As Kauai Shuts Down Again, The Grand Hyatt Closes. Who Knows When It Will Re-Open?

The Mayor of Kauai, who is running for governor, was opposed to the state’s re-opening plan. He didn’t want to go along with tourists who had tested negative for Covid-19 in advance of travel, and wanted to require them to still quarantine on arrival and then test again several days later.

The Governor didn’t go along with that, so the Kauai is now opting out of the state’s testing regime entirely. All passengers arriving on Kauai are again required to quarantine for 14 days.

That’s shut down the island’s tourism, and the Grand Hyatt Kauai – the island’s largest employer – is closing on Monday.

The Grand Hyatt Kauai will remain closed for the rest of 2020 and into 2021, though it is not yet clear when the property will re-open. Kauai is one of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands, and the Grand Hyatt a top spot for frequent travelers – but not right now.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sorry, but is it wrong that I’m kind of enjoying watch Hawaii burn… .and soon California?

  2. Chris… yes. Why would you think that’s not wrong?

    It sickens me that “conservatives” have this kind of mindset. Absolutely disgusting. Bringing shame on us as a nation.

  3. There are very limited medical facilities on Kauai. You have to fly to Oahu. They are being prudent. With Hurricane Iniki, Grand Hyatt kept EVERY employee on payroll—whether they were able to make it to work or not. All employees worked as a team to ready the hotel for the hurricane and to re-open. They are an awesome employer. I am very sorry that they have to close, but it would be deadly for locals if COVID took hold on the island.

  4. We had a week booked in April that was cancelled. And now another over New Years. Just hoping American cancels the flight.

    We will get there at some point

  5. Park Hyatt NY also decided to delay opening until April 1. We had a long
    weekend booked there in March.

  6. Sad that so many Americans are brainwashed. Live scared and your future will look even more scary.

    What can go wrong when you lockdown your main industry from making a living and fearmongering when the COVID death stats say otherwise?

    Good lick Hawaii. Like CA you’re so screwed fiscally.

  7. Gary really has become the National Enquirer of bloggers when it comes to anything related to Hawaii.

  8. Kauai is functioning more like New Zealand than a part of the United States. They have had a spike in cases directly related to travel, but have no hospital capacity if COVID gets a foothold in the community.

  9. Did you check the Grand Hyatt Kauai website before writing this? What’s ambiguous about “The hotel will be accepting room reservations for stays from January 1st, 2021 and beyond.”?

  10. @CHRIS – I’m enjoying it, too. Also going to enjoy the wailing when the economies of both states implode & Congress won’t approve any significant bailout money.

  11. Thanks for the post Gary.

    I guess folks are so bored they give you grief just for posting anything.

  12. @Chris, @Brian L,
    My house and city burned, in California. My kids were 1 and 4 and we fled without warning. What’s wrong with you?

  13. They should have done so in March. Ridiculous that businesses involved in the way the pandemic spreads (travel) would even be allowed to operate. But we know how well the US is doing with keeping people safe and alive and making ICU beds available.

    Kudo to Kauai: getting to zero-Covid, no matter at what cost, is the only way to win the war as country after country is showing us. Let the virus rip and there’s no recovery, just more and more misery.

  14. @Tokyo Hyatt Fan – accept reservations is different than will open, as you know from every new hotel opening / opening after a renovation in history.

  15. Interesting article from Hawaii media:

    I think Hawaii is done as a destination. It’s ridiculously expensive for what you get. Especially on Oahu. There are much better destinations in terms of value for money. After not being able to visit for 8-plus months people are looking elsewhere. Puerto Rico is having the same problem. Three years ago it was hurricanes. A year ago it was earthquakes. This year it’s coronavirus. I’m not sure that Puerto Rico’s tourism will ever recover.

  16. Just spent two weeks at the andaz in Maui. It was wonderful. Maui with half the tourists is much more pleasant than it was on my previous visits. Masking compliance was very high everywhere I went. Cases are extremely low and not spiking at all with moderate number of tourists. The pretesting strategy seems to be working great. Not sure why Kauai isn’t having the same luck.

  17. @ FNT Delta Diamond

    A comparison with Puerto Rico is a good one. Another beautiful island with far shorter flights to major metropolitan areas on the East Coast and a ruined tourist industry. Kauai is (or better say was) very nice but it is not the only place on earth to visit. And by the way, Mexico and Costa Rica are open and equally nice places with hotels may be at 15 to 20% occupancy now.

  18. @Chris
    @Brian L

    I don’t know what redneck part of the US you live in but likely CA funds your livelihoods with bailouts during tornados, hurricanes, opioid epidemics, etc.
    Schadenfreude is a bitch…

  19. I’m losing money on a timeshare week in Kauai over the Holidays. Marriott won’t do anything. I will not go back to Kauai and my Platinum loyalty with Marriott is over for me. Marriott would not rebook to Maui or Oahu even though I was told they will only have 70% capacity. I’ll be looking for a different place to go in the future. The Caribbean is just as beautiful with nicer water and much cheaper (and closer).

  20. @Airfarer – I doubt the Democrats win both races, which they’d have to do for Harris to cast tie-breaking votes. They might win one, but I seriously doubt they win both.

  21. I don’t understand the continued allure of Hawaii. I’ve been there probably two dozen times for work. The first time I went to Honolulu was cool but you quickly realize the romanticism of Waikiki Beach has been extinct since Pearl Harbor. Honolulu is a big city on an island with horrendous traffic, way too much concrete, lots of tired 1950s and 1960s buildings that 20-25 years overdue for a restoration or renovation, unacceptably high levels of homelessness and trash in public spaces, and an unaffordable cost of living. I’m amazed at how many people save up their money for a wedding anniversary or trip of a lifetime to Honolulu — a vacation that costs double the price of somewhere in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, etc. Especially by the time you factor in taxes and resort fees.

    Oh yeah, going to the USS Arizona and seeing Japanese tourists speaking Japanese is beyond uncomfortable. There are parts of Honolulu that have so many Japanese tourists you would be forgiven if you thought we lost World War II.

  22. You’re talking about one island, and largely one particular area on that one island.

    There are other parts of Hawaii to explore, even on Oahu, that might better help you understand the continued allure.

  23. @Tokyo Hyatt Fan: I’ve been to several of the islands. Oahu is pretty dumpy, even on the North Shore. Look at all the homeless at state parks, the abandoned cars, and roadside trash to say nothing of the traffic even in the less populated parts of the islands. I really like the Big Island, but then you go to Hilo and you realize it’s basically a dump with folks barely making money or stuck there.

  24. @FNT – ludicrous thoughts about Japanese tourists. Your comments only serve to demean any formerly tyrannical place by condemning its residents as continued evil tied to those past times.

    I’ve been to Honolulu twice and will not be back. And though Grand Hyatt Kauai is a fantastic property I doubt I’ll return there. Kapalua Maui is the place to visit, fewer crowds, grab a condo or house near the beach and enjoy less crowded beaches. All while not requiring a passport or electrical conversion. But to each his own.

  25. Remember going to Breakfast with my weekly group of guys in Kihei last February. Had just gotten back from Australia where by then beginning to shutdown. Wife had to return to the mainland to tend her very ill mother. Conversation grew to the dark side as the group pondered what was beginning to unfold. I sheepishly declared as we departed; “and a lot of very innocent people are going to die needlessly”. Everyone stopped in their tracks, shrugged their shoulders, then moved on.

    Proceeded to go to our home and watched/read the horror unfold before me. I then realized HAWAII would not be able to hold on when pandemic hit. Having spent the better of the last 20 Winters there, it broke my heart envisioning the devastation of the local economy and loss of life. It didn’t really hit me too hard until I returned to the mainland later in Spring.

    Seeking refuge this Winter in another warm locale, I do not envision Hawaii returning back to where it was before the chaos began. Many institutions, like the Grand Hyatt Kauai might never return. Look at what happened to The Coco Palms Resort in Lihue, devastated by Iniki never to reopen.

  26. So sorry for the hard-working people who have lost their job at the hotel. It’s amazing that the idiots in charge do not understand the definition of insanity. Lockdowns and masks have not worked, why do they feel continuing to do the same thing will have different results. Morons.

  27. California didn’t burn because of conservatives…look to your government leadership and ask yourself why you had to evacuate. I hope you and your family are great.

  28. We need to protect Kauai but also strike a better balance. Hotels can open and run safely. We need safety from SARS-Cov-2 but also job safety, community safety, social safety. That is not going to happen by just closing everything. And you can’t run business as usual either. It’s about making intelligent decisions based on science to strike the best balance we can between pandemic safety and the safety of the communities’ longevity.

  29. Sad that this has become a political issue – people are angry at Hawaii because they’re trying to save lives. Seems that it would take a callous and ignorant individual who would be enjoying “watching Hawaii burn.” I served my country for years and still do so to some extent although I’m semi-retired I saw the attitude of people delighting at others suffering in many places around the world but I never thought that I would see it in the United States. Such a shame that a pandemic has poised us at each other’s throats. To slightly misapply and paraphrase Abraham Lincoln’s quote, A house divided against itself cannot stand. Perhaps people who are so eager to delight at others suffering should stand back and reflect on what and who they have to be grateful for and remember that we’re the “United” States, not the “Divided” States…

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