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Lodging tips/suggestions for first trip to Hawaii

Lodging tips/suggestions for first trip to Hawaii

Nov 15th, 2007, 09:52 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 21
Thanks for all the great feedback! Gellers, I haven't actually ruled out Maui but was leaning toward the Big Island for the following reasons: Volcano NP & Mauna Kea summit (my husband is a big science/astronomy nerd and LOVES this kind of stuff) as well as the thought that our $ may go a little further. Samsaf, I saved your trip report-Thanks!- and completely agree with saving the best accomodations for the end of the trip -hate leaving & feeling disappointed knowing it could have been better. Regarding flights, we are using frequent flyer miles with Northwest (while we still have them!) so that limits us. It's at least a 12 hour flight from Michigan, more depending on time between connections. When last I checked it seemed a lot of flights went through Honolulu and only in time for a late flight to the BI, hence the 10pm arrival time. Obviously we'll be trying to arrive as early as possible but in the end it's free so I won't complain too much! Regarding resort choices, from what I've seen on their websites I prefer the look of the rooms at the Fairmont (& Mauna Lani) to the Hapuna Prince. Just trying to decide if it's worth the extra $100+ per night. My husband returns from 2 weeks in Europe (business)tomorrow night so we'll actually be able to hammer out a plan together! Hoping to make some decisions and reservations by Sunday. I'll let you know what we come up with and I'm sure I'll think of more questions once we know "what & where". You have all been so helpful-- I can't say thank you enough! (this whole planning thing is kind of addicting though isn't it!)
melissaklob is offline  
Nov 16th, 2007, 05:48 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Melissa, we were able to find a "fifth night free" promotion at the Fairmont. I'm not sure if you would be able to find that deal in February.
Samsaf is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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Okay, update time. My husband arrived home safely from Europe and reminded me that we have both Marriott and Hilton rewards. So with an eye toward future planning we decided to sacrifice the great on-property beach and booked at the Hilton Waikaloa Village for Saturday through Thursday. The price was right at $259/nt. We're using miles and flying Northwest this trip. (Again, can't beat the price-$24 for two!) Unfortunately this limits us wrt arrival time and we land in Kona at 9:15 pm (Hilo was not an option w/NWA). We had originally hoped to spend Thursday and Friday night in Volcano then head to the Kohala Coast for the last six nights. I now think it would be best to stay in Kona the first night. Any suggestions as to a good place to sleep and also someplace open to grab a bite to eat? (FYI: DH thinks we should drive to Volcano regardless). Would staying just one night in Volcano be enough time? Also, do most hotels require a two night minimum in that area on weekends? I inquired at Kilauea Lodge (they had availability as of Weds) but really like the look of Hale Ohia. Thoughts? Any feedback is appreciated as always! Melissa
melissaklob is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 10:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Re: Driving to Volcano from Kona--after flight. We have been on the BI several times, most recently Nov. 2006. Since we are on the West Coast, we arrive in early afternoon and usually drive to a resort at Sea Mountain on the southern tip of the Island--about 50 miles.. From there it is about 20+ miles to VNP. I would not really like to drive that road in the dark. We have driven, at night, to a nearby town for dinner--less than 10 miles and driving either way is not great as there is little ambient light along the road
The same would be true when you get 10 or so miles past Kona.

I'd pick a motel in Kona, and get up early in the AM to do the driving. It is a pretty drive most of the way in the daylight. This is just my opinion. Ciao. mhm
mercy is offline  
Nov 29th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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Melissa, in your original post you said, "When I see pics of the Honolulu/Waikiki area I cringe-- high rises & big city are the exact opposite of what we're looking for."

Well, if you're staying at the Hilton Waikoloa, be prepared to cringe a little. It's by far the biggest, most sprawling resort on the Big Island. Think Disneyland, without the rides (although the Hilton does have tram and boat rides), and with thousands upon thousands of Asian tourists. Please note I'm not making any judgments here, I'm simply telling you what you're going to find at the Hilton. Just getting from your room to your car entails a 10-15 minute walk (or combined tram ride/walk).

If avoiding a Honolulu-like experience is high on your priority list, and you're limited to choosing either the Hilton or Marriott I'd recommend the latter of those two. It's smaller and less crowded, and is closer to A-Bay (the nearest natural white sand beach in the area).
fdecarlo is offline  
Dec 2nd, 2007, 09:48 PM
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Mercy, we've definitely decided to stick around Kona for the first night and do a leisurely drive to Volcano the next morning.

Fdecarlo, thanks for the warning. Marriott was our first choice of the two but there was a booking conflict with the dates we needed (couldn't get them all and didn't want to hop around too much). Maybe I'll keep checking to see if anything opens up next month.
melissaklob is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 05:51 AM
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melissaklob, fdecarlo is right about the guests at the HWV, regarding the massive amounts of Asian tourists. I've only visited there while staying at the Marriott, and noticed that. I would choose the Marriott because of it's location on A-Bay. Be sure to eat at Roy's in that area as it's one of his best.
elsiemoo is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2007, 05:52 AM
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One more thing, melissa. I would not drive to VNP until early the next morning, as others have suggested, and I would go the Northern route ... so beautiful!
elsiemoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 09:43 AM
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Thanks Elsiemoo, I guess I had always imagined taking the southern route and circling around but I suppose either way could work. Can anyone explain the significance of having a large amount of Asian tourists staying at the same resort?(I've seen mention in guidebooks as well as other forums and I'm not sure I really get the significance.)
melissaklob is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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Melissa, most travel guides recommend doing the Northern route rather than the Southern. Taking the Southern route is a lot of time and driving to see what you see, IMO, and the lush, green tropical beauty found on the Northern route is what I go to see, really. The information regarding many Asian tourists at a particular resort is what it is ... just giving you as many facts as possible about a place.
elsiemoo is offline  
Dec 5th, 2007, 12:41 PM
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If the live volcano is a must-have, then your island choice is already made for you!
suze is online now  
Dec 12th, 2007, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 26
My wife and I just returned from Maui yesterday. We managed to get a package deal through Expedia that covered air fare from New York and condo on the beach that would fit your budget. I don't know if you are set on the BI.While we enjoyed our tour there in March, we really fell in love with the west coast of Maui. The package we had gave us a week in a studio condo at ResortQuest at Papakea. I would not hesitate to go back there in a minute. They do have a web site if you google their name. Driving can be expensive with gas at $3.84 on Maui and $4.26 on Lanai. For deals on car rentals my wife found them on Hotwire about 4-6 weeks before leaving. This trip we had a car from Alamo for $12/day. I remember several words of wisdom from a tour guide on the BI. Don't pick up any rocks for fear of Madame Pele's wrath and lots of bad luck and when you go to see the lava flows, you are too close when your shoes start to melt. One final thought. Norwegian Cruise lines have 7 day cruises through the islands. My wife and I did one in March on the Pride of Hawaii and used the boat as a floating hotel. If you go to the cruise forum here you will see mixed reviews of these trips. Experienced cruisers tend not to like the trip where we came with no expectations and had a great time. Some of their 7 day trips have gone as low as $595 pp. This was just another thought on a way to get a taste of all the islands. No matter where you go I am sure you will have a wonderful time. Hawaii is beautiful!
mceby is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 43
Anyone stay at the Wyndham Kona Hawaiian resort or the Mauna Loa Village?
Has the situation with the Lava flow changed? Can one see it up close?
tdvpnp is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 01:36 PM
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