3 Best Hostels in Kauai – Garden Isle, Green Canyons and Azure Coasts

3 Best Hostels in Kauai, Hawaii

Welcome to the lush, tropical paradise of Kauai, where the scenery is so breathtaking that even the palm trees have to pause to take it all in.

Now, before we dive into the world of hostels, let’s address the elephant in the room – Kauai isn’t exactly known for being easy on the wallet. In fact, it’s a place where even coconuts have price tags.

But fear not, fellow budget-conscious adventurers, because, in this article, we’re revealing the secrets to affordable accommodation on this stunning island.

We’ll start by introducing you to the top three best hostels in Kauai that combine quality, affordability, and stellar ratings, giving you a slice of paradise without breaking the bank (well, relative to the price tag on the island anyway). 

And for those who want to pinch pennies even tighter, we’ve got you covered! Stay tuned till the end: we’ll unveil three more budget-friendly accommodations in Kauai that still offer more or less okay quality. 

Our favorite hostels in Kauai are:

  1. The Cottage at Ohia Kai. - best for backpackers
  2. Kauai Shores Hotel - best for social butterflies
  3. Hotel Coral Reef - best for Couples
  4. Extra: Kauai Palms Hotel - best for families

Money-saving tip: Compare hostel prices with Hostelz.com. They compare prices from Hostelworld, Booking.com and others with 1 click.

Traveling around? We have a guide on the best hostels in Hawaii.

This guide is perfect for YOU, when you…

  • are tired of crappy hostels!
  • want a social Hostel to actually meet people
  • are happy to spend $1 to $2 more for a much better experience

You can find all 5 Star Hostels here with Hostelgeeks and all the guides to “Best Hostels In” here.

Quick Introduction to Kauai

Average price for a bed: Hostels in Kauai cost around $190 per night. This is a rough average, just to give you an idea.

Prices always depend on the season and holidays. Please always check the exact rates on Hostelz.com or Hostelworld.com.

Check-In and Check-Out: The average check-in time is from 15:00 (3 p.m.), while the Check-Out time is before 11:00 (11 a.m.). Hostels usually offer luggage storage in case you arrive earlier or leave later. Make sure you check if luggage storage is free or if there is an extra cost.

Must-Try Local Delights:

Poke Paradise: Dive into the world of poke, a Hawaiian staple. Sample varieties like ahi tuna or octopus marinated in a flavorful blend of soy sauce, sesame oil, and spices. It’s a delicious and budget-friendly choice.
Loco Moco: Satisfy your hunger with a Loco Moco, a hearty dish featuring a mountain of white rice, a juicy hamburger patty, a fried egg, and savory gravy. It’s a comfort food favorite.
Shave Ice Sensation: Cool off with shave ice, a local treat that’s a step above regular snow cones. Try it with fruity syrups and a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the full experience.

Must-Try Liquid Delights:

  • Kona Coffee: Sip on Kona coffee, known for its rich flavor and unique Hawaiian terroir. It’s the perfect caffeinated companion for your Kauai adventures.
  • Lilikoi Juice: Quench your thirst with Lilikoi (passion fruit) juice. Its sweet-tart flavor is refreshing and a taste of the tropics.
  • Coconut Water: Stay hydrated the tropical way with fresh coconut water. You’ll find roadside vendors selling young coconuts, ready to drink.

Budget Bliss:

  • Camping Permits: Save on accommodation by camping in Kauai’s picturesque state parks. Acquire a permit in advance and experience the island’s natural beauty up close.
  • Food Trucks Galore: Seek out food trucks for budget-friendly and mouthwatering meals. From fish tacos to garlic shrimp plates, these mobile kitchens offer a variety of local flavors.
  • Happy Hour Hacks: Enjoy discounted drinks and appetizers during happy hours at local bars and restaurants. It’s a great way to sample upscale dining without breaking the bank.

Island Insights

  • Nā Pali Coast: Explore the rugged beauty of the Nā Pali Coast. While backpackers can’t access the entire coastline on foot, consider a boat tour or a challenging hike on the Kalalau Trail.
  • Kauai Weather: Kauai’s weather can vary greatly from one side of the island to another. Be prepared for sudden rain showers, especially in the lush, mountainous regions.
  • Respect Nature: Preserve Kauai’s pristine environment by sticking to marked trails, disposing of trash properly, and avoiding activities that harm its fragile ecosystems.

🎁 New to Hostels? Read our guide to staying in a Hostel for the First Time here. We especially recommend reading:

The 3 Best Hostels in Kauai are …

Let’s jump right into the coolest hostels in Kauai.

  1. The Cottage at Ohia Kai. – best for backpackers
  2. Kauai Shores Hotel – best for social butterflies
  3. Hotel Coral Reef – best for Couples
  4. Extra: Kauai Palms Hotel - best for families

These are our favorite hostels in Kauai. We want to make your life even easier, so we put all accommodations on a map for you. We even added our own tips for favorite restaurants, things to see, and more.

Overview: Best Hostels by Traveler Type

👩‍❤️‍👨 Couple Hostel:
Hotel Coral Reef
👨‍👩‍👦 Family Hostel:Kauai Palms Hotel
🎒 for Backpacker:The Cottage at Ohia Kai.
🧘 Cozy Hostel: Kauai Palms Hotel
👫 For Socializing:Kauai Shores Hotel
👯For Groups:
Plantation Hale Suites

1. The Cottage at Ohia Kai.

Located in Kapaa, The Cottage at Ohia Kai. boasts a stunning garden, BBQ facilities, and mesmerizing garden views. This hidden gem offers guests an array of amenities, including a picnic area, sun terrace, free WiFi, and free private parking.

The spacious guest rooms, with their comfortable seating areas and flat-screen TVs, are sure to make you feel at home. With its proximity to the beach, shops, and restaurants, this is truly one of the best budget accommodations in Kauai.

Prepare to be amazed by the care and attention given by Julie and Jim, the awesome landlords who ensure their guests have an unforgettable experience.

Book The Cottage at Ohia Kai. here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com |

The Cottage at Ohia Kai.

Facilities & Amenities:

  • Garden and barbecue facilities
  • Air-conditioned guest rooms with seating area and kitchenette
  • Dining area
  • Coffee maker, large fridge freezer, microwave, and toaster
  • Free WiFi and free private parking
  • Sun terrace and picnic area

Location: Kapaa, 700 meters from Kapaa Beach. 700 meters from Fuji Beach. Good and quiet location with a pleasant breeze and roosters nearby.

The best choice in Kauai for

  • Backpackers
Book The Cottage at Ohia Kai. here

Check prices at:
Hostelworld | Booking.com |

The Cottage at Ohia Kai. Lounge

2. Kauai Shores Hotel

Situated in the scenic Kapaa area, Kauai Shores Hotel is an exceptional oceanfront property boasting a private beach, a beachfront restaurant, and an expansive tropical courtyard with two outdoor pools.

With bright, island-style decor and sweeping views from private balconies, the spacious guest rooms offer a perfect blend of comfort and luxury. 

The hotel offers modern amenities including fast Wi-Fi, an LCD flat-screen TV, a refrigerator, and a Keurig coffee machine. The renowned oceanfront restaurant, Lava Lava Beach Club, invites guests to indulge in delectable island cuisine and refreshing cocktails.

To enhance convenience, the hotel features a 24-hour reception and on-site laundry facilities.

Located next to Coconut Marketplace and just a short drive from Kapaa city center, Kauai Shores Hotel offers easy access to outdoor activities such as snorkeling, fishing, and helicopter tours. 

Book Kauai Shores Hotel here

Check prices at:
Booking.com |

Kauai Shores Hotel Pool

Facilities & Amenities:

  • Beachfront restaurant: Lava Lava Beach Club
  • 6-acre tropical courtyard
  • 2 outdoor pools
  • Free fast WiFi
  • Private balcony with garden, mountain, ocean, or pool views
  • LCD flat-screen TV, refrigerator, Keurig coffee machine in rooms
  • 24-hour reception
  • Launderette on-site
  • Free valet parking available with booking

Location: Next door to Coconut Marketplace, 10 minutes’ drive from Kapaa city center. Close to restaurants, grocery stores, coffee shops, bike/walking path. Central location for exploring the island.

A great choice for

  • Social butterflies
Book Kauai Shores Hotel here

Check prices at:
Booking.com |

Kauai Shores Hotel

3. Hotel Coral Reef

Located near Historic Kapaa town, Hotel Coral Reef boasts an oceanfront lagoon-style swimming pool and breathtaking ocean views.

Their oceanfront guestrooms and lobby offer free WiFi, and every room features a balcony, flat-screen cable TV, and en suite bathroom. Within 50 steps from the ocean, guests can enjoy the poolside terrace while overlooking the stunning views. 

Not only that, but there are plenty of nearby activities such as snorkeling, helicopter tours, and whale watching.

With exceptional staff, comfortable rooms, and fantastic extras like coolers and chairs, Hotel Coral Reef is truly one of the best affordable places to stay in Kauai.

Book Hotel Coral Reef here

Check prices at:
Booking.com |

Hotel Coral Reef Reception
Facilities & Amenities:

  • Balcony with ocean view
  • Poolside terrace with ocean views
  • Free parking available
  • Activities include snorkeling, helicopter tours, kayaking, whale watching, and dinner cruises

Location: Near Historic Kapaa town, Central location between Waikiki and restaurants. 100m walk to “TheBUS” stop with a coastal path nearby.

This is one of the best hostels in Kauai for

  • Couples
Book Hotel Coral Reef here

Check prices at:
Booking.com |

Hotel Coral Reef Pool

Affordable Hotels in Kauai:

4. Kauai Palms Hotel

Kauai Palms Hotel, located right next to Lihue Airport and just one block from Kalena Park, is a hidden gem in the heart of Kauai. With stunning views of the majestic Kipu Mountains and charming island-style furnishings, this hostel offers a unique experience like no other.

Their friendly staff and clean rooms provide a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests. Although it may not offer all the bells and whistles of extra facilities and amenities, it has everything one needs for a comfortable stay.

Plus, its convenient location near restaurants and attractions makes it one of the best choices for a memorable vacation if you’re looking for a hostel in Kauai.

Book Kauai Palms Hotel here

Check prices at:
Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Kauai Palms Hotel Room

Facilities & Amenities:

  • Free WiFi
  • Some rooms offer air conditioning
  • Some rooms feature kitchenettes or kitchens
  • Free on-site parking
  • Laundry facilities available

Location: Located right next to Lihue Airport, one block from Kalena Park. Minutes from downtown Lihue, Harbor Mall, and Kaua’i Museum. Nearby activities include snorkeling, fishing, hiking, and surfing

Book Kauai Palms Hotel here

Check prices at:
Booking.com | Hostelz.com

Kauai Palms Hotel Lounge

The Cabins at Kokee

The Cabins at Kokee, nestled in the beautiful Waimea Park, offer a unique and affordable stay in Kauai. With fully equipped kitchens, cozy interiors, and breathtaking surroundings, this budget accommodation is the perfect choice for nature enthusiasts.

Located just a short drive away from Waimea Canyon, travelers can embark on unforgettable hikes and explore the stunning trails nearby.

The helpful and friendly staff ensure a comfortable stay, while the nearby Kokee restaurant serves delicious meals. Whether you’re a hiker, adventurer, or just seeking tranquility, The Cabins at Kokee are a good choice for those on a budget in Kauai.

Book The Cabins at Kokee here

Check prices at: Booking.com | Hostelz.com

The Cabins at Kokee 0
Facilities & Amenities:

  • Each cabin has a full kitchen
  • Dining area by the kitchen
  • Kitchen equipped with refrigerator, microwave, stove and oven unit, coffee machine, and kitchenware
  • Free toiletries included
  • Breakfast and lunch available at Kokee restaurant
  • Mini-market nearby

Location: Set in Waimea Park, 9 km from Waimea Canyon. Trails are located near the Cabins at Kokee.

Book The Cabins at Kokee here

Check prices at: Booking.com | Hostelz.com

The Cabins at Kokee Room


The ISO, located across from Waipouli Town Center, is a beachfront property with affordable prices. With free WiFi and an oceanfront swimming pool, it’s the perfect place to soak up the sun.

Each studio apartment features a private Hawaiian-style patio, and coffee-making facilities are available. Indulge in a delicious meal at The Bullshed Restaurant, offering oceanfront dining and delectable steak and seafood specialties.

Whether you’re snorkeling at the beach, playing a round of golf, or enjoying the tennis and shuffleboard courts, the ISO has something for everyone. 

Book The ISO here

Check prices at: Booking.com 

The ISO Room

Facilities & Amenities:

  • Oceanfront swimming pool
  • On-site restaurant, The Bullshed Restaurant
  • Private Hawaiian-style patio in each studio
  • Free WiFi
  • Coffee-making facilities in studios
  • Free bikes for guests
  • Free breakfast and 7 am morning yoga
  • Snorkeling beach on-site
  • Putting green, Tennis, and shuffleboard courts available
  • Free parking provided

Location: Located across from Waipouli Town Center. Kapaa Beach Park is 1 mile away (1.6km). Located next to a 7-mile coastal bike path.

Book The ISO here

Check prices at: Booking.com 


Plantation Hale Suites

Whether you want to spend your days enjoying Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast or hanging out by the pool, you’ll never run out of things to do when you book a stay at Plantation Hale Suites.

Featuring 3 outdoor pools with hot tubs and a fully equipped kitchen in every suite, this hotel brings the best of both worlds. You can spend the day soaking up the sun and then head back to your suite to prepare a meal in your kitchen.

And if you’re looking for something a little more active, the hotel offers shuffleboard and BBQ facilities on-site. 

This is the most affordable place to stay in Kauai for families and large groups.

Book Plantation Hale Suites here

Check prices at: Booking.comHostelz.com

Plantation Hale Suites
Facilities & Amenities:

  • 3 outdoor pools with hot tubs
  • Guest suites with fully-equipped kitchens
  • Terrace or balcony in each suite
  • Shuffleboard available
  • BBQ facilities on-site
  • Reservations for water sports and activities can be arranged

Location: Located on the Royal Coconut Coast, steps from Waipouli Beach. A short walk to Coconut Plantation Marketplace.

Book Plantation Hale Suites here

Check prices at: Booking.comHostelz.com

Plantation Hale Suites Garden

More Hostels worth a mention

At the moment, we think you are all set with the hostels we just shared with you. We always try to keep our guides super fresh and up to date. We might add more hostels worth mentioning here in the future if we feel that it could enrich your travel and hostel experience.

Any Discounts?

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How to book?

The most popular booking platforms are Booking.com and Hostelworld.com. On both platforms, your credit card is 100% protected and the booking 100% confirmed.

We included some handy links to each of the recommended hostel. Just click on the hostel name. The link will lead you to check prices and availability.

Read: Step-by-Step guide on how to book with Hostelworld

We recommend booking your hostel as early as possible! All of Kauai best hostels are popular; especially in high-season. To make sure you end up in those stylish and good hostels, secure your room/bed as soon as you have your travel dates fix.

The coolest Hostel App you need comes as well from Hostelworld. It gives you super cool features like you can contact your hostel mates beforehand, ask questions, and make plans together. Find more details in our review of the app.

Download the Hostelworld App here

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The best way to find hostels: Hostelgeeks website and Hostelworld App

Need an eSIM Card for Kauai?

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Our Favorite Hostels in Kauai put on a map + sights

We’re listing all the three best Kauai hostels on a map to give you an idea of the location and distances between them.

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Here we share with you the most asked question:

Flights to Kauai?

We use Skyscanner and Omio.com to find cheap flights and good connections all over the globe.

Skyscanner has a bunch of cool features like Multi-City Trip. Instead of doing this research step-by-step, Skyscanner offers this flight planning tool.

Our Step-by-Step Guide to Skyscanner

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Here are all our US Hostel Guides:

Party hostels in the US:

Over to you

Do you have any questions left, maybe doubts? Then please leave it in the comment below. We are very keen to help you - and actually you would even do us a favor!

Your question will help us to improve this Kauai guide.

Last note: Our commitment

This is a genuine article to help you travel a bit smarter, and find the best place on a budget! We will never recommend you any place we haven’t evaluated or are not convinced by. We are constantly updating all our guides to keep them as fresh and accurate as possible.

Safe travels,
The Hostelgeeks

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