Big Island/Maui Honeymoon Review (long!)

Old Oct 17th, 2003, 12:21 AM
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Big Island/Maui Honeymoon Review (long!)

Just got back from our Hawaii honeymoon this week! A lot of things we did were recommendations from
this board (thanks everyone!), as well as the Blue "Revealed" books. We kept laughing when we would
be at a resturant and 3 couples would have that blue book out...

Oahu
Flew into HOnolulu and stayed for one night. Stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (Ali Tower). It was very nice,
better than we expected based on reviews. Huge, pretty room and a great view of the ocean. Lots of fun
shops and resturants to check out on the grounds. Also, the Lakers were all staying at the Ali Tower while we
were there. It was so funny seeing all these HUGE guys walk around. Of course my husband got
a lot more out of this than me (no Kobe sightings).

For our one day in Oahu on the following day,
we went to Pearl Harbor (not to be missed) and the lunch buffet at Duke's - great food and wonderful view! We agreed
that we probably could have spent more time in Honolulu and want to go back.

Big Island
We then flew to the Big Island. First thing you notice - the entire airport is outside!
For as much as I read about this island, I didn't expect the
miles and miles of black lava rocks. It seemed very desolate (in a pretty way), like you are on another
planet. You drive down about 15 miles of barren highway and hit a resort, then another 15 miles of the same.
Nothing is that close to each other on this island.

Since we were getting to the Big Island late, we decided to stay at the Hilton Waikola Village for just
one night and check it out. Its definitely more for families than honeymooners, but it was
fun to see for one night (and we were kind of happy it was only one). Lots of fun grounds
to walk around though, and we did enjoy the short time were were here. The food choices
didn't seem to be all that great here though. The room was OK if a bit dated.

The next day we checked into the Four Seasons - and if you need a reason to go to this island, the Four Seasons
is it. I can't imagine a nicer hotel. We had an ocean view (they say all the suites are ocean view,
but ours was a great location - open up our doors and we were by a small, adults only pool and hot tub overlooking
the ocean), and had champagne and mac nuts in our room when we arrived.
We went in the hot tub every night and were always alone. The rooms are spectacular. The screen doors open
up completely, like you knocked out your wall. And we loved the outdoor shower! We didn't use
the indoor shower once. I just loved hearing the waves crashing, the birds chirping, looking at the tiki
torches lit up along the ocean from our room - it was wonderful. The service is the best thing about
staying there. You won't believe how you are treated. Sitting by the pool was so nice, with the ice water,
popcicles, etc. Every time we would leave the resort and get our car, we were offered bottled water for the ride.
Everyone is so nice at this hotel, we still can't believe how great this place was! Since the Big Island had the least
"big city" feel of the islands we went too, I felt like this hotel was the most Hawaiian experience. We spent the most of our
3 days here just lounging by the ocean or pool, taking walks and enjoying it all. Each Saturday night they have an outdoor
BBQ - if you are there on a Saturday, go! Wonderful food, nice Hawaiian music and dancing, beautiful atmosphere.

Highlights of the Big Island:
- Took a waterfalls tour with Hawaii Forest and Trail. I reccomend it if you are feeling a little adventurous. Don't go if you are
scared of heights! You walk under some waterfalls that only have trails of about 2 feet and they can be slippery!
And to get to the hike, you take this private "path" in a van - I thought we were going to fly off a cliff! Half the time
our butts never hit the seats - the only bad part was on the way back - we ate a picnic lunch BEFORE getting in the van
and we thought we were going to lose it!

- Drove out to the Pololu Valley lookout in Hawi (recommended by the Blue Book). Do this! There is a hike that takes about 20
minutes that takes you down to the most incredible black sand beach (Pololu Beach). There was no one there and
the beach is very swimmable and there wasn't any rocks to step on, just beautiful black sand. We feel this was one
of the highlights of our trip.

- Volcano's National Park - there was only a small amount of lava to see (to me it looked like little campfires from a distance)
but it is still an interesting place to visit. You will not believe how big this park is. You could spend all day there.
The one mistake I felt I made with planning this trip was our overnight stay in Hilo instead of finding a B&B in
Volcano. Don't stay in Hilo. We stayed at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel, which according to the Blue Book is the nicest
hotel in the city. The shower was dirty, the room smelled musty - blech. One nice thing was the incredible view. I was
only there for a day, but I don't think there is much in Hilo to see. We loved Ken's House of Pancakes, though (Blue Book)!

Resturants:
- Oodles of Noodles - great little pasta place!
- Kona Brewing Company - we weren't too crazy about the food, but good if you are looking for microbrews.
- Aloha Angel Cafe - cute place with good lunch - but don't go out of your way
- Tropical Dreams - the best ice cream!


Maui:
Stayed at the Four Seasons. Again it was incredible, but the Big Island Four Seasons was still my favorite.
The bathroom was to die for. I would kill to have this bathroom - HUGE! They upgraded us to an ocean view room and
had champagne and cookies waiting for us. I have read all the posts about the pool situation - its true! When
you check in, they even give you a note with the pool rules on it. The pool is a little small, but gorgeous. The
one day we spent by the pool I got there by 8:30 and there was still plenty of seats left. Again, the staff was
above and beyond nice at the hotel. We stayed for 5 days and loved it (can't tell you how hard it was to get
back home to my tiny bathroom...).

The view was very pretty here as well and after driving around I think Wailea is the nicest area to stay in, but it is
a drive from everything! A pretty drive though! The closest little town nearby is Kihei which is nice for quick
places to eat and pick up what you need.

Highlights:
- Warren and Annabelle's - Definitely book it. We laughed our heads off all night.
- Old Lahania Luau - The food was just OK, but the show was really fun. You have to see one luau, right? We were glad we
went.
- Lahania town - good for an afternoon (before the luau or Warren and Annabelle's) and do do your souvenier shopping. A bit
too touristy for us but it was fun for a couple hours. Kind of reminded me of Fisherman's Wharf in San Fran.
- Snorkeling with Blue Water Rafting - I read about this from a rave review a poster gave it, and I want to say Thanks!
The highlight was running into the dolphins - we saw about 50 and since we were on this 20 person raft rather than a big
boat we were so close to them! It was amazing. Saw huge turtles too.
- Road to Hana - You will see everyone with the Blue Book out here! We stopped for about 6 waterfalls. My husband swam in a few of them too. It was a fun day. Locals do not like tourists
in Hana. Since everyone is driving slow (and I have to admit the curves scared me a few times, but I'm a little nuts in the car),
some locals speed up behind you to tick you off. Saw a few "Go Home" signs too!
Maui Ocean Center - great if you have a few hours to kill (we did this before our flight home). Really a nice aquarium.

Resturants:
- Mama's Fish House - if you are big into seafood (we aren't but still enjoyed it), definitely go! It is a very nice place,
wonderful setting and view. I think it was a little pricey, but that's not shocking. Very nice romantic dinner and everything we
had was excellent.
- Cheesburger in Paradise - good burgers, nice for lunch. The Shops at Wailea was the closest thing to our hotel so we ate
here a few times, checked out Ruth Chris as well.
- Bada Bings - For a very causal Italian dinner, this place rocks! We loved this place and it was our favorite meal of the
trip. Great for a nice evening of good pasta and fruity drinks on the patio.
- Stella Blues Cafe - in Kihei, the best breakfast we had on the island. Very cute place!


Dneilp is offline  
Old Oct 17th, 2003, 12:34 AM
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Sorry - forgot to say thanks again for all the great advice here, and if you have any questions, let me know!

-Danielle
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 04:43 AM
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Thanks for your interesting report! Do you happen to recall what time Stella Blues Cafe opens in the AM, and is it easy to find, we hope to be visiting there soon?
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 05:00 PM
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How long did you spend on each island?
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Old Oct 17th, 2003, 07:18 PM
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Danielle, congratulations on your marriage! Sound like you really liked Hawaii. I was curious what the Big Island 4Seasons weekend beach BBQ had on the menu. Also how far of a drive was it to Pololu valley lookout and the black sand beach. Could kids do the hike? Where on Maui was Bada Bings? Thanks in advance
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Old Oct 20th, 2003, 07:28 AM
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Hi JohnD - I'm sorry I don't know when Stella's opens. Since it seems like a popular breakfast place I would assume 6 or 7 at the latest. It is easy to find - if you are going to Kihel off the many highway, you will turn into the main street of that town - you will see a big strip mall with a Safeway there - sorry I can't remember the name of the street. Anyway, it is right on that main drag. Have a great time!

Hi AugustLily - we only spent 1 day/night in Oahu (we both agreed we could have a great time there for 4 days or so, we were pleasantly suprised), 4 days on the Big Island, and 5 days in Maui. One thing we learned - PACK LIGHT! It was such a pain lugging around our heavy suitcases from airport ot airport.

Hi Alohamom - thanks for the congrats! The 4Seasons BBQ had a ton of food to choose from - lobster, ribs, chicken, shrimp, huge salad/pasta bar and a great dessert bar. From the 4Seasons, Polulu Valley was about 30-40 mins. Bada Bings is in Kihel, the next closest town. Its kind of an older area but some good resturants.
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Old Oct 20th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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Congratulations and mahalo for reporting back! It was a very informative review!!!

8-)
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