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Waikola Beach Marriott resort - How far from Kona airport???

Waikola Beach Marriott resort - How far from Kona airport???

Old Jun 20th, 2010, 04:11 AM
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Waikola Beach Marriott resort - How far from Kona airport???

Hi there,
we will be flying into Kona after a long days flying ( starting from Toronto to LA, then to Honolulu )
We are wondering how far this hotel is from the airport?
What are your thoughts on this resort?
We are from Australia so are used to flying long distances.
Thanks in advance
Donna
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Old Jun 20th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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It's about 20 miles from the airport but it could take longer than you think to get there because of traffic at busy times.

I guess half an hour to one hour would be average times.

We've stayed there twice (in 2004 and 2005). It's a lovely resort and A-Bay is a palm tree lined beach where you can swim with turtles.

It's close to King's Shops where there are a few good restaurants and shopping including a grocery store/ souvenir shop.

We liked it!
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Old Jun 20th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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45 minutes to an hour drive.

I hope you are renting a car.

It's in a rather stark area (black lava fields), but has a pretty setting and there are two shopping centers within walking distance. I believe it was recently renovated.
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Old Jun 20th, 2010, 08:58 PM
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Thanks for your replies.
Is it worth staying in Kona the first night and then go to the Marriott?
We will be hiring a car but thought we would get a cab / transfer after being on the go the whole day.
We will also be flying out of Hilo and will visit the Volcano National Park.
Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Donna
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 05:54 AM
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No, I don't think it's worth staying in Kona the first night.

It will probably take you 15 to 20 mins to get to your accommodation in Kona anyway and then you have the hassle of checking in, checking out after one night and possibly having to wait to check in at the Marriott the next day.

I guess it 'might' be something to consider if you're arriving very late at night and just want to crash somewhere cheaply before paying 'resort' prices in order to save $$ .

How many nights are you staying total?

I recommend you spend at least one night near Hilo/Volcano area so you can see that side of the island without having a long drive back to Waikoloa.

I suggest you snorkel at Kealakekua too. We went with Fairwind (morning is best)and I highly recommend them.

http://www.fair-wind.com/fair-wind-i...rkel-am-cruise
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Old Jun 21st, 2010, 05:57 PM
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Thanks again sassy cat. We will just go straight to the Marriott. I have not booked the accommodation yet as we have just finalised our flight bookings.
We have 4 nights in total and thought we would have the last night in the Hilo area as we fly out of there.
How do you think we should break up the time?
I was thinking 3 nights at Marriott and 1 night in Hilo / Volcano area.
We fly out of Hilo on Sun 26th Sep at 9.40.
Look forward to your replies.
Donna
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:52 AM
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Donna, I think your plan is very good. 4 nights is very short but it's better than nothing!

Have a great trip!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 07:35 AM
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No, it is not worth staying in Kona the first night. Kona is south of the airport. It is an easy, direct drive to Waikoloa. You really can't get lost. Actually, it would be worse to drive into Kona.

Rent a car at the airport and drive to Waikoloa. Frankly, I'd rather have 4 nights at Waikoloa and do Hilo/Volcano as a day trip, rather than have to unpack, repack, unpack, repack for only one night.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:11 AM
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But, as Donna is flying out of Hilo anyway it makes much more sense to stay there on the last night rather than drive to the volcano one day and drive back (2-3hours!each way)then get up at the crack of dawn to drive to Hilo for flight out!

Minimal unpacking necessary for last night in Hilo and 5+hours of drive time saved.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:38 PM
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Thanks again everyone for your suggestions.
Sassy cat, I know this is a short time but we will have been away for nearly weeksbefore getting to Hawaii.
We have been to Ohahu a couple of times before so thought we would go to another island. We will have 1 night back in Waikiki before flying back home.
What are your suggestions for the time in Waikola?
We enjoy seeing the sights, swimming, shopping, having drinks, eating out etc
We are in our 40's and are very easy going. The only thing we don't like is seafood.
My husband will probably do the snorkelling.
Where can you see the turtles?
How do you suggest we do the volcano?
I assume we would leave late morning and drive around the park and go to some of the look outs in the day and then wait until it starts to get dark.What time is best to go in the evening? How far are the hotels in Hilo from this area?
Any recommendations for Hilo?
Look forward to your ideas and suggestions?
Donna
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:00 PM
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Ha, I saw your question on the Canada forum (I'm spending a weekend in Ottawa/ Montreal in September) so I gathered this wasn't just a 4 day trip to Hawaii.

Turtles can usually be seen at the beach called A-Bay (right by the Marriott). We saw them swimming very close to the shore on the right hand side (as you look out to sea).

Highlights on Big Island are star gazing at Mauna Kea. Here's a link
http://www.maunakea.com/

I'll get back to you tomorrow if someone else doesn't answer first.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:48 PM
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I stayed at the Marriott last year and loved it. It's an easy drive from the airport. It has a great beach with great snorkeling and tons of sea turtles right there.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 12:14 AM
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I have lots of suggestions! For one thing, the entertainment at the King and Queen shops is free, almost every night/afternoon, and very good. Go for John Keawe on Tuesday nights, the Kupuka'as on Saturday, and wonderful music and hula by local family halaus (schools). http://waikoloabeachresort.com/big-i...ivities-events

Next, explore! Go to Pu'ukohola Heiau (near Kawaihae, where Waterworld was filmed) to see a bit of Hawaiian history.http://www.nps.gov/puhe/

Waimea has interesting Paniolo (cowboy) culture.

Hawi and Kapa'au (40 minutes to the north) are lush old fashioned tiny towns where the scenery is beautiful, history is rich, and charm is abundant. Drive out to Pololu and walk to the black sand beach (easy going down, challenging but doable coming back up).

Fabulous restaurants in Hawi/Kapa'au include the Bamboo (especially when there is music) and Sushi Rock! Also, Pico's Bistro with its tiny museum dedicated to a local fisherman, Kenji's Place. http://www.pualiliacreations.com/kenji.html

Lapakahi is a 600 year old fishing village, and is a fun place to explore (on the way to Hawi). http://www.hawaiiweb.com/hawaii/html...ical_park.html

Also, most of the resorts have petroglyph walks, so that's worth checking out. The Mauna Lani, with its ancient fishing ponds is especially lovely to explore, and if you are there at a full moon on a Saturday, there is a very special "Talk Story" and music night at an old cottage at the edge of the ocean.

You won't have time to do all this, but the drive to the Volcano is beautiful, and you'll see a lot of the island this way.

Enjoy and explore! Aloha!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 02:26 AM
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Thanks again for your suggestions.
Kailani, thanks for your web sites and advice. I will check it out.
Donna
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 05:25 AM
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Even more suggestions... you'll have to come back!

Waipio lookout has great views. It's a challenging hike down and back from the black sand beach though.

The botanical gardens are gorgeous. Here's a link to my favourite one which you could drive past on your way to Hilo. Stop for an hour or so, inhale the heavenly scent of tropical flowers and stretch your legs!

http://www.htbg.com/

Akaka Falls
http://www.hawaiiweb.com/hawaii/html...tate_park.html
Don't miss this waterfall on your drive to the volcano. It's a short easy hike but may be slippery.

I second Pu'uukohola Heiau where you can usually see turtles too!
The snorkeling place known locally as Two Steps is close by.

Collect some coral from the shore and arrange it to spell you name along the roadside. The sharp contrast of the white coral on black lava allows the 'natural graffiti' to really stand out.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 11:00 AM
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Minor correction--Two Step is on Honaunau Bay by Puuhonua o Honaunau (aka Place of Refuge) in South Kona (south of Kealekakua Bay).
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 11:54 AM
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Sassy cat, I used to think the coral graffiti was very clever and original, but when I learned that the residents really don't like it, I began to look at it differently. Now I see it for what it is--graffiti.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 12:22 PM
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martym is correct and it was Place of Refuge that I meant to recommend (not Pu'uukohola Heiau). My Hawaiian is a little rusty .. time for another trip!
That's where you're likely to see turtles and in nearby Two Step (named for the safe entry point amongst the rocks at the shore line!)
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 04:24 AM
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It sounds like we will be sorry to leave. There is so much to do.
Thanks again everyone for your great ideas.
I have 2 weeks holiday coming up ( I am a teacher - school holidays ) so will have time to research and check out all the good ideas.
What is the weather likely to be at this time of the year?
I am looking forward to seeing the turtles and am glad to hear that they are easily seen.
I am sure we will have a fantastci time.
Where do you recommend for eating out?
We like steak, Italian and will have a try of local cusine. We do not eat seafood.
I enjoy cocktails but my husband sticks to beer.
Thanks again
Donna
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 06:51 AM
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Be very carefulabout not leaving anything visible in your car at Akaka Falls (and indeed at any sightseeing parking place. There have been multiple break-ins in rental cars because people left visible backpacks, ipods, etc. The falls at Akaka are not visible at the parking lot and you can't watch the car.

Also best not to open the trunk while in the parking lot to put valuables in it. There have been reports of unsavory characters opening the trunk to get to luggage.
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