Big Island - Departure Day Hotel

Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Big Island - Departure Day Hotel

Was wondering about the logic of extending our hotel room reservation one night so that we will have access to room on departure day. We have an evening flight from BI to Oahu. DH thinks it's o.k. to extend for one night (we're stayin at the Hapuna Prince)so that we can have a leisurely day and have access to showers. I was wondering about the drive time from Hapuna to airport. Does it make sense to check out of Hapuna on AM of departure and check in to a hotel closer to airport? If it does, which hotel would be the best choice? We really want to enjoy our last day and don't want to be driving all over the place, but I don't think driving to hotel closer to airport is too much. Does this sound logical? Again, I just don't know what the drive time is from Kona to Hapuna so any info on that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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We stayed at the Haipuna Prince on our departure day. I was not the driver but we did not rush....just want to be mindful of rush our periods of traffic. Not sure when you flight leaves. Do you have ocean floor room? We had that and felt that it was the best stay during our month long trip.

Can't imagine leaving and booking somewhere else on day of departure.
FYI I never think of enjoying that last day, you just never know what is going to come up. I don't think you should place and extra burden by leaving and entering hotels on that day. We were on line for 45 minutes checking into the Hilton Waikoloa over the summer and this was hours after regular check in times.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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Recommend you ask for a late checkout as a first option. If this isn't complimentary or unavailable ask for cost of extending your stay.

Most hotels offer late checkout and/or access to showers on departure day. This would be better than paying for an extra night and moving hotels doesn't sound like fun.

Remember to allow enough time to return the car and checkin at the airport.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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meant to say don't place expectations on that last day. Certainly have enjoyed the last day but too much anticipation for flight home to plan something.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:27 PM
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I am not familiar with Big Island but would never move hotels on the last day. Either pack up, have the front desk keep your luggage and simply hang around the pool or beach, ask about late check-out, or pay for the extra night you will not use. I definitely don't see the logic of transfering hotels.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Thanks. Changing hotels was last choice. I'll ask about price of extending room reservation / and late checkout. Any info on the drive time? We have a 7:00 p.m. flight from Kona to HNL connecting to later flight back to mainland. Would we need to start trip to airport 4:00 or 5:00?? Thanks again.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 12:45 PM
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Standard check-in time is around 3pm, and standard check-out time is usually 11am. Doesn't make sense to move to another hotel as you would still be
"hotel-less" for the intervening hours.
I agree with your DH..extend your stay at Hapuna Prince. Personally, I would reserve this in advance. I wouldn't take a chance on the hotel being sold out and not being able to extend. I just find it worth the extra $$ to pay for the extra day when I have an early arrival or late departure. The drive from Hapuna Beach to the airport is about 25 miles, and normally takes about 45 minutes.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 01:17 PM
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Barbara thanks so much for your quick and helpful reply. I hadn't thought about the check-in times (duh!). I'm just too excited about the trip and want to make everything perfect. We aren't traveling until June, and I'm definately counting the days. I'll call tonight to extend stay for one night and rest easy that I don't have to worry about showering before that long 15 hr. flight home (UGH). Thanks again.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 01:53 PM
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Sherrie, you are coming from the east coast? 15 hour flight I knows what you are talking about.

Did you book the flight yet? I always like stopping off on the west coast if time permits. It gets you ready for time change....keeps that tropical buzz on a bit longer.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 04:03 PM
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Sarah: Yes we are traveling from East Coast. We are flying Continental, stopping in Houston for change of plane and then going on to HNL. I purchased our flights a few months ago at what I hope was a good fare. Been checking on and off and it goes up and down, but I haven't seen it below our price of $687. Glad I jumped when I did. We're starting our trip in Oahu for six days and then BI for six. Can't wait. I am the eternal "planner", a bit neurotic, but I really enjoy it. Makes the trip so much more fun for me. Thanks to everyone for the replies.
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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Where are you staying on Oahu?

Two don't miss options, Lenard's Malasadas bakery (Makiki I think can look up if you are interested), there are trucks all over the city but I like to send people to the source bakery, if you are staying in Waikiki, and Legend's Seafood dim sum in china town. Not like the dim sum you will see in Chinatown in NYC if that is your reference point, more a Japanese influence here. OH YEAH, you totally want to buy a picaki lei(sp)(sounds like pea cocki)a few strans.

Iolani Palace tour on Friday if you are not stressed leaving that day. You get the royal Hawaiian band on the lawn for a picnic afterwards. Well most recently I think we went to legends and then walked to tour of Iolani, bought leis in between. 697 is a good deal. We got 600 when we flew on the 4 of July, every other day of the week was 1200 that was a direct flight though.

I gotta tell yah even though I am always psyched to get on that direct plane knowing that when I get off I will be in Aloha land, I still think I like the break in between. So I think its a good thing you are stopping off in Houston. That is a smooth connection too you should know. I have done that trip a few times and I marvel at the smoothness of a 40 minute connections in that airport.
You are going in June, Will you be there for King Kamehameha Day? Check out the community calendar on www.gohawaii.com (might be some hyphens in this title)
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 10:48 PM
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Sherrie: Drive time from Hapuna to Kailua Airport is about 30-35 minutes.

On our last stay at the Hapuna Beach Prince (in November) we also had an evening flight. We told the front desk this when we checked out, and they not only let us use the hotel's equipment for the day (beach umbrella, chairs, pool etc) they also offered use of shower facilities at both the HBP Pro Shop and adjoining Mauna Kea tennis center before we left for the airport (very nice facilities by the way). You might want to call and ask them if you can do the same when you check out.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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Another option is to go to HNL early and spend the day in Honolulu (have you been to Pearl Harbor? It's close to the airport).
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Sarah: We will stay at the Outrigger Waikiki. Leonard's is a definate on our list of "must dos". Chinatown is also on my list of places I want to explore. Thanks for the heads up on Legends Seafood, its added to our resturant list. (Sounds like a lot of lists, huh? Love it!) We hope to explore the North Shore a bit and are currently looking into scuba operations. If you have any recommendations in that department, I'd love to hear them. DH and DS are the divers, I'm the planner!

Fdecarlo: Thanks for the info on drive time. Helps me to eek out every possible minute of pleasure time. I called Hapuna last PM and extended our stay. I think the family will enjoy having the room available for "down time" before the long trip back home.

John: We will visit the Arizona memorial on the first leg of our trip. We'll be in Waikiki for six days prior to BI. Thanks for all the responses. Your experiences are invaluable and really add to an enjoyable trip.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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ah Sherrie you have me looking up rates for the Haipuna Prince. I just love that hotel!

Dive.....on thing I have not looked into in Hawaii. Empire Dive in NYC if anyone in your crew needs to get certified. I need to do that and this is a place I will use when I get around to it.

What I will tell you is reserve your Kayak for Kealekekua bay before your trip commences. I think that is the BEST snorkeling I have done on any islands not so much for the extraordinary fish but the brilliance of the coral. I DON't mention this often on here because I can't imagine this reef lasting long because its just so beautiful. I should think hoards will be here soon enough.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 07:24 AM
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PS did you look at the moon's cycle during your trip? Hope you are on the big island when there is no moon. Its so nice to sit on Haipuna beach on a lounger and stare up at the stars. ME FAVORITE PASS TIME ON THE BIG ISLAND...well save for Volcano National Park activities...

Walking stick for Volcano National Park if you are going to hike out to the flow at night. Sounds hokey, I laughed at my sister when she brought us all walking sticks but we argued over them when we only took one on hike! LOL
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Hi Sarah: So, you've stayed at Hapuna? Did you love it? I am really looking forward to seeing it but must admit to second thoughts because of the remoteness. DS is 13 and I'm thinking he might not enjoy Hapuna as much as Hilton (BTW, the Hilton in June did not appeal to me, the one making the ressie, LOL). Since Hapuna has better beach, I'm hoping that will suffice. Trip to Captain Cook / Kaelekekua Bay (sp?) will probably happen with Trade Winds outfit. It looks fun and we did something similar with Trilogy on Maui. Mauna Kea is a "maybe" on the itinerary, but I enjoy the star gazing too. We spend two nights in VNP at My Island B&B and will remember the walking stick tip. Thanks again for your replies.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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I have stayed at the Hilton a number of times if you are there during a school break FAGET ABOUT IT.
The Waikoloa is so well known now they are frequently at full capacity during school holidays. They really don't have the staff to service the hotel when it is at full capacity. I could give a MILLION examples or near a million of how this is true. Just trust me on it and save your ear for kinder stories of Aloha in Hawaii. There is also an issue with animal control at the Waikoloa that the hotel does not address. If you are on the wing where mina birds congregate on some nights (several hundred) you will be told to stuff a towel under your door if the chirping bothers you. We were told it starts at sunset and ends after midnight to begin again at 6AM.

Haipuna Prince is a thousand times more customer service oriented than the Hilton. The hotel will be booked to capacity and you will NEVER have a sense of this. No lines, cool drinks, fresh towels, aaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Constant breeze in the open 3 story lobby IN JULY!

Beach is the best part of this hotel too. I did not think that would matter having been to Hawaii so many times, IT DID! There is also a shuttle over to the Mauna Kea which is fun for strolling grounds checking out the manta ray at night (live).
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 12:47 PM
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are you going to stay on Hilo side at all? We had a great condo rental and it makes the Park much more accessible if you stay inside Volcano Village or the actual park (Volcano House).

FYI Its a couple of hours to Volcano from Kona side then another 40 minutes to the end of the road then usually a 1hour or more of hiking to get within eye shot of the flow.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 02:35 PM
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sherrie-

Leonard's Bakery is in Kapahulu, not Makiki. Kapahulu is at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki. I usually just get malasadas from the trucks, though.

Legend Seafood restaurant has good dim sum, though I haven't been there in a while - I usually go to Mei Sum. Last I was aware they had two separate restaurants - one vegetarian and one that wasn't. I don't know if I would call their dim sum having a Japanese influence - but there are different "styles" of dim sum - i.e. Hong Kong style, etc.

As far as dive ops, it depends what you are looking for. Are you looking for guided shore dives, a place to just rent gear or an operator for boat dives? If you provide more info I can give more detailed recommendations.

I didn't notice when you plan on arriving here, but keep in mind the North Shore conditions are generally not consistently diveable until around mid May. Occasionally earlier, but you have to be more vigilant in checking the surf reports.
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