Trip Report, Kauai & Maui

Nov 4th, 2002, 03:05 PM
  #1  
Sherry
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Trip Report, Kauai & Maui

I came on here a lot when planning my honeymoon, which was in July, and never came back for a trip report, so here it is... belated, but here, nevertheless.

First Night-- MAUI STOPOVER
We flew into Maui and had an overnight stopover before flying out to Kauai the next morning. We didn't want to spend a lot of $$ on this night, since we'd be arriving after sundown and leaving in the morning. So, we booked online a car and hotel package at the Maui Coast Hotel through their website. Our other accommodations later in the trip would be more luxurious, but we thought the Maui Coast was great, and an excellent value. It was our first night/morning, and we were impressed already. The Maui Coast was very friendly, and gave us a nice upgrade. The rooms are standard-- sort of like a Holiday Inn-- but the price and service can't be beat, and it is pretty, clean, and convenient. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a nice place to stay without blowing big bucks.

Week 1-- KAUAI

We spent our first week in Kauai. We stayed the first 3 nights at the Secret Beach Hideaway in northern Kauai. It was AMAZING. I have never experienced anything like it, and we WILL be going back, again and again. It *is* about $400 per night, which is pricey, but when you compare it to a room at a resort, it seems like a bargain. I mean, you get your own gorgeous and wonderfully appointed cottage, beautiful grounds, an amazing secret beach, your own jacuzzi, an indoor double head shower, and outdoor shower... I could go on. It is truly a honeymooner's paradise. You could see the ocean from every room in our cottage, you could not see the other cottages from ours, and we felt all alone in our own paradise. The maid service was exceedingly friendly and kind to us, and even offered tips on places to go. We had the option of cooking ourselves (which we did one night for dinner, and barbecued for lunch once), which made for even more private time.

We had dinner one night at the Princeville Resort's Cafe Hanalei. We made reservations for sunset and were not disappointed. We had a full Bali Hai view of Hanalei and an amazing waterfall. The Princeville is definitely where I would stay if I wanted the resort feel-- it was gorgeous. However, I don't think I would ever go back and NOT stay at Secret Beach!

The northern part of Kauai is amazing, and we had a wonderful time snorkeling (Tunnels Beach should NOT be missed), and hiking (the Na Pali Coast is also a CAN'T MISS), and just relaxing.

On the down side, we had one bad meal. I would not suggest eating at Zelo's. It was overpriced, mediocre, and had terrible service. I was surprised that it had been recommended in a travel book.

 
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:06 PM
  #2  
Sherry
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CONTINUING....

Speaking of travel books, this sounds crazy, but we had so many of them, and ended up using ONE. Hawaii for Dummies did an excellent job of pinpointing romantic spots, and letting us know what places we could skip and what we couldn't.

We then moved on to Southern Kauai. If I had it to do over, I would skip Southern Kauai. The weather seemed no better than in the north (of course, it was July). Those from California, like us, will recognize southern Kauai as very similar to anything you might find in Southern Cal. Nice, but not as different or as lush and gorgeous as the north.

We stayed at the Radisson, to save a little bit. We used our entertainment card for 50% off, which was a good value. The Radisson had great pools and a good happy hour with free drinks. It is not at all the luxury you'll find at the Hyatt, but was still nice, and most of our S. Kauai time was spent on activities, anyway. We took Island Helicopters (a great tour, supposedly the best), visited the Allerton Gardens (very nice, gorgeous views), took in the 4th of July celebration in Kauai, and hiked Waimea Canyon. All great experiences. If I wanted full luxury in S. Kauai, I'd stay at the Hyatt, which we thought was wonderful. But, really, I might just skip it all and stay up north. The Radisson was good bang for the buck, though. I think we payed $150 per night for full ocean view, and decided to bump up to ocean front, which I think was $165. Our room was right on the beach.

I'll do part II as a new post...
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:15 PM
  #3  
Barbara
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cool report, thanks
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:25 PM
  #4  
Sherry
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WEEK 2-- MAUI

We spent our second week in Maui, and again, split the time between 2 hotels.

First 3 days: The Renaissance Wailea

We stayed at the Renaissance the first 3 days. I really wanted to stay at the Kea Lani (as we did, for the last 3 days) but did not want to pay for 7 days there. We got the entertainment card from www.entertainment.com and got 50% off at the Renaissance, a very nice hotel in its own right! We paid $250 for ocean view. It was very nice! The service was impeccable, and it is a very nice hotel. As others have noted, the pool IS very small, but we were out on activities for most of our days there, and saved the lounging for the Kea Lani.

We took a cruise to Lanai. Trilogy and Paragon are the only companies with landing rights. We took Paragon, actually because Trilogy was booked. We were exceedingly pleased with Paragon. Trilogy also looked very nice, but the tours were bigger and more crowded. Paragon was nice-- had a nice breakfast on the way over, had about 50 dolphins come up and play next to the catamaran, got out and snorkeled WITH the dolphins (I'm not joking!), had a nice lunch at Lanai, and sailed back, with a nice champagne and dessert on the way back, and a swim stop halfway. It was the best day of the trip!

The road to Hana we also did, and it's been well described by a number of people. I enjoyed it but would not do it twice, and think the best part was between Hana and the 7 pools.

We had a great dinner at Gerards in Lahaina... It was amazing food and gorgeous ambiance, with stellar service.

More to come....
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 03:35 PM
  #5  
Sherry
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THE FINAL PART

For our last 3 days in Maui, we stayed in the Kea Lani. It was wonderful, and the rooms were huge. A tip-- before you go, visit the fairmont website and sign up for the Pres. club. They send you 2 free upgrade vouchers. We used one at check-in, and though we had only booked the least expensive room type, were upgraded to full ocean view, corner suite. It was truly wonderful. Also, for those thinking of creative wedding gifts-- a group went together and got us a tandem massage gift certificate, which we were presented with upon check-in. Fabulous gift!

We loved Nick's Fishmarket-- it is a must do. The food was amazing, and I've never had better food in my life, of all the top restaurants I've eaten in.

We also did the Old Lahaina Luau, which was fantastic.

One place NOT worth eating was the Grand Wailea's Humuhumu... whatever it is called. It was terrible, horribly overpriced, and the service was so bad, we actually thought our waitress was deaf, and started feeling bad for her, until we realized that she did speak (to say "anything else" at the end), and was just awful. There is price-gouging in Maui as a fact of life; Humu is not price-gouging, it's robbery.

Well, I think that is all the main points of the trip! We did NOT do the Haleakala bike ride-- didn't want to rise that early on our honeymoon. We drove it later, and it was good enough for us!

Thanks for helping us have a great trip everyone!
 
Nov 4th, 2002, 10:30 PM
  #6  
John
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And thank YOU for those wonderful reports!!
 
Jun 10th, 2003, 02:15 PM
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Sherry, Could you email me please? I am planning a honeymoon for next year and am interested in Secret Beach Hideways and Fermont Kea Lani. I would love to get more details. Like which cottege is best? What about nudity on the beach? Was the temperature in the evenings nice for sleeping? Any info you could give me would be great!!!!!!!!

[email protected]
Nancy03 is offline  
Jun 10th, 2003, 03:42 PM
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Just a note, I believe the Fairmont no longer gives out two free upgrade vouchers when signing up for the President's Club.
puddy is offline  
Jun 10th, 2003, 07:57 PM
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What's the link for the secret beach?
islandmom is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 07:37 AM
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Here's a link fo rsecret beach hideaway http://www.secretbeachkauai.com/
Suzie is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 07:39 AM
  #11  
Kal
 
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Suuuuuuz, You mean "Not So Secret" beach? ;-)
Kal is offline  
Jun 11th, 2003, 08:05 AM
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Well it was secret enough for me to miss!
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Jun 11th, 2003, 08:13 AM
  #13  
Kal
 
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Ha!
Before our first trip ever to Kauai, a "friend" of mine was giving me every meticulous detail on how to get to this great place very few people know about called "Secret Beach".

This was before we knew about The Blue Bible!

So we get there and the first thing we do is stop by the Whaler and get postcards and what do I see?
A post card of "Kauai's Famous Secret Beach"!

I sent him one every trip over!
hahaha.

I haven't been there since '89 so maybe I'll take another trip in 199 and hope it's not cold that day! ;-)
Kal
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