Notices

Just back from Oahu & Maui

Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 08:29 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 126
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just back from Oahu & Maui

Aloha fodorites! Just returned from 18 days in paradise... this was my 4th trip to the islands (3rd to Oahu, and 2nd to Maui...) traveling with hubby (2nd trip) and parents (1st trip).

I know some folks enjoy the details and stories...while others just want to get right down to it. For the later group, you can skip down through to the end.

Part I - Oahu
Started out on Oahu for 3 days, staying at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel ($120/night on Expedia) Just okay. Wasn't expecting much but would have rather been at the Hawaiiana or Queen's Surf. Enjoyed Tiki's for dinner, and Wolfgang Puck Express was convenient for a quick breakfast or lunch. Grab and go across the street to the beach! Starbucks, is around the corner too...not really a fan, but there are no coffee makers in the rooms. Had a partial ocean view which was nice, but above Tiki's so kind of noisy at night. One night there were fireworks that sounded liked they were just outside our room...futher inspection confirmed they were being set off from the beach just across the street. Pretty cool.

It was overcast with occasional showers the day we flew in. Picked up the rental car around 3:30pm and sat in rush hour traffic on the H1 for at least an hour. Popped in the cd of Hawaiian tunes I burned. (Shout out to the fodorites that listed all their favorites on a thread awhile back!) Hit Dukes for our maiden mai-tai and so my folks could experience the scene there, and Tikis for dinner which has in my experience always been not great, but consistently good. The first night it poured rain and continued to come down well into the morning with flash flood warnings for Honolulu/Waikiki. Enjoyed a morning stroll in the rain, walked along the road (Kahala Ave?) that takes you from the edge of Kapiolani Park, up around Daimond Head to a lookout on the frontside of the volcano. Beautiful landscaping done along the road. One of my favorite places to just sit and watch the surfers and take in the view. Eventually the sun came out allowing us to dry out and warm up on Waikiki Beach. Decided to take an outrigger canoe ride - so much fun! I only wish we would have grabbed the disposable camera. Nice to see the coast, hotels, Diamond Head etc from the water. Saw turtles. Caught a few fun waves. Mom squealed like a little kid. Had a few close calls almost running over clueless kids on surfboards (really became clear just how dangerous it is out there when it's crowded and people do not know what they are doing)

Stumbled upon Sansei for dinner (had been to the Kapalua location on Maui a few yrs ago...) Did the Omasaka (tasting menu) So so good! Can't remember it all...but there was a yummy rock shrimp dish, crab & mango hand roll, butterfish, panko-crusted ahi sashimi. One of the best meals of the trip!

Hubby and I surfed early the next morning (before the crowds), very fun...but forgot how quickly we tire out paddling. Had planned to take my parents around the island (by way of the windward coast and north shore...) somewhow managed to miss the news about the mudslides/flooding and were quickly turned around on the Pali Highway. Managed to get over to Kaneohe via another route. Along the way we picked up a newspaper, realized the devastation, and then saw it all first hand. We continued cautiously north along the windward coast. The skies were grey, the ocean brown, homes flooded, businesses & schools closed....however, if you turned your gaze to the mountains there were hundreds and hundreds of waterfalls just pouring down a green canvas. A reminder of the power & beauty of mother nature.

In the area of Punalu'u (I think) we found a bar/restaurant that was OPEN. woohoo! We were the only ones there and got the royal treatment from our bartender Nicole. Had burgers and bloody marys and played horse shoes out back. One of those fun, little unexpected discoveries...

We continued north and hit the shrimp trucks just in time for an afternoon snack. Nicole, the bartender, recommended Maki's across from Turtle Bay and they did not disappoint. Perfectly dressed in butter & garlic and washed down with tropical smoothies. YUM!

We drove along the north shore and pulled over at Pipeline. The Women's T&C Pipeline contest holding period had begun...but was not on this day. I couldn't believe how poor the conditions were (small and dirty)and the fam was not impressed. We hung out for awhile and watched the girls practice then moved on to Laniakai (Turtle Beach) NO turtles and the weather/ocean conditions were ick so we didn't stay long. Stopped to the right of Haleiwa Harbor and took a walk around the point towards the set of Lost. It started to pour so we turned around before seeing the set and headed into Haleiwa for a little shopping. Scored some yummy shave ice (Lilikoi) at Aoki's and finally some aunthentic smelling plumeria oil.

Headed back down to Waikiki. It was a fun day, but would have been nice if my family could have seen the sights and beaches of the windward coast and north shore the way it really is. They really didn't seem to mind though, they were more concerned for everyone's safety and well-being.

Last night in Waikiki. I think we were all ready to move on and settle into our digs on Maui. Baggage Direct met us at our hotel and delivered our boarding passes and took our bags - highly recommend this service! We would be going to Pearl Harbor early before our flight out and didn't want to have all our bags in the rental car.

On the way to Pearl Harbor, a stop at Leonard's for malasadas. They open at 6:30 which was perfect. Enjoyed our warm, doughy goodness outside the store. Favorites were the plain and haupia filled. Arrived at the Arizona Memorial around 7:15 and there were already several tour busses and several hundred people ahead of us. Once they started letting everyone in, the line moved quicky and we were assigned to the 3rd group. Just enough time to wander about, take pics, check out the bookstore etc. The first rainbow we saw happened to be here over Pearl Harbor, profound. We did the optional audio tour, which I found helpful for some things but not everything. My parents really appreciated having it. The movie was really good and the whole tour quite moving (just like everyone says...) It was especially so for my stepfather who was in the Navy. It was not something my husband and I would have done on our own...but I'm glad we did it. We did not tour the Missouri or Bowfin, and were done by 11am.

Since we had a few hours before our flight and didn't have to check-in... we decided to take the Round Top/Tantalus Drive. Very nice! Really enjoyed the drive, seeing all the beautiful homes hanging off the side of the mountain, and pulling over to take in the views. We pulled into Punchbowl for a short time before our stomachs began to growl...time to go find food. I had no idea where we were headed, but we found a plate lunch fundraiser going on outside a grocery store and that looked good to us. So we tailgated in the parking lot, enjoying our bbq chicken, 2 scoop rice and side salad.

Oahu favorites (from this trip)
- outrigger canoe ride
- early morning surf
- early morning walk around Kapiolani park & Diamond Head
- Sensai's tasting menu
- Okinawan (purple sweet) mashed potatoes at Tiki's (or anywhere you can get them!)
- Burgers at local place in Punalu'u
- Maki's Shrimp Truck
- Aoki's Lilikoi
- Terranova plumeria oil
- Baggage Direct!
- Malasadas from Leonards (haupia-filled)
- Arizona Memorial
- Round Top/Tantalus Drive

Part II and III to come...










acaigirl is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:18 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,158
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi acaigirl, glad you had a good trip. I feel validated that you liked Aoki's, that's what I always recommend. Aoki's is so good for shave ice!!
MelissaHI is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 09:49 AM
  #3  
bonniebroad
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
acaigirl, great, great detailed report with a lot of good info that others can read and use! Thanks so much for sharing with us; I look forward to the next installment!
 
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 04:39 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 5
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Great trip report!! Sorry to hear about the rainy weather. I have a question... what is Terranova plumeria oil?? I love plumeria so I was just curious! Thanks!! : )
wendy1212 is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:02 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wendy - I was curious too, so I googled it. Got this:
http://uncommonscents.com/teisesgapipl.html
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:03 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
BTW - I forgot to say that I'm enjoying acaigirl's trip report!
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:07 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,068
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
And this - the original:
http://www.terranovabody.com/island-.../plumeria.html
kamahinaohoku is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 06:34 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 126
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey MelissaHI, I think it may have been you that directed me to Aoki's 2 yrs ago. hmmm..I think it was also you that gave me some good running tips last year. Mahalo!

Yep, that's the stuff. I <puffy heart> it.

Glad you are liking so far... hopefully I can start working on the Maui portion soon and maybe post some of the 900 photos I took.
acaigirl is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 10:20 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Aloha, loved your details regarding Oahu. We leave next Thursday for Oahu, Waikiki Beach Hotel for 5 nights and then on to Maui. Should we check into the Hawaiiana or Queens Surf, why did you think they would be better. It's our 20th anniversary, and want it a little more special. Thanks
greenrealtor is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:09 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 126
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Aloha greenrealtor,

I almost didn't mention anything about the hotel because it really wasn't a big deal to us. No I didn't love it, but it was a place to sleep and shower...and I knew we had found a special place on Maui for the 2nd half of our trip.

What I liked about the ResortQuest Waikiki Beach was it's location. I like the southern end of Waikiki near Kapiolani Park best. Plus there aren't any hotels on the beach obstructing the view, it feels more open and less crowded than the opposite end to me. It's nice to walk around and actually be able to see the ocean. The price was good on Expedia and my parents insisted there be a pool (which Queen's Surf does not have) I enjoy Tiki's which is the restaurant right there. But for the most part, it was all about price and location.

What I didn't like was the noise from Tiki's at night. It's pretty bad. Granted, I'm a heavy sleeper so it wasn't a huge issue but not everyone is so it could be a bigger issue. The room was very small and poorly lit. We felt cramped, and like we couldn't unwind when we got back to our room. I just wasn't comfy there.

One more note, as you can probably tell from the website pics the decor is retro-hawaiian, total kitch. some love it, some hate it. It's not my style...but even I thought it was fun. However, if we were there more or had it been for more than a few nights it could have gotten old.

A few thoughts on the Hawaiiana & Queen's Surf...

Hawaiiana - love the atmosphere and people there. low-rise, low-key, quiet, old hawaiian feel. room kind of dingy, but there's a kitchenette and for the money it's a pretty sweet deal.

Queen's Surf - this is still my fave in the budget category. It doesn't have the same feel as the Hawaiiana (as it doesn't have the grounds) but the room I had was beautiful, loved the balinese style furniture/decor, nice linens & comfy bed, kitchenette, very clean and what a VIEW. I could see the ocean and a full on view of Diamond Head towering above the trees of Kapiolani Park. I'm a sucker for a good view...and so I was very happy there.

To be completely honest with you, I wouldn't stay at the ResortQuest again especially to celebrate such a huge milestone anniversary. It's just so intense there. We were celebrating our 5th, but knew we had booked a special place on Maui for that portion of our trip. Since you leave next week, I would probably just go with it. Hopefully your experience will be better.

Happy Anniversary & Aloha!
acaigirl is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 11:16 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thank you so much for all the info, I've been worried about this hotel, I do have some options - we are booked through Pleasant Hawaiian. I had thought this may work and then go a little nicer in Maui. We are booked at the ResortQuest Mahana in Maui, do you know anything about that?
greenrealtor is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 01:59 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,158
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
oh, gosh! I didn't realize that!! I am so glad I could help!
MelissaHI is offline  
Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 02:51 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 36
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Your stay in Oahu at the Waikiki Beach hotel - what type of room did you have? Ours is an oceanview Studio, I was thinking it has a lanai - will that help anything do you think???
greenrealtor is offline  
Old Mar 24th, 2006, 04:17 AM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 126
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I honestly don't know much about the room categories there...but we were upgraded to partial oceanview. If you are oceanview I'm willing to guess you may be safe. You could always request that your room not be west-facing and/or a ask for a higher number floor.

Sorr, but I know nothing about the Maui hotel.

good luck!
acaigirl is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
wiselindag
United States
14
Jun 8th, 2010 08:58 AM
wallos
United States
4
Oct 23rd, 2008 10:03 PM
colombiana
United States
5
Jun 20th, 2007 10:52 AM
fivestar
United States
7
Apr 17th, 2006 06:23 PM
Spikeit
United States
5
Jun 28th, 2005 06:09 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