Lihue, HI
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Authentic Doesn't Mean Expensive
A lot of people throw around the word "authentic" and then book 15,000.00 trips to Tanzania. I can't imagine that is authentic, as people certainly don't bring that home in a year much less in 7 days. Kauai is a beautiful island with great love/aloha spirit. You don't need to stay at the St. Regis, people! I read a lot of reviews of the big hotels and I can't say they impressed me much. Only one of them had a reliably swimmable beach right out the door and all of them were 400.00 or more per night. Most people we met in Kauai take the bus, carpool, hitch and bike. So renting that jeep? Not so authentic. We stayed in a small inn for 100 a night. It was kitchy and quirky and artsy. We knew the staff by their names. We attended a going away party. We met some well-known musicians who were friends of staff. We ate a ton of pork!!! We snorkeled with borrowed gear and used the Marriot pool when no one was looking. It was a great trip. Not the St. Regis, but how many people go to Hawaii and really get to know the locals? I mean, shop at Walmart (Heaven forbid!), take the bus, hoof it to the airport, ask people what they THINK... Well, I can tell you it is not happening at the St. Regis. Sometimes cheap is authentic. Usually. Maybe always. I love Afar and I love these forums/ advice/questions, etc. but the pretension is a little jarring. Happy travels, all you authentic folks! May you get lost on the way and learn to live with 200 thread count sheets!!!
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Original mauna kea beach hotel