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Old 02-19-10, 11:28 AM   #1
Wilbur Bud
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Hawaii July vacation advice - which island? which lodging?

Well, a trip to Hawaii has been topic for discussion at my house for a long time. This year I have enough frequent flyer miles to get all 5 of us there and back for $10 service charge per ticket, so I expect we will go the week of July 4th.

Can anyone recommend lower cost lodging with swimable beach access? Family and friends are all coming home with JW Marriott ko olina resort, but, as we need 2 rooms there for 5 people (minimum $300 per room-night) plus $30 per day to park, with tax it will be $5,000 for a week -- not going to happen. I assume for half that amount I could have a single family home on beach or a multi-bedroom condo. But, we don't want to be away from beach where we could enter the water.

Most important criteria is restaurants, as we tend to travel on our stomachs. Korean BBQ, sushi, beefsteak, ice cream

Which Island? Probably Oahu for me because of military sights, if not Oahu, probably Maui based on family's study of friends and neighbors.
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Old 02-19-10, 12:01 PM   #2
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Only been to Kona and stayed at the Royal Kona in Kialua. It was decent and cheap. They have a sister property on Maui. Not 5 star, but not totally shabby either.

http://www.hawaiihotels.com/Main/Sub.cfm?Id=100

Looks like you could stay there for $2000 for two rooms for 5 nights. They even had a package with car rental in it.
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Old 02-19-10, 12:13 PM   #3
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You can't realy go wrong with anything in Waikiki Beach. OK I'll admit that it is 100% touristy, but I realy enjoy the freedom of having everything within a short walk. When we went a few years ago my dad has frequent mileage points and we needed to find a reasonably priced option for sleeping (we had three couples in total). We found some good deals at one of the Outrigger hotels. We stayed at the Ohana Waikiki East. The cost was about 1/3rd of being on the beach. The rooms were fine, not much a view from our room, but that was not important to us. I look at it like a cruise, do you need a suite, or can you live with an outside room with a window (I DO need daylight). You will spend most of your time outside walking around, going to the beach, etc. We were literally only 200 yards from the beach. All the restaurants, the beach, shopping, etc is all no more than 10 minutes away. If you want to do some sight seeing outside of the area you will need a car, but once back at Waikiki everything is back in walking distance.

What we enjoyed is that we could do things together as a group if we wanted, but we could also split up and go our separate ways at times. Waikiki is feels very safe. I am sure there are pick pockets, but felt comfortable walking around everywhere just about any time of the day. There are also a few grocery stores so that you can get some basic supplies.

In Waikiki you won't get that exotic tropical look, but once you venture out to explore the other parts of the Island you will see plenty of beauty. For major sights here are few of the top things:

- Obviously Pearly harbor is a very sobering experience. I visited Pearl Harbor for the 1st time when I was 13, and I can still clearly remember it clearly. Even for a your teenager it was very meaningful. I hope to be able to take my daughter there in a few years, It is one bit of history that should not be forgotten.

- Climbing Diamond Head crater is an other fanastic experience. If is quite a climb, but if you take your time even people with very moderate physical capabilities can make it up. The view from the top is stunning and will be with you for life!

- Polynesian Culture Center. I've been there a few times, and have enjoyed each visit. Just note that it is run my the Mormon Church so definitely no booze, but also no drinks with Cafeen. It is a bit of a "Disney Land" version of the cultures of the Pacific, but none the less a very enjoyable and interesting place to visit. This is on the opposite end of the Island, so just getting there is a great way to see a larger part.

- Hanauma Bay for snorkling. This place is beyond belief. It IS like swimming in a fish tank. You get in, there will be tons of fish around you. Get there early as parking is limited.

Enjoy!
André
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Old 02-19-10, 12:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Wilbur Bud View Post
Well, a trip to Hawaii has been topic for discussion at my house for a long time. This year I have enough frequent flyer miles to get all 5 of us there and back for $10 service charge per ticket, so I expect we will go the week of July 4th.

Can anyone recommend lower cost lodging with swimable beach access? Family and friends are all coming home with JW Marriott ko olina resort, but, as we need 2 rooms there for 5 people (minimum $300 per room-night) plus $30 per day to park, with tax it will be $5,000 for a week -- not going to happen. I assume for half that amount I could have a single family home on beach or a multi-bedroom condo. But, we don't want to be away from beach where we could enter the water.

Most important criteria is restaurants, as we tend to travel on our stomachs. Korean BBQ, sushi, beefsteak, ice cream

Which Island? Probably Oahu for me because of military sights, if not Oahu, probably Maui based on family's study of friends and neighbors.
Try this:

http://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/hawaii
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Old 02-19-10, 12:23 PM   #5
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I just checked the rates that the Ohana Waikiki East. They are around $110 for a Kitchenette, or 1 Bedroom Kitchenette $140 per night. The 1 Bedroom Kitchenette adds a sleeper sofa in addition to a bed. When we were there we had two rooms next to each other. There was a central entry hall between the two rooms that we could close and have access between the two rooms with privacy from the outside hallway, or we could close our individual room doors and have complete privacy.

Happy travel,
André
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Old 02-19-10, 12:31 PM   #6
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If you like to hike you might consider the big island and go to volcanoes natl park. This place is amazing.

If that's not your thing Oahu is great also. We have done several different things lodging wise. Condo's are nice, but then you need to go shopping for food... staying on or near Waikiki is great also. We stayed at the Parc once and it was nice but reasonable cost wise. Pearl, Diamond Head, Dole Pineapple, North Shore... It is a great trip!
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Old 02-19-10, 02:45 PM   #7
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I have been to Maui and Kauai multiple times, and the Big Island once. Kauai is my favorite, it is less touristy and has lots of nice hiking and places to cycle.

Maui was great when my daughter was younger. We stayed at Napili Point and were 5 minutes away from a great snorkeling bay and a beach with some waves for bodysurfing.

Hawaii is nice for seeing the volcanoes, but you do have to hike a couple of hours to get to the lava flow. The beaches on Hawaii were not as nice or big as Kauai or Maui, IMHO.

When you decide on an island, check out the travel books from Wizard Publications. The authors live in Hawaii and give tons of information on where to stay and eat, and little-known places to visit. They update the books every couple of years so they are current, and they have more information on their web site.
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Old 02-20-10, 11:26 AM   #8
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Thank-you for each of your replies. The trick for me is going to be finding a place to stay where I can walk to a swimming area. I've used vrbo many times along the east coast where I have a much better sense of the water and what is OK to do. However, when I look at VRBO properties, I have the feeling there are many beachfront properties where you would never go out and get into the water, instead you would go up or down beach (sometimes quite a ways) to a controlled zone. Any guidance on how to judge where you can get into the water safely (we're all veteran ocean swimmers, but probably overconfident give the weak waves and currents on the east and gulf coasts -- for the most part, I'm sure there are some strong ones at times in some locations). I'll pick up a couple of the wizard books today, that kind of research is something I enjoy and will help sort out my conflicted choices about where to go. I also need leads to a couple obscure sites, even in bad taste, like world's most scenic urinal.
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Old 02-20-10, 11:36 AM   #9
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I recommend the Napili area of Maui and the Poipu Beach area of Kauai. Both have nice swimming areas nearby that are within walking distance.

The Wizard books will give reviews on the beaches as to if they are good for snorkeling, safe for kids, etc.
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Old 02-20-10, 05:38 PM   #10
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If you are on a budget and are OK with the idea of staying in Waikiki, I'd recommend considering the Ilima Hotel on Nohonani St. Not on the beach, but an easy enough walk to get to it; the rooms are reasonable size, and most (if not all?) have at least basic cooking amenities. Definitely one of the good deals by Waikiki standards. Parking may be problematic or pricey but that is likely to be the case anywhere in Waikiki in my experience.
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