First, as of February 1, new properties are being added to the list of Kauai resort bubbles, making a total of eight. Prices range from $143 to $1,395 nightly. Those new resorts, the entire list, and the best prices we found starting in February now stand as follows. (Nightly costs do not include taxes, resort fees, tracking devices, etc.):
Club at Kukuiula. From $800 nightly.
Timbers at Hokuala. From $1,395 nightly.
Cliffs at Princeville. From $260 nightly.
Koa Kea Hotel. From $344 nightly.
Hilton Garden Inn. From $143 nightly.
Kauai Marriott Resort. From $225 nightly.
Point at Poipu. Starting February 1, 2021. From $229 nightly.
Hanalei Bay Resort. Starting February 1, 2021. From $325 nightly.
A resort bubble works best for longer Kauai vacations.
If you stay three nights at an approved resort and have a negative test result on the fourth day, you are free to explore Kauai without restrictions and change accommodations if you wish for the rest of your stay. Otherwise, all arrivals, including returning residents, must quarantine for 10 days or choose the other option below.
As you know, quarantine at Kauai resort bubbles, a controversial measure that was opposed in 98% of your hundreds of comments, was previously approved by Governor Ige. He said, “This proposal will allow Kauai to move forward with limited tourism in ‘resort bubbles’ while honoring the county’s request to opt-out of the Safe Travels pre-travel testing program.”
Alternative to Kauai resort bubbles.
If you stay 3 nights on another island first, then test and come to Kauai, you will not be subject to any quarantine. To qualify, visitors must be “Be physically present in the State of Hawai‘i for more than 72 hours before flying to Kauai to qualify as an inter-island traveler.”
Furthermore, you must provide proof of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of interisland travel to Lihue. These test results need to be uploaded to the state’s Safe Travels website/program.
This option does provide a good alternative for travelers who, for example, spend 3 nights on Oahu, Maui, or Big Island, before coming to Kauai. You still cannot fly directly to Kauai from the mainland, however, and take part in this program.
Important update on pre-travel testing requirements:
The pre-travel test associated with the resort bubble quarantine may come from sources other than Hawaii trusted partners. This is very significant inasmuch as many of you have commented that access to “trusted partners” is not ideal for a variety of reasons. The county website says:
“Take a pre-travel test within 72 hours before arriving on Kauai and receive a negative test result. The lab does not need to be on the state’s Trusted Testing and Travel Partners list for use in Kauai’s resort bubble program. This test can be any COVID-19 diagnostic test (an antigen or PCR test) with emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
“In addition to participating in the EMQ (resort bubble) program, a traveler must receive both a negative test result for COVID-19 from a test administered at their own expense within 72 hours before the final leg of departure of their trip to Kauai and a second negative test result from a test administered at their own expense 72 hours or more after their arrival to be exempt from mandatory self-quarantine.”
“This exemption from mandatory self-quarantine is separate and independent of participation in the State Safe Travels program.”
For us, presented with the choice of a Kauai resort bubble vs. a 3-night stay on Maui, Honolulu (easiest air connections to Kauai), or the Big Island, the choice is clear. We are opting for another island.
What about you?