Your Kauai Vacation Rental Opportunity Guide: 4 Kauai Vacation Rental Complexes to Keep on Your Radar

One of Hawai‘i’s most renowned destinations is the island of Kauai. Known as the Garden Isle for good reason, Kauai is a blend of historic sugarcane era towns, dramatic landscapes, and breathtaking beaches. Its well established reputation as a premium vacation destination draws a diverse set of both first time and returning visitors from around the world. Kauai is often top of mind for vacationers planning their stay in the islands, and this reputation makes it an attractive opportunity to own a vacation rental property in one of the most sought-after regions in the world. Home to the state’s longest white sand beach, massive forest preserves, and luxury private communities, Kauai is a worthy consideration for those looking to purchase a vacation rental property.

Kauai is attractive given its history, culture, and of course natural wonders. It is a destination locale for weddings, honeymoons, family vacationers, and adventure seekers. The draw of white sand beaches, rugged mountain ranges, lush forests, and five star accommodations within a 25 by 33 mile radius (the size of the whole island) brings tourists in on a year round basis. Its county laws differ somewhat from other islands and require that vacation rentals on Kauai be located inside a VDA (Vacation Destination Area) with a TVR permit, or outside of a VDA with a TVNC permit. Information detailed in our Hawaii Vacation Rental Property Statement of Facts & Trends Report.

kauai beach town

Kauai’s collection of culturally significant towns create a laid back atmosphere that draws affluent travelers seeking connection to the natural world and a slower pace of life. Each community offers a unique feel in terms of history and architecture, connected by Kauai’s two main highways. As the first island in the Hawaiian chain to be inhabited, there is a deep respect for history and culture on the island that is tangible to this day.

It takes about 2 to 3 hours to travel around the entire island by car. The main thoroughfares, Kuhio Highway and Kaumualii Highway wrap in a semicircle from north to south with scenic viewpoints and beaches enroute. Not everyone elects to rent a car while vacationing, so many of Kauai’s popular complexes and neighborhoods are bike friendly with trails and paths connecting homes to nearby beaches and shopping centers.

view of kauai beach through tropical foliage

The island appeals to thrill seekers given its ready access to its many island-specific outdoor activities. Boat tours to the northern mountain range of the Nā Pali Coast and the westward Lehua Crater beside the island of Ni‘ihau are popular tourist attractions. With more beaches per square mile than any of the other islands it is an ideal spot for snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing. The island’s plentiful waterways allow for river paddle boarding and mountain tubing in historic sugar cane chutes. Hiking is another popular pastime in the island’s diverse mountain and oceanside trails.

Given its many features, how do you discern a qualified vacation rental investment? While there are many well known locations on the island we have discerned Princeville, Poipu, and Kapaa as three of the top regions for an attractive purchase. Let’s look at four specific complexes to consider.

aerial view of beachfront neighborhood in poipu kauai

Poipu Beach Estates is a private single-family home community on Kauai’s sunny southern shoreline. It stands out as the only neighborhood in Poipu to allow ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units). This community appeals to investors interested in multiple rentals and quick access to in-town amenities. The upscale community is a collection of one and two story homes and ready-to-build home lots alongside Kiahuna Golf Course. Home lots range in size with the largest being 1-acre parcels along Poipu road. The community is easily bikeable to nearby Kukuiula Shopping Village and minutes from Kiahuna Beach.

beach walking path in kapaa kauai

Moving northeast to Kapaa, the Waipouli Beach Resort is the newest full-service condominium complex on Kauai’s east side. The complex includes 1 and 2 bedroom units surrounding a lush grotto with a large pool at the center of the complex. The modern, rental-friendly complex includes on-site rental management, ocean facing restaurant, ensuite bathrooms in 2-bedroom units, and large lanai with ocean, garden, and pool views. It is minutes from historic Kapaa town and amenable to owners leaving cars on-site for personal or business use.

two chairs overlook ocean in princeville kauai

The Princeville region on Kauai’s North Shore is one of the island’s most popular destinations for vacationers and an attractive market for investors. On the ocean side of Ka Haku road, The Plantation at Princeville is a modern complex known for its spacious units and generous onsite amenities. A large clubhouse, pool with cascading waterfall features, and barbeque area create an all-inclusive atmosphere. 2 and 3 bedroom units feature rare 8 and 9 foot ceilings, quartz countertops, stainless steel appliances and central air conditioning. This complex is popular with visitors who want to experience Kauai’s quieter northern shoreline and enjoy golfing, dining and shopping with beaches nearby.

The Villas at Kamalii are located on the inland side of Ka Haku Road opposite The Plantation at Princeville. This gated complex features gracious 2 story floor plans and added privacy given its location off of the main highway. Over 80% of the units here are in use as vacation homes, and nightly occupancy is permitted. Rare 3 bedroom units, vaulted ceilings, heated saltwater pool and access to Makai Golf Course make it attractive for vacation rental investors.

oceanfront condos on kauai at sunset

Kauai is a longstanding destination for affluent vacationers, making it an opportune time for property owners to consider adding a Kauai vacation rental to their portfolio. However, understanding market trends and finding the ideal place to invest isn’t always straightforward.

At Hawai’i Life, we have a unique team of Realtors who specialize in working with those focused on second home and vacation rental investments. Inquire to learn more about active and potential units for sale in these complexes. True experts in this field and a huge asset to anyone focused on this segment of the housing market, our team has decades of experience, in-depth on the ground knowledge, and access to critical data points that investors need. A commitment in providing clients with the necessary support to ensure well-informed choices.

Our in-house vacation rental management division generates nearly $30M in revenue and upwards of 74,000 bookings annually. Together with Hawai’i Life agents, we are the most well equipped Hawai’i real estate firm when it comes to helping vacation rental investors.

In upcoming articles, we do a deep dive into each complex to provide comprehensive details on these unique vacation rental properties and how they compare to others on the island.

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