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Hawaii: Planning a Reunion / 40th Birthday Party for 16 Guys!

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Apr 18th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Hawaii: Planning a Reunion / 40th Birthday Party for 16 Guys!

I’m planning a surprise reunion / 40th birthday party for 16 guys (their wives / girlfriends too so 32 persons) that are best friends from high school – yep 16 guys. I’m blessed to be the wife of one of the guys and the one that came up with the idea. The guys have talked about this for years (some of the guys have not seen each other for probably ten years.) I spoke to one of the other wives and she agrees that we should try and do this so we are both the planners. We are looking at about 3 years from now – the year they all turn 40. I know it’s a long time from now BUT I’m usually an early planner and for something this big… we have to start getting our ducks in a row extra early. I need some help – is the big island the place to take all the guys or is there another island we should consider? Also, I thought about a villa but we’d have to rent several and I really would like everyone super close to each other. I think a hotel or somewhere with bungalows would be ideal – any suggestions on where to stay for this many persons? Of course it’s a surprise so everyone might not come once we begin contacting the other wives - but we are hoping for at least 16 persons.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 05:24 PM
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If you want nightlife, Oahu has a lot to offer. It also has the most historical stuff to see and the most hotels. You might want to check the travel books in your public library to see what makes each island special and then buy the guide(s) you like best.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 06:25 AM
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Where you stay depends upon what these guys love to do. If they will be wanting to party and be in a place with lots of bars and restaurants and night time excitement, then Waikiki is the place. If they will be more into nature, scenery, and outdoor activities, then Maui would be a good choice.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 12:57 PM
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I would settle on an island and once you have done that and established a nightly lodging budget, this is one instance where I might use a travel agent, as with that many people you are probably eligible for some kind of group discount.
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Apr 19th, 2012, 02:02 PM
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Unless you are going to go (night) clubbing a lot (then - Oahu or maybe Maui) - I think Big Island probably offers the most diversity for a big group. Some may want to go deep sea fishing or diving, most should get over to the Volcano, helicopter rides are fun, a group horseback ride with Paniols could be a hit http://www.panioloadventures.com/ - and there is so much more to explore on BI.

Google away - and fyi - there are villas/homes/condos by the various mega resorts - such as the Mauna Kea.

You can negotiate your own discounts for a group that size - but it might be good to interview a couple of travel agents - who are very familiar with whichever island you choose - to see what they might be able to do for you.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Every island has it's pros and cons. For what you describe I'd go with Oahu or Maui, maybe Kauai. Sure Big Island has plenty of diversity for sure, but it's not the "tropical paradise" like most people think of when they think of Hawaii. Check out a couple of guidebooks from the library that show the natural features of each island and you'll see what I mean.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 02:57 PM
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Sounds like fun! I suspect you don't care too much about night-life because, with a group that size, you'll be pretty much making your own. But, which island, and where you stay on the island, would depend some on time of year. If winter, south Maui would be my choice. In summer I'd choose north shore of Kaua'i. Other times, it'd be south shore of Kaua'i or anywhere on Maui. In any case, a bunch of condos in the same complex would give you more flexibility and options than hotel rooms.

I agree with suze's comments about the Big Island. The leeward side, where most tourists/visitors stay, is not what you imagine of an exotic, tropical paradise.
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Apr 20th, 2012, 06:26 PM
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I'd definitely consider some condos rather than hotels so you have someplace to gather other than public space.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 02:04 PM
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If you want to see some lush - tropical - rain forest type scenery - fly into Hilo - and drive around north of there - to Akaka Falls, http://tinyurl.com/6v52bmd etc - and then spend the night (or two) up at the amazing Volcano/Volcano Village - a half an hour or so from Hilo airport.

From there enjoy the drive over to Kona and then partying on/by the beach.

Or as suggested - the North Shore of Kauai - which is our favorite - or on Maui - we like up by Kahala/Napili - north of Lahina.

The north shore of Oahu can work too - either a nice house - or Turtle Bay resort has some neat beach bunglows.

It's all good really - and with a reunion type thing going on - it probably won't matter that much where you wind up, as long as you get some beach/recovery time.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 02:09 PM
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Here is the webpage for the Volcano on Big Island - just an amazing place to visit and spend some time. Probably the easiest active Volcano to visit in the world.
http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.htm

And nearby in Volcano Village - the Volcano Village Lodge might have enough room for all of ye.
http://emmaspencerliving.com/volcano...lodge/lodging/
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 02:36 PM
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Why did you chose The Big Island?
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 02:42 PM
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If you get ahold of the Guidebook: Hawaiian for Dummies, it will help you in your decision making.

I'm not sure The Big Island would be my first choice. Oahu or Maui would have been mine.
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Apr 23rd, 2012, 06:54 PM
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There are tons of good Hawaiian tour books - and many that I think are far better than Hawaiian for Dummies. Head down to your local bookstore and just start checking out the travel section for the US/Hawaii.

And as far as I can tell - this trip is 3 years away and no island has yet been chosen?
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Apr 24th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Yes, I can see that Tomsd.

However, OP seems to be starting her research with The Big Island, which is not one that usually appeals to first-time visitors, or people in large groups that have diverse interests.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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The OP hasn't come back to the thread yet, Placename, so I don't know why you think she's chosen Hawaii. Unless it's that Tomsd is answering questions about the BI that haven't even been asked.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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How about a multi-island cruise? You sleep on board the ship even when it is in port. http://www.hawaiicruises.com/?source=google
This way you all get to be together on the ship and see several islands.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 10:04 AM
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This is the phase OP uses:

" is the big island the place to take all the guys or is there another island we should consider?"

I see any particular reason as to why she is thinking TBI is the place to go, or if she has considered the other islands. That is why I made the comment.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 10:31 AM
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And who says people don't start on the Big Island? That is Mecca for those who have an interest in Volcanos. And as far as diverse interests - pray tell - what does the Big Island not have?

Tomf: Ya know: I am ordinarily not a big cruise fan - but for a bunch of wild and crazy 40 year olds - it just might have a lot to offer - and then at the end - maybe spending more time at one of the islands they visited - or kicking back at the beach somewhere else.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 10:33 AM
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Actually - they could all go on the cruise - what - 7 days? - and then those that could stay longer could decide what else they want to do/go/see.
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Apr 24th, 2012, 11:51 AM
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OP has stated her interest is in organizing a group trip for 32 people. That's rather a tall order.

She did not mention volcanoes so it's a bit premature to be giving specifics on that.

I think trying to figure out how to satisfy the needs and budget of 16 couples is a huge task and she shold be given credit for starting this early. Refering her to basic information about the different islands, time of year, budget, pros/cons of different islands is better than zeroing down on one place.

Again, it would be helpfuol as to why OP started mentioning The Big Island. Perhaps she thinks the largest island will have the most in terms of accomodations or facilities.
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