I don’t know if the Garden Island Inn chose me or if I chose the Garden Island Inn, but I can say with certainty that I was immediately drawn to it when I was searching for hotels in Kaua’i. I like luxury hotels, but I also enjoy the personality of smaller, quaint, even kitsch, places and properties. The photos of the Garden Island Inn, located in Lihue, reminded me so much of a hotel in Belize, the Blue Tang Inn, that Won’t Run and I visited years ago.
Prior to our visit, I emailed with Lis, who owns and operates the hotel with her husband, Steve. She shared with excitement that she was training for the Kauai Half Marathon (her first half marathon). Lis and Steve welcomed us to their hotel as one would welcome a friend to their home.
The first thing that I noticed when we arrived was the fragrance of night-blooming Jasmine, my favorite scent. It reminded me of all those summers I spent in Mykonos. The hotel was adorable! It was colorfully painted with bright watercolors. Christmas lights woven through the blue balconies added an extra twinkle. There were so many special touches! Our room had a king bed, a dresser, a table and a balcony looking out onto Kalapaki Beach. It wasn’t lavish, but it was affordable, clean and comfortable.
I could go on about my scenic runs on the premises of the Marriott Resort across the street from the hotel, or the good conversations and delicious dinner Won’t Run and I had with Lis and Steve at Duke’s Restaurant nearby. And then there’s the home-made pumpkin pie served in the hotel office!
But, for me, it’s all about the doors. The doors to each room at the Garden Island Inn were painted by a local artist, Camille Fontaine. You can read the artist’s story here. Each door, painted in brilliant island hues (as well as many of the paintings in the rooms, and the balcony dividers all painted by Ms. Fontaine) is itself a work of art and exemplifies the character and uniqueness of the Garden Island Inn. Here are just a few:
The Garden Island Inn was a lovely hotel and I’d gladly return there in a heartbeat.