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Other Hotel Brands / Hawaii

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by vegas4pools, Jul 7, 2015.

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  1. vegas4pools

    vegas4pools Low-Roller

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    Wife and I haven't really vacationed anywhere else outside of Las Vegas. We've done 4 cruises between Mexico, Bahamas, & Caribbean. So not too familiar with the world of hotel brands out there. We are planning a vacation to Hawaii and was curious to how other members felt about the big hotel names. I'm referring to Marriot, Hyatt, Hilton, Sheriton, etc. I'm certain they can even vary from location to location. But if you all have preferences, complaints, I'd love to know. Also who has the best loyalty program.

    Hawaii's go to be a tricky place to travel. Go big, go small, luxurious, or you can rough it. We're actually looking for a little bit of everything! We might even island hop. I've been many times (as a youngster). Now all grown up and wife has never been. I'd love to revisit and for her to see the beautiful islands, the romantic beaches, some history (Pearl, Waikiki, Hilo, etc).

    Any info helps. Thanks!
     
  2. caddy1969

    caddy1969 Low-Roller

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    If your going top shelf, There's nothing like the Four Seasons
     
  3. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    We mix Hawaii stays with private rentals and resorts, mostly Fairmont on the latter, but of course that is island-dependent. We've done Grand Hyatt, Prince (and successors), Ritz, Four Seasons, to name some.

    We start with island(s) and then go from there. And over time we've gone more toward private homes/condos. Don't island-hop unless you have adequate time. (I'll do a few nights on an island if work demands but for our trips we won't flip if less than a week.)
     
  4. vegas4pools

    vegas4pools Low-Roller

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    Thanks. Yah we are planning 10 or so nights. I know condos/rentals are big too, but yes we will just start with the hotels
     
  5. Malibugolfer

    Malibugolfer High-Roller

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    I've been going since 1965, and have stayed in all manner of accomodations.
    As Ken mentioned, you need to pick your itinerary and then conform your lodging accordingly.
    When I used to surf North Shore we'd get a duplex (bare bones, no phone nor tv but on the beach) but now we stay in resorts for golf or rental houses with the extended family.
    I am fortunate to stay in my select favorites, and FS are my favorites and the best resorts but by no means the only.
    My wife goes 2-3 a year and stays in time share or rented house on Kauai.
    So pick your island, and where on the island-windward sides are greener and wetter, leeward is dry and hotter- then decide how much you want to pay and how many days.
    Win, win win on da islands.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I don't know that unit size should be a bother, particularly when you price some private accomms vs. even a mid-market chain, and you have the advantages of being able to avoid some meals out, which can really add up over there.

    But we gotta travel as we want to travel and starting over a hotel would be turnkey.

    With 10 days you can do two islands, and yet nothing at all wrong with just staying put. What are you looking for in your Hawaii getaway?
     
  7. vegas4pools

    vegas4pools Low-Roller

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    Well MY ideal would to be able to see the volcanos on our own. No helicoptor, no 'tour'. Just rent a jeep, go on out, explore, maybe even drive to visitors center and hike the rest to the summit. Maui is always great. Kind of has everything for a first timer (wife!). Kauai for the greenery, water falls, scenery. Of course being foodies, would also be looking for the local restaurants, and a fine dinner or two. Looking for (almost) beach every day, catamaran trip, biking..
     
  8. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Upcountry Maui is great for food fans, and of course there is that big blue thing all around serving it up. We enjoy the "edges" of Maui -- down at Makena, though the loss of the course is a bummer, and Hana. Other spots are a bit too turista or California for us. If you've never stayed at Travaasa Hana give it a try. Kauai never fails. Four Seasons Hualalai on the BI is a top 3 stay in my lifetime.
     
  9. Piggylane

    Piggylane Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to Hawaii, avoid Oahu, particularly Waikiki. I travel there often for business. It's Chicago with better weather, worse food and pretty much the same traffic. No tolls though. The Marriott Ko Olina is great, way West of the tourist area. Unfortunately no business for me on the other islands so I defer to the other travel experts for their recommendations.
     
  10. MrsFuri

    MrsFuri Low-Roller

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    I second the Four Seasons (especially Maui) :)

    Enjoy!!!!!

    -MrsFuri
     
  11. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    That is a pretty impressive run of resorts there in Wailea.

    And I love Monkeypod. Oh, and Eskimo Candy up in Kihei.
     
  12. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Just FYI, the "volcanos" area is a little confusing. Right now the Halemaumau pit is the big attraction, you can see smoke coming from it for miles away but you can't walk up to the pit (too dangerous). Best bet is to see if from the museum and "observatory" (I think it's called Jaggar museum or something). But all you are going to see is a lot of smoke and maybe some spewing once and a while (depends on the level of the lava in the pit).

    The picture on the site shows the Halemaumau pit but the picture was taken with an extremely long lens.

    http://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/lava2.htm

    If you actually want to see flowing lava, you are kind of out of luck right now because there aren't many active flows that you can see. There are flows but they are in areas that are deemed dangerous and not accessible unless you want to try to hike to the areas (will take a few hours each way). Too bad, if you were here last year some areas were in danger of being overrun by lava but the flow in those areas have now stopped.

    Helicopters might be your best bet right now if you actually want to see the pit and lava. This could change at any time though.


    Too bad you weren't able to make it during one of the lava flows because it is a sight to see. These were taken during the lava flows in 2005. Click on them to see a larger image.

    P1010262.jpg
    P1010270.jpg


    btw, the soles of my shoes melted from the heat of the lava. I couldn't stay too long near the flow because it was so hot and even from where I stood it was giving me a slight burn.



    I think like visiting the Las Vegas strip, Waikiki is probably the place to stay and visit for a newbie (JMHO). Ko Olina is a nice place to relax and recharge but unless you drive out of the area that resort could be on any island anywhere in the world, just that it has a "Hawaii" motif.



    Some of these magazines might give you an idea of what to do when you are in Hawaii:

    http://thisweekhawaii.com/

    http://konamagazine.com/index.html

    http://www.spotlighthawaii.com/

    The first is the magazine that you will see when you step off the plane at Hawaii's airports (there are other magazines but I can't find them on the net).

    If you are planning to stay 10 or so nights then a 2 island visit might be best. You can stay in Honolulu and visit all the tourist areas like Pearl harbor (Arizona memorial and the battleship Missouri), Waikiki, Hanauma Bay, Polynesian cultural center and Diamond Head that can take 4 or 5 days, then you can fly over to Maui or the Big Island and check out the sights there. You could try a third island if you rush through everything, but many people just like to "hang loose" and relax and take things at a leisurely pace.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2015
  13. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    As a heads up, the (JW Marriott) ihilani at koolina is undergoing a large scale renovation and is being re branded as a four seasons. They list February 2016 as an anticipated completion date.

    I also second all of what makikiboy stated above
     
  14. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Yep, what he said about the JW.

    Oahu can't be explained. It needs to be experienced. I find Ko Olina just too much like So Cal. Waikiki is one of the most gorgeous urban/other interfaces anywhere in the states; seen it, never need to go back. Pearl is a must-see for all -- reserve reserve reserve. I like the windward shore. There is some good golf on the island. I like Turtle Bay Resort. But Oahu just isn't for us given the other islands. We have friends who want nothing but Waikiki/Honolulu. We have another friend how has been to Maui probably 30 times and won't go anywhere else on the islands. Different strokes. And when you think about it, that's what makes the islands so awesome.
     
  15. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

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    Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. We stayed in the Rainbow Tower and we loved it!
    It's shown in the new Hawaii 5-O TV series all the time. We'd stay there again in a heartbeat!
     
  16. vegas4pools

    vegas4pools Low-Roller

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    Going to stay off Oahu for the first time. We are really narrowing it down here now. And I'm taking down from the island, down to the beach, down to the hotel! Either Kauai, Poipu- the Koa Kea Hotel. This would be a total nature trip, getting up to the canyons, and the falls. Maybe a trip to Primcetown and Hanalei Beach. See the Na Pali Coast. Or Maui. A little adventure and a little luxury. Really interested in the Paia area and this little Paia Inn hotel. Here we can get to Hana sooner and also the Haleakala Craters. Then maybe leave Paia and head to Wailea and a stay at the Hotel Wailea. Not right on the beach, but looking at it has some spectacular grounds. Here we are also close to Kihei. Maybe stay out of Lahaina this time around. Of course whatever we decide will have the obligatory snorkel, feet in the sand, fish taco eating, Mai Tai cocktail drinking spectacular!
     
  17. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Low-Roller

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    I agree that the Hilton Hawaiian Village is great for a first-timer, and like the Vegas Strip it's a good place to start.
     
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Waimea Canyon article I wrote for the LA Times several years ago.

    Kauai tags all the bases save recent lava, crowds and bad chain food kitsch.
     
  19. vegas4pools

    vegas4pools Low-Roller

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    Fun article Ken. Think I want to travel with you.
    Not sure what you mean by the last statement though...please enlighten :)
     
  20. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    :)

    Going to Hawaii and eating at Bubba Gump or Margaritaville or similar ... not something I understand.
     
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