It’s your first morning on the island. You wake up comfy in your villa’s fresh white bed and glance at the clock: 6:11 am. You are just awake enough to calculate the time difference back home (8:11!) and blissfully close your eyes. You quickly reopen them and check your phone to discover that the sun will rise at 6:45. Since you rarely get to see the sunrise, you take advantage of this gift of timing and jump out of bed.

Your spouse is right there with you and heads for the coffee maker in your gourmet kitchen. When you slide open the floor-to-ceiling glass doors to step onto your private lanai, you find your kids are already out there giggling at the chickens wandering on the lawn below.

“Look how pretty!” your teen says, pointing to the vast stretch of lavender ocean, a golden haze just starting to brighten its edges.

The scent of brewing Kauai dark roast wafts over as you take in the grandeur of Mother Nature, the far off call of a rooster, the crush of surf. By the time your hands are wrapped around your steaming mug, a rainshower ensues. But the clouds dissipate almost as swiftly and sunlight illuminates Koloa Landing point in the distance. A rainbow now emerges across the horizon — big and bold — and you spring off the lounger pointing and calling out, “Rainbow!” as your family hoots and scrambles for cameras and phones.

“It’s a double rainbow!” your little one says with a jump.

“Mom — don’t get ME in the picture!” your teen groans, turning her face. “Can you not SEE the state of my hair?”

You and your spouse laugh and take a thumbs-up selfie with the rainbow instead.

Not a bad start to the day.


You and your daughter (her hair now brushed) breakfast on yogurt and fresh mango from your fridge before heading off to the complimentary Yoga Event the resort hosts three mornings a week. Your spouse and son stay back to whip up a batch of banana-macadamia nut pancakes, keeping the drapes open wide — “Just in case any whales decide to breach out there.”

You pass a white egret sticking his long neck out to nose around for bug snacks in the tropical foliage as you wind your way through the lush resort grounds. Due to the rain, the Yoga Event has been taken into the ballroom but the view is just as lovely out of the huge wall that slides open. The instructor is friendly and fun, and you make new friends and strike some great poses. By the time you are heading back, the sun is ablaze once more and your egret friend follows you down the path almost all the way back to your villa.

You nosh on the leftover pancakes and eggs and hatch your day’s plan together. As your spouse calls to book one of the resort’s poolside cabanas, swimsuits are donned, sunscreen is slathered, and books, games and tablets are gathered. Time to make a splash!


Your family arrives at the foot of one of the most spectacular pools you have ever seen: a massive multi-terraced oasis with waterfalls, a swim-through grotto, an infinity edge, wooden bridges, two water slides, three Jacuzzis and vast swim spaces. It is 350,000 gallons of wetted bliss.

You check in at the pool hut, nab a stack of fresh towels and steer the gang to your roomy poolside cabana perched at the top terrace overlooking the entire pool down to the sparkling Pacific, embodying the Hawaiian concept of “mauka makai” which means “from the mountains to the sea.” Decked out with cushy loungers, a flat screen TV, an overhead fan and handy tables, your cabana also offers full food and drink service.

You wonder, Is it too early for a Mai Tai? . . . Nah!

Your spouse and kids wander to the water’s edge and then plunge into all that twinkling turquoise. As they swim towards the grotto their laughter grows distant but comforting. The server appears with your cocktail and hands you a lunch menu filled with award-winning poke, cheeseburgers and tropical salads from Sam Choy’s Holoholo Grill. (Truffle fries? Yes, please!) You sit back, raise your drink in a toast to the sun and crack open your book.

This is what you came for.


After lunch, you and your son hit the poolside Activity Hut to rent snorkel gear and check the local conditions. You take a short walk down the resort’s path to historic Koloa Landing, ease past the rocks and bob out to sea. The underwater views are breathtaking as you swim with a bevy of humuhumunukunukuapua’a, spy an eel and encounter a sea turtle. Your son’s huge grin is visible even behind his gear. When you return to the cabana your spouse and daughter are playing dominoes, drinking pineapple smoothies and laughing about who took the most rides down the water slide.

“And your feet flew over your head!” your daughter teases your spouse. “It was not pretty.”

“Wanna race?” your son asks her.

“You’re on!” she says.

And it’s on.


After showering back at the villa and enjoying a little reggae-filled happy hour on your lanai, you all walk down to Kauai’s famous Sunset Wall located steps outside the resort. Locals and visitors come from all points to watch the day end from this vantage point, and tonight’s display looks like magenta fire smeared across the sky. You sit together in silence and just drink it in for a while.

After dark, you grab fresh fish and sweet corn from your fridge and head to the poolside barbecues, joining other families grilling their dinners. Folks share the patio dining tables, talking about what they cooked and where they’re from. Someone makes a toast to paradise and gratitude, and everyone lifts their glasses. You feel at peace, as though all is right with the world.

A few of you mosey over to the Give Me S’more event on the upper lawn. As you hold your sticks over the glowing fire pit, you agree that whoever first thought to put a roasted marshmallow between two graham crackers with a melty chocolate bar was an absolute genius.

Back in the villa, your kids cozy up on the couch together in their pajamas to watch a movie. “Jurassic Park!“ your son suggests. “It was filmed on Kauai — some of it shot right here on the South Shore!” Your teen — who has just finished posting her “best vacation photos ever” — actually agrees. (This really is paradise!)

You and your spouse sneak out for a tiki-lit soak in the volcanic rock Jacuzzi by the grotto. You ease into the bubbly warmth and gaze up at the stars. Ahhhh.

You wonder aloud, “Is it too late for a Mai Tia?”

Your spouse says, “. . .Nah!”

Come spend many perfect days at Koloa Landing Resort. We have a villa with your name on it. You can book here or call us directly at (808) 725-2596. Bliss comes standard; double rainbows at no extra charge.


— Erica Karlin, Koloa Landing Resort