Notices

Hawaiian vacation review

Old Mar 21st, 2004, 11:45 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hawaiian vacation review

I'm back from my 13-day vacation on the Big Island with side trip to Oahu. It was fabulous. This is what we did:
We flew United from Portland Maine to Chicago to LA to Kona. NO problems.
In Kona it took us 2 hours to obtain the rental car from Alamo. Finally on our way we stayed at the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel for 2 nights and just hung around, swam, rested by their beautiful pool and watched the whales off shore. The Hapuna Beach Prince hotel is beautiful and they have the most wonderful showers. The showers are like massive amounts of water being gently poured over you. I don't know how they did that but I want one of those showers. Anyway, one night we ate at Cafe Pesto, and I never want to see pesto again. It was less than expected.
We left Hapuna and traveled the north route to Hilo where we stayed at the Dolphin Bay Hotel, which was sort of funky but very clean, and they had fresh flowers in all the rooms of our 1 bedroom apt. The owners were very helpful in finding the local sights like Rainbow falls and Boiling pots, which we saw and enjoyed. We would have done more in the Hilo area but it was pouring rain. The next day we went to Volcano and hiked 14 miles round trip to see the lava flow. Very interesting hike and we saw only 4 other people the whole hike. John Alexander, the owner of the Dolphin Hotel did tell us to take a 4 mile hike, one way, starting from the end of Chain of Craters road but the ranger said it was dangerous and with children we should take the other route. I'm glad we did. We visited the Thurston Lava tube early in the morning. The 14 miles hike with lunch and viewing took us 6 hours of easy hiking. That night we stayed at Volcano House, which my husband and I liked but the kids did not. We ate a very nice dinner in their dinning room.
We headed to Oahu the next day out of Hilo and stayed at Turtle Bay Resort, which we all loved. We took in the Arizona memorial and surf lessons while over there. We ate and a couple of places along the North Shore which were very good. One was Jamersons and the other was across the road and in the intersection a bit. Both restaurants were great. We also went to the Dole Pineapple plantation while on that island. I thought the pineapple plantation was a big rip off but the rest of the family liked it.
Our last 6 days were spent in the Kialua-Kona area at the Kanaloa at Kona condo complex. This area was our least favorite and the Kanaloa condo was dirty, complete with cockroaches. We didn't pay the extra for air conditioning and didn't miss it once we got used to the temps. We went out on the Fairwinds II for snorkeling and that was great. We took a side trip to the Green sand beach from there and that was great. We ate at Bubba Gumps 2 nights because the kids loved it and we sat on their porch and watched the green sea turtles in the little cove next door. We also ate pizza at the Kona Brew Pub and that was the most expensive pizza I'd ever seen or eaten. I was good though.
Anyway, I know I've left a bunch of stuff out but I thought I'd put this in here because other people's trip reports helped me a lot. So here we are back in Maine and I can't get to sleep at a decent hour. I think my body likes Hawaiian time. The kids are already talking about going back to Hawaii. It was their favorite vacation so far.
tbelgian is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 11:56 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,455
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the great report. We are going to Maui and Kauai this summer but would like to see Hawaii and Oahu sometime too. Fourteen miles - wow! How old are your children? I have been interested in the Turtle Bay Resort but was told it might not be fun for children and was steared toward the Ihilani instead. In retrospect, which island and which place that you stayed was your favorite? Would you do anything differently? Did you see any places you would like to stay next time?
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 12:14 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Aloha tbelgian!

Thanks for the great TR...

Glad you were able to enjoy the BI & north shore O'ahu on the same trip... nice how you fit O'ahu in the middle. Great combo.

How was the surf at Turtle Bay? Is that where you did the surf lessons?

Leaving for O'ahu in 3 days... can't wait... I've been thinking about surfing lessons, who did you use?

It was great to read about your fun...
Very understandable re planning another trip... the "aloha" gets into your blood. Thanks for the report.


makai1 is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2004, 01:16 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My kids are 13 and 16. I thought Turtle Bay would be great for smaller kids too. They have a water slide into their pool and a nice sheltered beach area as well as the rougher wavier stuff on the other side.

I would go back to Hapuna Beach Prince and Turtle Bay Resort again. Both are great. I liked the beach at the Mauna Kea for the big island the best and there was great snorkeling there. I would stay at Hapuna and walk over to Mauna Kea beach. As far as Oahu goes, there's georgous beaches everywhere.

We actually signed up for surf lessons on Expedia when we booked the Turtle Bay Resort. That wasn't the smartest way to do it though. It was through the firefighters surf co. and they were great. I don't think I would have tried to surf on the North Shore although plenty of others were. The North Shore had even too much surf for my husband. We met the firefighter surfing guys on a deserted beach on the south west shore by a very scary camping area and through a military base. This beach turned out to be at least an hour away from our hotel. Live and learn. They were very good and got both of my kids surfing in no time. I stopped and took movies.
tbelgian is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2004, 04:14 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 747
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The units at Kanaloa at Kona are all individually owned. The unit we had in 2001 was beautiful. It was clean, nicely furnished and we saw no critters. We did have AC since we went in the summer. It seemed a bit humid actually. We prefer a hotel atmosphere but for a condo we liked it.
DawnCt is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2004, 03:35 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 399
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi all, we'll be in Oahu in a couple months. In regards to surf lessons..my daughter is interested in that but she is only 11. Is that too young to learn? At what age is too old to learn? And going rates..any "budget" lessons? Maybe we should just try boogie boarding to start with... Sorry to bombard with all the questions but these boards are really helpful!
ggrtist is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2004, 03:23 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi ggrtist, I thought the firefighter surf guys were great. In our group we had people from about 10 to 60. One of the fastest learners was a 50 something woman. She had a blast! They were a bit pricy but it was so much fun, I would have done it again. My daughter did extremely well because she's so small that the surf board seemed huge to her. When she got tired the teachers went out and dragged her back out for more. She loved it. My son is a 6' 2" kid that hasn't grown into his body and he had a harder time getting up, but he did and he loved it.
tbelgian is offline  
Old Mar 26th, 2004, 05:20 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 77
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We just stepped in the door returning from our week long Big Island trip as well.

We spent our first night at the volcano at the Kiluea Lodge. This was our first ever bed and breakfast and I couldn't have been more pleased. The grounds were very nice and the room was exactly what I would have hoped for - nice, quaint and quiet. We loved it!

Our next four nights were at the Hapuna Beach Prince. It was very nice and I would definitely recommend it to someone as a "second honeymoon" type of vacation.

As for us though, with 2 kids (9 and 10 years old), I really think I would have preferred the Waikoloa Hilton. I just think it would have offered more variety of activities for a family right there on the premises.

Tbelgian, I'm curious if you suffered from as much restaurant sticker shock as we did. I've spent a great deal of time on both Oahu and Maui and have NEVER seen anything in the way of hugely expensive restaraunts like I did during my trip to the big island. We even went fast food for lunch twice and got thumped for $50 each time! I mean, the food was all good, but there just didn't seem to be any in-between.

But overall - fun, fun, fun!
moezbud is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2004, 02:30 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Moezbud, You're right about the cost of food! EXPENSIVE! Two nights we tried to keep the cost down by going out for pizza, once at the Kona Brew place and once at Cafe Pesto. Both times we spent over $80, nearing $100 with a tip. An By the end of our trip we just got what we wanted and paid through the nose for it. We wanted to keep the food cost under $200. a day but couldn't do it. We went out for dinner and only had breakfast out twice. I didn't notice that Oahu was any better, but I guess it was, slightly.
tbelgian is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2004, 02:33 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 987
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Moezbud, I'm glad you had a great time!
tbelgian is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2004, 08:04 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 399
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for the surf info tgelgian. Might let my 11 yr girl try a surf lesson, but guess I'll pass. I love learning new things but bf seems to think it would be too rough for me since I'm not very athletic.
My 2 cents on cost of food, when we there for first time last year, didn't notice much difference from cost in Hawaii compared with southern CALI. Usually on tight budget when we travel so we used kitchen for breakfasts, 2 for 1 coupons at Subway/fast foods for lunch and 2 for 1 dinners with Entertainment Card. Hope we can do just as well this time since we'll have 2 kiddies, neither are big eaters There was 1 nt in Maui when we made pizza for dinner in condo, first time I found out geckos were everywhere there. Went to get the pizza out and there it was, greeting me from the oven door handle!
ggrtist is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2004, 12:02 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 265
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
<<<In Kona it took us 2 hours to obtain the rental car from Alamo.>> I would avoid Alamo here. I left my cell phone in the car at 7AM and realized it on the shuttle. We immediately called on my BFs phone and told them it was in the center console, but they said they were too busy to check. They must have had 3 or 4 cars being turned in at most. About 40 minutes later my BF phone rang showing my phone #. They hung up when he answered. Never saw the phone again. I loved the Big Island especially the City of Refuge (hope that is right) so many turtles there!
myst is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Brenkjtravel
United States
6
Mar 11th, 2015 04:20 PM
darauddan
United States
10
May 29th, 2008 06:25 PM
paige719
United States
13
Jan 10th, 2007 03:10 AM
tbrown
United States
15
Jun 11th, 2004 12:26 AM
annette
United States
10
Feb 10th, 2003 06:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO