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Oahu or Big Island?

chicago
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33 posts
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Oahu or Big Island?

We are hoping to travel in December and hope to stay 11 nights. We have to stay at a Hilton and need to pick between Hilton Waikoloa Village in Honolulu or The Bay Club on Big Island. We love hiking, beaches, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins and want to see a volcano. I have 2 kids 9 and 12 years old. Any advice for me on which place you would reccomend?

NORTH CAROLINA
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for Oahu
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1. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

I guess you mean Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu as Hilton Waikoloa is on the Big Island I have never heard of the Bay club.

Both islands have the things on your list but only the Big Island has the volcano.

As far as swimming with dolphins there's not a lot of that in the wild in Hawaii as the boats are not allowed to chase the dolphins. There are a couple activities where you can swim with captive dolphins on Oahu one at the Sea Life Park or at the Kohala Resort but I for one don' t think it's right but it's your decision.

Don't know about the Big Island maybe there is this kind of activity at the Hilto Waikaloa.

White Rock, Canada
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2. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

I think you need to consider what kind of a vacation you are looking for as Waikiki and the Big Island are two very different experiences.

Big Island - Much more laid back than Waikiki. Big Island is great if you enjoy driving around and exploring, hiking etc as so many places to go for outdoor activities. Desert looking areas to rainforest to the volcano. Just keep in mind the island is big (hence the name) and takes some time to get around, so it's usually a good trek to get around. Fantastic for golf as well. You just have to recognize when you get up to the hotel area it is somewhat remote. Limited food options etc, but if you have a condo (which I think the Bay Club is), then you can also load up on food at Costco and save some $$$. I don't think the Bay Club is right on the beach but rather on the golf course, so need to factor that in too. Hilton Waikoloa resort I think has Dolphinquest where you can swim with dolphins. Your call on that though as dolphins in captivity is a somwhat touchy subject. Go on the Big Island forum and you will see lots of discussion on that.

Waikiki - Hilton Village is going to be right on the beach in a big resort complex. Some like the complex and others feel it is like Vegas in Hawaii. You can likely get away with not having a car as easier to get around in Waikiki. Tons of shopping options as well. Can just rent a car for the day if you wanted to go up to say North Shore for a day excursion. Tons of restaurant options all in walking distance as you are basically vacationing in a tropical city.

It's going to come down to what kind of vacation you and your kids want. Another option would be to split the trip up. Maybe Big Island for a week and then 4-5 nights Waikiki? I always find it a bit of a pain to move around in the middle of a trip, but you would get both experiences. Two vacations in one! Whatever you decide, both islands are great. I think you just need to match up your key wants from your trip to the best island.

Cheers!

chicago
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33 posts
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3. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

Sorry yes, Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu. My choices are that one Waikokoa Beach Resort in Waikoloa or Bay Club in Waikoloa. Just "seeing" dolphins swimming would be a thrill. I'm not a fan on the commercial "swim with dolphin places" but we'd love to be able to just "see" them.

California
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4. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

Are you traveling over the Christmas/New Year's holidays? It makes a BIG difference.

Given that you have your names of resorts mixed up ... does that change what you are thinking? As others have said - these two resorts are very different.

chicago
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5. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

Sorry yes, Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu. My choices are that one Waikokoa Beach Resort in Waikoloa or Bay Club in Waikoloa. Just "seeing" dolphins swimming would be a thrill. I'm not a fan on the commercial "swim with dolphin places" but we'd love to be able to just "see" them.

chicago
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33 posts
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6. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

Yes- we are planning on going during Christmas/New Years. based on that, what would you change?

California
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for Oahu
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7. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

Staying put - in one place - is a good idea. As much as I personally dislike the ZOO that is the Hilton Hawaiian Village ... anywhere will be crowded around Christmas. I think your kids will enjoy the Waikiki decorations - as well as the decorations downtown.

There is so much to do on Oahu - both in the City of Honolulu and in the more rural areas. Make sure that you reserve your car in advance.

White Rock, Canada
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8. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

I think BLBL makes a good point. Last time I was on the Big Island, some people said their kids did find it a bit boring at times. Not such a big deal if littler kids as they are happy splashing around anywhere, but those with teens or teeny boppers needed more stuff to keep them interested.

chicago
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9. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

That is a good point. I love the sound of quieter resort but I don't want to have to drive a lot everyday to keep the kids entertained. If there are great beaches nearby then that is fine...a beach or activities within a 15 minutes drive? And we can do bigger drives to explore other things every few days. Sounds like a nice condo resort with a pool and golf and that's about it in the area???

White Rock, Canada
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10. Re: Oahu or Big Island?

They are just different places with different vibes. The Hilton on the Big Island is in an resort area called Waikoloa. It's like a big resort area with different hotels, condos, shops, restaurants, a grocery store etc all in a big resort complex. There is another resort complex up the road say another 10 mins called Mauna Lani with similar. So there is stuff in the area, but it is much more limited than Waikiki and you need a car unless you plan to just stay in the resort complex. However, 11 days in the resort would get old real quick I think.

I personally really like the Big Island as I find it quiet, love all the golf options, and think the beaches are fantastic. Just sucks trying to find places to eat sometimes. My wife finds it a bit boring though - but my guess is because there aren't any Louis Vuitton stores in walking distance! haha

Check this website out. Go under Free Travel Info and then Resort aerials and you can look at maps of Oahu, Big Island, Maui etc. It will give you a sense of the areas, distances etc. I love all the islands and can have a great trip on any of them. My opinion is Oahu probably best meets your needs though, especially from the kids perspective.

hawaiirevealed.com/free-travel-info/maui/mau…