Are you wondering whether a trip to Kauai will be enough to stun your child out of their burgeoning Fortnite addiction and tempt your husband away from cataloguing his tool box?

Me too! I’d like some data. (ED: Thanks for that.)

ANYWAY, this delicious natural paradise is filled with biomes straight out of a certain well-known Island based Disney film. From outlandish waterfalls and bewildering canyons to glistening golden beaches and squawking rainforests.

And yet, all of this tastiness comes at a price (to your wallet), which is why I have written this essential guide to the best hostels in Kauai, purpose built to keep the prices down, and daddies trust fund in tact…

Let’s see what we have in store!

Kauai is a seriously fit Island. I would.

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Quick Answer: The Best Hostels in Kauai

Kauai Hawaii

What to Expect from Hostels in Kauai

Are you an intrepid adventurer searching for where to stay in Kauai? Do you like a budget? Are you searching for youthful companionship and bizarre Hawaiian escapades?

The truth of the matter is this; there is essentially a distinct lack of hostels across the entire Hawaiian archipelago (although that hasn’t stopped me writing an awesome Hawaii hostel post), so if you want to budget your expedition, you may have to change your tactics.

That is a saucy lizard

Thankfully, I can guarantee that by the end of this post, you should have some idea as to how to plug that massive hole in your bank account. So it doesn’t matter whether you fancy skipping the pain and turning to the dark side of beachside villas, or continuing to budget heaven, we will tackle this issue together!

Kauai is stunning, beautiful, friendly, and everything else that defines Hawaii, but this often drives prices up! Your honest-to-God best bet on a budget is to camp, as there are some great (and cheap) campgrounds on the Island!

The 5 Best Hostels in Kauai

Maybe these aren’t hostels per see, but they are certainly the best budget accommodations that you can find (at least without conducting some kind of savage Island witchhunt). Bed and breakfast anyone?

The Cabins at Kokee – Overall Best Hostel in Kauai

The Cabins at Kokee
Gorgeous traditional interior decor

If you’re searching to drop those prices, but still have a decent experience (unlike a dodgy motel), then the cabins at Kokee are assuredly your best bet. The location is astounding, so you will be truly getting the Kauai experience!

Set in the amazing Waimea State Park, just a few kilometres from the Waimea Canyon, immersing yourself in nature is super easy to do! For hiking lovers and nature enthusiasts, these cabins are perfect!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Waimea Park
  • Rustic and natural feel
  • Restaurant and Mini mart nearby

There is a fully equipped kitchen available to guests, and a small store nearby where you can buy basic cooking ingredients. If you want to slow down and turn off for a few days, there is no better place than in the cabins of Kokee!

Especially for groups, you can grab fantastic deals which drop the price per person down to very very reasonable. So grab some buddies and head out for a few days hiking!

On the downside, given that it is located in the midst of the national park, there is not a hint of free wifi (so be prepared for a major detox), and it is hard to reach without a vehicle. Thankfully the mountains are cooler than the rest of the Island, and you shouldn’t have issues overheating.

Princeville Studio – Best Budget Hostel in Kauai

Princeville Studio
YES! Of course, there is a pool. It is hot after all…

If you’re looking to make those bucks last until the very end, this is where you’ll want to get started. This superb little condo has everything you need for a great stay, and doesn’t break the bank either!

The main attraction of staying here is of course Princeville, which is home to an unbelievable range of activities to take part in. Snorkelling, hiking, world-class surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc…

…it’s all here!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Princeville has everything
  • Cheap
  • Swimming pool

There is free parking, a hot tub, a balcony, a kitchenette, and even some bikes that are available for use. You can get up to the clifftop within a ten-minute walk, and there are some truly brilliant views there!

You can get hold of a BBQ if you fancy making some juicy steaks, and there is cable TV if you fancy just chilling out for a day or two.

Whilst there is no air conditioning, there are things called windows, and also a fan, so you should have no trouble staying cool.

Is This the Best Backpack EVER???
Aether Backpack

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

The ISO – Best Hostel for Digital Nomads in Kauai

A little too nice for your average digital nomad? Maybe, but they do do great massages…

The ISO is a little more pricey than your average hostel (mostly because it isn’t one), but that doesn’t mean that it is not a superbly comfortable and awesome stay. With a top Lihue location that makes it easy to access both the North and South of the Island, you can’t be disappointed!

The free WiFi is fast, meaning that you should have no trouble connecting to meetings, calls and whatever else the DNs of today need. There is also a snorkelling beach, a putting green, and tennis courts on-site.

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Top Location
  • Oceanfront swimming pool
  • Amazing staff

The Bullshed restaurant is open every evening for dinner, serving steak, seafood and more in a relaxed family-style setting. The hotel is located close to 3 excellent beaches; Papaloa beach, Fuji Beach, and Kapaa beach.

There is a great bar, yoga classes, and a host of activities offered at the front desk. Rooms are fitted super comfortably and come with coffee machines and top-class views.

There is air conditioning in the rooms to make sure your stay remains cool and fresh, and key card access makes sure your stay is secure. The bicycle rentals are a superb way to get to know your surroundings too!

Plantation Hale Suites – Best Hostel for Couples in Kauai

Plantation Hale Suites
Balmy, and with a top location in the town. Beach ain’t too far either!

This 3-star hotel can actually work out pretty well if you play things right. Suites can sleep up to 4, which can mean the per-night breakdown is pretty attractive. There are 3 swimming pools, a variety of hot tubs, and the Coconut Plantation Market Place will solve all other needs.

The resort offers a pretty decent array of activities to get involved in, which makes it a great place to stay. You can windsurf, snorkel, cycle, hike, and even head out for a round of golf. Keep costs down by cooking in your apartment!

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Swimming pools and hot tubs
  • Full Kitchen
  • Activity Availability

Rooms are clean and comfortable, and because they come as suites, are a lot more spacious than other stays in the area. Either way, if you are looking for a slice of the good life, staying here for a few nights will certainly give you that!

The BBQ area is super cool, so if you are a fan of cooking meat on open flames, then don’t hesitate to have a go here! Guests particularly like the location, which is great for exploring the local area!

While this stay might not be on the beachfront (as is every holiday goers dream), it still comes with a ton of potential!

Kauai Palms Hotel – Best Hostel for Solo Travellers in Kauai

Kauai Palms Hotel
Pretty simple, but it gets the job done.

Get into the laid-back Hawaiian vibe at the Kauai Palms Hotel. It combines affordability with an unbeatable location. It’s situated in the centre of Lihue, so you can explore this Kauai town. A short walk around will provide you with tons of things to do and see.

The Kauai Palms Hotel is a top base for Kauai adventures and for continuing to explore Hawaii. The rates at Kauai Palms are nothing to stress about, so you can focus all your energy on the awesome things you’re going to do while on the island. 

Why you’ll love this hostel:

  • Air conditioning
  • Top Location in Lihue
  • Budget

I will not tell a lie. The accommodation here is pretty basic, and you can do a lot better by turning to a Kauai Airbnb (in terms of value for money). If you need to drop in on the way back to the airport, however, you can’t beat the Kauai Palms!

The property is clean and comfortable but operates more like a motel than a hotel. Drop in for a night or two if you fancy seeing Lihue!

Most rooms come with air conditioning, and you can get down to some fantastic beaches very easily! Kalapaki Beach is just two kilometres away.

Travel with peace of mind. Travel WITH a security belt.
Active Roots Security Belt

Stash your cash safely with this money belt. It will keep your valuables safely concealed, no matter where you go.

It looks exactly like a normal belt except for a SECRET interior pocket perfectly designed to hide a wad of cash, a passport photocopy or anything else you may wish to hide. Never get caught with your pants down again! (Unless you want to…)

Hide Yo’ Money!

More TOP TIER Kauai Hostels

But wait? We’re not done yet! There is more excellence just a small scroll away, so take a look, if you dare…

Kauai Shores Hotel

Kauai Shores Hotel kauai
Work hard, play harder!

For digital nomads, staying connected is a priority wherever you are. Kauai Shores Hotel has your back. Their free wifi is offered throughout the resort, so you can get some work done before heading out to explore, or perhaps while enjoying a cocktail at Lava Lava Beach Club.

If you’re in need of more serious concentration, settle into your work groove on the balcony of your room. What’s better than churning out work while overlooking the swaying palm trees and lapping waves of the Pacific Ocean?

The Kauai Inn 

Comfortable is key…

Surrounded by the majestic Hula’eia Mountains, you will truly feel like you’ve arrived in paradise at The Kauai Inn. The green of the mountains is continued throughout the manicured grounds of the resort, so you can really experience the natural beauty of this Garden Island. The pool and complimentary breakfast complete the relaxed feel. You may want to pinch yourself – you’re in paradise, but it’s not a dream. 

Aston Islander On the Beach

Aston Islander On the Beach Kauai

Featuring four pools and a waterslide, Aston Islander is the perfect place to kick back. Take the relaxation up a notch with a drink and nosh at the poolside bar. Prefer a full meal? You can choose to eat at either of the two restaurants on-site or use their convenient bike rental to explore the local fare. Any time of day, enjoy a stroll along the beach without a care in the world.

Actual Hostels in Kauai

Congratulations on making it this far! This means you deserve the knowledge that I am about to bequeath unto you… …the actual hostels that genuinely exist on Kauai.

Kauai BeachHouse Hostel

It exists! And you have to call it to book a place.

If you actually fancy travelling cheaply, I’d recommend getting in touch with these guys. Not only do they actually do the whole shared dorm thing, but there is a pool, and it’s located in a tip-top area! This is genuinely the overall best hostel in Kauai.

You can get in touch with them via their website, where you’ll find an email and a phone number that should still work. Let me know if they’ve stopped taking guests. The Kauai BeachHouse Hostel is pretty special so enjoy your stay!

Camp Sloggett

If you get views like this, I’d say things are pretty good.

If you are a natural nut, you are going to adore this slice of nature. Located at the top of a canyon, it offers campground, lodge, and hut accommodation. If you don’t mind foregoing the finer things you should have no trouble with this lovely abode!

Camp Sloggett is owned and operated by YWCA Kaua’i, which gives it a distinctly ethical feel. If you want to have a friendly reunion, experience some of the most beautiful island nature, or just exist for a bit, this is a great choice for you.

What to Pack for your Kauai Hostel

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hostel Packing list for even more top hostel packing tips!

FAQs about Hostels in Kauai

Here’s what we’re usually asked about the budget stays of Kauai…

How much do hostels in Kauai cost?

It’s quite expensive in Kauai, but it is true that there are limited low-budget options. The Island makes a lot of money through tourism, so it’s only to be expected that they prefer selling a $ 400-a-night resort room to a $25 dorm bed. Low-cost travellers don’t bring in the big bucks (sadly)!

What are the best hostels in Kauai for couples?

Plantation Hale Suites is my ideal hostel for couples. It’s conveniently located in the scenic Royal Coconut Coast, with a balcony included you’ll never miss a great view.

What is the best hostel in Kauai near the airport?

Located just right next to Lihue Airport, Kauai Palms Hotel is my suggested accommodation within the area. It is ideal for travelers who needs to catch an early flight.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Kauai

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts

A ’o ai. There you have it – our Best Hostels on Kauai list is complete. Kauai is one of the coolest places to stay in Hawaii and offers so many different things to see and do. No matter where you decide to stay on the island, you’ll get to enjoy Hawaiian charm and aloha spirit. Now, all you have to do is choose the one that best fits your adventure style, and get packing!

On this Garden Island, you’re sure to find a righteous place that fits your dreams and your budget. Aloha!

I strongly suspect that awesome times are incoming…
Looking for more info on travelling to Kauai and Hawaii?

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