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HockeyDad Jun 20th, 2003 11:19 AM

Maui, new to board, help
Greetings to all: I am new to the board so I hope you will indulge my newness and allow me a learning curve. I have spent the last several days reading the archives. Here goes. My wife and I are planning our 25th wedding anniversary trip for May/June 2004. We have decided we would like to go to Hawaii, at first cut looking very closely at Maui and Kauai, being that we have never been to either island before and have always heard wonderful things about others past visits to these locations. We have 15 nights to use. We are setting a budget of about $5,500 - $6,000. We will be flying out of Newark, NJ. That?s the easy part. I am asking for opinions here on how others who have spent time in Hawaii would use those 15 nights. I enjoy golfing, snorkeling, and sightseeing, my wife is the ultimate beach bum, shopper, and we both enjoy dining out and nightly entertainment and relaxation. We are not looking for the big city, but do not want total seclusion. That?s a snapshot.

In a way I am on information overload from reading either travel forums or the book ?Maui Reveled.? We are trying to decide between a hotel or a condo, where on Maui to stay, should we go to Kauai or stay on Maui for the 15 nights. I have been researching the condo Maui Kai, read some of the archives here, and see it?s a ?Gold Value? by Maui Reveled. The view looks spectacular and the price seems right. I am little uneasy about the different owners and the disparity between one condo?s upkeep to another and knowing what units to request vs. avoiding others. I would appreciate all comments. As far as Kauai is concerned, I have yet to buy ?Kauai Reveled.?

So folks, I await your help and promise that I will provide you a very detailed daily report of my trip. I am in the process of setting up my website that will have the pretrip planning, the daily onsite report, and the post trip recap. I?ve got 10 months to go and let the fun begin. Thanks for your indulgence and I look forward to being an active participant on this board.



JohnD Jun 20th, 2003 01:37 PM

Hello, I believe you will save money using condo's, though it might be worth spending a few nights at a Hotel to get rapidly acquainted with Hawaii and have everything at your fingertips. The Maui Revealed book has a website where you can get individual reviews of condos. Check it out, they usually link to the property management's own website where you can get pictures of condo's so you have an idea what to expect. Kauai has less condo's to offer but some have excellent virtual tours where you see the inside of the condo unit you will be renting-these can be found easily by searching internet using keywords "Kauai condo" for example. As you gain experience you can try, where the best rates are usually found since you rent directly throught the owner. Hawaiian travel agencies can be found by searching internet and they often have useful info. about various properties and are easier to work with because they take credit cards and do not require a check. See "Ultimate Guide to Kauai" and also consider visiting the Big Island as it has an active volcano. Good Luck, and feel free to ask questions. :S-

Patty Jun 20th, 2003 01:41 PM

Welcome HockeyDad!
I think Maui and Kauai are great choices for a first time visit. I personally prefer Kauai over Maui, but Maui does give you far more options for dining, shopping, and nightlife. Kauai will be much quieter, but it's not 'total seclusion'. I think the two islands provide a good mix and would split it one week on each.

As for condo vs. hotel, condos will generally give you more space and be a better value as long as you don't need all of the resort amenities. I've been renting directly from condo owners the last 3 years and like that I can see pictures of the actual unit I'll be renting. Renting from the owner is also slightly cheaper but does take a leap of faith. So far we've had pretty good results. I haven't stayed at the Maui Kai so can't comment on the property. We stayed at an oceanview unit at the Royal Kahana which was immaculate but it's a 2 bedroom so may be larger than what you're looking for. is a good place to start. Happy planning.

islandmom Jun 20th, 2003 01:45 PM

I would spend the majority of the time in Maui and maybe 4 or 5 days in Kauai. Sounds like you found a good spot in Maui. On Kauai I like the Poipu area since it is beautiful with still lots to do. Condos are the way to go to save money and cook in sometimes.

Pick where you are staying and what dates then you can plan your days and activities from there.

Rusty Jun 20th, 2003 01:48 PM

You mention dining out and nightly entertainment. That is Maui. Far fewer dining options on Kauai vs Maui and virtually no nightlife on Kauai. Maui is a good choice based on your stated preferences. You could spend the whole time on Maui but you should experience at least one other island. Waikiki (Oahu) is out because you are not interested in a city. Therefore, you are down to Kauai and the Big Island. Lanai and Molokai are not a good idea for first timers because they are "special" islands that appeal to only a few people. For a second island Kauai is a good bet, with the Big Island being a possibility. If Kauai is your first inclination go for it. But be warned it is very quiet and appeals mainly to those who enjoy hiking, beautiful scenery and tranquility.

bluefan Jun 20th, 2003 02:11 PM

I'll try to offer some help re Maui. Based on your budget for 15 nights, a condo definitely sounds more feasible than a hotel, and I assume you?ll stay on Maui anywhere from 7 to 10 nights. BUT you might want to consider the Maui Prince Hotel at Makena (just south of Wailea) because it is a well-located hotel for your particular interests. Tee times at the Makena Golf Courses are more affordable than those at Wailea and Kapalua, while just as nice, and staying at the Maui Prince will get you reduced rates (down to $95-$105 per But do play in the mornings before the afternoon tradewinds kick up. You can also check out special rates on The Maui Prince is also the closest resort to Ahihi Keanau Reserve (great snorkeling spots such as the Aquarium and Fishbowl) and other wonderful snorkeling spots in Wailea, as well as just off the resort itself. It?s also very close to one of the best beaches on Maui?Big Beach! And it?s also dangerously close to Wailea where your wife can do some serious damage at The Shops at Wailea. And since it appears you two enjoy dining out, you wouldn?t make as much use of the cost-cutting feature of a condo (kitchen) anyways.

However, the Maui Kai seems like a very good choice based on its rates and close proximity to Kaanapali. If you don?t mind crowds too much, you might want to consider staying in a condo within Kaanapali (e.g., Whaler or Kaanapali Ali?I) which will place you next to Whaler?s Village for good shopping and dining (Hula Grill) as well as within a short walking distance to Black Rock for some good snorkeling and sunset ceremonies. You?ll also be right next to the Kaanapali Golf Courses which offer discounts to guests of Kaanapali resorts.

If you?re planning to play a lot of golf, definitely factor in the savings of discounted tee times for resort hotels and condos vs. non-resort condos.

For an approximate eight day stay in Maui with a limited budget, I would recommend the following: 2 days golf (min $100 per round), 1 day Road to Hana (your wife should enjoy Black Sand and Hamoa Beach), 1 day trip around NW Maui (great snorkeling at Honolua Bay if waves are calm) and to Iao Valley, 1 day morning snorkel trip to Molokini and afternoon trip to Haleakala, 2 days of pure relaxation poolside or at the wonderful beaches on Maui (mix it up between West and South Maui), 1 day shopping and siteseeing at Lahaina. Increasing the amount of siteseeing and relaxation and limiting the number of paid excursions should allow you to maintain your budget. I would also recommend a few dinners at Hula Grill (outdoors) and Cheeseburger in Paradise for some delicious meals and fun evenings at reasonable prices. Hope this helps!!!

beachbum Jun 20th, 2003 02:16 PM

As one who's also been married (to the same woman) for 25+ years, I'm wondering if there's a common understanding between HockeyDad and posters as to the meaning of "nightly entertainment". I know it doesn't take a lot to entertain me!!! Maybe all HockeyDad is looking for is a luau, and some hawaiian music to go along with his maitai.

uuhhhh Jun 20th, 2003 02:20 PM

"Tee times at the Makena Golf Courses are more affordable than those at Wailea and Kapalua,...."

bluefan, where have you played that you had to pay to make a tee time?

Rusty Jun 20th, 2003 02:50 PM

Take one thing at a time.

Which Islands:
Split your time between Maui and Kauai. Your guess as to how much time on each island is right for you is better than the guess of a stranger.

Condo or hotel:
Stay in a condo. They are run just like a hotel. If you don't like the room ask for another one, just like you would in a hotel.

Everything Else:
Let everything else just happen when you get there. You will quickly find out what to do and where to go. There are only a few "must do's". Everything else depends on your personal preference.

Don't pay any attention to anyone who says "I loved xx, therefore you will love it too" Not so. Ask WHY people liked certain things and places and then decide if you will also like them.

lahainaluna Jun 20th, 2003 03:52 PM

You are going to love the islands! Great anniversary destination. I agree with these earlier posts and would split my time between Maui and Kauai. I would start with Maui and get all the "beginning of vacation/sight seeing energy" out of your system. There is a lot to see there and you can stay busy every day if you would like. Once you are relaxed and ready to take it easy, head to Kauai. Kauai is the place to work on romance, your tan, snorkeling and a good book. You can take the time to enjoy each other and celebrate your 25 years together.

My strongest suggestion is to get an early morning interisland flight. If you fly in the middle of the day, as most travel agents seem to book, you will not only face the crowds but waste an entire day traveling. If you can check into your next hotel in the morning you have the rest of the day to enjoy. If you can, fly out of Kapalua airport instead of Kahalui. It is very small and about 5 miles from Kaanapali. You save the rental car and check in lines at the big airport.

I have made a few posts about the Maui Kai because I have stayed there for years and would not stay anywhere else. I like room #402 but they have standards that all rentals must meet. It is similar to a hotel in that you can change to a different room if you aren't happy with the one they give you. Each has a different decor because each owner can choose what they like. They all have the basics like a toaster, blender, pots and pans, dishes, oven, full sized fridge, mircowave, coffee maker, dishes, TV/VCR and stereo. It is nice to be able to eat in sometimes, especially breakfast, and have a place to keep fruit, snacks and, of course, your anniversary champagne.

For a trip as long as 15 days I would suggest condos instead of hotels. The condos are more like home and have the ammenities you will appreciate.

Have a great trip! Planning is a big part of the fun and this site is a great resource. Happy anniversary.

bluefan Jun 20th, 2003 04:34 PM

uuhhh, why don't you try to be helpful? Tee time vs. round, I think most golfers get the picture as both words are often used synonymously. BTW, there are agencies you may pay (e.g. click4teetimes or stand-bygolf) if you would like to reserve tee times at popular golf courses.

uuhhh, why don't you contribute by providing some travel info for HockeyDad, like other golf courses to consider, condos, restaurants, activities, etc? Myself and others would like to hear your opinions on such matter.

pspercy Jun 20th, 2003 06:27 PM

For more reading material & ideas, the state of Hawaii publishes free magazine format mini-guides as an overview for each island. I think the one for Kauai is particularly good. You can order them at

For a fifteen day trip, without knowing likes/dislikes etc but having visited both I'd split 10 for Maui & end with the remainder on Kauai.. or maybe 9 & 6, love 'em both !!

circa Jun 21st, 2003 12:30 AM

Right On....bluefan!!!!

HockeyDad Jun 21st, 2003 08:00 AM

Whew, thanks for all the initial responses. I am headed out to the book store to pick up the Kauai books. I will also be checking out the rest of the links you folks offered. Golf will be in my future while my lovely wife works on her tan. I hope to get in 4 rounds. Is showing up as a single a problem?

BTW Beachbum, thanks for understanding nightly entertainment doe not always mean going out. Lahainaluna you info on Muai Kai is also good news to hear.



HockeyDad Jun 21st, 2003 08:04 AM

Also, lahainaluna, where from you opinion is the best place to book a condo at Maui Kai? Thanks


puddy Jun 21st, 2003 08:15 AM

Does the $6000 budget include everything spent during the 15 days or only airfare, lodging, and car?

Here are some rough estimates of what things will cost for 2 people:

Car - $600 (midsize at $35 per)
EWR to OGG - $1200
Interisland Flights - $280
Lodging - $2250 ($150 per)
Total: $4330

Depending on deals offered, prices could be higher or lower.

lahainaluna Jun 21st, 2003 08:32 AM

I would just contact the Maui Kai at 800-367-5635. The site is Keep in mind the photo sort of makes it look as if you are all alone on the point but the Mahana (another condo building) in to the south and the former Embassy Suites is to the north. The good thing is the Embassy Suites property has a couple of resturaunts and a good bar. Nice for the days you want to stay in.

I have been renting directly from the owners of #402 for the last couple of trips and I can put them in contact with you if you would like to e-mail me at hermesthecat (at) They can send you some photos of that unit too. They are really nice people and can give you some good info about the area. I have found them a good resource for Lahaina and Maui. They are the ones that told me to fly into the Kapalua airport instead of Kahalui. It is only a mile up the road instead of the 45 minute drive.

I know that e-mail address looks weird but the @ sign is something that the junk e-mail spider programs look at to send all that silly junk mail to so just replace the (at) with the @ sign.

Again, have a great trip!

Gale Jun 21st, 2003 09:27 AM

Definitely plan to spend most of your time on second choice of an island would be The Big Island...seeing the volcano spewing lava is a not be missed sight...great to see at night too but the drive back to the other side (Kona) is a long one. I'd also try to see Pearl Harbor upon arrival in Hawaii. If you're flying out of Newark, your flight will probably be a direct flight into Oahu.
Check out www.mauihawaiicondo (Grand Champions Villa condo)for a really reasonably priced condo in Wailea. Staying in Wailea versus staying at the Maui Kai will get you discount rates at the Wailea golf courses. The condos were built in 1990 so they're among the newest in that area.

HockeyDad Jun 21st, 2003 11:03 AM

Thanks Gail, I will definetly look at their website.

HockeyDad Jun 21st, 2003 11:05 AM

Puddy, that is my total budget, I am leaving room for food, golf, and souvenirs, etc....

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