It’s been a long day of air travel with your four children ages six to 14. Your suitcases are barely through the door of your villa when the kids are already shouting about something inside, “Mom! Dad! Can we HAVE these?”
Once you’re all in and accounted for (and you’ve taken a moment to gawk at your awesome ocean view) you see what all the fuss is about. On the counter is a box of milk chocolate-covered macadamia nuts and a fresh-baked banana bread loaf adorned with orchids — part of a welcome gift that awaits all new guests. Nice!
“As soon as bags are unpacked, swimsuits are on and sunscreen is applied you may share some of these.”
And off they go in search of their rooms.
The Holoholo Grill
Your littlest daughter’s breakfast of “Ohana Pancakes” has just arrived at your table at the resort’s Holoholo Grill the next morning. You can see her wide eyes behind the peak of whipped cream. Three fluffy pancakes are surrounded by fresh berries and crowned by the aforementioned cream. “Lookie what I got!” she announces to everyone and no one.
Your teen, barely awake, rolls her eyes at the burst of enthusiasm uncalled for at such an early hour, but when her plate of avocado toast is presented, she seems to perk up a bit. Pale avocado, scrambled eggs, tomato, and arugula are piled onto made-from-scratch cheddar bread toast. “And NO,” she warns her siblings, “you can’t have a bite.”
More plates are laid down: a tower of Banana Bread French Toast, crispy applewood smoked bacon and eggs, wagyu beef loco moco in a fragrant gravy, and Banana Macadamia Nut Pancakes. Your son offers you a bite of his caramelized banana dipped in coconut syrup and it tastes like tropical sunshine. Pretty soon all of your peeps are sharing bites with each other. Yes, even your teen.
Lunch and dinner kids’ menus offer chicken tenders, hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese, plus plenty of fruit and smoothies. And beware of the brookie (half brownie, a half cookie with ice cream). It just might become your family’s new favorite dessert.
Frommers calls the Holoholo Grill the best poolside restaurant in Kauai. Your kids just call it yummy.
Traveling with picky young eaters is a challenge — especially when you and your spouse are out-numbered two to one. So you were pleasantly surprised that your villa not only comes with a full gourmet kitchen with Wolf and Subzero appliances but that it could be stocked from the on-site Gourmet Marketplace before you even set foot on the island. You loved arriving at a pantry and fridge full of mini frozen pizzas, breakfast sandwiches, pancake mix, bacon, eggs, bananas, apples, orange juice, peanut butter, bread, milk, and cereal. The Marketplace is open in the lobby 24 hours a day — and with all these mouths to feed, the option to cook meals in your villa is a money-saver, too.
Your kids spend the day frolicking in the resort’s Main Pool (recently named the Best Hotel Pool in the US by USA Today — woot woot!) They hit the water slides, play mermaids in the swim-through grotto, and splash in the shallow end. And of course, they get hungry. (Okay, and so do you!) Luckily there’s a poolside menu. A server soon delivers to your cabana a snack fit for King Kamehameha: plates of fresh fruit, parmesan truffle fries, onion rings, pineapple juices, and Sam’s Best Fried Chicken bites (created by consulting chef and James Beard Award-winner Sam Choy). Everyone gathers around in towels and drippy hair to accept plates of the goodies to munch on the lounge chairs. Your noisy bunch grows quiet, lost in the bliss of snacking.
You and your spouse toast your matching ginger-mint grapefruit juices and enjoy this moment of peace before it floats away like the breeze.
Tomorrow you might even clue them into the giant tropical shave ice treats available on weekends. And with flavors like mango, coconut, and blue vanilla, you might just join them.
After grilling burgers and ahi at the poolside barbecues and dining under the sunset, you all head to the upper lawn with a few other families for the S’mores Event. Fire pits are ringed with lawn chairs and guests are handed goodie bags of marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers. You help your littles skewer marshmallows and hold them over the flames. Once toasty brown, you trap the ooey-gooeyness between the chocolate and the crackers and — voila — the most ingenious sandwich ever created. You make plans to meet up with another family at the pool tomorrow.
“Do they serve food out there?” the parents ask. “Our guys all get so hungry.”
You grin. “You bet they do.”
Erica Karlin — Koloa Landing Resort