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30th Anniversary trip/ Which Island?/Which resort?

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Sep 27th, 2012, 02:51 PM
  #1
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30th Anniversary trip/ Which Island?/Which resort?

Trying to plan ahead for our 30th anniversary trip. Thirty years ago New Years Eve sounded like such a romantic night to marry....wrong!!! The entire world is on vacation, rates are sky high and availability is limited. I need to have things figured out and ready to book the second that reservations open.

My questions...
Looking for a luxury resort in Hawaii, unsure of which one or which island. Which Resort? I am thinking Four Seasons but trying to understand if it is worth the extra $$$ and why. Which island?We have traveled to Oahu and Maui. I am trying to decide whether to go back to Maui (we have traveled there several times) or the Big Island or Lanai. Snorkeling is top priority. I am a little ADD and am concerned that Lanai may be a little too laid back for me. One last thing. We are thinking of a vowel renewal, very simple, just the two of us. Would any of these resorts be better or can you recommend? Thank you in advance for any recommendation.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 08:25 PM
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The Big Island is very different from the other islands, but we loved it! Great snorkeling and the largest turtles I have ever seen! We stayed at the Hilton there which is huge, but really good for families. There is a fairmont hotel which seemed more couple oriented or quieter. You may want to check it out. This particular island has a unique look to it. You drive through miles of rocks, many with graffitti on them as you head to the resorts. The resorts are beautiful. Kona has some nice snorkel spots and of course there is a volcano on the other side. There are waterfalls and many nice places to visit. The volcano, I would do as a fly over on a helicopter, but that is me.
I was in Maui many years ago and we stayed at the Marriott in Wailea. There was a very fancy resort next door called the Grand Wailea. Wow. That was a resort with everything and beautiful. It is a hilton brand now so if you collect points...
And of course, we have been to Honolulu. Again at the Hilton resort and once before at the Halekulani. The Halekulani has great history and is very pretty, but has a narrow beachfront.
Lots to do and see. I would love to see Kauai, but hasn't happened yet. I would return to all of the islands we have been to. All different and have their beauty! Have fun planning!
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Sep 27th, 2012, 08:57 PM
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Weather on Kauai too iffy for 12/31 trip - ours is Jan. 20 and we've spent a week in rain more than once. Big Island always our choice, but we prefer condos.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 09:31 PM
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I think you can't go wrong with Maui, Lahaina side. But if you've already done Maui, I'd probably go for Kona. Big Island has some amazing sights.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 10:03 PM
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Pucky puck. Why not renew vows in sunshine or in rain?

Our two favorites are Kauai and Big Island - but truth be told - you can find great Paradise retreats all over the islands.

Check other posts in here under Hawaii and do your homework.

And have a blast in Paradise.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:06 AM
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When you are in Paradise, less money on accomodations still buys you Paradise...from our experience, there are dozens of excellent resorts on all of the islands and staying at the Ritz or Four Seasons is not necessary...

sure, you may get the white glove treatment, but we spent less time on the resorts in Hawaii because there's so much to do and see off the properties...

... put your money toward the extras... snorkel trips, water sports, dinners... Have Fun
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:19 AM
  #7
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Thank you all for your help! So much planning and so little time all this advice is SOOO HELPFUL!
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:48 AM
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Totally agree with Gary. Find a nice place to stay, ideally with an ocean view, and use the "savings" for good restaurants, catamarin rides/helicopter tours, whatever.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 10:02 AM
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We spent our 25th anniversary exploring the Big Island for 10 days. We started out near Kona and spent 3 nights in a beautiful B&B. During that portion of the trip we did lots of "active" things: Snorkeling from the beach, taking a Fairwinds cruise to snorkel, and explore the southwest part of the island. Then the 4th day we drove the sourthern part of the island and stayed 2 nights near the Volcano National Park. It was the perfect amount of time for us to explore the park and area. We then drove around the northern side of the Big Island and finished our trip with 5 luxurious nights at the Fairmont Orchid. It was a perfect way to finish our trip. I like to leave our most luxurious accommodations until the last, and that way we end on a very good note!

There is really good snorkeling from the beach at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island. We saw many, many giant sea turtles each time we snorkeled from there.

If you only have a few nights, I would recommend Kauai, as it is a much smaller island than the Big Island. It is called the "Garden Isle," and it really lives up to its name. It is so beautiful and so tropical. Especially for the winter, I would recommend staying in the Poipu area on Kauai.

We have been to Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. The Big Island and Kauai are our favorites.

Have fun, and happy early anniversary!
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Sep 28th, 2012, 01:02 PM
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It's winter in Hawaii then too, so stay south on Kauai, Oahu, and even to some extent on Maui.

I suggest the Four Season Hualalai on Big Island. It's possibly the top resort hotel in Hawaii. You can also drive all over this BIG island to sightsee its' many micro-climates. Big Island has the best sealife of the islands, but few of the easy-access beaches you've experienced on Maui. (If you want a hotel ON a beach on Big Island, look at the Mauna Lani or the Mauna Kea.

Hilo-side will be wet, but I'd plan an overnight in the town of Volcano so you can explore the Volcanoes National Park. It is too far a drive there and back to the west side in one day; you do not want to drive Big Island after dark! This is the only island where we rent a mid-size or larger car (for the longer distances).

You could also enjoy four Seasons Wailea or Lanai. IMO these hotels are worth the money over any others. (We prefer a nice condo!)
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Sep 28th, 2012, 06:13 PM
  #11
 
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Read Songdoc's blogs on Kauai/the North Shore/Bali Hai/most beautiful spot in all of the islands.

Yes, you can get some rain in "winter" but you can also have some great weather.

I would break it up. Maybe three/four days on the North Shore-Princeville/Hanalei and the rest down at usually sunny Poipu.
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Sep 28th, 2012, 09:38 PM
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Had our 30th anniversary at the Mauna Kea on the big Island. Straight on ocean front room with great lanai and champagne and strawberries from the hotel for our celebration (always good to let them know if you are celebrating something) Loved it. Also stayed at the Fairmont Orchid before but I like the Mauna Kea better. Beach was the best in ALL of Hawaii. Only complaint was the price of using WIFI...$15.00 a day so we drove down to Starbucks and used it for free. Love the BI as much as Kauai. Went thru Costco Travel and saved a couple of hundred dollars.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 05:33 AM
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Would agree with Char that the best beach is in front of the Mauna Kea. Hey - Rockerfeller had his choice of all the sites on the north Kona coast when he/they built the Mauna Kea - so as you can see - he made a great choice. http://tinyurl.com/8jaxarr

You used to be able to just drive into the parking lot and use the beach/go snorkeling, but now I think they limit the # of non guests.

There are also some beautiful homes overlooking the golf course, on the hillside behind the Mauna Kea - and we had the priviledge of staying in one for a few days.

We were thinking of putting together a group to buy it (as an investment) - and it was featured on the cover on Conde Naste - as it had an amazing/authentic Japanese styled Koi Pond and some big Koi. We managed not to spill any drinks in the pond, which you walked over - through the dramatic entrance.

And next door at the Prince Hotel is also a great beach, Hapuna? - often rated #1 for Big Island.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 05:34 AM
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Oops - that's Shar. My Bad.

Have also stayed at the Fairmont Orchid - a very nice place - (tried to broker a deal to sell it when it was on the market a few years ago) - but liked the Mauna Kea beach better.
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Sep 29th, 2012, 03:59 PM
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I boogie boarded at the public Hapuna Beach. It is a great beach to ride the waves! Felt like I was 10 years old again!
We did a luau at the Marriott, which was a very nice hotel, and there was a couple staying at the Mauna Kea. They said it was the only place they stay and they came every year from california for vacation. The Hapuna Beach resort I believe is condos, but I may be wrong. I also think you can stay at a mid priced resort, still very nice and splurge on dinners and activities. You will be on the run to see and do so many things. The Marriott and the Hilton would offer very nice accomodations probably at that mid priced level in comparison to a four seasons or a fairmont hotel.

Also a few years ago, we joined the fairmont presidents club for free and got a great deal on rooms in bermuda. They may offer deals to hawaii as well. Something to look into.
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Sep 30th, 2012, 09:03 PM
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always a good idea to join the hotel "club", It's free,,I belong to them all and they do give special attention and deals for their members. Hope you find the perfect place to celebrate. Our anniversary was in February. saw whales when we went snorekling, in fact one was under water right along side the boat we were in. great snoreling day.......
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 02:32 PM
  #17
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Back to planning....a big thanks to those who shared, it is soo helpful!

Shar, you are making me crazy! Dream of mine to be that close to a whale! We planned our last trip to Hawaii in Maui during the "peak" whale season just for that reason. My luck, a tropical storm just sat on top of us for 10 days and most of the whale trips were not even running I may just give Maui yet another chance. However, my husband is longing to return to Oahu (we have not returned since our honeymoon) to and Hanama Bay and Patti's Chinese Kitchen. Funny the things we remember...wonder if Patti's was really as good as he remembered??
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Oct 22nd, 2012, 10:13 PM
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Unfortunately Patti's kitchen is not that good anymore.
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Oct 23rd, 2012, 09:27 AM
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I looked it up - Patti's kitchen is closed.
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