Where to stay in Hawaii?

Mr. Pundit and I just celebrated our 13 year anniversary. He got me a most beautiful diamond ring. I got him some wool socks. Oops. HE WANTED THEM, OKAY!

Sooo, I’ve been thinking of surprising him with something as nice as he got me. Our 15 year anniversary will be in April of 2004 and I’d like to plan a trip to Hawaii.

This means I have to start saving now. And in order to figure out how much I need to put away each month, I need to determine how much a hotel/suite/villa would run. I’ve gone on line but you can’t really get a good idea what it’s like from pictures. And the prices vary a lot.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions for places to stay at either location? Something in between the 4 Seasons and the Bates Motel…? An ocean view would be nice. A separate bedroom/kitchen would be great. We’re looking for something laid back and somewhat private. I’m not into big crowds.

Thanks a lot for your input.

Here’s a start for the Big Island:


I actually stayed here for a while and was pretty pleased ( you can see the ocean, but it’s not quite beach front - more like a quarter-mile back - the first photo at the top is fairly accurate ).


I know folks that have stayed at a few of the others on this list and were very enthusiastic. If you like I’ll get the details on which ones they were specifically ( but I know they were some of the less expensive ones ).

  • Tamerlane

Which island do you intend to visit? Are you limiting yourself to Oahu and the hustle and bustle of Honolulu? Or do you intend to run with the jetset on Maui? Or do you want to revel in the splendor of the Garden Isle, Kauai? Or are you drawn to the volcanoes of the Big Island?

If the Big Island is in your plans, I highly recommend an nice little B&B called Hale Ohia. There are suites and cottages of various sizes at reasonable rates that should meet you needs. While there is no ocean view, you are only minutes away from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Kilauea. And Punalu’u black sand beach is a short drive away. A green sand beach is a little further away, but it’s kind of remote and difficult to get to.

Hey, Tamerlane-- I grew up near Kapoho. Woo hoo Daggers!
(drive-by post)

Well, ppl don’t go to hawaii, they go to Maui or Oahu or Honolulu.

Right now round trip from Oakland California to Maui on certain days is $199.00 from Ryan air.

I like their planes- they are fast, they also have, get this, are you sitting down? Buy one person
Hawaii-ish Travel package,
second person can fly for free. suntrips.com

That site can tell you just where to go too.

Yeah, it depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation, Lisa. Do you want crowds and nightlife and golf resorts and traffic? If so, go to Oahu or Maui. If you want nature and hiking and relaxation and serenity, go to Kauai or the Big Island.

Better yet, if you are going to be there for a week or so, I recommend getting a 7-day island pass on Aloha Airlines, which gives you unlimited inter-island flights. We made Honolulu our base for the first 4 days of our trip and took day trips to Kauai and Maui, returning to our hotel in Waikiki each night. Then we spent the last couple of days on the Big Island, using our island pass on the last day to return to Honolulu for our flight back to the mainland. If we had had time, we would have daytripped to Molokai and Lanai, as well. Definitely worth the $600 we spent on two passes.

I spent about 5 or 6 years working in Japanese tourism in Waikiki, and 6 1/2 living in Waikiki. My favorite is the Pacific Beach hotel. It’s beachfront, at the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, reasonably priced (or it was), and has a gorgeous 3 story aquarium. Out of all the hotels I dealt with, it was my favorite, and it also had the best concierge in town, as well as an outdoor jacuzzi. They also converted a bunch of what I called “second floor garbage view” rooms into a gym about 10 years ago. If you’ve got a bit more money, I’d recommend one of the rooms in the old buildings of the Royal Hawaiian or the Sheraton Moana Surfrider. If money is no object, the Halekulani.

As for cheap things to do, if they still have local music at the Sheraton Moana Surfrider, by all means, take an evening and go and listen to it, especially if a guy named Moe Keale is performing. You can sit under the same banyan tree Robert Louis Stevenson sat under, watch a beautiful sunset, and realize you are in paradise.

Basking in fond memories

HAHAHA Maui is not known for its hustle and bustle and nightlife.

If you plan on going to Maui, you’ll want to stay at one of the big resorts (just for relaxing). During the day, you can go to Lahaina and buy trinkets. But that’s about it.

You want nightlife, you have to come to Oahu and stay in Waikiki.

By the way, Waikiki is a frikking blast-- I wish I’d been older when I visited (haven’t been since I was 18). I couldn’t believe how busy everything was at 2 in the morning. Of course I was visiting from Pahoa. . .
If you like, you know, people-watching and parrot shows and touristy-pleasant luau/hula and mai tais and stuff do Oahu. If you like nature and odd geological bits and less friendly beaches try the Big Island (or Maui or Kauai if you want to get away from civilization and see some more lush tropical land). There are a couple of swank resorts on Big Island so you can have comfort and be in the sticks if you like. I think Maui is sort of in the middle there.

There is a green sand beach that’s relatively close to the road. I know we used to go there all the time as kids. Have no idea how to get there though. But I can describe the beach perfectly.

Unless it got covered over by lava. I hate when that happens.

That green sand beach is still there-- if you go to south point you can head up the coast a bit and then there’s about a 2 or 3 mile hike to the beach.

We’re pretty low key people. A great day for me would be a walk on the beach, a little snorkeling, a hike to a waterfall, listening to an acoustic guitarist, playing a little tennis…that sort of thing. We’re not into clubbing and shopping at trinket shops.

We’d like to avoid big crowds. For instance, no wall to wall beach towels at the beach.

A bed and breakfast sounds great. Or, since we’ll probably invite another couple along, a 2 bedroom condo. Just don’t know how realistic a condo is in our budget. Would like to spend ~$200/night or perhaps a little more if we have an oceanview.

Also, are there “in season” and “off seasons” in Hawaii?

Thanks for all your advice so far.

I went to Maui twice in 2001, no surf…LolaBaby, you can get a nice Luau on Maui. From the air you
I see that Maui is covered with 80% barren dry lava. I went to a ‘sandy’ beach, cause I couldn’t find any sandy beaches, so my friends took me to
a sandy beach & I banged into lava a few times in the water.

We usually go to the Big Island, rent a condo close to Kailua. A nice oceanfront with pool is actually pretty reasonable. We haven’t been in a couple years, but I think we got a one bedroom for about $70 a night.
We usually sandwich it around a night or 2 at the Volcano House, right on the rim of the crater.
There’s lots of places to browse condos online. It’s actually enjoyable up to the point where you reach “browser burn.”

I just - JUST - got home from Maui. We honeymooned in Lahaina, and it was really great. It’s very easy to book trips as packages there, they save a lot of money. I’ve actually used honeymoon planners to plan normal trips I’ve taken - they have a lot of experience and knowledge of things like that, and can find killer deals (such as the one Handy mentioned; I’ve seen that offered for several different trips.)

I’ve been to the Big Island, and to Ohau, but I definitely liked Maui best. We stayed in a resort/condo type place (Lahaina Shores) It was very affordable, I think it was $1800 for the both of us, 5 nights, including airfare from Oregon. Of course, meals and whatnot cost more, and we shopped like mad.

You can take about a billion different cruise tours, activites, etc. We went to a luau, took a dinner/dance cruise, went scuba diving out at Molokai, and a whale watching / lunch trip. We also took a day out and drove to Hana, which was probably the coolest car trip I’ve ever taken.

As for “on and off” seasons - it’s very very very hot there in the summer, so I’ve been told that winter and spring are the busier times, but then again, summers are breaks for college and school. Spring brings honeymooners, winter brings people escaping the cold on the mainland. We asked a few local people, they all said it’s all seasonal, just different people come at different times.

Good luck and have fun planning!!!