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View Full Version : My Dream Trip - where should I stay?



GrayFal
02-09-2007, 06:53 PM
I would love to go to Hawaii for my 30th wedding anniversary in 2010....I know, this is really planning ahead!

I have a super RCI Trader - Island Park Villlage 1BR summer week.

It should also trade well with Trading Places

I have Marriotts and a Sheratin (Starwood preference) in II.

They can also be used with SFX.

I would want at least a 1BR/no studio unit.
I have never been to Hawaii.

If you were putting together a 2 or 3 week trip - where would you stay?
What would you see and do and why???

rklein01
02-09-2007, 07:45 PM
We're just back from our first visit - - we stayed 24 hours in Honolulu (Oahu) which gave us a chance to see Pearl Harbor and snorkel in Hapuna. Then we stayed 10 nights on the Big Island, including a night at the Lodge in Volcanos National Park.

The other Islands may offer a better beach idyll, but if you like to explore and are willing to drive around, don't miss the Big Island. It has an amazing variety of climates and attractions.

Jestjoan
02-09-2007, 08:30 PM
Kauai, but I haven't been to the other islands. I still want to go again.

bigfrank
02-09-2007, 08:44 PM
Harborside Atlantis
Priceville area in Kauai
St Johns
The new Grand Mayan in Cabo
Ocho Casdios (SP)
That private Island that Lawren had posted I think it is called Young Island.

GrayFal
02-09-2007, 08:50 PM
I was looking for suggestions of both islands to visit and what resorts to stay at.

It is a good point that some locations I might only wwant to visit for 1-2 days.
DH wouldn't take off 3 full weeks so it could work to do 2 weeks at 2 locations and a few days someplace else.

ArtsieAng
02-09-2007, 08:55 PM
Frank

That private Island that Lawren had posted I think it is called Young Island.

I think that I might have missed this...Where is this Island?

Pat,

If I had three weeks, I think that I would try to fit in the Big Island, Maui, Kauai & Oahu. I think that it's doable with three weeks.

I would stay a few days in Oahu, to see Pearl Harbor, etc. Then I would split the rest of the time between the other 3 Islands. Then again, I've never been there, so I would try to fit in as much as possible. You might want a more relaxed trip.

Glitter Brunello
02-09-2007, 09:02 PM
I think that I might have missed this...Where is this Island?

Pat,

If I had three weeks, I think that I would try to fit in the Big Island, Maui, Kauai & Oahu. I think that it's doable with three weeks.

I would stay a few days in Oahu, to see Pearl Harbor, etc. Then I would split the rest of the time between the other 3 Islands. Then again, I've never been there, so I would try to fit in as much as possible. You might want a more relaxed trip.

If you want to do all four, skip West Maui and spend 3 or 4 nights in Hana (non/timeshare) to check out Hana and take the drive to Haleakala from there.... 2 or 3 nights on Oahu on your to/from home. A week on Big Island and a week on Kauai. Still a lot of transfers, though... I would choose between Honolulu and Maui for the few days, and take my time on the other islands. I'm sure the Maui lovers will jump in and disagree, though :abused: Checking into flights may help you decide. If you want to fly direct to Hawaii the only way is Newark to Honolulu. If you want to break up the flight, you can fly through Phoenix or LAX and go from there to the island of your choice...

Pstreet1
02-09-2007, 09:06 PM
We flew home from Honolulu and very much enjoyed Pearl Harbor, the Battleship Missouri, and driving to the other side of the island--beautiful beaches that don't get much press, so very quiet. We have good friends who spent the summer south? (not sure of directions) of Honolulu in a remote area right on the beach, and they loved it. I'd spend a couple of days in Honolulu and definitely drive to the other side of the island.

Big Island: We were there a week and "did" the plane tour of the volcano, snorkled and drove to the rainy side of the island. I'm glad to have been there, but I wouldn't bother going back. Frankly, other than the black lava everywhere (which is not a new sight to me) and the volcano, it wasn't all that different from any other beach location.

Kawaii: we spent a week there too, and had more things to do; filling a week wasn't difficult.

Maui: interesting.

In sum, Hawaii isn't my favorite spot, and I'm sure it shows. For a non-beach person, the beaches aren't THAT different from other beaches (though swimming with turtles and seeing the gorgeous fish was a great experience). Get a good set of guide books and decide what really appeals to you.

pcgirl54
02-10-2007, 07:30 AM
We have been researching this lightly for a few years but seriously for the last month. Married 30 plus yrs,empty nesters from New England area and have never been to the faraway islands either. Belong to II/RCI and thinking about 10-14 days.

My boss has been to all the islands and loves Oahu the most and revists annually.

After reading many many reviews,TUG & RCI, reading Trip Advisor,Hawaii condo internet sites etc we decided on either Maui or the Big Island. Thought about Kauai for the last few years and finally decided it was just too far. Besides the Reveled Series books there is Hawaii for Dummies which has checklists that lead you to the right island choice. Liked that book a lot.

Our thoughts on Maui after intensive reading about 7-9 resorts and areas:
Maui is the most expensive island-not great for us but nice to know- What it offers:best whale watching,great beaches,resorts and places to eat,crater,snorkeling,Road to Hana, coffee and pineapple plantations. BoatTrips to nearby Lanai and Molaiki,Molikini Islands. (Trilogy Tours)

Ka anapali area-great beaches, Black rock snorkel area,great places to eat and top W Maui resorts such as Westin,Marriott,Whaler, Ka anapali Beach Club(was Embassy). Near Whaler Village shops/food
Sand of Kahana- liked it or would not go back

Kahana Falls -easiest trade,many reviews about very small rooms,no view, no beach,liked it or would not go back, super friendly staff.

Maui Lea at Maui Hill not on the beach but many exchangers liked it there.

Kihue area-not touristy,quieter,less time spent in traffic nightmares,no nightlife,not too far from the other areas,older resorts.

Wailea area-upscale hotels and shopping

With what you own if you decide on Maui I would go for the Westin
Ka anapali as my top choice and aim only for beachfront resorts. I helped a
co worker exchange there for her honeymoon last year.

My other thoughts .... Although I have the need to take it all in and not miss anything on any vacation anywhere I know that I would be exhausted from jet lag and stress from over island hopping. I have heard so many people say they stayed on "island of choice" for 3-4 days and still did not see everything. So even though I want to see Pearl Harbor and the beauty of Kauai I want to enjoy where I am. I do not want to repack ,spend time island hopping,renting another car and driving myself and spouse into vacation exhaustion more than once. Thus we decided to chose one island per week enjoy all that it offers and relax. If we book another island it would be Big Island for the live volcano.

chellej
02-10-2007, 09:28 AM
We have only done 2 trips to Hawaii. THe first time we spent one week on the big island at the Bay Club and the second week on Kuai at Shearwater.

This past fall we stayedor a week at Hilton Hawaiian village on Oahu and the second week on Kauai and had one unit at shearwater and one at Kaokeoki.

The Hilton on Oahu is at the end of waikiki beach and is a beautiful resort. We drove around the island, went to a luau at the Polenesian Cultural center, took the "Duck tour" to pearl harbor (It is a wwii amphibious vehicle - also took it in the water for a spin), did a swim with the wild dolphin tour and a catamaran sail and lots of shopping. It was a very nice time & there are some beautiful beaches but really don't like honolulu too much.

Hilton has just built a new resort on the Big Island and it is supposed to be fabulous. There were some posted in a sighting not too long ago. The hilton complex is in a nice location but aways out from Kona - some of the other resorts are closer to the "action" but we really enjoyed the Bay Club - it is in the Hilton Complex. The Volcano National Park was great - lava wasn't flowing when we were there . We kayaked to Capt cook Monument & snorkeled - it was a blast.

Kauai is our favorite - north shore. You have to drive to the beaches but the views are fabulous. Westin is building a new resort that is going to be wonderful - it is cliffside like shearwater and should have fabulous views. i would also consider Hanalei Bay. Kauai you can find many things to keep busy - we still have things we want to see that we haven't had time in either of the 2 trips.

Next trip we will try Maui and possibly Molokai

rklein01
02-10-2007, 11:53 AM
Married 30 plus yrs,empty nesters from New England area and have never been to the faraway islands either. Belong to II/RCI and thinking about 10-14 days.

That describes us too, and we took the plunge and made our first trip to Hawaii - - mostly Big Island as noted above.

I was very concerned that we were travelling all that way to see America, but the trip exceeded our expectations. There really is an "aloha spirit" unique to those Islands.

No need to drive to JFK or Newark, by the way. American Airlines flies Hartford to DallasFW to Honolulu.

hope54
02-10-2007, 12:52 PM
Pat, I will give you my choices if I were planning such a trip. But I want to preface with saying that DH and I prefer staying in less crowded parts of Hawaii - the big resorts are not a magnet for us.

Maui - We prefer south Maui (Kihei and Wailea) to Kannapali. Less crowded, better road system and more beaches. Maui Hill is an excellent choice for a condo. Hana would also be a great road trip, staying one or two nights there. Upcountry Maui, which is the slopes of Haleakala is gorgeous. No timeshares, but great B and Bs. I like spending a night there close to the entrance of Haleakala so it is an easy drive to the summit.

Kauai - Love the north shore. Shearwater in Princeville is gorgeous. Or Hanalei Bay Resort. Lots of beaches to explore. Hanging out in Hanalei is laid back. The farmer's market is a great experience - local people with their produce etc. Princeville ranch has horseback riding and zipline tours, kayaking etc. There are two botanical gardens that give tours - well worth it.

Big Island and Ohau would be my last choices.

FWIW....

Hope

somerville
02-10-2007, 01:45 PM
I have been to a number of the islands. They all have differences. I own at Hanalei Bay Resort on Kauai and The Bay Club Waikoloa on the Big Island. The Bay Club is an RCI and HGVC affiliated resort and is located within the Waikoloa Resort complex. HGVC also built HGVC owned buildings next to The Bay Club. It is not oceanfront, but the units at both are nice, with the HGVC built units newer. An exchange possibility for your RCI unit. I like the Big Island for its diversity of scenery and the volcanoes.

With a Starwood preference, you might want to consider Maui or Kauai. The Westin at Princeville should be finished by the time you want to go. The new Westin on Kauai would have views similar to the Shearwater. Of course, I prefer Hanalei Bay Resort, since it overlooks Hanalei Bay and is next door to the Starwood hotel. It has beautiful grounds and views, although most of the 1BR units have mountain views. The weather in Princeville can be somewhat unpredictable, so with your Marriott, you may want to consider the two Marriott resorts on the south side of Kauai.

Marriott also has a resort on Oahu. It is on the western side of the island. Oahu has the most population, and Honolulu is a big city, but I still like it because of the historic sites. There are several RCI and II resorts at Waikiki, including the new Fairfield resort. I am not as big a fan of Maui as many others are, but anywhere in Hawaii is nice.

philsfan
02-10-2007, 03:33 PM
Kauai - Been here twice for a week each time. Had a great time.

Poipu is the drier side. Lawai Beach and Embassy look nice but we've never stayed at either. Easier to access the snorkeling and/or Na Pali coast sightseeing boat trips out of Port Allen and the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Poipu beach is nice, too.

Lihue

Central location close to the airport. Stayed at Kauai Beach Villas, they are nice roomy units. By 2010 they may have the new pool built. National Park has a beach 5 minutes away. Traffic in Kihue can be a bit much sometimes if you didn't bring your Aloha spirit with you. Pono Kai is a bit to the north, never stayed there but it looks nice.

Princeville

The wetter side of the island. Lots of nice resorts including the acclaimed Shearwater. Hanalei Bay is close by. The roads get more interesting as you go further north.


Maui - Only 1 trip so far for a week. Had a great time. Packed every touristy thing to do into 1 week, can't wait to go back and just sit on the beach.

Kaanapali - Lots of nice resorts in this area, we stayed at the Sands of Kahana and liked it very much. Pics from the resort are here. (http://photoshow.comcast.net/apbachamp) Lahaina is close by for restaurants and night life, whale watches and dinner cruises.

Kihei - More laid back, less commercial, close to Big Beach. Golf courses dominate my memory, we've never stayed there, only drove through. You'll have to rely on others for resort picks in this area.

Big Island - Stayed here one exhasted week after running all over Kauai the week before. Going back for 12 days on just a couple of weeks.:banana:

Kona - We stayed at Kona Hawaiian Village, nice roomy units, make sure you ask for a top floor or a single floor unit if you go there. Regular footsteps above you sound very loud. Luckily our AC broke after 1 day and we got a single floor unit. This resort is close to the town of Kailua-Kona for shopping and restaurants, you can walk but there were no street lights at night in 2003 and the road is very busy, we only did it once. Whale watches and tours leave from the Bay near Kona. Parasailing is there, too. No beach front resorts in Kona...or anywhere on the Big Island for that matter, someone correct me if I'm wrong about that. Beaches tend to be small near Kona. We are staying further away from the town this time at Mauna Loa. The trip to the Volcano is an all day thing from here but well worth doing in my opinion.

Waikoloa - more upscale, near A bay which is supposed to be a great beach, I'll let you know, our 2nd week on this trip is near there. The Bay Club is in Waikoloa, it seems nice from a distance. From what I have heard, all of the 1 bdrs overlook the parking lot.

Faust
02-10-2007, 04:15 PM
I think that I might have missed this...Where is this Island?
.


Young Island was established over 30 years ago as one of the first exclusive Caribbean resorts. In 1980, it was acquired by its current Vincentian owners, Mr. Vidal Browne and Dr. Fred Ballantyne. Since its beginning, this 35 acre island near the coast of St. Vincent has continuously been a hotel resort of international standing and a popular vacation destination.

Young Island Resort (http://www.youngisland.com/paradise.htm)

Faust
02-10-2007, 04:30 PM
30th wedding anniversary

Kauai -Princeville the Garden Island

BocaBum99
02-11-2007, 12:29 AM
Pat,

My wife is from Hawaii, so I spent a lot of time on the 4 main islands of Hawaii. Each island has it's own character and depending on what you like most is where you should stay the longest. Me, I love them all, but Maui is my favorite by far.

If I were going to do 3 weeks in Hawaii, I would do 3-days in Oahu, 4-days on the Big Island, 7-nights in Kauai and 7-nights in Maui.

I'd try to get a split week at Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu and the Bay Club on the Big Island. I'd stay at either the Marriott Waiohai or Hanalei Bay Resort in Kauai. Heck, I'd stay split weeks at each each. And, I finish up either at the Maui Marriott or the Westin Ka'anapali.

If you can stay longer, I'd extend the Big Island trip to a full week as well. And, if you can do a full 4-weeks, I'd add day trips to Molokai and Lanai.

Now that would be a great Dream Vacation.

My dream is to do what I'll call the Boca Triathlon. The first leg is flying an ultralight hang glider from Oahu to Lanai. The second leg is a 2 tank dive at the Cathedrals in Lanai. The third leg is 18-holes of golf in Ka'anapali.

Dinner at Chez Paul.

Pat H
02-11-2007, 03:10 PM
I've been to Kauai and the Big Island. Stayed at the older Marriott in Lihue and Mauna Loa in Kona. We had a great time but I'm in no hurry to go back. I'd rather go to Aruba. If I did go back it would be to visit Maui and Molokai.

However if you do go to Kauai, be sure and take a helicopter tour and drive up to Wailea Canyon.

lawren2
02-11-2007, 03:30 PM
I've been to Kauai and the Big Island. Stayed at the older Marriott in Lihue and Mauna Loa in Kona. We had a great time but I'm in no hurry to go back. I'd rather go to Aruba. If I did go back it would be to visit Maui and Molokai.

However if you do go to Kauai, be sure and take a helicopter tour and drive up to Wailea Canyon.

PatH I'm with you! It's a long long flight and requires at least 2 full weeks for Hawaii. My very limited exposure I don't have much input to this thread. Kauai was stunning and we all preferred the northshore. The water is almost too cool for my liking even in July.

I'd like to stay in that Hyatt in Poipu for a couple of nights someday. :wow:

We are planning to go back to experience the Big Island and Maui but so far I would rather revisit some caribbean favorites and get back out to SCal, especially considering airfare from NY.

GrayFal
02-11-2007, 03:36 PM
Thank you for all your input, I am copying it all to a word file!

Since this could be our ONLY trip to Hawaii, I wanted to get a feel of it all - impossible I know - but at least a taste :mrgreen:

We live on the east coast so of course it is easier for us to go to the Caribbean but I really want to go once.

Now, what time of year is best to go - everyone talks about the whale watching so we wouldn't want to miss that.

How is the April/May timeframe or October/November?

lawren2
02-11-2007, 03:39 PM
Thank you for all your input, I am copying it all to a word file!

Since this could be our ONLY trip to Hawaii, I wanted to get a feel of it all - impossible I know - but at least a taste :mrgreen:

We live on the east coast so of course it is easier for us to go to the Caribbean but I really want to go once.

Now, what time of year is best to go - everyone talks about the whale watching so we wouldn't want to miss that.

How is the April/May timeframe or October/November?

Maybe you can combine it with an all island cruise?
Katiemack should be back any moment from her's. So we will get some feedback on how that was.

GrayFal
02-11-2007, 03:50 PM
Maybe you can combine it with an all island cruise?
Katiemack should be back any moment from her's. So we will get some feedback on how that was.
I actually thought of that, too - if we do a full 3 weeks....decisions, decisions!

m61376
02-15-2007, 12:53 PM
I probably am in the minority here, but a week on Oahu is not too long. There are really beautiful parts of the island; it is not just Waikiki beach. Marriott's Ko'Olina is beautiful.

If I was going for 2 weeks I'd probably do Oahu and Maui.

The cruise is a great way to see a lot in a week and without the hassle of packing/unpacking. NCL America is the only one that does just an inter-island cruise. If you can get a good price on it it is a very convenient way to get around. The price for the cruise has come way down since its first summer; there is a reson for that. Let's just say we had a wonderful time despite the cruise. From talking to others many of the same issues exist. It is unfortunate, but to do just the Hawaiin Islands, it must be a flagged American vessel, which means an American crew. Americans, as a whole, do not want to work as hard and they have a constant staffing problem. Young crew members constantly get drunk in port and are getting fired. We have been on many cruises and have never encountered the problems we had on the NCL Hawaiin cruise- 2 hour waits for dinner, dirty sheets on arrival (they didn't change the sheets the entire week and that wasn't a biggie to me- but I wanted clean sheets to start out with!), etc. On the plus side we made a lot of stops and there was a lot of time to see each island and I wasn't plane hopping and hotel jumping. Would I go on it again- NO; would I recommend it to someone else?- for a good price, there are advantages to the cruise.

Several other cruise lines do the Hawaiin Islands, but they tack on a few days at sea to Vancouver, Fiji Islands, or Mexico.

You have lots of time to look forward to a wonderful celebration! Congrats! Ours was last year :grin: :grin:

I-DE-HO
02-15-2007, 02:52 PM
If you want a slower pace spend one week on Kauai & one on the Big Island. In addition, if possible, I'd spend 2 or 3 nights near Honolulu to see all the nearby sites. TPI has a lot of BI inventory (after you are within 12 months) but almost none on Kauai. I'd use RCI for Kauai. On Oahu just rent (B&B or hotel/condo).

If you want a faster pace substitute Maui for Kauai.

The biggest plus in using RCI for exchanges is they have a lot more inventory than anyone else-especially if you like to plan 2 yrs. out like I do. :) TPI & HTSE have good inventory 'under' 12 months.

We can talk resorts when you get to the 2 yr. point (2008).

Phil

pcgirl54
02-15-2007, 09:03 PM
I have considered a cruise also but how much time does one really get to spend on the islands?

taffy19
02-15-2007, 09:50 PM
I actually thought of that, too - if we do a full 3 weeks....decisions, decisions!
You can easily do three weeks on the islands and still wish you could stay longer. It's so far for you and every time you go to another island your day is lost.

Pat, we prefer the Wailea area in Maui but there are no timeshares. Can't you use some MRPs and stay at the hotel over there? The views are spectacular from the Marriott and there is a nice sandy beach practically next door. The Ka-anapali area is so busy and traffic is congested but the beach is nice.

In Kauai we prefer the Princeville area but we loved staying at the Waiohai at Poipu. Since you are a beach person, I am not so sure if Hawaii would be your first choice but for sight seeing I find it a very interesting island with the volcano and rain forest too and the northern part of the island that reminds us of England and snow on the mountain. A great spot for star gazing too.

Each island is so different but they are all beautiful. Maui and Oahu (Waikiki Beach) have the most action going on and a wide variety of restaurants and shops. We love Molokai but it is not a tourist area so very few restaurants, etc.

In Kauai is a beautiful boat ride along the Napili coast that wasn't mentioned here. It is absolutely spectacular.


http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL586/2528069/5015683/63817049.jpg (http://pic15.picturetrail.com/VOL586/2528069/5015683/63817049.jpg)

Carol C
02-15-2007, 11:22 PM
I've been to Hawaii 4 times, to 4 islands. My fave will always be Kauai, so for a romantic special anniversary you can't go wrong at the Hanalei Bay Resort. Your Foxrun should get you there easily. Your Marriott preference will get you into the Marriott on Maui, and if you go off season you can throw an AC at the plan and get the Marriott on Oahu for a few days and throw the rest of the week away.

You might also want to consider spending a few nights in the SF Bay Area on the way back to make the return back East easier. Aloha flies to/from Oakland, I believe.

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