Many people think of Hawaii as luxury destination, where the rich and famous go to stay in high-end resorts and work on their tan while being served fresh pina coladas with umbrellas in them. While this side of Hawaii certainly does exist, Hawaii does not have to be a destination only for those with deep pockets. In fact, many travelers (including BootsnAll Travel Network‘s CEO Sean Keener) are surprised that Hawaii can also be a great destination for the independent traveler—especially on the less visited Garden Isle of Kauai. With outdoor activities and dramatic landscapes aplenty, visitors to Kauai can not only enjoy an adventurous trip to Kauai (check out Things to Do in Kauai for some great ideas), but they can also find affordable hostels to stay in during their trip.
Kauai International Hostel
Located on the East Shore of Kauai, the Kauai International Hostel is located just a 2-minute stroll from the great Anahola Beach (which is also one of the best beaches for boogie boarding on the island) and within blocks of charming downtown Kapaa, where you’ll find a variety of great restaurants and little shops. While the accommodations are certainly no-frills, it’s hard to beat the low prices and great location of this hostel. There is also a common lounge area with a t.v. and a kitchen available to guests. However, those looking for a party hostel experience are sure not to find it here—as the Kauai International Hostel has an 11 pm lights out rule. Their web site also says that all guests need to provide proof of a return ticket upon check-in, so those nomads who may be staying in Hawaii for an undetermined amount of time may have trouble here.
4532 Lehua Street, Kauai (Kapaa)
Phone: +1 (808) 823-6142
Fax:+1 (808) 822-3106
Another hostel located in Kapaa, the Kauai BeachHouse is known for its friendly aloha spirit and laid back attitude and sits right on the beach and just a short stroll to the shops and restaurants in Kapaa. The beds are comfortable and the sleeping area (which has a 9:30 pm lights-out rule) is kept separate from the kitchen/hangout area, which is perfect for those guests that want to hit the hay earlier, but also for those that want to stay up chatting/drinking/what-have-you into the night. While you may read about some of the negative experiences travelers had with the general manager of the Kauai International Hostel, everyone seems to love Oscar, the manager of the Kauai BeachHouse. In any way, with dorm rooms starting at just $30, it’s hard to beat the low prices and beach views of this Kauai hostel.
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4-1552 Kuhio Highway, Kauai
Phone: +1 (808) 822-3424
The name of this campground and hostel certainly does not indicate the beauty of its location. Perched in a unique location in the tropical evergreen trees atop Waimea Canyon in Kokee State Park, Camp Sloggeett may not boast the same beach side location of the other two hostels, but it certainly does not lack in the spectacular views department. Getting into town will also probably require a car, but the intensity of the nighttime stars and awe-inspiring vistas of the Waimea Canyon make the journey well worth it. Camp Sloggett, which was donated to YWCA in 1938 has 60 beds in the bunkhouse, but also has more intimate accommodation options in the cottages and lodge on the grounds. Starting at just $25/night to stay in the hostel bunkhouse, guests will be have access to a big fire pit, a covered lanai with a ping-pong table and other games and certainly no lack of amazing scenery to look at. Make sure you bring your own linens and book well in advance (especially during high travel season).
Kokee State Park, Kaui West Side, Kokee State Park, USA
Phone: +1 (808)245-5959