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Old 09-26-2008, 08:23 AM
77 posts, read 270,123 times
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I'm getting married in Honolulu, and after spending 5 or 6 days there, I want to spend 6 or 7 days on either the Big Island or Maui. Here's my situation:

Big Island
-I definately want to visit Volcanoes National Park
-I definately want to visit Waipio Valley
-Dont care so much about going to the summit of Mauna Kea
-would like to experience ancient Hawaiian culture at Puuhonua 0 Honaunau National Historic Park
-Fiancee loves waterfalls
-definately want to visit Haleakala National Park at sunrise or sunset
-want to visit Iao Needle
-Hana highway is interesting
-fiancee loves waterfalls
-maui beaches (black sand beach a must)
-must cliff dive at least once

Normally I would split the time between the two. But on our honeymoon, i dont want to rush around too much or devote another day to travel between the islands. I can't cut the time on Oahu short, too much to do as far as marriage license, wedding, etc.

Can anyone offer any insight or an informed opinion?
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:51 AM
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Since it's your honeymoon, in addition to what you "must see," you might want to give us some info about what kind of place you see yourselves staying in. Maui and the BI are very different kinds of places.

Maui has a good bit more resort development and shopping, but also traffic. The BI has beautiful hotels and places to stay, but seems more remote and less touristy overall. (I live on Maui and love both islands, I'm trying to make a quick generalization here, not cast any aspersions.) The BI is also, well, BIG and tales a while to get from point-to-point, while Maui is smaller and things are closer together.

What kind of place do you see yourselves staying in? Luxury hotel/resort? Smaller hotel? Condos? B&B? And in what kind of area? On the beach? Close to a town for dining and shopping or farther out and away from things? This will help those of us who know both islands give you better information.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:24 PM
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Thanks for your reply. Mainly all that matters as far as lodging goes is that it be nice, contemporary, clean, and somewhat private. I'm more interested in a cottage type stay, while my wife-to-be is more interested in the resort experience. Maybe I can split the time between the two on one single island. We definately don't like B&B's. Close to the beach and somewhat close to a town is important. I'm thinking the area of Hilo because there is so much more that interests me on the BI. My fiancee is a city girl though, while I grew up in a small town. We both share an interest in the natural wonders of Hawaii though, like the lave tubes, beaches, waterfalls, and volcanoes. Shopping and dining are of importance too.

Sometimes I think we should honeymoon in a place that DOESNT have so much so there is less to choose from!
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:57 PM
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The BI is definitely bigger, so it'll take you time to get from place to place. You'll spend time driving more than lounging about or being in the place you enjoy. (Volcano Nat'l Park and Waipio Valley are pretty far from each other, for example.) So maybe you want to do Maui on this trip, and plan a 5th anniversary on the BI?

I don't know Maui that well, so I can't be much help if that's the way you go. But if you decide on the BI...

You might think about the Mauna Kea resort. It's got a nice beach (one of the few white sand beaches on that island). If you rent a car or schedule with the resort, they can probably get you to many of the places you want to be. Be aware that no rental car company will let you drive their car down to Waipio Valley, so you'll either be breaking the rules or you'll need to find a tour. I would be surprised if the resort can't arrange something for you.

I don't think there are that many "resort" hotels on the Hilo side, but I could be wrong. You might think about spending a night or two at the Volcano Hotel. You can even get a crater view if you reserve early enough. (I'm assuming this is still nice, even with the vog? I was there a few years ago.)
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:01 PM
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I agree with what you said about the proximity of Hilo to many of the things you "must see," but if you're trying to offer your (ahem, NEW) wife a resort experience, splitting your time might be a good idea. To be near a town on the BI, you'd have to be either near Hilo (rainy) or Kailua-Kona (far from volcanoes, but with nice beaches). There are resorts there (including Mauna Kea, as NewUHProf mentioned, Four Seasons Hualalai, Kona Village Resort, and others) that also offer villa rentals if you don't want to be in a hotel room. Neither Hilo nor Kailua is known for fine dining or shopping, although there plenty of places to eat and buy things. There are several BI posters here who are very knowledgeable about beaches, travel times, etc. I'm sure they'll have great ideas about where you might stay, and better descriptions of your options.

On Maui, most of the resorts and condos are either in South Maui (Makena/Wailea/Kihei) or West Maui (Kaanapali/Kahana/Napili/Kapalua). Both areas have great beaches and are either in or near larger commercial areas for dining and shopping. They are quite touristy, though. The "villas" on Maui tend to be more like condos or efficiency hotel rooms, not house- or cottage-like as they are in Kona. I don't mean to paint Maui like Waikiki -- it's very quiet at night and has gorgeous beaches and mountains with beautiful drives and hikes. But it is more touristy and developed than the BI.

I'm still 50/50 on advice for BI v. Maui, though. Do you like to spend all of your time driving/hiking/sightseeing and just stop by your room/hotel to rest? Or do you alternate spending whole days luxuriating poolside or oceanside with whole days of pedal-to-the-metal sightseeing, shopping, and exploring? Sorry for all the questions, but if you don't mind answering, other locals may be able to make pinpoint recommendations for you.

Aloha and mahalo.
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:40 AM
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I've come to my senses and realized a resort experiance is a must. We can take some day trips to get away form it all if we want. I've decided on Maui for her sake. Thanks for the help, everyone. Any tips or suggestions for Maui? Off the beaten path places to eat or natural wonders to see? I'm not into trespassing and I know along the Hana Highway people have tore some of the places up. Yes, we are definately planning alternate days poolside or oceanside with days of pedal-to-the-metal sightseeing, shopping, and exploring. Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-29-2008, 03:36 PM
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Default Lots of choices

I looked up the online rates this morning for several places at Kaanapali that I'm very familiar with. They range from about $200/night - $400/night. On the beach walk that includes the Whaler's Village shopping center, I looked at the Grand Hyatt (hotel), Marriott Vacation Club (timeshare condos), Kaanapali Alii (condos), Westin (hotel), The Whaler (condos), and the Sheraton (hotel) at Black Rock. Kaanapali beach continues north of Black Rock, and I also looked at Maui Kaanapali Villas (condos) and the new Westin Villas (timeshare condos).

I have either stayed or sent guests to stay at these, go to their restaurants regularly, or pass them on my daily walk. (I can tell you, for instance, that The Whaler's pool is torn up right now, and has been for two weeks. They're rebuilding it. And the Sheraton is building a new spa that's not quite finished, but could be by the end of October.) Except for the new Westin Villas north of Black Rock and two new towers at the Marriott, most of Kaanapali's hotels/condos were built in the 70s. All have been "updated," some better than others. You might want to look at some of these online, and see which appeals to you most. (There are others, too, of course. I just know these best.)

Things are pretty slow here, you can probably get a better rate on the phone if you let them know you are shopping around. Feel free to DM me, too, if you have specific questions.

As for activities, I went back to your original Maui list, and all of those are quite do-able. Lana`i is the actual place for cliff-diving, but if jumping off Black Rock will do, it's right on Kaanapali Beach. There are lots of waterfalls and a famous black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park on your way to Hana, so you can combine several of your "musts" in one day. Haleakala would need to be another day, but check the weather carefully (there's a live weathercam), as it tends to be cloudy a lot -- particularly in the afternoons.

The Kapalua resort north of Kaanapali has also just opened a great adventure center with ziplines and a chair swing, but also lots of free hiking options: Kapalua Adventure Center - Kapalua Resort - Book Your Maui Adventure (http://www.kapalua.com/adventures/kapalua-adventure-center.php - broken link) I've done the arboretum hike twice in the past month, and we often walk on the Village Walking Trails (which are actually the concrete golf cart paths on a now-closed, naturalizing course with great views).

And you can, I think, still take a day-trip to the volcanoes via small jet from Kapalua airport on West Maui. It's just a fly-over, but a beautiful trip with views of Haleakala, Mauna Kea, Mouna Loa, and Kilauea. (I did it several years ago via helicopter, when they used to offer that.) I know it was on your "must-do" list, so you could maybe treat yourself since you've settled on a Maui resort instead of the Big Island?

Last edited by whynot?; 09-29-2008 at 03:38 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 09-29-2008, 09:59 PM
Location: Kauai, HI
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You might want to visit the tripadvisor forum for Maui- they have tons of posts that address your questions.
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for all of your suggestions, everyone. You were very helpful. Luckily There is still 6 months to go so I have plenty of time to plan it all out. Thanks!
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:05 AM
Location: Hilo, hi
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Maui for sure on your honeymoon.....thats where i went and is smaller so you can see more.......big island is "well" Big....to much to see......have fun and when are you getting married?
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