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Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

Hoboken, New Jersey
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Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

Hello!

We are planning our honeymoon in Hawaii for September 2013 and are going to Honolulu, the Big Island and Maui.

But, on the Big Island we can't decide if we are better off staying in Kona or Waikoloa! Through our Marriott points, we can stay for free at either the Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel in Kona or at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Waikoloa.

We are definitely looking for luxury and a nice, clean, safe fun hotel.

We will be renting a car and plan on staying ofr 3-4 days. We want to go to the Volcano, do some site seeing (any suggestions?) and see the beautiful beaches.

Would like to be around more honeymooners or 30 somethings as well.

Welcome all suggestions and thanks in advance!

LA
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1. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

If you want luxury, then you can cross the Courtyard King Kamehameha off your list.

The Waikoloa Beach Marriott is a step up, but it ain't luxury, either.

How many nights are you staying? The Big Island is really big and most of us do not recommend less than 5 nights to be able to see or do anything.

Hoboken, New Jersey
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2. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

thank you for the feedback!

I figured the Mariott would not be luxury so wrong term but we would like to stay at the nicer of the two hotels (even though they will be free under our points) but also the one that would be convenient. We are staying for 3-4 days on the Big Island then off to the Four Seasons in Maui for 6 days.

California
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3. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

Another vote for Marriott Waikoloa or almost any other property on the Kohala Coast. The Marriott isn't a 5 star hotel like some of the others but it a good solid property that most people enjoy. I agree that 3 or 4 days is pretty short for the Big Island but I would certainly still enjoy it.

How long is your total stay in Hawaii? If it's only a week or 10 days I would only try to do two islands, anything more would be to rushed and to much time wasted at airports and changing hotels.

Hoboken, New Jersey
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4. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

Thank you! Very helpful! We are planning to stay anywhere from 13-16 days.

We are debating 2 options:

Option 1:

3 days in Honolulu

3-4 days in Lanai

3-4 days on the Big Island

6 days on Maui

Option 2: (cut out Lanai)

3 days in Honolulu (staying at the Westin)

3-4 days on the Big Island

5-6 in Maui (staying at the Four Seasons)

We heard there wasn't much to see on Lanai and it was more just relaxation. If the case, we would probably forgo it and spend the extra time on Maui where I hear there is a lot to do/see and also equal relaxation on the beach.

We figured since we have enough points to stay at a Mariott for free, it was best to stay at the nicer of the two locatoins on the Big Island. We want to end in Maui.

I think we will be staying at the Waikoloa.. Is it nice??

thanks so much!

LA
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5. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

Option 1 is awful. Drop it.

Option 2 is better, but 3-4 nights on The Big Island is not good.

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

If I had the Marriot points and the time I would do 11 nights total on the Big Island and bag the island hopping (you'll burn up better part of two days doing that). Think about 5 nights Marriot Waikoloa then splurge in the middle at either Kilauea Lodge Volcano or Shipman House Hilo then come back around to 3 nights King Kamehemeha (not a luxury hotel but upscale). That will give you a real nice mix of the Big Island and you'll have plenty to see and do and can throw in some completely lazy days on the nice beaches like Hapuna Beach or Wailea Bay.

California
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7. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

I pick door number 2.

Canada
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8. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

How many NIGHTS do you plan to be away?

With an estimate of 13-15 nights....I would only recommend 2 Islands tops. As others have mentioned ...you will lose so much valuable Honeymoon time in Airports ...checking out...waiting to check-in etc.

The Inter- Island fares can add up.. I would fly into one Island and back to the mainland from the last Island visited.

Car rentals are more expensive when less than a week. A 5 day rental is the same as a weekly.

Never been a fan of the Waikoloa Beach Marriott....but it's definitely way better than the Courtyard.The rooms are teenie tiny....unless your points are being redeemed for a suite. Definitely leave the 4 S on Maui....to the end ..as to not be let down.

The Big Island is huge .....and to adequately see VNP....you would need to spend at least one night on the East side.

If the Big Island is still on your agenda after doing some research......split the nights ....half on Big Island (7).....and half on Maui(7)

Chicagoland
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9. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

You'll have two weeks in Hawaii? Are you flying nonstop from the east coast to Honolulu, and back from there?

I would do two or three islands. I'd be OK dropping Big Island just because: It is so big; will be hot in September; and your hotel choices there are not wonderful. (OK, just not great.) Big Island is also the least 'beachy' island. If you want to see the volcano, you need to 'move house' -- staying part time Kohala Coast and a night or two in Volcano.

You are right about Lanai -- lovely to stay Four Seasons, but not a lot to do outside of scenery.

I'd include Kauai over Big Island or Lanai on this trip.

If you've never visited Hawaii, you might want to spend time in two places on Oahu: Waikiki and Turtle Bay (north shore).

You will be happy winding up at 4S on Maui. Also consider the Ritz in Kapalua.

You need to realize you'll be wiped out for your first day while you adjust to the time change, and that each 'hop' between islands will cost you at least four hours door-to-door -- probably more. Also, the joy of Hawaii is slowing down to Island Time in order to soak up the Aloha -- not so much checking 'sights' off your list.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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10. Re: Honeymoon in Hawaii - Kona or Waikoloa?

You are not right about Lanai. The notion that there is little to see or do there is absurd, and usually propagated by people who either haven't actually spent much time there, never leave the resorts, or define 'things to do' as shopping and nightlife. If you are active and enjoy peace, quiet, hiking, swimming, offroading, golf, horseback riding, deserted beaches, kayaking, sailing, fishing, etc. you can easily fill weeks on Lanai. It's a great honeymoon spot, has two great affordable (relatively) luxury Four Srasons hotels, and is an ideal contrast to busy Maui or Oahu. It has some of the best golf and ocean conditions in the state, and you'll often find yourself alone on pristine beaches and hiking trails. It also has important historical sites and petroglyphs.

It looks to me like you have about two weeks. Traveling from the east coast, I'd stick to two islands. I would also pass on the Big Island because your hotel choices aren't good. The Marriott Waikoloa is on a very mediocre beach with tiny rooms, and feels like an airport hotel. If you do decide to go with the BI, allocate at least a week and plan to spend a couple of nights in volcano.