It’s a sunny morning at Koloa Landing Resort on Kauai’s South Shore, and you and your family are already ensconced in your poolside cabana. You scored a choice spot at the top of the Main Pool with a view over its infinity edge, waterfalls, lava rock grotto, tropical flora, and all the way out to the shimmering sea. This eye-popping, mouth-dropping extravaganza was just named “Best Pool in America” by USA Today, and you now have a front-row seat.
The only tricky part is deciding what you want to do first in this surprisingly spacious cabana: lounge, eat, drink, watch TV, play cards, or, well, eat. Thankfully you have a full day to not only swim in this award-winning pool, but to enjoy all of the above, too.
So what turns out to be your family’s top 4 fun things to do in the cabana?
1. Eat & drink & eat
You are delighted to discover that everything on offer from the resort’s Hawaiian comfort-food gastropub, the Holoholo Grill, is available poolside. With hand-crafted cocktails and a menu created by celebrity chef Sam Choy, you can order delicious cuisine for breakfast, lunch, Aloha Hour and dinner (plus snacks and more snacks) — all delivered straight to your cabana by friendly servers. So for breakfast, do you choose the Avocado Toast or the Pineapple Upside Down French Toast? For lunch, do you go for the Wagyu Burger with tomato jam and crispy onions or the Asian Chicken Salad with (hello!) candied macadamia nuts? Grilled Fish Tacos with chipotle aioli or Coconut Shrimp for Aloha Hour? And for dinner, you don’t want to miss Sam Choy’s world-famous Signature Poke. Luckily your family loves to share, so you order a little of everything and pull off a poolside food fest.
The best moments, however, come when the kids are off swimming together and you grown ups are left to lounge alone in the cabana. Just you, your spouse, and two double Mai Tais. Cheers!
Your cabana is outfitted with a flat screen TV, and your gang just can’t resist cozying up on the cushy loungers with platters of truffle fries and iced tea to watch a movie together by the pool. (When do you ever get to do that?) Everyone agrees on Jurassic Park because much of it was shot right here on Kauai and it does not disappoint. Your daughter muffles her screams in her pool towel.
Your deal with the kids was Kauai trip = one book read. They are allowed their devices, but they must find time to finish an entire book and they (mostly) happily comply. Avid readers yourselves, you crack open your Ann Patchett novel while your spouse fires up Tom Perrotta short stories on his eReader. Your daughter plugs in her earbuds for a John Green audiobook on her phone, and your son drips pool water all over his copy of the latest Captain Underpants.
3. Play games
You’re all piled on the couch-loungers, gathered around the coffee table. Two stacks of colorful, plastic Uno cards teeter on the table surrounded by four glasses filled with varying amounts of mango-pineapple smoothie. Bob Marley is “Jamming” on the bluetooth speaker.
“Uno!” your wet-haired, bikini-clad daughter calls, holding up her last card proudly.
“Nooo!” your son groans, drawing from the pile before discarding. He is literally on the edge of his seat. Your spouse draws next, then passes. You draw and pass, too. Suddenly your daughter throws down her card and throws up her arms in a “V” for victory.
“Woohoo!” she calls.
“Well done, kiddo.” Your spouse high-fives her.
“Let’s play again,” your son says.
“How about after I beat you down the water slide?” your daughter replies.
And they’re off.
You picked up waterproof versions of Uno and Spot It before you left the mainland and packed them in your suitcase along with your Bananagrams and deck of cards. With this view, the warm breeze, the cabana’s protection from the sun and the ready rounds of mai tais, you could play for hours.
Nap? On a list of fun things to do? Arguable, yes, but for you napping is the height of enjoyment right now. Between work deadlines, school schedules, and seemingly endless household needs, you have been going pretty much nonstop. Now that you are (incredibly) on an actual tropical island vacation you have decided to disconnect, unplug, get off the grid and tune out just about everything but your family and the cocktail servers. This is your time to just be.
After a good swim, you recline, eyes closed, wrapped in your soft towel on your cushioned lounge chair with Mozart sonatas wafting from the bluetooth. The cabana’s overhead fan cools the air. You are lulled by the distant sounds of water splashing, children laughing and no one asking you if you can Superglue their broken soccer cleat or if you’ve emailed the right Zoom link to the clients. Paradise.
— Erica Karlin, Koloa Landing Resort