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My husband and I are trying to plan a vacation to Hawaii for a week.. This would be the first long leisure trip we are taking after our marriage.. needless to say, I can hardly wait

After much deliberation, and net research, we decided on just one island, Maui. Does anybody on MD have any suggestions on a hotel to stay. We just randomly picked Grand Wailea, Sheraton Maui, Four seasons, but are open to others.
I am getting confused looking at the prices, the facilities, the location etc. Anyone here has any recommendations?

Mahalo!
 
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I've stayed in Wailea several times (the Hawaii International Conference on Systems Studies has been held there quite a few times.) The conference has always been at the Intercontinental, which is right down the road from the Grand Wailea and Four Seasons. Wailea has a wonderful beach and is generally a quiet resort area. It's a good place to stay if you want to relax, eat well, and turn in early. It's expensive. The Four Seasons is really nice; they have a private beach.

The Sheraton Maui is in Lahaina, which is more of a little town. It's noisy and there's some nightlife (although I think the hotel, right on the beach, is probably quiet enough.) Good place to stay if you want to party! The whale-watch boats leave from that area as well.

If you're on a budget, look for places in Kihei -- it's got a perfectly nice beach, but it's more the family-motel kind of location. It's noisy and touristy and crowded, but some people like that kind of thing.
 
kayal cox
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Actually, we do have a budget.. but its reasonably large. Wailea did manage to fit inside it. But when we added the resort fee, the fees for the spa facilities, the snorkeling, parasailing etc, we started getting questions.

We would definitely like to experience some nightlife and partying, if we choose to. So, from what you say, Sheraton seems to be a good choice, and maybe FourSeasons. Let me get a quote on that right away! Thanks..

And hey, can you explain a bit more about Hawaii International Conference on Systems Studies? sounds interesting..
[ March 09, 2005: Message edited by: kayal cox ]
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Originally posted by kayal cox:

And hey, can you explain a bit more about Hawaii International Conference on Systems Studies? sounds interesting..



It's a nice, small, friendly interdisciplinary conference, held every January in Hawaii. The web site is here. Let's see now... here is the last paper I presented there. Yikes! It's been four years since I've been to Hawaii! Didn't seem that long...
 
kayal cox
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Thanks for the links. I am no geek, but I would love to attend a techie conference, IF it was held in Hawaii
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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Oh, one more thing: don't miss hiking down into Haleakala crater! And when you go, bring a hat that covers your ears -- the wind is cold!
 
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We've just come back from a two week vaction on Oahu. Was great fun. Had the chance to stay on Maui as well when I went there in 2002.

Check out Bike Hawaii. They do a number of bike tours across many of the islands.

Id second Ernests recommendation on Haleakala. The tour I went on, you get picked up from your hotel at 3am, and driven to the summit to watch the sun rise over the crater. Then you get an half an hour or so to walk about the summit while they get the bikes ready. Be warned its at a very high altitude, and lose your breath quite easily if you do any thing hectic.

The cycle down is very easy, theres very little cycling per se, its all free wheeling. Half way down you stop for lunch and then continue until you reach the shore!

Definitely worth it.

Mark
 
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And, of course, you will take the road to Hana, once. Definitely try to go on one of those snorkelling trips, I liked the three hour one. We stayed at the Maui Prince, which is just south of the Wailea hotel. The Wailea hotel has the best luau. The North part of the island is the most crowded, and the South part is very quiet. But crowded is still a relative term.

Mark
 
kayal cox
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Thanks for all the replies... Having never been to Hawaii before, the anticipation of the trip is almost killing me
 
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I'd pay a visit to Oahu for at least a day if I were you. Honolulu is cool and the great thing about it is that being so diverse and with all the Japanese tourists you feel like you are in a foreign country.
Visit Polynesian Cultural Center if you have a chance. Then there are few dinner cruises and dinners/shows on the beach that are also great. I forgot their names but they are easy to find as they are main attractions there. And oh yeah, going down 120 feet in Atlantis Submarine is something you should do too.
Have fun.
 
kayal cox
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Thanks for the suggestions. Will definitely try to fit them in
 
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
My husband and I are trying to plan a vacation to Hawaii for a week.. This would be the first long leisure trip we are taking after our marriage.. needless to say, I can hardly wait

After much deliberation, and net research, we decided on just one island, Maui.

Mahalo!



Here's a strategy the wife and I used. We figured we wanted to experience some resort/spa amenities PLUS some shopping, snorkeling, hiking, biking, helicopter rides, etc. away from wherever we were staying. So we stayed at an inexpensive condo up in Ka'anapali (on the west shore of the western lobe of Maui) for three nights while doing all the activities around the island, using the condo as "crash space". Then we spent the last three nights at the Grand Wailea and took full advantage of the pools, massages (including a disturbingly thorough body scrub), water slides, restaurants, etc.

That way we didn't pay Grand Wailea prices for time we spent checking out the humuhumunukunukuapua'as out by Molokini and nenes up on the volcano, but we still had a couple entire days of nothing more strenuous than raising a hand to have the server bring another pina colada.

BTW, if you're in the Lahaina area, be sure to do dinner at Io or Pacific'o. Get a table that faces the beach so that you can watch the sun set over Lanai. (If I recall correctly, Io has fewer view-blocking trees.)

Ryan
[ March 17, 2005: Message edited by: Ryan McGuire ]
 
kayal cox
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Hey, I think that is a neat idea. Let me get a quote on that from my travel agent. May I ask you, how did you pick the condo? Can you give any recommendations?

Thanks...
 
Ryan McGuire
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Originally posted by kayal cox:
Hey, I think that is a neat idea. Let me get a quote on that from my travel agent. May I ask you, how did you pick the condo? Can you give any recommendations?



Sorry I just don't remember the name of the place where we stayed. It turned out to be a pretty small room, but clean. The condo property was right on the beach, but our building was the one closest to the road. But since we weren't there very much, it didn't really matter. Along those lines, you could try to book the smallest/cheapest room available at the best place.

Just remember -- all the extra amenities in the world don't matter if you're going to be off the property for 14 hours a day. All you need to care about are the basics: Is it clean? Do the doors lock? That kind of thing. Maybe you'll want laundry facilities, maybe not. Another thing to consider is comparing the restaurant service at the condo (if any) to how often you'll be there at breakfast or dinner time. You don't necessarily want any thing fancy -- just enough to grab a quick bite if you didn't get any dinner after snorkling.

I hope this helps.
Ryan
[ March 17, 2005: Message edited by: Ryan McGuire ]
 
kayal cox
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It sure does. Thanks...!
 
Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
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