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Help with trip planning

NJ
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50 posts
24 reviews
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Help with trip planning

We (family of three, with 7 yr old) will be traveling between August 19th to September 7th and have the following planned. First five nights in Oahu at the Halekunali. Eight nights in BI with first 2 in Volcano house and next 6 in a condo in Kona area. The last 6 nights will be in Maui. In Maui we have Grand Wailea booked but am getting a little nervous reading about the mixed reviews. Does it make sense to split Maui between Kanaapali area for 3 nights and 3 nights in Wailea at another resort. Overall how is the plan? We want it to be a mix of city and nature oriented trip with lots of beach time and hiking built-in. Should we consider Kauai instead of Maui? Thanks for any input.

California
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47 reviews
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1. Re: Help with trip planning

Everything seems perfect and I wouldn't change a thing. GW is fine don't worry about it, your 7 year old will love it. My only question is where your staying in Kona for 6 nights. Your other properties are fairly high end and Kona doesn't really have many, mostly just in the South Kohala Coast area which is where I would recommend anyway.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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2. Re: Help with trip planning

Please understand that you will be spending an incredible amount of time in airports, standing in rental car lines, checking into/out of resorts ... getting your bearings. So in that situation, I would not split the stay on Maui. If you are uneasy about the Grand Wailea - consider the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua or the Hyatt on Ka'anapali Beach.

If my fingers serve me correctly, you have 19 nights. That's great.

I always recommend Kauai in September. :o)

If you are flying in and out of Honolulu, I would stay at Halekulani (Oahu) at the end of the trip, not the beginning.

Choosing Island is SO difficult. Never an easy answer. It boils down to what you want to do and see.

NJ
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50 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: Help with trip planning

Thanks. Kona is already booked. In any case would like to mix up a bit to keep the cost in check. The primary reason for hesitating with GW is the cruise ship like atmosphere that many have reported as well as unpredictable service. Was leaning towards FS or to split between Ritz and FS. We do have late check out early check in priviledges through Amex platinum.

Those who have stayed at the FS, how are the garden view rooms?

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Help with trip planning

I don't like the GW at all. IMO the FS Wailea is much, much better for food, service, and rooms. I think the garden view rooms at the FS Wailea are fine but if you use a FSPP to book like whatahotel.com you'll get the best possible rates plus a free upgrade if available and also usually perks like free breakfast or parking or something,

I would definitely change your lodgings on the Big Island from Kailua Kona to the Kohala Coast, unless you're staying in a condo at the Four Seasons in North Kona. You'll have many choices on the Kohala Coast in the same price range as Kona options, and you'll avoid having to drive a couple hours every day to get to good beaches and open ocean access.

Chicagoland
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20,905 posts
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5. Re: Help with trip planning

WHERE in Kona? We are puzzled because Kona 'Town' doesn't have anything equal to your other choices, and no beaches.

Kauai's beautiful north shores are gorgeous in summer.

I'd skip GW. We have elaborate pool park places within an hour's drive of our mainland home. We do not have the Pacific Ocean.

NJ
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50 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Help with trip planning

In Kona, i booked at kona bali kai. Now i am not sure. Unfortunately the cancellation fee is quite high. Is it really bad? I realize it was probably a mistake....

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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7. Re: Help with trip planning

Yeah, no. You won't be happy there. Especially considering the other properties you're looking at. It's low end, lots of road noise, no ocean access. I don't understand why the cancellation few would be high since it's so far out?

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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8. Re: Help with trip planning

Kona Bali Kai is almost the cheapest place in Kailua Kona, and the rest of your choices are high end, so I think you are really going to end up not enjoying the Big Island the way you could. I cannot stand being in Kailua Kona that time of the year. Hot, humid, voggy, miserable. I would stay north.

Volcano House is overpriced for what it is, according to Shea.

There are much nicer places to stay in Volcano.

But the real mistake is the condo.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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9. Re: Help with trip planning

Volcano House has a great location but for what they charge you can get a much nicer and more spacious lodging at Volcano Village Lodge, five minutes from VNP. Plus it comes with full breakfast fixings you finish off in the kitchenette.

NJ
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50 posts
24 reviews
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10. Re: Help with trip planning

My interest at the VH is the location. How is the fairmont orchid in terms of location, if iam able to switch the condo?