on March 10, 2012
Purchased the Kindle version and found the maps useless. Do not purchase the kindle version. Bought the print version after. Reviews matched our experience visiting Kauai recently.
on January 20, 2012
As timeshare owners in Poipu, we vacation on Kauai regularly and still wanted to have the most recent edition of this book (we've had 2 previous editions) to catch up on what is new on Kauai since our last visit in 2010. We have given this book as a gift to numerous friends and relatives traveling to Kauai for the first time and have been told that this book gave the "newbies" all the information that they needed for their vacation. Although there are plenty of free travel brochures available at the airport, those are all from companies who get a commission from the sales of their activities. The authors of this book can honestly give their recommendations of activities, restaurants, hotels, etc. We have found their maps to be incredibly helpful and accurate. Vacationing in Hawaii is not cheap, so it is wonderful that plenty of space is given to things you can do (sights to see) for FREE! We have found their descriptions of the restaurants, that we have been to, to be very accurate, although everyone has their own tastes.
Great guide book that is a 'must have' for the Kauai traveler.
on August 14, 2012
This book is fantastic! It helped us to have the perfect vacation in Kauai.
First, Doughty's reviews and recommendations are all spot-on. He has reviewed, it seems, every hole-in-the-wall eatery, every hotel and condo, every trail, every boat company, every helicopter company, every beach, every river. And his recommendations never once led us astray. And he recommends places no one else has ever heard of that are simply great. One example: Trees, a tiny bar tucked away behind what looks like a deserted shopping mall, a place you would never know of otherwise. Yet they had great food, perfect mai-tai's (served, incidentally, by beautiful, nice waitresses), and Doughty even mentions that on Monday nights an amazing rock guitarist, Jeff Caldwell, plays there, and that band changed my life. Finally, Doughty provides detailed maps and directions. I doubt very much that we would ever have found Hideaways without his help.
Second, the book is beautifully organized into regions of the island and then categories within that. It's easy to find your way around.
Third, the book is really fun to read. Doughty's style is hilarious and approachable. The amazing photos are so enjoyable.
I give this book my absolute highest recommendation.
Finally, unlike some other reviewers here, I thought the iPhone app was, if possible, even better than the book. It has all the same content, organized in more or less the same way. Plus it has all the maps accessible through the single map of the island to which the app opens. You just pinch the map and it goes to street-name level detail, even trail-level detail. You can tap the map anywhere and it will give you a list of all the places he recommends with distances. What's more the app loads to your phone, so it doesn't require satellite connection or use up your battery with GPS. It was indispensable for our perfect vacation.
I was glad to have the book as a read-through reference and the large, beautiful photos. I was glad also to have the app for its on-the-spot access and amazing map.
I cannot praise Andrew Doughty highly enough. If only every author were this clear, thoughtful, complete, imaginative, and fun.
on November 1, 2011
This is a great book to help you navigate your way through Kauai. I am not a world traveler by any means, but this book is so helpful. The author is well informed about the entire island and honest about various activities, restaurants and beaches. It is hard to imagine trying to discover so much of what Kauai has to offer on your own. If you are planning a trip to Kauai, buy this book!
Used this guide on our first (and only) trip to Kauai. Found it accurate and useful for finding out what to see and do, especially all the main touristy things that one does on a first visit to Kauai, such as driving over to Waimea Canyon, driving the coastal road all the way to the end and back, doing the tour of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and the Hindu monastery and grounds, etc. And the restaurant reviews were useful where the authors don't pull any punches. One thing is they don't review the restaurants at the high end resorts such as the St. Regis Princeville, the Grand Hyatt, the Marriott Kauai Resort, etc, but other than that, a great guide.
on July 14, 2012
I don't know about this being the 'ultimate' guide book for Kauai, but it is one of the best of any world guide books written. I really like the author's friendly writing style. It's written like he is part of your family but lives in Kauai and wants you to have the best time ever at his home. He tells you what he likes and what he doesn't like from a 'locals' perspective. An example is the cool sites of 'hidden Kauai'..like off the beaten path waterfalls or little known heiaus. He tells you about where they are and what they are, but a lot of times they are on private property and you are not really welcome there without an invitation, if you go, it's not a very aloha thing to do. It's a good thing to know and a good perspective to keep in mind. Hotels, restaurants, tours, sights..he seems to know them all with the added value of his 'locals' insight. In the 'Where to Stay' section, one of my favorites, he really stands out..he's been to them all..but I really like his aerial color photos of each hotel. You can see the layout of the buildings,where his favorite rooms are, if they have a pool,how's parking, and where they are in relation to the beach and if they even have a beach..nice feature.
I bought the Kindle version. As previous reviewers stated for black/white Kindle, it's just ok and I'd recommend the printed version over that. But the Fire version rocks! Beautiful color pictures, easy, easy search features and bookmarking. A lot of the restaurants and accommodations are 'linked' in the articles, so you can go directly on line to their website for more info. The author has a website that links in several places inside the book to him, especially from the 'Where to Stay' section. Excellent! The only drawback is the maps. Even for Fire they are to small to see easily. What is required is a 'zoom' feature for map usage. So in future editions I hope that is part of the update. But really you get a free map anyway when you rent the car, so no big deal.
So hat's off to the author for his much appreciated efforts. He is making my time in Kauai much better than I could do alone. And even if you are only thinking about going to Kauai, he is really a fun guy to read. Buy it, sit by the pool with an umbrella drink and dream.
on April 15, 2014
This has lots of useful information and nice maps. I find the tone somewhat off-putting and rambling, and would prefer all of the information for each locale to be grouped instead of spread through the book in separate sections (sights, activities, dining, etc). I'm hoping the touted unbiased ratings will be useful.
In comparison to other guidebooks, this is less well organized and concise than Moon's California Hiking, as opinionated as Rick Steve's books, and has nice photos and graphics like a DK guidebook.
on January 18, 2012
When I read this book it feels like I am with a personal tour guide for my trip. Instead of being ripped off or mislead, the author carefully steers you away from "dumps" and over-priced food. The "to-do" leaves the options up to you and gives you an idea of what would be best if you're fit and ready for strenuous hikes, fabulous views and activities if you're more sedentary, and safest beaches and fun things to do with kids. If you like to fish, snorkel, scuba, or anything else water related the author takes you to the best places.
On another thought, the author could be a friendly relative you are visiting who knows the insides and outs of Hawaiian life. After all the author does live there.
I read "Hawaii The Big Island Revealed" before I traveled there and it was a tremendous help.
If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, buy a Wizard Publication book and you won't be disappointed.
My only complaint is that I wish they wrote books for everywhere I travel.
on October 22, 2014
Buy this book if you are going to Kauai! It has terrific information. I have both the e-version and the book version and use both extensively when I am on the island. They compliment each other because the e-version is not easy to navigate but makes it easy to find specific items. The hard copy is easy to peruse and get ideas.
on July 27, 2015
This book has great advice but don't forget millions are buying it. You must get to places early. This is a wonderful island and we already planned our second trip a month after we got back.
They also have an app which works really well for when your driving and need navigation.
We went to many of the places in the book and agreed with all the advice and suggestions. Food they recommend was great (might need to call to make sure they are open though) and the sites were some great beaches that were very private. Have fun and go on an adventure.