Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page > Planning help for honeymoon - likely Maui and the big island of Hawaii
Notices

Planning help for honeymoon - likely Maui and the big island of Hawaii

Reply

Mar 6th, 2014, 02:34 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 225
Planning help for honeymoon - likely Maui and the big island of Hawaii

Hi all,
WHen travelling I'm usually a self-planner, using the great advice from this site and guide books to plan out my travels. Right now, I'm a bit overwhelmed with planning my wedding, so I'm actually considering using an agent to assist. I'm torn - I might not, but was wondering if any of you know of any great travel agents that specialize in Hawaiian vacations. We want to have a trip that is more luxe than how we usually travel, but not overboard either.

Thank you in advance for any advice you may have!
RobinBinNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2014, 02:35 PM
  #2
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 225
I should mention, we live in New York. Thanks!
RobinBinNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2014, 03:08 PM
  #3
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 106
Our absolute favorite is The Hana Hotel...luxury abounds Hawaiian style. Your own beautiful Hawaiian cottage with your own hot tub overlooking the ocean and lawn all the way to the water. They pick you up in little golf carts if you want for fabulous meals at their restaurant! We even had them pack us picnic lunches for our day trips.
The helicopter ride over Maui to Molokai was amazing!

Aloha!
Howdey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 6th, 2014, 03:10 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 106
Our absolute favorite is The Hana Hotel...luxury abounds Hawaiian style. Your own beautiful Hawaiian cottage with your own hot tub overlooking the ocean and lawn all the way to the water. They pick you up in little golf carts if you want for fabulous meals at their restaurant! We even had them pack us picnic lunches for our day trips.
The helicopter ride over Maui to Molokai was amazing!

Aloha!
Howdey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2014, 12:06 PM
  #5
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 225
Thank you for the tip!
RobinBinNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 7th, 2014, 03:22 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 786
I doubt you want to be as isolated as Hana for your whole honeymoon (at what is now called the Travaasa Hana).

The forum can help you more than most TA's. We'll do better if we know your budget for lodging, when you'll be coming, and how long you can stay. Tell us what kind of things you want at your destination -- nightlife, quiet, diving, snorkeling, etc.

General rule of thumb is: One week = One island; Ten nights = Two islands; Two weeks = Three islands, unless one is Big Island of Hawaii! Then there is the *honeymoon factor*. You want to relax, not feel you are on an expedition.

I suggest you book one of the widebody nonstops from JFK or Newark right into HNL. I avoid 757's and west coast connections. We often fly into HNL and go on to another island without leaving airport security, through-checking our luggage.

Also, many newlyweds take a night or two after the wedding to wind down BEFORE jetting off to an expensive week or two.
ChiSue is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 10th, 2014, 03:59 PM
  #7
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 225
Thanks very much for the advice - I would have given more detail, it's just that I was wondering if anyone had a lead to a good travel agent for this time around who might figure it all out for me for a change! We will likely go for about 10 days, we were thinking Maui and the Big Island. I see that there are different airports, recommendations to fly into one and out of another, different parts of each island to stay in... well, if you're reading this post you know all of that.

We want a place with a beautiful beach, with a nice mix of time spent just lazing on the beach mixed with some activity, whether cultural or active (jet skis, canoeing, hiking, golf or tennis lessons, sight seeing etc.). We haven't set a budget per se, but from what I'm seeing it seems like $350/night might be on the low end? I'm not sure what would be low/average/high. I'm not looking to break the bank, but I also want to feel like we're getting the romantic Hawaiian honeymoon one might imagine. When travelling in Europe, I've usually stayed at nice hostels or lower cost nice B&Bs - I'm not looking for budget this time around, but also not the movie star experience.

Also, I've seen people mentioning condos - would these have daily services and a front desk like a hotel? Or are you on your own with linens/cleaning, etc.?
RobinBinNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 05:56 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 51
Hello, I have been to Hawaii about 20 times and have been to every island. Big Island is a nice place to start. You could take a romantic helicopter ride over the volcano and also see some beautiful waterfalls. Also take a snorkeling cruise to Captain Cook's bay(Best snorkeling spot on all of the islands). Walk through a lava tube and walk the black sand beach. On Maui, you can watch the sunrise on Haleakala mountain and ride down on a bike. Stay near Kaanapali and stay at the Whaler. You can go shopping next door at the Whaler's Village. Go snorkeling at Black Rock and Ahihi fish reserve. Also for a luxurious dinner, eat at Buzz's Wharf near the Malaaea harbor. Also you can see a nice aquarium of all types of native fish and sharks. Go on a whale watching trip on a Catamaran. Also see the Iao needle and the Oheo gulch past Hana. Go up country and tour the gardens. Also the blow hole past Kapalua. There are also a lot of nice Luau, is that is your thing. Also take a snorkeling trip at Molokini Stay near Napili, nice little secluded places. Also snorkel at Kapalua and go to Napili sunset webcam.
brendonb29 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 10:18 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 786
When? In winter you'd want to stay south on Kauai, Oahu and to some extent on Maui. North will have more wind and rain, and the oceans will be rougher. Your budget will go farther in 'shoulder seasons' -- May and September. Early December is the rock-bottom time to visit, before Christmas holidays.

Few people choose Big Island for a first visit. It's not 'typically tropical'; west side has been called 'a moonscape'. You'd also stay in two locations there: Kohala Coast (NW) for mostly vog-free sun and beaches; Town of Volcano for the volcano (SE). You'd fly into one side of the island and out of the other: KOA/ITO. You need a week-plus for this island, IMO.

Maui is a frequent choice for first-time visitors and honeymooners. It has many easy-access beaches with good snorkeling. (Big Island has better sealife, but it's harder to get to it without a boat.)

We've been visiting Hawaii for over thirty years, coming in winter. Now we own a small condo in South Maui -- just returned after spending January and February there.

South Maui is more convenient for touring the island than West Maui, but both have lots of return visitors. I prefer 'the ends' over buzzy Kaanapali. (That would be Wailea/South Kihei and Kapalua/Napili.) You might consider staying only Maui -- even splitting between South and West, or using a condo for a week, then finishing at a posh hotel.

Many condos have everything a hotel offers except room service. Some include maid service; at some you can arrange for it as often as you wish. Few condos have fees for parking or daily 'resort fees'. You're not fighting over 'reserving' lounges at the pool or having to tip somebody every ten minutes. All Hawaiian beaches are public.

Browse through this site. It has aerials and reviews of almost every lodging choice in Hawaii: www.hawaiirevealed.com

People on this forum and at TripAdvisor Hawaii forums will have more knowledge than most TA's. Especially if you want Big Island, try that forum on TripAdvisor. There are two experts on that forum who live there!

One other thing, don't discount Oahu. It's a typically tropical island once you are outside Honolulu -- and there's lots to see and do in the city too.
ChiSue is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 10:20 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
There are plenty of posts in here about how to enjoy your Honeymoon/time in Paradise.

If it were me - I would spend say four days in Maui - seeing the sights - and then kick back for a week or so at one of the grand resorts north of Kona, such as the venerable Mauna Kea - which has best beach on the Big Island - and one of the best in all of the islands.

Not for nothing did Rockerfeller chose that location for the first destination resort on the Big Island - way back when.

Next door - the Hapuna Beach Prince resort is also nice - and probably has some lower cost rooms, and it's also on a very good beach. And there are other choices such as the Mauna Lani - so just check for a deal that works for you.

From the Mauna Kea - it's a fairly easy/straight forward drive up to Waimea town - and on to Akaka Falls/Hilo and 30 minutes more up to the Volcano, a must see on the BI.
Tomsd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 10:23 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
And an far as travel agents for Hawaii - Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays is one of the biggest - with many options/packages - and has been in business for many years.

They might not give concierge level service but at least you could get some ideas about prices/packages.
Tomsd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 11:00 AM
  #12
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,729
Not sure I'd go to the Big Island with ten days, you really need at least 7 nights for that island alone. Maybe Maui and one of the smaller islands like Kauai (my favorite) or Oahu.
Have a wonderful honeymoon.
jamie99 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 12:09 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,307
tifa2276 is a fellow New Yorker fodorite and frequent visitor to the islands and has written a lot of trip reports about them. I think she even honeymooned in Hawaii as you are planning. Search tifa2276 in the "search the forums" box. Click on her name.
wekewoody is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 11th, 2014, 12:45 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 22,982
We went to Maui for our honeymoon and stayed in the Wailea area; we loved it - very romantic with beautiful beaches. We've also done the Big Island on a separate trip and stayed at the Hapuna Beach Prince and thought it was great too.

If you intend to do the sunrise at Haleakala, pack something warm to wear - it's really cold up there, and sometimes people don't expect that in Hawaii. We spent our entire honeymoon on Maui and never ran out of things to see or do, but I can understand wanting to see another island. Congrats on your marriage!
volcanogirl is online now  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2014, 09:44 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,307
To answer your question about condos and services...some of the higher end condos do offer those sorts of things.
Destination Resorts handles most of the top end condo complexes in Wailea on Maui. Contacting them might not be a bad idea.
http://www.drhmaui.com/
wekewoody is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2014, 03:10 PM
  #16
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 225
Thank you SO much for all of the great advice - I knew I could count on my fellow Fodorites. I will be checking out the hotels and links. And great idea to check out the Pleasant Hawaiian site, if only for itinerary ideas.

To respond to a couple of the questions, we'll be going in August, I'm not sure that would impact location there.

Also, I've been to Oahu and we want to go somewhere neither of us have been. Hence, Maui/Hawaii. I know there are many many other options out there besides Hawaii, but Hawaii is the plan at the moment
RobinBinNYC is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2014, 04:09 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 411
We go one further than ChiSue's rule of thumb and say 1 trip = 1 island, because we hate wasting precious island time waiting in airports and car rental agencies, and filling gaps between check-out and check-in times. So except for 1, all of our 10+ trips to Hawaii have been to just 1 island.

But, if you've got 10 nights in August and want to do 2 islands, the north shore of Kaua'i and the Kohala Coast of the Big Island could work pretty well. With Kaua'i you'd have the exotic, lush, tropical landscapes and beaches that everyone dreams about before their 1st trip to Hawaii. And with the Kohala Coast you'd have relatively quiet, isolated beautiful beaches where you'll find the best snorkeling in the state. And that "moonscape" landscape ChiSue referred to? It quickly grows on you. We were at the Mauna Lani a few months ago, and it kind of felt like a resort oasis floating in a sea of lava.

Did you choose Maui just because, or is there a particular reason?
FaceInTheCrowd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 12th, 2014, 05:41 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
No idea where this idea of one week one island ever came from.

It's easy to get from one island to another as the flights are short - usually a half an hour or so - and the outer island airports are small and easy to navigate, drop off a rental car, pick one up, etc

If you could fly from Maui into Hilo - they generally go down the east side of the island and it's a GREAT view, and it's an easy drive from there up to Waimea and down to say the Mauna Kea. You might even stop at the beautiful Akaka Falls on the way and hike through the botanical garden to see the Falls.

Heading back to Honolulu from the BI - Kona offers more flights.

Also check out the various guide books for Hawaii and they have some good ideas about what to see and do. To me - part of the fun is researching the many options.

We spenT two plus weeks honeymooning in Paradise waaay back when - and we started with two great days on Molokai - and then a week on the Big Island - Kona side - and then a week on the north shore of Kauai - where we bought a timeshare at the Cliffs Club in Princeville, and enjoyed regular visits back over the years.
Tomsd is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 13th, 2014, 12:33 PM
  #19
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 786
I like FaceInTheCrowd's suggestions. On our first trip to Hawaii, long before TSA inconveniences, we 'did' four island in two weeks. After that...we've spent two to four weeks on each of the four major islands. (Even longer on Big Island and on Maui.)

Unless you are coming in very late August, expect to see a lot of families whose children are on summer break from school. August would be delightful on Kauai's most gorgeous north shore. Kauai is also *small*, and feels even smaller because so much of it cannot be accessed except by boat or air. I might see Kauai + Maui, but not Big Island + Anything.

You have long flights TO and FROM Hawaii. I would not spend more time flying between islands, especially if you'd need to do that twice. I'd settle on ONE island; you could split between two locations on that island. (Guess what? You'll be BACK!)

August is busy. I'd reserve a rental car now wherever you think you may go. Reserve where don't pay until you pick up the car. Once you book lodging, cancel any reservations that you won't honor.
ChiSue is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 13th, 2014, 07:02 PM
  #20
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 11,375
IMO - some people who have been traveling to Hawaii for many years - forget how exciting it was to first explore another island. I found it energizing in fact.

And BTW - Maui ain't all that big - especially if you are on the West end where most people go. From Lahaina to Kiehi - you can do in under an hour - if there is no "rush hour" traffic.

And Big Island is very manageable in a week - and then you can decide if you want to come back and explore it some more.

Now - having said that - the North Shore of Kauai is our favorite place - with Big Island 1 A - but we love them all.
Tomsd is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
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



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:27 AM.