Honeymoon on the Big Island in January Y2009

Nov 18th, 2008, 12:24 PM
  #1  
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Honeymoon on the Big Island in January Y2009

We are getting very excited about our upcomng honeymoon on the Big Island of Hawaii this coming January. We have made reservations at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa which was highly recommended by our travel agent. We have also booked a car rental in advance of our arrival. We haven't been able to find any reviews on this resort and would welcome comments or alternate suggestions. This is truely a once in a life time vacation for us. We want to stay in a beautiful place that will allow for a romantic and rememberable stay while being able to take advantage of all the surrounding beauty...but we don't want to come back and have to pay for this memorable experiance for the next 5 years. We requested a vacation planner from TheBigIsland.org but would very much like some tips on hidden gems, the little unknown must sees and the "oh my God, if we died right now, this would be Heaven"... places and things to do. Help make our honeymoon a fabulous experiance. We welcome all your comments, suggestions and recommendations...
Teamzimmer is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 12:34 PM
  #2  
 
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I think there are a lot of reviews for that hotel on Tripadvisor.com. Just enter the name of the hotel in the search engine there.
kgh8m is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 01:29 PM
  #3  
 
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For a "once in a lifetime" vacation I'd definitely do my research to find a place that looks terrific to you two. I always check out Tripadvisor, looking for details that are important to me, to help cut down on the unhappy surprises. For example, some resorts charge $10 a day for self-parking, something I'd want to know ahead of time. To some people the spa facilities are important, but to my family we never use them and could care less. On the BI I've only stayed in Kona Village Resort and thought it was to die for - small and old Hawaiian feel - though my husband wasn't as thrilled (expensive, and in the winter the water was sometimes too rough to do the non-stop sports he would have liked). My sister and her family like the Waikaloa Hilton (very large, gorgeous and spread out). But no matter where you stay, you'll have a lovely honeymoon. The best $20 you can spend is to buy "Hawaii: the Big Island Revealed". They talk about all the resorts, but most of the space is spent on beaches, adventures, sights to see, etc. in great detail, written by someone who lives there.

rickandpat is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 01:48 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
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Interesting. You are getting married on a cruise ship in the Mexican Riviera according to your other post:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...amzimmer&fid=1

But you are unable to find reviews of a Hawaiian hotel? Expedia, TripAdvisor are no help?

Marginal is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 02:35 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We stayed there about 5 years ago and agree with above posters that there are other hotels in the Kohala area in the same price range also worth considering such as the Hapuna Prince and Hilton Waikoloa, and "Hawaii: Big Island Revealed" guidebook (www.wizardpub.com) contains more info.

In our experience the nearby Hilton Waikoloa known as the "Disney Hotel" offers by far the most in terms of a pool though it does not have it's own swimmable ocean beach access,instead it has an ocean fed, salt-water lagoon with a sandy beach. Waikoloa Beach Marriott and Hapuna do offer nice beaches with ocean access. Hilton Waikoloa guests are able to use the Waikoloa Beach Marriott beach chairs. Feel free to ask more
JohnD is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 03:50 PM
  #6  
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Thanks MARGINAL... You are correct. We are getting married on a cruise and heading to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We just got turned onto these sites recently so jst testing the waters to see what type of feedback and shared experiance we can obtain. I think this is fantastic and really appreciate people taking the time to help out and share. cheers!
Teamzimmer is offline  
Nov 18th, 2008, 05:30 PM
  #7  
 
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You'll fall in love with the Big Island, and January is a wonderful time for whale watching along the Kohala Coast.

Hawaii can be very affordable, as so much of the interesting natural beauty and entertainment are free.

All the little towns on the four corners of the island have great charm and interesting activities. My specialty is North Kohala, so you can check some of my other posts for detailed recommendations.

The volcano is a great day trip, Waimea and Hawi/Kapa'au have wonderful restaurants, shoppings, views, golf and hiking.

All the beaches are public access, and it is fun to explore other resorts and spend time at their beaches, have a drink at the bar and watch hula and slack key guitar, and explore special features such as petroglyphs and ancient fish ponds.

The traffic in Kona, south of the airport, is discouraging, so plan around "rush" hour, but otherwise, the views driving around the island are stunning.

Sometimes people are surprised that the airport and resorts are located in lava fields, and people write their names and sayings in white coral. The resorts themselves, and elsewhere on the island, are lush and tropical.

The Kona Coffee plantations are fun to explore, The City of Refuge is fascinating, and near Kealakakua Bay, which is a great place for a snorkel trip.

You can pick up the brochure 101 Things to do on the Big Island at the airport. Here's a link to an online version. Everything is fun to do!

http://www.101thingstodo.com/
Kailani is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 11:51 AM
  #8  
 
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I, too recommend The Big Island Revealed, a blue paperback. Some people object to some of the recommendations because they might be a little risky, but the book tells you when it's risky. It's also full of secrets about the best beaches around, etc. they would also have a review of the Marriott. If you want to get to some of the really nice, quiet beaches, be sure to rent a vehicle with higher clearance so you can drive over some of the rough roads to get to the beaches.
charnees is offline  
Nov 26th, 2008, 06:13 PM
  #9  
 
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My wife and I have been to the Big Island seven times. I will list the resorts that we have stayed and the order of preference.

1. Four Seasons Hualalai
2. Mauna Lani (twice)
3. Mauna Kea
4. Sheraton
5. Marriot Waikoloa
6. Hilton Waikoloa

We just stayed at the Marriott last Christmas. The remodel is very nice but the property just didn't do it for us. Also, was the least Hawaiian feeling of all the resorts.

Must do's:
Get kayak for Kona Boys and kayak Captain Cook. Snorkeling in the bay is fantastic. Dinner at Merrimans in Waimea. Volcanoes National Park, be prepared it's a long drive!
connor02 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 12:44 PM
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We just returned from the Big Island today, and we stayed at Hali'i Kai condos next to the Hilton Waikoloa. If you would consider a non-hotel type property, I can *highly* recommend Hali'i Kai. The units are fairly new (2007), huge, and furnished very nicely. Granite kitchens and bathrooms and a full size washer (a big plus considering all the towels and beach gear we washed). There is a small but beautiful pool that overlooks the coast/ocean. This was by far the nicest condo we have stayed in.

http://www.hotels.com/hotel_castle-h...oa_258533.html

One thing about the Big Island...it is BIG. REALLY BIG. Drives seem very very long...but the destination is always worth it.

My hands down favorite experience of the trip was a dolphin adventure with Neptune Charlies. They don't *guarantee* that you'll see/swim with dolphins, but they have a 95% success rate. When we took the trip, we swam with +200 dolphins...the most amazing experience of my life. These were wild dolphins, not trained dolphins. We would power far ahead of the dolphins, then wait for them to get close, and slip into the water with snorkel gear. We would sit very still in the water as the dolphins passed by and under us, and it was amazing.

Favorite meals were Canoe House (Mauna Lani, 4.5 mi from Waikoloa) and Pahu I'a (Four Seasons). Expensive, but totally worth it (especially view from Pahu I'a. Go early and have a drink at the bar on the beach before dinner. Our least favorite meal was Merriman's.

Also, don't miss Hapuna Beach - about a 15 minute drive from Waikoloa and a pristine stretch of beach. Mornings were far more enjoyable there than evenings.

Happy Honeymoon!
beanweb24 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2008, 12:45 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Sorry...meant to also include an "official" link to Hali'i Kai.

http://www.haliikai.com/index.html
beanweb24 is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 08:59 AM
  #12  
 
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The Hilton is much nicer than the Marriott and is in the same area. If you can find a comparable rate (the Hilton has good specials) I'd look into switching.

There are so many great things to do on the BI--it is our favorite Hawaiian island. Definitely check out the volcano park and tidepool snorkeling on the east side of the island. Yes, a long drive, but beautiful and you can stop in the little towns along the way.
Gellers is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 09:30 AM
  #13  
 
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I would try the soon to be reopened Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. It is on the best beach on the island, and they just spent $150 million rebuilding and refurbishing the hotel. Packages start at $385 a night according to a flyer I got in the mail.
iamq is offline  
Nov 30th, 2008, 11:41 PM
  #14  
 
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We loved Merrimans when we were there and in fact ate there twice. Try to stay near the volcano one night since the drive can be far from Kona. Also we did a horseback ride near the falls that was great.
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