We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

K M
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
175 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

I am currently tossing up between Maui, Oahu and the Big Island.

All the online quizzes I have done, have been between Maui and the Big Island.

Oahu seems the easiest as we fly into Honolulu, but I don't like the idea of the crowds.

I want seclusion of a resort but still close to a city so we can explore if we want to.

A couple things we are after:

A beach or bay that looks like this...http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-ideas/cruise-the-south-pacific-islands-of-wala-noumea-lifou-and-vila/story-e6frfqd9-1225838569933

A nice resort with a large pool or a couple different pools that you can relax around.

A nice restaurant in the resort.

Nice rooms with the Hawaiian feel.

and if possible, close to water wildlife such as dolphins, turtles etc. (Big animal fans)

Please help me, I am pulling my hair out!!!!

K M
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
175 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

For example: The Hilton Waikoloa Village looks amazing!! But looks to be quite distant from things to do like snorkelling tours, horseriding etc.

(Sorry couldn't find the edit button!!)

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
26,697 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

Well, we need more info. How many nights total do you have for this trip? What time of year are you coming? Who is traveling? What is your nightly accommodation budget excluding taxes?

Truthfully any of the islands will work for you, although you're not going to find New Caledonia white sand here like in your photo, nor the extreme varied blues of the ocean like in the South Pacific because that's a function of the unique lagoon and atoll development there. But there are many nice beaches on all of the islands.

Only Oahu has a city. The other islands just have relatively small towns.

While Honolulu and Waikiki are busy, much of the rest of Oahu is rural so you really don't have to worry about crowds. Outside of Honolulu, I actually find Maui busier than Oahu.

Is there a reason Kauai isn't being considered?

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
26,697 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

IMO the Hilton Waikoloa is not amazing, it's one of my least favorite hotels on the island. The pools aren't heated and are crowded with kids, it has no open ocean access or beach, a sad captive dolphin lagoon, and mediocre overpriced restaurants with zero Hawaiiana feel. But I think you're putting the cart way before the horse. Choose an island first, you can find a great resort on all of them.

K M
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
175 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

Ok, we have 6 days (not including the day we arrive and the day we depart).

We are coming in January 2015. It will be myself and my husband (ages 23/25 at the present). We are not big socialising partiers or anything.

Our budget is up to $300 a night. Hopefully less, but will consider $300 given the right hotel.

I'm not really sure why I excluded Kauai, I think it was because it sounded quite secluded? I can't remember to be honest.

Oh really?

It looks picture perfect. :( Shame!!

Any idea where this is? theconstantrambler.com/wp-content/uploads/20…

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
26,697 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

That's Kaanapali on Maui.

Kauai really isn't secluded. The BI is much quieter overall than Kauai. But in January I'd go with Maui. Best whale watching, protected snorkeling on their south facing beaches, and a lot of beachfront resort choices.

K M
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
175 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

Is that around Wailea?

K M
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
175 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

What about Grand Wailea resort?

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
45,435 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

Wailea is the most expensive area on Maui to stay. The Grand Wailea would be hard to get on your budget.

Wailea is in south Maui, Kaanapali is in west Maui. About a 45 min. to an hour's drive from each other.

Kaanapali is a planned resort community. Full of hotels, restaurants, shops, condo's and great beaches.

Other options on Maui is Kihei which is a beach town in south Maui. Full of condo's, restaurants, shops a few hotels and great beaches.

Napili or Kapalua in west Maui but can be a bit rainy and larger surf during the winter months.

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
Level Contributor
26,697 posts
76 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

Kaanapali is in west Maui. Wailea is a good choice in winter as it is south. I personally don't like the Grand Wailea as it has way too many children for my taste, I find the service impersonal and the food overpriced and not great. But the pools are very good as is the location and it may not be overrun with kids if you're going after the winter break in mid January. I am not a big fan of mega resorts but it looks like a larger resort might well appeal to you. I think the GW may come in above your budget though. I like the Makena Beach resort but it's smaller and not as many pool bells and whistles. I would read through reviews, if you can find the Grand Wailea in your price range, it may just be perfect for you.

I would also post on the Maui forum as it's a very active forum with good experts who can advise on good options both in Wailea and Kaanapali in your price range.

Edited: 23 December 2013, 00:53
K M
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
175 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Calling all Hawaiian experts!!

I'm a little concerned about the winter swells. We only have 6 days (excluding day arriving and departing) and I don't want them to be just confined to resort pools.

I know this may be a stupid question, but is there anywhere where there is low chances of large waves? I hate waves! Think I had too many bad experiences getting dunked in them as a kid.

I had a look at the south coast of Maui and you're right. I was looking at $500-700 a night!! Is that normal??