Kauai is the "Garden Isle": expect verdant natural beauty, and a slower pace; and - like everywhere in Hawaii-- "ohana" means family, and pretty much every resort, from high-end to value-priced, welcomes families.
Many visitors head to Poipu, in the south, or Kapaa in the east. Kauai's North Coast, meanwhile, has stunning scenery with emerald mountains, laid-back town of Hanalei, a big sweep of swim-able beach, and a hiking trail to the Napali Coast. One-lane bridges define the area: slow down and relax (or go elsewhere.)
One thing to note about Kauai resorts and hotels: quite often, the surf is too powerful for swimming at the beach. Some properties compensate with creative pools; families can also do like the locals, and drive to a swimming beach.
50 acres, in the southeast of the island; this resort's claim to fame comes from its lovely landscaped pools, ponds, lagoons. The actual beach is beautiful, but has powerful surf. Also at the Grand Hyatt Kauai: ANARA Spa; over a dozen restaurants and lounges; adjacent golf course by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Other brand-name resorts on Kauai include the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club on Kalapaki Bay (Lihue area), Hilton Kauai Beach Resort, north of Lihue, and the Sheraton Kauai on the south coast on popular Poipu Beach.
Hanalei Colony Resort
This special property is family-run on Kauai's stunning North Coast: a quiet part of the island where the road literally ends; also in the area are a good snorkeling spot, laid-back town of Hanalei, surf lessons and swimming at Hanalei Bay. The Hanalei Colony Resort has extra-large suites, and some units literally on the beach; excellent dining and spa on-site.
Also on the north coast, this prominent resort has a top location overlooking Hanalei Bay.
For families who want the convenience of a condo, here's a "resort condominium": spacious apartments in low-rise units, in town of Kapaa; pool has river float area, waterfalls, small slide, wading pool; Aveda spa; beachfront location (but surf is strong); beachside bar.
Our Guide for Hawaii Travel covered condos and hotels in different areas of Kauai.