Oahu and Maui Trip report

Apr 19th, 2007, 05:13 PM
  #1  
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Oahu and Maui Trip report

First, thanks to so many of you! Your posts really increased the anticipation of our trip, as well as helped us make some great decisions. I hope my post gives someone else a good idea or two.

It was our first trip to Hawaii -- we are a family of four, which is myself, husband, and 7 and 11 year old daughters. General impressions -- Hawaii lives up to all the hype and more. Spectacular beauty, lots of fun activities, and of course the best activity of all is sitting by the beach and doing nothing! We NEVER met a rude Hawaiian, which I think is astounding, and speaks to the wonderful nature of Hawaiian culture.

Three nights in Oahu
Stayed at Hilton HV. Very big but fun. Were upgraded to Ali'i tower which had lots of nice amenities and a nice view (not sure I would pay extra for it, but the private pool, h'or d'eouvres, free coffee were nice). Pool nice but crowded. Stay away from the shops. We LOVED Pearl Harbor, North Shore, Sharks Cove, Shave Ice. We liked Hanuama Bay, even though very crowded. Great food in Oahu-- Leonard's donuts (original better than cream kind), Kona Brew Pub, Dukes (totally fun) and our best meal of the whole trip at Orchids in Waikiki. Our girls were treated like princesses there, and it was just a totally special evening in every way. We only had two full days in Oahu so we were pretty tired, but I felt like we got a sample of Oahu at least!

3 nights at Maui Prince
Wonderful, laid back hotel. Beach was almost empty and the best beach of our trip. We saw many turtles while snorkeling. Room and pool nothing much, but staff and just the great laid back vibe of the place were wonderful. If you hate crowds, this is a great bet for you. We did a snorkel trip with Trilogy (great service and food, saw many whales), and saw Haleakala at sunset-- a must do, but man, was it cold!) Dinner at Mama's Fish house was disappointing, but we had great ice cream at Lamott's in Kihei. Da Kitchen was a fun plate meal, but very filling in the stomach! We of course had to keep the kids happy, so we tested whether Maui McDonalds is same as in the midwest (it is!!). In Lahaina, we found best place for souvenirs was Whaler's General Store, and best place for T Shirts was a shop on Front street called Sgt. Leisure. We spent one afternoon snorkeling at different beaches in South Maui (I don't remember all the names, we used the Maui revealed guide). Our 7 year old found snorkeling a bit challenging, but we rented a boogie board with a see-through cutout, which worked great for her.

3 nights at Maui Four Seasons
We were moving along at a pretty brisk pace, so we allowed ourselves 3 nights to truly relax. You can arrive at FS well before checkin (and stay after checkout), so we got four full days at FS. Fabulous experience from the beginning lei to the bottled water they gave us for our (sad) trip to the airport. You lose ten years of stress-related tension just staying there -- absolutely fabulous service. They do not add a lot of extra costs. We could split a lunch between husband and myself and still be full, and even though the drinks were very pricy, they were a fun treat (loved the key lime pina colada). I would strongly recommend staying at a cheaper hotel for the days you plan to sightsee, and allow yourself at least a night or two here. Grand Wailea shared the same beach as FS and was just mobbed with people. I had no desire to stay there (we have plenty of nearby waterpark hotels, so we can head there for those kind of pools).

We had a good meal at Ferraros and a spectacular meal at Nicks. One night we just had pupus at the FS Lobby Lounge (fun). We didn't do many paid excursions while at FS, but went on Ultimate Whale Watch (very knowledgable staff and only 16 on the boat) but all but me got seasick.

Hawaii is unforgettable, and all of us enjoyed it, even at our different ages and interests! You can be as busy or as lazy as you like, and many of the beaches and national parks are free or very cheap (meals another story!). The only way we could leave was to promise to come back someday. Feel free to email any questions, and have fun planning your next trip to Hawaii!
gruffie is offline  
Apr 19th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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Great report, Gruffie! I think your idea of cheaper hotels when you're dashing around all day, luxury ones when you want to relax is such a good one!
elsiemoo is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 01:34 PM
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suze is offline  
Apr 20th, 2007, 01:46 PM
  #4  
iceeu2
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Super report gruffie. I would say you got a lot in in only two days on Oahu!

I love reading a trip report like yours that is so full of aloha.

Thanks for sharing your fun vacation with us. Any pictures to show?


Mahalo
 
Apr 20th, 2007, 02:00 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Great trip report. I didn't realize how lucky I was until later visits to Hawaii to pick the Maui Prince on my first trip to Hawaii. We started with the Hyatt and then moved to the Prince. At first, the quietness felt strange but then the zen-like atmosphere just wrapped around us. We spent a full day on beach and only saw a handful of people all day. A friend was married on that beach at sunset last year. Gorgeous couple + gorgeous setting = some of the wedding prettiest pictures I've ever seen.

But, so were the pictures of the golf day. We played the Makena golf course, and I didn't realize how gorgeous the colors really were till we got home and looked at the pics .

I'm glad you enjoyed Oahu. Now, Oahu and the BI are my favorite combos.

Glad you and the family had such a great time!
starrsville is offline  
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