Continuing our story on what’s new on Kauai, here are five more new reasons to visit Kauai (or revisit the garden island):
1. Kukuiula Shopping Village
Shopaholics rejoice. Kukuiula Shopping Village opened in 2009. It’s tasteful, upscale and blends in with the south Poipu landscape. Discover several art galleries plus interesting shops selling surfboards, Roxy sportswear, Hawaiian sea salt, unique jewelry and gourmet foods (fresh-baked pie anyone?).
Some great restaurants are here too, including the new Merriman’s Café (for seafood) and the much-loved Bubba’s (a local eatery serving old-fashioned burgers).
And don’t miss the culinary farmers market every Wednesday afternoon with live music and chef demonstrations.
Farmer’s market at Kukuiula Shopping Village
2. Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill
The servers wear pumpkin orange Chinese jackets. The open kitchen hums. And sangria (maybe lychee and mango?) is made fresh at your table from a rolling cart. Say hello to the new Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill.
Owner-chef Jean-Marie Josselin is one of the founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine. He traveled the world before recently returning to Kauai and opening Josselin’s – and his adventurous food reflects his travels. Nosh on sharing plates of braised pork belly pizza and shrimp dumplings with eggplant puree and curried yogurt.
Plum wine Sangria – photo Josselin’s
3. Stand-up paddleboarding
Stand on a specially-designed surf board and paddle up the Hule’ia River with Outfitters Kauai.
Stand-up paddle boarding is the world’s fastest growing watersport. And Kauai’s calm rivers are ideal for SUP (as it’s known for short).
It’s easy to learn. You’re a little wobbly at first, but soon you’ll be happily gliding past mangroves and hau bushes, whose yellow sea hibiscus flowers turn scarlet within 24 hours of blooming.
On this new tour, you also hike through a jungle of vines and jump from a rope into a deep freshwater pool.
Stand-up paddleboarding on the Hule’ia River – photo Outfitters Kauai
4. St. Regis Princeville
For unabashed luxury, you can’t beat the AAA Four-Diamond St. Regis Princeville.
It opened in October, 2009 in the footprint of the old Princeville Resort. Overlooking glorious Hanalei Bay, the St. Regis steps down a cliff to a gold sand beach and manicured lawn, where guests recline in civilized style under lime green umbrellas.
Splurge on an 820 sq.ft junior suite, and you get butler service with garment pressing and French-pressed coffee delivered with your daily newspaper. But all rooms feature bathtubs with views (slather up with French Remede products while looking out at the sea). Service is exemplary – the doorman offers you bottled water each time you leave the hotel.
And dare we say it? It’s probably the most luxurious of the five top hotels in Kauai we stayed at.
Such pretty lime green umbrellas! photo St. Regis Princeville
5. Kauai Grill
He’s one of the world’s most famous chefs. And he’s opened a new restaurant in the St. Regis Princeville. Jean Georges Vongerichten lends his Michelin-star awarded talents to the new Kauai Grill.
If you can keep your eyes off the ruby glass hibiscus chandelier and ocean views out the floor-to-ceiling windows (the featured photo by Kauai Grill at the top of this post gives you an idea of the view), you’ll delight in the artful presentations of roasted lobster with potato gnocchi and soy-glazed short ribs with green papaya-jalapeno puree.
Can’t decide what to order? Graze on the five-course tasting menu with wine pairing.
photo Kauai Grill
Don’t forget to see “New Reasons to Visit Kauai (Part 1).”