#1 The Main Pool

Ahh, the ol’ bucket-list. . . That wonderful, fantasy-filled catalog of must-do’s that you keep in your head. At this very moment you are happily checking off one of these items as you and your family are spending a week on Kauai — at Koloa Landing Resort on the glorious South Shore. It’s late morning and you are standing solo at the foot of one of the most spectacular pools you’ve ever seen. Voted “Best Pool in America” three years in a row by USA Today, the resort’s Main Pool is totally exceeding your expectations right now. The massive oasis is multi-terraced with waterfalls, a swim-through grotto, an infinity edge, wooden bridges, two water slides, three Jacuzzis and vast open swim spaces. It is 350,000 gallons of wetted bliss.

You pinch yourself.  Yup, still here.

Your wife and son are on loungers on the other side of the pool. You flash them a thumb’s up, and then plunge into the center of all that twinkling turquoise. You glide underwater — weightless, stressless, effortless. You hear the rumbling hush of the waterfalls and find the sound both invigorating and relaxing. Floating on your back now, you drift, buoyant, gazing up at the towering palms. You wonder, How can there be this much blue sky? And then, How soon can I get a piña colada?

#2 The Family Lagoon Pool

After floating lazily and contentedly around the Main Pool for a while, you finally decide it’s time to order that poolside cocktail — and one for your wife. You glance up to see that your family is no longer on the lounge chairs. You swim to the steps, towel off and check your phone.

A text from your 15-year-old son reads, “At Lagoon Pool for splash basketball. Be there or be square.”

You reply: “On my way. Be afraid. Be very afraid.”

Those piña coladas are going to have to wait.

You head up a few steps, round the infinity edge and go down a jungle-lined path that leads you across to another gate. Your hotel key gets you into the 6,100-gallon Lagoon Pool — an area filled with lush greenery and a chill, family-fun vibe. You arrive to find your son playing one-on-one basketball with your wife who is holding her own. A lot of laughter ensues as she tries to wrestle the basketball from him on the pool steps. She manages to wrench it away, toss it into the basket and cheer. You drop your towel on the nearest lounger and cannonball into the water near them.

“Hey dad,” your son calls out, tossing wet hair from his eyes, “mom’s too tough a competitor!”

Your wife passes you the ball as she climbs up the steps to her towel. “Your turn, darling,” she says. “I have proven my point.”

And it’s on . . .

#3 The Tranquility Pool

Just as your son evens the score with you at 10-10 and you’re catching your breath, a couple of teens from another family challenge him to a game. He looks at you apologetically but you are only too happy to give up your spot out of sheer exhaustion. And anyhow, your wife is luring you over to her chair as if she has a secret.

She looks at you, conspiratorially. “Wanna go check out the Tranquility Pool?” she asks.

You do.

You carry her bag and the towels and open the gate for her. After just a short walk around a corner and down a pathway, you enter another private pool area. The sign reads “Adults Only” and you like the sound of that. Only a few couples populate the loungers. Someone’s bluetooth speaker softly plays Bob Marley, and it mingles nicely with the rush of the waterfall that is the crowning glory at the center of this small pool. You spread your towels on side-by-side loungers and luxuriate in the sun. Here it is tranquil. Here it is quiet. Here there are no teenagers challenging you to play water sports. It’s just you, your wife and your togetherness.

You must’ve drifted off because suddenly you feel something cold drip onto your shoulder. Your eyes pop open.

Like a vision from some tropical dreamland, your wife is standing above you in her cute sun hat, smiling, holding two frosty piña coladas aloft. And one of them is for you.

Aloha, baby!


Come stay with us at our Kauai resort and spa and check out all three of our unforgettable pools. Which one will be your favorite? 

— Erica Karlin