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.

Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

Level Contributor
7 posts
19 reviews
Save Topic
Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

I'm excited about my first-ever trip to Hawaii in late April-early May but a bit overwhelmed. I'll be spending four nights on my own in Oahu adjusting to the time change and seeing the sights, then a week on the Big Island with a friend, then four more nights by myself in Maui. I'm a fit 60-year-old woman. My big questions: Where to stay in Maui, and best to split my time between two different locations to see more of the island? Necessary to rent a car? Necessary to join an excursion to Hana, and if so, which do you recommend? I fly into Kahului Airport. Thank you for your guidance!

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
56,544 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

Yes--rent a car! Maui is easy to drive (though frustrating traffic at times). I would suggest that you look at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, if you want something more 'middle of the road' than the bigger resorts. It's in a great location and though not fancy, a good place to stay for a first time visitor.

I would rec that you consider Valley Isle Excursions for the Road to Hana. As a solo, driving yourself means you won't see as much as when you are a passenger. Their vans are small and the guides are super.

Edited: 27 January 2014, 00:29
Amelia Island...
Level Contributor
1,146 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

In order to enjoy the views on the road to Hana I suggest you take a tour. We used Valley Isle and had a great time. They only have about 12 seats on their van. The driver/tour guide shared a lot of interesting information along the way.

Have a wonderful time on your trip!

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
22,573 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

Yup, rent that car! We use this site... http://discounthawaiicarrental.com/

I too really think a solo would enjoy the RTH more on the Valley Isle tour, we loved it after driving the road once ourselves.

Also agree with the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, great location to walk to dining and shopping with many opportunities to meet other folks! I'll know more after we stay there in a week or so!

Suggest you plan on a sunset sail from Kaanapali Beach. We always met neat folks every time we go!

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
47,028 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

Necessary to take a tour to Hana? No but it probably would be preferable. It would be a nice drive but you won't see much while driving!! I think it would depend on what else you want to do whether a car is really necessary for a short stay. What kind of budget per night are you on for accommodations? The KBH is nice but there are so many others to choose from!!

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
25,063 posts
92 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

Do you like onions???? Maui onions are wonderful, and you may very well be there for the Maui Onion Festival. It is held at Whaler's Village, usually the first weekend in May. We have gone twice, and had lots of fun there. Whaler's Village is right in the heart of Ka'anapali Beach, and you will be able to walk over there very easily from the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel.

Do you have a per night budget for a resort/condo? Just one place for sure, no need to move anywhere.

If you like walking, do make sure you drive up to Kapalua Bay and walk the Kapalua Coastal Trail. You will have gorgeous views all along the way.

And if you can manage the time to spend a day Upcountry, make sure you check out the jacaranda trees in bloom. A beautiful purple colour.

www.whalersvillage.com/2014-onion-schedule Here is the website for the onion festival!

Edited: 27 January 2014, 00:56
Level Contributor
7 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

I'm new to these forums so not sure if my response will show up for all to see, but I can't thank you enough for taking the time to share your suggestions! Unfortunately, I'll just miss the onion festival as I fly out that day. Which I had known! So I'm convinced that taking a tour to Hana (vs. driving) makes sense--I suspected as much--and that one hotel for four nights is OK. The sunset sail and walking route sound glorious. I think I could go up a notch from the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, though the location sounds quite perfect. I may never get to Hawaii again and have always wanted to go. So I don't want to stint but I would like to keep it to less than $250/night. Thank you, thank you for your thoughts!

ON, Canada
Level Contributor
13,217 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

Your posts are showing up on the thread for all to see :)

When you calculate your nightly cost, be sure to factor in tax (13.42%) and parking/amenity fees. I think KBH will be close to your budget, and possibly above for an ocean view or ocean front room. Even moving to a different area will make it difficult to go up a notch in quality and keep the total price below $250. night.

Do you prefer a hotel room or a unit with a kitchen?

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
22,573 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

We all see and are all here to help! I still really think the Kaanapali Beach area is great for you. If you want to go up a "notch" check out the Sheraton, Hyatt and the Westin. To be honest here, I still think that the KBH is a great fit for a single lady.

Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
12,516 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

I agree about the Kaanapali Beach Hotel...nice area and convenient to things. Get one of their ocean front rooms.

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
56,544 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Overwhelmed first-time visitor from Boston, traveling solo

KBH is a better fit for a single person in a few ways. It's not as big as the other K'pali or Wailea resorts, for starters. It is less "look at me, how cool am I" than they are too, in my opinion.

If you want a condo, look at Aston. I would choose Maui Kaanapali Villas for its low key vibe, nice cafe, wonderful grounds and beach. Book through Aston to avoid the private rental hassle for such a short stay.

Edited: 27 January 2014, 02:54