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Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Seattle, Washington
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Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Alaho Friends,

Ask

Please tell me places to avoid for housing. I know there is no perfect place to stay but if you can tell me what not to do then we can pick among the good choices.

Situation

Have to put together a trip for my family for mid-may 2103 for about a week. I have never been to BI. Frantically reading through as much TA content as possible. Major kudos to all experts - KK, Shea, PB & others for sharing information. Hotel rooms are no-go. We are strictly looking at condo/home rentals as we want to stay together and cook every day. We will be renting a car.

Party-Size

5 adults ranging from age of 21 to 55.

Party-Budget for housing

Up to $300 per night (excluding 13.4% tax, cleaning fee & security deposit)

Factors that are important

Snorkeling, Lounging at the white sandy beaches, Avoid lot of crowds & kids especially. Details:

Proximity to best snorkeling spots in May season (beginner to intermediate skill). Do such spots exist? I read there are great spots all along the west coast but most have either a rough entrance, the swell is going to around in May or too windy, too cold, etc. May be supervised tours are way to go for beginners – thoughts?

Proximity (no more than 30 min driving) to best beaches to lounge around for at least 2-3 days.

Factors that are not important

Good food within walking distance, Shopping within walking distance.

Areas we are considering:

Kohala Coast

- Condos in Mauna Lani because of Makaiwa Bay, the 49 beach and Pauoa beach.

- Condos in Mauna Kea because of proximity to Hapuna and MK beach which seem to be the best lounging beaches on BI

- Waimea

-- With 3-5 miles of Waimea. In the mountains there are some beautiful places with backdrop of green fields. How cold does it really get up there during May? Within 30 minutes of all the good beaches so figure it is worth exploring. Close to Waipo valley too, right?

Kona Coast

- Near Kahuluu bay because of snorkeling.

- Near captain cook – because of 2-step snorkeling site and proximity to other secluded beaches, volcano.

Not considering Waikola (because of density), Hilo (too far away from beaches).

Appreciate any specific advice or feedback you can provide to make our stay better during May 15th timeframe. Mahola

Edited: 13 April 2013, 21:30
Canada
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1. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Well, I am biased, but I would opt for a condo either at Mauna Lani or Mauna Kea.

We stayed in one of the Palm Villa condos at ML last winter for a full month, it was great for location, amenities, access to everything, etc ....

Canada
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2. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Your post is quite informative as to your wish list. .

How many bedrooms do you require for these 5 adults.....are there couples that will be sharing?So maybe a 3 bedroom?

I am inclined to say that Mauna Lani Resort would suit you rather well. There are many complexes to choose from....

We stayed in a 3 BR /3BA+Loft with over 1,800 sq ft at Golf Villas recently that had a distant Ocean view..Makaiwa Bay was a short hop away in the car.

Checkout the listings on vrbo to get a sense of the area,pricing, decor etc...There are many complexes there for you to consider. Most are modern construction within the past 8-9 years.

Some to consider Fairways, Palm Villas, KaMilo...etc

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Thank you Wanderlust & drbergen for taking the time.

Yes, 3 bdr is minimum unless there is an exceptional oceanfront 2bdr (But then they are super expensive in Kohala Coast) that you might know of? :)

For ML:

How far are the beaches from say Palm Villas? Some posts have said over a mile but I can't seem to find conclusive info. So it looks like driving within the resort is required too unless you stay in the Terrace or Point sections.

Canada
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4. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

The walk to the Beach Club from the Palm Villas is about 10-15 minutes, but it is through the lava field and around the ancient fish ponds, a beautiful stroll. Certainly less than a mile, more like a kilometer. :)

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Your research is good and you've received good feedback below. Definitely not Waimea, that doesn't make sense (as much as I love it up here!). Definitely not South Kona, the proximity to Honaunau Bay or Paea (not "two-step" please) is not worth all of the big downsides. Kahaluu is entirely mediocre and crowded, and the lodging options much less attractive. From any Kona location you'll be an hour plus from the "lounging" beaches.

The Mauna Lani area would IMO be far and away your best option. I like the Point for access to both Makaiwa and Honokaope, and the ocean views, but the other suggestions are good too. Mauna Kea really doesn't make sense, primarily because those condos really require you to drive to the beach (Kauna'oa) anyway, and you'll lose the big advantage of being walking distance to the Mauna Lani snorkeling spots and/or having a parking pass to Makaiwa.

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Btw, although Waikoloa Beach is a little too built up for me (I'm spoiled), and I don't think it's the best choice for for you based on your criteria, it is nowhere near as "dense" or busy feeling as the Kailua Kona area, and has a much better location vis a vis good weather, beaches, snorkeling choice, etc.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

@Shea:

May I ask why you say no to Waimea? We will have rental car so don't mind waking up early to get a good spot at the beach. Also if all beaches are public we should be able to snorkel at the good spots in Mauna Lani, no?

@All

Another issue that I have come across and would love more clarity on is: private parking for resort residents that put you close to the beach compared to public parking. How big of a deal is this really at Mauna Lani & Kea? I am not sure all condo rentals get the benefit of such private parking spots but wondering if it's a big deal that I inquire with the owners about it.

Canby, Oregon
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8. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

We stayef at fairways at mauna lani last year. June. 13 nites at 200 per nite. 3 three bdroom. Loved that beach with pass key for parking. Went there numerous times. To far to walk

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Your lodging options in Waimea are very, very slim. It's often rainy, windy, and cold. It just doesn't make sense when you have so many options at the coast, IMO.

At the Mauna Lani and the Mauna Kea, it makes a pretty big difference whether you're staying there or not in terms of beach access. The public access lot for Makaiwa is about a mile from the actual beach. That's a long slog with beach gear, plus you won't be able to use the loungers/cabanas unless you're an on property guest. Pretty much all the Mauna Lani condos come with a beach club/Makaiwa parking pass, to my knowledge.

Access to Kauna'oa is by a very limited number of parking passes which are gone most days by 9-10am.

Edited: 14 April 2013, 03:02
San Carlos...
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10. Re: Need recommendation: Last minute trip to BI

Mauna Lani in a heartbeat. Beautiful area with splendid weather, No way would I stay in Waimea, weather can be iffy, a long drive to the coast and not a lot to do. We go up to Waimea a couple of times each trip and it's usually 10 degrees cooler than Kohala.

Edited: 15 April 2013, 16:08