I started planning this trip last August. I knew we wanted to go to another island after 2 trips to Oahu. I quickly decided on Kaanapali area on Maui.
Airfare- I was using one miles ticket and in the end it was much more direct and cheaper to book round trip airfare to HNL and buy Hawaiian Air tickets separately. We decided to stay 2 nights in Waikiki before heading to Maui since we love the "hustle and bustle" of the Honolulu. Anchorage lacks the big city feel and we miss that despite loving living here. It was a perfect way to start our trip.
Honua Kai- WE LOVED THIS PLACE!!! The location, pools, views, and grounds of the resort was exactly what I was looking for. After extensive research, I decided on HK. I got the best deal and view booking Hokulani #749 (2 bedroom ocean view ) for $375 per night using Chasing Rainbows. I priced it out booking direct and other rental companies. I looked at VRBO as well. The communication from Chasing Rainbows was excellent and we had no issues. We also loved the underground parking garage which kept our car from getting hot!
rental car- as always we found Costco to have the best car rental rates. We ended up with a Mazda 5 which had 6 seats and was basically a mini mini van. It was tight with all the luggage in it but worked nicely that the 3 girls didn't have to sit 3 in the backseat.
Our big 3 activities was the Trilogy trip to Lanai, our afternoon at Haleakala, and parasailing with West Maui Parasailing. We enjoyed all 3, but the Trilogy day was everyone's favorite day of our entire stay. We also rented snorkel gear for Snorkel Bob's for the week. We went with the mid level equipment and all our masks were a bit leaky but the suggestion from here to not use sunscreen on our faces helped a lot!
We also drove the Wailea Beach, visited Maui Ocean Center, and drove to the blowhole. The highlight was the drive to the blowhole.
I had thought we would beach hop more but we were very content with "our beach". The snorkeling was great- lots of fish and colorful color coral. We aren't picky and didn't want to spend a lot of time in the car!
We bought local food from Times, Safeway, and Costco and ate most of our meals in the condo. It saved money and the views from our large lenai (with a large table) were fabulous! We ate at the Fish Market on day 1, Aloha Mixed Plate, and Leilani's. All were great! We also had snacks at Pailolo, the sports bar at the Westin, for every Blackhawks game. What a great bar!
Maui vs Oahu.- I love Oahu but we all decided we like Maui better mostly due to the better selection of resorts and great beach for walking. Oahu gets the edge for best island for driving AROUND though. I loved the clear and warm water of Maui.
Next year we are planning a 3 week trip to southern europe but if that is simply too expensive, we may spend 3 weeks in hawaii. Time will tell! Thanks for following along and I'll post a tripwow shortly!