close to Lihue also means you’re near all of the restaurants, shops, and tour companies that operate out of it.
Using Kauai Beach Villas as a base for adventures, visit Waimea to the west side and the golden shores of Poipu to the south. Most attractions in Kauai are around an hour’s drive max. If you want to spend whole days at the resort, use the several pools, tennis courts, and an activities center for when it rains on Kauai. Check rates.
Kauai Beach House Hostel
It’s hard to mention all the affordable places to stay in Kauai without mentioning a hostel or two. You can’t go wrong with Kauai Beach House Hostel. This beachside hostel is a fantastic choice for singles or couples traveling light and looking to get amazing value for their dollar.
Hostels are more than just a place to stay since you can be around other travelers and trade stories, and have an overall great time. Having said that, if you’re looking for a space of your own, you can pay a little extra and get a private room. The default dorm room includes roommates and potentially involves bunk beds, so know before you go.
The real headline of a stay at Kauai Beach House Hostel will be the sheer amount of expenses you can reduce. It’s by a factor of two or three times as much to stay anywhere else.
At this Kauai hostel, you will be close to nearby parks, the public pool overlooking the shore, and downtown Kapaa. Directly across Kuhio Highway behind the hostel, you can find Holey Grail Donuts. They use locally sourced ingredients to craft signature donuts that you can only get on our beautiful island of Kauai. Check rates.
Hilton Garden Inn Wailua Bay
Believe it or not, there are affordable options with some of the international hospitality giants. Enter the Hilton Garden Inn, Wailua Bay. Hilton used some of their renown and clout to secure this spot as one of the best hotels in Kauai.
The property hugs an entire corner of the shores of Kauai, overlooking a stunning coastline full of palm trees, manicured sands, and dreamy blue waters. No matter which room you choose at the hotel, you get a unique vantage point of one or all of these unique landscape features.
If you’re looking for savings, you won’t have to sacrifice many amenities. All rooms, even those in the more traditionally styled hotel, are packed full of the modern comforts and decor that make Hilton a trusted name.
The images that come to mind when you think of Hilton are apparent throughout a traveler’s stay here. If it’s a special occasion and you want to go all-out, reserve a private cottage with unobscured views of the ocean. On the premises, you can find a whirlpool spa along with two pools.
You really won’t be able to beat this location in terms of convenience to the east and north sides of Kauai. There is enough distance from the nearest towns to feel like you have a little spot on the island all to yourself, reinforced by the sheer size of this resort. It’s a few minutes drive from either Lihue or Kapaa if you want to enjoy the vibrant tropical feel of these cities. Check rates.
Club Wyndham Bali Hai Villas
Club Wyndham’s Bali Hai Villas offers an affordable stay on the north shore of Kauai that’s notoriously expensive. Located in Princeville, just outside of world-famous Hanalei Bay, it’s close to some of the most breathtaking scenery.
Choose between one, two, or even three-bedroom villas complete with a full kitchen and living room space. You won’t believe how much you get for the money.
If you came to Kauai to see the north shore and the legendary Na Pali Coast, it’s a fantastic spot to check out. Down the road to Hanalei, you can book any kind of tour from boat tours to snorkeling excursions and even surfing lessons in the beautiful Hanalei Bay.
The north shore is absolutely littered with beaches worth visiting, and you need to add some of them to your itinerary. Hanalei, Puu Poa, Hideaway, and Anini Beaches are all within a few miles of the villas.
After a day spent exploring the north shore, return to your private island oasis and rest. They have all of the amenities you have come to expect from the Wyndham brand at an attractive price point. It’s tough to beat the combination of value for the features of these villas. Check rates.
Tip Top Motel
You won’t find a property with a more storied history on Kauai than the Tip Top Motel. In business since 1916, this Kauai motel brings things back to basics with its simple and affordable rooms.
The Tip Top Motel sits smack in the middle of the city of Lihue. You can walk to any of the shops and restaurants located downtown along the main street, which is one block from the front door of the building.
The rooms at the Tip Top Motel are the definition of simple. Rooms have one king-size bed or two twins and a private bathroom and that’s about it. It’s a private place to rest every night and recharge, so you can focus on how to spend your days with this crucial detail handled.
Take advantage of the location at this cheap hotel and really take the time to explore the capital of Kauai. You get to see all the ways the local culture blends with life on the mainland with all of the retail stores you can recognize from home and shops you’ll only find here.
The building has a cafe that’s frequented by the locals where you can grab a delicious breakfast and lunch. It serves traditional meals along with Hawaiian specialties like ox tail soup. Check rates.
What is the cheapest area to stay in Kauai?
If you’re looking for the cheapest area of Kauai to stay, you won’t have to look far from where your plane lands. Lihue on the island’s east side has the highest concentration of accommodations that can save you money.
In addition to affordable places to stay, Lihue has all of the conveniences of the mainland, so it’s a great place to stock up for days spent in other parts of the island.
What is the cheapest month to visit Kauai?
February and March are the cheapest months to visit Kauai. This is in the middle of what is considered the winter season on the island. Don’t be fooled by the season, though, these months are both still spectacular times to visit. Average daytime highs are comfortably in the 70s with overnight lows only dipping into the 50s.
During these short winter months, travelers can find the best deals on airfare, car rentals, and places to stay. Book several months in advance and you can save even more money.
How many days should you stay in Kauai?
Plan on staying in Kauai for 5-7 days to experience some of the best things about the island. This is also the sweet spot to still save money without completely breaking the bank. There are many properties offering a vacation discount for stays over 5 days booked in advance.
Kauai is easy enough to get around that you can make entire days about one side of the island or another. But you will still want to check out all four sides for their unique flair. If you can afford to stay longer, then it’s also certainly worth it. It’s easy to spend months in Kauai without truly seeing everything the Garden Isle has to offer.