Planning Anniversary Trip OCT 2012

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by WanderLuster, Aug 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. WanderLuster
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    WanderLuster Silver Member

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    My mom and dad's 35th wedding anniversary is Oct 7, 2012. My mom has always dreamed of going to Hawaii and my dad had promised to take her; however, it's not currently within their means. I would love to book a trip for them as a present using my points/miles. Based on their work schedules, I'm looking at 7-10 nights beginning on 10/07/2012. I'm in very early planning stages, but would appreciate any suggestions. Having never been to Hawaii, I barely know where to start.

    Selection of Islands -- I'm debating Oahu v. Maui v. Kauai. I'm looking for something romantic, laid-back, luxurious. They are not very athletic/active so nothing in the way of extreme sports. But beautiful (and preferably less crowded) beaches, snorkeling, a nice pool, good restaurants.

    My current points situation:
    UA: 195,000
    DL: 60,000
    Marriott: 150,000
    Hilton: 140,000

    I just took a new job where I'm traveling quite a bit for work and have the flexibility to pick my alliances, so I could concentrate on a specific hotel program if there is one with better options in Hawaii.
     
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  2. misman
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    misman Gold Member

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    Oahu and Waikiki are going to be cheaper (generally), but Honolulu is pretty much a city with a beach. For a "trip of a lifetime", I wouldn't suggest it.

    Maui (especially the Wailea area) is much more sedate and relaxing. There are lots of things to do, but also some nice beaches, snorkeling, etc. Furthermore, Kehei is just a few miles down the road with good choices of restaurants. I guess I like this area most because it is a much more "residential" area... less touristy. However, they'll probably need a rental car for Maui because it is more spread out from Waikiki.

    Others will provide their opinions...
     
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  3. WanderLuster
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    WanderLuster Silver Member

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    Thanks, Misman!

    I'm definitely leaning more towards Maui or Kauai. The reviews make Waikiki seem very busy/wild...I'm definitely looking for something more relaxed. I can certainly get them a rental car...ideally I could use my Hertz (or another car agency) points, but I could also pay out of pocked if needed.

     
  4. Audy_KTUH

    Audy_KTUH Silver Member

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    Have you considered the Island of Hawaii (the Big Island)? The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is awesome and the many towns that dot the island are small and quaint. As far as tourists go its definitely the least crowded of any of the islands. I work a lot on Maui and although the drives there are very scenic, they can be very congested because of the large numbers of tourist that are on the road. Kauai is also great for the scenery and beaches, but I find that the secluded spots can take some hiking to get to. Of course Kauai does have some really fantastic secluded beaches.
    I should mention that I am biased because I was born and raised on the Big Island so it is a place very dear to me. I do however travel to all the islands frequently for work and I find the Big Island to be the most laid back of them all. A rental car is required for them to see anything there but traffic is minimal in most places.
    The Hilton has a great property called the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the west side of the Island. Navigation is not a problem on the Big Island so you can pretty much have them stay anywhere and not worry about them getting lost.
    US and AS fly to KOA and CO flies into ITO.
    I will say that Maui, Kauai, and Oahu have landscapes that fit the scenic stereotypes that most people have of Hawaii, so if that's what your parents are looking for I'd recommend staying on either Kauai or Maui (because the traffic on Oahu can just be horrible at times).
    Each island has something spectacular and awesome so I'm sure they'd be happy visiting any of them.
     
  5. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I would second Audy_KTUH's recommendations and add a few of my own:

    - the J.W. Marriott Ihilani resort in Ko'olina (O'ahu) is laid back and well away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. They have a beautiful series of beaches on protected lagoons, a nice pool and there are some good restaurants within an easy drive. Also, if you parents are interested in something like the Arizona Memorial, it's about 35 minutes away, without having to go into town.

    - the Makena Resort, in the southernmost Wailea area of Maui is a very laid back hotel with a beautiful, uncrowded beach and some nice snorkeling and a newly refurbished pool. This hotel used to be known as the Maui Prince and has an extraordinarily comfortable feel to it. The staff is exceptionally nice and the restaurants within the hotel and in the area are very good. It's not a Marriott or Hilton, but you can book some exceptional packages online.
     
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  6. WanderLuster
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    WanderLuster Silver Member

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    Thank you all for the suggestions! I'm going to be home this weekend and plan on "giving" them the gift as an early 34th anniversary present (really just telling them what I intend to do) so that I can bring them into the planning process and make sure that they are really getting the trip of their dreams!
     
  7. techguru
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    techguru Silver Member

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    I would say Kauai staying at the St Regis Princeville (SPG points), and I'd email the GM (Milton Sgarbi), and let him know it is special. The Fairmont Orchid or Four Seasons on the Big Island if within your means. If you must do Oahu I'd stay at the Kahala -- awesome hotel, but kind of pricey. Let me know if you need him -- I'm on the Big Island almost every month...surf's up.
     

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