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Need guidance for honeymoon in Maui

Old Feb 3rd, 2020, 11:12 AM
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Need guidance for honeymoon in Maui

Hi everyone, I'm looking for guidance on a potential honeymoon in Maui. I could do packages at Costco Travel, Southwest Vacations, Marriott, or Pleasant Hawaiian - all of which I'm a little familiar - but I wasn't sure if I could get better deals and better lodging on my own. I've read so much on the Fodors website and in its forums but it can be overwhelming, and I was thinking maybe I could get some custom advice for our situation. So I thought I'd try. Here is our situation we have to work with. We would travel from Orange County, CA in early January 2021, for maybe 5-7 nights (wedding is Jan. 2, the only time we could get our families to come, some from out of country, so we'd leave a day or two after that). My bride-to-be has never been to Hawaii. I have been to Maui and Oahu once each. Enjoyed both, but felt Maui would be better honeymoon location. While we generally want something quieter and romantic, we would love to be nearby shopping/restaurants, even a little nightlife - the less driving the better (if we can save money by not having a rental car/parking, nice, but not sure it's possible in Hawaii). So some balance I guess. We are in our late 40s/early 50s. And with all the wedding expenses, which we have to pay for ourselves, we are on a little bit of a tight total budget, in the $3,500-5,000 range if possible. Any advice on flight, lodging (including cities), ground transport, and activities is welcome and appreciated. Last 2 things on lodging ... If I could do a Marriott hotel, at least I get points for being part of their program. However, kitchen/laundry like in a condo could be nice/cost-saving, but never done that before and have no idea where to start, but maybe that is not worth all the work to find something (we've done mini hotel suites with those amenities and found it helpful). Thanks for any help (sorry for the excess info).
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Old Feb 4th, 2020, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ameister View Post
Hi everyone, I'm looking for guidance on a potential honeymoon in Maui. I could do packages at Costco Travel, Southwest Vacations, Marriott, or Pleasant Hawaiian - all of which I'm a little familiar - but I wasn't sure if I could get better deals and better lodging on my own. I've read so much on the Fodors website and in its forums but it can be overwhelming, and I was thinking maybe I could get some custom advice for our situation. So I thought I'd try. Here is our situation we have to work with. We would travel from Orange County, CA in early January 2021, for maybe 5-7 nights (wedding is Jan. 2, the only time we could get our families to come, some from out of country, so we'd leave a day or two after that). My bride-to-be has never been to Hawaii. I have been to Maui and Oahu once each. Enjoyed both, but felt Maui would be better honeymoon location. While we generally want something quieter and romantic, we would love to be nearby shopping/restaurants, even a little nightlife - the less driving the better (if we can save money by not having a rental car/parking, nice, but not sure it's possible in Hawaii). So some balance I guess. We are in our late 40s/early 50s. And with all the wedding expenses, which we have to pay for ourselves, we are on a little bit of a tight total budget, in the $3,500-5,000 range if possible. Any advice on flight, lodging (including cities), ground transport, and activities is welcome and appreciated. Last 2 things on lodging ... If I could do a Marriott hotel, at least I get points for being part of their program. However, kitchen/laundry like in a condo could be nice/cost-saving, but never done that before and have no idea where to start, but maybe that is not worth all the work to find something (we've done mini hotel suites with those amenities and found it helpful). Thanks for any help (sorry for the excess info).
First of all- congratulations on your engagement and upcoming nuptials! I hope that I can help, at least a little, by sharing what tidbits of Maui knowledge I have managed to piece together over recent years. Although my husband and I live on Oahu, we like to travel inter-island for “staycations” to get away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. In the past 2-3 years we seem to have wound up on Maui quite frequently for a variety of reasons- mostly meeting friends and family visiting from the mainland.

We’ve stayed in a few places- all across the budget-board lol! We’ve stayed in
  1. A vacation rental condo in Kihei
  2. At The Grand Wailea (in Wailea)
  3. At The Four Seasons (in Wailea)
  4. At The Hyatt Regency (in Ka’anapali)
All have their pros & cons, but I’ll be honest and say that I enjoy the Wailea area the most, and though I love how amazing the staff are at The Four Seasons, my favorite property has been The Grand Wailea.
We always fly into Kahului, and always get a rental car. When we stayed at the Hyatt and The Grand Wailea, we used Costco’s vacation package bundling service because their prices were actually better than the kama’aina (local/resident) discounts that are frequently available.
When we used VRBO to rent the condo in Kihei we sort of piecemealed our own vacation package and it was quite a bit less expensive than the resort package bundle, but our rental property was VERY dated and had some bizarre features (like our AC unit was on a timer and would automatically shut itself off every half hour,) and the condo was on the main strip in Kihei, so it was pretty noisy for Maui. While the property was gated and we were on the second floor, it still never felt 100% safe, and we live in a “colorful” neighborhood on Oahu, so that was strange for me. Each property is vastly different, but I would pay close attention to both reviews and rules when booking vacation rentals.
The Grand Wailea is a stunning hotel from the minute that you turn down the drive. It’s also HUGE but doesn’t feel overwhelming somehow. It’s luxurious without being intimidating, the pools are great and there are quite a few of them. While the majority of the pools are geared toward the younger guests (kids) the adult pool is an oasis of calm. The hotel also provides a finite number of beach lounge chairs with umbrellas that they put up each morning, which is great. It’s quite competitive securing these though (first come, first serve) so be prepared to either get there early or be patient and wait your turn!
Each time we visit, we try to do something new, and so far our favorites have been:
  • Molokini snorkel tour. I would highly recommend Pride of Maui. We did the morning tour and the price of the tour included a continental breakfast, BBQ lunch, open bar (!) snorkel equipment and fun boat ride out to an amazing snorkeling spot.
  • Luau- I loved the show at The Grand Wailea luau and it’s right on the beach (The Grand Luau at Honua’ula is the name of that one) and I loved the food at The Feast of Lele in Lahaina. The “best” luau (that we still haven’t made it to sadly, because it’s always booked months in advance) is considered to be The Old Lahaina Luau.
  • Paia- we love this sleepy little artist town. This is more my style of shopping- laid back, old-school, artsy. And the best restaurant (in my opinion) on Maui is Mama’s Fish House, which is just a little off the main strip of Paia.
  • Helicopter Tour. We splurged on our last trip and did Blue Hawaiian Maui Spectacular Tour and it was AMAZING! It was a 1.5 hour full-island tour with a champagne toast landing on Haleakala. Kinda spendy, but worth every penny in my book!
  • Sunrise (or Sunset!) at Haleakala. There’s a reason why it’s constantly recommended in every guide book. It’s unearthly. You DO have to make a reservation through the national parks system, so do this as far in advance as you can! It fills up FAST!
I would maybe recommend staying in a vacation rental to start, and then maybe splurge and stay in a resort for the last few nights. Then you can use some of the money that you save and do something extra special!
I would also maybe just check out prices on Kauai too. Maui is a little bit more expensive (in general) than Kauai or Big Island, and we really enjoy Kauai as a romantic and relaxing getaway. Let me know if I can be of any further help! Aloha!!!!



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Old Feb 4th, 2020, 11:33 AM
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While we generally want something quieter and romantic, we would love to be nearby shopping/restaurants, even a little nightlife

Look at Lahaina. That's a really cute walkable town with lots to see and do readily available (restaurants, shops, bars, art galleries, the Old Lahaina Luau or Feast of Lele, etc.)

You do need a rental car anywhere on Maui imo.

Oh and don't miss going up Haleakala!!
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Old Feb 4th, 2020, 04:33 PM
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Look into renting a Marriott timeshare on Maui, at least one of their hotels (I think it is the Ocean Club) has timeshare units with kitchenettes, units are more spacious than a regular hotel room and has the benefits of a full service hotel like onsite restaurants, bars, etc. I have stayed at the Marriott Kauai Beach club and got points for my stay on stuff I charged at the hotel. Redweek is one site where you can rent timeshares from Marriott among others from the owners.
You need a rental car anywhere outside Honolulu.
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Old Feb 5th, 2020, 06:17 AM
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Last time we were on Maui, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Kaanapali for half the time and then in an Ekahi condo in Wailea. I would NOT recommend the HR because the pool area was always packed, and finding a chaise anywhere near shade was nearly impossible. You had to stand there with your towels, and pounce when someone got up (not exactly relaxing). In complete contrast, our Ekahi condo was on lovely grounds, very low key, with direct access to the beach through a small gate at the pool area. The condo itself was a little dated, but they are individually owned, so each one is updated and decorated differently.

FWIW, in general we love the vibe at Kaanapali (Wailea is a little TOO quiet for us) but the hotels at Wailea are much more upscale (the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons and Fairmont come to mind).
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 01:32 PM
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Thanks for the feedback

Originally Posted by ameister View Post
Hi everyone, I'm looking for guidance on a potential honeymoon in Maui. I could do packages at Costco Travel, Southwest Vacations, Marriott, or Pleasant Hawaiian - all of which I'm a little familiar - but I wasn't sure if I could get better deals and better lodging on my own. I've read so much on the Fodors website and in its forums but it can be overwhelming, and I was thinking maybe I could get some custom advice for our situation. So I thought I'd try. Here is our situation we have to work with. We would travel from Orange County, CA in early January 2021, for maybe 5-7 nights (wedding is Jan. 2, the only time we could get our families to come, some from out of country, so we'd leave a day or two after that). My bride-to-be has never been to Hawaii. I have been to Maui and Oahu once each. Enjoyed both, but felt Maui would be better honeymoon location. While we generally want something quieter and romantic, we would love to be nearby shopping/restaurants, even a little nightlife - the less driving the better (if we can save money by not having a rental car/parking, nice, but not sure it's possible in Hawaii). So some balance I guess. We are in our late 40s/early 50s. And with all the wedding expenses, which we have to pay for ourselves, we are on a little bit of a tight total budget, in the $3,500-5,000 range if possible. Any advice on flight, lodging (including cities), ground transport, and activities is welcome and appreciated. Last 2 things on lodging ... If I could do a Marriott hotel, at least I get points for being part of their program. However, kitchen/laundry like in a condo could be nice/cost-saving, but never done that before and have no idea where to start, but maybe that is not worth all the work to find something (we've done mini hotel suites with those amenities and found it helpful). Thanks for any help (sorry for the excess info).

Thank you for the feedback everyone!
ameister is offline  
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