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Please help choose (negril or ochos rios) vs (maui or the big island)

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Jul 24th, 2013, 06:29 PM
  #1
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Please help choose (negril or ochos rios) vs (maui or the big island)

early 30's couple into fun and adventure with sprinkles of rest and relaxation.
Looking for a refined, upbeat and fun vibe (not cancun-esk) but not lights out at sundown either.
Into parasailing, horseback riding, tennis, all water sports, nature hikes etc.. just to name a few.

Trying to chose between Jamaica (ocho rios or negril) and Hawaii (the big island or maui)

4-5 day getaway from LAX so the shorter the traveling distance the better. We're spontaneous and fun but we're not the get up at the crack of dawn couple.
Doesn't have to be romantic but would rather not be surrounded in a place with lots of children/families. Not into the whole mega resort feel, something a little more personal and quiet is ideal, almost like the bungalow seclusion feel but not the too quiet and secluded. Shopping, decent eating and fun fun fun lol
Please suggest

Thank you in advance!
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Jul 24th, 2013, 09:29 PM
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if you go to the Big Island avoid the Hilton Waikaloa as it is a disneyland type resort - lots of kids. You more than likely will NOT find a lot of kids in Ocho rios or negril but more in Hawaii in general. Certainly Hawaii is closer for you for such a short trip and I am prejudice as I love HI. Either Island will provide the activities but I am not sure about bungalows on Maui as it is not an Island I frequent but many people love it. Too many high rises for me. Kona area on the BI has some funky small hotels otherwise you will be into more of the resort areas if you go up to Kahala. Hilo is rather funky with rather small condos too but a lot wetter. Sorry I can't be more help. We generally go to Kauai and stay in condos not resorts. We snorkel, swim, hike, bike ride and I know there is horseback riding in Princeville. The condos we stay in on Kauai do not have tennis courts but I know the Kiahuna Plantation does.
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Jul 24th, 2013, 09:32 PM
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saw this on another posting so I copied it for you regarding the BI.....
http://www.lagoonhouse.com/rates.html if you are interested in staying in this area--call Hawaii Holiday, A Piece of Paradise at 808-965-0400--another house in the same area may be available

http://www.vrbo.com/298438 this is a gorgeous house overlooking Kealakekua Bay (great snorkeling!) in south Kona

Here are only some of the activities that the BI offers--

Volcano National Park http://www.nps.gov/havo/index.html
http://lavarefuge.com/poke-a-stick-guided-lava-tours/ take a guided tour to see lava flowing into the ocean
star gazing on the top of Mauna Kea http://www.maunakea.com/
visit Place of Refuge in south Kona--great snorkeling here http://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm
see the whales -Captain Dan is the best http://www.ilovewhales.com/
do a zipline in north Kohala http://www.thebigislandzipline.com/
ride the rim of the Waipio Valley http://www.ridetherim.com/
there are also tours that take you down into the valley
snorkel with the manta rays http://www.fair-wind.com/index.php/r...t-snorkel-dive
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Jul 25th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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That's a short stay for Hawaii -- TOO short, IMO, for Big Island unless you just want to stay Kohala area and skip the volcano. You can parasail in so many resorts -- I'd skip that if this is your first trip to Hawaii, but you can do it off Waikiki and off Kaanapali on Maui (not during whale season). Only Oahu and Maui have a wide choice of restaurants and hotels.

Big Island is pretty 'spread out', but for a short stay eating mostly in your hotel might not be a problem. Four Seasons Hualalai is possibly the best hotel in Hawaii. Kohala area also has Mauna Lani, a Fairmont, the Mauna Kea (and the Disney-esque Waikoloa). Kona Town is more touristy-tacky. Waimea is horse country; Waipio Valley is a treat on horseback. I prefer Big Island in winter months; can get really hot, and icky air if the volcano is active.

Northern Kauai is gorgeous -- maybe too dull for you? Least good in winter -- same for northern Oahu and Maui.

We used to spend some winter escapes in the Caribbean, but not since we 'discovered' Hawaii. You'd need to pay me to stay Jamaica.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 12:19 PM
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Yes, there's no contest here. It's far too short a time to go to Jamaica. You really HAVE to go to Hawaii. I'll leave it to the other posters to give you more reasoned suggestions as to specifics and the island.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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I answered the same on your other post.

Negril doesn't offer much of what's on your wish list (like shopping, parasailing, horseback riding, tennis) and it is too much hassle to get there for such a short trip.

From Los Angeles, with only 4-5 days, go to Maui. It's easy, it's beautiful, it has everything you are asking for. I say Maui, because Big Island is, well, BIG and you'd want more time to see it.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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you guys rock!! thanks for the timely information. After hours and hours of research on Negril and Ocho Rios I have yet to find anything that really piques my curiosity. I've searched:
Jamaica Inn (seemed a bit stuffy after reading a few reviews)
Couples San Souci (user pics looked meh)
Sandy Haven (reviews seemed pretty harsh)
The SPA retreat (but seems a little too quaint, however its near a mall and 7 mile beach from what i read)
The Caves (pricey)
Jewels Dunn (seems too big??)
Idle Awhile (no availability)

I've been to Antigua, phuket, curacao, st. luca, cozumel, the DR etc.. just to name a few, please tell me if I am wrong but Jamaica is just not measuring up for me unless the pics online aren't doing the island justice. Thoughts?

I will now begin my search for Hawaii, I just know have to figure out which island and where works best. I originally posted the big island or Maui but I am now open to any suggestions.. Definitely no Waikiki or Honolulu as it is way to trendy for my blood! After checking out jetsetter.com my first research will be aimed at Hotel Wailea, Travaasa Hana & Mauna Lani Hotels & Bungalows

A huge thank you guys (ohh and FYI Im looking to leave tomorrow afternoon! lol)
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Jul 25th, 2013, 02:35 PM
  #8
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@Shar.. excellent info! When you say BI are you referring to "Big Island"? thank you

@ChiSue "You'd need to pay me to stay Jamaica." - great comment!!

@Doug_Stallings is there a way I can pm you? would like to ask you a question. Thank you
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Jul 25th, 2013, 02:43 PM
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I think you have a lot of misconceptions working against your planning!

What do you mean by Waikiki or Honolulu being "way too trendy"? It is a city, which some people would rather not do on vacation, but there's nothing particular trendy about the place. If anything it feels more beach 'retro' to me.

And yes you are also wrong about Jamaica (i mean this in the nicest way!). It's a stunningly gorgeous tisland. But Negril at least just doesn't have the type of thing you want. It's more low key and laid back. Here are some of the favorite places to stay on the Cliffs there:
http://tensingpen.com/
http://www.catchajamaica.com/
http://www.moondanceresorts.com/
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Jul 25th, 2013, 02:46 PM
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You need to understand this is coming from a die-hard Hawaii fan. It's not exactly an unbiased observation. And I personally completely and totally disagree from my own experiences both places.

I'm not trying to talk you into Jamaica, because I think it's way too far to go for only a 4-5 day trip, but some of these comments simply aren't accurate or fair.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 03:33 PM
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suze -- I don't like Mexico either. So sue me. LOL I like the STATE of Hawaii -- just about all of it!

You don't want Hotel Wailea -- but do visit the restaurant there! Travaasa is pretty quiet. Would Makena Beach Resort suit? Great beach. Meh pool. Sea turtles to your left. Wailea center a few miles up the pike. Kapalua?

Mauna Lani would be super if you want Big Island.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 03:40 PM
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I am crazy about Puerto Vallarta. I haven't been thru the entire country so would never speak to "Mexico". You really hate all of it? You've been everywhere and don't like any of it?

I also love Hawaii. I like Jamaica a lot.

When I answer people's questions on this forum, I try to be unbiased, because what *I* love or hate doesn't mean it will be the same for someone else. Just because you hate a couple entire countries, doesn't really seem right for you to trash them all the time here.
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Jul 25th, 2013, 06:49 PM
  #13
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Suze!!!! I did not come across any of the referenced places to view, probably because they don't offer the flight and hotel packages, however, HOLLY COW I eat my words about Jamaica after seeing these sites.. esp Tensing Penn!!!!

Thank you for renewing faith in Jamaica
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Jul 26th, 2013, 10:54 AM
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You are very welcome. Negril is not a "packaged vacation" kind of place, that's why. You'd only be seeing the chain resorts and mainstream hotels booking that way.

If you decide to go in the future, just buy your own airfare and the hotel thru their own website. Tensing Pen is incredible. But there are quite a few hidden gems like that around Negril.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Count me as another who likes both Hawaii and Jamaica. I would be happy for someone to pay me to go to Jamaica! There are lots of small places to stay in Negril although with your wish list I'd probably look at Couples Swept Away and Couples Negril.

Check out this web site:

http://www.negrilonestop.com

Having said that, your time is MUCH too short to get from LA to Jamaica. Save Jamaica for when you have more time to get there and enjoy it. If you've never been to Hawaii before I'd probably go to Maui as a first-time visitor. You didn't say when you plan to travel but Hawaii does attract a lot of families so you may not be able to avoid children. We've only stayed in large resorts in so someone else will have to chime in to give you some suggestions for smaller properties. I would suggest staying as close to Lahaina as possible as it's one of the few towns on Maui.
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Jul 26th, 2013, 01:54 PM
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You didn't say when you plan to travel

Today http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...-fodorians.cfm and there will definitely be lots of families at this time of year.

I like Jamaica too and have stayed at the Jamaica Inn several times but it's probably too quiet for the OP which is exactly the reason I like it.
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Jul 30th, 2013, 08:35 AM
  #17
 
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YES..sirtravelsalot BI is Big Island. Personal favorite is Kauai (12 visits perhaps) and going again next year) because it is so lush and still fairly low key but we have def seen change in the 25 years we have been going BUT still not as built up as Maui and no tall condos like Maui. On Kauai nothing can be taller than the coconut tree... 2nd favorite is Big Island because of its diversity. Short trip would call me back to Hawaii any day even over Mexico which is so close to me. Mexico doesn't do it for me but I enjoyed our time in the Cancun area for the incredibly beautiful and warm water.
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