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stever Jul 23rd, 2004 08:12 PM

If you only have 5 nights for Maui, OK to split 3 FS and 2 Hotel Hana Maui or better to stay in 1 place?
Not going to Hawaii till Sept 2005 but we've decided to stay at the FS Maui instead of the Ritz for our 5 night say there. We got the $425 Mountainside/Car included/Breakfast included deal. This will be the end of a trip that starts in Oahu for 4-5 nights (for a convention), then the BI at the Hapuna most probably for 5 nights, ending up with Maui for 5 nights. I just happened to be checking on cool stuff to do in Maui and I noticed alot of people take the road to Hana (which and I my wife have both done before but it's been 15 years) and then stay at the Hotel Hana Maui at Hana Ranch. Some of the Trip Advisor reviews on it say they liked it more than the FS Maui as it's incredibly relaxing and not near as crowded. It got me thinking... should be maybe stay at this incredible place too? Should we steal a day from the BI to do it and do 3 nights at the FS and 3 at Hotel Hana? We fly out that last day... wouldn't it be a VERY long drive out of Hana to get back to the airport, as opposed to just staying at the FS and leaving from there? If we stayed at Hana-Maui first, then it would be a very long drive the day we land there to get to the "Ranch". Is this just complicating our trip trying to stay here too? My wife doesn't like to change hotels alot, which is another consideration. In all actuality, we originally decided to blow off the road to Hana on this trip as it's a LONG day... and we've both done it. BUT, if we could take the road and just stop at the end and do the hotel for a couple of days, that might work...

What would you do?

gyppielou Jul 23rd, 2004 09:02 PM

Perhaps, and this is just a suggestion, fly into Maui early morning and head to Hana. The later start after flight and car pickup will mean a pleasanter ride, with no rush to get to anything. And then 2 nights before heading to 4S!!! I never have enough time in Hana, but two nights is always better than one!...and you can get an early or late start to Wailea. Fun!!!

stever Jul 23rd, 2004 09:36 PM

That's a good idea, going straight to Hana after an early morning flight from the BI. Leaving Maui at the end of the trip all the way from Hana that last day wouldn't be that stress-free! Do you think it's worth staying in Hana even though we have but 5 total nights on Maui? And lastly, if we can't afford the Sea Ranch Cottages, are the Garden View Junior suites still pretty great? I haven't seen one review on Trip Advisor of these Garden View cottages.

I'm guessing, how bad could they be at 697-835 sq. ft. each... Most people say you MUST stay at the Sea Ranch Cottages, but they are VERY expensive. The Garden View cottages are $375 vs $500 for the expensive cottages.


iamq Jul 24th, 2004 09:06 AM

Hotel Hana Maui is nice and I love Hana, but do you really want to pack and unpack AGAIN? It is a personal thing, but frankly when I visit the islands now, one island is enough, and I like to unpack 8-) and pack :'( only once. If you were spending the entire non-Oahu time in Maui, then 3 or 4 nights in Hana would seem more doable to me. To paraphrase something Kal posted a while back, I'm no longer a "hopper". I'm more of a "flopper". Have fun planning. My suggestion: Stick with the FS for the 5 nights. Whatever you decide, it sounds like you are in for a great and memorable trip.

snowrooster Jul 24th, 2004 09:50 AM

Personally, I stick with FS (though we actually stayed next door to it at Kea Lani, which we loved - all the rooms are hugh suites). I like to unpack and feel settled in, but that's me. Also, Hana is really out on its own - not much there at all (with the exception of the natural beauty). Definitely rent a four wheel drive vehicle for the Road to Hana - if you don't you have to drive the whole road back the way you came. With 4 wheel drive you can do a loop and not retrace your steps - we didn't rent 4 wheel drive and regretted it. Have a great time - there is so much to do one Maui (not to mention good ol' relaxing), why waste time changing hotels? :-)

Marilyn Jul 24th, 2004 09:58 AM

I would stay in one place.

stever Jul 24th, 2004 12:48 PM

Great advice, fodorites... I think you're right. There are ALOT of great hotels and places to see on the islands, but picking up, packing all that stuff all over again, turning in one rental car to get the free one we get at the FS for our stay there all takes, time, stress and most likely alot of frustrating moments. I guess it's better to keep it simple and just stay at the FS for the 5 nights.

Once again, I appreciate your input.


tstrohn Jul 24th, 2004 04:13 PM

I just wanted to comment on the post about needing a 4WD vehicle to do the whole road to Hana. We just got back from Maui about a week ago, and we did the entire Hana loop in a compact rental. It's very bumpy, but the car handled it just fine. I don't think it would've been any less scary in a 4WD vehicle.

ggrtist Jul 24th, 2004 04:51 PM

we had a trip last year, 6 days on Oahu followed with 4 days in Maui. We split Maui with a stay the last night in Hana (our flight the next day was a red-eye). We were really glad we did because we didn't have to leave for the Road to Hana super early and once we got there, we were able to explore the areas without keeping by a time schedule. Also by finishing the drive the next morning, we had a lot of time to see Oheo Gulch and hike to Waimoku Falls, (stopping for dips in lava pools, hiking through a bamboo forest) this was a great experience. We didn't know if we'd ever be back to Maui, so we wanted to get the most out of the short stay. If we ever go back, since we've seen the popular sites we can just relax. We don't pack a lot so changing hotels to get the most of a trip doesn't bother us, just adds more adventure :)

Also, we liked the jeep wrangler, driving with the top down seemed to enhance the experience, gave us a better look at the scenery.

turn_it_on Jul 24th, 2004 05:42 PM

In Hana last July, we stayed at the Hana Hale Malamalama. Their website is My trip report with lots of details is;tid=34436140.

It's right on Hana Bay and the property is lush and beautiful. We stayed in the Bamboo Inn Villa, a big two story villa with a full kitchen, a big glass block shower, and a freshwater tub on the porch! I think it was $225 a night. There's fresh tropical fruit in an open-sided hut overlooking the waterfall and fishpond each morning with the owner who is very nice and laid back.

It's a good alternative if you're looking to spend a little less, and there's several other housing options on the property for different rates.


stever Jul 24th, 2004 06:35 PM

Thanks Roxy... great trip report. I DID read it before via the search function and reread it again tonight. Sounds wonderful. We've both been to Hana before 15 years ago with different spouses, and originally in our 2005 Maui plans we thought we'd blow it off and try other stuff... that's until I started reading trip reports from Maui and about how great the Hotel Hana was.

I'll let some time go by and see how we feel about leaving the deal we have at the FS and maybe changing hotels midstream to do the Hotel Hana. I'm guessing my wife would rather just stay planted in one hotel so I'm not sure Hotel Hana will work after all. I showed her the pics on their website and she got excited about it, but I still just don't know.


gyppielou Jul 24th, 2004 09:06 PM

There are no wrong choices, as you will love and make beautiful memories wherever you arrive. If you believe your cup is half full, you will know you have arrived where you should and take advantage on you destination of choice and all it has to offer. And this positive living works from 1 star to 5 star.

Ashley24 Jul 25th, 2004 05:59 AM

I like your viewpoint! You are right!
Great way to look at things! Thanks for putting things in perspective!

gyppielou Jul 25th, 2004 08:31 PM

mahalo Ashley
I am trying to become a kinder, gentler gyppielou!

SAdamsrec Jul 26th, 2004 08:21 AM

It sounds like you have made up your mind not to split the trip but here are my two cents worth. We went to Hana for our first two days in Maui. We had the typical Mustang convertible and loved having the outside around us. Two nights in Hana is enough but we surely loved it. We actually loved our day driving past Hana even better than the drive to and from Hana. We had a deluxe junior garden suite, though we had booked a junior garden suite. It was totally comfortable, spacious and understatedly luxurious. We had one more day in Maui than you are planning so didn't find the moving around too much. Have fun!

stever Jul 26th, 2004 08:28 AM

Thanks for the perspective. I think we'll just keep it simple and stick with the FS after all for the entire stay in Maui and maybe blow off Hana altogether. We've both done it before, and we love relaxing, and seeing new things. Maybe we'll take a day trip to Haleakala and do the hike on the slippery sands trail (or whatever it's called) instead. Neither of us has done THAT.

Otherwise, the free rental car from the FS will have to be returned if we change hotels to do the Hotel Hana also, we'd have to get another rental car... and other aggravating stuff will happen too with the room change. If I was single, I really wouldn't care, but I don't want to put my wife through anything stressful at the end of a long trip away.

I hope we've made the right decision... I'm sure we have. There really aren't any wrong decisions here.


travelchik Jul 29th, 2004 07:05 AM

Steve, last year we spent a 6 nights at the Hotel Hana Maui and one night at the FS Maui. I have to tell you we hated the Four Seasons after being in seemed so anti Hawaii. The FS wa busy, crowded, with wall to wall people on the beach and at the pool. Women in latex bikinis with gold chains etc. I guess it's all in what you enjoy, but we loved the serenity of the Hotel Hana Maui, the scenery, being the only ones at the pool and the beach, reading a book and going horseback riding along the ocean. If you want to be busy busy busy, go out to eat at different restaurants, and shop, then Hana is definitely not for you. I will tell you the service at the FS is outstanding and they will do everything to make your stay enjoyable.

stever Aug 2nd, 2004 06:44 AM

Thanks travelchik. Great info... I wish I knew the perfect answer to my question for us. We like to relax, we like to shop, we like quiet, we like excitement, we like something totally different, we like standard fare... Maybe we should shave 1 night off our 5 night BI stay and do 3 nights at Hana Maui and 3 nights at the FS.

I wonder if 4 nights on the BI is enough? I think we basically want to relax by the beach at the Hapuna Prince (which will probably get boring after 2 hours for me as I can't take much sun), see some volcanic activity, and maybe hit Hilo for a couple of hours. I'm guessing 4 nights will be enough!

Lost in thought,

Kaymit Aug 3rd, 2004 10:52 AM


WE have a trip planned to Maui, Kauai and Honalulu for Sept. We are staying 6 nights in Maui. We are staying all 6 nights at one hotel but we are staying 1 night at the Hotel Hana Maui so we don't have to do the road in one day. I know it is extravegent two have 2 hotels for the same night but this way we don't have to check out of the first one so we can just take an overnight bag. We can't wait to stay at the Hotel Hana Maui even if we can only afford the one night.

Our plan is to go all the way around the road in a convertable if the weather conditions are Ok for doing that.

stever Aug 3rd, 2004 07:54 PM

To Kaymit: Thanks for your response. I'll bet you're one of the only ones out there to ever do it this way! Pretty cool plan. Are you staying in the Sea Ranch cottages or the cheaper cottages? Just curious. What is the other hotel you're staying at in Maui?

We're still not sure what to do... Maybe 4 nights at the FS and 2 at the Hana Ranch.

As long as I get to drive to the top of Mauna Kea in a 4X4 to experience the highest point in Hawaii (on the Big Island while we're there), I'm happy doing that for our now reduced 4 nights on that island...



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