Together is better

You’re in the gourmet open kitchen of your Koloa Landing villa, and it is so large and well stocked (Wolf range, anyone?) you could probably whip up a Thanksgiving feast for a dozen grateful folks. But today you have something simpler in mind. You grab cold limes from the Sub-Zero fridge and roll them onto the center island where you’re creating a batch of your (soon-to-be) world-famous mai tais. You slice the limes into wedges and squeeze them determinedly over three glasses filled with ice. You love how it’s the little things that make life special — like lazy afternoons spent with your entire family doing absolutely nada.

Across the room, your daughter is sprawled languidly across the couch — suntanned, yellow sundress, beach-tousled hair. She’s sipping a banana smoothie and looking as luxuriously at-home as only a teenager on vacation at a Kauai beach resort can look. Her younger cousin is almost a carbon copy at the opposite end of the couch, their ankles entwined as they chatter about the sea turtles they swam with that morning in the Koloa Landing bay just a quick stroll from your villa.

“It was literally, like, epic,” your daughter enthuses.  

“Totally epic,” her cousin agrees.

The Bluetooth speaker plays music that you all (remarkably) agree on: a playlist of soulful steel drum melodies that now fill the spacious villa with that unmistakable Hawaiian flavor you all crave. You add pineapple juice to the cocktail glasses, float in glugs of dark rum, and toss in the lime wedges. You step back to admire your handiwork.

Grabbing two of the drinks, you head across the beautifully appointed living quarters. You had been told Koloa Landing villas were the largest on the island — larger than any other Kauai resort OR Kauai hotel and you believe it. You love how the designer furnishings are high end but not at all fussy. The floor-to-ceiling glass doors disappear, blurring the line between indoors and out. Your wife is on the massive, sun-drenched lanai, the Pacific Ocean stretching out beyond her under an afternoon sky that is just turning pink at the edges. In a bikini and reclining on a lounge chair, she’s engrossed in her book but looks up and happily accepts the mai tai you’ve just proffered. She kisses the air in your direction. She’s been dreaming about vacationing in an authentic Kauai villa for so long it makes your heart swell to see her basking in it so fully. She was even thrilled to discover the washer dryer because the fact that it is ensuite means everyone can do their own laundry.

“Mmmmm. . .” she murmurs after a sip. “Well done, you.”

You head back to one of the three huge, modern bedrooms where your elderly mom has just woken up from a nap in the queen-sized bed with white cotton sheets and loads of pillows. Like the other two bedrooms in your villa, this one has its own climate control, thick towels, walk-in closet and private attached bath — hers with its own tub. You place her mai tai on the night table and she smiles at you.

You say, “It seems like happy hour, mom!”

“It seems like I raised you well!” she replies with a wink. Sunshine pours into the room as you open her window blinds to reveal an unobstructed ocean view dotted by swaying palms and puffs of white clouds. Paradise.  “I’ll join you all in a bit,” she yawns, clicking on the flat screen TV with her remote to watch a favorite cooking show while enjoying her cocktail.

By the time you’re back in the kitchen, about to sip your own drink, your brother, his wife, their offspring and their offspring’s offspring arrive via your private elevator and file in. They talk excitedly about the line-caught mahi mahi and local steaks they are marinating in their fridge downstairs, and the plans they’re devising to grill dinner for you all at the poolside barbecues. They’ve brought white Sugarloaf pineapples from the nearby farmer’s market and you start making a fresh round of mai tais. The kids gather at the dining table to play cards and show each other the day’s photos on their phones. A vote is taken and all boisterously agree that YES! tomorrow is the perfect day to go ziplining — and YES! this includes Aunt Steffi who admits she’s a little uneasy about soaring high over the rainforest on a string.

This is exactly how you’d envisioned your stay in Koloa Landing Kauai villas.

In fact, it’s better. Your entire family has gathered here — all lucky 13 of you — from your octogenarian mom down to your nephew’s five-year-old daughter. You and your brother ran the numbers and realized that by sharing these two adjacent 3-bedroom, 3-bath Kauai villas you are actually saving a bundle over a string of individual hotel rooms — even at a lesser Kauai resort. The best part is you’re all together! You’re sharing meals in your kitchens (also a cost savings), taking turns watching movies on each others’ couches and laughing over the activities of the day while enjoying the sunsets together. With ample showers, closets, WiFi, and thoughtful amenities throughout so many rooms, everyone has somewhere quiet to retreat to when needed.

“What can I say? My boys are brilliant,” your mom said with a grin upon your arrival 5 days before. She was delighted to get her own room so she could keep to her own schedule and escape to a peaceful corner.

Someone puts the Beach Boys on the Bluetooth and the grown ups start to sing along with gusto.

”We’re waxin’ down our surfboards / We can’t wait for June!”

Your mom emerges from her bedroom and joins in, doing the twist with your brother who gives her a little twirl. You’d forgotten what a good dancer she is. You start to play a mean air guitar.

The kids stifle their giggles and feign annoyance. They gather up their card game as your oldest daughter announces, “We’re gonna go hang out on Uncle George’s lanai while you guys relive your youths. We wanna play some music from this century.”

“Ha ha, very funny,” you say, getting high-fives from the kids as they exit your villa. “Have fun. Dinner’s at 6:00 by the main pool grotto.”

Uncle George chimes in, “And IF you guys agree to learn an entire Beach Boys song over dinner, we just might treat you to more of those “epic” sweet potato fries at the Holoholo Grill after.”

“And then walk to the village for Lappert’s ice cream?”

“Sure . . .”

After all, it’s the little things in life. And together is just better.

by Erica Karlin — Koloa Landing Resort

Ready to book your best vacation ever? Start here!  Enjoy the lowest rates on the largest accommodations on Kauai’s South Shore. For a limited time, you can get a reduced rate on all accommodations at our Kauai beach resort when you book your stay 14 days or more in advance. Or for more information on our one-, two- and three-bedroom luxury Kauai villas visit Koloa Landing Resort Villas.


Mahalo Instagrammer @steppy_10 for the photo of the Mai Tais!