We really enjoyed our stay at Kauai Inn, it was exactly what we were looking for. We planned to not spend much time at a hotel while in Hawaii, and we are not "hang out at the beach" types. We planned to do a lot of hiking and just needed a home base in/near Lihue that was clean, insect-free, and well-maintained.
It's about 2-3 miles from the airport, very close to the cruise ship harbor area (Nahilwili I think). It's a bit of a drive to the extreme northwest and southwest areas of Kauai, but still not more than 60-90 minutes. The approach to the hotel is not very pretty, but the inn itself, esp. at night with the tiki torches, looks quaint and natural.
The room had AC, but we didn't use it (we were there in Jan). The windows/walls are indeed "thin", and you can hear at lot going on outside, but it didn't hurt our sleep at all. Except of course for the roosters, but that's a given anywhere on Kauai. I will say that we also stayed a night at the Aston Aloha, and the roosters were a little quieter, but still very audible.
We paid $99/night. That's more than I had wanted to pay, but after some research I think that was on the low end for a 3-night stay. We did see some cheaper places, but we were unsure as to if we could trust the quality at those places. Our room had no carpet, and the shower had no threshold that separated it from the rest of the bathroom. We laid the towel down in front of the shower curtain, and there was no problem at all with splattering or run-off into the rest of the bathroom.
The morning breakfast had pluses and minuses in my opinion. First, the fresh fruit that comes out w/breakfast is GREAT! Some of it is grown by the owner on another property, and those pieces are extraordinarily juicy and sweet. The coffee was good, Kauai Coffee I think. The bread was good - bagels, white/wheat toast, muffins, danishes. I wish they had at least some corn flakes and milk, but no dice. They did have very good organic oatmeal one morning (I don't normally like oatmeal much, but with some honey this was pretty good). My biggest complaint about breakfast is that it's only served from 8:15 - 9AM or something like that.
We were very much dependent on internet, and I asked about this when I called to make a reservation. They did their best and gave us a room across the courtyard from the main office where their router is located. I was able to pick up a weak signal, and the internet was very usable. I would guess that maybe 50% or less of the rooms might have good signal, but you can always sit in the courtyard by the pool and get good reception.
Bottom line: don't go here if you want surf/sand, but it's a good jumping off point to explore Kauai. Breakfast is good (esp. quality) but limited in scope and hours of operation (coffee available 24 hrs). The inn itself is clean and reasonably maintained (don't expect new-looking though). The king bed was comfortable. We will definitely stay here again. BTW, the only reason we went to the Aston Aloha on the last days was because we got a rate of $89, and it was a little closer to the north shore where we were going that day.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.