Your family is piled on the comfy couches in your ginormous 3 bedroom villa here at Koloa Landing Resort on Kauai’s sunny South Shore. After a day packed with swimming, water sliding and lounging in a private poolside cabana, you’re now all freshly bathed, fed and in your pajamas, bowls of already-devoured homemade ice cream sundaes strewn across the coffee table. The closing credits for Jurassic Park scroll by on your villa’s huge HD TV screen.
“That movie was AWESOME!” your young son yells.
“Can we watch it again!” your even younger son chimes in, jumping onto the couch in his mis-matched socks.
“As if,” your spouse laughs, tickling anyone within reach.
You snap off the TV and announce, “Bedtime for all budding paleontologists.”
Your daughter looks up from her smartphone and says with an air of pre-teen superiority, “You guys do know that Jurassic Park was filmed here on Kauai, right?”
Both boys look at you, brows furrowed, taking in this information, and for a moment you think this fact might be scary for them. Then they explode in delight, “THAT’S SO COOL! Can we go see where it was made! Like, tomorrow? Can we?”
Your spouse gathers them up in his arms, and as he carries them down the hall to their large bedroom with its ensuite bathroom, you can hear him saying, “I’ll bet the concierge here can book us a tour . . . SO that means you gotta rest up in case we encounter any velociraptors.”
You follow your daughter to her bedroom on the other side of the villa. After she brushes her teeth in her own ensuite bathroom, you tuck her into her queen bed with the white cotton sheets, piles of cushy pillows and her ubiquitous teddy bear, Ted. Out her window moonlight ripples on the sea.
“I love it here,” your daughter says. “It’s kinda like home except with an ocean view and like a million palm trees and the greatest pool ever right downstairs.”
“Yes, I love it,” you say as you kiss her good night. “And I kinda like you, too.”
“. . . And mom?” she says just before you leave the room.
“If I do that whole yoga workout thing with you tomorrow morning without complaining will you promise to go down the water slides with me?”
“Deal,” you say. “But I reserve the right to scream . . . a little.”
She giggles. “Deal.”
You booked this 3 bedroom villa because of the raves you’d read from an array of travel websites over the years, but you had no idea that it would be this comfortable and luxurious. Measuring out at 2,700 square feet, the villa is remarkably spacious and features high-end but unfussy furnishings. It boasts a gourmet kitchen fully stocked with everything from a Wolf range to an egg whisk. The washer and dryer right is off the great room and the sun-drenched balcony is big enough to lounge, play games, do yoga and even enjoy an al fresco lunch or happy hour. Each of the bedrooms has an ensuite bathroom, its own climate control, walk-in closet and either a big window or an attached balcony. Each bathroom has a tub or shower — or both!
After spending all day in the resort’s main pool together playing hide-and-seek in the swim-through grotto and relay racing through the waterfalls, your sons spent another hour playing submarine captains right here in their own bathtub. They emerged prune-y, happy and hungry!
You then gathered downstairs at the poolside barbecues to grill burgers and chat with some of the other families staying at the resort. You couldn’t believe it when your kids were game to add the slices of fresh local pineapple your spouse grilled up — and even try a drizzle of teriyaki sauce. Pretty darn adventurous for your picky eaters!
Now that the kids are all tucked in, you find your spouse in the kitchen stirring up a couple of mai tais. He sets them on a tray, closes the Sub-Zero freezer with his foot and with a raised eyebrow asks you, “Second happy hour?”
“Is that anything like a second honeymoon?”
“Yes, but much easier to plan.”
You follow him through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors that lead to the moonlit lanai and settle into side-by-side loungers. He turns the bluetooth on low and Van Morrison’s voice mingles with the night breeze and the crush of the ocean. Your spouse lifts his glass to you in a toast.
“To exotic destinations. . . ”
And you add, “that also feel like home.”
You wink, clink — and drink.
Ready for a truly great family vacation? Start here and make our two- and three-bedroom villas your favorite new home-away-from-home! Aloha . . .
— Erica Karlin, Koloa Landing Resort