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Hawaii Resorts with a real Hawaii feel AND good for kids?

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Hawaii Resorts with a real Hawaii feel AND good for kids?

Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 01:19 PM
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Hawaii Resorts with a real Hawaii feel AND good for kids?

Planning our first trip to Hawaii with two children ages 7 and 11. Our first four nights will be spent near Waikiki as my husband has a conference. Then we'd like to go to another island for six nights. We need to either get two hotels rooms, a suite or a condo set-up because we don't like all four of us in the same room. We tend to prefer fairly upscale resorts but thus far most of them are really pricey for two rooms or if they are in our price range (up to around $500 per night total) the resorts are just not thrilling me because they have such a sterile or high-rise feel, they don't seem like Hawaii! We looked at the Fairmont Kea Lani, they are suites in our price range, but the resort seems not at all like Hawaii. We like the look of the Hyatt Kauai, but it's $800 a night for two rooms. I would appreciate any other suggestions anyone might be able to give me for a resort with a Hawaii-feel in Oahu near Waikiki and on either Kauai or Maui. This trip is costing us thousands of dollars and I just can't see spending that kind of $$ and not liking the resort we choose because it could be anywhere! Thanks for your help!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 03:04 PM
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We usually share a room with our daughter when we go to Hawaii in order to stay in a top resort without having to pay for two rooms. As you have probably found out, suites can be pretty expensive! You might be surprised with Kea Lani. - It gets very good reviews! Suites can also be had reasonably at the Embassy Suites Resort but it is not as upscale. I believe there is an ESR on both Maui and Kauai. We have stayed at the one on Maui and enjoyed it. The pool was nice and the parrots in the lobby were a blast! I don't know of any other "all-suites" resort options on the two islands. You might think about the Kaanapali Alii in Kaanapali as these are very upscale condo-type units with many of the amenities of a resort.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:11 PM
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We've stayed 6 or 7 times (the last few with kids) at Napili Kai Beach Resort on Maui. We love it--Napili Bay allows no high rises, so nothing's more than 2 stories. SEveral condos along this lovely, turquoise bay. We like Napili Kai because all the units have large lanais with great views of ocean, sunsets & 2 other islands (If you go before end of April, you can watch the whales too!). Units have kitchens. We like separate sleeping rooms as you do, so we've gotten the l bedroom, 2 bath suite--living room has 2 twin beds, bedroom has king. Works out great for the 4 of us. Ask for a 2nd floor unit--views are best and no one is walking past your room. Napili Kai is on a point between 2 beaches: one has waves, the other is very calm. Both offer good snorkeling. The place is not cheap, and there are fancier hotels, but we love this one, and can completely relax there.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:26 PM
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I know you indicated either Kauai or Maui as your outer island preference, but with six nights how about the Big Island of Hawaii? Both the Mauna Kea Beach Resort and Hapuna Prince Hotel would fill your Hawaii resort need and I would guess you could get two basic rooms within your price range. Lots of varied activites on the Big Island as well for the family. Good luck.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:57 PM
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I think you would find that the Kea Lani
is more "Hawaiian" feeling than the photos show it to be. The suites are very nice and the pool, garden and grounds are terrific. Nice beach right in front of the hotel and good - if not
great - service all the way around. Also - a bonus - Nick's Rest. is fab !!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 06:28 PM
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I'm with Jenn! We are staying at the Grand Wailea next trip because we want the over-the-top pool experience. BUT, if I had two children and wanted more than one sleeping area, I would go for the Kea Lani. You won't escape that "Hawaiian feeling" regardless of where you stay. - It's everywhere! And there will be plenty of island flavor even in places where the architecture is eclectic and not strictly Hawaiiana. You won't get the same sort of pampering in a condo. as you will in a full-scale resort. I guess it just depends on what you are looking for...
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 07:25 PM
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I disagree with going to Kea Lani. We made the mistake of having a very special dinner at Nicks when we could have eaten at Four Seasons, where we stayed. Nicks is by the POOL for god sakes! Does not make it very romantic having dinner with people playing around in the pool. Might be a different story with kids however. Maybe they can go to the pool and come have dinner right after. Anyways, it does not, to me, feel Hawaii at all. The beach is small and steep. Looks very ordinary at day time.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:31 PM
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Although it is on the big island, the kona village is pretty incredible and their kids program is wonderful. On Kauai, we stay in a condo at the Hanalei Bay Resort that is privately owned by an interior decorator. Very Hawaiian feeling with tons of vintage hawaii. Plus being near the little town and incredible beaches gave our two kids a lot to do. The website is alohacondos.com. We have been to 4 of the islands with our children and we all love the big island the best. hope this helps, itsv
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:44 PM
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Hi, when I traveled with my (then 4 Kids) rangeing from teen to 5 last year we had a hard time choseing a place to stay also. We ended up going with the Westin Maui and had 2 rooms. We loved it. They had a few pools and a good waterslide. The beach out front was nice and never to crowded. The hotel itself felt very tropical, huge waterfalls and birds everywhere. My younger kids even did a kids program one day and thought it was the best.
It is also right next door to the Whalers Village (a outdoor mall). At night we would walk over and watch the local hawaiian shows outside for free. My teenager often took the little ones over to hang out or have McDonalds if my hubby and I had a date night.

Since we have been to Hawaii once to us that place was the best. I know when we go back they all want to stay there.
Good luck!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:50 PM
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Just another vote for Kona Village on the Big Island. If you're looking for the exact opposite of a sterile resort, *and* service and amenities that are second to none, that's as close as you'll find anywhere in Hawaii.
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Old Feb 24th, 2004, 09:45 AM
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Thank you everyone for all these great suggestions. I will check into them. Any suggestions for the Waikiki area?
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Old Feb 24th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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My first thought was the Marriott that DawnCt had mentioned in a previous post within the last week or so. She got the Maui Marriott in Kaanapali for 349/night for a 1 bd/2bth 790sq ft villa on line. Then I re-read your post and you didn't like the idea of a highrise resort, so Kaanapali would probably not be a great choice for you. Considering everything you have said, perhaps you shouold look at the new Marriott Waiohai(sp?) in the Poipu area of Kauai, near the Hyatt. From what I have heard, it is a nice, new condo/timeshare with lots of space and is fairly affordable. Nice freeform pool and fronts a great stretch of beach.I think it is a lowrise with a modern Hawaiian feel. In that same area, Kiahuna Plantation offers some nice condo type units that are private and clean, but by no means are they luxury. Good luck!
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Old Feb 24th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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further to my last post, I just checked the Marriott website for the new Kauai property and the rate is between 289-330/night for a 2 bd/2 bath unit. Keep in mind this is more of a family timeshare type place than a Four Seasons or Ritz type of hotel, but I think it would suit your family to a tee. The site also says there is construction going on, but I don't know when you are going so you would have to confirm that with the hotel.
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Old Feb 26th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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We just returned from Kauai & I will confirm that the new Marriott property is gorgeous! 2 bdrm suites are very nice!
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