REVIEW FROM OAHU & LANAI: OAHU & LANAI (by Knottie Jells1107)
REVIEW & PHOTOS FROM OAHU: OAHU (by Knottie UWECSARAH)
REVIEW & PHOTOS FROM THE BIG ISLAND, KAUAI & OHAU: HAWAII (by Knottie MrsRosie)
REVIEW & PHOTOS FROM THE BIG ISLAND & OAHU: HAWAII (by Knottie GailPaul)
REVIEW & PHOTOS FROM THE BIG ISLAND & MAUI: HAWAII (by Knottie rroxyggurl)
REVIEW & PHOTOS FROM THE BIG ISLAND: HAWAII (by Knottie now_mrs.t)
Much delayed Kauai trip report (very long)
From: CajunStorm Date: 1/13/2005 at 11:41 am
We took this trip to Kauai in October 2004. I keep journals on trips so this is quite detailed (don't blame you if it's too long to ready) but I know that I like reading details to help me decide on planning so I posted it anyhow. Enjoy!...
WED, OCT 27 (DAY 1):
We left the house at 8am and got to DFW around 9am (thinking we had lots of time). AA.com showed our gate as C2 so we drove into terminal C and “attempted” to find a parking spot. After 10 minutes of aimless searching we realized that we’d have to park at another terminal. So Joe helped me bring the luggage into the ticketing area and took off to park. After another 15 minutes he finally arrived in a taxi – he had parked at terminal A! So we go to the check in counter and find out that our gate has changed to A29!!??!! I was furious! We checked our luggage and ran out to another taxi. The security line was long so it took another 10 minutes to get through it. By the time we got to our gate it was 9:40am and everyone but us had already boarded! We got on board and collapsed into our first class seats (2A & B). I immediately drank 2 glasses of champagne and we were off to Hawaii. Yeay!!!!
My first class meal was Mahi Mahi with rice and spinach. The fish was dry but tasty. Joe had barbequed chicken which was much better and he seemed to like it. As I write this I’m waiting for my ice cream sundae and for “Stepford Wives” to start on the movie screen. The sundae turned out to be ok but the movie was pretty dumb. I even caught some cat naps during the movie. After reading more of Stephen King’s “Wolves of the Calla: The Dark Tower V” and seeing “The Terminal” it seemed like we were getting ready to land in no time at all. We did notice that the ride seemed much bumpier than usual during the entire ride.
We landed about 1pm. This time we found the Wiki Wiki shuttle to Hawaiian Air with no problem. We had plenty of time – our flight didn’t board until 2:40pm. So it was nice to be able to leisurely walk around Honolulu airport. It’s even pretty there – lots of gardens. Since we were there so early we were lucky enough to be the 2nd set of people to stand in the open seating line and snag great seats on the plane (left side by a window).
When we landed on Kauai it took so long to get the terminal walk-up thing lined up to the aircraft that our bags were already at the baggage claim area. Great! We rushed over to the Hertz shuttle. We got a little stressed because the driver didn’t have my name on his list. But it was actually on the Gold board at the Hertz office. So we got dropped off at our Ford 4wd (Explorer, I think).
It was now 4pm and it took about 30 minutes to get to the Hyatt. It was so exciting to see the views and go through the Eucalyptus Tree tunnel on the way. At check in we were told about a huge sale on room upgrades. We got very excited because it sounded so great. Here were the upgrade prices (per night):
Ocean View Suite - $250
Deluxe Ocean View Suite - $350
Presidential Suite - $1,000
Joe actually contemplated the Presidential Suite but it sounded like the Ocean View Suite would be fantastic enough for us. So we got our room assignment – 5008 – and the bellhop showed us the way. It was quite a walk but we were SOOO excited when we saw the room! It was absolutely gorgeous and HUGE! There were 2 areas, Jacuzzi tub, and a huge lanai opening into both rooms facing the ocean.
We cleaned up a little and went downstairs along the beach to see when Tidepools opened for dinner – 5:30pm. It was 5pm so we went up to the lobby terrace and had drinks – Miller Lite for Joe and Lava Flow for me. This was my first Lava Flow – now I know what the fuss is all about! Totally yummy!
We went back to Tidepools and scored an awesome table by the koi pond. The restaurant got a little crowded and service seemed slow but we still enjoyed it – we were in Kauai for goodness sake! We had some bread (which was just ok), Ahi Sashimi (delicious), Seafood Mixed Grill for Joe (excellent) and Kauai Spiced Opah for me (just ok – too rich and not what I remembered from our last visit). We got 2 vanilla smoothies to go and headed back to our fabulous room.
It was 7pm so I was able to watch Lost as usual. Joe fell asleep during the show while I did some unpacking and got ready for bed. Good night!
THURS, OCT 28 (DAY 2):
I woke up at 4am. Joe got up around 5:25am. We watched the sunrise and got ready for breakfast. We got downstairs around 7:05am and went to Ilima Terrace (which was closed on our last visit). Joe noticed a spider hanging down from a chandelier in the dining area. We sat down and had some things from the buffet: potatoes, scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, juices (OJ and guava) and milk (which I think tastes funny in Hawaii). We tried a couple of pastries. The food was ok but not exciting.
After eating we checked out Lamont’s Gift shop and went to our room. We got our stuff together and headed out. I’m not sure what the time was when we left our room. We stopped at Big Save in Waimea for snacks and water.
Then we headed up the Canyon. It was a nice, sunny day this time (it had rained on the canyon on our last trip). On the way up we saw a spectacular view of Waipoo Falls (hike we did last year along Canyon Trail). We made a stop at the canyon lookout next – pretty but the sun wasn’t quite high enough to light up all the valleys. We stopped at the Kokee Museum next. The old lady at the counter was a little gruff with us because we didn’t know how long we wanted to hike so she could tell us which hike to take. She told us that Pihea Trail (at top of Canyon) would be very wet. So we left and headed that way anyway.
We stopped at the last lookout (about 10am) and got ready to hike. As we checked out the lookout it was sunny but starting to mist. As we stood there an amazing rainbow appeared in the valley below! We were THRILLED! We got lots of photos of this phenomenal event.
The rainbow continued to be in the valley and became more brilliant as we started the hike. At first the trail went downhill and was sort of smooth and rocky at the same time. The slightly wet smoothness made it very slippery. Then the trail got muddy. Sometime after the half mile marker (took at least 30 minutes to get there) we ran into a German couple coming towards us. They were saying that the trail got worse. Then an American couple came and told us they didn’t make it to the lookout since it was so bad. But we continued on anyway (bad decision). Well, we had at least 3 obstacles along the way that should’ve made us turn around but we didn’t (yet). First some spots were so muddy that it was likely ankle-deep with mud. Then there were parts that started going upward and there were hardly any trees or anything to grab onto (totally slippery by now). Plus it started raining instead of misting and we put our disposable ponchos on (they had been stowed in our handy backpack). We turned around when Joe saw that the trail started to become almost completely vertical. Disappointed, we started our hike back to the car through the “mess”.
As we walked across the parking lot to get to our car Joe swears he saw Bill Nye the Science Guy. It was around noon when we got to the car. We were starved, of course. So we decided to head down and eat at Waimea Brewing Co.
There were several other people already at the restaurant but we still managed to get a nice window seat. The breeze here was awesome and felt wonderful. Joe saw a lizard at our window immediately. The food took forever but tasted great: Plantation Nachos and Ahi Poke Wrap. We shared them which was perfect since they were huge. A stray cat came up to our table (I had forgotten that there were a ton of cats on this plantation) and I gave him some of my fish. I suspected a lot of customers did this since he slinked off to another table when it looked like we were out of food!
It was around 2pm by now and we went back to the Hyatt. We went up to the room, slathered on sunscreen and headed to the pools. After finding towels and water slide wristbands, we put our stuff on some chairs and rode the waterslide a few times (50 foot long) – very fun! Then we swam around in one of the huge lagoons (part was sandy – like kitty litter though – and then dropped off deeper with rocks and gardens surroundings – beautiful. It had been raining off and on when we first got out there but the rain had stopped while we were at the waterslide. After swimming around we decided to find beach chairs. First we stopped at the beach bar to pick up drinks – vanilla smoothie for Joe and Lava Flow for me. My drink was great but poor Joe said his drink tasted like “rancid milk”. He dejectedly threw it away. The beach was crowded but luckily a couple moved from a shaded set of lounged chairs to ones in a sunny spot. It was very nice because this was one of those green, padded chairs with the adjustable cover. Perfect! Well, the water was quite rough so there were a ton of people right there surfing and boogey-boarding (or trying to). It was quite the show!
Sometime around 5pm we headed upstairs to clean up and rest. Joe didn’t feel very well. We ended up staying in and ordering room service: Seeded Ahi Sashimi, 2 Mahi sandwiches, Cheesecake, Mousse Cake and a bottle of champagne (which was a free gift from the Hyatt). The Sashimi was great. The sandwiches were pretty good. I liked the cheesecake but not the mousse cake. This was perfect since it was reverse for Joe with the desserts. We watched Survivor (Vanuatu) and The Apprentice and went to sleep.
FRI, OCT 29 (DAY 3):
Once again I woke up at 4am. We went to the breakfast buffet around 6:15am. After we ate and cleaned up we left to go to the North side of Kauai. We got to Hanalei and stopped at Kayak Kauai to rent some snorkel fins ($4 each per day).
Then we found one of the dirt roads leading to Tunnels Beach. It was a short, dirt road so I can see why parking would be a problem but it was not trouble at all for us around 9am. It was very overcast though. There were only about 3 other couples there at first. We weren’t sure about where exactly to snorkel. A lifeguard came out and said it was safe with a slight current to the left. We went to the right a little bit and decided to try it even though one man said it was murky water. There was quite a bit of wave action and it was quite shallow. But we weren’t very comfortable and quit trying after a short time. Both us of had gotten minor coral scrapes. As we headed back to the car it started raining. We returned our snorkel gear and headed to Kilauea.
We went to the Lighthouse next. It was still overcast outside. There was some kind of photo shoot with a model going on there. It looked like it was for handbags and backpacks (possibly Roxy). Weird. We saw a ton of birds (refuge area). There were even these cute birds nesting in holes in the ground and walls. Nene’s were running around and we saw one chase another Nene away.
We left the lighthouse and checked out the menu at the Lighthouse Bistro. Unfortunately the lunch items listed didn’t appeal to us. We drove on and randomly stopped at a place called Kauai Hardwoods. There was a wooden sign on the side of the road and you had to drive down a dirt road past a bunch of residential houses before you got to a barn-like building with the sign on it. It was a little strange – no one was around but a “showroom” of strange (some cool) wood carvings was open.
After leaving the Hardwood shop we stopped in Kapaa for the Kauai Products Fair. Joe really liked these photographs that had been blown up onto canvas by Makana Aloha Photography. The large ones were $725 with free shipping to the mainland but we didn’t make a purchase. I found a mango wood motorcycle (for Kris) and a mango wood bowl (for me and Joe) at one booth. But I was disappointed that there were no puzzle boxes in the “trailer” at the fair like on our last trip. The saleslady there said to check out “Elephant Walk” at Coconuts Marketplace.
Our next stop was Jim Saylor’s Jewelry (also in Kapaa). We were not interested in anything and starved by now (almost 2pm). We stopped a little further down the road at Kauai shopping village to find A Pacific Café. Alas, it was only open for dinner! We looked at the dinner menu – it looked good but no much different from Tidepools. We decided to skip lunch and get some ice cream. We went to Coconuts Marketplace and finally tried Lappert’s Ice Cream: Joe had Mint Chip and I had Turtle Cashew Cluster – both extremely yummy! I now vow to get Lappert’s every chance I get in the future (even at the airports). We visited a few shops and found some neat items and headed to the Hyatt. (The puzzle boxes at “Elephant Walk” were not as nice as I remembered from our previous trip)
We cleaned up and went downstairs to the shops. I found a beautiful mother of pearl necklace and earring set at Na Hoku Jewelry. Joe bought the set for me! Lucky me! It’s gorgeous! We went out to the Seaview Terrace for a Miller Lite and a Lava Flow. The sunset was quite beautiful and our seats were great. About 5:50pm we headed to Tidepools for our 6pm reservation. We had a decent but not so great table near the koi pond. While waiting for our waiter we noticed a lizard on the wall near a light overhead just steadily catching bugs. It rained off and on all evening. Our waiter came and took our order but forgot to bring our drinks. We even got our appetizer – Sweet Shrimp Stack – before getting the drinks. The food seemed to come much faster this night than the previous night. But the service wasn’t so great (empty water glass, etc). Joe loved his Seafood Mixed Grill (again) and I also enjoyed the filet and Alaskan Crab dinner. The crab was huge. For dessert Joe got his usual – vanilla smoothie. I got chocolate cake – warmed and much better than the one from room service.
As we headed down to the room Joe talked about getting turn down service but I remembered that you had to request it by 3pm. But – guess what – our room had been “turned down”! That morning we had left a $20 tip for housekeeping – apparently it paid off! The bed sheets were all folded over nicely and chocolates were on the bed (very nice). So we got ready for bed – our last night on Kauai.
SAT, OCT 30 (LAST DAY):
I got up at 4am (as usual) and took a shower. When Joe got up, I looked out the window and noticed that it was unusually dark (cloudier than usual). At 6am we went to the Ilima Terrace for the breakfast buffet. We could tell that it had rained. Clouds seemed to roll in and out as we ate breakfast.
When we were done we walked down to the beach and found an open swing. We found a towel to dry it off and watched the waves during the sunrise (not visible due to clouds – still a little bit of blue sky though). We hung out blissfully watching the beach until around 8:15am. Then we went up to the room to pack.
After packing we decided to go to Spouting Horn nearby. As we left we noticed more storm clouds in the distance. When we got to Spouting Horn it was “spouting” tremendously! What a show (probably due to the distant storms)! We saw the rain approaching and walked under the tents of the shops just in time – it poured down really hard for at least 10 minutes. After finding some cool things the rain finally let up. We got in the car and drove to Poipu Beach park. We weren’t impressed and it started raining again as we got in the car.
We returned to the Hyatt. Joe got a vanilla smoothie at the Espresso bar near the Seaview Terrace. They don’t serve alcohol before 4pm at the Seaview Terrace so we had to go down to the Ilima Terrace for my Lava Flow. The Ilima was very crowded and it took at least 5 minutes to get my drink. We went up to the room and enjoyed our spacious lanai as it rained off and on (quite a dreary last day).
At 11am we called for the bellhop who didn’t show up till 11:30am (good thing we had plenty of time). We headed over to Kilohana Plantation. We got there around 11:50am. We checked out the shops first. Grande’s Gems (upstairs) had some gorgeous jewelry.
We went down to Gaylords for lunch. We were seated near the center of the courtyard. This time Joe didn’t see any lizards – only chickens and birds. Our appetizer – Tiger Prawns in Wontons – was yummy. But our main courses were awesome – Ahi Teriyaki Sandwich and Blue Nosed Seabass. The service was pretty slow though – empty water glass again. Oh well – at least the food was good. It continued to be overcast the entire time. When we were done eating we checked out the rest of the shops and found some cool things at Clayworks (shop).
Now we had to go to the airport and it was still raining! We made it there with no problem and our trip back to Dallas went just fine. (We even landed in terminal A near where we parked). I already miss Kauai!
Anyway here are some photos (be sure to copy both lines and delete spaces when pasting link). Let me know if it doesn’t work!...
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/txcajunstorm/album?. dir=dffe&.src=ph&store=&prodid=&.done=http%3a//pg. photos.yahoo.com/ph/txcajunstorm/my_photos
#Karen&Jeff# and other Hawaii brides...a review
From: mrsrobinsontobe Date: 1/13/2005 at 10:10 pm
Hi there - I just saw the post you sent from the other day...I have this review done, and I figured I'd send it along to you...I love talking about our trip to Hawaii!!! We went for our honeymoon in August. Here's my suggestions for how we'd do it again (even though we loved what everything we did, it was our first time there and we'd change some small things a bit...)
Go for as much time as you can -- we did 14 nights. That's good for 2 islands. We did three (Big Island as well) When we go again we'll just do Maui and Kauai...too much airport time otherwise.
Split your time between Maui and Kauai. I say do Kauai first, to unwind and relax, especially if you're going right after the wedding -- oh, and leave a day after wedding free before going. We came from the East Coast.
We stayed at Hanalei Bay on the North Shore (Princeville area) of Kauai. Not over the top luxury, but I think that's what we loved about it. Very "lagoony" if that's a word. Next time we'd go here for 2 nights: play golf and hang out at resort and the STUNNINGLY beautiful and remote beaches, then we'd head down to the South and stay 2 nights at the Hyatt Regency in Poipu. We'd eat at The Beach House and watch the sunset, go to the pool and beaches and take a helicopter tour.
Then we'd fly to Maui and spend a night in Lahaina area (Ka'anapali) go to all the neat shops and galleries, go to Old Lahaina Luau or the Feast at Lele, eat at Cheeseburger in Paradise and go to fun bars! Then off to the greatest hotel known to man, The Fairmont Kea Lani for 10 nights (every 5th night is free). It's name means "Heavenly White." This all-suite hotel has amazing ocean views (totally worth paying for!) and awesome pools (one just for adults) excellent but not over-the-top, kiss your feet service. The bathroom is beyond words and you get a huge private lanai. For activities, we did the Road to Hana -- so scary, but beautiful views and scenery, Molokini Snorkel Cruise -- swam with sea turtles! We'd also do some deep sea fishing, drive up Haleakala Crater and watch the sun rise. Eat at Mama's Fish House, Outback (!), spend time at pool and beach.
We did most of what I listed, but this is how we'd do it if we went again (which we plan to do for our 5th anniversary[:)]. We also went to the Big Island -- I'm sure it's beautiful, but we just didn't love it as much as Maui or Kauai. Some people swear by it though. We just weren't there long enough to experience it -- it's huge and we didn't venture far from the hotel, the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. The Hilo side is said to be very lush and tropical, so I'm sure it's worth looking into.
What we learned is that everyone has to find their own Hawaii. What I listed above was ours!
Oh, and we booked through Anne Rose at celebrate-travel.com She was awesome and we literally were treated like VIP's everywhere we went from the best coach seats on the airlines, the most convenient flights, (I'll tell you though -- the interisland flight days really make you lose a day -- do as few as humanly possible, made us get a little short w/ each other!) express auto service and upgrades, great seats, best views for our money. I'd check around and see who could give you the best price for what you're looking for. We found it much easier going thru a travel agent because we'd never been to Hawaii before and because it's too hard to plan a trip like that on you own while planning a wedding!
I also got a lot of information from the Revealed books and from theknot.com Hawaii boards.
Oahu and Maui review
From: A&Wwedding Date: 1/14/2005 at 10:11 pm
Hawaii Review – Oahu and Maui
We just got back from our 1st anniversary trip to Hawaii so I wanted to post a review since everyone’s reviews helped us plan our trip! We used DH’s hotel points and FF miles to pay for our trip so we stayed at Marriotts and flew Delta since that’s where his points were.
We’re from the east coast so it’s a long way to HI! Our layover was in Atlanta. If you can, schedule it so that your layover is in CA to help break up the trip more. We flew into Honolulu. After spending a few days on Oahu we flew to Maui using Aloha Air. We had no problems with them.
Oahu: We were only in Oahu for 2 days so we didn’t have a lot of time there, but it was great! Waikiki has a lot of nightlife. There are also people on the street at all hours of the day and night trying to get you to sign up for stuff, sell you stuff, or get you to watch them.
Transportation – We did not rent a car. Cab rate from the airport to Waikiki was about $20 I think and we lucked out with a limo cab!! There is a good bus system so we used that to get to other places ($2/person).
Waikiki Marriott – We had an oceanfront room on the 17th floor; it had an AMAZING view!! The hotel was great and the staff was very helpful.
Things to do –
· Walk around downtown Waikiki at night – lots of people watching, shops, restaurants, etc. We arrived to our hotel around sunset, which we watched from our room. Then we went out to explore the area.
· Climb Diamond Head – We took the bus to Diamond Head and climbed on our own (no tour). It costs $1 each to get into the park I think. There are lots of stairs to get to the top, but it was worth it. There are great views up there!! I think we were probably there for 1½ hours total. Definitely recommend this!
· Lay out on Waikiki Beach – We did this the afternoon after climbing Diamond Head – obviously you can’t go wrong with some beach time!
· Pearl Harbor – We went early (left the hotel at 6:45). You can take the bus, but we set up a shuttle through the hotel concierge desk for $10 each roundtrip. There is a little museum, a movie about WWII/attack on Pearl Harbor, a small snack stand (we ate breakfast there). It is a beautiful memorial and I’m really glad we did it. It was the main reason that we went to Oahu.
· Cheeseburger in Paradise – We went there the first night. Burgers were great and drinks were fabulous! I wish I could have a Lava Flow (pina colada made with vodka with strawberries flowing through it) right now!
· Duke’s Barefoot Bar – We went without reservations around 7 and asked about the main dining area, but it had like a 75 min wait or something. I didn’t even think to ask about other options. So we walked around for a while and went back. We looked at the menus and decided we wanted something low key so we went to the outdoor area. The food was OK and, again, the drinks were great!! I think the main dining area would be good too, but DH was in the mood for “glorified bar food” and that was fine with me! Just make reservations before you go.
· We ate low key lunches/breakfasts – Subway, Dunkin Donuts
Maui: We were on Maui for a week and loved it!! We stayed in Ka’anapali, which is on the west coast. There is a lot less to do at night in Maui, but that was generally fine with us since we were tired from everything we did during the day.
Transportation – We flew into Kahului and it was about a $60 cab ride to Ka’anapali. The first few days we were pretty much just staying near the hotel so we did not rent a car at first. We took a cab down to Lahaina Harbor for our snorkel trip, but it’s a short ride from Ka’anapali. There is not much in the way of public transportation on Maui. We rented a convertible from Hertz for the last several days of our trip.
Maui Ocean Club and Resort on Ka’anapli Beach (Lahaina) – We had an upgrade to an oceanview room, but it wasn’t as spectacular as our oceanview room in Waikiki, even though the beach is nicer. The Marriott is doing this big timeshare/owner program and I think they reserve the best tower for that. DH and I were shocked at how much money, time, and energy goes into promoting the timeshare thing. Anyway, our room was nice and when we were out on the little porch we could see Lanai right in front of us. The pool was great; we both loved the water slide. Overall, it was a nice hotel, but some of the others along Ka’anapali looked a lot nicer. Then again, this was free for us, so it was great!
Things to do:
· Snorkel to Molokini – SO MUCH FUN!! I booked the trip through Tom’s Barefoot Cashback Tours (www.barefoothawaii.com), which I found and researched online. I called to book the trip instead of booking online and am glad I did because we ended up with a different day than our first choice. I still got the online discount. We wanted to sail out of Lahaina Harbor (a lot of snorkel trips leave through Ma’alea Harbor) because it was much closer to the hotel. We went on the Lahaina Princess, which is made for 150 but only had about 60 passengers that day (the next day was sold out) so we had plenty of room. Trip included breakfast, lunch, open bar with lunch and for the ride back to the harbor, snorkeling at Molokini and snorkeling at Olawalu. The water was cold, but there were tons of fish at Molokini. I think I saw an eel too. DH saw a small reef shark. The water was very clear. Olawalu had tons of sea turtles!! We also saw a bunch of whales all day long.
· Old Lahaina Luau – I am so glad that we did this. We went on the night of our anniversary. The show was great and I thought the food was good too. I was a little skeptical of the food because I’ve heard such mixed reviews of it on the knot. Of course there were a few things I didn’t like, but there was a lot more that I did! The staff was all very friendly. The dancers and singers were great. I’d definitely recommend it!
· Haleakala Crater – We did not go for a sunrise bike tour because we didn’t want to be up that early and I’m glad we didn’t. I am really glad that we went up there though. We just drove to the top ourselves ($10 entrance fee/car). We stopped at a few points based on recommendations in the Maui Revealed book. We hiked a little bit of the trail into the crater, which afforded us some different views… lots of reds, browns, grays. I felt like I was on Mars! It was really cold up there with strong winds. I’d recommend the trip, just be sure to wear jeans/jackets/sweatshirts, not shorts and Ts. I got windburned on my face a little just from hiking – I can’t imagine what the bike ride would have done!! We got a gorgeous poster of the park for $10 at the visitor center that I’m going to frame.
· Iao Valley/Needle – We stopped here on our way back to Ka’anapali from Haleakala. It’s a small little area and can be skipped if you don’t have time. It’s definitely not it’s own trip, but I was glad that we went. It was SO green! Such a sharp contrast to the barren look on Haleakala.
· Road to Hana (and beyond) – This was a great day trip! It took us a little over 12 hours. If you can schedule to stay in Hana for a night, I would do that. The road to Hana is filled with waterfalls. We again used Maui Revealed. There were a few times then the directions in the book weren’t totally clear, but it was still a great help! The Blue Pool was one of my favorites, but the water was freezing so I didn’t get all the way in (DH did). The Black Sand Beach was also a big hit with both of us. In Hana we went to the Red Sand Beach and wished we had more time to spend there, but it was already getting pretty late in the afternoon. The Seven Sacred Pools were also really nice. It’s part of Haleakala Park, so bring your receipt/pass from Haleakala. We did not bring it, but the park ranger let us in without paying the $10 fee again when we told her that we had just been to Haleakala the day before. There are a few falls that you can hike to – we were getting tired and running out of daylight so we just went to the closest one. The Mustang held up well along the drive. On the rest of the way the road becomes unpaved and semi-paved for almost 10 miles which was a little rough, but do-able. Definitely take this trip!! Oh, we bought Lunchables, chips, water, cookies, etc at an ABC store and that's we ate throughout the day.
· Ka’anapali Beach – The sand is golden, the view is of Lanai and Molokai, the water is clear. The beach has great sand, but once you’re about knee/waist deep in water the ocean floor becomes rocky. Black Rock is right up the beach. We went there one night at sunset to watch the ceremony where a man lights the torches along the rocks and dives off them into the ocean. There’s a great little sidewalk along the whole stretch of beach that connects all the resorts and beach activities and Whalers Village (shops/restaurants).
Restaurants (almost all of these are along the Ka’anapali strip, accessible from the sidewalk or Whalers Village):
· Va Bene – Italian beachside grill at Marriott – we loved this place and went back again for our last night there. Great food, champagne, service… Definitely recommend!
· Leilani’s (Whalers Village) – We went to the barefoot grill section – good food and drinks, great view! We saw so many whales right from our table!
· Tropica – at one of the other hotels along the strip – really good food, really high drink prices
· Nashu (or something like that) – sushi bar at Marriott – We don’t like sushi but they had a regular menu too so we went for that; OK food
· Cheeseburger in Paradise (Lahaina) – We loved the one in Oahu and this one was great too!
· Ma’alea Bar and Grill (Ma’alea harbor) – We were going to stop for lunch in Lahaina on our way to the airport, but 2 cruise ships had come to port that morning so it was pretty busy there. We went up the road to Ma’alea. This was our one bad restaurant experience. My fish was OK, but the salad and rice wasn’t that good. DH couldn’t even eat the chicken in his chicken fettuccini.
Hope that helped!!
REPOST, honeymoon review, Four Seasons Maui...
From: mimsy Date: 1/20/2005 at 10:39 am
We departed NYC 01/05 on Continental, perfectly fine, on time, we had arranged our tickets using frequent flyer miles, so were in coach (first was not available, though we got it on the way back- WORTH IT) on the way out, it was easy. We mostly slept. Changed planes in Houston, then on to Maui (Kahului). We actually then continued to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines to spend the first two nights of our trip at my great uncle's incredibly beautiful house on Sunset Beach. What a great start!! Hawaiian Air was pleasant and easy to deal with.
We did not go to Waikiki- we borrowed a car and drove to Pearl Harbor to check out the USS Arizona memorial and WOULD have gone to the Missouri but were STARVING and found ourself at Sam Choy's. OVERRATED, but not terrible. Saw a few lovely beaches and bays. Mostly on Oahu we marveled at the CRAZY surf on Sunset Beach and at the Banzai Pipeline (Ehukai Park) and watched the surfers.
Flew Hawaiian Air to Maui on 01/07, rented our car from Alamo, managed not to have to wait for car after we took the shuttle because we had changed the class to a Jeep (worth it, felt cool). No hassle there. BUT, had our car not been RIGHT THERE, the lines were insane and we would have had to wait.Drove down to Wailea.
Ahhh, Wailea. Sigh. It's very resort, very groomed, rarefied, but DAMN it's beautiful. And so we arrive at the Four Seasons. That hotel is worth every cent you pay, particularly if, like us, you get a "Mountainside" room (this means parking garage, but we had a nice view of the golf course, the room was big, and the breezes were wonderful).
Seriously, from the moment they greet you, they know your name, it's like they're psychic. Valet parking included if you are a guest, and the valets give good restaurant information. Everyone there seems as if they will do anything for you. Our first night in the room, after we returned from dinner, we were greeted with roast pineapple, biscotti and cookies and a bottle of yummy sparkling wine.
There are ABUNDANT classes and activities. We did yoga on the beach at 7:15 three of the seven mornings were there. Also I took Pilates classes and spinning. We did a free intro SCUBA clinic (includes a pool lesson, lots of information) and then liked it enough to go out on an intro dive, during which the visibility was AWESOME and who doesn't want to breathe underwater? Ok, the intro dives were 99 dollars, but so cool and so worth it. We also took advantage of the outrigger canoe instruction- which is SO BADASS and a phenomenal workout.
All of their instructors are pleasant, knowledgable, and easy to listen to- for all their activities, from the fitness classes to SCUBA.
We learned quickly that though the hotel restaurants are tasty, they are highway robbery. We knew this actually, but it was reinforced the first night and the first morning of a full day. So, we went to Foodland (Kihei town center, I think) and bought breakfast to have in the room each day. We also found a VERY GOOD fish taco place, JAWZ (Azeka Shopping Center), and a great "tiki bar". We also made it both Sunday and Monday to Sansei's half off special- we recommend getting there no later than 4:30p to line up. We did have one more "special" dinner the last night, at Capische, and it was quite good, but my lord, we live in New York. We did not go to Maui to eat fancy. We have plenty of that here.
We did the road to and then ALL THE WAY BACK around from, Hana. VERY COOL. Walked to the red sand beach. Wow, it's BEAUTIFUL, but it would have been MORE BEAUTIFUL WITHOUT THE NUDISTS, THANKS. Omigod, never seen so many naked people. Could barely take a picture without a bare ass or balls in the way. But that beach is tremendous. And Hana Bay is very sweet. We saw waterfalls just on the side of the road.
I LOVED, and I mean LOVED the OTHER side, the other part of Haleakala. It was windswept and gorgeous and felt like another planet. Plus, it was clear and we had the most beautiful view of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the big island. Both were snow-topped.
So, back to the hotel. I had the Hawaiian Temple bodywork, hello, two therapists for two hours, HEAVEN, worth the ungodly amount we paid for it. To even out things in honeymoon land, my husband went for his PADI open water diver certification and saw a six foot white tip reef shark on his second dive. YEAH, GLAD I WAS AT THE SPA, thanks. But I went with him on his last dive, and saw eight big beautiful sea turtles and an octopus and lots of parrotfish and humuhumunukunukuapu'a'a, you know, just that kind of triggerfish. I just like saying it. They discounted my second dive.
A secret for poolside: ORDER OFF THE KIDS MENU!!! It's a perfect amount of food and 75% less expensive than the grownup menu. Cold towels, icees, and Evian spritzes were frequent and appreciated. FS does not charge you extra for any of it, nor for the cabanas or chairs. Also the first hour each day of snorkel equipment is included.
Coffee in the lobby every morning- FREE. Bottle of water available at every turn-FREE. Er, INCLUDED.
The hotel is relaxing, elegant without being stuffy, and a phenomenal place to honeymoon. They have excellent service and their staff seems not only obliged but HAPPY to help. I happily recommend it.
TOPIC: ***RAVE for Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui***
FROM: bchristina Date: 3/16/2005 at 12:27 pm
FI and I just got back from a vacation Maui where we spent 8 nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani ... it was absolutely fabulous and I cannot say enough good things about the resort. The service was outstanding ... the staff was very helpful and catered to everything we could have ever needed or wanted ... truly 5-star service. When we arrived, we were going to have to wait to get into our room, which was in the main building of the hotel ...so we wouldn't have to wait, the staff immediately upgraded us to one of the private villas overlooking the ocean! It was beautiful ... two large bedrooms, two HUGE bathrooms, balcony, patio, grill, private pool, fresh orchids scattered throughout the condo every morning ... I could go on and on.
The grounds were impeccable, and it really felt like a "white heaven" which is apparently what Kea Lani means in Hawaiian. It's located in a very quiet part of the island (in the south), and things weren't as hopping as they were in other parts of the island, but it was tranquil and peaceful and I loved every minute! Plus, it's only 30 minutes away from just about anything you'd want to see. The hotel's beach was smaller than some others I saw, but it was immaculate and the snorkeling was great!
I have been set on going to Italy for our honeymoon, but after this trip we just may be headed back to Maui! If you're considering a honeymoon in Hawaii, definitely take a look at this resort!!!
We stayed pretty busy the entire time. Our favorite activities were:
1. Diving. FI and I were certified through Dive Maui. We have a couple dives planned to Molokini crater, but the weather was bad both of those days so we didn't get to go. =( We were terribly disappointed, but we did see some eels, turtles and beautiful fish during the check-out dives
2. Biking down the volcano in Haleakala National Park. A van takes to to the top at the CRACK of dawn to see the sunrise, then you bike back down which takes a couple hours. The view and sunsrise were breathtaking!
3. The Old Lahaina Luau. Food was wonderful. Hula was mesmerizing. It was fun!!! Lahaina is a great town too, and it was fun to explore.
4. Catamaran sunset cruise ... I don't remember who we went with, but it was a ton of fun. We were there during the humpback whale migration, so we even got pretty close to a female whale and her little calf. Awwww.
We didn't take the road to Hana, but plan on doing that next time! As far as food is concerned, we stayed pretty close to the hotel. Nick's seafood restaurant (at the resort) was delicious ... we ate a couple times at Lu Lu's which had pretty young scene ... one night a fantastic salsa band played so we got some dancing in. The villa had a great kitchen, so we also bought stuff from the grocery store and made meals there.
I hope this is helpful!
Finally, my honeymoon review: Maui & Oahu
FROM: islandbaby Date: 2/24/2005 at 7:22 pm
Honeymoon review- 12 days in paradise! (1 week on Maui, 5 days on Oahu). We flew United Airlines out of San Francisco- no complaints. Some pics in bio.
I have been to Oahu many times and we love it so much, we decided to mainly relax there. It was our first trip to Maui though. We still love Oahu the best!
Tuesday 1/18 (day of arrival)- Settled into our hotel, Embassy Vacation Resort (www.mauiembassy.com). All of the rooms are suites- ours was huge! We got a room on the very top floor facing both the ocean and the mountains. And we got a bottle of champagne on ice from the hotel since it was our honeymoon.
We ate dinner at Kimo’s, which had awesome prime rib. Afterward, we met up with knottie 0105bride and her hubby at the Hard Rock Café in Lahaina. Good drinks, good dessert.
Wednesday 1/19- We planned to do the sunrise at Haleakala, but were just too jet lagged. We slept in and made the drive halfway up Haleakala for zip lining- www.skylinehawaii.com. You hike a little ways up through the mountain to different zip lines- we did 5. This was my favorite thing we did on Maui. I was nervous at first, but in the end I was so glad we did this. It was awesome.
We ate lunch at the Kula Sandalwood’s Restaurant on Haleakala. They had a to-die-for kalua pig sandwich!
We went back to the hotel and relaxed. Ate dinner at the Ohana Grill & Bar, which is located at our hotel. Good food, but VERY expensive for what you get.
Thursday 1/20- Haleakala sunrise. We woke up at 3am and layered on the clothes! We left our hotel at about 3:45am and got to our actual parking spot at the summit at about 5:15am. We slept in the car for a little bit (it was soooo windy!) and since the sun was scheduled to rise at 6:58am, we found a seat at the top at around 6am. We felt like we were on top of the world- the clouds below us looked so cool. The sunrise was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I kept snapping pics and decided it was definitely worth the early wake up call and drive. On the way down, we saw all the bikers. We wanted to do this, but in the end decided not to. We stopped on the side of the road plenty of times to check things out- the views, the crater, everything was awesome. Definitely do this!!
We went back to the hotel and slept. Drove into Lahaina and ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise, which is right on the beach. Yummy food and perfect views. A bit pricey, but you’re paying for the location!
Friday (1/21) we ate lunch at the grill at our hotel. We noticed they changed the menu and hiked up the prices even more! Afterward, we went to Whaler’s Village and shopped around. Later on that night we saw Warren & Annabelle’s. It was great. The appetizers were yummy and the drinks were delicious! We got to sit up front and Warren picked on my hubby the entire night! In the end, we were rewarded with a HUGE mai tai. Great show, we’re still trying to figure out how he did some of the things he did! We ate at Bubba Gump’s after the show- nice restaurant. Got a table with a view looking right out to the beach. Good food.
Saturday 1/22- We drove to Iao Valley and got there at the right time! Parking was full (we got the last spot) and as we were finishing walking around, 5 tour buses came with a dance school- all you could see were specks of pink uniforms EVERYWHERE. I’m so glad we got there early. Beautiful place, bring water and wear comfy shoes!
Afterward we went to Wailea and checked out all the nice hotels there. Can we say luxurious!? Beautiful hotels, and a lot of construction. We shopped at the Shops at Wailea and ate at Cheeseburger, Mai Tai and Rock & Roll (owned by the same people as Cheeseburger in Paradise). Great food, but they have a TON of birds everywhere waiting for food. No great views at this place.
Sunday 1/23- Relaxed on the beach at our hotel for most of the day. Ate at Aloha Mixed Plate, which has yummy local food. I LOVE kalua pig, so of course I ordered that. Yummy! We drove into Lahaina and cruised around the shops there.
Monday 1/24- Our last full day on Maui! We kicked back, laid around and just relaxed. We ate dinner at Canoe’s Restaurant in Lahaina- good prime rib. Service was kind of slow, but other than that, everything else was fine.
Tuesday 1/25- Onto Oahu! We got to out hotel (Outrigger Waikiki) and after checking in, went across the street to the International Marketplace. Shopped around till dinnertime. Ate dinner at my favorite restaurant, Duke’s, which is in our hotel. Awesome food, great service. No wonder it’s my favorite restaurant!
Wednesday 1/26- Ate breakfast at (where else?) Duke’s, which has the best breakfast buffet I’ve eaten. Shopped some more at the marketplace. Took the trolley to Hilo Hattie and shopped there. We ate dinner at Hula Grill, which is also in our hotel. Try the kalua pig pot stickers- soooo good! They should give a bigger serving, though. Great food and the service was great too.
Thursday 1/27- Breakfast again at Duke’s (of course!). Took a tour bus to the Polynesian Cultural Center and roamed around. Saw the canoe pageant and visited the different island villages. I’ve been there 4 times now and it’s just great. I never get tired of seeing everything! We had dinner there at the Alii Luau, which had great food and entertainment. Then it was time to see Horizons, the best show I’ve ever seen. I’m very familiar with all the cultures and dances, and I used to do Polynesian dancing myself. Seeing the show definitely brings back memories and makes me want to get back into it! The PCC is an all day thing- we left at 10:30am and got back at about 10pm.
Friday 1/28- We slept in and ate lunch at Duke’s. We took a cab later on in the day to the Hard Rock Café and had drinks and dessert there. The service was really slow even though there was no one in there. Walked around, hung out, relaxed. Ate dinner at the Royal Steak & Seafood restaurant in the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. Good food, slow service. But we had been there before, so we knew what to expect.
Saturday (1/29) was our last full day on Oahu. And we woke up to a storm! We ate lunch at Duke’s and just hung out and shopped. We ate dinner at Duke’s and finished the night off with our favorite dessert there, hula pie. So good.
Sunday 1/30- last day in paradise! Ate breakfast at Duke’s one last time and got packed and ready to go. We were picked up from our hotel to go to the airport and off we went.
PHOTOS: MAUI & OAHU
From: tracyo, 4/6/2005 at 9:39 am
Hi all - my DH and I went to Maui and Kauai in February on our honeymoon and I just really feel the need to recommend where we stayed at in Kauai. First let me say though - we are not big spenders - we had no desire to stay at a resort, fancy hotel. We are very laid back people who love to hike and cook our own food. That being said I so highly recommend The Jungle Bungalow. www.junglebungalow.com. It is in the Hanalei area and was beyond our expectations. Cost I believe was $140 a night. Has an outdoor claw tub and shower in this beautiful garden area. More fruit trees that you could name in the private gardens. There was an avacado tree in the front and every day you could hear the avacados falling off the tree - we made fresh guacamole with them - also lemonade from the lemon tree.
So if you are trying to do Hawaii on a budget and not worried about staying somewhere that is high end - I strongly would recommend The Jungle Bungalow - I sound like a commercial don't I. It really was a great stay!!
Let me know if you have any questions!!
Hawaii Review - Maui & Kauai
From: Megan21, 5/6/2005 at 9:29 am
DH & I went to Hawaii for our honeymoon and did 6 nights in Maui, 5 nights in Kauai and spent the last day in Oahu.
Hyatt Regency Maui:
This hotel is so beautiful. Everyone is friendly and says Aloha. We checked in and were upgraded to an oceanfront room. We had paid for a golf/mountain view. We were so excited. Our room was beautiful!! We had a king size bed and a lanai that overlooked the pools and the ocean. It was nice to be able to sit out on the lanai and relax. We had prepaid for the buffet breakfast and the food was delicious. The first night that we were there we had room service since we were exhausted and it was delicious.
The second night we ate at Bubba Gump in Lahaina. The food is delicious. We love this place. We usually go to the one in NYC so we had to go to this Bubba Gump to eat and get a shot glass. Their lava flows are sooo good.
Sarento’s on the Beach:
The third night we ate at Sarento’s and the food is so delicious. We had a reservation for 6pm and we got there and had a nice table outside so we could watch the sunset. The service was outstanding. Our drinks arrived in less than a minute. The staff was constantly filling our water glasses and when all of the ice melted they would bring you a new glass. They even have a photographer to take your picture at sunset. The picture came out amazing. If we go back to Maui we are definitely eating here again!!
Tableside Chefs Maui:
The fourth night in Maui we enjoyed a private dinner on the beach by Tableside Chefs. I highly recommend this. It was so romantic. We had our dinner on Ulua Beach in Wailea and we watched the sunset. The food was delicious.
Cheeseburger in Paradise:
The fifth night we ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise. DH & I thought the food was ok. It wasn’t anything special.
Old Lahaina Luau:
The sixth night we had the luau. Wow!! It was so much fun and the food was delicious. I highly recommend it. We would love to go to the luau again. I can’t stop thinking about all of the delicious food.
Road to Hana:
We did a lot of exploring in Maui and loved the Road to Hana. We saw tons of waterfalls and DH swam in them and it was just fun to hike and search for waterfalls. We actually met another couple as we were trekking through bamboo searching for a waterfall. We ended up getting lost so we started talking and went to dinner that night and now we keep in touch. It was fun!!
Hyatt Regency Kauai:
I know that many people loved Kauai but DH & I weren’t very happy with it. We loved Maui because you can drive and always see the ocean and in Kauai we saw lots of greenery and mountains. We just realized that Kauai wasn’t for us. The Hyatt was beautiful but we loved the Hyatt in Maui much better. We were greeted with leis upon our arrival and went to check in. We did not get upgraded and ended up in a corner room overlooking the mountains and tennis courts. The room was so far from the elevators. We did have some problems with our toilet and our air conditioner burnt out and made our room smell like there was a fire. So at 11pm one night we had to change rooms. We just weren’t very pleased with the service.
The first night we ate at Dondero’s and we weren’t very pleased with the food or service.
Brick Oven Pizza
The second night we ate at Brick Oven Pizza. This place is delicious. They do in fact have the best pizza ever. It was very delicious. They can put garlic butter or oil on your crust and it is so yummy. We loved eating here.
The third night we ate dinner at Roy’s. This place is delicious. The service was amazing. Every time your table would have water from your water glass they would come and wipe it up. The food was just so good. We sat right in front of the kitchen so you could watch them make food. It was just a great place and we highly recommend it.
The fourth night we ate at the Beach House. The food was good but I didn’t think it was that great. I felt that our meals were much better in Maui. We did not get to see the sunset because there were so many clouds that the sun just hid.
The fifth night we ate at Pomodoro’s and I highly recommend it. The staff was so great and friendly. The food is delicious. The bread was so yummy and I had the lasagna which was their specialty and it was so yummy.
Overall, Kauai wasn’t bad. The weather wasn’t fun since it was very cloudy and rainy. We tried to do the helicopter ride but due to the weather one couple had cancelled which meant that we could not go up in the helicopter because it had to be all couples or none at all. We were disappointed. I would love to return to Maui though. We had such a blast and there are a ton of things and places we still want to go in Maui.
Our travel agent was Anne Rose with Celebrate-Travel. I highly recommend her. She was so great to work with and very informative. I will be using her again!!!
Maui and Las Vegas Honeymoon Review
From: goosie1717, 5/24/2005 at 10:19 am
Here is my review regarding all the it took to make our honeymoon wonderful. Reading other reviews from brides had helped me in planning, so I hope this helps someone in planning hers. Thanks to all who offered suggestions and advice whenever I posted a question. Susan 05.05.05
Bellagio, Las Vegas, May 8
After not sleeping the whole night before, finally getting to Las Vegas and staying in the Bellagio was a sight for sore eyes. Though we were only here for the one night, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip. When I made the reservation, I let them know that we were on our honeymoon. So upon checking in, the front desk clerk gave us vouchers for free Bellagio fragrances for both my DH and myself. Pretty nice touch, I thought. We sprung for a room with a deluxe view of the fountains and were we ever impressed! Since we only had the one day before jumping on a plane the next day for Maui, we stayed and checked out all the in and outs of the hotel. We had tickets to see O later in the evening--What a terrific show!! Highly recommended! We also ate lunch at Olives and dinner at Jasmine. Both times we had great meals, but as you can imagine, it was a little pricey--we thought it was worth it though. Also, don't forget to check out the conservatory. It's so beautiful! I would definitely stay at this hotel again.
Hyatt Regency, Maui, May 9 - May 16
After reading mixed reviews on this hotel, I wasn't sure what we were in for. Upon checking in, we were so impressed. The staff was so wonderful and the grounds were gorgeous. As soon as we got out of the car, we were greeted with lei's and a warm welcome. Checking in was a breeze and the bell hop gave a tour as he walked us to our room. Our travel agent set up with a package deal that included a terrace room, the 6th night free and breakfast every morning in the Swan Court. The front desk clerk said that a terrace room was basically looking out at the parking lot and changed us to a view of the gardens, without my even asking. Incidentally our view was not only of the gardens, but we could see the ocean as well--it was incredible! The room was nicely decorated with Hawaiian quilts on the bed and dark wood furniture. We requested a refrigerator which was brought up promptly. We ate at the Swan Court, since we had the breakfast for free and it was more than I had expected. It was a full brunch buffet and the food was delicious. We also had dinner at Cascades, one of the onsite restaurants that specialized in steak and seafood. Our sushi appetizers were super! There is not much beach to be had at the Hyatt. My DH though is not one to go swimming off of the beach when there is a perfectly good pool right on the premises. Maybe because we went in May, that there weren't a lot of kids around--so it wasn't an issue. The pool was refreshing and I even went down the water slide a few times. I would definitely stay at the Hyatt again.
While in Maui, we biked down the Haleakala Volcano, snorkeled at Molokini, saw the show Ulalena, went to the Feast at Lele, saw the show at Warren and Annabelle's, and took a helicopter tour. We had so much fun doing all these activities and I booked everything on my own prior to the trip with the exception of the bike and helicopter tours and Ulalena. The Aloha Services desk at the Hyatt helped us in setting up these activities.
New York New York Hotel, Las Vegas, May 16 - May 20 While it was hard leaving Maui, at least we weren't going straight home to Pennsylvania. We had a few more days back in Vegas. We got in very late the night of the 16th and checking in was no problem here. In fact, the front desk clerk had to put us in a penthouse suite for the one night since our room wasn't ready. Bonus for us! As it turned out, the previous customer had fallen asleep in the Jacuzzi and water spilled out all over the carpets--I thought it was pretty funny. Anyway, the penthouse was incredible! Since we had gotten in so late we decided to order room service which was great. Unfortunately, it was back to reality and we had to go back to our regularly booked room, which was a Spa Deluxe room. I probably would have been more impressed if I hadn't stayed in the penthouse. I think next time, we will try another hotel when we go back to Vegas. All in all though, the staff here was very nice and accommodating.
While in Vegas, we ate at Emeril's New Orleans Fish House. This was special to us since my DH had proposed at Emeril's Tchoup Chop restaurant in Orlando. The food was delicious, it not a little overpriced, but hey it's Vegas, right? We also ate at Nobu at the Hard Rock, America at New York New York, and Quark's at the Hilton. DH is a huge Star Trek fan--the Experience was a lot of fun. We also rode the roller coaster at NYNY--scary but fun. And of course walked the strip checking out all the hotels. We even won a couple hundred bucks playing video poker at the new Wynn hotel.
Big Island wedding and honeymoon pics and reviews in BIO
From: emowens, 5/26/2005 at 10:23 am
10 nights at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel www.fairmont.com: B to B+.
I had some initial issues in booking an advertised “Deluxe Platinum Honeymoon package” with the Fairmont hotel. After 1 hour of submitting an email through their website, I received an email and call from an executive manager of reservations, they eventually honored their advertised package that included: 5 nights deluxe ocean view room, daily breakfast buffet, 1 private romantic dinner for 2, 1 romantic turndown services, and 1 couples massage in the spa without walls. Once I finalized my reservations later that day, this wonderful package completely disappeared from their website…they apparently don’t offer it anymore, go figure. Let me just say, if they had not offered me this package, I would not have stayed at this hotel for the “regular” price of their honeymoon packages (double what I paid). Anyways, reservations aside, we checked into the hotel late Saturday night after being up for almost 16 hours. Everyone seemed friendly and there we no major problems, to my knowledge. Come to find out, my future father-in-law had made arrangements to have a flower arrangement of purple tulips waiting for us in the room…and they weren’t there. My fiancé knew about this and went through some hassles when we first arrived. Our first room was very nice, it was an Ocean Front room, 4th floor, right off of turtle point in the North Tower. This is the tower that is farthest away from all the construction and the most recently renovated tower in the hotel.
Some other minor problems, I had made the reservations so they were all in my name. They kept calling my fiancé Mr. Colby (which is my last name). We told them repeatedly that I was Miss Colby and he was Mr. Owens. I went to the front desk and had them change it in their computer on the day of our wedding and told them that after that night, they could call us both Owens. Well, about an hour later, my hairstylist and photographer arrived and asked for Emily Colby…the front desk told them that there was no guest registered by that name. They asked for Rob Owens, and again they told them no guest was registered under that name…only because they knew we were having private dinner did the front desk tell them to check with the wedding department (they make all the arrangements for the private dinners). That’s how they found out that we were in fact staying at the hotel and they finally found the room number…almost 30 mins late of course. Even after we made all those changes, some departments still called him Mr. Colby (like the valet and room service).
The flowers that were supposed to be waiting for us when we arrived showed up about 5pm the next day, no apology or anything. Room service forgot a few items, which is usually no big deal, but for a 5 star resort not expected. We went to say in Volcano for 2 days and then came back to stay at the Fairmont for another 5 days, when we had left we were told our next room was even better than our current room. Well, we went to check in and it was worse…it was on the 2nd floor in the same tower but much less extravagant. They said that there were no other rooms available. One more fun event happened when the valet locked our keys in our rental car at night…didn’t tell us about it until we called and asked for it the next day. They didn’t tell us anything and we showed up downstairs and they are all just waiting around looking at us. We walked over to the car and tried to get in…the doors were locked, so we went over to ask someone where our keys were, then they told us that they got locked in. They had to call a locksmith and use a jimmy to get in which scraped up the car a bit, again no apology. As far as some positive points, Doug was by far the best employee that they have on staff at the orchid. He was our private waiter for the two private romantic dinners we had and he was our room service deliverer a few times. He was so attentive to our needs and likes, he got the chef to prepare my husband’s favorite meal instead of one of the choices for the romantic dinner (my man is a plain, meat and potato kind of guy). He was fabulous; we bought him a drink and hung out with him and his girlfriend (who also works at the orchid) for a bit the night before we left. They are coming to the states soon and we are going to meet up in Atlanta. The couple’s massages were wonderful, not the best I’ve ever had, but they were very nice and relaxing.
Let me just say this hotel was nice, very nice, but not a 5 star hotel as they are classified. Granted my fiancé is a self proclaimed travel snob and it’s rubbing off on me a little…I would say this was a good 3 star to an average 4 star. I think what we paid for it was good and fair. However, if we would’ve paid full price, I would’ve been disappointed.
2 nights at the Inn at Volcano B&B www.volcano-hawaii.com/inn-at-volcano.html : A-
This was a big change from a resort hotel. It was a nice house, our room was nice and cozy. We stayed in the continental lace suite that had it’s own sitting room. The bed was big but a little too mushy for our liking. We are both allergic to cats and there is one that lives in the house, yet we didn’t get bothered by it at all. We didn’t have breakfast either morning because they don’t serve it until 9am and we were up at 7am on our way to hike to the lava flow. This was a nice place to stay that is very convenient to Volcano national park. Their afternoon tea was nice, but I had to really seek somebody out and ask for it.
PHOTOS AND MORE TRIP INFO: BIG ISLAND
HM Review: Oahu and Maui
From: nsmar25, 5/31/2005 at 10:24 am
Hawaii- Oahu for 5 days, Maui for 5 days
We got to the hotel at about 230 pm, we stayed at the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa and it was beautiful! We were up on the 22nd floor and the view was amazing a great view of diamond head and Waikiki beach. We ate at one of the restaurants at the hotel for lunch and it was pretty good. That night we went to Duke’s Canoe Club—what a fun place. The atmosphere and view were great, but the food was just average. I would probably still go back for the live music and view alone though.
This was our day to be pampered. We had a couples massage at the Spa Olakino in the hotel, which was soo great and then I got my hair cut at their salon. The rest of the afternoon we spent strolling down Waikiki shopping there are soooo many places to shop and we had lunch at a sushi place on the main strip called Run, DH fell in love with this place. It was really good and really cheap. That night we had booked an Atlantis Dinner Cruise, we booked the one with the Limo pickup and that was really nice, we felt so special J The dinner cruise was really nice, they had lobster and tenderloin and the view was great. I got a little seasick but DH loved it.
We booked a shuttle with the concierge downstairs to take us to USS Arizona at 645. It was really great cause we were the 2nd group in and were back to the hotel before 11am. DH insisted on having lunch at the Run sushi place again….I really think he would have eaten there everyday had I let him. J Once again the food was good. We went to the beach for the a few hours in the afternoon, then went to the Paradise Cove Luau, which we booked thru Tom Barefoot. It was fun, I really enjoyed all the activities like making leis and spear throwing. The show was pretty good except all the cheesy parts.
We got up early and went to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet….can we saw awesome? Everything we had seen on Waikiki beach was right here but for a huge amt less, I saw a shirt I bought at a store in Waikiki for $20 here in the 5 for $20 sections. Really worth it if you want to shop a lot, we bought some cool wooden masks for the house and tons of shirts and knick knacks. We went and picked up our car from Tradewinds U Drive ( a small island company) we really wanted something cheap since most places charge us an arm and a leg cause were under 25. For lunch we went to Cheeseburger in Paradise which was really good. That night we went to dinner at a place called Kincaids Fish, Chop and Steakhouse its in the ward warehouses…defiantly our best meal on Oahu. The food was amazing and it had a pretty nice view.
We got up super early because we had booked a shark cage adventure with a company on the other side of the island called Hawaii Shark Encounters. We got all the way out and the water was too choppy so they said it wasn’t safe to put the cage in but man were there tons of sharks. Like 14+ 10 ft or greater sharks surrounding the boat. I was soooo crushed we couldnt get in with them. The offered to reschedule but we were leaving the next day so the refunded our money but still let us watch them feed the sharks for awhile. On the way back I got sick…ewwww, so we had to cancel the snorkel trip we had planned for later in the week. DH said it was ridiculous to keep getting on all these boats and making myself ill. J We spent the day driving around the whole island Northshore all the way around. We saw Pali Lookout which was sooo pretty but sooo windy. At about lunch time we hit Haunama Bay and went snorkeling for an hour or so…that was neat. That night FI and I were feeling pretty lazy so we went to Tiki’s bar and grill…there coconut shrimp was really good.
Day 6: (Maui)
We left Oahu and headed to Maui, we got to Maui at about 2 and picked up our rental…oh dear lord. We requested a convertible and when we called the crappy little car company (I know it will teach me a lesson..don’t be so cheap) the convertible was broken, so they offered us a Jeep, well it was a p.o.s. so we just took the sedan they had. The company was Island Car Rentals….horrible horrible crappy cars. Anyway…. We were staying at a condo in Kihei called the Koa Lagoon. We stayed in room 303 and it was awesome, the condo was really nice and the view was to die for. A beautiful view of the beach with Lanai in the distance. I loved it. DH and I had a bunch of plans for the afternoon but decided not to adventure out and just relax in the condo we went to the grocery store and DH made my favorite stir fry….yummy.
We got up and went to Lahaina, we walked down Front St. and shopped and saw the Banyan tree. We really liked it, it was soo laid back compared to Oahu. We ate at some restaurant I think it was called the BlueLagoon….blech…not very good at all. We went back to the condo and hung out there for the rest of the afternoon, then got all prettied up and ate at Sarento’s on the Beach. OMG it was soo nice…the food was really great and the view was amazing, the service was great. They gave us the table all by itself off to the left side but right in front so our view was unobstructed. At sunset they had a photographer come around and take pictures….my favorite one from the trip. The Tiramisu was sooo good….I could go on and on. I loved it,
We got up super early and started our trek to the Road to Hana. Lord was it beautiful, I didn’t think the drive was as bad as I had heard. DH and I really loved the Oheo Gulch. SO beautiful. We brought a cooler with sandwich meat and drinks so we had lunch on the road. DH and I decided to be adventurous in our little crappy car so instead of turning back like most do we went the whole way all the way around Haleakala…it was really pretty and a big change from the road to Hana. The scraggly part of the road often talked about wasnt that bad and our little compact made it thru just fine. We were soo tired by the end of our journey we decided to cook again and stay in. A long day but well worth it.
Today we had our ziplining adventure which we booked thru Skyline Ecotour Adventures. This by far was the best thing we did on the trip…we are still talking about how awesome it was. You zipline 5 different lines and the last one is sooo awesome 150 ft up 225 feet across and they said your speed gets up to 50 mph with the momentum. Totally amazing I wanted to do it over and over again. For lunch we ate at Maui Tacos which DH loved, it was really good. I think he just missed all that greasy food J. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the condo. We had reservations at Nicks Fishmarket, but DH wanted to cancel b/c he couldn’t bring himself to spend the money in case he didn’t like it…mind u he is a seafood freak…I wanted to kill him, but contained myself hehehe. Instead we went to crappy old Tony Roma’s ewwww…..DH’s ribs were good but my chicken bit the big one. Afterwards we ended up driving to Wailea anyway and shopping a little.
We drove to Kaanapali and shopped at Whalers Village, we had lunch at Hula Grill which was probably the 3rd best meal we had….oh it was soo good and right on the beach. The calmari and ribs are to die for…yum yum yum. Ican just taste the mango bbq sauce….mmmm. That afternoon DH decided he really wanted a tattoo…so we go to the place and the key in the crappy car wouldn’t come out I mean seriously for 30 minutes we sat there and nope. So I call the rental place and they send a guy over, he cant get it out. SO he gives us the convertible he was in…what a piece of crap the room was broken and it didn’t close right so we had a huge air hole. Anyway so we went to get FI;s tattoo at a little place there in Kihei, he decided he wanted something meaningful to remember the trip so he my name in Hawaiian…its actually pretty cool. I have branded him hehehe.
The car place brought us a new car in the morning a oldsmobile…this was the best car we had no problems and it was oh sooo roomy. We decided to go back to Lahaina cause DH wantd a shirt from Hard Rock, so we loaded up all our stuff and checked out. We walked the other half of Front Street and ate at Hard Rock….nothing special just regular hard rock food. After that we still had a lot fo time until our flight left so we went back to Whalers Village…wish I would have known so I could have saved my belly for more Hula Grill. J We drove back to the airport and left at 6pm that evening. What a great trip.
We really loved Maui way more, I think if we could have gone back and done it again I would have only spent like 3 days on Oahu just to see Pearl Harbor…I got kind of bored there and soo did DH. There was soo much on Maui that we didn’t get to do, so we already decided we have to go back
HAWAII - JUST RETURNED - FAIRMONT BIG ISLAND; HYATT MAUI - HANA HOTEL
From: carolynnyc, 5/30/2005 at 9:10 pm
Hello, we just returned from our fabulous honeymoon in Hawaii. I wanted to send out a note w/the following info for future brides.
Big Island - we loved the BI, stayed at the Fairmont and loved the hotel. It's pretty quiet, beautiful, torch lights everywhere, great pool with excellent service. The beach is good not great, there is not enough of it but they have enough room that you can spread out, lay out in one area w/privacy and then go swimming in the other area (which is somewhat small). Overall, excellent honeymoon spot in our opinion. Our favorite day was a hike to Waipo (sp?). It's a really steep hike down to a gorgeous waterfall area and black sand beach. Hike down was not that tough, though steep, wear sneakers. We got a ride back from a generous local who took pity on us sweating it trying to walk back up the steep road. The spa is amazing, and there are lots of little spots on the resort where you can have a space to yourselves, and enjoy the gorgeous weather and each other.
BI is not typical Hawaii as I'm sure you know if you are researching, lots of black sand, rocks, etc., but gorgeous in it's own right.
MAUI - HYATT - ok, this may not be popular, but we hated the Hyatt in West Maui. It was so commercial, huge, 27 stories, tons of corporate events going on and overall a mobscene. There is NO beach, not sure why everyone talks about the great Kanapalli beach but the one near the Hyatt stinks, there is approximately 5 - 10 feet of sand before the breaking waves, almost no one lies out on the sand b/c it's not possible most of the day.
We did still have an amazing time in Maui because we left the Hyatt for three days and went to the ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, PEACEFUL, GORGEOUS HOTEL HANA, more on that will follow. The Hyatt is a fine hotel, but its not what we wanted for our honeymoon. We were not interested in the "miami beach" type scene that was there last week, it was too loud with tons of kids, and I mean TONS AND TONS OF CHILDREN...ALL OVER THE POOL AREA, loud and boisterous (as they should be, love them but didnt want to hear them all day on HM). Chairs at pool are lined up like sardines, one next to the other touching, and they did have a few cabanas, but even those were one or two feet apart from each other with a "security" type person manning them (as you had to pay fee to use).
Also, the breakfast buffet that came with the room was not good. The first day we went down for breakfast at the swan court, we were the 25th or so couple in line, it was like a HM factory, even my husband who is extremely great and easy going said he wished we chose a hotel in SOUTH MAUI (which we did go to for dinner twice and it was much nicer). Also, we live in NYC and the parking at the hotel was almost as bad as NY. We had to circle around many times trying to find a spot, it was not relaxing.
We did go into SOUTH MAUI and it was so different, much nicer. We went to the Fairmont for dinner, hotel looks fabulous, we wish we stayed there. Also in SOUTH Maui is the Four Seasons, also which also looked great, much different vibe than West Maui.
Note - it's not just the Hyatt, the other West Maui hotels have same sort of vibe...lots of traffic, commercial high rises, etc. And for those of you who are going to say enjoy your husband, you had a great time at the Hyatt, please don't , I will say in advance, I am sure that many people enjoyed their HM at the Hyatt, I'm just saying that we had a great time, but we hated the hotel, it was not for us.
We had Maui Revealed (excellent book) and we did find two unbelievable beaches, one which we had almost entirely to ourselves. If you do go to West Maui, get the book, find the better beaches, and definitely go ten minutes down the road to dinner at the Ritz, which is in a different area and much nicer than the Kanapalli section of So Maui in which the Hyatt resides. Great sunset view, unbelievable service and an excellent overall dining experience.
HOTEL HANA IN MAUI - If you are looking for an unbelievable experience, do the road to hana (will not elaborate as its in all the books), DO NOT turn around and go home. Book a room for at least two nights in the Hotel Hana. We decided to do this at the last minute to get away from the Hyatt and salvage the last week of our HM. The hotel hana is an amazing place, the spa is spectacular, the service is second to none, and it is just a perfect spot to relax and enjoy your new husband. The grounds are unbelievable, there is a fabulous pool, wait staff is not all over you but they come around at just the right time w/ice cold water and will bring anything else you want. One nice touch, all waters, sodas, non alcoholic bev are free. Rooms are a little expensive, $350 - $1295 a nt. $350 is with a 10% AAA discount. B/C they were at 50% capacity and were so nice, they upgraded our room and gave us one of their ocean front cottages. I can not say enough about this place, it was a private cottage with private deck w/hot tub outside, chairs to sit out, overlooking ocean on one side, mountains to the other side, horses grazing about, kitchen with marble dining table, spa like bathroom w/sep shower and spa tub, sep bathroom. I CAN NOT WAIT TO RETURN. We ate in the restaurant one nt which was great, the 2nd nt we didnt want to part with our cottage and ordered in room dining by candlelight. It was so romantic. If I could redo the 2nd week of our HM, we would have stayed at Hotel Hana for the last five days. My FI agreed with me completely and as I said, he is very low maintenance but thought this hotel was spectacular and worth the rate.
I wish all of you good luck with your wedding and honeymoon. We had an excellent wedding on 5/14 and unbelivable hm, which may sound odd b/c of my review of Maui. The hotel did not ruin our trip, and I sincerely hope I did not insult anyone who loved the Hyatt, that is not my point, only to direct those interested to other areas of Maui, if in fact they are looking for a more peaceful experience.
Enjoy your wedding!!
ONE MORE THING - 5 min from Hotel Hana is the unbelievable Hamoa (sp?) beach. It's the best beach, in our opinion, that we saw in all of Hawaii. The sand is soft, no rocks, water clear and gorgeous, nice size waves for boogy boarding but not too big that you cant just hang out in the water. If you stay at the hotel, they will shuttle you to the beach every hour or so and back to the hotel. They have a section with a beach assistant for the hotel guests, they provide complimentary beach chairs, umbrellas (all set up in ground, big deal in Maui as w/the breeze it's tough to get an umbrella to stay up for the day), snorkel equipment, boogie boards, floats, etc. They also give you towels, have a clean bathroom with shower. It is so amazing, we both want to go back for our anniversary. Ok, I'm done, have a blast!!
Just got back from Maui!!!! Info for those of you going soon....
From: Mcbride99, 5/30/2005 at 10:08 pm
We were there for 4 days and we had the best time ever. We decided to not waste that much in our hotel since we wouldn't be there that much. We stayed at the Maui Lu Resort in Kihei, in an OceanView that was just perfect. It was right across the street from the Main Hotel but still perfect, we had the ocean to ourselves.
Mistakes we made, we purchased transfers on Travelocity with the intention of walking to places, when we got to the room, we realized there was no way we could not have a car. We called Budget and they have rates for people that just show up at the airport and it only cost $19 a day, they were the cheapest. We were told they always have that deal as long as they have cars. The parking lot was huge....
Road to Hana: I have noticed many of the girls talking about what to wear on this trip. Well, if you are planning on doing the entire drive which is 5 hours including stops for pictures, it won't matter much cause you will be in the car the entire time. There were 52 bridges where you can stop and take pics of the waterfalls.
Haleakala Crater Tour: This tour was $85 for 2 of us, it takes 2 hours for you to get up there and you are only there for 20 mins. It was cold although I wore shorts and took a jacket with me. Other people were freezing and we think it was about low 60's, IMO I would drive myself instead of doing the tour, unless you do the Bike tours those looked like fun.
Lahaina: We drove around that part of the island and it took us 2 hours. We stopped at these tide pools and it was awesome, we went all the way down and it was hard to go back up, please use sneakers.
I will post pics soon.
If you'd like some pics I can also email them.
Maui honeymoon review.
From: melissabz, 5/31/2005 at 2:47 pm
Just returned from an amazing Maui honeymoon. Feel free to page me for specific recommendations or information, this is my review from my wedding recap. I cant recommend it enough! I wish we were going back (or still there :)
4 Seasons MAUI
We had the most amazing time in Maui. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the resort. Our room was spacious and opened onto beautiful gardens. The service was incredible, they cleaned the room twice a day, the room service even set up tables outside with fresh orchids etc. Adam and I checked out several other resorts and we definitely had the best set up. The hotel is stunning!! The pool area included free cabanas and there was always one available. The beach had a walkway down a hill which had private coves overlooking the ocean and the beachfront access was spacious and gorgeous. The resort included free snorkeling and happened to be located at one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. There were also complimentary scuba training and canoe trips (which was awesome). We took a sailing trip from a company located right down the beach in front of the Grand Wailea which also offered kayaks, windsurfing etc. We had a great time with surfing lessons. In terms of restaurants, we usually ate poolside in our cabanas for lunch and we loved some local favorite restaurants such as Shakas, Alexanders, for inexpensive food. We also loved Sarento’s, Kimo’s in Lahaina which was wonderful and Mama’s fish House(the food was great but be prepared for the costs). The trip was amazing, we did the Road to Hana on the 3rd day, the best part was the section that violates the rental car agreement !&61514;. As for the 4 Seasons, everything about the property was astounding and I can not recommend a better place to spend your honeymoon.
Updated bio with honeymoon pictures and reviews from Hawaii
From: Moxy, 5/31/2005 at 1:26 pm
Travel Agent: Sharon at Elk River Travel
The decision to use a travel agent was one of the best we made. We called her up told her we were thinking of the Caribbean, Mexcio or Hawaii around the end of April or May. She came back with 4 options, each with a price, dates and features. One in Hawaii (10 day), Jamaica (7 Day Sandals), and two in Mexico (7 day all-inclusive), but all four packages were about the same price. We picked Hawaii and loved it. I would highly recommend a travel agent, especially if you are unsure of where you’d like to go.
Hotel Accommodations: Outrigger Reef on Waikiki Beach and Aston Maui Kaanapali Beach Villas
Both were nice hotels that suited our needs very well. The Outrigger was a slightly nicer hotel with a nice view of the ocean. At the Kaanapali Beach Villas we did not have an ocean view but the room was a condo which was nice, we bought cereal, milk, orange juice and fruit and ate breakfast in our room each day. Both had reasonable restaurants and were right on the beach. The Kaanapali Beach Villas also had a nice honeymoon package gift for us when we got there, we liked that.
Skydiving: Skydive Hawaii Oahu
They picked us up at our hotel and we drove to the North Shore to jump. A very laid-back, fun, company to jump with. The view was amazing and the experience was once-in-a-lifetime. Our only quibble was that it took so long after we jumped for the van to return to the hotels. Overall a really fun, memorable part of our trip. What a great way to start our life together!
Haleakala Sunrise Bike Tour: Mountain Riders
They pick you up at your hotel around 2:15am and take you to the top of the mountain to watch the sunrise. They provided all the windbreaker gear, helmets, gloves, bikes and food. The sunrise was amazing, a little cold and windy but beautiful and worth it for sure. If being one of the first groups down the mountain is important than Mountain Riders is for you, we were the 2nd of maybe 20 groups, so not a ton of time at the crater after sunrise but no waiting around either. The ride down they put you in order of smallest to biggest and the person in front sets the pace. It was a little scary at times, you really move fast on those bikes and there are a ton of switchbacks all the way down. The smells on the way down were fabulous, the best part in my mind. We stopped for pictures once and for breakfast (included) in a small town on the way. The trip ends in Paia at the beach. Highly recommended.
Luau: Old Lahina Luau
Book in advance, my mother bought us tickets as a wedding gift and we had great seats as a result. It was so much fun being right up front. The food was good, the dancing was entertaining, the drinks flowed all night and the location was beautiful especially at sunset. Not as many people as I have heard there are at other luaus. Very authentic, according to our travel book, so no fire dancers or dragging people up on stage. They did have all of the newlyweds and anniversary couples dance to the Hawaiian wedding song at one point which was nice.
Molokini Snorkel Trip: Four Winds II
A fun boat, good snorkel spot, good food (BBQ burgers, hot dogs, chicken & veggie burgers with all the fixings and chips), decent equipment (lots of people brought their own, not us) and a fun slide into the water or nice stairs. They take a catamaran but they didn’t put the sails up at all, which didn’t bother us. They are also rather longwinded about the underwater cameras and SNUBA, we didn’t buy but many people did, they might be a great deal, I just got tired of hearing about it. The fun captain/ crew, good food and great snorkel spot made up for any negative stuff. Highly recommended.
Surfing: Goofy-Foot Surf School, Lahina
They have the “you’ll stand up at least once on the board or your lesson is free” deal. Both my husband and I were able to ride at least 2 waves standing up. He was much better at it than me, it’s harder than it looks but they talk you through it and make it a ton easier. Very friendly, knowledgeable staff and a fun experience.
PHOTOS: MAUI & OAHU
Extremely long honeymoon reviews - Hawaii
From: weddingin2005, 6/8/2005 at 3:13 pm
Travel Arrangements – Islandspree.com
They were great – everything worked very smoothly. One complaint – we were told that the hotels would be notified ahead of time that we were honeymooners so that we could get the little extras – they weren’t. Upon realizing this at the first one, we called the next two ourselves and it was fine. That aside, Miriam at islandspree.com was quite patient with our questions and changes and we feel we got a good package.
Princeville in Kauai
This hotel is beautiful. We were given a room facing both the ocean and the beautiful mountains of Bali Hai – the strange thing is that we had only paid for a mountain view. I’m not sure if we were upgraded and they just didn’t tell us, but if that was in fact a mountain view room, it was spectacular. I would strongly recommend getting a room with a view – it really is worth the money. We had fun with the opaque/clear window and enjoyed the infinity pool, although it is a bit small. The private dinner on the beach at the Princeville was the most amazing thing. I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone, although it is really expensive. We were served our dinner just feet from the ocean by tiki torch light on china plates with silver and crystal. There were flowers and candles everywhere, and our waiter was so nice and the food was delicious. They let you go at a very slow pace so it lasts for hours and was one of the most romantic things I’ve ever done. We had cocktails outside off of the lounge and watched the sunset over Bali Hai – awesome. Then had dinner at Café Hanelei which was lovely. One thing – the kitchen is the same for Café Hanelei and the private dinner on the beach, so be sure to order something different if you do both.
We took a helicopter ride with Interisland helicopters- EXCELLENT. Landed in a waterfall for a (very uninspiring) lunch – eat first but other than that I would DEFINITELY suggest going with this company. They have no doors (they’re the only company that doesn’t) and it is simply amazing. We drove to Waimea Canyon – very cool – and spent a day exploring the beaches and sights of the North Shore. This was really fun – Tunnels Beach is the prettiest beach I’ve ever seen. Hanelai was cute – we went there for breakfast a few times. I’ve been asked about the north shore vs. the south – I know some people prefer the south shore but my in my opinion, the north shore was DEFINITELY the right place for us. We were blown away by its lush beauty and incredible views, which we didn’t see as much in the more arid south. We had no problems with rain – when it did rain it lasted about 2 minutes then passed, and we even saw a rainbow over Bali Hai which was amazing. That being said, we also didn’t think it was a big deal at all to drive from one side of the island to the other, and did several activities on that side. We also paid a visit to the Hyatt – there always seems to be a question as to which is better – and while it was quite lovely, we far preferred the Princeville and the beauty of the north shore. We were even happier with our decision when we got to the Fairmount in Maui, which seemed quite similar to the Hyatt on Kauai and allowed us the best of both worlds.
Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui
We were happy with the hotel when we first walked in – far more tropical feeling than the Princeville (not that it is better or worse, just more movie-Hawaiian). Then we got to our room with a lovely lanai – looking right at the parking lot. Whatever you do, GET OCEAN VIEW at this hotel. We were so disappointed. We had been told that we were NOT getting a view of the lot, but rather the mountain and gardens when we booked it. This may be the fault of the travel agent. However, no one told us before hand just how important the view is, especially when you have a lanai. DO IT. You won’t regret spending the extra money. We called and they said we could pay either 70 a night for a partial ocean or 140 (I think) per night for a full ocean. We decided to go with the partial. Big mistake. Maybe we’re “view people,” but this was extremely disappointing. It overlooked a road, was on a very low floor, and you couldn’t really see the ocean unless you leaned over the balcony. We called again (I swear, we’re normally not at all complainers!) and they told us that they would upgrade us for the rest of the time (beginning the next night) in an ocean suite for no additional charge (other than the 70 per night). That was great service and they were nice as can be. The pools were lovely – a surprising number of kids, however, (maybe it was the season??) so we kept to the adult pools most of the time. There we were served fresh pineapple slices, cool towels, the works. Very nice. We ate at Nick’s Fishmarket– thought it was great. I thought it was so important to book these special romantic restaurants at sunset – not so. You can watch the sunset over cocktails and then settle in to the restaurant when it is illuminated by the tiki torches outside for a lovely atmosphere. That way you don’t end your day quite as early, either. We did that a few times and regretted having to be showered and dressed by 5:30 pm – we would have preferred a little more leisurely time by the pool. Ate another night at Mama’s Fish House – this is the one place where it was nicer to eat there at sunset. We had a REALLY early dinner at around 5 pm, and it was so nice to see the beach during daylight as well as getting to watch the sunset. That also allowed us enough time to go home and enjoy our lanai with a bottle of wine.
We went to the Old Lahaina Luau which was great. Surprisingly good food, fun show, fun people. Drove the Road to Hana – thankfully there was no traffic and we LOVED it! Leave very early in the morning and it is a fabulous day. We stopped all along the way at the waterfalls, etc. and it was a great time. Drove up to Heleakala Crater for sunrise – I’m not sure if I would say that it is necessarily worth it. We left our hotel at 1am to get there in time for our 3am bike ride check in. Well I was so exhausted and slept in the car and when I woke up we were at the top of the crater… only problem is that our bike company started at the bottom, quite far from where we were. Once the riders joined us at the top, we were pretty relieved not to be embarking on that adventure. We were simply too tired!! The sunrise was pretty cool though – how many times do you get to watch the sunrise over a crater in Maui? We drove back to our hotel (loooong drive) and crashed in bed until about noon. Again, not sure if it was completely worth the 4 hour round trip drive, but maybe if you’re staying closer to the crater it’s a good idea. Went on a morning snorkel trip to Molokini with Four Winds II – LOVED this trip! The boat itself was a lot of fun – it was more of a BBQ booze cruise with the added bonus of beautiful snorkeling and swimming! The people who worked it were great. It was a surprise highlight.
We went to Warren and Annabelle’s on our last night. I didn’t book this before we left but we somehow got in anyway. I had heard mixed reviews and therefore figured we’d decide once there if we really wanted to go. We loved it. It was a lot of fun. People had complained that it was cheesy – well it’s a dinner theater! And we thought a quite fun one at that. Our food and drinks were great, and we thought the ghostly piano was cool. The magic show was awesome! Warren was hysterically funny – we would go again just to hear him. He’s like a stand up comic as well as an amazingly talented performer. Book early and get the front row – that would enhance the experience by 100 percent. Highly recommended regardless.
4 Seasons Haualalai – Big Island
Ahhh… words do not describe this place. We were told to save it for the end because nothing would compare. And boy is that right. This is pure paradise. You land in Kona and drive through this other worldly, lava-coated landscape, and wonder how in the world someone ever thought to build a 5 star resort in this place! As you pull up to the resort, you know it is something special. The guy at the gate must have called ahead to the valet and the lobby, because we were greeted by name by every single person there. There is no ‘large resort’ feel here as there is at the others. Instead there are 2 story bungalows spread out over this gorgeous resort. All rooms have a view of the ocean, even the ‘golf course view’ which we had because it was less expensive. GET A GROUND FLOOR ROOM – they have these amazing outdoor lava showers that are to DIE for. We shared ours with a few geckos, so keep that in mind! The room was lovely and the service impeccable. We got dinner reservations at Pahu i`a – the resorts ‘signature restaurant’ for our first night. This was the nicest restaurant I have ever been to. You eat under the stars as the waves lap the shore just feet away from you. There are spotlights attached to the palm trees, illuminating the ocean. The food is incredible. The prices are INCREDIBLY high, but it was so worth it. What a night.
We chartered a deep-sea fishing boat through the resort – they hook you up with a captain in the marina. This would have been really fun – unfortunately we didn’t catch anything! It was still a great morning though. That night we drove to the top of Mauna Kea for stargazing. This was the runaway surprise hit of the Big Island. The resort refused to tell us how to get there because the main road, ‘Saddle Road’ which takes you to the mountain is not allowed in rental car contracts. Even the Blue Book said ‘Only a fool would drive this road at night.’ We still are scratching our heads over that one. Only a fool would drive to the top of Haleakala at night like we did in Maui – driving Saddle Road and the road up Mauna Kea was NOTHING! (don’t tell Alamo.) We found it to be well paved and picturesque – no problems whatsoever. We just drove up to the Vistors center (they don’t want the public going to the summit because it interferes with observation, and I think you need a 4W drive to get there. Perhaps this is the treacherous part of the trip?? Anyway… the Visitors center was really neat with interactive computers, hot chocolate and soups, and there was a volunteer there who gave a lecture on the various constellations. It was really neat. They had a telescope focused on Saturn and you could clearly see the rings. We rolled the top down on our convertible and ate a picnic dinner under the stars, even seeing shooting stars go by every once in a while. Even if you are not interested in astronomy, I thought this was an incredibly romantic way to spend the evening and a highly recommended activity. To our advantage was the fact that there was no moon at all that night, which should perhaps be a factor in choosing your night to go.
We drove to the volcanoes – fun trip. Paid a visit to the volcano winery – cool idea – not such great wine, but fun nonetheless. To hike or not to hike to the lava… not my idea of fun, but I agreed because he really wanted to do it. What a day. I recommend this activity only to the serious hikers in the bunch. I was hot, thirsty and tired and hating life. That having been said, a lot of people loved it, and I have to admit it was cool to see the hidden black sand beach next to the explosion of steam where the lava was hitting the ocean. Not cool enough to make me do it again, but a once in a lifetime experience, certainly.
We rented sea kayaks and kayaked across to the Captain Cook Monument. What an experience. Unfortunately, we were informed that we would be among the last 100 or so people to be able to make the journey because they would be closing it to the public shortly thereafter. That is a shame because it was so much fun. Other people saw spinner dolphins along the way but we weren’t as lucky. We did snorkel once over there, which was lovely. We were told it was the best snorkeling in the world… hmmmm. Not sure about that. However we were not extremely impressed with Molokini either – we only saw one type of black fish the whole time! Perhaps our snorkeling expectations were too high, not sure. Either way, it made for a really fun activity.
We spent the rest of our time relaxing at the resort, which was fabulous. They have a lagoon stocked with fish and manta rays which was ironically the best snorkeling we did while in Hawaii. We went back to Pahu i`a yet again (after much begging on my part) for our final dinner. I can’t rave about this restaurant enough.
That is sadly the end of our trip – it was the honeymoon of a lifetime.
Maui Honeymoon Review 5/10-5/17--sorry so late! VERY LONG
From: may_bride_05, 6/19/2005 at 2:46 pm
Maui Honeymoon Review: May 10-17
First, sorry it has taken me a month to get this out! Between a 2 week honeymoon and moving across the country it took us that long to get the internet up and running!
Where we stayed: Four Seasons at Wailea – One Word…HEAVEN! If you are looking for an amazing place to honeymoon this is it. They treat you like royalty from the second you pull up. The valets are always friendly, opening doors and welcoming you “home.” It really made us feel like we were coming “home” after every day’s activity. When we checked in (we had booked a mountain view room, with breakfast and a rental car, which we upgraded to a jeep) they upgraded us complimentary to a Premier Ocean Front Room, #697. IT was amazing! We slept with the patio door open every night to hear the ocean. Wailea beach is phenomenal, especially on the four seasons side. There were more people on the Grand Wailea side. The beach concierges take care of you, they will set up a complimentary cabana wherever you want and hourly will bring you either fresh fruit (strawberries and pineapple) or ice water. They know where the good snorkeling is off their beach and are happy to show you. The snorkel rental is free for the first hour and $3 per hour after that (although I don’t remember them charging us for extra time). They even have the anti-fog stuff for the goggles if you have your own snorkel, be sure to ask.
We spent almost every morning on the beach, the wailea side gets really windy after lunch time most days so the beach is a no-go then. Our days started out early as we were still on central time so we’d eat at about 6 am every day, and it was the most relaxing way to start a day on your honeymoon. We could eat in peace, they never sat you next to another table unless they had to, and read the papers (NY Times and Maui News paper). Their buffet is like heaven, better than any buffet I’ve ever eaten at. You can get a made to order omlette, with shrimp even, made to order pancakes or waffles (add fruit, chocolate chips or mac nuts) and have coconut syrup. If there’s one thing to do in Hawaii its to have a mac nut pancake or waffle with coconut syrup! That was my favorite, although I didn’t have such good syrup as I did at the 4S Pacific Grill. They had real fresh squeezed fruit juices (my favorite was the guava and DH’s favorite was pineapple.), fresh fruits (yummy bananas in coconut sauce) and pastries ( you must try the chocolate pastries!!mmm). The eggs benedict were to die for also…yummy. They switch it up every day so you never know what will be at the buffet so its kind of fun *%61514; We did the pool thing one day and decided the beach was way better. The service at the pool was a bit lacking since there was only one server and she had a huge wedding party. The water was awesome, as were the hot tubs and the fountain. They did bring ice water every hour and you could order food from Ferraro’s to eat. We had the Kalua Pork Quesadilla’s, yummy yummy, I thought the corn sauce was the best but DH liked the sour cream sauce. All in all, stay at the four seasons if you can afford to splurge. We did walk down to the Grand Wailea and the Fairmont Kea Lani to see if we were missing something. The Fairmont seemed less well kept up and older looking. The resort was so far back from the beach that if you had an ocean front room I don’t know if you could have heard the ocean. The beach was smaller and private but seemed to have larger waves. The pool area was nice and the restaurants also looked nice (we didn’t eat there at all). The Grand Wailea had the most awesome pool set up I think we saw in all Hawaii! It didn’t look like a pool but rather a water park. We decided that when we bring our kids to Hawaii that is where we’ll go. Its definitely a family resort, but impeccably kept up and gorgeous. I have pictures of all 3 Wailea resorts as well as one or two of the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua (we saw it when we went to the Dragon’s teeth). Again as with the Fairmont, the Ritz was so far from the beach that I bet you can’t hear much of the ocean from their ocean front rooms either. Their golf course was awesome, their beach was small and windy in the afternoon when we were there. All in all I would definitely go back to the Four Seasons again and again. All we saw there were couples (all ages from honeymooners to many year anniversaries) with the exception of a couple families with very small children, but we hardly noticed them. They did have a wedding there one night and it looked awesome! We also had a celebrity (according to DH) while we were there. Mike Dunleavy of the Golden State Warriors (NBA) was there with a woman (girlfriend or something like that). DH was so excited he had to take a couple of zoomed in pics %*61514; so I might post one soon. I will post pics soon so that everyone can take a look at everything on Maui.
Drive to Summit of Haleakala- This was a must do for me, I was so excited to see an extinct volcano. And it was amazing, but definitely wear long pants and bring a sweater. We went up in shorts and tank tops (we’re in Hawaii!) and froze! Its so awesome to be up there above the clouds. We didn’t the the sunrise thing because it was too early for us and we’d have to give up that amazing breakfast at the four seasons. We have some really cool pics of us “floating” in the clouds.
Old Lahaina Luau – Also a must do. Everyone should do one luau while in Hawaii. This one was awesome. The food was good, but the entertainment is what we went for. It was so much fun and full of history at the same time. We were in the traditional mat seating and it was great, we had a front row view of the whole show! One downside, the open bar is great, but the lack of alcohol in the drinks was puzzling. I had almost 8 drinks all night and didn’t even have a buzz…oh well, at least I was sober.
Warren and Annabelle’s – A MUST MUST do!! Warren is hilarious, we didn’t stop laughing the whole time. I wished we had been in the front, but it was still hilarious. The cocktail hour with Annabelle was really fun too. If you go, buy a package that includes some food and drinks, we paid ala carte and only got a couple drinks and dessert (we had eaten earlier in Lahaina also).
Banyan Tree Park and Front Street in Lahaina – What a fun place to hang out. We did this on 2 days because it was so fun and we got lots of shopping done. Definitely bring money for souvenir shopping. We checked out the old courthouse and the old fort (made of coral). Definitely a fun place to hang out on a day you’re going to the luau or Warren and Annabelle’s.
Road to Hana – We drove this road on one of our last days. I was expecting LUSH rainforest, and well I was a bit disappointed. It was beautiful and fun, but we got tired of driving after the ½ way to Hana stand. We felt we had seen enough waterfalls and hiked enough. We did some of the extra stops in the Maui Revealed book, we hiked on a hunter’s trail around a gorge (beautiful) to a waterfall, which would have been ours alone but there was a Japanese family enjoying lunch there also. We skipped rocks and wandered in the water, but waterfalls get very deep very quickly, so we didn’t get to close to the falls. The only falls we got close to were the Twin Falls at the first stop. We hiked to both of them (wear hiking sandals like Teva’s or something) and walked in them and swam in them. It was tons of fun. We wouldn’t do the Road to Hana again though, too much driving for us. We preferred the beach at the Four Seasons.
Dragon’s Teeth in Kapalua – We walked across the Ritz Carlton Golf Course to get there. It is amazing, DH slipped and got “bitten” by the Dragon’s Teeth. He has a great scar to show off now. There is also a rock maze up there that we followed to the center, easy way to get dizzy but fun %%61514;
Snorkeling at Fishbowl – We went to late in the day for this activity, but the hike across the lava field was awesome. The path is hard to find but once you do its cool. The snorkeling was non existent in the afternoon because sand was being kicked up into the water which made visibility nil, but early morning this could be awesome and secluded!
Roy’s in Kihei – By far our favorite restauraunt in all of Hawaii!! Definitely worth the price. I had their signature mac nut crusted Mahi Mahi (MMMMM) and DH had scallops. We had crab cakes for appetizer, very yummy. The chocolate soufflé for dessert was like heaven in your mouth. They even found out we were honeymooners and wrote “Just Mauied” in chocolate sauce on the plate. That was just amazing. About $120 for both of us, including an almost $40 tip. The service is awesome, even the store manager stopped to talk to us about our trip and our meal!
Mama’s Fish House – The ambience is what Hawaii is all about. The beach front location at sunset is awesome. I think many go there for the ambience, but compared to other restaurants of the same caliber in Hawaii, Mama’s was not the best as far as food goes. The drinks were awesome, even the non-alcoholic ones (DH doesn’t drink). I had a mixed plate with lots of Hawaiian/tropical fruits and 2 kinds of fish (mahi mahi and ono). DH had opah, which was really really yummy. I traded him my ono for some of his opah. About $120 for the 2 of us, with a much smaller tip for the server here. The food is better than the service.
Ferraro’s at the 4S – We ate lunch there one day when we weren’t leaving the resort. What a mistake. The service is awful (they are not 4S employees), we had to beg to get more water in our glasses. And for 2 burgers (the food was good, to their credit) and some quesadillas our bill was $75!! My advice, eat lunch elsewhere.
Penne’s Pasta in Lahaina – Yummy ‘fast food’ pasta dishes, but don’t bother with the extra garlic ahi. About $13 for the 2 of us.
Aloha Grill in Kahului – Yummy burgers for about $20 for the 2 of us. Mine had grilled pineapple on it. We also had drinks and chili cheese fries. Very yummy lunch at the marketplace in Kahului near Dairy Road.
Shaka Pizza – Yummy local pizza we ordered in at the 4S on our first night there.
ABC Store – Sandwiches, drinks etc for all of our driving around. I really fell in love with the ABC stores in Hawaii while we were there. Drove DH nuts that I stopped at every single one. I also liked shopping at Hilo Hattie’s, great place for gifts.
Feel free to reply with questions or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Honeymoon review in bio. MAUI
From: bridebahama 6/29/2005
Maui Review: LOVED IT! Fairmont Kea Lani: By far, the best choice we made. They gave us a huge corner suite- much larger than all the others definitely request one! Resort is gorgeous and elegant. Free valet parking and Wailea shuttle- they'll take you where you need to go in the area. We used it several times so we wouldn't have to worry about drinking and it was so easy to call. They run most of the night and start early morning. We also rented a pool cabana one day. Expensive, close to $100. Includes fruit and unlimited bottled water, juices, and magazines. Was it worth it? Probably not. While it was nice if you get to the pool early enough the umbrellas are free. We had lunch by the pool most days and it was great. I ordered off the kids menu and Adam did several times as well- big kids portions filling enough for both of us and half the price.
Very nice buffet breakfast though expensive- around $26 p/psn. If you don't like what is on offer they will make you anything you want like pancakes, french toast etc. (They don't freely tell you, you just have to tell your waitress what you want) Some of the things were not great, both the french toast and belgium waffles were too dry for our taste so we would have them make pancakes- their blueberry and banana are awesome. Room service breakfast is much cheaper by far. We ordered this several times and it's so nice to have it out on the balcony. Drinks by the pool are delicious! Are fave is the Lava Flow- you must try it! Drinks is where things add up- we paid as much as $10 for an imported beer to $8.50 for a cocktail. Make sure to figure this into your budget. For lunch and dinner we ate at both Nick's Fishmarket and Caffe Ciao both at the Fairmont. Both were delicious and we didn't need reservations although at Nick's we had to wait 15 mins each time, so just had a drink at the bar. Meals averaged $150 at nicer places. We tried to eat at Humu at the Grand Wailea, but they were very rude and wouldn't seat us without a reservation even if people didn't show up for theirs and half the restaurant was empty. At the Shops at Wailea we ate at both Longhi's and Tommy Bahamas and both were great and cheaper than the hotels. We also ate at several little cheap places recommended by Maui Revealed- Maui Taco's is great. We also went to the luau at the Renaissance in Wailea. It was nice, but we would have preferred Old Lahaina or Feast at Lele however they were completely sold out for the next 2 months. So book one of those at least 2 months in advance to have any chance of going.
Snorkelling at Molokini was the best. We loved it so much we went twice. Here's my biggest tip. Use a company called Kai Kanani- (808-879-7218). They leave at 6am so you are the only ones out there. When they leave all the big boats start to arrive. I can't even descibe how wonderful it is to be out there with only 30 other people as opposed to the hundreds that arrive later. Plus, they leave from the Maui Prince so if you are in Wailea it's convenient and only a 15 min ride out there. It's wild how the fish swim right up to you and we saw a shark both times!
Snorkelling at Black Rock Terrific and right off the beach. Major tip- valet at the Sheraton for $5, the parking garage attached is $20 for 3 hours- a major rip-off. Snorkelling was great, on par with Molokini. We saw giant sea turtles and tons of fish. Just like Molokini they swim right up to you and all around. Nice beach too.
Road to Hana! Must do! We used the Maui Revealed book as opposed to the tapes and it was perfect for us. We read it the night before and selected what we wanted to see, so we knew exactly where we were going before we left. We went early- left the hotel around 6:30am and it was perfect timing. No one was on the road and it made the experience so much better. By the time we were heading back everyone was going and the lines of traffic and cars were unbelievable. We had the place almost to ourselves and highly recommend starting by 7am at the latest.
1st Half of HM Review - Maui
From: Sjade565, 7/7/2005 at 11:44 am
DAY 1 – SUNDAY
We got to the airport at 5:00 AM for our 7:00 AM flight. We were so tired yet so excited for our trip – it was finally here!! Our first flight took us to Cincinnati, only about an hour’s time total. Then we hopped a flight to Atlanta, then to LA, where we had about a 2-hour layover. We ate at a little Mexican restaurant to kill some time…ok, ok, we had a few drinks too. J Finally, it was time for our last flight – 5-1/2 hours and we would finally be in Maui!! By the time we got to Maui it was after 6:00 PM and we were exhausted. We got our luggage and headed over to the rental car agent. Word to the wise…if you plan on bringing 4 huge suitcases, and two carry-ons, DON’T rent a Thunderbird convertible. Or at least bring some bungee cords, because the trunk is non-existent (about 10” deep), and there is no backseat. We ended up taking the shoelaces out of my tennis shoes and tying all of the bags together and then to the trunk. Finally, around 8:00 PM we got to the hotel and checked in. It was so neat driving up the main entrance at night because all of the torches were lit and the whole lobby was glowing with lights. We went inside and found out we got upgraded from “run of house” to a partial ocean view room, they said that we could take the room, as long as we didn’t mind having two double beds instead of a king. No big deal to us – so we took it. Finally, we were in our room – after almost 24 hours of traveling. We were beat. We ordered room service, unpacked, and hit the sack.
DAY 2 – MONDAY
We woke up fairly early. On a side note, I have an allergy to feathers and asked for all of the pillows, etc to be hypoallergenic. Well, even with them switching all of the bedding, there must still have been some dander or something on the bed, because I still had a sore throat and cough throughout the trip because of it. Just an FYI for anyone else with this problem. We went for a run on the beach path, all the way down to the end and back, I would guess about 2-1/2 miles. We came back to the room, showered and went to the grocery store in Lahaina (about 5 min away) for some water. When we got back to our room there were chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us, complements of our travel agent, Anne Rose. Thanks Anne!! We were starving and ate them all in like 10 seconds. From there we headed down to the pool grill and got some cheeseburgers and drinks. Yum!! Talk about a cheeseburger in paradise. We don’t eat this kind of food often at home, so we were in heaven. I had a lava flow and Ryan had a Hawaiian beer. Both were awesome. We lounged by the pool for a little while and then took a walk on the beach. The beaches are so gorgeous. It is true that they are not incredibly huge, but they still had plenty of spreading out space on the sand. We sat for a while and enjoyed the scenery. Then we decided to take a walk down to Whaler Village, the shopping area located down the beach walk, about 10 min away. We checked out the other hotels on the way, and agreed that the Hyatt has the best pools. J We ended up buying some souvenirs and Kookwee’s (cookies – try the Kona coffee macadamia nut – yum!!). We headed back to the room to get ready for the honeymooners reception (a little welcome party for honeymooners in our hotel every Monday) and dinner at David Paul’s Lahaina Grill. At the honeymooners reception they had appetizers like fruit, veggies and dip, and cheese and crackers and served beer, wine, and champagne for drinks. We met another really cool couple from Illinois and ended up meeting up with them later in the week one night. We were having so much fun, that we didn’t realize it was already after 7:00, and we were late for our reservations at David Paul’s. We said our good-byes and hurried over to the restaurant. Luckily it was just down the street in Lahaina, so we were not far (but not close enough to walk to). The food at David Paul’s was incredible. We had the Kona lobster crab cake for an appetizer – so good! I had the Tequila shrimp and firecracker rice (spicy) and Ryan had the Kona coffee roasted rack of lamb. Both entrees were incredibly yummy. For dessert we had the road to Hana – which I highly recommend. Dinner was awesome, I give David Paul’s a 10 for sure – a must do. There is no view of the beach, but we had a romantic table in a corner in the back, very private. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel because we had to get up early the next morning for our snorkel trip.
DAY 3 – TUESDAY
At 6:30 AM we were on out way to the Maalaea Harbor to meet up with Four Winds II for our snorkel excursion. We found our spot on the boat, on the second level, up front – perfect location. We had some bagels and fruit for breakfast and the boat was on its way to the Molokini Crater. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any whales on the way out; they have all headed to Alaska for the summer – although the captain said that he did see a mother and calf the week before in the harbor. We got about ¾ of the way to Molokini and the captain made an announcement that the winds had changed and were blowing directly into the crater, making it impossible and quite dangerous to snorkel there so we were going to head back to the island and snorkel in another area that they frequently use, called Coral Gardens. We were a little bummed out, but hey, what can you do – its nature. When we got to Coral Gardens, we hopped in and started exploring. It is so neat to see fish in their natural habitat. I do have to admit though, being a scuba diver who hasn’t snorkeled in a long time, I was a tad bit disappointed. You see so much more when you are scuba diving and it is so much easier; you don’t have to worry about the waves slapping you in the face and keeping your body parallel with the surface of the water. Maybe it is just me, but Ryan agreed – one of our top priorities is for his to get certified in scuba diving so that on our next trip we can do that instead. After a little while, the captain said that they were serving lunch, so we headed back to get some food. They had hamburgers, hot dogs, bbq chicken, and all the fixings, cookies, Maui chips, oh and of course, beer. Everything was very good, the Maui chips are addicting. The boat stayed for a while longer, people were using the water slide and some went back in for a second snorkel. We stayed on board and talked to other couples and sunned our Lilly white selves. On the way back to the harbor, we stopped by turtle town and saw some really big turtles. When we got back to the harbor we decided to go check out the restaurant where we had reservations that night, called the Maaleaa Waterfront Restaurant. It wasn’t open, but we could tell by looking through the windows that it was not very appealing to us – old, dirty carpet, old furniture. So we decided to wing it and head to Lahaina that evening for dinner and shopping. We went back to the hotel and cleaned up for dinner. We headed out to Lahaina around 4:00. It is a really busy area, lots of tourists, lots of shops. Parking was not as bad as we thought it would be though. It kind of reminds me of St. Thomas or some of the other Caribbean island where there are like a zillion jewelry stores, t-shirt shops, and knick-knack shops all on one street. It is really neat and fun to check them all out – you just pick and choose which ones interest you. There are a bunch of cool bars and restaurants in this area as well. We bought a beautiful plumeria necklace for my souvenir, some t-shirts, etc (gotta love the ABC Stores) to bring home for the fam, and did some window shopping. By this time the sun was beginning to set, so we took some quick pictures, and we headed over to BJ’s Pizzaria for dinner, where they serve Chicago style pizza. We had a beautiful view of the ocean from our seats. The restaurant is on the second floor of the building (shops below). We ordered a Caesar salad and the bbq chicken pizza and it was really good. We were so full!! The mai tais and Hawaiian beer are very good as well. After dinner we headed back to the car and noticed that Cheeseburger in Paradise was packed and playing live music. We thought that would be a cool place to go hang out one night. We headed back to the hotel to get some sleep, because in the morning we had to wake up at 2:00 to head up the volcano to watch the sunrise and ride bikes down!!
DAY 4 – WEDNESDAY
Still half asleep we made it down to the lobby for our bus ride up the volcano. We used Maui Downhill for our tour guides. Us and 5 other couples all piled in the van and headed first back to the Maui Downhill “headquarters” for donuts and coffee, and then finally on our hour long ride up the volcano. I slept most of the way. J By the time we got to the top, it was 5:00 AM and sunrise was at 5:45. It was so beautiful and peaceful…and cold! The tour company gave us yellow windbreaker suits and I put mine on, Ryan decided against it. I guess he had a problem with looking like a huge banana…I didn’t care. Surprisingly there are hundreds of people, from many different tour outfits (or they drove up themselves), all huddled together waiting for the sun to make its debut for the day. It is so weird to see it rise above the clouds. After the sun finally rose, our tour guide took us up to the higher elevation. When we got there, we walked up a flight of stairs (so hard at 10,000 feet above sea level) to the highest point on the island. The view was gorgeous. At this point, it was close to 7:00 AM, so we got on our bikes and began the journey to the bottom. It was a peaceful ride down the volcano. The roads are smooth and all you hear is the sound of your tires on the pavement. You hardly peddle at all and follow in a single file line, with the tour guide in front, and the van following behind. The only scary part is if you think about the fact that there are no guardrails for much of the way. But, if you are paying attention and doing what you are supposed to be doing, there is really no way to get hurt or even near the edge of the road. We stopped at a golf course about ½ way down for brunch!! Not impressed. The food seemed like it had been sitting out for a while – eggs and French toast kind of hard, etc. But we scarfed it down because we were so hungry by that time. As we got closer to the city of Pai’a, the roads got more congested and we had to move to the shoulder more often to let cars pass. We ended the journey at the beach in Pai’a. What a ride. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were exhausted. So what do you think I did…went for a run! I know, I am insane. Ryan took a nap. When I got back, I cleaned up and we headed back down to Whaler Village to pick up some of the last souvenirs we wanted to get (Ryan had seen a Hawaiian shirt that he decided he HAD to have) J…we knew we wouldn’t be shopping much in Kauai, so we might as well do it now. We found the cutes Christmas ornament and decided that from now on, we will get an ornament to hang our tree to remind us of every fun vacation we take. We finished up our shopping and then we headed over to what I feel was the best dinner on the island – Mama’s Fish House. The restaurant is literally on the beach, maybe 100 feet from the waves. It was beautiful, and they have this really cool tree arch that you walk under to get to the hostess station. We started out at the bar, waiting for our table, and I have the BEST mai tai in the world. I am not crazy about mai tais usually, but this one was outstanding. I don’t know what they put in it, but it was good. We skipped an appetizer, so we could save room for dessert (and boy and I glad we did). For my main course, I have the macadamia nut mahi mahi and Ryan had scallops (I think). Both were good, but I REALLY loved the mahi mahi, and again, I am not a fish eater, but this just converted me. Now, drum roll please…for dessert I had the Kuau Pie…AMAZING. It was an Oreo crust with a layer of carmel, the chocolate mouse-like filling, anad whip cream. Oh my God, it was to die for. Ryan had a really cool looking dessert called the black pearl – it was a big black pearl looking ball of ice cream inside a waffle-like shell. It gets points for looks, but after tasting mine, I had a hard time sharing. After dinner we walked along the beach for a little while, took pictures of the sunset, and then headed back to Lahaina to meet up with the newlywed couple we met earlier in the week. We did some bar hopping with them, starting with Planet Hollywood, then on to Komo’s and then on to Moose McGillycuddy’s. We had some drink and then headed back to the hotel around 1:00 AM – our latest night of the whole vacation (I know, we are such partiers).
DAY 5 – THURSDAY
We woke up and went for our daily run, came back and hit the pool grill for another cheeseburger “in paradise”. We laid around by the pool for a few hours and then headed up to the room, got cleaned up and then went over to check out the Wailea side of the island. We went to the Shops at Wailea (beautiful and very high end) and then on to the Faimont Kea Lani for our dinner reservations at Nick’s Fishmarket. We had such a beautiful dinner, front row, overlooking the beach and the sunset. It was very romantic, especially after the torch lighting ceremony, and it started to get dark. Ryan had the scallops and I had the filet mignon – both were excellent. We shared the chocolate decadence for dessert – to die for! After dinner, we walked down to the Grand Wailea for drinks at Humu’s – so cool! I wish we had been able to see both the restaurant and the grounds at the hotel in the daylight. We both agreed that one-day, when we venture back to Maui, we want to stay at the Grand Wailea. It is such a beautiful hotel, upscale, but not stuffy. Very beautifully designed. After splitting a giant margarita at Humu’s and walking the grounds for a while, we headed back to our car at the Kea Lani. One word of advice – flashlight. There are no lights along the beach path for the hotels in Wailea – and it seemed like there was no moon that night for some reason – it was SO dark!! We couldn’t see 5 feet in front of us. I was kind of scared. I know we were in paradise, but c’mon, who knows what could be waiting around the corner. A frog jumped in the bushes and I almost screamed. Finally we made it back to our car and headed back to Kaanapali.
DAY 6 – FRIDAY
Our last day in paradise…we decided to tackle the “road to Hana”…and beyond. We headed out early, and got to Pai’a for breakfast by 8:00 AM. We stopped at Charley’s and had the BEST breakfast (I don’t think we had one bad meal the whole trip). I had macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup and Ryan had some kind of awesome omelet and Portuguese sausage. We even put coconut syrup in our coffee (recommended by the waitress) – so good! The journey was a long one to Hana, and we didn’t stop much because we had reservations for the Old Lahaina Luau that night at 6:00 PM. So we saw a lot of the sights from the car – still we had a wonderful experience. Lots of waterfalls, horses, cattle, roosters, cliffs, tiny roads, hairpin turns…scary, yet amazing. We made it all the way around the island in our T-bird. The Seven Sacred Pools were beautiful as well (past Hana). It rained a little while we were there, but cleared up within minutes. The back side of the island is so brown and almost desolate. It is beautiful, yet so different than the first part of the drive – you go straight from a rain forest to a desert. We brought snacks ad water to eat/drink along the way, which I am glad we did because there is NO WHERE to stop on the back side of the island (that includes for bathrooms…FYI). We made it back to the hotel around 4:00 PM – 100 miles. We got ready, and headed over to the luau. The Old Lahaina Luau was amazing. We booked almost a year in advance, and I am glad we did because we got front row table seats. The drinks were great (fruity) and many to choose from. The food was good, but I am a little picky and tried mostly everything, but only really liked the basics – salad, beef, etc. The show was AWESOME. No fire though because they say that is not authentic to Hawaiian luaus. I diefinitely give it an A+ though. After the luau we went back to the hotel and took our complimentary bottle of champagne out to the beachfront hammocks for a toast to our last night in Maui. We were sad, but not because we were on to our next adventure (Kauai).
DAY 7 – SATURDAY
We woke up and went for our run, came back, packed up and went down to breakfast at the Swan Court. The breakfast buffet was very good and there was a ton to choose from. After breakfast, we checked out, got our luggage and headed over to drop off the car at Hertz and then on to the airport. Our flight went smoothly, touched down in Honolulu, and then on to Kauai. Little did I know somewhere along the way I picked up a nasty little germ known as PINK EYE!! Yuck…more on that later. So we got to the hotel and checked into our gorgeous room at the Hyatt in Poipu. Our room overlooked the pools and the beach was to our left. It was a “partial” ocean view (upgrade for us), and it was perfect. We had a huge king bed, and the bathroom was a lot brighter and more open feeling than at the Hyatt on Maui. Definitely liked this hotel set up better. The only downfall was that we had to walk REALLY far to get to our room, like down many halls with twists and turns – but it was worth it and you get used to it. We unpacked and got ready for our dinner reservations at Tidepools. What a cool restaurant. Very much like Humu’s in Maui. Except, Humu’s has many kind of fish in the surrounding pools, and Tidepools only has Koi. Still very neat. We could also feed the Koi and they go NUTS.
More to come…
Top 3 things, I would say are:
1. Old Lahaina Luau
2. Drive all the way around Hana, but don't stop at every waterfall, stop at a few, but just value the view from the car (lots of the beautiful pics I took were from the car)
3. Dinner at Mama's Fish House (awesome)
4. Biking down Haleakala was pretty neat too...
I would definitely book the Old Lahaina Luau ASAP -- fills up fast. The restaurants we did book in advance and we always got great tables...not sure what we would have gotten if we waited until we got on the island -- better to be safe than sorry.
Also, here is a list of things I put together from reading the boards for both Maui and Kauai, for anyone that is interested--
1. David Paul's Lahaina Grill -- $5 park, no view but awesome food, Kona lobster crab cakes app, French bread with garlic butter, Tequila shrimp, Road to Hana dessert – choc cake, sour cream mouse, mac nuts, caramel.
2. Nick’s Fish Market -- Wailea (Fairmont Kea Lani) $35-50 table outside for sunset and torch lighting ceremony, chocolate decadence for dessert
3. The Maalaea Waterfront 808-244-9028
4. Mama’s Fish House – right by airport 808-579-8488 $$$, awesome mai tais, ask for covered outdoor beachfront table at sunset, crab stuffed mahi mahi 799 Poho Place, Paia
5. Pacifico Cafe – Front Street, Lahaina, $35-50 must have view of sunset toes in the sand
6. Swan Court – Hyatt 808-661-1234
· Rusty Harpoon (Whaler Village) – good, lunch, split meal (huge portions)
· Leilani’s on the Beach – Kanapali (Whaler Village) – lunch
· Hula Grill -- Whaler's Village, Kaanapali -- feet get wet, Hula pie awesome!
· Shops at Wailea (huge)
· Breakfast at Grand Wailea – dining room
· Caffe Ciao in the Kea Lani – awesome breakfast breads and coffee
· Visit neighboring hotels in Wailea
· Snorkel at Ahihi Bay (Makena near Wailea) past Fairmont
· Maui Onion at the Renaissance Wailea Resort – best onion rings (lunch)
ROAD TO HANA
· Charlie’s – Paia – pancakes with coconut syrup (huge), egg’s benedict, fresh squeezed oj (on the way to road to Hana)
· Bring picnic lunch to Hana in cooler – pick up in Paia
· Pizza place next to Pacifico Cafe
· BJ’s Pizza – Lahaina
· Moose McGillycuddy's -- Lahaina -- breakfast
· Cheeseburger in Paradise – drinks before David Paul’s – lava flow, watch sunset here, since no view at David Paul’s
· Kula Lodge – brunch after summit of Haleakala (included with our package)
· Komoda Bakery, Makawao, after Haleakala – cream puffs and malasakas (cross between a beignet and donut is deep-fried egg pastry sprinkled with sugar and eaten warm)
Plantation House in Kapalua for breakfast
Local Boy in Kihei – shaved ice with coconut ice cream Tasty Crust – Wailuku – breakfast
The Gazebo, -- Napil Beach – breakfast, macadamia nut pancakes, be prepared to wait in line, 15 tables, thatch roof, cheap
Manana Garage - Mexican $12-26
Ashley’s – Shave Ice
Hali'imaile General Store - 900 Hali'imaile Road -
Hali'imaile (Upcountry) – moderately priced
Tedeschi Winery 9-5 PM, guided tours at 10:30 and 1:30
1. Beach House – Poipu – 5:45 PM reservations for best seats 808-742-1424
2. Scotty's Beachside BBQ -- on the makai (ocean) side of the highway. It's at the north end of Kapa`a, kinda halfway between Hotel Coral Reef, and Otsuka's Furniture Store -- directly across the street from Kojima's Market. 808-823-8480
3. Tidepools – Hyatt $35-45 5:30 PM 808-742-1234 ask for a table by the windows and free fish food
4. Roy’s Poipu Bar and Grill 808-742-5000 – baked chocolate soufflé a la mode $20-35 wood fired pizza for app
5. Pacific Café – best restaurant on the island in terms of dining (closed and reopening)
6. Pomodoro 808-332-5945 – best Italian on island $13-25 Kalaheo
7. Donderos – Hyatt Italian – dressy 808-742-1234
9. Waimea Brewing Co.—hamburgers and nachos
10. Pineapple Grill
Coconuts – Kapaa – moderate prices
Lappert’s Ice Cream – delicious! Our favorite flavor was the Kauai pie, which was kona coffee with macadamia nuts, coconut and fudge
Bubba Burgers in Hanelei and Wailua – great burgers and chili fries
Wishing Well Shave Ice – Hanalei
Princeville Resort bar – great for watching sunset and drinks
The Shrimp Basket – Waimea – good coconut shrimp (big enough for 2) $$
Roadrunner Café – Kilauea – awesome Mexican food
Jo jo’s shaved ice – way to Waimea Canyon
Pick up fresh fruit and vegetables and then stop at Foodland in Kapaa or a whole Huli Huli rotisserie chicken, then head to the beach
Lanai & Kauai Honenymoon Review
From: hatrick, 7/10/2005 at 9:11 pm
Honeymoon: Hawaii - 11 days
Lanai - 5 days, Manele Bay Hotel - A++
Lanai is not cheap, it's where many local hawaiians honeymoon. But the quality is top notch. We were treated like royalty. They gave us the usual champagne but the hotel and it's staff is amazing. I've never stayed anywhere so posh and been treated so wonderfuly! Lanai doesn't have a ton of things to do but it's the King of R&R. We snorkeled and hiked and relaxed... The restaurants were fantastic (although pricey) and the food is top notch.
If you are going, definitey head up the Clubhouse Restaurant at Manele Bay for the sunset (dinner is fantastic too!). The views are increbile. Once the sun goes down, you can see the lights of Maui. Very romantic.
Kauai - 6 days, Hyatt in Poipu - A-
It was really crowded. We were upgraded from garden view to partial ocean on the top floor, which was very nice. We also received champagne, which was a nice touch. The Hyatt is amazing, 7 pools, the most incredible spa ever but it's big and really crowded. It was just a little too fast paced for us (especially coming from Lanai). Plus, throughout all of Poipu, you need to make dinner reservations 1-2 days in advance, which I found really annoying. This isn't necessary for restaurants outside of Poipu. I've been to Kauai before but the first time I've stayed in Poipu. We won't be staying there again. There are other parts of the island that are less crowded and more laid-back and low key. Please don't panic if you're headed to Poipu, I'm not the typical vacationer. I wanted to be alone and with DH and in a quiet mellow atmosphere. Plus we hiked, scuba, snorkeled, etc. so we weren't in our room much so it didn't feel worth the price... Just my 2 cents...
Not to miss restaurants in Kauai:
Cafe Portafino - At the Mariott in Lihue. Amazing, I've been here 3 times now and it truly is incredibly romantic. Parking is a pain, just use Duke's Valet and fib...
Wrangler's Steakhouse - This is in Waimea and if you're sick of seafood or your partner is, this place has great steaks and seafood. Salad bar is weak but soup is really good.
Lemongrass - This is in Kapaa' and if you love sushi, it's great. There are other really good sushi places in Lihue but Lemongrass is good and tad better atmosphere... Plus they have other stuff in case not everyone is into sushi...
The Beach Broiler - Poipu... Call either before you go or immediately upon arrival. This place is fantastic and everyone knows it... Like all guidebooks say, it's is one of the best on the island...
Hanalei Gourmet - This is a cafe in Hanalei on the north side of the island. I've only been for lunch but their food is really really good...
Tidepools - This is the seafood restaurant the Hyatt in Poipu. It's everything all the guidebooks say... Probably our best dinner on our trip to Kauai (although I still stand by Cafe Portofino as my favorite restaurant on the island).
Enjoy, if you have any questions, page me on the Portland, OR board...
Kauai HM Review
From: may_bride_05, 7/14/2005 at 3:33 pm
Kauai HM Review 5/17/05-5/21/05
First, my apologies that this is 2 months late!
Our flight from Maui was uneventful, but we could tell that Kauai was much more green, even from the air.
We arrived early and went over to Alamo to pick up the jeep we had reserved. When we got there they had rented all the jeeps so the upgraded us for free to a convertible Sebring. Wow that was a nice surprise.
We drove about 5 minutes down the road to the Marriott in Lihue. Great location as far as we could tell, in the middle of the island and in the town of Lihue, great for shopping. The valet service at the Marriott may as well be non-existent. The valets don’t respond when you pull up to the hotel and then act annoyed that they have to do something. We only valet parked once. We self-parked ($10 a day!) the rest of the time. The hotel and grounds are gorgeous, they have koi ponds with swans, ducks and nene. It was so cool to see them every day and just walk up to the birds. They have gorgeous art all over the place so that was fun to just hang out and check it out. We stayed on Marriott points (thank you BIL for the best wedding gift ever!) and upgraded to a pool/ocean view room. It was a great view. The beach at this Marriott is nothing to write home about. Its full of driftwood and in a small bay where cruise ships come in and out of. But that is why they built the pool! The most spectacular pool I have ever seen, and their claim to fame as the largest pool in Hawaii! It is essentially the size of about 10 regular pools or so in the shape of a flower. There are private hot tubs in gazebos all around the pool as well, great for HMers. However, this hotel was smack full of touristy groups and families, not the best place for HM. Of the restaurants there, Kukui’s was the best, and it was average. The buffets at Kukui’s were not that great and always crowded. We ate at Duke’s Canoe Club…TERRIBLE food and bad service with a really nice ambiance. We also ate at the Café Portofino, yummy Italian food, beautiful ambiance on the ocean with live music. We spent a lot of time on Kauai at the Marriott because we did about all there was to do on Kaui in about 2 days.
We went to Waimea Canyon one day, while it is breathtaking, it is jam-packed with tourists and tour busses!! We also did a morning snorkel boat trip to the Na Pali coast with Na Pali Catamaran. They are amazing, definitely the highlight of our trip to Kauai. We had Nick and Capt. Lono who were so funny. When we snorkeled there were tons of fish and sea turtles. It was so fun to just pretend we were fish too. The ride back to Hanalei Bay was so ROUGH that we didn’t get to go into the ocean caves (the ocean was angry according to Capt. Lono). It was a lot of fun and an activity I would easily recommend.
We did a lot of shopping at Hilo Hattie’s and the ABC Stores as well. As far as eating out, we had a reservation at The Beach House, but canceled because we were too tired to drive anywhere. We had fun on Kauai, but between Kauai and Maui (see previous review) Maui was definitely our favorite island. Also to come, Big Island review. I will TRY not to take so long to get it together!!
Back from honeymoon in Kauai! Review posted. Kinda Long.
From: orangebride25, 7/25/2005 at 8:25 pm
Kauai was more amazing then everyone had said. We stayed for 2 weeks, and never got bored (there' still things for us to see & do!)
We stayed in the Radisson for the 1st 3 nights. It was pretty inexpensive, $209 a night for 'ocean view'. We liked how the resort looked, the grounds were beautiful, the pools were great, the restaurant Looked nice, but the service wasn't great, the dishes were always a bit dirty, and I liked the less expensive pool-side food better than the expensive dinners. The service was usually pretty bad, but we did have an occasional good server. Our room was fine, typical hotel room, nothing fancy, but nice, and clean. I would go back, just not eat there. We ate every meal there since we were only there for 3 days (we just wanted to veg by the pool and do nothing but RELAX!)
Then we moved further north to Anahola. We stayed in an adorable cottage. Very private. Very clean. VERY affordable (about $100 a night). One bedroom, kitchen, bath, living room, ocean view (but a ways away). We LOVED staying there (www.mahinanis.com)(they also have a 2 bedroom house) Anahola is NOT at all touristy, there's really not much there, it's close to Kapaa, and 15 miles from Hanalei. There were a lot of geckos, which took some getting used to, so if that would freak you out, don't rent a house or cottage.
We went on a 17 mile sea kayak trip with Napali Kayaks. It was amazing, and a LOT of work! Our knees got REALLY sunburned, and we did tip, but the water is warm, and it was great. We swam in caves, went to remote beaches, it was really beautiful. Take motion sickness meds though!
We also did a heli tour. That was worth the $$, and amazing! Also take motion sickness meds, I felt pretty queezy by the end.
Definitely buy the Ultimate Kauai Book (Kauai Revealed) we would never have been able to find all the great beaches we did without it.
The beaches in the east and north side are for the most part empty! Also, as far west as you can drive (south west) there was no one around!
I was NOT impressed with Poi'pu, where lots of resorts are, including the Hyatt, but I think it's because I don't like to be around a lot of people. We definitely avoided the crowds.
We were worried about the weather, we thought it would be hot and humid, but it was perfect, low 80's everyday, and only humid a couple of days, and it wasn't bad at all. It rained almost everyday, but only for 5 minutes or so.
It was fantastic!
We can't wait to go back!
Just got back from Honeymoon!!
From: Jasonsluv, 7/29/2005 at 6:03 pm
We just got back from Maui about a week ago and I thought I'd give a alittle bit of feedback.
Hyatt in Lahaina: We loved this hotel, it was absoluteley gorgeous. They have two pools, one for kids although kids are allowed at both pools. For those of you who don't like a big resort feel, this probably isn't the place for you, because it's huge. We liked it because it's right on the beach, the pool was nice and big with plenty of chairs (make sure to get there by about 8:00am to put your towel down for the best chairs), good food at the restaraunts ( a little bit pricey though. They have a bar near the pool called the Grotta Bar, it's like under a rock cave, so it stays nice and cool in there. We stayed in an oceanfront room...we got upgraded to that, and the room was nicely decorated and with a beautiful view of the ocean. I highly recommend staying at the Hyatt. It's near Front Street which has all the shops and restaurants.
Feast at Lele: I tried to get us in to the Old Lahaina Luau, but it was booked. But I'm so glad it was booked because the Feast at Lele was awesome. It's not like your typical Luau, its way more intimate, you have servers the entire time, and you get to experience the different Island dishes. The food was really good. I'm not big on seafood, but I went with an open mind and discovered that seafood is actually pretty good. The price is $100pp, but it was well worth it.
Moose McGillicudy's: This restaraunt on Front street was pretty good. We went there for appetizers and drinks and breakfast. It has a laid back atmosphere. I will definatley eat there next time I'm in Maui
If anyone has any questions, e-mail me at email@example.com. I hope this is somewhat helpful for those of you going to Maui.
Maui Honeymoon Review
From: jlc519 Date: 8/22/2005 at 10:14 AM
Honeymoon Review 8/9 through 8/16
Sheraton Maui on Ka’anapali Beach
With 50 days to go before our wedding, DH and I still had not booked a honeymoon. I was always somewhat interested in going to Hawaii but he really didn’t want to go. We looked into Europe, Costa Rica and even Aruba and Barbados but for a variety for a variety of reasons they all had something one of us didn’t like. So we finally agreed on Maui, and wow, were we happy with our decision. After being there you know why everyone goes to Hawaii, it really is amazing. Ok, on with my review.
We stayed all 7 nights at the Sheraton Maui on Ka’anapali Beach. While we had 2 weeks off for the honeymoon, we didn’t want to be away the whole time and I didn’t feel there was enough time to island hop and still be relaxed. I loved staying in one spot the whole time, and there is more than enough to do in Maui to spend 7 nights or more there. The Sheraton was wonderful. The only slight complaint I have, and I can’t complain too much because they gave us an upgrade on our room to a Deluxe Ocean View which meant we were up on the cliff and overlooking the ocean and Molokai. It was beautiful. This just meant we had to take 3 different elevators to get to the pool and the beach, but it really wasn’t that bad. Confusing at first, but after a while it was fine. The room was your average room, big enough for the two of us, great bed, clean and our lanai as I said overlooked the ocean. We were able to see the sea turtles from the lanai almost every morning and an eagle spotted ray one day as well. We had brunch one day, but it is expensive so most days if we wanted breakfast we went down to Whaler’s Village and found Mr. Subs served homemade breakfast for $5. They only offered scrambled eggs, bacon and toast or a breakfast burrito, but it was better than spending the $23 for brunch. Also, we loved the pool side bars even though they were a little pricey. They were convenient. One is open until about 5 pm, the other until 8 pm.
We arrived on Tuesday, relaxed all day at the pool and beach on Wednesday and then went to dinner at Pacific’O in Lahaina for dinner. We didn’t make reservations but they were able to seat us inside as a walkup without any trouble. We weren’t outside, but we could still see the sunset. Food was delicious, a little pricey but not really much different than if you went out for a nice dinner at home. Actually 3 of our dinners all came to the same amount at three different restaurants, which was interesting. The last night was more because we had dessert. I’d say with the tip you can figure between $125 and $150f or a dinner. You can go cheaper though…the Hula Grill and Leilani’s were definitely cheaper, good food but more of a bar atmosphere.
Thursday we drove the Road to Hana. We woke up early so we left the hotel at 7 am, stopped at the Safeway to pick up snacks and sandwiches and we were on our way. Definitely worth it, although if/when we go back I don’t know that I would do it everytime. I bought Maui Revealed before leaving and think it was well worth it for Hana. Gave a lot of insider tips which were great. Definitely do the Ke’ane Peninsula and go all the way to the end, the views are amazing. Also worth it was the Blue Pool. It took us about 90 minutes once we got out of the car and back again...but we ate lunch there as well. We also drove all the way around, despite some reports that the road is unpassable. It was a little bumpy but really not that bad. There hadn’t been much rain so the roads were fine and it was so much better than fighting the traffic on the way home. The one lane brides on the first part of the highway make for a long ride home in the afternoon.
Friday, again we took it easy and then went up to Kapalua so DH could buy a golf shirt and we went to dinner at the Sea House on Napili Bay. Not quite as elegant as Pacific’O, but the food was excellent and the view of sunset was amazing.
Saturday we did the Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkeling trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation. I thought they did an excellent job. Maui Revealed said they were stingy with food, but I thought they were fine. I would recommend getting off the boat a few minutes early though in Turtle Town if you are hungry or want more than 2 mai tais. Once they blow the horn and everyone gets off, the line takes a while to get through. The trip was excellent, we saw dolphins on the way out to Molokini, and Manta Ray in the crater, and 2 sea turtles while we snorkeled at Turtle Town. So much fun.
Sunday we did the sunrise mountain biking with Maui Mountain Cruisers. Yes, it is extremely early (pick up at hotel at 2 am) but well worth it. I was very happy with Maui Mountain Cruisers, very safe and cautious. DH would have liked to go a little faster, but a few of the women in our group were nervous so the group speed is based on the slowest riders. Our tour leader told us if you want to go faster next time to go with Mountain Riders. On the way back to the hotel, our driver also filled us in on a lot of the history of Maui, the farming industry, etc. It was very interesting. We were back at our hotel by 11:30ish and down at the pool for the rest of the afternoon.
Sunday night we ate at Tropica at the Westin. Another delicious meal, and had a great table right on the boardwalk although it was after dinner.
Monday was our last full day on Maui so we just relaxed and snorkeled a bit at the Black Rock. We saw 3 spotted eagle rays while we were snorkeling, and DH saw a turtle and an octopus as well. That night we went to I’O for dinner, which is right next to Pacific’O. I thought the food was just as good there, they are sister restaurants. For some reason it isn’t as popular yet so you can get reservations very easily. They have 4 or 5 two person tables right on the beach basically and are great for viewing sunset. You end up being right next to the Feast de Lele luau and can kind of see some of the dancing and the performers as they go on and off stage.
So that’s it…Tuesday we came home and were sad but the trip was amazing and I can’t wait to go back! Check out some pics in the bio.
Married 16 days!
Maui Honeymoon Review!
From: DesigningD Date: 8/23/2005 at 4:33 PM
We had 3 hours of sleep and then headed for the airport Sunday morning. This surprisingly worked out well because we were tired enough to sleep on the plane ride to Maui from Cleveland. We had a 10 minute layover in Houston then boarded a large plane for Maui. We flew on Continental. The seats were 2, 3, and 2 across. We had a 2 seat section so that was nice. We were row 23 out of 50 something so we were not too far in the back of the plane at all. I had requested a Vegan (strict vegetarian) meal. It was great! I had a salad, a “Amys” brand burrito, and a vegan cookie. I was pleasantly surprised. Each seat had a video screen that played an option of 7 movies or you could play video games.
We landed in Maui at 3:30, picked up our rent-a-car, and took off for our hotel. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency on Kanapalli beach. We checked in, unpacked, and a refridgerator sent up to our room. It was about 5:30. We got dressed and began exploring our hotel. It was magnificent. Totally gorgeous. Totally 5 star. An awesome pool, with waterfalls, caves, and waterslides; palm trees; great landscaping; tons of exotic birds – parrots, penguins, flamigos; and an open air loby. Our room was a basic, but it was spacious and it had a nice balcony.
We went into Lahaina on Front Street for dinner at Cheeseburger in Paradise. The restaurant was right on the water and the sunset was beautiful. I had a gardenburger and Johnny had a cheeseburger. You have to order fries separate. Mine was bad – I don’t know how you can mess up a gardenburger – and Johnny said his was just okay. We tried to shop around on front street for a while, but we were both very tired.
We stopped at the grocery store and got some food to store in our room. The prices were about 3 times what they are at home.
We got back to the room at 10pm (which is 4am Cleveland time) and crashed.
We packed some food for breakfast/lunch and headed down to an area just south of Waliea called Maneka where there is the amazing Big Beach. We got there around 9am and we were one of the first people on the beach. It was paradise. It’s a large white sand beach with crystal clear blue water. We spent much of the day here playing in the water and laying out.
Then we ventured over to Little Beach. It’s a nude beach. You have to climb up a rock wall to get over to it. Johnny loved it. He dropped his shorts before his feet hit the sand. I thought it was a lot of dirty old men, a few couples, and a small number of families (which I thought was kind of gross.) I didn’t want to take off my suit on the beach, but I said I would in the ocean. I was okay until a giant wave threw me to shore and scraped up the side of my thigh. I layed on the sand trying to catch my breath and then I realized where I was. I jumped up and yelled and Johnny to hand me my swimsuit right away!!!
We left the beaches and we were starving for lunch. We tried to stop at some restaurants in Waliea but they had hour waits for lunch, so we just headed back to Kanapalli. We stopped at a restaurant on a golf course called “Mangos.” It was very bad. The food was gross and over-priced.
We went to the pool at our hotel and played in the water. I tried the waterslide. It’s a big one, probably 5 stories high. I was so scared. Johnny couldn’t get enough of it.
That night the Hyatt hosted a reception for all of their honeymooners. Free wine, champagne, and beer; and snacks like fruit, veggies, cheese and crackers. There was music and a lady singing, it was really fun. We filled up on the food there, then looked around at the stores in the hotel, and then sat down with the concierge and planned our activities.
I did a lot of research before I left on the snorkel adventure I wanted to go on. The concierge at the hotel did not bring up this company at all. In fact, she tried to sell us excursions that were 3 times the price of the one that 5 people had recommended to me. I called her on it and she went ahead and booked us with the company I wanted, “The Pacific Whale Foundation.” I don’t think she wanted to sell us this one because they are a non-profit organization. It was $69, and they took us to two locations to snorkel, feed us, and provided us with great info (the people that work there are all marine biologists) plus all the proceeds from the trip go to the environment. They are a great company.
Headed back to the room to relax.
We got up and headed north to the Kapula area. We stopped at a cute restaurant on Napilli Bay called Sea House for breakfast. It was an open front restaurant right on the beach. The view was breathtaking. The food was good. I had fresh fruit and a bagel. Johnny had a croissant sandwich and macadamian nut pancakes with coconut syrup.
Then we headed back to Kanapalli because the beaches in Kapula were really crowded. The beach is really bad by our hotel but if you walk along it for a little bit the water gets bluer and prettier down towards the Sheraton. We played in the water in the waves and layed out. Johnny climbed the big black rock at the Sheraton and jumped off of it into the water (it was like a 30 ft drop!) We went back to our hotel pool and ordered lunch.
That evening as part of our packaging we had a Luau at the Royal Lahaina Hotel. We waited in the line over an hour, then they sat us in the furthest back table. The drinks were disgusting, pre-mixed drinks. The entertainment was slow to begin and was not amusing. We just looked at the food on the buffet (it looked worse than a school cafeteria) it was bad. We left. We tried to eat at Hula Grill in Whaler’s Village but it was a 90 minute wait. We were so hungry. We went back to Lahaina’s Front street and popped into the only restaurant that did not have a wait, Longhi’s. Oh, but the service was terrible. The menu was all a la cart. That’s how they really get you with the prices. It was really outrageous. So we left… Okay, at this point we are starving. We went back to our hotel and went downstairs to what appeared to be a really nice Italian restaurant. We were seated and literally sat at our table for 15 minutes, no water, no one took our order, it was insane. So we left! We went to the Cascades bar at our hotel and ordered drinks and salads. We sat at the bar to insure we got service. What a crazy night!
Today we woke up early and set off for the Road to Hanna.
Right after the airport is a beach that is known for attracting surfers and wind-surfers. We stopped her and watched some people ride the waves.
Then we began the Road to Hanna. The road is nasty. Its all tight curves on a winding narrow road which basically is on a cliff! I started to not feel so good, and then we saw a sign for an overlook and there was a stand there that made pineapple and papaya crepes for $5 each. So we each had one and called it breakfast. They were not great, but that’s literally all there was. So we ventured on. It is 30 miles to Hana, but the speed limit is 15 because the road is so dangerous. Further along we found a beach that was all black. We got out and took pictures and enjoyed the view. Somewhere along mile 18-ish there was a food stand and a big sign that read: Half Way to Hana. We asked a worker there how much longer to get to the 7 sacred pools. He told us at least an hour and 45 minutes. TURN AROUND!! I said. We had been driving all morning and I was getting so car sick from all the turns in the road. Plus, you have to go back on that road! That’s a long time in a car. So we turned around and went back. This time I was really going to throw up! When we got back to the surfer’s beach we stopped and ate our picnic lunch. My stomach settled then. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Road to Hana, but I could not take the ride. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything – I was there for my honeymoon and I did not feel like getting sick.
This is so bad, we stopped at the Wal Mart on the way back to our hotel! But we were able to get snacks for cheap, sunglasses (because I lost mine in the wave on the nude beach), some souvineers, and floats to use in the ocean.
We went back to Kanapalli beach and floated in our rafts the rest of the afternoon.
We had dinner reservations and Kobe, a Japanese Steak house. We thought it would be like Bennihannas back home. We were wrong. It was all wood and smokey inside. The waitress didn’t understand that I was a vegetarian and that I did not want my veggies cooked at the same time as other people’s meat on the hibatchi grill, I had to say it like 5 times. Then ofcourse the chef come’s out and almost starts frying chicken, I was like “NO! Veggies get cooked first!” It was bad. My veggies were 80% onions, it was weird. Johnny had chicken and steak and he said it was terrible. He said the chef didn’t cut the pieces small enough. Overall Kobe was bad service, bad food, bad atmosphere. I do not recommend it.
We both left with stomach aches, so we turned in for the night.
We woke up early to go on our snorkel trip with the Pacific Whale Foundation. This trip was awesome! They served pineapple, oranges, and coconut muffins for breakfast. The guava juice was delicious! They took us Molokani crater to snorkel. It was a blast! I exited the boat on a slide into the ocean! The snorkeling was fabulous! So many fish and beautiful coral. I loved it. Back on the ship to head to Lanai for more snorkeling, they served pretzels, granola bars, and cheese crackers. Lanai had even more sea creatures to see. It was a beautiful sight! Back on board for the way home, they served choice of garden burgers (yay for me!) or chicken sandwiches. I think they even served beer and drinks at this point. We were very impressed with all the food. The crew was extremely nice and helpful. Plus, all the proceeds from the trip go back to support the environment. Our trip started at 7:45 and lasted until 3:30. It was a great day, and I highly recommend snorkeling with this crew!
We went back to the hotel and played in the pool, walked on the beach, and sat in the whirlpool. Tonight we decided no more going to restaurants for dinner. We had stopped at a fruit stand and bought fresh pineapples, mangos, and papaya. We got a bottle of wine for me and some beer for Johnny. We took our drinks and fruit to the beach and enjoyed the sunset. It was a perfect ending to a great day. I definitely recommend a picnic on the beach at sunset. It is such a nice way to unwind.
We loved the Maneka area, so we decided to head back down to that beach today. While on our snorkel trip, someone told us about a small beach, south of Big Beach that they refer to as Secret Beach. So we set off searching for it. It was amazing! There was only one other couple there on the beach! The sand was the softest white sand, and the water was clear. I saw several large sea turtles there! It was so fun. We enjoyed seclusion on the beach laying out, and we both snorkeled and saw the turtles and several yellow fish. That beach was paradise.
Then we decided to go back to the nude beach for a little bit. Today it was much more crowded. Several honeymooners it looked like. Johnny swam and I layed out.
We headed back to our hotel and played at our pool and whirlpool. We grabbed lunch at the pool side restaurant. We decided to just have dinner in our room that night – all our delicious fruits. Then we got dressed and went to Whaler’s Village, a fun shopping and food area within walking distance from our hotel, right on the beach. We had fun at the stores, then headed in for the night.
Today we got up and had breakfast at the Sea House again in Napilli. The food was great and again the view was gorgeous.
We went back and spent the day at our hotel pool. I had a guava juice (yum!) by the pool. We went down the water slide again. This time I wasn’t so scared, I actually enjoyed it. We jogged down Kanapalli beach and played in the ocean. We took some pictures – Johnny climbed a palm tree and relaxed in a hammock. We enter a ping-pong competition at our pool, and then had an early dinner poolside.
That evening we finished the rest of our pineapples in the room and headed to Whaler’s Village to do some last minute shopping.
The night was gorgeous, the sun was setting and we walking by the beach to Whaler’s Village, so sad to be leaving Maui the next day. We went into a TIFFANY’S jewelry store. My engagement ring is a “tiffany” setting. There was no way to get a wedding band to go with it unless I had one custom made OR went to a Tiffany’s store. So I didn’t think I’d get a wedding band. There it was. My matching gold band. I tried it on. The worker found my size. Johnny said “Do you want it?” and I said, “Well, it IS the matching set!” So he bought it for me. I now have a complete wedding ring – diamond solitaire engagement ring and matching gold band. And it was from Tiffany’s, none the less! It was the perfect ending to a perfect honeymoon. It doesn’t get any better than this.
We had to check out of the hotel at 1:00, so we got up and had breakfast then spent the rest of the morning in bed.
We stopped at some stores on our way to the airport. We went back to a little shopping center where we checked in for our snorkel trip. We got a fun photo album at one of the gift shops. Then Johnny got a shaved ice (he had one everyday of the trip) and a cookie. I had guava sherbert. We had our snacks and sat outside.
We headed to the airport and had an early dinner there. It was not so good, but it was something. The plane ride home was torture. We left at 6:00pm Maui time and arrive in Cleveland at 10:30am our time. Couldn’t wait for a shower and nap in my own bed.
I took the next day off work too. I got my rest, cleaned up the house, ran some errands and tried to prepare myself to get back to reality. Maui was amazing. I think everyone should go there at some point in their lives. It’s perfect for a honeymoon.
Here is a specific review of all the places we went in Maui:
Continental Airlines: A
The large plane had personal video screens with 7 channels of movies and shows, or video games. I requested a Vegan meal and it was actually really good! I was very impressed.
Hyatt Regency: A+
Total 5 star resort – perfect for a honeymoon. An awesome pool, with waterfalls, caves, and waterslides; palm trees; great landscaping; tons of exotic birds – parrots, penguins, flamigos; and an open air loby. Our room was a basic, but it was spacious and it had a nice balcony. The staff was friendly and accomidating. They provided us with a bottle of champagne and hosted a cocktail reception for all the honeymooners.
Dollar Rent-a-Car: B+
We had no problems. We just got a compact car. You will be very tempted to upgrade, but it’s really not worth it.
Pacific Whale Foundation Snorkel – Molokani & Lainai: A+
Can not recommend it enough! For $69 you get a great day!
This trip was awesome! They served pineapple, oranges, and coconut muffins for breakfast. The guava juice was delicious! They took us Molokani crater to snorkel. It was a blast! I exited the boat on a slide into the ocean! The snorkeling was fabulous! So many fish and beautiful coral. I loved it. Back on the ship to head to Lanai for more snorkeling, they served pretzels, granola bars, and cheese crackers. Lanai had even more sea creatures to see. It was a beautiful sight! Back on board for the way home, they served choice of garden burgers (yay for me!) or chicken sandwiches. I think they even served beer and drinks at this point. We were very impressed with all the food. The crew was extremely nice and helpful. Plus, all the proceeds from the trip go back to support the environment. Our trip started at 7:45 and lasted until 3:30. It was a great day, and I highly recommend snorkeling with this crew!
Restaurants & Stores:
Royal Lahaina Luau: F
Do not waste your time! Bad drinks, gross food, long waits, big crowd…
Kobe Japanese Steak House: F
Very bad. We left with stomach aches.
Slow service, high prices
Cheeseburger in Paradise: C
Gorgeous setting, greasy food.
Cascades (in the Hyatt): B+
Kind of pricey, 2 salads and 2 drinks = $50 Fast service, Outside setting so great atmosphere
Swan Court (in the Hyatt): B
Not bad for breakfast if you order off the menu. Don’t do the breakfast buffet - they want $20 per person!!! That’s outrageous!
Sea House (in Napali): A
Great place for breakfast. It was an open front restaurant right on the beach. The view was breathtaking. The food was good. I had fresh fruit and a bagel. Johnny had a croissant sandwich and macadamian nut pancakes with coconut syrup. A great view to start the day!
Buying a pineapple at a stand and having on the beach watching the sunset: A++++ Absolutely Priceless
Food Lion: Prices about 3x what they are back home for groceries, but go there and get food to have in your room
WalMart: Stop here and get snacks for the room and floats for the ocean, you’ll save some money!
Whaler’s Village (on Kanapalli): A
Fun shopping center, a must-do! Great stores, including Tiffany’s.
Lahaina Cannery Mall: D
Nothing special, skip it.
Shops at Maui Ocean Club (by the Pacific Whale Foundation): B
They are fun to look at. One store has cool photo albums, you must get one! They also have a great ice cream & cookie shop.
Kanapalli Beach: B+
Nice beach with a row of resorts, lots to see & do there. Jump off the Black Rock if you are brave!
Maneka Big Beach: A+
Most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. Not crowded either. White sand, turquoise waters. Breath-taking.
Maneka Little Beach (Nude Beach): You just need to check it out!
Maneka Secret Beach: A+
Amazing and secluded. Only one other couple was on the beach. Powdery soft white sand, clear water, and good snorkeling. Yeah, it’s where the sea turtle like to hang out!
Kapula Beach: C
Pretty but extremely crowded
Hapooliki (Wind surfers beach): C
Cool to watch, but not a swimming beach or laying out beach.
Road to Hana:
I got car-sick. It was not my thing, but if you don’t have problems getting car-sick I would recommend it. It was a beautiful drive. I’ve never seen anything like it!
Overall Maui: A
Best trip I’ve ever taken. Absolutely goregeous! There is something for everyone there.
HM Review: Kauai & Maui: August 2-14
From: cctocce Date: 8/25/2005 at 3:30 PM
We left Boston at noon August 2nd on AA heading for Kauai with a stop in L.A. We had easy flights with minimal layovers and no delays. We arrived in Kauai at 8pm (Hawaii time), picked up our rental car (Alamo) and headed off to the Princeville. The drive to the Princeville was pitch black on a long, and windy road - so much so we passed the Princeville and didn't know it! The hotel is set almost 2 miles back off the highway so it can easily be missed. They were waiting for us and had our room key waiting at the valet desk. The bellman quickly took our bags and met us in our room. We were on the first floor (garden/mountain view) and we loved it! We had a patio with a table and chairs and we were only steps from the jacuzzi - great for after dinner! The hotel is not very big - only 252 rooms - but so elegant! The lobby is two stories high in all marble and granite; the rooms are more traditional in beige and other soft tones, and the bathroom was huge in all green marble! We truly loved the North Shore in Kauai and never left until it was time to fly to Maui. We played in the surf in Hanalei, we ate at La Cascata (Princeville Hotel) and Postcards Cafe, visited the botanical gardens, saw Ke'e Beach, and FI golfed at the Princeville too! If and when we go back, its straight to Kauai for us!
On August 6th we flew to Maui for a week stay at the Hyatt at Kaanapali. The fly was uneventful, but the line to get our car was horrendous! Well over and hour long, and then they didn't have what we reserved. It worked out in the end, but not how you want to spend a Saturday afternoon. It took another hour and 15 minutes to get to the hotel because of all the traffic; there were canoe races at Kaanapali and we were arriving when everyone was trying to leave!
The Hyatt is huge with 3 buildings and 800+ rooms, and it was completely full! They did upgrade us to a partial oceanview room and our package included breakfast each morning. We did a variety of activities, so I'm just going to give highlights.
Pictures in Wailea - we hired a photographer to take our picture at sunset! Totally fun and they came out amazing!
Maui Downhill - Yes, we got up at 2am, but it was so worth it!! I loved coasting down the hill leading the pack!
Surfing lessons - DH and I learned to surf with the Goofy Foot Surf school in Lahaina - we had a ball and caught every wave!
Golf at Kapalua - I bought DH a tee time at the Plantation Course - totally beautiful and it was a great day! Not cheap, but he played well and I got to drive the cart!
Pacific Whale Foundation Snorkel trip - the Molokini crater and Turtle Bay are amazing, but its really rocky and there were plenty of people who we sea sick. Its an early day with a 630 am check in, but the fish and the turtles were awesome!
We ate at Casacade (Hyatt) one night and ordered room service for another - skip the restaraunt and order room service - its cheaper and we liked it better! David Paul's on Front St. - unbelievably good, but pricy!
The Plantation House - we cancelled and had room service, but I heard great things about it! We shopped on Front St., Whaler's Village and the Shops at Wailea. For fun, not expensive souveniers, check out ABC Stores - they have everything. Plenty of high end stores too, but everything we already have.
DH is a teacher so summer was our only option; this meant a ton of families - if you can avoid the sum***o so, and get a chair by the pool early. People leave towels at 7am!
Page me on the Boston Board with more questions!
Oahu & Maui HM Review 8-8 to 8-17
From: joyolej Date: 8/26/2005 at 10:20 AM
We started our trip on 8/8. We left NH at 6:30 AM and arrived in Oahu at 4:30 PM (a total of about 16 hours of travel!) The plane ride was well worth it though!! We got there and picked up our rental car from Hertz. The only problem was as soon as we left the airport we hit rush hour traffic! We sat it in it for quite a while until we started to head north to our hotel on the North Shore called Turtle Bay. The hotel was AMAZING!! I was so happy that we stayed here instead of in Waikiki or Honolulu. When we visited there it was so city like and that is not what we were looking for! The North Shore is a lot quieter and more what I pictured Hawaii. We had a great view of the ocean and the pools. The room was spacious and very clean. We had a bottle of champagne waiting for us when we arrived. We went down to dinner at the Palm Terrace in the hotel. It was pretty good, nothing too too spectacular. After dinner we walked around a little bit and then went back to our room to sit on the Lanai and drink our champagne.
We decided to do a tour of the north shore beaches. We started out heading out to Haleiwa and got our first taste of shave ice….mmmm….we checked out a number of beaches including the Bonzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach. We found one beach where there were tons of turtles. They were so much fun to watch in the water. We stopped at a fruit stand and got some fresh pineapple for our lunch. The fresh fruit was so good! That afternoon we got back to the hotel and showered and got ready to go to dinner. We decided to head into Waikiki. WE went to a place called Neptune’s Garden. We bought the Entertainment book before we left so we wanted to use some coupons in there. Great way to save some money at some nice places! The food was pretty good even though we don’t like seafood so our choices were pretty scarce. I got steak and Brian got duck. They have a huge aquarium that is 3 stories high. That was pretty cool. After that we walked around some of the shops and then left to go back to the peace and quiet of our hotel. We stayed out by the pool bar and had some frosty beverages before retiring for the night.
We did the Polynesian Cultural Center today. It doesn’t open until the afternoon so in the morning we took a drive down the East coast. Some very pretty scenery. We stopped at the Macadamia Nut Farm and tried out some samples of very good nuts!! They had every kind of flavor imaginable from plain to cinnamon covered. You can try out each kind. We also found a cute souvenier store along the way where I bought a flip flop necklace and a couple other trinkets. We made our way back to the Polynesian Cultural Center and had a great time. There is so much to see and do here. We were here the whole day and could have used more time to get to everything! We checked out most of the shows in each country and saw the river parade. We also did a very good luau here and saw their night show Horizons. We enjoyed it very much and it really helps you learn about all the different countries of Polynesia and their customs. A day well spent. During the luau they even pulled up all the honeymoon couples to the front on the stage to dance to the Hawaiin wedding Song. It was pretty cool. Afterwards we went back to the hotel and went down to soak in the hot tub for a while. It was so nice to be in the hot tub under the stars. It wasn’t crowded at all so we even got it to ourselves for quite some time. We also enjoyed some nice frosty beverages again!
We had a flight out to Maui at 5:00 today so we checked out of our hotel early….a little earlier then we wanted. I had set the alarm before going to bed and accidentally changed the clock as well by turning it ahead an hour. By the time we realized this we were in the car on the way down to Pearl Harbor. So instead of being 6 it was 5!! Oh well…..we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast near Pearl Harbor at McDonalds (we couldn’t find anything else open at that point) before heading over to Pearl Harbor. We got to Pearl Harbor about 7:00 and the line was already pretty long! So we got in line and waited about an hour before we got our tickets. We were in group 4 so we didn’t have to wait to long to start our tour. The whole place is very informative and it is a sombering feeling to be over the Arizona like that and know how many people are entombed there. When you see the wall of names it really hits you what happened that day. Hard to believe such a beautiful place went through such destruction not that long ago! Since we had plenty of time before our flight we also checked out the Mighty Mo and the Bowfin Sub while we were there. Both of them were quite interesting. We then went back into Waikiki and had lunch at Don Ho’s Island Grill. It was actually very good food and they are in the Entertainment Book. I had a stir fry with steak which was yummy! After lunch we walked around the shops and had some chocolate to die for at the chocolate store close to Don Ho’s. Then it was off to the airport to catch our flight. We were excited to go to Maui, but sad to see Oahu go. We got to Maui at about 6:00 and picked our mustang convertible rental car. Brian was in love!! We then stopped at Wal Mart to pick up some more snacks etc. for our stay and then headed to the Maui Prince in Makena. It was about a half hour ride and during our trip we had our suitcases in the backseat and one local said “just got here??” We said yes and he said “have a great time in paradise!”. and drove off. We got to the hotel, which is very nice and secluded. The decoration of the rooms reminds me of a 70’s type motif, but the place was very clean and a good size. The hotel has a very nice Japanese type garden in the center of it with huge koi fish and we had a nice view of the ocean and Molokini. Very relaxful and beautiful. WE received champaigne and lei and a courtesy photo album and disposable camera upon checking in. WE also had a $100 food credit and a $50 misc. credit good towards anything we wanted. We took a walk around the premises to check things out and had the beach to ourselves. They were having a luau there that night which we could hear so the beach was all ours. We took a little walk and then headed back to our room.
Today we woke up and did a snorkel tour of Molokini and Turtle Town. We took the Prince Kuhlio. It was ok, but it was quite crowded compared to some other boats we saw. We actually did SNUBA which is a cross between snorkeling and Scuba. We had a lot of fun trying it out. We think we may try to do scuba next. Dissapointedly though we did not see a whole lot of fish while on Molokini. There was some interesting coral formations, etc, but I was hoping to see a lot more fish. We then stopped at Turtle Town and did see a few turtles swimming around and resting on the bottom. That was pretty cool. All in all it was a good trip, but I have heard that there are some better companies to go with which have a smaller boat capacity and better docking spots to see more. After the trip we returned to the hotel and laid out by the beach for a little while. It was nice and relaxful. We then got showered and changed to go into Kihei for dinner and some walking around. We stopped for Happy Hour and then went to Bada Bing for some great Italian food!! The food here was so good and a great price! The portions were pretty large too so bring your appetite! After dinner we walked around and saw the sunset and then eventually headed back towards the hotel. We hung out at the bar downstairs in the restaurant and had a couple drinks.
Today we did the Road to Hana! We stopped for breakfast at Charlies in Paia. The food was pretty good and the portions were very large! We then stopped and got a picnic lunch while in Paia. They rent you a cooler with ice for $5 which you get back when you return it to them. Then we started the long windy road to Hana. It rained for the first ten minutes of the trip then cleared up. We let the top down and had an absolute blast! The road is very slow going and very windy, but the scenery is unbelievable and at least until you get to Hana it isn’t too bad. It has guardrails and is a little wider then after Hana. If you get car sick be forewarned that Dramamine may be a good idea! We stopped at a few waterfalls thanks to the Maui Revealed book. Most of them were pretty empty so we got to enjoy them without too many people. We swam under the waterfall at the Blue Pool. We also got the best ever banana bread while on the road. Actually it was a little side road that takes you down to a lava area. There is a little stand and some restrooms not too much farther down. Mmmmm…..I miss that bread!! We ended up in Hana where we ate our picnic lunch while watching people play in the ocean. Then we started our trek after going to the general store. They have everything you could imagine here for such a little place! As we continued on the road got narrower and narrower!! We were going to go to the Venus Pool, but with a bunch of private property signs we decided not to even though plenty of others were going. We made it to the Seven Sacred Pools which was packed with people. It was pretty cool to walk around and experience it. We went swimming in one of the pools and just took it all in. The scenery all around here is just breathtaking! One word or caution sneakers or good hiking sandals are definitely recommended to make it much easier on your feet for the short hikes you have to take to some places. After that we started to head on back. We stopped and watched some surfers on the way and then returned our cooler. We then made it back to the hotel where we had room service on our lanai. They came with a table cloth and set it all up for us. It was very very good steak!! We also had a friend while we ate. His name was Gary the Gecko. He was hanging out on our wall outside eating some bugs. So we made a new friend! Then we headed off to bed to get ready for the early day tomorrow.
Today we got picked up at the hotel at 2:15 AM to head to the top of Halealaka Crater. We used Maui Downhill and they were wonderful! Our tour guide was awesome and so much fun! They take you to the base camp to get all your gear. Helmets and rain/windbreaker suits since it is pretty cold on top! Then they take you the hour drive up to the top. You get there and watch the sunrise which is pretty spectacular! At first there are clouds all in the crater and the sun rises above it and then the clouds start to melt away and you see some fascinating colors everywhere you look. Truly beautiful! Then it is time to suit up and get ready to head down the mountain. We were the 5th group to go so we didn’t have to wait too long. It is nice to be one of the first to go so you don’t have tons of time to kill waiting for your turn. You snake your way down and see some breathtaking scenery. They had a picture stop about half way down where they took all kinds of pictures of us. Then about three-quarters of the way done we stop and have a buffet breakfast. Quite delicious after all that biking and fresh air! Then you go the rest of the way all the way to the beach. It was a unique experience and a lot of fun. Even though it was really early we enjoyed it. Afterwards we relaxed a little bit before getting ready to head up to Lahaina for dinner and shopping. We ate at Bubba Gumps Shrimp Company and even though we are not huge seafood people we loved it!! I had ribs and Brian chicken. It was so delicious and the drinks were heavenly!! We had a window seat to watch the sunset over the ocean and just loved it. We then headed out to the streets and did some shopping. We picked out most of our souveniers here. We then started to get tired from the early morning so we headed back to the hotel.
Our last full day on Maui….sigh! We went south of our hotel to check out some of the beaches, etc. here. We came across the most awesome snorkel spot. It is a hike over lava rocks to get there so make sure you have good shoes. Something we didn’t realize until we were hiking with our flip flops!! We made it, but it would have been much easier with good shoes. It is called the Aquarium and absolutely amazing. There is a trail set up which can be hard to follow at times….just follow the white lines. About 20-30 minutes hiking. Once you get out there it is totally worth it!! Fish everywhere! All kinds of angel fish, yellow fish, parrot fish everything. Even some barracuda and lobsters if you are lucky. This is just an awesome spot!! Also some great scenery on the walk out there. Some good beached too….Big Beach and Little Beach (if you like nude bathing!). There is also a pretty secluded isolated beach a bit past Big Beach which not many people know about. You are guaranteed to have some peace and quiet while on this beach. We picked up some shaved ice at a roadside stand and then went back to the hotel. We had a sunset cocktail cruise in Lahaina tonight so we headed back up there. It was ok, but nothing too special. We would have just as easily stayed on land and enjoyed the sunset. Afterwards though we stopped at a place for dinner. Can’t remember the name of it right now. It was near the harbor and was the first food place we saw so we went for it. WE were hungry! I think it was something Cat. Anyway, the food was pretty good. We just got sandwiches, but they had a singer there and he was awesome!! He is called the Whaleshark and he has some great music!! We ended up buying his cd so now I can listen to him all the time and think of Hawaii! That was about it for our last night in HI. We headed back to the hotel a little sad that our time was almost over.
Our flight leaves at 10:00 tonight so we had the whole day to sit by the beach and pool and soak up the last bit of HI. We checked out of the room at 11:00 and the front desk held our luggage for the day while we lounged around. It was very relaxful and a great way to spend our last day soaking up some Aloha! We ate by the pool which was ok food, but nothing spectacular. We then use the courtesy suite to shower and change for our trip to the airport. We stopped at a little place for some dinner. Nothing too great there either. Then the sadness of leaving set it as we drove to the airport. We did not want to leave at all!! But we got on the plane and started the long journey home. Hawaii….we miss you and hopefully someday we can see you again!!
Big Island Review (long!!)
From: MSE82005 Date: 9/4/2005 at 5:13 PM
When I was trying to look for information about the Big Island for our honeymoon, I found some (thanks to a lot of great knotties), but not a lot, so I wanted to add at least one more for others that may be looking. We just got back last week and had a wonderful time. Neither of us wanted to leave.
The Big Island (itself)--A++
I felt like I could be on three different planets in one day. The variety of Big Island is amazing. We saw lush rain forests, green hills with cattle grazing, and miles of lava rock that hasn't had a lot of vegetation grow back yet. All three were beautiful in thier own way. We saw Black Sand Beaches, Green Sand Beaches, the active volcano erupting, and some beautiful waterfalls. There was so many things to do that we only spent one actual day on the beach.
Hotel--Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel--A++
I cannot say enough good things about this hotel. Its part of the Muana Key Resort which includes the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel and the Mauna Key, so you get signing privledges at both hotels, and there is a shuttle that runs between the 2 every 20 minutes. Personally, I liked ours better. The Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel has what I called an open concept in which there are no back walls in the common area of the hotel, it just opens up to the beautiful ocean view. They upgraded us to a Premium Ocean View room, and it was wonderful. The room itself was large, and the bathroom was huge with double marble sinks, a seperate tub and shower, and a seperate water closet area for the toilet. We had a large private lainea (sp) where we could sit and watch the waves.
We had the hotel's breakfast buffet included in our package, and were very glad. Every morning we had a selection of fruits, oatmeal, and warm breakfast foods such as potatoes, french toast, pancakes, bacon, etc. There was also an omelette station set up each morning. While I didn't visit the station, there was also a station set up to cater to the many asian guests with rice, soups and other such fare. The Guava juice each morning became addictive. Breakfast is served in the Ocean View Terrace, and every table is afforded a view of the water. What a great way to start the day!
We did so many different things that I can't begin to list them all. So I'll just put a listing of some things that I really enjoyed.
Volcano's National Park--This park is beautiful. There are a lot of walking trails, but you can also drive through a lot of the park, if you are not up to walking so much. We did a mixtureof both. The park can be humbling (at least it was to us) when you stop to realize what caused everything that you see. A stop by the visitor center helped us a lot. We spoke with a Ranger who explained that the current eruption was best seen at night, so he recommended if we could to stay until after the sun set, but that we would need a flashlight. The eruption was like nothing I've ever seen or likely will again. To get to the area they had set up for viewing the current eruption, you had to walk on an area of lava that flowed only 3 years ago. It's amazing.
Pololu Beach--a beautiful black sand dunes beach. It can be seen from the road/parking area, but is much more beautiful down at the beach. It requires a walking a trail down to it, but its worth it. Going back up isn't as hard as it initially seems.
Ahalanui (Lower Puna area)--This is a spring/ocean fed pool that has a man-made wall seperating it from the ocean. The pool is volcanically heated to about 90 degrees so its like swimming in a nice big bathtub. DH and I loved it.
Akaka Falls (Hamakua)--Awesome waterfall. Its a really easy trail to get to it to see it. There are so many beautiful waterfalls along the main roadway in this area, you could spend hours just seeing them.
Coffee Plantation Tour--We toured the Greenwell Coffee farm, and it was very informative. Of course, we also brought home some great coffee!
Traveling Guide--Hawaii--The Big Island Revealed--A++ This book was fantastic. I actually left it on the plane, so we had to find a Borders book store so that I could replace it. It helped direct us to all of the great things we found to do. Many of which were sometimes off of the beaten path. The book was dead-on on suggestions for diversions, etc. There were so many other people we saw using this book too. Everyone we talked to who also had the book, raved about it.
We ate at some fantastic restaurants. Here are a few: Cafe Pesto (Kohalo)--A+--This is an Italian restaurant with great pizzas. I wasn't up for pizza, so I just had some soup and bread and it was terrific. The service was first class as well. Very Friendly, and not overly expensive. Our only regret about Cafe Pesto, was that we never made it back like we intended to.
Big Island Steakhouse (King's Shopping area)--A This was a pretty good steakhouse. DH and I split some ribs and they were really good. The service was average.
Roy's Waikolo Bar and Grill (Kings Shopping area)--A+ The food here was terrific! The appetizer of ribs was great. We both enjoyed our entrees immensely, and desert was awesome. Service was very good. It is a little pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for. Our chocolate soufle that we had for desert was killer!
Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant (Volcano Village)--A+ Again, this was a little expensive, but VERY good. The service was excellent as well. We were 30 minutes late for our reservation ( we got caught up watching the volcano), but they still had our table. There is an international fireplace of friendship in the middle of the restaurant, and the story behind it is amazing. Our waitress brought us the history of it when we asked. The food was great--neither of us left anything on the plate (or the desert plate). Everyone was so friendly, they even re-opened their small gift shop when we asked if we could look to buy a t-shirt. The staff even showed me the wedding announcement of one of thier son's. It was great.
All in all, we really enjoyed the Big Island. I would go back in a heart beat. We plan to try to return at least every five years, but will go back more often if its feasible. While we'd like to visit the other islands, the Big Island will always be special to us.
HM Reviews! Maui, BI, and Oahu
From: pixie22 Date: 9/6/2005 at 3:04 PM
I included dining and excurions...this was my 4th trip to Hawaii so please feel free to ask any questions!!
Hawaii Reviews-general (travel arrangements, guidebooks)
The Revealed Books- I know a lot of knotties swear by these books, but honestly, they are garbage. DH and I are intelligent people and I happen to have a very keen sense of direction. That doesn’t help, however, when the authors of the book cannot tell their right from their left. We followed a lot of their hikes and guides and in our travels we met many other disgruntled people with the blue book all of us insanely lost. We took one hike on the road to Hana that put us directly into a bamboo forest without warning. We were literally using the bamboo trees to pull ourselves up hills and repel across streams. We’re young and in good shape, but there were children trying to do it and older folks that had to turn back. There was no warning of this in the book. In the end, the 4 waterfalls that they said were not to be missed was really just 3 waterfalls and a water pump. We met some really upset people in that forest….
We also hiked halfway across a lava field to find a snorkeling spot and just as we were passing a memorial to someone that perished on the field (a reader of the book perhaps?) we came across three other angry Bostonians trying to find the spot they were speaking of. Turns out that the spot does exist but the book tells you to go LEFT at the beginning and you need to go RIGHT. Good job on that one.
Their food reviews are also not helpful at all. Many of the places they gave an "Ono" to were terrible. See reviews on dining below.
All in all, I would not suggest getting these books. There is really little in them that you can’t find out otherwise. Unless of course you can easily follow bad directions and like to eat at crappy restaurants with bad service.
A word about driving in Hawaii-
I hear lots of people complain about long drive times on Maui. Driving from Makena (which is the furthest south you can go), it would take us no more than 45 minutes to get to Lahaina and no more than 30 minutes to get to Kahului. To get up Haleakala it took us 1 hour and 45 minutes. To us that is not a long drive at all. It takes me 30 minutes to drive the 6 miles to work in the morning, and it could take even more if I leave 10 minutes later. A 30-45 minute drive is nothing.
Hawaiians drive UNDER the speed limit. Its kinda annoying. I know I shouldn’t speed but I’ve been conditioned my whole life that the speed limit is just a jumping point. It says 30 MPH and that really means 45. It says 45 and that means 55-60. 55 can be anywhere from 65 and up. It would get really frustrating for DH and I at times – lots of the roads in Maui (and all of them on the Big Island) are single lane, so you have to pass them every now and then. Especially when driving through the less populated areas. . .
I don’t believe in travel agents. If you’re savvy enough you can find the same or better deals…plus DH and I like being able to call our own shots and explore on our own. So we booked everything ourselves, all it takes is a bit of research. We stayed at the Prince Resorts and joined their (free!) membership program and got some great deals – a discount on the rooms, free buffet breakfast, and every dollar spent at the resorts (or miles on Hawaiian Airlines!) gets you a point redeemable for future specials. We also booked our airfare as soon as we were able…a month after we booked the price went up by $200 per person. Sites like expedia can be very helpful- even if you don’t book through them you can find out about the different hotels in the area…trip advisor is great as well. We used tombarefoot.com to book our excursions and they were great.
Hotel- Maui Prince (Makena) - A
Despite our crappy room location, we had a great view. (We were just at the end of a very long hallway) The staff is incredibly nice and will do anything to help you. The beach is incredible, and the snorkeling off the beach was AMAZING. I’ve been to Hawaii many times and I’ve never seen snorkeling that great off a hotel beach before. The coral formations were breathtaking, many many fish, and huge turtles right there. (I’ve seen turtles in Hawaii before but these were much much bigger) The pool area kinda sucks, but when you have a beach like that you don’t need a pool. It’s also just north of Makena State Park which has Big Beach, another great beach with good boogie boarding.
Makena does get windy and choppy in the afternoon though, as it is so far south, so you’ve got to get out there early. Also, unlike the mega-family-resorts just North in Wailea, the Maui Prince felt much more laid back and relaxed - perfect for a honeymoon in paradise. See the Dining Reviews for info on the buffet breakfast and Sunday Brunch. HOWEVER, they were doing some sort of construction work outside of our room (maybe on the golf course?) and the trucks would wake us up at all hours. If you can, see if you can get a room on the right side of the hotel (when viewed from the parking area), but they may be more expensive.
Couples Massage at the Grand Wailea- A+
Oh.My.God. This was the perfect way to start our HM. The Grand Wailea is the only spa in the world that offers Terme Hydrotherapy, a series of baths before your treatment. That alone was worth it. You have your choice of several different types of baths- mineral, papaya, mud, seasonal, seaweed, plus a steam and dry sauna, spa, Japanese furo bath, and several types of massaging showers. There was also a loofah scrub during the hour of terme. Fantastic. They have a separate men’s and women’s section since this area is ‘clothing optional’- when I met up with DH after the hour my skin was soft and shiny! Then came the massage. If I could I would just do that every day. You MUST do this.
We did request two female therapists when we booked and we got two male therapists, but that didn’t matter because they were extremely professional.
We rented "dry" snorkel equipment for the week at the Maui Dive Shop which was such a good choice. It was the best snorkel equipment I’ve ever used. And it gave us unlimited snorkeling at the hotel, as opposed to the ridiculous daily price they charge for equipment there. We also decided to check out La Perouse Bay and we followed the directions in the Revealed book, which were garbage. Some of the snorkeling was ok, but their directions took us in the wrong direction and wasted our time. Stick to where everyone else is. We also brought the equipment on our excursion to Lana’I (see below).
Triology Excursions Sail to Lana’i- A+
This was my favorite thing we did during our HM. I’m not a fan of Molokini, I think it’s overrated. Plus, our big deciding factor was that there is no beach to dock on in Molokini and DH gets motion sick on boats. I am so glad we did Lana’i. The beach we were on was private and amazing (the same beach Bill Gates was married on). The snorkeling was unreal. We did the early tour, the snorkeling is usually better in the AM. While they do make you wear a life vest (as you might read in the Revealed book), for advanced snorkelers they give an uninflated vest (to inflate in emergency) that really doesn’t impede you at all. Trilogy does a great job as well- we got coffee, hot chocolate, cinnamon buns and fresh fruit on the way over, really good chips and salsa while on the beach, great BBQ lunch, and ice cream on the way back. They also do a one hour bus tour of an old pineapple plantation which I was told afterwards was good, but DH and I stayed with only two of the guides and one other couple and had the whole private beach to ourselves. There was also a pretty neat little hike along the rocky coastline from the beach.
Old Lahaina Luau- A+
I booked our mat seats in December - which really paid off because we had the best seats in the house. We were actually seats 1 and 3. I don’t see why people have problems with the mat seating, its really not that uncomfortable. DH complained a little bit during dinner but it was nice during the show to be able to lean up on each other. The buffet was great and so were the Mai Tais they offer as you make your way in. The show is very traditional in the Hawaiian sense- there wasn’t any flame dancing or any Polynesian stuff like that. We also got there early (like 45 min) which turned out great because we got a great parking spot (the lot filled up and they had people parking elsewhere) and we killed some time in the mall across the street.
Sunrise on Haleakala- B
This gets a mixed review- DH says it wasn’t worth getting up so damn early but I think that this particular sunrise was the best I’ve seen. I’ve been to 3 sunrises and 1 sunset there. It’s a total toss up whether you will see a good one or not and it is cold. DH was making fun of me for bundling up saying "You’re from Boston!" Yeah well, I had the last laugh as he froze his ass off.
Road To Hana- A+
The scenery is great but the drive is what you make it. We had a convertible and that’s the only way to go, you see everything that way. We stopped in some spots along the way, including the aforementioned hike through the bamboo forest. To be honest, if you are prepared for a tough climb (with no warning we weren’t), it really could be a great experience – not too many bamboo forests around here! The waterfall at Blue Pool was great too. Body surfing at Homoa Beach after Hana was a nice end to the day.
In the end we drove all the way around. It wasn’t that bad. There is about 8 miles that is dirt road and you just have to go slowly but its not unbearable. They say that after that 8 miles there are potholes for the next 20 but those weren’t potholes. Come to Boston in March if you want to see potholes. There is one on the BU bridge that will eat your car….this road was just poorly maintained. Though I have heard that if its rainy the whole thing can get all muddy and you need a 4WD car.
Maui Prince Sunday Champagne Brunch- A+
Amazing. The selection was incredible. We actually went to the last seating and used it as our lunch- which was great because they have sooo many great selections you probably wouldn’t want the breakfast – salads, sushi, chicken, seafood and prime rib... Its $48 per person, which really isn’t that bad when you consider that DH and I probably drank a bottle of champagne each- they keep it flowing! We showed up early to our seating, which was good since there was only one maitre’d and a long line of people for the seating.
Maui Prince Café Kiowai- A+
We signed up for the Prince Preferred program and received a free breakfast buffet each day, which normally would be $17 per person. The selection was great- they had an omelet station to make them any way you would like, waffles, eggs, French toast, crepes, fruit, yogurt, pastries, cereal, you name it. And with the free breakfast coupons you just get up and leave at your leisure to start your day.
Maui Tacos- A-
We’re big fans of Taquerias, and in Boston we have the best- Ana’s. We compare everything to them. While Maui Tacos was good, they were expensive for a taco stand and Ana’s was still far superior. They do have a good salsa bar though!
Molokini Bistro (Grand Wailea Resort) - B-
Our drinks were strong but our food was lacking. I got a caesar salad (no chicken) and DH got quesadillas and two mai tais and it came to $50! I understand that resorts jack up their prices but that’s just a little too insane. My salad wasn’t even the size of an entrée salad- it was more of a side salad. Plus you have to listen to all the screaming kids at the pool while you eat. No thank you.
Cheeseburger, Mai Tais, and Rock and Roll (Wailea Shops)- A
Good strong drinks, and the food is good too. Not the best cheeseburger I’ve ever had but it was decent. Nice atmosphere, and a great place to eat after shopping! There’s a Maui Dive Shop in the mall – that’s where we got the snorkel equipment.
Bada Bing (Kihei) – A
Great atmosphere, good "authentic" Italian food (as authentic as Spaghetti Warehouse), and a good happy hour from 4-7. Plus a flea market right next door. Why does all of my dining revolve around shopping?
Tiki Lounge (Room? Bar?) Kihei – A
Right around the corner from Bada Bing is this local bar. Another good happy hour from 4-6 and a funny live guitar act on Tues, Thurs, and Sat (I think, we were there on Tues). They had a great fixins bar for the different sausages they serve, but we didn’t try them (though they smelled great).
We had two reasons for going to Oahu- shopping and partying. I’m a city girl all the way. I love the pavement under my feet, the rush of the crowd and the fun of weaving in and out. I love it. I hated Waikiki. There were simply too many people. Waikiki Beach reminds me of Memorial Day at the Jersey shore- packed and noisey. Blech.
There is a great restaurant on the beach, though, in the Outrigger hotel called Duke’s. Good salad bar and a great $12 lunch buffet from 11:30-2:30 (which would lead me to believe that their $13 breakfast buffet from 7:00-10:30 would be good too). As for the partying we really enjoyed ourselves at W- a glass of champagne for $6?! I was shocked.
Other than that we did two other things-
Sandy Beach- A+
DH wanted to see big waves so we went up to Sandy Beach, about 10 minutes passed Hanuma Bay. (We were actually too hung over from the aforementioned partying to get up for Hanuma Bay) The waves were insane. I am a strong swimmer but I was really intimidated by these waves and didn’t go in the water. DH did and had a great time.
Pearl Harbor- A+
I’m a history buff so I naturally like this kind of thing, but there is something really moving about it even if you’re not.
Big Island Reviews
Firstly, we got some great advice from someone at the rental car agency when we picked up our car. Down the road from the Kona Airport is a Costco and you can do all of your souvenir shopping there – bulk Kona Coffee and Macademia Nuts for cheap. We bought all of it there and shipped it home. They also have the cheapest gas on the island so it was easy to refill before returning the rental and flying out of Kona.
Hotel- Hapuna Prince Kohala Coast – A+
We used our Prince Preferred status for this hotel as well, which included the breakfast buffet. There were fewer choices at this buffet, but they added a nice touch and gave out copies of the newspaper and photocopies of the NY times (weird, but it was still good to read). Our room had an amazing view of Hapuna Beach (one of the best beaches in the country). A great way to end the HM, sunning at the beach and sipping drinks at the infinity pool.
When not lounging around the hotel we made two real excursions.
Volcanoes National Park – A+
Amazing views of the incredible craters, canyons, lava fields, etc. Make sure to stock up on water though, it’s hot for these hikes. Some hints we didn‘t know- If you bring a flashlight, you can explore the inside of the underground lava tubes. Also, if you go at night and don’t mind the 30 min hike, you can get close to where the lava flow hits the ocean and it glows red. Though, the weekend before we went, a huge chunk broke off into the ocean so you may not be able to get that close to it anymore!
ATV Outfitters 15 Mile Tour (Kohala) – A+
I wanted to do a helicopter tour into a volcano, but as I said, DH gets motion sick and a couple we met while on our trip to Lana’I said they don’t get motion sick and even they couldn’t take the helicopter. I was really nervous about this, the only other time I rode an ATV I crashed into a tree! They let me try a test lap around their grounds and I wasn’t strong enough to maneuver the ATV, so they let me ride on the back of one with a tour guide. It was great, I had the best seat in the house! Rolling hills, blue ocean, macademia nut, papaya, and guava trees. . .and cows! I was with the guide and he had to herd them! We also stopped at two waterfalls and swam at one of them. DH had a great time on the ATVs too, but didn’t see as much. "The first half I was so concerned about driving, all I saw were the cow pies on the path." But he thought it was exhilarating, you really go in all terrain – streams, rocks, trees, mud.
Coast Grille (Hapuna Prince) – A
From 6:00 – 7:00 they have a $26 prixe fixe 3 course meal, which is a pretty good deal. The food was good and sitting on the lanai was nice. We ate a non prixe-fixe meal there and it wasn’t worth the extra money we spent.
Manta Ray Pavillion (Mauna Kea Resort) – A
The Hapuna Prince runs a shuttle to its sister resort every 20 minutes, and this was the prixe-fixe restaurant there. Again, good food and good atmosphere.
Hakone (Hapuna Prince) – B
On both Maui and the Big Island, the Prince Resort japanese restaurant Hakone was supposed to be the best sushi/steakhouse. We were not impressed one bit. The selection for sushi was very limited and the dishes were pricey. We did a Friday night buffet and, while they did have a large selection of salads and entrees and the food was good, I don’t think it was worth the $48 per person. Plus, hand-rolled sushi was supposed to be included in the buffet, but when we would ask the chef for rolls he would give us a look and then slop the rice and fish in seaweed and tie it up, barely rolling it. We went specifically for sushi and practically didn’t have any! We can get much better sushi (made with a little more imagination…and a MUCH bigger selection) at the local sushi place next to any university in Boston.
Kona Brewing Co (Kona) – F+
We had over an hour drive to get there and had called before we left to make reservations. They informed me that they didn’t take reservations but not to worry because it was Wednesday and business had been slow. I asked if I could put my name on a list if it gets busy since we wouldn’t be there for a while but she assured me it wasn’t necessary. After having to drive in circles to find the place (the neighboring property put up a fence to guard against people parking in their lot and there were barely any signs indicating where to go, since all of their advertising was wrong) and then having to negotiate a tiny single laned completely filled parking lot, we went in to find out there would be a 45 minute wait for a seat! I complained that I had said we were coming and they told us it wouldn’t be a problem, and they gave me a huge attitude about it. They said that they were dealing with the "new problem" of the fence – and then said it had been there for two months! I asked to speak to a manager and they told me to fill out a comment card! Since we had driven all that way specifically to eat there, DH calmed me down and we waited for our table outside of the restaurant, where I could see two completely open tables. After waiting for 45 minutes, not only did they seat us at a table that was open the whole time, but they asked which of the two open tables we wanted and then sat people at the other table! What?! The food wasn’t all that good – we got an order of nachos that had a sprinkling of cheese and toppings at the top and 80% untouched chips. The pizza wasn’t that great either, I’ve had better pizza in the Harvard Cafeteria. But, DH said the beer was amazing (it better be if they brew it on the grounds!) hence the F+.
Maui, Hawaii HM review!!
From: Reets Date: 9/20/2005 at 1:29 PM
Here is my review, I was on Maui last week from 9/11 - 9/18.
Day 1 - Flight went smoothly. We used United Airlines and actually got in a few minutes early! We reserved a jeep online before we left through Thrifty Rentals, when we got to the airport no one was at the counter so we were just kind of standing there wondering what we should do, literally seconds later, the Thrifty shuttle bus pulls up and we get shuttled to their office down the street. Hardly a line at all, and we got exactly what we wanted, a jeep wrangler. I reccommend Thrifty. We drove to our apartment rental, showered, unpacked a little, and then went exploring, we ended up eating at Maui Tacos which was amazing! Oh yeah, instead of a hotel or condo I found an apartment rental online in Kihei. It is basically the upstairs of a house, completely private with its own entrance, clean, new appliances, livingroom, bedroom, big kitchen, huge bathroom with jacuzzi. The owners also provided us with a bike, snorkeling gear, beach chairs, beach towels, a boogie board, coolers, portable grill and much more. This place was amazing and much cheaper than a hotel. Granted, it wasn't right on the beach and didn't have a pool but we didn't need that. It was VERY private and we were super close to tons of great beaches.
Day 2 - We got up really early and decided to do the "Road to Hana". We left the apartment at about 6:30am and really beat the crowds. This drive was amazing! We stopped at a few of the places mentioned in Maui Revealed. We both really liked the "Blue Pools". We took tons of pictues and video of the drive. In Hana we stopped for lunch at a little snack bar, I got a plate lunch and it was great. Instead of turning back, we decided to drive all the way around the island. I'm so glad we did because the drive past Hana was the BEST part! It was so secluded and the roads were barely there but it was the most beautiful part out of the whole drive. The whole drive took about 9.5 hours including stops and lunch. When we got back to our apartment we decided to eat dinner at Sarento's on the Beach, the food, view and service were all A+. I got the Ahi, it was excellent. By the time we were done eating we were ready for bed, we went to bed early every night by 9pm and were up early. I don't think we fully got used to the time change (6 hours for us).
Day 3 - Got up early and went running down S. Kihei Rd. DH used the bike and rode with me. After that we ate breakfast in our apt and then headed to Wailea Beach. It was beautiful, the water was warm and clear and not crowded at all because we got there so early, probably around 8am. Around lunch time we decided to leave the beach and go eat at 'Da Kitchen in one of the little plaza's on S. Kihei Rd. The food there was awesome I got some type of noodle thing and DH got a chicken plate lunch. They gave us huge portions we had to take some home for leftovers. Then we went back to the apt., showered, relaxed for a little bit and then headed to Lahaina for the Old Lahaina Luau. We went early so we could explore there a little bit. When we got to Lahaina we went to the Lahaina Cannery Mall and shopped a bit before the Luau. The Luau was awesome. The staff was so friendly and the entertainment was fantastic. The drinks were very tasty but barely had any alcohol in them. The food was ok. I guess I should say it was very authentic. It probably didn't help that the first thing I tried was the ocotpus which sort of grossed me out a little. But the chicken and pork were both amazing and I'm not much of a meat eater!
Day 4 - Went running/biking again in the morning. We went out for breakfast at the Kihei Caffe. My breakfast was amazing. I got the breakfast burrito and it was huge and sooo yummy! DH got the Loco Moco which is eggs, a hamburger and gravy, kinda weird, I know, but he liked it. This time we went to a different beach that we read about in Maui Revealed. It was much quieter and secluded. I can't remember the name of it but it was in Wailea. For dinner we wanted to go a little more low key so we just went to Peggy Sue's. It is a 50's style resturaunt. Both of our meals were delicious and a lot better than we expected. I got the Mahi Mahi sandwich and DH got a Blue Cheese Burger.
Day 5 - Running/Biking again in the morning. We ate breakfast in our apt and then headed to the same beach as day 4. Again it was very quiet with not a lot of people there. This is the day that the ocean swells started. There were huge swells breaking on shore, people were saying they were the biggest in 25 years! It made it kind of dangerous and hard to swim but we got our feel wet anyways. We actually tried some different beaches before this one but many were closing because of the swells. For lunch we went to Pita Paradise and I know I keep saying this but it was soooo good! I got the fresh fish Pita. It was warm and soft and just really really yummy. Next we headed to the Grand Wailea for our duo massages. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. They start the process with their "Terme Hydrotherapy Spa" which is basically a bunch of different kind of baths, jacuzzi's, cold jacuzzi's, waterfall massages, showers. And you have 1 hour to try out whatever you want. I liked the baths the best there was mud, mineral, papaya, aromatherapy and a few more. It also included a loofah scrub by one of the spa attendants. For the terme hydotherapy part DH and I were seperated because it is clothing optional so there is a seperate room for the guys and girls. Then came the massages. We were in the same room and we each had our own masseuse for 50 minutes. It was so relaxing, we both really liked it. After that we sat on the balcony in our robes and relaxed a little bit, we could have gone back in the hydrotherapy baths but we decided to just shower and meet out front. For dinner went to the Five Palms it was in a hotel, I don't remember which one. DH got a steak and I got the Mahi Mahi. Both were part of the early dinner special so it wasn't too expensive. And both tasted amazing once again.
Day 6 - Running again in the morning. For breakfast we went to a Cafe on S. Kihei Rd, I can't remember the name of it but the veggie omlete was awesome! Then we went back to the same beach again. The swells were still going strong and we knew this beach wouldn't be closed. We were actually supposed to go snorkeling on the Four Winds 2 this morning but the trip got cancelled because of the swells. We booked thru expedia and got a refund no problem but we are both really mad that we didn't get to go. So after the beach we wanted to eat at Aloha Mixed Plate in Lahaina, one of our friends here in NY reccommended the place to us before we left. Our order was taking forever! Seriously, people were coming, eating and leaving before we got our food. So we asked the bartender what was up and somehow our order was never put in! She was really aplogetic and even gave us our lunch for free! We weren't too annoyed, we were in no hurry so it didn't bother us much. So the food here really was amazing. I got the Mahi Mahi w/vegtables in black bean sauce and DH got a pork type plate lunch thing. And we both LOVED our meals. Next we went into the town of Lahaina to do some shopping. We saw the Banyan tree, ordered Pineapples from Take Home Maui and walked around Front Street. We had dinner reservations at Kobe Japanese Steak House in Lahaina. Even though we weren't that hungry (because we got our lunch so late) we decided to go anyways. You sit at a square table with about 10 other people and the chef cooks your dinner right in front of you. I got the Lahiana Roll and DH got a steak dinner. He said his steak was just ok, but the cool part was watching the chef cook for you.
Day 7 - Our last full day there. :-( We had breakfast at the Kihei Caffe again. And again, it was awesome. This time I got the veggie scramble and DH got the eggs, bacon, and biscuit. We went back to the Wailea beach. By this time the swells died down and we could swim again! After the beach we got Pizza at Bada Bing. It was ok, nothing special. Then we did more souvenier shopping in Kalama Village, went to the grocery store for coffee and went to an internet cafe to look for our wedding pictures, unfortunately they weren't posted yet. Then we went home to get ready for dinner at Nick's Fishmarket. Nick's was AWESOME! I got the Molokai Monkey frozen drink and it was so good. Both DH and I loved our dinners, this was possibly our best meal on the island. I got the Opakapaka and DH got the Maui Cattle Steak. We both finished everything even though we were so full. For dessert we got a banana thing, it was warm bananas with ice cream and yummy topping. After dinner we walked around the grounds of the hotel that Nick's is at. We sat on the beach for a little while and savored our last night on Maui.
Day 8 - We got up early because we wanted to spend our last few hours at the beach. We ate in our apt. And then we went to Wailea beach again, and of course, our last day was the best beach day. It was sunny and the water was gorgeous. We had to be out of our apt by 11am so we headed back to finish up packing and to shower. When we were all packed up we still had some time to kill, our flight wasn't until 3pm. So we went back to Maui Taco's for lunch, I got the Lahaina Burrito and it was spectacular and DH got a beef taco and a steak enchilada. We both loved our food again. We returned our jeep and took the shuttle back to the airport. We were still really early so we sat around for about an hour while we were waiting for our pineapples to be delivered to the airport. They were delievered at exactly 1pm, right on time! After we checked in we still had extra time so we had our last drinks in Maui at the airport bar. Our flight home was fine. We had really short flight and a stop in Kona on the Big Island so we looked around that airport and got snacks there before heading home to Albany.
All in all the trip was amazing, all the activities and food were awesome, it was worth every single penny we spent there. We still wish we got to go on a snorkeling trip though. But we have to save something for next time! Hehehe.... Please let me know if you have any questions, you can post back on this post or you can email me: Reets15@aol.com
I found the apartment rental on www.vrbo.com but be careful because there are also a lot of condos on there also. I found mine under "private homes". And if you want to check out the one I stayed at it is #45805.
I hope I could help some of you!!
My very detailed Hawaii honeymoon review (Oahu & Kauai)
From: riverside05 Date: 9/21/2005 at 12:13 AM
Honeymoon Review: Hawaii (Oahu – JW Marriot Ilhilani and Kauai – Grand Hyatt)
DH’s aunt lives on Hawaii and she bought us the roundtrip airpline tickets as a wedding gift (so generous of her). Our first couple of nights on Hawaii we stayed at her house ( her and her husband weren’t there since they were still vacationing here in Boston) and they let us use their car while we were on Oahu. She has a beautiful house on the North Shore of Hawaii directly on a beautiful private beach. I loved the North Shore of Oahu. It is far away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki (approx. 45-50 mins away I believe, still close enough to go visit Waikiki and Pearl Harbor) and so pretty and his awesome beaches. The only nice hotel that I know of up that way is the Turtle Bay Hilton which we went to one day and had lunch out by the pool looking out at the ocean and it was really nice and our lunch and drinks were yummy. There are a bunch of nice restaurant and shops down in Haleiwa. We had a really nice meal at Haleiwa Joe’s and go Aoki’s for the Shave Ice.
Next we went over to Kauai and stayed at the amazing Grand Hyatt. This was my favorite hotel. The only mistake we made was not staying here last because I was really disappointed with our next hotel because it could not live up to the grand Hyatt and I think unless maybe if we had stayed at the Ritz or the Four Season (which we didn’t) I would have been disappointed with any hotel after the Hyatt. We had booked one of the less expensive mountain view rooms, but they upgraded us for free to a room overlooking the pool/lagoon. The service at the Hyatt is wonderful, everybody who works there is so nice. They gave us leis upon checking it, they actually ran right over to us with them as we were getting out of the car. The breakfast buffet (which was included in our package) was the best, so yummy. The pool at the Hyatt was so amazing, lazy rivers, waterfalls, bridges, caves, islands, a water slide and then they also have a big beautiful salt water lagoon. Hammocks and and those wooden bench swings all over the grounds. The waves at the Shipwreck beach looked a little rough, but you couldn’t drag me away from their beautiful pool anyway. We were only there for 3 nights, but next time I will stay there longer. We ate at their restaurant Tidepools which was really good and our waiter, Dallas, was super nice and we sat right along the koi fish pond right next to the big waterfall. Great atmosphere, great food, great service. As much as I loved Tidepools, my favorite meal during our whole Hawaii honeymoon was our meal at The Beachhouse on Kauai. The food and the view are both spectacular. I would advise making your reservations at least a month in advance to insure you get a reservation so you are there for the sunset. He also did a helicoper ride while we were on Kauai and this is only my opinion but I don’t think it was worth the money and wouldn’t do it again if I was over there again. It was definitely somewhat interesting and there is no doubt that the scenery and views were beautiful, but it was a full 60 minutes and after about 30 minutes I had had my fill of looking down at waterfalls and mountains. I am not someone who is ever affected by motion sickness, but the vibrations in the helicopter were really bad and the majority of the time up there I was concentrating on keeping my breakfast down (the other woman on our helicopter said she felt just as sick as I did). I wish we had spent the money on a boat ride out on the ocean (I don’t get seasick), I think that would have been more fun and comfortable. If you do go for the helicopter ride I highly recommend taking some sort of motion sickness medication beforehand.
After Kauai we went back over to Oahu and stayed at the JW Marriott Ilhilani which, as I said above, I would have liked a lot better if we had gone here first and not stayed here after the top notch Grand Hyatt. This hotel is also not in Waikiki (we didn’t want to be right down in the city), but is about 30 minutes away. First, of all there were no leis given out upon check-in. They just had a plate out with some flowers and bobbypins for your hair. Not as nice of a touch as a lei greeting. The hotel is really nice, but doesn’t have that same ultra tropical feel/surroundings that the Grand Hyatt on Kauai has. The rooms at the hotel are also very nice, but make sure they put you on the sunset/mountain side. We had a corner room deluxe ocean view and the first room they put us in was on the lagoon side and we were on the 12th floor and right out in plain view beyond the lagoon and the next two hotels over was a perfect view of this big ugly industrial factory. It was awful and every time I looked at it I got upset that we were paying all of this money to look at a factory. We had inquired with the front desk about a room change and they were not willing to help us and claimed to not have any other rooms available for us. Finally on our 2nd day we went down to the front desk again to ask about a room change and they still said they had nothing available to we went over to the concierge desk and talked to them about out problem and issues with the view of the factory and the concierge went and spoke with the manager and surprise surprise they had a room directly across the hall from our original room all ready for us to move into that very second. So now we had a much better view of the ocean/mountains/sunset and no more ugly factory! Also, the lagoon at the JW Marriott is nice, but their pool, although an infinity pool, is just a big round cement hole in the ground, nothing like the beautiful pool at the Hyatt on Kauai. The restaurants at the JW were pretty good, and they had an excellent hula show out by the pool that we saw on our last night there. I really really enjoyed the hula show.
We did the swim with the Dolphins Adventure at Sea Life Park on Oahu which was really fun and you actually got to go out in deep water with them and swim with them rather than just stand in shallow water and pat them like at some other dolphin adventures. The dolphins were so cool and so cute.
We also ventured done to Waikiki a couple of times which was fun. Good shopping down there and we ate at Duke’s (which is right on the beach) at the Outrigger Waikiki which we really liked a lot. We didn’t have room for dessert, but the hula pie looked yummy.
Pearl Harbor was also something that you don’t want to miss.
Our honeymoon was amazing and the best (and longest) vacation I’ve ever been on. Remember though, if you are planning a stay at the Grand Hyatt on Kauai, stay there last! It will blow you away.
Maui Honeymoon Review (long)
From: engaged514 Date: 9/29/2005 at 12:35 PM
I used the knot in my planning, so I wanted to share some of our experiences. Please keep in mind these are just our experiences and opinions and I think a lot of how you view something depends on the expectations you have going in.
We really enjoyed Maui and I was so sad to leave.
Continental – We used frequent flyer miles for two roundtrip tickets from Cleveland to Maui. The weird thing is that airlines treat you like a 2nd class citizen when you use miles – even though we are both Elite level travelers on this airline. After we booked our tickets, we tried to inquire about upgrading to first class using miles or paying for an upgrade and they were kind of snippy about how you can’t upgrade when you book a ticket with miles. We did fly on a 767 though and each had a seat with our own small tv to watch movies on which made the long flight go more quickly.
Costco Travel – We booked 7 nights at the Fairmont Kea Lani with breakfast each day and a convertible rental car through Costco. Their prices were the best and they were easy to work with. I would definitely consider booking future vacations through them.
Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui - This is a really nice hotel – the rooms are big (suites – bigger than the 1 bedroom apartment I had in Boston) with huge bathrooms with soaking tubs. The adult pool was never crowded when we were there (Sept) and we were always able to get a chair with an umbrella. I definitely recommend trying to get a package that includes breakfast – it was so nice to eat breakfast outside everyday and the food at breakfast was great – tons of fresh fruit, pastries, eggs, omelet station, waffles, etc. We did the canoe excursion the hotel has (free for guests) and saw lots of sea turtles. One day we also rented a cabana and it was nice to have the shade and the unlimited water, juice, fruit, etc. Poolside drink service was always great. The only problem we had at the hotel was that we requested a king, non-smoking room. I called the hotel twice before our visit to make this request (which they said would not be a problem), but when we checked in they didn’t have this room. So the first two nights we stayed in a room with two double beds, and then moved to a king room later. The front desk tried to work everything out, but didn’t seem overly apologetic which kind of bothered me. Definitely join the Fairmont President’s Club (you can do this online for free) – you get free newspaper and free use of internet at the business center when you join. The hotel also has a free sedan shuttle within Wailea that we made use of a few times.
Cheeseburgers, Mai Tais, Rock N’ Roll (in shops at Wailea complex)– We went here our first night to do something easy. We had pina coladas and I had a turkey burger and DH had their signature cheeseburger, both were tasty and the prices are reasonable by Maui standards. We ended up going here again on our last night.
Ferraros at the Four Seasons – The ambiance here right by the ocean is nice, but the food really wasn’t very good, probably our worst dinner in Maui. It’s also pretty expensive. We may have gone here on an off night or ordered the wrong thing, but I wouldn’t really highly recommend Ferraros.
Nick’s Fish Market at the Kea Lani – We had outdoor seating overlooking the pools. The service was great and very attentive, but not annoyingly so. Our food and dessert (Bananas Foster) were great. We really enjoyed this meal.
Mama’s Fishhouse – Our FAVORITE dinner in Maui. If you only do one “nice” dinner go here. It is right on the ocean, the dacquiris are great. Our food was fabulous – I had the Opakapa (spelling?) and DH had their signature Mahi Mahi stuffed with crab and lobster. Both were delicious – but pricey. I think entrees here were in the $40-$50 range.
Kula Lodge – We did lunch here after going to Haleakula. It has great floor to ceiling windows overlooking the West Maui Mountains and ocean. Great views and the pizza from their woodburning oven was great. The service was a little slow, but we didn’t mind because of the great view.
Four Winds II Snorkel to Molokini – This was one of the highlights of our trip. We went to Molokini to snorkel on a really great day with no wind – so visibility was down to 150-180 feet. It was great to snorkel among schools of fish. We also really liked the Four Winds II crew – they gave some helpful tips to first time snorkelers and their equipment seemed good.
Warren and Annabelle’s – I booked this after hearing such great things on the knot – so I think I had really high expectations. The first part (with Annabelle playing the piano) is pretty lame. The magic show part is good and we were in the front row “hot seats” since we were honeymooners and got to assist in some of the magic tricks. The drinks were also good. If you are only in Maui a short time, you could probably skip this, but if you are there for a while and want something different to do at night, give this a try.
Luau at Rennaissance Wailea – We decided to do a luau in Wailea so we wouldn’t have to worry about the drive to Lahaina and could enjoy the open bar. We heard this is the best luau in south maui. We liked it and my DH seemed to really enjoy the dinner.
Road to Hana – this made me kind of car sick so we only made it to about mile 12. Definitely bring bug spray – I got quite a few mosquito bites.
Maui Honeymoon review... really long
From: Missyzma Date: 10/3/2005 at 1:59 PM
I have read a lot of other reviews to make sure I am giving enough info for future honeymooners. I hope this helps shed some light on those that are afraid they are going to go broke in Maui.
I apologize for how long this is. Every one goes to Maui looking for different things, so in the hopes that someone is into the same things as us, here is my 2 cents..
My first piece of advice.. Buy MAUI REVEALED.. It made our trip!
We stayed at the Papakea Resort; it is a timeshare/condo rental site. We acquired the timeshare through some friends. It was the one of the BEST investments. We had a full kitchen, washer/dryer, dishes, and dishwasher … basically a little apartment. That really made a big difference on our stay. We had our coffee in the am; either DH or I are breakfast people, so we ate fruit. Then we bought stuff for sandwiches, beer, water, chips, all the little things that are nice to have. This enabled us to spend the money on activities, and nicer dinners. We rented a car the whole time. We are very happy we did. We drove on every “Drivable Part” on the island, yes even the parts that the buses can go, and many will tell you that you can’t. The road is narrow, and you have to be patient with other cars, but the view is AMAZING at some points.
We arrived on Wednesday; we checked in, went to the grocery store, stocked up and then went to the beach right outside our condo for awhile. The water was nice. The we went to Lahina, Lahina is a very cute town, good shopping, meals, and a decent nightlife. We stopped at Canoe’s Restaurant. They have a happy hour. The appetizers were good, but you only got like 4 pieces of whatever you ordered. The Mai Tais were strong. The bartender told us that he had been told he had a “heavy hand”… oh he did! Being that I am not a big drinker, it was hard for me to drink it, but I did. We watched the sunset and of course it was beautiful, they have a patio that has a great view. After drinks, we just explored too see where certain things are.. kinda laying out a plan.
Thursday, we decided to go to Black Rock, which was only about 5 to 10 mins away. We snorkeled for awhile, then just hung out, went back to the condo and had lunch. One of my favorite parts of having this condo was that while I was eating lunch, having a beer, I was sitting on my patio, listening to the waves, and watching my favorite soap. What a life! Then we ventured off again, this time up north. We went to Napili Bay, and had one of the best snorkel views. We saw a bunch of turtles, big ones. It was awesome. After taking pics of the turtles and checking out the rest of that reef we headed back to the condo. Freshened up, and went back to Lahina. We had been told by a local that “Aloha Mixed Plate” was great place to eat and watch the sunset. Well when we got there, if you sat on the patio, you couldn’t have alcohol, which wasn’t too big of a deal, but it was full. So we walked a little and found this little place called “Mala”. Its a few doors down, its drinks and tapas. This was one of the best places. The view from their patio is amazing! So we sat and watching the sunset, with great drinks and great food. We started chatting with the couple sitting next to us. After some small talk, we learned that they were married on the same day. We hit it off with them. So, we planned the Hana Trip together.
Friday, was our snorkeling trip. We booked our trip on the Pacific Whale Foundation” it was fully day with 2 stops, they served continental breakfast, BBQ lunch, and drinks on the way back. One of the reasons I chose this was because it’s a non-profit org. The people that run this are all doing it out of concern for the whales and sealife.. not just for the $. We left at 8:30 in the morning and had 2 stops, The Molokini crater and Lanai. The crater was beautiful, so many fish clear and lots of space. The second stop was okay, but the tides were strong and it was getting windy, so it wasn’t too calm, which made the water hard to swim in. Part I also think was that I was tired and hungry. Snorkeling takes a lot out of you. So, take a snack, like fruit, they provided pretzels and crackers, but it wasn’t enough for my body to re-energize in between the stops.
Okay, Friday night was one of the best dinners we had the whole time. Across the street from our condo was a little fish market, this fish market will marinate and season as well. So we got one piece of pink snapper, and a couple skewers of shrimp, they marinated both for about 5.00. Added some rice, roasted garlic and a couple of rolls, 20.00. It was awesome, we went back to the condo, BBQ'd the fish and ate by the beach. The fish was so good and the price was great too. After dinner, we still went out for drinks; we found the only Maui Brewery, called Fish and Game. If you or your DH is a beer drinker, you should go here. The beer is great. They have lots to choose from. The atmosphere is laid back and the people are nice.
Saturday, we did the HANA road trip. This is where the book was the best guide ever. This book will point out waterfalls, trails, and things that the tour buses don’t. Things you can’t see from the road and you would never know to go. For example, the Blue Pool. It’s a little bit of a trek getting there, but it’s amazing. There are a couple pics on our site. We were able to go under the waterfall and take pics. Its calm, the waters great and view, from the pool into the ocean is break taking. If you like to see the waves break, it’s a great place to go. We also visited the Seven Sacred Pools and Hamoa Beach, both great. We drove all the way through, most guides and books, have you turn around. Due to about 5 miles of un paved roads. Yes, it’s unpaved, but it’s graveled and evened out regularly. That last part had some great views. We ended the night at “Mama’s Fish House”, very high end, expensive restaurant. So if you’re looking to pay a lot of money. This is the place to go. The location is great. They change the menu everyday because of what the catchers get in. It is a great experience to do at least once. I am not a big person on spending 40 to 50 a plate, regardless of the quality of food. The portions weren’t that big. Don’t get me wrong, it was great food. Just not for me.
Sunday, we just bummed around and went to a couple of beaches, snorkeled and enjoyed being on vacation. If you into the local scene, then email me. The locals get together every Sunday night and do fire dances and play their instruments. It’s a great experience, but it may not be for everyone. I had fun, and it was the best sunset of the whole week. If you look at our site, under “our honeymoon” the pic where you can’t see our faces, just orange sunset, that’s the one.. It was so beautiful. And with the dancing and chanting, it’s simply breathtaking.
Monday, Was a really windy day, it was so windy that the parasailing was happening. But of course, we didn’t notice it till, it was too late. Once again, we read about a hike that led to a snorkel spot called “the Aquarium”. It’s all the way down, in south Maui, in fact you have to drive till the road ends almost. Then you take a trail, it’s about a 20 minute hike. You hike on lava rocks. The trail fades and you have to be creative. However, when we were there, someone had taken white spray-paint and left white marks indicating which direction to go to. This was great. Because we didn’t notice them right away and the hiking was rough. We were wearing flip flops and our shoes got thrashed. Plus it took us longer, so wear good shoes. On the way back, we went the opposite way home. We drove through little villages and stopped for coconut candy at stands in people’s driveways.
Monday night in downtown Lahina, I am not sure how long this will go on, but Monday nights the Hard Rock café is the place to be. A band comes in and there is dancing and it’s a lot of fun.
Tuesday, we were scheduled for snorkeling. So we headed out. However the wind was still high and the parasailing companies weren’t comfortable with us going. So we reschueled. The rest of the day we spent snorkeling up north near slaughterhouse. Due to the wind, the water was cloudy. So it wasn’t the best day.
Tuesday night, we went to The Royal Lahina Luau, we sat in the front and had a great time. The drinks were good. The people were great and the dancers were awesome. We met some great families and enjoyed a relaxing night. We ended the night at a couple of bars.
Wedneday was our last day. We woke up packed and headed out. We headed to the parasailing, praying that they were going. And they were. IT was awesome. Being up that high is very surreal. It’s calm, quiet, and so peaceful.
The rest of the day we spent getting souvenirs and just hanging out till we caught our plane that night.
Speaking of souvenirs.. Lahina has a little flea market type thing, every Mon, Thurs, Fri, and Sat. I was able to get a lot of stuff for pretty cheap. It’s right next to the old Pioneer Mill.. So just ask for that. The Mill isn’t open for operation, but the towers are still there.
I hope this helps, I have a ton of pics that I send to anyone, just go to my site and you can contact me from there. It’s probably best; I haven’t been checking any of the boards on a regular basis since the wedding. My site is www.thadandkristy.com. When you use the contact us feature it comes directly to my email.
Good luck and have fun in Maui..
From: hbairski Date: 10/21/2005 at 2:13 AM
Hello all! I just want to thank everyone on this board who helped me decide on my hm location. I just got back from a 8 day/7 night hm in Maui. It was awesome there. I would highly recommend it!!! To save money on hotels we stayed at the Whaler condos right on Kannapali. It was great. We could stand on our lanai and look out at the ocean. It was so nice staying right on the beach next to everything (Whaler's Village for shopping; the Hyatt luau; Black Rock for excellent snorkeling; etc...) We were also a very short drive to Lahaina which had excellent shopping and great places to eat. I would highly recommend eating at Gerards in Lahaina-expensive but well worth it. I would also highly recommend buying the Maui Revealed book. We hiked to several gorgeous waterfalls on the Road to Hana and we had two of them to ourselves-talk about awesome. That book was a life saver. We found soooo many exciting discoveries just by reading that book. Thanks again. If anyone has any questions about specifics I would be happy to help. Thanks again, Heather
HM Review: Napa Valley/Kauai/Maui
From: shellser Date: 10/19/2005 at 2:53 PM
We spent 2 nights in Napa, 3 nights in Kauai, and 7 nights in Maui.
Napa: (information posted in USA section of The Honeymoon Bio)
Accomodations-Grand Hyatt http://kauai.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotel s Amazing. It was absolutely beautiful. We made our reservations through their web site which worked out fine. When we made the reservations, we checked the box that said is was our honeymoon, and when we arrived we got leis, a room upgrade to the top floor with a huge room (king size bed AND full size bed which of course was useless), and we had a partial ocean view and looked over the pool, and another bottle of champagne waiting for us. We also got a package that included the daily breakfast buffet. It was awesome! It is the most beautiful and romantic hotel. Great pools, too. The only downside? We only got to stay 3 nights.
***I recommend 2 resources for Kauai, The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook and http://adventureinhawaii.com>
Helicopter Tour-Air Kauai- http://www.airkauai.com -This was our most expensive activity, but the most memorable. It was beyond amazing. Our pilot, Chuck, was great.
Waimea Canyon-Really beautiful. There are a ton of trails, though we only had time for a short hike, it was still great. The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook was really helpful.
Sueko’s Market-in Koloa, recommended in the Kauai Guidebook, we stopped there for lunch after the helicopter tour, it’s this stand attached to the actual market, and there were a lot of locals. Their teri beef is great! They put your food in cardboard beer/water/soda boxes, whatever they have handy. We found that kind of funny. We got a lot of good local food for ~$10 which is super cheap for anywhere in Hawaii.
Tidepools-at the Hyatt, absolutely beautiful setting, great food, too bad we couldn’t eat it all!
Pacific Pizza-in Waimea, really good different kinds of pizza, great for after our hike.
JoJo’s Shaved Ice-Hawaiaan shaved ice is like a sno-cone. I had mine served over macadamia nut ice cream, yum!
Keoki’s Paradise- http://www.keokisparadise.comt> We waited a pretty long time to sit in the grill area, and only had some appetizers which were pretty good. The Hula Pie for dessert was great!
***I recommend 2 resources for Maui, The Maui Revealed Guidebook and http://adventureinhawaii.com
Accommodations- Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club
My parents were kind enough to trade a week of their timeshare for us to anywhere we wanted. Lucky us! We got a 1 bedroom villa (2 bathrooms, efficiency kitchen, etc). Our room was at the end of the tower so we faced the mountains (great for a couple rainbow views) and a view of the ocean, too. We could see both Lanai and Molokai from our balcony. They had a nice pool area, and it was only a few minutes walk to Whaler’s Village (shopping/restaurants), and I was able to do laundry there so that was helpful.
Old Lahaina Luau- http://www.oldlahainaluau.com/inde x_main.html This was so much fun. The food was pretty good, esp. the pork, and the open bar was pretty enjoyable. Also, the entertainment was amazing. Make your reservations way in advance. We made ours about 4 weeks before hand and were not able to get “traditional” seating (on mats on the ground) but once we got there we realized we weren’t any worse off seating in regular seats, but you still need to book early.
Road to Hana- http://www.maui-vacation.net/hana.html This is where the Maui Revealed book helped us so much, it tells you everything you need to know and more. Some highlights for us were the Blue Pool, Venus Pool, Wai'anapanapa State Park, the Seven Sacred Pools in Haleakala National Park, and the Waimoku Falls Trail at Haleakala. Recommendations-leave early, it’s a long day!, bring along a packed lunch, there’s almost nothing to stop at and when there is you’ll pay a lot for it, bring along a change of clothes, we didn’t and had a wet, cold, 2 1/2 hour drive back to the hotel. Bring CDs, there’s no radio to be found on that part of the island.
Sunrise Downhill Volcano Bike Ride- http://www.mountainriders.com It was cold up there (like mid-30’s)! We saw some of the amazing pre-dawn colors, then the clouds rolled in and rained on us. The first 20 miles or so were cold, wet, and miserable, then the sun came out, and we stopped for pictures, and it was so worth it! Then the rain started again, but at least this time we were at a lower elevation so we weren’t as cold. The riding itself wasn’t hard, it’s almost entirely downhill, the rain however made it harder to see and braking was a little tricky at times. We’re glad we did it, but it kind of sucked being wet and cold two days in a row. Mountain Riders were good to work with, they were nice guys.
Molokini Snorkel- We went on the Four Winds II for the a.m. trip www.mauicharters.com The boat was nice and the staff was good, too. You get a continental breakfast (bagels, juice, oranges, coffee), then they grill a bunch of burgers, chicken, veggie burgers, hot dogs for lunch) Open bar. Great snorkeling conditions, the fish are everywhere and come right up to you. We saw some green sea turtles on the way back to the harbor, very cool.
We didn’t eat out quite as much because we had a fridge in the room, so we bought cereal and lunchmeat etc. and saved our leftovers for the next day.
We had a nice casual dinner while watching the sunset and drinking mai tais. Not too shabby. Finished it off with some more Hula Pie, which we got for free with our Marriott Aloha Card.
Va Bene- at the Marriott
DH really wanted pasta, so we saw it was an “Italian Beachside Grill” and made reservations. We got there and discovered most of the menu was indeed grilled items, with no real “pasta” dishes, just pasta on the side for the most part. They were very accommodating and made a special pasta dish for my DH and he was very happy, it was really good. I had chicken parm. It was good, too.
Longhi’s in Lahaina-
We just happened to pass here when we shopping and my DH remembered his dentist recommended it, so we stopped for lunch. Lots of sandwiches, pasta, and salads on the lunch menu. It was so amazing! Would definitely go back for lunch or dinner.
Roy’s Kahana Bar and Grill-
This place was beyond amazing. I had great ono and DH had a mahi mahi/shutome special (I love the names of their fish). The best part was the dark chocolate soufflé! Our most expensive night out, but we didn’t care at that point, it was our last night out and wanted a memorable dinner.
Airfare-We booked through www.cheapticket s.com They seemed to offer more flights than the other discount travel web sites and the prices were pretty decent.
We flew United for the major parts of the trip. No complaints. Their snack packs on the plane are $5 and are actually not that bad.
We had to fly into Honolulu from San Francisco and connected to Kauai via Aloha Air. Not a bad flight, it was only ~30 minutes long, open seating.
We flew Island Air from Kauai to Maui on a prop plane. The plane we were to be flying on should have been arriving in about 5 mintues, then they announced the flight would be delayed by at least 2 hours. No explanation. Really strange since it's only an hour flight. It was 2 hours late, but the flight itself was fine. Open seating again. We flew over Oahu and got great views of all the islands since we were flying at a lower altitude.
CA-Dollar, we asked for a "Dodge Neon or similar" and we got a Ford Taurus. I think that's an upgrade, but I could be wrong.
Kauai-National, we asked for a "Kia or similar" economy car, they upgraded us to a Pontiac Sunfire, we probably should have asked for a 4-door since we had so much luggage and the 2-door made it difficult to put our bags in the back seat, but otherwise it was fine.
Maui-Dollar, we got a Chrysler Sebring Convertible. It was perfect for Maui. We went cheap the other week and splurged on the longest part of our trip.
Honeymoon Review- Kauai and Maui
From: kalbi Date: 10/26/2005 at 10:34 PM
I just got back from Kauai and Maui and had a blast and thought that i share some information.
Hyatt Regency in Poipu Beach, Kauai--
Service was beyond excellent. Upon arrival, we were greeted with leis and prompt valet parking. We were escorted to the front desk where we learned that we were upgraded to a partial ocean view room (paid for a mountain view room) with free champagne!
Everyone at the Hyatt knew our last names and when we got to our rooms, our bags were already there and also our complimentary bottle of champagne. The room itself was not as spectacular as expected though--just a standard room. The bathroom did not have a separate tub. The view was awesome though.
I was extremely impressed by the pool area-- I don't know if it was because we went during off-season, but the pool area was never crowded. There were hammocks, plenty of cabanas, and lounge chairs.
The pool area also had a waterslide and a salt water pool where people could rent kayaks. The waves at the beach behind the pool area (Shipwreck Beach) was way to high for us to go in and so we just walked along the shore.
You must get the breakfast package. That was the best part of our day. You get a choice of eating at the buffet or at the Poipu Beach Bar and Grill which overlooks the Poipu Beach Golf Course. Also, the Hyatt charges a $15 per day resort fee which includes free valet parking. On our last night the Hyatt, we found a letter from Hyatt's Manager congratulating us and also a box of Mango dipped chocolates along with an anniversary coupon.
Hyatt Breafast Buffet:
Our room came with 2 breakfast buffets per day and we ate here only once. The view is pretty awesome but the food is nothing to rave about. Not many choices and even the scrambled eggs was watery and bland. The service was not that great either.
Poipu Beach Bar and Grill:
This restaurant was by far our favorite. The service was excellent and the view of the golf course is just stunning. The staff greeted us by our last names upon arrival and we were seated at the same table every morning. The breakfast came with fresh squeezed juice, coffee, and a selection of scrumptious breakfast entrees and side orders. Also, since the restaurant is about 10 minutes walk from the Hyatt, the hotel provides a complimentary pick-up and drop-off van to the restaurant.
After watching numerous episodes of Rachel Ray's $40 A Day, i learned one valuable tip--ask the locals for their favorite restaurant. So we did and we got a tip to go to Hamuras in Lihue for the best saimen. Although the place seemed kind of run down and no service, the saimen and beef/chicken sticks was extremely tasty. Our dinner for 2 ended up to be less than $20 for both!
Kauai ATV Tour:
The Hyatt concierge booked us this ATV tour and their office is located about 5 minutes away from the Hyatt. We booked a mud buggy--Jay drove and I was the passenger and the tour lasted about 5 hours and included lunch and all the necessary gear. Wear your swimsuits underneath all the gear because they take you to 2 waterfalls where you can swim and don't forget to bring a towel too. Also, you will get REALLY REALLY REALLY dirty so be prepared. They also have a tour guide who takes pictures for you (don't bring your digital camera because it is going to get ruined) and you can purchase the picture CD for $20. But, we found a coupon in a MAPS magazine that we got at the airport in Kauai for 50% off the picture CD.
Captain Andy's Ocean Rafting/Snorkel Tour:
We also booked this tour through the Hyatt concierge and if you plan to do only one activity on the island, this is it! This tour lasted about 6 hours and also includes lunch. You ride in a raft and travel about 70 miles to the Napall'i Coast (you can only get there by air or water). We swam in the ocean, took a tour of an old Hawaiian Village, and got up close and personal with monk seals, sea turtles, and dolphins. We also got to explore sea caves and was able to snorkel. Be prepared to get wet--really, really wet. Also, instead of shopping at the local ABC store or even Hilo Hattie, go to Walmart or Kmart. Same stuff, but cheaper.
You must get a rental car and if time permits, explore the rest of the island. The speed limit on the island is mostly between 25-35 mph, so there really isn't a need to rent a fancy car nor a convertible either. It rained so often (but for short periods of time) that people with convertibles weren't able to enjoy it!
And don't forget to get the many brochures and magazines from the airport (next to the baggage claim area), there are many coupons and information that you can find and use.
Four Seasons, Wailea, Maui:
Stunning, stunning, stunning hotel. As you drive into the Wailea area, you can immediately feel that this is a really posh and rich area. Although not as green as Kauai, the ocean view in Wailea is unparalled. On the way to the 4 Seasons, we passed by the Wailea Shops which is the house to Tiffanys, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and the likes. Then you drive pass the Grand Wailea (which is indeed grand) and then to the Four Seasons.
Valet parking at the 4 Seasons is not included and costs $12 per day. We decided to self-park instead. If you self-park, there is an elevator that takes you to the 5th floor of the hotel, so you don't need to walk on the outside.
Upon arrival, we were greeted with leis and was escorted to the front desk to check-in where we were given cold fresh towels. I was also surprised to get a typed written phone message from the Old Lahaina Luau to confirm my reservation for the following day.
Anyhow, since our room was not yet ready, the 4 Seasons upgraded us from partian ocean view room to an executive suite on their club level! YEAH!
Our room was absolutely gorgeous--dining area, living room, separate master bedroom, and an amazing bathroom (separate rain shower and tub), and another separate area for the bathroom and vanity.
The view from our suite balcony was breathtaking! We were also surprised to find a bottle of champagne along with a pot of scrumptious hawaiian treats!
The pool area however is lacking--both in amenities and service. When we went to the pool, we had to hunt down a person to get towels and to set-up our lounge chairs. Unlike the Hyatt in Kauai, the 4 Seasons was pretty packed so it was hard to find a cabana.
Also, reading numerous reviews on theknot, Fodors, and Frommers, I heard that there are cool Evian water spritzes, popsicles, and ice cold fruit. However, during my 1 week stay there, I did not see any of those although they do bring you ice water once in awhile.
The pool is actually pretty sad for such a high-end resort. Even our community pool at home is better! I was quite disappointed. The beach area service was better though. The staff there immediately greeted us and found us lounge chairs and provided us with umbrellas for shade.
One thing that I really loved about the 4 Seaons was that it included a lot--they don't nickel and dime you unlike the other resorts. They do not charge you extra for the cabanas, and there are also a lot of complimentary classes. We did yoga twice, free scuba lessons, and free snorkel gear (one hour/day), and also free canoeing lesson as well!
Grand Wailea, Wailea, Maui:
Although we did not stay at this resort, we toured and visited the resort twice during our stay in Maui. I think because the hotel is soooo huge and grand, there are not enough staff to go around and plus the resort was packed. Unlike the 4 Seasons, we were not able to locate a staff to ask for directions and was lost for about 20 minutes before we were able to talk to someone. However, if you are pool person or if you are brining kids, this is THE hotel to stay in just because of their pool. They have caves, waterfalls, waterslides, diving area, scuba pool, etc. The pool area looked awesome and looked like a lot of fun!
Although we didn't stay here either, we visited the hotel and there really isn't anything to rave about either. Personally, i would stay either at the Grand Wailea or the 4 Seasons.
Old Lahaina Luau:
Book this way ahead because the luau was packaed! I booked about 3 months in adavance for traditional seating and got front row seats. For those we do not want to sit on the mats, there are regular chairs and seats and the view is still pretty good. The seating arrangement is pretty intimate and we shared a table with 6 other people. Upon arrival, we were greeted with leis and mai tais. The backdrop is gorgeous (ocean view) and there are a lot of photo opps, so bring yur cameras. There are also a few local vendors who sell stuff there so bring cash as well. There was the roasting of the pig ceremony before dinner which was pretty cool. The dinner buffet was okay--i enjoyed it, but most people at my table did not really like the food. However, the drinks kept on coming and the service was excellent. Don't forget to bring cash to tip the your server at the end.
This restaurant is about 45 minutes drive from Wailea in the town of Pa'ia. Be sure to make reservations--we ate here on the way back from the Road to Hana. The view here is spectacular and there are a lot of places to take pictures here so bring your camera! The food was absolutely to die for. One of the best food I had in all of Hawaii!! The meal starts out with complimentary poppy seed bread in asparagus bisque dipping sauce. Then the entree usually has some type of fresh fish that their local fisherman has just caught that day. (the menu changes everyday). I ordered the Mahi Mahi with crab and lobster encrusted in coconut and macademias. YUM YUM! The service was nothing spectacular, but the food speaks for itself and well worth it!
Marco's Grill and Bar:
We had lunch here because we noticed while driving by it everyday, that the place was always packed. They serve breakfast daily until 2 PM and Italian food for lunch and dinner. The food wasn't all that nor was the service.
Our 4 Seasons concierge was able to secure us a reservation an hour before we got there and the oceanside restaurant offers really awesome sunset views. This restaurant is located in the Grand Wailea, next door to the 4 Seasons. The food is a mix of Polynesian, Hawaiian, and Asian and the even have lobster fresh from their lagoon tank! I had the Seared Ahi with lobster fried rice and bok choy--it was pretty good, but Jay ordered their Mixed Grill Plate which was to die for! The Mixed Grill included Filet Mignon, Sea Bass, Maui Onions and everything on the plate was absolutely delicious! We also ordered this Pirate Drink (rum, tequila, mango, passion, served in a fresh coconut). One of the best drinks I had ever had! We topped the dinner off with Mud Pie. The food was excellent, but the service was nothing to rave about. I don't know if they were too busy or what, but service was slow and servers not too attentive.
Road to Hana:
Definitely worth the trip. The concierge at the 4 Seasons gave us a Hana Guide and we just followed it and was blown away by the scenary and all the hidden waterfalls, beaches, and spectacular views.
Don't forget to bring your bathing suits, towels, lunch so you can picnic, bug spray, and sun block. Oh, don't forget your camera either! I just had brought my large canvas tote bag and threw everything in there and it worked well!
Be prepared to spend the whole day. We went on a Monday and traffic was fairly light. We left around 10 and ate at Mama's Fishhouse at 7:00 and didn't get back to the hotel until about 10 PM. I read numerous posts that warned us that the Road to Hana was very curvy and windy and could cause car sickness. The road is curvy at times, but honestly, it wasn't too bad. There are many locals who live in Hana, so be sure to be courteous and pull aside and park and let cars pass you by if you are sightseeing.
All in all, Jay and I had a blast! I think we liked Kauai more (which surprised me) because I am not all that adventurous nor out-doorsy. But Kauai was more lush and green and it seemed like the island was more intimate, less crowded, and had more local people. Everyone was so nice and down-to-earth and I noticed that there are a lot of chickens roaming around in Kauai!
Maui is nice as well--but a little too commercialized and touristy. I think because we stayed in Wailea, it felt like I was in LA again--name brands everywhere and posh.
Gas in Maui was also outrageous, at $4.00/gallon! Again, to buy cheaper souveniers, skip ABC and Hilo Hattie and go to the local Walmart for the same stuff or downtown Lahaina. I got most of my souveniers at downtown Lahaina (very close to the Old Lahaina Luau)-TONS of shopping there.
Maui and Kauai, Hawaii trip report!!!
From: TeeGirl Date: 11/2/2005 at 8:57 PM
Aloha! My Husband and I returned a few days ago from celebrating our one-year anniversary in Hawaii. We spent 8 days on Maui, 7 days on Kauai and 1 day on Oahu. Thank you to the Revealed books, for making our trip EASY! So…. this was our first trip to Hawaii, but definitely not the last! We booked everything in advance, and I was glad we did because we didn’t have to think about anything once we were there, just what we were going to enjoy next. We treasured every second of our fabulous 2 week vacation. Just wished it had been longer! So here are my reviews:
Friday, October 15th – direct flight from Newark, NJ to Honolulu (9.5 hrs) on Continental. So glad we flew direct! Two margaritas and we were out! Slept for most of the trip. Took almost 1 hr to receive luggage at Honolulu airport and had to RUN to catch our flight to Maui. Apparently, it was the last flight out of Honolulu for the night…glad we made it! Rented a jeep through Alamo. Took over 1 hour to get our car (only 3 people in front of us), and was by far, the most frustrating car rental experience we have ever had. They also added extra insurance, and when she told me it would be a total $700 for the week, that’s when I noticed the extra insurance and had her remove it. I will most likely not go through Alamo again (unless of course, their rates justify the extra time)! Booked Maui Kai condo through www.vrbo.com Had room 402 for 2 nights, and then 1007 (plus free internet) for 7 nights. We LOVED Maui Kai! It was just north of Ka’anapali, so excellent location. Condo was right on the beach, and we fell asleep to crashing waves each evening. Condo life was perfect for us, as we cooked dinner almost every night and after a day full of activities, watched the sunset with cocktails from our lanai.
Day 1- woke up early (not adjusted to the time difference yet), and headed to the summit of haleakala. Checked out the stops along the way. At 9am met Pony Express for a 4.5 hr tour down the crater. It was great! The views from within the crater were spectacular. The colors in the crater get more vivid as the day wears on. However, it was a little long of a trip for me (I had pretty sore buns and lower back by the end). Lunch was provided and consisted of a croissant sandwich, fruit salad, chips and cookies. Afterwards, stopped at Snorkel Bob’s to rent gear for the week. We got the $32/week rental and they worked well.
Day 2 – snorkeled various spots on the island. Saw turtles at Black Rock (Ka’annapali) and White Rock (near Walilea). But the BEST snorkeling we had during the two weeks was at the following spot: we were on our way to snorkel Fishbowl, and we parked in the lava field parking lot. A local woman had an information booth set up and we asked her a few questions. She suggested that we snorkel at the beach directly down the path from the parking lot, versus Fishbowl, and we are glad that we did! The most beautiful fish and coral! We saw such a variety of fish, eel… and the coral was just as beautiful as the fish. The beach was a rock beach, a little work to get in the water, but once in it was fabulous. I would suggest anyone go to this spot! If you have the Revealed book, follow directions to Fishbowl. Soon after Ahini Cove you will see a parking lot on your right. It is terrific!
Day 3 – snorkel trip to Molokini on the Four Winds II. We were disappointed (not with the boat tour, but the snorkel spot). This would probably be the only thing throughout our vacation that we would definitely not do again. The fish were nice, but nothing compared to the spot we spent our time in the previous day.
Day 4 – Toured northwest Maui. Visited the blowhole (awesome at high tide), mushroom rock, swam in the Olivine Pools (a MUST, so relaxing and great photo opp), Dragon’s Teeth, Banana Bread Lady (delish) and fish & chips at Honolua store. We did most of this before 2pm. That evening we went to the Warren and Annabelle Magic Show. A MUST MUST!!! Ok, so the beginning part with Annabelle the Ghost is REALLY cheesy, and the food is quite terrible, but the magic show is terrific. We were in the hot seats, and were amazed at his tricks. Even though we participated in the majority of his act, I still cannot figure out how he did his tricks. Simply amazing, and VERY funny!
Day 5- Road to Hana. LOVED it! We hiked to Punalua falls (one of the first falls in the Revealed book). Was a little difficult hopping over boulders for 15 minutes or so, but the end reward was stupendous! We got to take our first swim in a natural pool under a waterfall! I recommend doing this, as it is such an amazing experience. Just make sure you read the warnings about lepto and debris falling from the top of the falls. The experience is not void of potential dangers. That being said, we did jump in every natural pool we came across on the Road to Hana! Jumped off a small ledge at Cheng’s Pond, too. 7 Sacred Pools were closed due to flooding. We also drove around the entire island. It was very bumpy, but had great views! I would also recommend this. It does add a lot more time to the day, versus getting to Hana and turning around, but we really enjoyed it. You do not need 4-wheel drive, but you can’t be afraid of narrow, winding roads! Don’t forget to bring food and plenty of water along. Our day was from 7:30 am – 7pm.
Day 6 – Veg out day! Spent the day on Ka’annapali Beach, snorkeled Black Rock again. Lunch at Hula Grill, decent fish taco and burgers. Kona Longboard and Golden Ale were my favorites!
Day 7 – Another vegging day. Snorkeled at the old airport spot and saw some fish we hadn’t seen before. A good snorkel spot and beach. Went to the Old Lahaina Luau. Food was good, drinks were plentiful and the dancing terrific! What more can I say? Since we got their too early, we headed to the Mexican bar across the street, cool spot for beer!
Day 8 – Strolled through Lahaina, checked out the Banyan tree and had a few drinks at the upstairs bar of Cheeseburger’s. Later that night we had our anniversary dinner at Pacific O’s. Glad we booked early so we could watch the sunset from the patio. Food was good, service excellent. IMO, food was not as creative as Beach House in Kauai, but views were worth it.
Day 9 – Took Hawaiin Air (pleasant experience) to Kauai. Rented a convertible through Thrifty and we had our car in a jiffy! Rented a one-bedroom condo at Kuhio Shores #412 through www.vrbo.com. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> Huge condo on the water! Right next to the Beach House Restaurant in Poipu area, would rent here again. Since we got here early, we decided to drive Waimea Canyon. It was beautiful! Stopped at Jo Jo’s for some great shave ice, but Revealed was right when they said slooooooooooow service!
Day 10 – Took a morning no-door helicopter tour with Interisland. I really enjoyed it; my Husband was a little queasy (due to the lack of doors). Amazing to see such greenery and waterfalls! Great seeing the Na Pali coast from above. In the afternoon, we took a sunset cruise of Na Pali with Holoholo charters (25% off coupon in Entertainment book). This was one of our trip highlights! We had a blast! The crew was very knowledgeable, food tasty and drinks plentiful. The ride out was really rough (we loved it), so if you get sea sick, definitely bring something. The ride back was very smooth and we got to see Na Pali from yet another great vantage point. Also, we had to call for directions bc the directions in Revealed are not explicit. Additionally, the official Red Dirt Shirt factory is across the street if you want to get better deals, or a tour.
Day 11 – Drove to the north shore. Checked out the surfers at Hanalei Bay, and snorkeled Ke’e Beach. Cool beach to hang out, as you have beautiful tropical scenery and a waterfall. Snorkeling here was OK, a little rough today. Stopped at Tanihi Nui in Hanalei for mango beer…yum. Would love to stay in the North on our next trip.
Day 12 – One of the highlights of our trip, an ATV ride with Kipu Ranch Adventures. Terrific scenery, extremely knowledgeable guide and sooooooooo much fun! We went pretty fast and the 4 hour tour was not long enough. I actually wish we had booked this twice during the week…it was THAT fun (for all of you thrill seekers). Loved the sensitivity plants and the half bloom flower plants.
Day 13- veg day on Poipu Beach. Dinner at Roy’s. Scrumptious food, with no ambiance. The canoe-for-2 appetizer was terrific! As was the monchong and ahi entrée’s. Would go again for the food alone!
Day 14 – Zipline tour with Priceville Ranch. Had a blast zipping over the valleys of their ranch. Only negative is that there were about 12 of us, so it was very sloooooooow to get everyone through. There were 8 separate zips. I enjoyed it greatly, but it would have been better if there were less people. Dinner at the Beach House, our best dining experience on the trip. Fabulous food! A must!
Day 15 – early flight to Honolulu. Rented a convertible for 1 day through Avis (priceline request, then upgraded on arrival), fast service and spouse included on insurance. Had 12 hours to tour Oahu. Went to Pearl Harbor, definitely worth it! We got there at 10:30, received tickets for the 11:30. During the hour we waited, we both did the audio tour and it was worth it, and made the time go by quickly. Then we drove around the east island checking out all the surfing on the North Shore. Ended the day in Waikiki. Had dinner at the Banyan Tree Restaurant on the beach at sunset. GREAT place for drinks and the sunset, but horrendous and expensive food. We had fish-n-chips and quesadillas and they were yuk. However, the view was superb! Had a 10:45pm flight back to Newark, again, slept most of the way…thanks to the 20 oz beer I had at the Tropical Bar in the airport!
Well, I hope this helps those of you planning your trip. I am looking forward to getting back to the magical islands of Hawaii. Especially Maui, which was our personal fav! Any questions, please let me know! Aloha!
KAUAI TRIP REVIEW!
From: TheHoneymoonBio Date: 12/6/2005 at 6:36 PM
We just returned from a week on Kauai and I thought I’d post some feedback for others who are considering going there. We were there to attend the wedding of a friend. I've been to Maui twice and Oahu once before-- this was my first time to Kauai.
We booked our travel to Kauai at the Hawaiian Airlines website. We got airfare from Los Angeles, 7 nights at the Islander on the Beach and a rental car for $1050 each. This is over Thanksgiving week, which is typically more expensive, so we really scored a great deal. We had to fly through Honolulu and get a connecting flight to Kauai, which added about 2 hours to the travel time each way—but it was so much less expensive than flying direct, in our case.
The Islander on the Beach used to be an Aston property and has just been acquired by ResortQuest and totally renovated. Some of the units have been sold as condos, some are still for rental as hotel units. It’s a 3-star, so it’s not fancy, but we actually really liked it. The resort consists of 6 or 7 buildings, each three stories tall. There are no elevators, but we were on the third floor and it wasn’t a hassle to walk up. We had a lovely view over the pool out to the ocean—awesome views of the sunrise over the water. The pool area is still being renovated, and while you can use the pool and hot tub, the bar isn’t open yet. The beach at the resort isn’t for swimming- they get dangerous currents there- but you can lie on the beach and walk along the oceanside pathway. If you drive 5 minutes south of the resort, you can swim and snorkel at Lydgate Park. There are lots of other beaches in the area as well. Our room was spacious enough and everything looked brand new. We thought it was really nice. My only complaint is that the sheets were a little scratchy—definitely not a high thread count. But we got used to that and everything else was just great. The room had a fridge, microwave, sink and coffeemaker. Since there is no restaurant at the hotel, we bought food at a nearby Safeway and had breakfast in our room every morning. We were always out for lunch and dinner. Directly across the parking lot from the hotel is the Coconut Marketplace, which has tons of shops and a couple of restaurants. You can get anything you need there without having to drive anywhere, which was nice. The things I liked most about the hotel were (A) the location and (B) how easy it was to navigate. The hotel is in Kapa’a, on the east coast of Kauai. It’s an equal distance to the North and South shores of the island from there, which was really convenient. You spend SO much time driving on Kauai, and being somewhere central made the trips easier for us. Also, we went to several other hotels on the island and they just seemed big, crowded and… BIG. The Islander is small, very quiet and so easy to get in and out of. There’s no waiting for valet, hiking across the property, having to call the desk for things…. it’s just easy and low maintenance. We loved that and felt it captured the spirit of Kauai much better than the larger hotels.
Other Hotels on the Island
We did tour both the Hyatt and the Princeville while on Kauai. They are both lovely, but in totally different ways. The Hyatt has a bit of an island theme in its décor, and it has an amazing pool area with lush landscaping. The Princeville is all marble and gold, very ornate and with awesome ocean views. The Princeville definitely felt more formal, whereas the Hyatt seemed a little warmer to us. We took to calling the Hyatt “Disneyland Kauai” and the Princeville “Caesar’s Palace Kauai” just because that was the sort of vibe they gave us. They were both nice—but BIG. I think if I had to stay at one I would probably pick the Hyatt, simply because we ended up spending more time on the south shore and the Hyatt would be more convenient. I thought the North Shore was prettier than the South, but most of our activities originated on the South Shore and the snorkeling is better there in November, so we were on the South Shore more often. Location is definitely something to keep in mind when choosing a hotel on Kauai. There’s essentially one little road that goes around the island and it can take forever to get from one place to another. However, having been to Kauai and done a lot of exploring, I think I would probably rent a house before staying at either the Princeville or the Hyatt. For the money you spend at those hotels I think you could have a more authentic and comfortable experience renting your own place. Several of the wedding guests did this while we were on Kauai and we were amazed at how gorgeous their houses were! It seemed to be a very peaceful way to stay on the island. I believe our friends rented through Remax Kauai.
This was definitely one of the things I liked least about Kauai. It rained every single day we were there, no matter where we went on the island. Some days it just rained for a little while and then it was sunny. Some days it poured for ages. We weren’t able to spend as much time on the beach as I’d hoped, and the weather prevented us from seeing several of the things that were really important to us. For instance, we TWICE drove to Waimea Canyon (45 minutes from our hotel), drove all the way up the canyon, only to find it so wet and foggy that we couldn’t see anything from the lookouts. Hugely disappointing. We also twice went to Kilauea Lighthouse, only to find it fogged in as well. We drove out to Ke’e Beach, where it was raining so hard you really couldn’t get out of the car -- the roads were starting to wash out in places! We booked a sunset cruise of the Na Pali Coast which was diverted because the waters were too rough from the rains. Also, the constant rain makes many of the hiking trails very difficult to navigate. People fell on the trails a lot. Everyone on the island seemed to be covered in red mud. :-) If you go, just be prepared for weather to foil your plans a bit—and bring a rain slicker and umbrella. Also, be sure to bring a good quality bug spray. The wet conditions on the island make for a lot of mosquitoes. We definitely got bit, even with the spray.
To be fair, November is when the rainy season begins in Hawaii, so weather may be better other times of year. Also, I talked to a friend who was on Kauai the same week (based in Poipu) and she said that they spent most of their time in that area and the rain seemed to come and go pretty quickly there. So, maybe we just had bad luck.
When the sun came out, the island was gorgeous—very green and lush. We were able to see and do a lot of things in a week.
Helicopter ride- We took a helicopter tour with Inter-Island Helicopters. We chose this company because they were well rated in Kauai Revealed (our source for just about everything on the island) and because they offer tours without doors. Kevin thought it would be really cool to be in a helicopter without doors. It was definitely more scary/turbulent than riding with the doors, but the view was so amazing. We got the most incredible pictures and the sights just left us breathless. I highly recommend a helicopter ride. Since there were so many things we hadn’t been able to see via car or boat due to the rains, the helicopter was the only way we were able to see the Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon… the two biggest must-see sights on Kauai.
Snorkeling- When we arrived on Kauai, we rented snorkel gear for the week at Snorkel Bob. We carried it around in the car so that we could snorkel whenever we wanted. The best snorkeling we found was at Poipu Beach Park and at Lydgate Park. Poipu had rougher waters, but a bigger variety of fish. Lydgate is protected by a reef and thus very calm and perfect for beginners. We saw tons of fish here, swam through big schools of them, but there wasn’t a huge variety of types.
Sunset Cruise- We took a sunset cruise with Holoholo Charters on their catamaran “Leila”. We were supposed to cruise the Na Pali Coast, but rough waters prevented it and so we sailed along the south shore of the island instead. The crew was very nice and the boat was really clean and comfortable. We saw dolphins along the way, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, a bunch of us ended up getting really sick during the trip, despite taking Dramamine. The food they served for dinner (sandwiches and salads) looked good, but I couldn’t eat it. I’d recommend this company, though.
Wailua Falls- The road out here is riddled with potholes and very slow going, but the falls are gorgeous. The lookout is from above the falls and not always the best view, but there are lots of hiking trails that will take you down closer to the water. We didn’t have time to brave the trails that day, but I would definitely recommend hiking in this area just to spend more time near that lovely waterfall.
Opaeka’a Falls- We drove up to the lookout, which is a bit far away from the falls but also offers gorgeous views of the Waimea Valley on the other side. Opaeka’a Falls isn’t quite as big/impressive as Wailua Falls, but it’s just a short distance off the main highway and totally worth a quick stop. Friends of ours did a kayak trip to this waterfall and were able to swim around underneath it. They really enjoyed it, and I think that’s probably the best way to experience this waterfall if you have the time.
Na ‘Aina Kai Botanical Gardens- We went here to attend the wedding of our friends. It’s a gorgeous place with lush tropical plants and a beautiful beach. I wish we’d had more time to really explore all of the gardens, because it is supposed to be just breathtaking. But we absolutely loved the small part of it that we did see.
Spouting Horn- Near Poipu, water rushes underneath a lava shelf and sprays up over the rocks. It's kind of neat, but not really interesting enough to go out of your way for. It's right in Poipu, near The Beach House, so it's easy enough to stop by if you're in the area. There were several big tour buses there and lots of tourists milling about, so it's definitely crowded.
We went to many other places… Waimea Canyon, Kilauea Lighthouse, Ke’e Beach…. But weren’t able to truly enjoy them due to the weather. Thank goodness we took that helicopter ride so that we were able to see them at all. These are all must see places, if you get lucky with the weather. Friends of ours who were on the same island at the same time went to these places and had gorgeous views—so a lot of it is luck and exactly when you happen to end up there.
The Beach House was the most expensive restaurant we ate at all week, and it really wasn’t that bad price-wise. Two glasses of wine, an appetizer, two entrees and one shared dessert cost us about $85. We had many meals elsewhere on the island for $20 or $30 for the two of us, so we really didn’t spend that much on food, overall. There are lots of different options for every appetite and price range. Kauai Revealed definitely gave us a lot of good ideas, and we also asked around to other people we met as to which places they’d really liked. My overall recommendations are to be sure to try the local foods. Hawaii has some awesome fish, including Ono and Opakapaka. They are so fresh and delicious—don’t miss them. Anything pineapple, coconut or macadamia nut flavored is good to try. And for drinks, look no further than the lava flow. It’s my personal favorite!
The Beach House- We had dinner here on my birthday and it was fantastic. Definitely reserve in advance to get a table around sunset, because you can’t see the water once it gets dark, and this place has the most incredible ocean view. The service was excellent and the food was really good. I had an Ono dish which was great and Kevin had pork chops which he liked a lot. The calamari appetizer was just okay, but the chocolate soufflé dessert was incredible. It was a very nice place to eat on a special occasion and I highly recommend it.
Bubba’s Burgers- This is an excellent burger place that was recommended to us by friends. They have locations in both Kapa’a and Hanalei. All the beef served here is from cows raised on Kauai, so the meat is fresh and local. You can definitely taste the difference—this was one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The food is inexpensive, the setting casual and the service very helpful. I would definitely recommend stopping here for lunch.
Polynesia Café- This little café in Hanalei has a cute motto: “Gourmet food on paper plates.” There’s no table service, you just order at the counter and then take your food to nearby tables. The place is nothing special to look at, but the food is absolutely outstanding and some of the best on the island. Their dishes include things like Macadamia Nut Herb Crusted Ahi and Sesame Chicken, plus a large selection of salads (the best salads I saw on the island). They also have incredible pastries (try the pineapple coconut cream puffs or the coconut macaroons) and really delicious pancakes, waffles and omelets for breakfast. We drove all the way back to Hanalei to eat here a second time, we liked it so much. Don’t miss this place!
Waimea Brewing Company- We stopped here after driving down from Waimea Canyon. It’s a really cute restaurant with a large outdoor patio, surrounded by green lawns and foliage. We didn’t try any of their many beers, but we enjoyed our food. I just had nachos, but they were tasty. Service was a little slow, but that’s Hawaii for you. The thing I loved most about this place is that there are cats that live on the property, and they love to come and hang out on the patio and wait for scraps. When we were there a mother cat and four kittens were lounging on the patio and they were just adorable. If you don’t like cats, sit indoors.
Scotty’s Beachside BBQ- This Kapa'a restaurant has a nice ocean view and very pleasant staff. The service is fast and friendly and there’s a nice variety of items on the menu. I wish I’d liked my food more. My chicken fingers were cold in the middle and the cornbread was a tad crunchy. Kevin really liked his pork sandwich, though. Maybe the BBQ is better than the non-BBQ options.
Poipu Tropical Burgers- Located in the Poipu Shopping Village, this restaurant has a lot more to offer than burgers. We had breakfast there and they have awesome selections. My banana macadamia nut pancakes were fantastic and Kevin loved his omelet. They also have pineapple waffles, fruit platters with lots of banana and papaya and a special Hawaiian omelet (with kalua pig, Portuguese sausage, veggies and cheese). They have lots of burgers (the Hawaiian coconut cheddar burger sounded interesting), including non-beef burgers and salads. It wasn’t very expensive for all the food you got and everything we ate was delicious. I would definitely eat here again!
Hamura’s Saimin Stand- A local dive in Poipu, this place was highly recommended in Kauai Revealed and Kevin really wanted to try it. It’s a little grungy inside and out, but the restaurant was packed with a line out the door. That’s always a good sign! We took our food to go so that we wouldn’t have to wait for a seat. Saimin is an Asian dish that basically consists of noodles in various kinds of broth. It’s REALLY good—and really cheap. We got a medium bowl of saimin and a teriyaki chicken skewer for $5. The skewers are small, so normally you would get more than one. They’re really, really tasty! I would definitely recommend stopping here for some take-out and an interesting, inexpensive culinary experience.
Jo-Jo’s Shave Ice- Jo-Jo’s is located in Waimea and is definitely the best shave ice on the island. I’d heard from so many people that you had to go here while on Kauai, so we decided to stop after driving up Waimea Canyon. I’m not a fan of Sno Cones, so I didn’t imagine I would like shave ice…. Boy, was I wrong! Shave ice is not like a sno cone. The ice is shaved so it’s very thin and sort of fluffy. Somewhere in between the consistency of ice cream and sno cones. They take a cup, put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it, cover that with shave ice and then douse the whole thing in any of 60 flavors of liquid. It is YUMMY!!! I really liked the coconut flavor- that was my favorite. They have a special shave ice that also includes coconut flakes and I thought that was great. Kevin loved the cherry flavor the most. We liked this place so much we drove all the way out here for more on another day. We had shave ice at another place on the island, too, but it wasn’t nearly as good. Don’t miss Jo-Jo’s!
Lappert’s Ice Cream- Lappert’s is famous in Hawaii for excellent ice cream and a variety of Hawaii-inspired flavors. I’d had it on Maui and loved it there, so I stopped for a cone on Kauai. They have stands in the Coconut Marketplace in Kapa’a and up in Hanalei. The caramel coconut macadamia nut ice cream is awesome—definitely my favorite flavor. It’s a tad expensive for ice cream, but worth it. They also sell good coffee.
Island Soap and Candle Works (Kilauea)- This store is located in a little shopping center on the road out to Kilauea Lighthouse. A friend told us how much he loved their soaps and candles, so we stopped in to buy some gifts. They have a huge assortment of scented soaps and candles, most with island-inspired scents. We bought 4 soaps wrapped up in a pretty scarf, plus another soap for us and paid just $15. We could have easily bought so much more. I definitely recommend this place for gifts and souvenirs. http://handmade-soap.com/store_kilauea.htm
Spinning Dolphin Designs (Hanalei)- This store is located in the big shopping center on the north side of the road in Hanalei, near Polynesia Café. They sell mainly t-shirts and there are some really fun designs. The big draw here is the owners’ gorgeous golden retriever, “Jake”, who is always in the store. He is so friendly and adorable. They sell shirts with photos of his face, and evidently he’s famous throughout the island. Be sure to stop in and see him!
Red Dirt Shirt Outlet (Port Allen)- Red Dirt Shirts, which are actually made from the red Kauai soil, are sold everywhere on the island. The best selection is in the big store in Port Allen. There’s a large variety of regular priced goods in the main store, and an outlet section in the back, selling some shirts for as little as $3. If you want a red dirt shirt, this is the place to go.
There isn’t really much nightlife on the island. It’s definitely a quiet environment and things tend to close early. We did go for drinks at both the Hyatt and the Princeville with friends, though. Stevenson Library at the Hyatt was definitely the more active of the two. It was packed with people. It’s a very large space, with a bar, cozy library setting, outdoor patio and even pool tables in the back. We really liked it here. In contrast, the Princeville’s Living Room was much quieter. There were definitely people here, but not so many and a quieter crowd. Both places had good drinks.
PHOTOS: : KAUAI PHOTOS
HM review - Maui and Kauai (long!)
From: jessica-va Date: 12/29/2005 at 5:13 PM
Here’s my honeymoon review from September - 5 nights on Kauai at the Hyatt and 6 nights on Maui at the Four Seasons. While both islands are fantastic and we would go back to either in a second, we really fell in love with Kauai. I don't know if it's because it was the first island, or the more relaxed atmosphere, or the fact that the Hyatt was so great, but we just loved it.
If you're deciding between the two, I would say that both are equally beautiful. During the day, there's plenty to do on both islands. Definitely more night life and better restaurants on Maui. Kauai is a lot more laid back than Maui. But really, you can't go wrong with either
We booked part of our trip through Anne Rose at Celebrate Travel (the rest with frequent flier miles and hotel points). I was very happy with Anne – she is very familiar with Hawaii and very attentive. I think her prices were competitive, and definitely better than anything we found on our own or through other agents.
We stayed at the Hyatt in Poipu in a partial ocean view room (upgraded from a mountain view room). The room was very nice, huge bathroom, awesome shower, and good size lanai. You really had to step out onto the lanai to see the ocean, but we were close enough to hear it, which was awesome.
We slept a lot of nights with the screen door open and the ceiling fan on, and it was the perfect temperature. Falling asleep to the waves crashing was great. I can't say enough good things about the Hyatt. The hotel is incredibly beautiful, the pool is very large and kind of windy (like a lazy river, sort of), so that lots of time you can swim or sit by the pool and not see anyone else. It's true that the beach is not great for swimming, but the pool area is fantastic and the views are awesome. The hotel is pretty spread out, and our room was a bit far from the lobby, but right near the gym and spa. We liked that we never had to take an elevator. It seemed like most of the rooms opened to these outdoor hallways, and we could take walking paths everywhere.
At the Hyatt:
Anara Spa - The spa is pretty close to perfect. The treatment rooms are open to the outside but still covered and very private. I had an herbal wrap, massage, and facial. All were great. They have "lava" showers, a nice whirlpool in the women's area, plus steam rooms, etc. There's a pool with very nice chairs and more whirlpools. You can easily spend several hours at the spa. I think it's worth checking out no matter where you stay in Kauai.
Seaview Terrace - This is basically the lobby bar, but it has some of the best views we saw on Kauai because it is set up high. They have great pupu and drinks, and live music in the late afternoon. Also, a pretty normal continental breakfast every morning.
Tidepools - We had dinner here one night. The food was great, service excellent. Very romantic setting. Not sure that I would come from another hotel for the restaurant, but we loved it and would definitely go again..
Donderos - Dinner here on our last night in Kauai. I have high standards for Italian food, and this was surprisingly delicious! It was raining, so we had to sit inside, but still very pretty. The service was fine. Again, I would definitely eat here if you stay at the Hyatt or nearby, but probably not worth traveling too far.
My husband played golf at the course at the Hyatt, and loved it. We did a small hike from the beach at the Hyatt, sort of along the edge of the golf course, and it really was beautiful. We saw a bunch of turtles swimming close by, and also a monk seal was sunning itself about 10 feet away.
Other things on Kauai:
Helicopter tour - Jack Harter - Matt was our guide. We both agreed that the helicopter trip was one of the highlights of our trip! Matt was a great guide, gave us the right amount of information, but was not boring. First, if you are nervous at all, don't be. It was smoother than many airplanes I've ever been on, and the views are so incredible you aren't thinking of anything else. You get so close to the waterfalls and mountains, and seeing the coast from the helicopter is great. We would definitely do this again!!
Princeville - We drove up to Princeville one day, wandered around Hanelei Bay (which is great). My husband played golf and I rode along on the Prince Course. We had heard that the views from here were the best of the island, but I was not that impressed. We had dinner at the resort, and it was good, but not great. The service was fine, but again, not great. I definitely preferred the food and service at the Hyatt. We did have drinks and watch the sunset, which was incredibly beautiful.
Beach House - We'd heard lots of great things about the sunset from here, but mixed reviews about the service and food. Anyway, we couldn't get a reservation until late, so our concierge suggested just going for a drink, and somewhere else for dinner. This worked out perfectly for us – we arrived just after they opened the bar, had a drink, saw the sunset, and left. Definitely use the valet parking here, it didn't seem like parking nearby was very easy.
Keokis - In the Poipu shopping center. We had a great time here. The food was good, the service was good (although our bar waitress was pretty rude), and the atmosphere was very fun (and very kitschy). Also, cheaper compared to some of the other restaurants. The Poipu shopping center has some cute shops, too.
We stayed at the Four Seasons in a partial ocean view room. The view from our lanai was great, and we saw the best sunset of our trip from the lanai. The room at the Four Seasons was great - a little bigger than the Hyatt, with a nice soaking tub in the bathroom and a super comfortable bed. The pool at the Four Seasons is very pretty, with great chairs. The service at the pool is awesome, like everyone says - they come around constantly with ice water, and then several times during the day with the cold towels and evian spritz. They brought strawberries around to everyone a few times, too. The beach here is gorgeous, and basically the same services as at the pool.
At the Four Seasons:
Ferraros - We had lunch a few times at Ferraros while we were at the pool. The food here was great, and I can see why people love it for dinner. It's almost directly on the beach, so the views would be great.
Room service - We ordered a picnic basket from room service the day we did the Road to Hana, and it was delicious. It was expensive, but easy, and saved us from having to stop and pick up something. They give you tons of food, so we had plenty of leftovers.
Outrigger canoe trip - They have an outrigger canoe trip a few mornings a week, and I would highly recommend it. The guy who runs it was awesome, and gives you some good Hawaii background. Do the earliest one they offer, because there's almost no one else around and the ocean is so calm.
Snorkeling - You can borrow snorkeling equipment right at the hotel, and there was some great snorkeling not too far off the beach.
Other things on Maui:
David Paul's - In Lahaina, this may be one of my best meals ever. I had the firecracker shrimp, which were delicious. We didn't really like Lahaina in general, but David Paul's was fantastic.
Feast at Lele - Definitely more intimate than what I've heard of other luaus. The show was great, and the sunset from Lahaina was beautiful. The food is good, some we loved and some we didn't, but it was cool to try food from so many different places. You really do need to book early - we had a great seat in the front row. We enjoyed it, but if we went back, probably wouldn't do another luau.
Nick's Fishmarket - at the Kea Lani - Awesome! The setting is pretty, although you're kind of in the middle of resort, it's very peaceful. The service was perfect, the food was delicious. There was nothing that could have improved the meal. Very expensive, but worth every penny!!
Roy's - We'd heard a lot of good things about Roy's, and it was fine. Not much atmosphere, the food was okay.
Stella Blues - This was in Kihei, not far north of the Four Seasons. We got the recommendation from some of the valets at the hotel, and we loved it. It's nothing fancy, just a regular restaurant that could be anywhere, which was exactly what we wanted that night. I would definitely recommend it if you are tired of eating big dinners every night!
Bike trip down Haleakala - The sunrise was unbelievable, and definitely worth the early morning. I was scared on the bike ride. Not scared enough to ride in the van, but the bike part was a little too much for me. It was cold, and wet, and it was a while before the views were worth it. I would definitely go up to Haleakala again, but would probably not do the bike trip. My husband loved it, and everyone else seemed to, too. I was just a little bit of a wimp
Kapalua - We drove up to Kapalua one day, which is just beautiful. My husband played golf, and I rode along again on the Plantation Course. This was REALLY gorgeous - way better views than Princeville, and probably some of the best views we saw.
Road to Hana - We left Wailea about 6 am, so we could be ahead of most of the traffic. It was a good choice, because for most of our stops we were alone. As the day went on, we started to see more and more people, and it just made it less great. It was beautiful, there was a lot to see. We bought the CD, but didn't really use it. It was easier to follow the Maui Revealed book, although we did find some of their directions a bit confusing. We went the whole way around the island (in a Toyota Corolla)and it was fine. The unpaved section is actually partially paved, and where it isn't there's a hard packed dirt road. The road on that part of the island is definitely more narrow and windy than the rest of the road to Hana, but at least there aren't many cars coming in the other direction..
I hope this is helpful... No matter what you decide to do in Hawaii, you will love it. It was the perfect honeymoon for us! Please page me if you have any questions about our trip!
Kauai and Maui Review!
From: Mme.Francofilly 1/10/2006
We went to Kauai and Maui for 10 days. Hawaii is awesome in November. It's their "down" time. It was 80-84 degrees every day, sunny, with maybe 2 minutes of a passing rain shower in Kauai.
HYATT REGENCY, KAUAI
In a word, perfection. The hotel is extravagent. It has this dramatic entrance overlooking the ocean, there are seemingly endless pools, including ADULT only designated areas. A hot tub, activity pool, and this awesome water slide. Our first night we went to Tidepools, this romantic thatched hut restaurant at the hotel and it was wasted on us, cause we were so jetlagged and disgusting. Plus, expect to spend like $100 a night on food, ladies. Tidepools cost us $104 (for two entrees and two drinks). It was nice but not spectacular.
If you book thru a Travel Agent (we used Liberty Travel) it is especially impt to get the "Sunshine on Sale" package, which includes breakfast at the hotel. It'sa full buffet (which cost me about six lbs) and it will hit you $50 a day if you dont get it included. It's worth it...We got up every day at six AM and had really awesome breakfast and then went out exploring....
Also, go to the Walmart and stock up on Water and stuff. A slice of pizza at the Hyatt is EIGHT DOLLARS. For a slice. No joke.
Also, mention you're on your HM like every second. My new husband didnt want to, but I said it like every five seconds, and we got upgraded in Kauai from a garden room to a partial ocean view! Complimentary champagne....
Order room service if you find dining at the resort is too pricy. Room service is actually like half the price of dining at a hotel restaurant! We figured this out near the end of our first leg. lol. The saltwater lagoon is awesome at the Hyatt too! We just drove around the island, taking photos basically. Waimea Canyon is not to be missed. I highly recommend the Kauai Revealed book. We didnt leave "home" w/out it. We hiked a mile or so off this path and saw Napali Coast from a really high elevation..omg, it was stunning. (Pix to come!). Kauai is definitely my favorite---I would recommend going there LAST if you are doing several islands. We thought we'd unwind FIRST and then do Maui. Big mistake. Maui is very.....touristy....so all the relaxing we did was wasted! Go to Kauai last and enjoy yourself immensely!!!
Oh and if u use the Kauai Revealed book, which i recommend, the GLASS BEACH, is sort of a waste. THERE IS NO GLASS anymore. Maybe it depensd on the tide but there is NOTHING. I'd skip it. We did do all of the waterfalls though, so pretty!!!
Hyatt Regency, Maui
Well, I sound mental for saying this, but we didn't really enjoy Maui as much as Kauai. The Hyatt, although perfectly acceptable, was, well...sort of cheesy in my opinion. First of all, it was built in 1982, and it sort of shows, the decor is rather lame. They have these really ugly a$$ gold and white chandeliers in the lobby and front desk. I went there thinking it was just like Kauai, with winding pools and exotic views...Nope. The Maui Hyatt is stuck on the Kaanapali Beach next to the Westin, and a few other luxury resorts. Instead of spreading out, it spreads UP. They have penguins, yeah, but they are sort of sad and scruffy looking. We didn't dine at the hotel restaurants, we learned our lesson in Kauia...so we ordered room service here and there, and went outside the resort meals. Hula Grill on the beach past Whaler's Village (sooo cute) has great food and it's cheap (for Hawaii!!). I had the Cado Cado salad, it was ok--but the goat cheese pizza looked awesome.
Back to th Hyatt...we had a full deluxe Ocean suite. It was ok. It overlooked the flamingos and a fake waterfall. On the other side of us was the damn luaua which played EVERY night and you could hear it EVERY night. Request a room that does NOT overlook the luaua if you get easily annoyed by sound.
The pool situation at the Hyatt also sort of sucked. We noticed it was the kind of place where you had to "reserve" a pool chair early...too many chairs and the pool was on the medium size.....I wasn;t impressed (see, I shouldnt have gone to Kauai first!)
Maui Downhill, Bike Tour down Haleakala Crater
Fun fun fun. SOOO early (2 am) but worth it. The sunrise is awesome, and I was petrified at the top..but once you get halfway down, it's smooth sailing....def wear layers. The comp. provided those yellow things and gloves, but I listened to Sommer and wore a tank, a thermal shirt, a fleece, and these warm pants. I was still a bit cold but when you get halfway down, jesus, it's HOT....
Old Lahaina Luaua
Never been to a luaua before, so I can say it was cute. Free drinks...Get there early and park..we got there at 4 15 and it filled up FAST. Try the lava flow, (drink) it was my favorite on both islands and trust me, I drank most of them. Table seating might have been more comfy, although you can see the stage from anywhere so dont worry if you wanted to sit on the floor (we did and my legs hurt) and you get a table. Food is surprisingly good.Poi is disgusting but I had to try it.
We di@cked out on the Road to Hana. It was toooo long. We did do the perilous ride aroudn West Maui (it's called Mini Hana) and holy crap. It was soooo narrow, no guard rails, it is soooo high. It was so scary. A SCHOOL bus was even up there dropping off kids, we all had to REVERSE on a one lane, TINY road, I nearly puked.
The Maui Revealed book (also get this, the maps are so handy) said to go up there and get the banana bread...save your money, i make better banana bread, and i dont charge you Five Dollars for a little thing of it!!!
Don't get sucked into the Pearl Factory....we bought me a pearl necklace with a diamond because we got sucked into their original sales pitch of find your own pearl..yeah, for $13 then you get the setting for $180 and the chain for $60. Ugh!!! But it's gorgeous! Cafe O'Lei is an awesome ocean side cafe in Lahaina....it's on Front Street and near Lahainaluna Street (it's at the beginning of Front St...near 800 Front Street). It's really nice and inexpensive. great food. It's sort of hidden though, you have to walk thru this jewelry store to get to it.
PHOTOS: : HAWAII PHOTOS
Kauai review - not honeymoon
From: nbbride06 Date: 1/12/2006 at 6:06 PM
Kauai – 9 nights,10 days
Let me preface this by saying that I have been to Kauai before so we didn’t do some of the “touristy” things on this trip. This wasn't our honeymoon but I thought that the info might help anyway. Also, sorry for the formatting. It looks fine when I type it and then it gets funny but I can't seem to fix it!
Marriott Waiohai Beach Resort:
It’s a brand new (past couple years) Marriott timeshare resort but you can also pay per night which is what we did. It was great for our family. I wouldn’t recommend it for a honeymoon. We had booked an ocean view room (the only other choice is island view). When we got to the room, it was not what I would call ocean view at all. You could see the ocean across the public parking lot and through the next building. So, we complained and we were moved to a different room after 2 nights. It still didn’t have a very good ocean view, but at least it was a nice view of the pool instead of the parking lot! The room had 2 bedrooms with king size beds, a queen size pull out couch in the living room, and another double pull out in one of the bedrooms. It worked well for 7 of us. There was also a nice kitchen that was fully stocked with pots, pans, glasses, etc. Maids came every day and, although they didn’t clean the rooms or change the linens, they ran the dishwasher, replaced the towels and replaced the toiletries. There are three pools (2 are really combined) along with a kiddie pool and 3 spas. There were tons of lounges and we never had a problem with the pool being too busy as we’ve had at other Kauai hotels (i.e. the Hyatt). The beach right at the hotel is great for swimming and snorkeling though it does have a rocky bottom. However, the beach right next door (a 2 minute walk on the sand) at Kiahuna Plantation is a better boogie boarding/body surfing beach. There is a little “island” that you can walk out to and hang out on which the kids at the hotel seemed to love. We did have 2 complaints – tons of kids (great if you have kids) and no pool food service. But, we did know what kind of a resort we were going to so we knew to expect these things. There was a restaurant/bar where you could walk up and order food and they would bring it to the pool…but, it took forever. It was faster to get it ourselves. With all that said, the location of the hotel is great – it’s in Poipu – and I would definitely recommend it for family vacations. I would recommend the Hyatt for a honeymoon or different type of vacation where I’ve stayed before.
The Beach House – South Shore – Awesome location. Make reservations early so you can get a table to watch the sunset. Everybody pretty much gets up from their tables at sunset to take pictures. There is also a “professional” photographer that tries to sell you her services. The food here was great, and it has been all three times I’ve been. I had the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi and FI had the ahi. Both were excellent. We also had the ahi sampler platter and the fish nachos for appetizers which were great too.
Joe’s on the Green – South Shore – Right across the street from the hotel. We ate here twice for breakfast and it was great both times. Pretty views of the ocean and golf course. Cheapest papaya you’ll find on the island.
Keoki’s Paradise – South Shore – Poipu Shopping Center – We ate here 3 times. The first time we ate in the bar section because the restaurant was too busy. The burgers, sandwiches, etc. were good, fast and cheaper than most food on the island. The restaurant however, serves better food. There are still definitely better restaurants on the island, but for an easy dinner this is nice. One night we went, after waiting 30 minutes even though we had a reservation, the ovens were broken…don’t quite know how that happens. So, we couldn’t order off half of the menu and they were out of some of the types of fish. The other night we went, at least the ovens were working. Food’s not great, but like I said, it’s nice for an easy dinner.
Brick Oven Pizza – South Shore in Kalaheo (about 15 minutes from Poipu) – The best pizza on the island. Whole wheat crust (you can get regular too) is really good. We did have to wait quite awhile as there are no reservations. It was great to have pizza after several nights of “fancy” dinners. It’s definitely a locals place too.
Pizzetta – South Shore – Koloa town (5 minutes from Poipu) – We got a sandwich and calzone to go. It took 30 minutes and wasn’t very good.
Pomodoro – South Shore – Kalaheo (about 15 minutes from Poipu) – Very good Italian food. We’ve been here several times on different trips and it’s always excellent. I had the pesto and FI had the lasagna and both were great. The people there are so nice. Make a reservation.
Roy’s – South Shore – Poipu Shopping Center – Ok, so I’ve been here many many times, both at the Kauai location and other locations (Maui, Palm Springs, Newport Beach). It’s always excellent…except this time. We went on New Year’s Eve which in retrospect was a very bad idea. We had been told there was not a set menu when we made the reservation. Well, we stopped by the restaurant earlier in the day and low and behold, there was a set menu (though you had choices of entrees starting at $62). We took a copy of the menu to look at. When we got there that evening, we had to wait 25 minutes for our reservation. We then told them that we were in a hurry so that we could see the fireworks across the street. They said we would be fine. We get the menu…and guess what… they have upped the prices since that afternoon. The minimum cost of dinner was $67 all the way up to $105. It was a 5 course meal, but it was awful…the whole thing. On one of the tomato salads, they forgot to put the tomatoes. My mahi mahi which is usually a Roy’s specialty was dry and salty. Dessert was a store bought tiramisu (we missed out on the chocolate soufflé). I would go back, just not on New Year’s Eve. Oh…and we missed the fireworks!
Lappert’s Ice Cream – South Shore – Koloa town (5 minutes from Poipu) – Expensive but excellent.
Puka Dog – South Shore – Poipu Shopping Center – Just another hot dog with special “relish”. They have a choice of relishes such as papaya, pineapple, mango, etc. Fine for lunch.
Jo-Jo’s Shaved Ice – West Shore (on your way to Waimea canyon) – Very good shaved ice. Tons of flavors.
Kalaheo Coffee Co. & Café – South Shore – Kalaheo (about 15 minutes from Poipu) – We ate here twice for breakfast. They have a good breakfast burrito and sticky buns. Would definitely go back.
Tropical Burgers – East Shore – Coconut Marketplace – Kapa’a (about 30 minutes from Poipu on your way to the north shore) – There’s a location in Poipu Shopping Center too. Not worth it. Very very well done burgers.
Hanalei Wake-Up Café – North Shore – Hanalei – We randomly stopped here for breakfast on our way to the north shore. Expensive, not so good, breakfast.
Kilauea Bakery – North Shore – We stopped here after hiking on the north shore. I’ve also been here on other trips to Kauai. Excellent “different” pizza. We had something along the lines of pesto, sun dried tomato, caramelized onion pizza. Would definitely recommend for lunch on the north shore.
Casa di Amici – South Shore – The best “Italian” food. The reason Italian is in quotes is because they serve different Italian food, very inventive. In other words, it’s not spaghetti or lasagna. We ate here twice it was so good. The Asian salad is great. The risotto di formagio (that spelling could be completely wrong) is awesome and it’s technically an appetizer. Portions are huge – the salad and appetizer risotto was a big meal for me. FI had the Thai risotto with peanut sauce one night and that was very good too. A little hard to find but definitely worth it.
Ilima Terrace – South Shore – at the Hyatt – We had the buffet breakfast here one day. It’s very good with beautiful views of the ocean, but it is expensive. I believe it was $25 per person.
Kalalau Trail – Awesome hike. The whole trail is 11 miles in and 11 miles out. We only did 2 miles in and 2 miles out. Try to get there before noon so it’s not so hot. Our version of the hike took about 3.5 hours. The first mile was uphill, the second downhill, and obviously the opposite on the way back. The first mile or so is shaded and the 2nd mile is not (so it did get hot). The trail is a little tricky. When I say that though, it is definitely fine for beginners (I don’t hike), but I wouldn’t take your grandma. There is mud so be prepared to ruin your shoes. And, by the way, make sure you are wearing actually shoes (hiking boots or running shoes). I saw many people in flip flops. Definitely not a good idea. I also saw people hiking with boogie boards. There is NO PLACE to boogie board though there is a beautiful beach. You may be able to in the summer but you can’t even go in to swim in the winter. You’ll see what I mean when you get there. Anyway, at the end of the 2 miles is Hanakapi’ai beach. It’s beautiful and rocky. There is apparently sand in the summer. The views from the trail are gorgeous. There are some waterfalls along the way and there is a section at the end of the trail where you have to “boulder hop” across the rocks to get to the beach. The trail starts at Ke’e beach (the very end of the road). Bring a hat, sunglasses and water. We did see two centipedes on the trail. FI almost touched one not realizing they’re poisonous!
Waimea Canyon – Definitely take the drive. It’s on the west side of the island. It’s beautiful. If you see cars parked along the side of the road and can find a place to park, do so. That’s where we got the best views from. There is a parking lot and viewing area at the top, but as I said we got better views from other areas. My brother did the Alaka’i Swamp Trail hike. I believe that the whole hike is about 6 miles, but check to make sure. He said it was awesome but I can’t vouch for that myself.
Spouting Horn – I’ve been before. Nothing spectacular. FI said “ok?"
Hanapepe – Cute tiny town to stop and look at the few shops on your way back from Waimea.
National Tropical Botanical Gardens – My dad went on a tour here and said it was amazing.
Koloa town – fun to walk around and see the little shops. Takes all of 15 minutes.
Helicopter trip – I’ve never taken one. We didn’t do it this time either though FI wanted to. One crashed while we were there on Kauai. We were told by locals that it is not uncommon. Just keep that in mind.
Other than that, we did a ton of walking and lying by the pool and on the beach. We were never bored and had a great time.
Maui HM PIB and Review
From: saraluvsmatt 1/19/2006
Pleasantholidays.com- (A) We got a great package price from them and had no problems. You can also customize your package.
Ka’annappali Beach Hotel- (A) It is a bit older and not fancy, but it is clean, friendly, and affordable. We live in Phoenix with a Hyatt, Ritz, and swimming pools on every corner, so the mega resort with large pools were not important to us. We can do that at home and we were rarely in the room. KBH was laid back and very affordable. We got an ocean front room for the price of a garden view room at the other hotels. If we stayed on Ka’annappali beach again, we would definitely stay at KBH.
Delta Air- (C) What can you say about Delta? They got us there. Nothing fancy, not the nicest attendants, okay food, good movies.
Pacific Whale Foundation- (A) They did a great job trying to get us to the whales. You have to understand that many of the whales you see will not be close. I suggest binoculars. We had two come right up to the boat, but that is rare. March is Maui’s highest whale watching month.
Feast at LeLe- (A++) One of our favorite things we did. It is a five course plated meal of the Polynesian islands with dances to accompany each course. Different than OLL, and I think almost better if you have to decide between the two. The food was amazing!!! Book well in advance. We had the seats right in front because we booked 5 months in advance.
Old Lahaina Luau- (A+) It was great food. Buffet style. You share a table with others, so be ready for that We also booked 5 months in advance and were able to sit in the best seats in the house; so, book early. Great show! A definite must.
Premier Helicopters- (A+++) We chartered a private helicopter to take us for a tour of the island. It was my absolute favorite thing we did. I cried it was so beautiful We saw Haleakala crater from above the clouds, went into the rainforest, and searched for waterfalls. IT was breathtaking. I suggest the Raven Helicopter so you both get a window seat. It would not have been as good in an A-Star helicopter with 5 other people.
PHOTOS: MAUI PHOTOS
Review of March Kauai trip
From: MrsRosie Date: 4/25/2006 at 11:28 AM
Second Kauai Trip Review, March 18 – 26, 2006
Pahio Kauai Beach Villas, Lihue: B. This is a pretty nice condo complex located just north of the Lihue Airport. There is really nothing special about the condos, but they are centrally located and decorated very nicely inside. This isn’t really a place where you would just hang out for the day, it’s more just a place to crash while you are vacationing on Kauai. The pool is tiny and the hot tub is pretty small too. We thought we would have access to the pool at the resort next door (formally a Radisson), but we learned upon arrival that we could no longer use their pool or pool bar. The beach that you can walk to is not really swimmable, but still nice to walk up and down. The lounge at the former Radisson had decent drinks at night, but pretty bad live entertainment. We did have one breakfast over there and it was fantastic. As I mentioned above, the condos are decorated very nicely inside (see pictures above). We stayed in a two-bedroom, two-bath condo. If you plan on staying here, let me know as I have a scanned copy of a property map that was graciously provided to me by a condo owner. The map also lists which condos have a queen in the second bedroom (most have two twins).
Helicopter Tour of Kauai - Blue Hawaiian, Lihue: A+. We have used Blue Hawaiian twice now, the first time was on the Big Island. Again, we had a wonderful experience and I highly recommend them to anyone. I would never fly with another company. The pilot was great, the weather was perfect, and we were fortunate enough to see three humpback whales from the air.
Hiva Pacifika Luau, next to the Courtyard Kauai at Waipouli Beach, Wailua: A. Overall, a fun experience with great food. The mai tais at the tables are weak, but the bartenders made stronger, tastier versions. Definitely ask for preferred seating when you book the reservation. We were right up front and really enjoyed the show. The only other luau we have to compare it to is Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau, which is a totally different experience. We felt the show at Smith’s was better and more authentic, but the food at the Hiva Pacifika was better, and we didn’t have to wait in as long a line to get food. Also, we much prefer the seating over the Smith’s arrangement. It is much nicer to sit at your table the whole night and not have to move to another building for the show after dinner.
Bali Hai Restaurant at the Hanalei Bay Resort, Princeville: A+. This is our absolute favorite place to eat on Kauai. My FIL wanted to surprise my MIL with an anniversary ring for their 25th Anniversary. I kept her distracted while DH and FIL arranged a last minute champagne delivery to our table along with the ring. The restaurant hostess pulled it off with no problems and completely on the fly. It was perfect. The food was awesome (we all had surf and turf), the sunset was beautiful, and the dessert was amazing. If you are only going to do one nice dinner on the island, definitely go to the Bali Hai.
The Beach House, Poipu: A. Wonderful atmosphere, stellar service, and of course an amazing sunset. I think I had The Beach House built up to something in my head that it is not. Don’t get me wrong, we had a wonderful dinner. I just heard so many people gush about it, I thought the food would be as spectacular as the ambience. It wasn’t. We assumed that they would serve lobster, which they do not. This was disappointing because it is my MIL’s favorite, and this was a big dinner that we were paying for as part of our anniversary gift to them. Not a big deal, she ordered the Ono instead. Everyone loved their fish, but DH decided to add a filet mignon to his plate. He requested medium rare and this thing came crispy. We were starving so he didn’t send it back, but after two bites, he couldn’t eat anymore. I still recommend The Beach House for a romantic dinner, just stick to the seafood dishes, which they seem to do best. Dessert was awesome – we had a chocolate soufflé that was just perfect. If you like mojitos, the mango mojitos were to die for.
Wahooo’s Seafood Bar and Grill, Kapaa: A. We had some of the best fish of our trip at Wahooo’s. The atmosphere is much more casual and it is located on the busy Kuhio Highway, but the service and food is great.
Brennecke's Beach Broiler, Poipu: A-. Good meal, fun atmosphere, nice view of the beach. I don’t remember what I ate here, but I do remember having a good meal. Guess it wasn’t all that memorable, but we basically stopped in here because it was pouring rain and we were starving.
Keoki's Paradise, Poipu: A. Great surf and turf, decent service, good drinks. There were kind of a lot of kids here, I think maybe there was a birthday party in another room. Overall, you can count on getting a good meal here. I don’t think anyone in our party had any complaints. It’s a neat setting for being in the middle of a shopping mall area. Kind of a jungle feel.
Na Pali Sunset Dinner Cruise – Holoholo Charters, Port Allen: A+ This is a A+ company. The boat was beautiful, the crew was a blast, and the food and bar were great. They always keep your glass full of mai tais, wine, beer, or whatever you are drinking. We had originally booked the 2-hour romantic dinner sail on the 48’ sailing catamaran. However, due to a thunderstorm that moved in moments before our departure, they rebooked us for the next night and upgraded us for free to the 3-hour Sunset Cruise on the 65’ power catamaran. We had beautiful weather for the sunset cruise, and I think it was the only full-on sunset we got the entire trip due to the clouds and rain.
7-hour Niihau and Na Pali Snorkeling Tour – Holoholo Charters, Port Allen: C+ but not Holoholo’s fault On the night our sunset cruise was rescheduled, we decided to book the Niihau snorkeling trip because all the brown runoff prevented us from doing any snorkeling off the beaches. We were warned that weather could end up canceling the trip, but since we got a 20% discount for booking it along with our sunset cruise, we went for it. We got our butts up at 4:30 on Friday morning and headed to Port Allen. It looked like the weather was going to cooperate until it was time to head across the channel to Niihau. At that moment, a 10-mile-wide funnel cloud formed over Niihau complete with lightening inside it. Um, yeah, sorry folks, we have to turn around. The captain (same AWESOME crew as our sunset cruise the night before), brought us to a little cove near Port Allen and we had our lunch there. They opened the bar at that time too. Disappointed but full and buzzed, we thanked the crew and still handed them a tip on the way off the boat. The crew told everyone to go back the Holoholo headquarters for a partial refund. We were expecting maybe 10 or 20% back – they gave us 50% of our money back! I am completely impressed with the way this company handles customer safety and enjoyment, and of course the way they handed back a generous refund when we still got a (second) tour of the Na Pali Coast, a great lunch, drinks from the bar, and more than half of the original 7 hours out on the boat. Oh, and we saw many more whales – always fun.
4 Seasons MAUI HM review!!
From: erinnm Date: 5/2/2006 at 3:26 PM
I will post pics and this review in my bio later in the week. The 2 most important things i bought before we went were Maui revealed and a bikini wax. We used the book for the maps and to find places to eat, etc. It is the bible of maui. And the bikini wax, well duh, it made the trip easier not having to shave.
4 Seasons Maui is AWESOME. A+++. We could not afford a good room so we got a mountain view room, which actually isn't that bad of a view. You face the back across the street which is a golf course, but they have all kinds of trees and flowers back there so you can't see much of the golf course. I have pics of the view I can post. You get free cabanas and lounge chairs at the pool and beach. The beach/pool concierge will cover the chair with a towel and give you a towel to dry off with. They'll bring around water and fruit for you and learn your name and even remember where you sat yesterday (the beach guy asked us if we wanted the same spot). The rooms have twice daily housekeeping. At evening turndown, they turn on a cd playing hawaiian music. They also had a bottle of champagne waiting for us when we arrived with a little note. The room service is actually not that expensive compared to the prices of the restaurants there, but there isn't a huge selection. We ordered it the day we arrived and then later another day b/c we didn't want to get cleaned up and go out that night (it was hard to adjust from eastern time). The beach chairs fill up maybe around lunch time and the pool ones I never saw full. There were minimal kids running around and it did not feel crowded. The Grand wailea is next door and though it looked just beautiful, always appeared crowded and full of kids. Therefore, if you want to be a little more peaceful, pick 4S. But i have to say the grand wailea looked every bit as nice as 4s with a kick ass pool.
Some activities we did:
Old Lahaina Luau- A+, is awesome and you'll get great photo's b/c everyone is taking pics of each other. The food was great. We made reservations online the week and a half before and got traditional mat seating, so you are in the front row. I wore a skirt and then just took a little cardigan and draped in on my legs so I wouldn't show anything.
Sunrise at Haleakala- is beautiful. We left wailea at 3:30 and got there at 5. The parking lot filled up quickly so don't leave too much later than that if you want a spot at the summit. We wore sweatshirts and jeans and were freezing. Take a blanket from the hotel and wrap it around yourself. One guy brought his hotel's curtain, lol. Save the ticket when you pay to get into the park, you can use it again at one of the stops on the road to hana (past hana).
Snorkeling--The best thing we did! 4S has snorkels you can use for 1 hour free and then rent. We got ours at snorkel bob's so we could go to other beaches. We kept it an extra day and they only charged us half of 1 snorkel set b/c we didn't keep them all of the 2nd day. I had never snorkeled before and so i highly recommend going to makena beach (in maui revealed), NOT BIG BEACH, they use those names interchangeably. Big beach had water so rough I couldn't get IN the water, it wouldn't have been that safe for a beginner. Makena beach in front of the maui prince hotel has calm waters and TONS of stuff to see close to shore on the left side. It gets busy with snorkelers so you'll know exactly where to go when you see them.
Road to Hana--a little overrated, but pretty nonethenless. Some of the directions in maui revelaed just suck, but we found a lot of the stuff and got great pics. The red sand beach is not worth climbing down that hill. It's a small hill, but is so slippery with nothing to grab onto and i cut my leg on twigs coming back up. The beach was just mildly unusual so I don't think I'd go back there. The black sand beach is way cooler than the black sand beach that is over in wailea. So definitely go see that one. The 7 sacred pools is where you can use your ticket from the sunrise to park or vice versa. There was no swimming allowed b/c water level was too high which was disappointing. We ate lunch in hana at the place recommended in maui revealed, tutu's snack shop. Typical dairy bar type place, but apparently there's not much to choose from there.
Some restaurants we ate at:
for cheaper we ate at maui taco's twice and gasp, actually at mcdonald's one day, lol. The trash things say mahalo instead of thank you.
Roy's in Kihei was delicious and my favorite place we ate at for dinner. It's not overly expensive. We had mai tai's and dessert and it was round $60 or so.
Waterfront Restaurant was more expensive with no drinks at around $70 or so. They heard we were honeymooning and paid for our dessert.
That's all i can think of. If you have any questions, I'll frequent back here and will let everyone know when i post pics. email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maui Pics & Reviews in bio...
From: MrsFarrah 5/4/2006
Our Maui Honeymoon Reviews
Maui Prince Hotel - A
I have to admit when we won this hotel on priceline for only $185 a night, I was a little skeptical after reading the reviews on tripadvisor.com. Once we arrived at the airport and headed south to past Wailea to the secluded and quite Makena, I realized I was skeptical for nothing! The Maui Prince is a PERFECT place for a honeymoon...seclusion and a beautiful beach! We loved driving to the hustle and bustle of touristy Lahaina and Ka'anapali for nights out or dinner and then making the beautiful one hour drive back to our own little secluded paradise, the Maui Prince. We felt like we were the only ones there. The resort never seemed crowded and all the staff was really courteous and knew us by name. The room was better than your standard room with a vanity area, a safe, a mini fridge and a HUGE lanai with an ocean view. The tub was small which was disappointing but it wasn't that big of a deal. Housekeeping kept our room spotless everyday. The pool area was small, but never crowded and we always were able to get one of their 6 cabanas. The hot tub was also nice to relax in and the drinks from the poolside bar were good. The beach was AMAZING! We saw turtles everyday about 10-15 yds in from the shore. We even swam with them one day when we had our snorkel gear! The beach had beautiful sand and wasn't rocky, truly enjoyable. The grounds of the Maui Prince are spectacular. The gardens and koi ponds and landscaping were beautiful. We really enjoyed strolling the property and taking in the scenery. We enjoyed our stay there and would definitely stay there again!
Maui Prince Hotel Breakfast Buffet at Cafe Kiowai - B+
$23 per person seems stiff to me for breakfast but we decided to try it. The assortment of food was delicious....except the first time I went up all the food was cold...the eggs, the waffles and the french toast! I was determined to not pay $23 for cold food, so I immediately told our waitress and she acted shocked and took charge instantly. Less than 2 minutes later they restocked the buffet with hot eggs, waffles and french toast. And she brought me a plate of hot fresh eggs to our table. Definitely fixed the problem. Once I had hot food, the $23 was worth it.
Old Lahaina Luau - A+
The set up is perfect, you get to enjoy the sunset, see Hawaiian crafts and participate in Hawaiian traditions (learn the hula, play hawaiian bowling). Be sure to stand in line to have your picture taken by their professional photographer. The pics are amazing! The buffet was delicious, so many good foods to try. The show was authentic luau and very entertaining and beautiful. We loved every minute of it! If you haven't booked it already, do it NOW! They sell out weeks and months in advance so hopefully there's still space. It's definitely worth it. You can book it on their website at www.oldlahainaluau.com We sat in the table and chair seats instead of the traditional mat seats....much more comfortable for a dinner and long show.
Four Winds II Snorkel to Molokini - A+
In the Maui Revealed book, this is the best of the boats. We went and had a blast! They feed you breakfast and a great bbq lunch. Delicious and the snorkeling was amazing. We also saw lots of turtles. So take your digital camera as well as an underwater one. I missed out on digital pics of turtles b/c I was told to only bring an underwater camera, all the while EVERYONE on the boat had their digital...I was so upset! (As you can tell by my bio...I'm a HUGE picture freak!) =) The crew was exceptional and very friendly. We know now why they are the best. You can book this through the concierge....do it right after you check in the hotel.
Warren & Anabelle’s - A+
This was one of our favorite things we did at night for entertainment. I know it sounds crazy, but it was sooooo fun and amazing! They serve appetizers, desserts and drinks before the show and they were delicious. We had a blast and because we were honeymooners they sat us up front and we participated in all the tricks. The things Warren did had us speechless, we still wonder about how he did it. He was also very hilarious and we laughed all night long. Book this ahead of time, too. www.hawaiimagic.com
Private Kayak Tours - F
Our hotel concierge booked us on a 3 1/2 hour kayak tour with this company. I had never heard of them from all my Maui research, but trusted the concierge's recommendation. We showed up the morning of our trip and the guy was frazzelled and unorganized. He was on his cell phone running around saying that other people who were supposed to be on our trip with us weren't there. So he kept running up the hill to where some other people were waiting to find them and leaving us to "wait by my truck, I'll be back in a little bit". ??? 30 mins later he finds out the other people cancelled (lucky for them) and then proceeds to tell us that he will not be taking us kayaking! Instead he tells us that we will go with another company and only go for 2 1/2 hrs instead of 3 1/2 hrs. I asked him about the price differrence for those 2 tours and he hands us a $20 bill. Nice customer service, huh? NOT RECOMMENDED!
Kekii Kayak Tours - A (for the guide & trip) B (for our lack of enjoyment of kayaking)
We were dumped in the laps of this poor company for our kayak tour by Private Kayak Tours (mentioned above). Which was probably a good thing considering that guy was a wacko. The guide here was very knowledgeable and nice. We felt very comfortable with what we were doing, until we got in the water! We must have been doing something wrong because instead of our kayak going straight ahead, it would dart back and forth in zig zags! It was frustrating and finally on the trip back we got things straightened out. But by that point my poor husband was so fed up he just wanted to get out of the dang kayak. We did see some turtles which was cool and alot of cool fish. It was a chore and we would probably never do it again. I guess kayaking just isn't our thing!
Longhi’s Restaurant in Lahaina - D
Don't believe the hype on this place. Our concierge recommended this place for dinner, but I should have followed the Maui Revealed book and gone somewhere else. I ordered the Amaretto Prawns and it was so bad I had to send it back. The shrimp was overcooked and tough and there was no good amaretto, pear flavored sauce like stated, it was a runny sauce that tasted like the shrimp flavored water they cooked the shrimp in. So disappointing. I'd skip having a meal here and just come for the atmosphere later for cocktails. They had a live band set up at 10pm and they cleared the tables upstairs for dancing. I wish we would have had dinner elsewhere and gone there afterwards for some lava flows and dancing. But hey, there's always next time, right?
Nick’s Fishmarket - A+
We highly recommend dinner at Nick's Fishmarket at Fairmont Kea Lani. It's expensive, but well worth it. The service is outstanding, I think we had about 5 different waiters taking care of us. My husband splurged and got the lobster, I got their signature dish, O'apakapaka (snapper w/shrimp) and we had calamari for appetizer and the flaming strawberry dessert. Everything was delicious. Have the concierge desk book this right when you check in....save it for your last dinner in Maui. That's what we did and it was so special.
The Gazebo - A+
If you go to Napili Bay Beach in Kapalua in the morning, stop at The Gazebo for breakfast first! They open at 7:30am, so go right when they open or even earlier because they have a small amount of seating. They have the BEST Macademia Nut Pancakes EVER! My husband had them and I had a spanish omelette. Everything there was delicious. You can find it in the Maui Revealed Book.
Cheeseburger’s in Paradise - A
We had to see what all the hype was about. Laidback atmosphere, we sat at the bar upstairs in the open air while listening to a guy sing and play guitar. I had a spicy chicken sandwich, my DH had the famous cheeseburger with mushrooms and we shared the chili cheese fries. DELICIOUS and reasonably priced. Great frozen drinks. Fun place for a casual dinner or lunch.
Maui Tacos - A+
Our most favorite place for quick, delicious food! We ate here 3 times! Our favorite was the Lahaina Chicken Burrito. Delicious salsa and huge portions. Highly recommended!
Joe’s Bar & Grill @ Wailea Tennis Club - A
The concierge at our hotel recommended this place for our first dinner. The food was delicious and atmosphere was more laid back than most restaurants in Wailea. Great service and moderate prices.
Our sightseeing recommendations - Go to the Olivine Pools and take a dip, so amazing. Also go to the Nakalele Blowhole, but go in the afternoon when the tide is up. Olivine Pools & Nakalele blowhole are right next to eachother and you can do it the same trip.
Definitely get the Maui Revealed book and do the Road to Hana. Our favs on the Road to Hana were Ching's Pond (go cliff jumping, so fun!), The Black Sand Beach in Hana, Hamoa Beach for boogie-boarding (good waves), and Venus Pool. Don't waste your time going to Blue Pool. It's not all it's cracked up to be and takes quite a long time out of your day to drive out of the way to go there and to do 100 yds of boulder hopping to get there. Venus Pool is the same thing, right off the road, and in our opinion even prettier. Look at the pic in my bio of the crazy guy doing a back dive off the cliff there...it's gorgeous.
Also drive up to Haleakala. We decided to do this instead of the bike ride down that everyone seems to do. I'm glad we did it on our own. We were able to drive at our own pace, get out to take pics, and not freeze our butts off in the middle of the night to watch the sunrise. I'm sure that's romantic and all to some people, but freezing my butt off on the top of a mountain at 3am isn't tempting to us! ;)
And most of all, HAVE FUN and relax at the beach! We went to almost every single beach in Maui. Our favs were (starting from the north) Napili Bay Beach, Ka'anapali Beach, Makena Beach, and Big Beach. And in Hana we loved the Black Sand Beach (Wai'anapanapa) and Hamoa beach.
Kauai: REVIEW of Hyatt vs. Princeville
From: 4-06BrideToBe Date: 5/14/2006 at 2:16 PM
I posted this in response to someone's question on my local board, but thought it might be helpful to people on this board too...
FI and I just got back today from Kauai and we were there for 11 days. We spent 6 nights at the Grand Hyatt and 4 nights at the Princeville. You can't go wrong with either - they are both unbelievably nice and so much fun. FI and I loved them both, but if we had to choose our favorite it would be the Princeville. Part of this may be because the Princeville upgraded us to an oceanview suite, and the Hyatt did not:) Anyway, they are completely different from one another. Some of the differences:
1. The Hyatt's property is much much bigger. The grounds are beautiful with several pools that are connected by a lazy river, with waterfalls, caves, a waterslide, etc. There are plenty of lounge chairs, but they are not as comfortable as the Princeville's which have cushions on them.
2. The buildings at the Hyatt are very spread out. Depending on where your room is, you could have a long walk to breakfast, the pool, etc. The Princeville is built onto the side of a mountain, so there are 4 tiers of buildings so that each has an unobstructed view.
3. The Princeville's pool is smaller than the Hyatt's, but it's an infinity pool with a swim up bar. There were a LOT less kids at the Princeville, so it was a little more relaxing at the pool. The Princeville's pool is next to the beach, so the lounge chairs are also on the beach (huge plus because overall beaches are hard to get to on Kauai). It offers a beautiful view and was perfect for FI and I because I prefer to swim in the pool and he prefers to swim in the ocean, and we were both able to do what we wanted. The bar service at the Princeville pool was MUCH better. The lounge chairs have flags on them that you put up when you are ready for a drink or to order lunch or whatever. Waiters/waitresses were really hard to find at the Hyatt.
4. The Hyatt's spa is amazing -- much nicer than the Princeville's, but also more expensive (but you can totally see why if you try out both). Also, the Hyatt's spa and gym are right in the middle of their property, which is really nice. We went to the gym a couple of days there, but didn't go at all at the Princeville because you had to take their shuttle about 4 miles off the property to where their spa/gym is (which is on one of their golf courses).
5. The buffet breakfasts at both places are really nice.
6. The Princeville is on the North shore of the island and the Hyatt is on the South shore. We rented a jeep and drove around the whole island, and we found that the beaches on the North shore are much more accessible and nicer for swimming. The North shore is known as the rainier side of the island, but we found that it was cloudy/rainy only in the mornings, and by 11am or so, it was sunny and perfect outside. The weather was pretty much the same for us on both the North and South shores.
7. Both have nice restaurants on their properties -- the Hyatt has Tidepools and the Princeville has Cafe Hanalei. We loved them both.
8. The Hyatt was more of a tropical, open-air type setting. The lobby is completely open as you walk in, you see the ocean. There are tons of palm trees and flowers everywhere. It's so pretty. The Princeville has more of a European, elegant feel. The furniture and decor is amazing. Our room was much nicer at the Princeville. However, we had a patio at the Hyatt and not at the Princeville, and I think that only about 20% of the rooms at the Princeville offer balconies/patios.
We loved both places and you really can't go wrong. It's more of a personal preference type choice and everyone we talked to in Hawaii seemed to have a clear preference for one over the other (about equally). Let me know if you have any other questions!
(Question: which beaches do you recommend?) As far as beaches, that is really tough. The surf was ridiculously rough the entire time we were there. 4 people drowned on the island the week we were there, which is much higher than average (we were told that on average Kauai has 9 drownings a year). The waves are so high and strong that I didn't get in at all. We went to a beach called Polihale on the west coast, but to get there you had to drive 35 minutes down a very rocky, pot-hole filled road and then the beach was pretty but the water was not swimmable. The best beaches that I saw for swimming would be Lydgate (there is a reef that protects you from the surf) and Tunnels (which is good for swimming and snorkeling). Do you have the Kauai Revealed travel guide? We didn't put it down the whole time we were there. It was very helpful.
Back from Maui! Here's my review!
From: Dawnn Date: 5/22/2006 at 11:46 AM
Maui Review: 7 nights, Four Seasons Resort in Wailea
Day 1 – Sunday
We flew on American Airlines direct from Chicago and it was actually a very comfortable flight - just really long (almost 9 hours). Be sure to bring stacks because they don’t feed you (although you can buy food if you want). When we arrived there were three other flights getting in at the same time and the rental car line was really long. If you can, I’d recommend sending one of you to go get the car right away while the other gets the luggage. Our car rental company was Alamo. We just got a regular 4 door car… no problems. After we got our car, we were starving so we stopped at McDonalds - lol! We finally arrived at the Four Seasons Resort in Wailea. Wow, it was beautiful! I can see why so many people love it. We booked a partial ocean view room but were given a free upgrade to an ocean view room. We had such a great view. The room was really nice and the bathroom was huge! The staff was really nice and the grounds were just beautiful. Cabanas were free – just first come first serve and we never had a problem finding an open one. They also bring around treats throughout the day. They are constantly bringing ice water and they also gave out cold wash cloths, pineapple lemonade, ice-cream bars, fresh cut pineapple, and popsicles. All free, err included! I’ve heard people complain that they never got this while there but I should mention that I only noticed it when we were at the pool - not the beach (it is a public beach so that’s understandable). And they do things at certain times. For example, ice-cream bars were passed out between 2:30 and 3:00 every day. The only complaint we had the whole time was the parking. We did free self parking but most of the spaces were for compact cars. I wasn’t even sure a compact car could fit in those spaces. It was really hard getting in and out of parking spots. There was a separate parking garage for valet but they still took up spots in the free parking garage. Other than that, we had no complaints about the Four Seasons. It was such a nice resort. We loved Wailea.
Day 2 – Monday
We got up early to drive up to Haleakala to watch the sun rise. I’m glad we did this on our first morning since we were still on Chicago time. We left the resort around 3:30am and got to the top around 5:00. We were pretty early. The sun didn’t rise until closer to 6:00 but I suppose I’d rather be early than late. We just hung out in the car until it got closer to sun rise. In case you don’t already know - dress warm! It was cold, windy, and rainy. I wore jeans and a t-shirt, sweater, and wind breaker (with a hood) and was still a little chilly. I even brought gloves and was so glad I had them. The sun rise was so pretty. I loved being above the clouds. After the sun rise we started heading back down the volcano. We decided not to bike down. I know a lot of people do this and love it but I was glad we drove. We stopped at some lookout points and took some more pictures. I was glad we were able to just take our time heading back down. We stopped at Kula Lodge for breakfast. They have a great view and really good breakfast. I had a waffle with strawberries, bananas, and pineapples. Oh, and coconut syrup. So good! We had reservations at 12:30 for ziplining and it was still pretty early so we actually just napped in the car for a while. Oh my goodness, ziplining was so much fun! We booked with Skyline Adventures about three months in advance. Book early because they fill up fast. We wished we had gotten the 11:30 time but they were completely full when we booked. They’re located on the way to Haleakala so it worked out great to do it all in the same day so we didn’t have to drive all that way twice. Anyways, you get to do five zips. Each one gets harder and the last one is so awesome! I highly recommend this. It was one of my favorite parts of the trip. After ziplining, we headed back to the hotel and stopped at Subway for lunch. We had dinner at The Maalaea Waterfront Restaurant. Dinner was good. Not my favorite on the island but the view and service was great. If you go there, be sure to get a table outside.
Day 3 – Tuesday
Today we went on a helicopter tour. We booked with Blue Hawaiian and they were fantastic. This was the highlight of our trip. We saw so many waterfalls. It was so amazing. We took the one hour complete island tour. Well worth every penny. After the helicopter tour we had lunch at Maui tacos. They have great tacos. I highly recommend this place if you’re looking for a quick and inexpensive meal. We went back to the hotel and laid out by the beach and pool until it was time to get ready for dinner. That night we ate at Nick’s Fishmarket at the Fairmont resort next door. The food was delicious. My husband said it was his favorite meal of the whole trip. They have about 4 different waiters helping you and service was great. Watch out for the lady who wants to take your picture and sell it to you for $20 – yikes! As if the meal didn’t cost enough.
Day 4 – Wednesday
Today we did the road to Hana. This is a must do! We had such a great time. It was one of my favorite things of the whole trip. We left the hotel around 7:00 and stopped at Charley’s in Paia for breakfast. I had the macadamia nut pancakes with coconut syrup – so good! Great breakfast place. We were on the road again around 8:15. Definitely leave early. The road got busier as the day went on and I was glad we got an early start. We saw so many amazing things. The waterfalls were just beautiful. I had originally gotten Maui Revealed (the blue book) for this but then I found Maui Mile by Mile. Great book! It has all the same stops listed as Revealed but it’s so much better organized and gives much better directions. There was only one spot that we stopped at that was in Revealed but not in Mile by Mile. We also drove all the way around the island instead of turning back after Ohe’o Gulch (which was actually closed for swimming due to flooding). The other side was so beautiful. It was a very bumpy ride though. There is a long stretch where the road is really bad. Just go slow and you’ll be ok. It’s amazing how different the landscape is. We got back to the hotel around 8:00pm. We changed and went to eat at Cheeseburger Island Style (I think this used to be called Cheeseburgers, Mai Tai’s, and Rock n Roll). It’s at the Shops at Wailea - really close to our hotel which was nice after such a long day. They had great burgers and it was a nice casual meal. When we got back to the hotel we sat in the hot tub – I needed that!
Day 5 – Thursday
Today was our relaxing day. After we woke up we went to Kihei Caffe for breakfast. Good food and large proportions. After breakfast, we headed back to the hotel and spent the day on the beach. We even snorkeled right in front of the hotel. That night we went to the Old Lahaina Luau. This was great! We made reservations 4 months in advance and got front row table seating. I was glad we got table seating instead of mat seating. It would have been too long to sit on the ground like that. The food was delicious and the show was excellent. Be sure to get there early. The parking lot fills up quickly and we had to park across the street at the mall. You also want to be sure to have enough time to walk around the grounds. It’s right on the ocean and provides some great views and photo ops.
Day 6 – Friday
We went snorkeling with the Pacific Whale Foundation. The boat and crew were terrific. I highly recommend them. They serve you muffins, fruit, and juice for breakfast. Burgers and chicken sandwiches were served for lunch. There were plenty of snacks and drinks available the whole time. The first stop was Molokini. The visibility there is great.
Then they took us to another snorkel spot to see turtles. It was really windy that day and unfortunately I got a stomach ache after swallowing salt water at the first stop so my husband went in by himself to see the turtles. I was so bummed I missed them but I’m so happy we booked with the Pacific Whale Foundation. That night we ate at Mama’s Fishhouse for dinner. WOW! This was excellent. This was my favorite meal and restaurant of the whole trip. Such a great view of the ocean – I think we got the best table in the restaurant. The food was so delicious. Everything was perfect.
Day 7 – Saturday
Our last full day on Maui. We got up and went to Stella Blues for breakfast. The food was great. After breakfast we drove to the IAO Valley & Needle. It was so pretty. There’s a short trail through the park and, of course, the IAO needle. After that we drove to Lahaina. I heard that parking was hard to find but we found a spot in the public lot on the corner of Front and Prison. It’s free three hour parking which was perfect for us. We walked down Front Street and saw the Banyan tree. We did most of our souvenir shopping there and had lunch at Cheeseburger in Paradise (great views). After we left there, we drove to Dragon’s Teeth. That was so cool to see. That evening we had dinner at Longhi’s in Wailea. We both had pasta and it was a really good meal. Very reasonably priced too.
Day 8 – Sunday
I was so sad to be leaving. We laid on the beach all morning until it was time to leave for the airport. I’ll miss Maui!
Our trip was fantastic. It was better than I could have ever imagined. We had great weather – mid 80’s and sunny the whole time. I definitely recommend getting the book Maui Mile by Mile. We used it for the road to Hana, Haleakala, the IAO Valley, and Dragon’s Teeth. But it’s not a complete guide book – it just talks about sights to see - so I also recommend getting Maui Revealed. I also liked Maui for Dummies. Those were my top 3 books that I used. I also had Frommer’s but hardly used it. The best map of Maui was one I picked up free at one of the brochure stands – it’s published by Air Maui helicopter tours. Here’s a link to some pictures:
Maui/BI trip review inside!
From: chigirl80 Date: 5/21/2006 at 6:12 PM
Hi Everyone! I'm back from our wedding and honeymoon and one of the first things I wanted to do was to write a honeymoon review.
It's REALLY LONG.....9.5 pages in times new roman. So I will post it in sections....(also, some of you may have had other experiences at each place, I tried to write as honestly as I could. It's helpful to read a variety of reviews b/c our experience might not be "the norm"...it's just our opinion)
Flight: Continental and Hawaiian Air
We had a problem on the way back- for some reason they couldn’t “find” my reservation- even though they could find my husband and I had a confirmation e-mail with all our information on it. After about 20 minutes of searching they found it. All in all- both good airlines. I LOVED the personal video screens on the continental flights- the movies and games were fun to pass the time.
Car rentals: Budget on BI and Alamo on Maui:
Budget was FANTASTIC! The shuttles to and from the airport to get your car couldn’t have been easier. The price was much lower than quoted. We paid 148 for 3 days INCLUDING gas (we went with the “bring back empty” option) I still think they undercharged us but I wasn’t about to complain! Our car was as clean as a brand new car and it only had 2K miles on it.
Alamo- I cannot say enough BAD things about this company on the big island! It was HORRIBLE. First off the guy that gave us our keys and a map was RUDE. He told us “we have a convertible for you but we can give you a jeep for the same price”... I told him “no, b/c they are much harder to get the top on and off during rain and we had always wanted a convertible not a jeep”. He then goes on to tell us rather rudely that we CANNOT go all the way around the island in a convertible... being a knottie and knowing my stuff, I told him that Alamo doesn’t allow convertibles to go all the way around the island but they do allow you to go as far as Oheo Gulch and we wouldn’t be driving all the way around. He then says “so you aren’t doing the road to hana then?”….I then REPEATED the same statement “We are going to Oheo gulch and then TURNING AROUND and driving back the same way we came which IS legal in a convertible per the Alamo contract. I have no idea if they were pushing the jeeps b/c they were running out of convertibles but his attitude and the sound of his voice was downright condescending and rude.
Moving on, he showed us our bill….it was VERY high MUCH higher than we were quoted. I asked the guy to explain the charges to us... his response was “they are all there….just read it”... At this point I was so pissed at the guy that I told DH to sign it and we would deal with a credit later.
We go to pick up our car- only to find that it has 10K miles on it (our budget rental was practically brand new) and it’s DIRTY. They didn’t wash it. We start to fill out a sheet with all the dings, scratches, stains and numerous other issues on it. DH goes to turn it in and the guy says “It’s been “driven”... it WILL have scratches and dents”.OK then! But don’t expect us to pay for these scratches and dings upon return! WTF???!! Could we have demanded they wash it? Probably. Could we have maybe gotten a new car? Probably…but once again DH and I were just ready to get out of there so we just said forget it.
Upon return of the car, we were able to clear up our bill, the total came to 390 for the week (we once again took the return empty option so this included a tank of gas)
For those of you wondering, gas in Hawaii wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be….about 3.50-3.65 per gallon.
All in all, we would NEVER rent from Alamo again...was it just this location? Perhaps the man we dealt with??... possibly, but our experience was so bad that I just couldn’t give Alamo our business ever again.
The big island was amazing….we loved it. The peace and tranquility here was so great. It was like the island was practically empty. Maybe it was where we stayed (Hapuna Beach Prince) but we felt like we were all alone. I think if we had stayed in the Waikoloa area (HWV) we would have had a much different experience. The locals here were so nice to us, helpful and always seemed happy.
HAPUNA BEACH PRINCE:
We just LOVED this hotel! We arrived and they immediately opened our door and unloaded our luggage for us. Upon check in, we were upgraded to a premium oceanfront room, from a premium oceanview room. When we got to our room we were surprised with a bottle of champagne from the hotel! We looked up the bottle on their room service menu- we got it FREE and they charge 55 a bottle for it. They also have free valet service. We used it the entire time and our car was always ready when we got downstairs. We would call, walk to the lobby and there it was! No waiting necessary- they even took the top down for us everytime.
We were in building 3 floor 5. The views were amazing. We were so close to the beach that we could hear it all day and night. The shower was the best shower we’ve ever had. Great water pressure and plenty of room. The tub had pull off sprayer which was great to use after getting back from the beach, also nice to really scrub out the sand from bathing suits. We also liked that the toilet had a door on it. Made it easier for privacy. DH can take awhile in there and I could shower in the same place without “interrupting”.
The pool area was really nice too. We never had a problem finding 2 chairs for us, even if you wanted shade there were plenty available. I was worried it would be like when we went to ASP in Mexico and the chairs were all taken by 7am! We went out twice once at 9am and once at 2pm and never had an issue. They also have bar service by the pool which was a nice touch. Drinks were btwn 7 and 10 bucks each but hey you are in Hawaii!
The beach was the best beach we saw while in Hawaii. The water was clear, the waves were small- about 1-2 feet- good enough to jump in but not huge. The sand was soft and the beach was large.
In addition, the temperature of the pool and the ocean was great. Not cold but not hot... my guess would be about 78-80.
The breakfast was a huge buffet. Everything you could want, pastries, omelet station, bagels, variety of meats, French toast, pancakes... not to mention the juices and fresh fruits. We ate at the Coaste Grill one night for dinner and the food was very good. We had a seating at 6:15 and they seated us on the balcony of the restaurant with a perfect view of the beach. DH ordered clams as an appetizer for 12.00. I thought it would be a rip off- that he would get like 6-10 clams….boy was I wrong! He got a whole pot full! At least 30 probably more. I ordered a Caesar salad which was a good size and I had tricolor pasta (which I later realized was homemade) with chicken and DF had a special of there’s--- an “island fish tour”... 4 kinds of fish with mashed potatoes as a side. Looked appetizing and he like 3 of the fish on the plate. We also got 2 drinks. The cost was about 120 total including tip if I remember correctly. Not bad for resort food.
We also often went to the café. They had sandwiches, pizza, drinks, cookies, desserts, snacks etc. The cost wasn’t any more than we are used to paying at home for things. I think a medium sized pizza was 11 bucks. Sodas were 1.50. A personal size of chips 1.50.
DH and I would be hard pressed to find anything wrong with this resort. It was 1st class all the way. We thought that this resort wouldn’t be half as nice as it was b/c weren’t paying the prices of the 5 star resorts on Maui. I think you would be hard pressed to find a better resort on any island even if you had more $$$ to spend. Our next stop was the Fairmont Kea Lani and even this resort didn’t live up to the Hapuna Beach Prince.
FAIRMONT KEA LANI:
I would love to say that this place lived up to our expectations... but it didn’t. I think it’s because we had such a fantastic time at the Hapuna Beach Prince/Big Island that it was hard for this resort to live up to it.
While driving from the airport we were very disappointed in Maui. All we saw were strip malls, grocery stores and what we like to call “suburbia”. Traffic was bad, and drivers were rude- people honking horns, driving fast, cutting people off... the big island was SOOO much more peaceful... relaxed.
Upon arriving, the entrance to the Fairmont disappointed also. At Hapuna you drove for like a mile to get to the resort- it was very set back and along the way you saw the golf course, flowers, greenery... just a nice drive to the resort. At the Fairmont you drive RIGHT to the entrance- no leisurely drive to the resort. It was right off of a main street. You could see the balconies of the resort from the street... which for us was disappointing. We felt right in the thick of thing.
We pulled up and our luggage was immediately removed by a bellman which was nice. DF went and parked the car- valet was 18 a day here and we just didn’t see the point in paying it. It would have been nice to have it free... we were after all paying over 400 a night for a room and we were spoiled at our previous resort (Hapuna Beach Prince) with free valet. We knew this coming in to the resort though so while it wasn’t a surprise to us we didn’t realize just how much we would miss it.
Upon check in I informed the Fairmont that it was our Honeymoon... I got a congrats...end of story. Once again, I knew the Fairmont didn’t do anything special for HM er’s but having gotten a nice bottle of champagne at the HBP and a free upgrade we were once again spoiled.
The room was FANTASTIC overall. We loved the size of the room! HUGE!
The bathroom was very nice but once again didn’t live up to the HBP. We didn’t like not having a door on the toilet and while at first thought the open air shower seemed like a great idea- having used it for 4 nights, we didn’t like it. The reason was that we liked to have our room air conditioned like most people…however, when you take a shower most people like to have the warm air of the shower surround you. With there not being a door the cold air is right there…I often got cold while taking a shower- not fun. Also- there wasn’t enough space to put all our shower stuff so I had to step over to the ledge of the soaking tub to get some of my shower products- also made for colder showers. The shower pressure and hot water was great though! The deep soaking tub was nice- DF and I soaked in it once with bubble bath- lots of room. The double sinks are also nice to have.
We had a renovated room and the furniture was brand new. The bed was the most comfortable we have ever slept on- so comfy that we plan on calling the hotel this week to find out what kind of bed it is- we want to buy it!
We went with a room without a view b/c we didn’t want to spend more than 500 a night. When booking we didn’t think the view would matter but having come from the Hapuna Beach Prince premium oceanfront room- it mattered... A LOT. Once again, we weren’t surprised... we knew what we paid for but we were just spoiled by the other room- which was 200 bucks less a night too.
The beach was nice, but once again, can’t compare the Hapuna Beach... the beach was rather small and the sand wasn’t as soft. We didn’t spend much time here.
The pools are the one area that outbeat the Hapuna though! We rented a cabana one day and the service was SUPERB. We were catered to the whole time... we felt like royalty- 75 bucks but I HIGHLY recommend it! We ordered one about 4 weeks before we left to make sure we got one.
The slide was fun and even though there were children around- the adult pool was just that- only for adults and therefore very quiet and relaxing! So relaxing that I fell asleep in our cabana for an hour.
We didn’t really eat here much- we got lunch by the pool one day which was one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had... for 18 bucks it better be.
We also went to Café Ciao a lot for snacks and sandwiches. We would have gone to nicks but the views couldn’t compare to the other places we had gone- you don’t see the ocean- just the pool area so we didn’t see the point in spending 200 bucks on a meal without a good view. I’m sure the food is superb and the service is supposed to be beyond compare but we decided to skip it.
We also missed our “free” breakfast that we had at the prince hotel- sure we could have gotten the breakfast package here but it was very high in price.
On a side note- Yes, you can order pizza and have it delivered.just pick up the phone book in your room- at first it was hard to find b/c they put it in a fancy case- no yellow phone book for this place! Heeheehee.Ours was in the side drawer next to the bed.
To be fair, we REALLY scrutinized EVERYTHING here. Having come from the Hapuna Beach Prince, which was fantastic, it was easy to be VERY picky at the Fairmont. The things we didn’t like were nitpicky….the view (we knew what we paid for), no free valet (once again, we knew this), the shower (had we not had such a great shower at HBP we would have loved this shower), the views at the restaurants (we knew this too before booking), the beach (once again hard to compare to HBP)…..anyways, you get the point. We had a great time here, we just had a better time at a resort that was much less $$$ and we felt that we got so much more for our $$$ at the previous resort.
In the end, it was our fault. We just didn’t know that we would miss things like a “free breakfast”, a view, free valet, an amazing beach, a room with a view….we wanted the feel of a “true 5 star resort” and I thought that if we skipped out on some of the above items that we could get the “fancy” feel without the high cost. Had we done valet and the breakfast package with a room with a view we would have easily hit 600 a night.... double what we paid at the HBP.
We came here for the beauty of the resort, the size of the suites and the pools- particularly the availability of an adults only pool and the things above didn’t disappoint us- it was the other things that we didn’t know we wanted that we were disappointed with.
Would I recommend the resort? SURE WOULD!... but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that couldn’t afford the room with a view, the breakfast package, the valet….basically, if we had 600 a night to spend we would come back to this resort and I bet we would LOVE every inch of it…but we went to a 5 star resort on a 4 star budget and ended up disappointed.
CLIFFS EDGE: (www.cliffsedge.com)
We stayed at the guest house and this place was everything we had hoped for and more. This was in our minds as the highlight of the trip and it didn’t disappoint! After having been on Maui at the Fairmont for 4 nights we were anxious for some “non resort” tranquility. We wanted to have our own place, cook our own food and have a great view that didn’t have to be shared.
The pics we have of this place do not do it justice. Our camera couldn’t possibly capture the beauty of this fabulous place.
We only met susan but she was very accommodating- she even came over to help us light the grill!
I read a a post on trip advisor about the dog and I couldn’t disagree more! Lucy was such a great dog! I would love to have a dog as great as she was. She spent 1 dinner with us and her presence made the experience more “homey”. She was with us for about 2 hours total and she wasn’t annoying by any standards.
The house was just as we had expected- like having our own cottage. It wasn’t the cleanest or the nicest place I had ever stayed but it was so charming! If you only want granite countertops, wet bars, marble tubs then you are going to the wrong place….if you want a nice country like home with charm then you are in the right place. The pics on tripadvisor and on their site are not accurate (at least last I checked)- the house has gotten some new furniture that makes it even nicer! See my new pics.
The deck was VERY private. So private that if you wanted you could walk around sans clothing….not that we ever did that ;) The deck could use a new grill but it cooked our steaks beautifully and I only say that b/c it would be nice to have a newer looking grill.
The hot tub was a highlight of our trip! I’ve been camping several times- many times up in northern Canada and I’ve NEVER EVER seen so many stars in my life!! Be sure to turn off all the lights and head for the tub- the view was something I will probably never see again in my lifetime.
The views from our deck were stunning- just as they are on the website- just beyond words. This place was 300 a night- cheaper than most 5 or even 4 star hotels and you get so much more for your $$$ here!
While we didn’t use it for swimming, it was VERY clean and the water was a great temperature- probably about 80. The views from the pool area were as beautiful as a postcard.
I cannot recommend this place enough! It was truly spectacular. If I were to go back to Maui this would be my first and only stop! It was a great place to start the road to Hana! We got a head start being already at mile marker 4 on the hana hwy. We left at 7:30 and practically had the road to ourselves- made for a much better trip.
Parasailing on the Big Island- UFO Parasailing:
Top notch! I thought it would be scary! Perhaps one of the most relaxing times on our trip was up in the sky! So romantic!
DH took surfing lessons- I watched. Our big mistake- we booked his lesson before reading the Maui Revealed section on surfing... we booked in the Kihei area (Maui Waveriders at Kalama Park) and the water was NASTY! The instructors were nice and in the end he did get up on the board 3 times but I’m sure there are nicer beaches to learn on. This beach was so gross- all green and it literally SMELLED. We got some GREAT pics of him on a CD- I’ll put them up soon in my bio.
Old Lahaina Luau:
Aside from the fact that it took us TWO hours to get there (was supposed to take 45 minutes but traffic was horrible) the luau was great! The food was delicious…especially the chicken- not sure how they make it but it was really good. We booked early and got really good seats. I recommend booking AT LEAST 4 months in advance. They are booked solid through August right now. I would say 6 months to be safe. The luau was great because it gave us a history of Hawaii which was nice to learn.
Volcano National Park:
AMAZING... we went to the big island primarily to see this attraction and we are so glad we did. I’ve never seen anything like this place and probably never will again. The beauty and starkness of the land was beyond description. We spent the whole day (about 5 hours here). We stopped at most of the lookouts and went all the way down crater road. Once again, we took pics but the pics just don’t show the depth of what we saw in person. It was neat to walk on “newly formed land”. I have a pic of me standing on lava that went over a road in 2003- really cool. The craters were HUGE and the smell of sulfur was everywhere. The whole day was really surreal. I recommend that everyone not only go all the way down crater road but also that they see the lava tube. The land goes from desolate to literal rainforest in a matter of a few miles- really unique.
The shops at Wailea:
We ate at Cheeseburger in Paradise here and the food was really yummy! I also recommend doing a shop at Whalers- also located in the kings shops. GREAT place to go for snacks and food at middle class prices. We were able to buy soda, sandwiches, candy, chips etc here for what we consider “normal” prices. They also have actual food like soups, mac and cheese, and other items that you would buy at a grocery store for cooking in a kitchen. We even bought a frozen pizza that we nuked up at the Fairmont for a snack one day. Saved us a bundle of $$$!
We went with Four Winds- recommended by Maui Revealed. We were a bit disappointed b/c of the wind we didn’t get to go to Molokini. We had to go to the Coral Gardens which I’m told isn’t nearly as nice as Molokini. The boat was good size, lots of shade and they only had about 50 of us on the boat that fits 140- plenty of space! The snorkeling was ok, but we have snorkeled in Mexico before and the snorkeling there was better. The ocean water was warmer than I thought it would be which was good. I’m a baby when it comes to cold water! The food was delicious! Right off the grill and there was PLENTY to go around. Another thing that bothered us was the weather- it rained almost the whole way back and partially while we were snorkeling- a light rain but still made for a not so nice experience. It was so strange though b/c the sun would be literally BEATING down on you and yet it would be raining a light mist…I’ve never had this happen before .
All in all- I would take this boat again- it was just a little upsetting to not be able to go to Molokini and to have it rain part of the way but what can ya do!? The weather does what it wants.
Road to Hana:
A highlight of our trip! We were staying at a house just before mile marker 4 of the hana hwy. This put us about 30-40 minutes ahead of all the resort people doing the road on any given day. We were really concerned with the road and all the attractions being too crowded for our liking. The general consensus is to leave early….we had hoped to leave at 7am. We ended up leaving at 7:30. After reading a lot about the road and making a list of the places that were top on our list:
7 sacred pools (Oheo gulch)
black sand beach
We realized that many of the places we wanted to see were actually beyond Hana. We had read several reviews of people who did this trip and many wrote that by the time they got past Hana it was later in the day, they were tired/cranky etc. After some thought we decided that we would drive to Oheo gulch straight through without stopping and then do the drive backwards. This ended up being the best way to do our trip and we are SOOO glad we did it this way.
The road at 7:30 was EMPTY. By the time we got to Oheo gulch it was about 9:30. We were one of the first people there. The lady at the entrance said “good that you got here early before all the tour buses”... we didn’t realize exactly what she meant until later on in the day. As we were driving back to our house, around 1pm (roughly between mile marker 25) LOADS of tour buses and tourists were headed to Hana and beyond. I’m sure the entire area was SWARMING with tourists. We were so glad to have seen many places with only a few other people and not 100 or even 200 other people. While everyone else was driving TO hana, we were driving FROM hana. No traffic in our direction.
If I could give one bit of advice- bring good water shoes! They will help you immensely! Almost all the best places require that you walk over stones, both large and small, and even across rivers, water etc.
Also, if there is ONE thing that you MUST MUST see on your trip PLEASE see the BLUE POOL! The information on how to get there can be found in the Maui Revealed book. It’s a rough road, and there are MANY signs that request that you turn around, that it’s private property, but this place was by far a highlight of our trip. The best waterfall and the best views by far on the road to hana. You can park for 2 bucks at this family house and walk the rest of the way. Do not park at the 5.00 parking area- it’s WAY too far away…keep driving til you see the 2.00 lot. After that walk straight ahead and down a hill. You will see a river crossing- perhaps about 15 feet wide….you must walk across it to get to the pools. This was one of the most dangerous things we did. I even lost a shoe and DH had to go in after it. Then you have to walk about 300-400 feet across large boulders to get to it- which was also really scary. We had done the walking to the last lower pool at Oheo gulch and that was nothing compared to this. Once you get there though the prize is entirely worth it! The most beautiful ideal waterfall I’ve ever seen! It looks just like the pic in the maui revealed book! The only difference is that you get a full view and the ocean is crashing behind you. Perhaps one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in my entire life.
Getting back was a special treat... we spent some time there swimming around and I started to notice that the water was really starting to come in….the tide was coming in. We started to hurry back all wet with our suits on…when we got to the river crossing, what once was crossing 6 inches of rushing water, was now crossing 2.5 feet of rushing water. The tide has a VERY strong grip here. A few others were with us and they were too scared to do it so they walked down the river and crossed that way. DH and I decided to just cross it as best we could….I fell over and barely made it myself... DH fared better than I. I thought I was going to be swept out to the ocean.
I think this was by far our favorite part of the road to Hana. Maybe it was b/c of the beauty of the pools, but I also think it was the combination of the adventure! Knowing we were on property that others didn’t want us on, crossing the ocean, walking on dangerous rocks... it was all so daring! Anyway, I highly recommend it!
Honeymoon Review - Maui & Kauai & Disney
From: SHUBride Date: 5/30/2006 at 8:42 PM
Pictures in bio.
Honeymoon – Maui, Kauai, and Disney booked through Liberty Travel
Shawn and I love to travel! We flew to Maui via American Airlines first class. Service was awesome! We had huge sleeper seats and a full 5 course meal! Well worth the money to upgrade!
We stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani for 5 nights and it was my favorite hotel. This hotel is all suites and we had a direct oceanview room. I have never seen a bigger suite…with a bathroom the size of my old apartment! We did the downhill bike tour through Cruiser Phil’s which was the best company up there. We went to the Old Lahania Luau which was enchanting. A day at the pool was mandatory because it was gorgeous out and the pool was hardly busy…many times we were the only ones in it! And a Oceanside massage at the Four Seasons next door was…relaxing! Next time I wouldn’t try to walk back to the hotel though! J
We then flew on a very little plane to Kauai. We stayed at the Hyatt in Kauai. LOVED the pool….would go back just for the pool, however their rooms weren’t as nice as the Fairmont’s in Maui. We did a catamaran trip to the Napali Coast which was one of our highlights of the honeymoon. It was there Holo Holo and they even toasted us and another honeymoon couple on board. Everything was so friendly and I could have done this every day we were in Kauai. There is a Hawaiian ice place called JoJo’s, listed in the Kauai Revealed books that is the best ice you will ever eat. It is worth the drive no matter where you are on the island. By the way, get the Revealed books (Maui and Kauai) and read them before. Book what you want before you get there and it will help tremendously. We had no problem doing everything we wanted. We spent most of our time in Kauai at the pool which is HUGE – no water park beats this place!
Our last leg of our honeymoon, we boarded an American Airlines plane in Kauai for Los Angeles. After a couple hour layover, we boarded the same plane for Newark, NJ. The plane looked like it was going to fall apart. Needless to say, the whole 12 hours we were on the plane, we never go the sleep we needed. We got into Newark around 6am completely exhausted and ready to pass out. Our luggage was delayed and we were worried about missing our flight to Orlando (Disney!). We are Disney season passholders so we needed to go to Disney for our honeymoon. We got our luggage, packed all 4 large suitcases, 4 carry-on’s and Shawn’s ukelale on one of those small carts. It fell over just as we were about to board the monorail! We finally get to the next terminal and made our flight with some time to spare. The flight attendants took pity on us and let us sleep on the plane without bothering us to check our seat belts, etc. We get to Orlando, get ALL of our luggage and our towncar service was supposed to be there. Nope! We were 2 hours late coming in from Newark so the towncar service somehow got reservations messed up. Exhausted, we told the guy our story of being in the air for around 24 hours at this point and being our honeymoon and he got someone immediately. We stayed at our favorite place, the Beach Club on the concierge floor. However if you want a King bed and not doubles (it was our honeymoon!) you were on the corner of the first floor not on the actual concierge floor (#5). It took us 10 minutes walking to reach the concierge. Luckily I took advantage of their services to book things for us way in advance. The room was nice….just didn’t like the first floor or corner. People would leave their garbage on our tables and sometimes sit on our table set while waiting for others. We did a ton of Disney stuff that I won’t go into detail because most people wouldn’t care. But Disney is magical and makes sure it’s visitors, especially honeymooners are treated right. Next time, I would probably go home for a day or so and then go back to Disney to finish the vacation. That day of travel was long and took us probably 2-3 days to adjust from time zone and lack of sleep.
Best of luck with your planning!
Maui and Kaua'i review
From: jerseyheart Date: 6/4/2006 at 1:32 PM
Maui - stayed at Four Seasons. This is the good life! They are so insanely good at customer service. The only flaw was the location. Some things on Maui are far no matter where you stay, so I'm not sure what the alternative would be. Did Road to Hana up to mile marker 32 (then it started getting dark, and there's no lights, so we figured we'd seen enough for us and turned around). It is a long trip back. Got up to see the sunrise over the crater - I'm nowhere near a morning person, but we both agreed it was well worth it. It's not just a sunrise, it's seeing the clouds hovering on the top of the crater and then it all starts to get lighter. It was unique. For PHENOMENAL snorkeling, try Honolua Bay. I grumbled about getting back in the car for another long drive, but I had to shut my mouth when we got there. You park on a road and walk through a little jungle atmosphere. The beach is all rock, so entry was more challenging, and we had to swim a bit to get to the good spot. But it was - holy cow, bring an underwater camera. It's shallow, so you're right up close to the coral and the fish. It was something else. We had our own snorkel equipment, but if we were renting, Snorkel Bob's is like $10 for the week (much better than the hotel $20 a day rental)
Regarding food - we didn't like the luau "Feast at Lahaina". It was buffet and we were the youngest at our table (we were with someone celebrating a 25th and a 50th, so it was like being with our parents). The show was good when it started, but then it seemed to get monotonous. I heard the Feast at Lele was better. I'd try that as an alternative. One restaurant we would definitely recommend - Gerard's in Lahaina. French restaurant. Best meal we had in Maui. We got reservations the day of, and were seated outside on the porch. We also ate at Mama's Fishhouse. You're paying for the view there. The entrees are priced around $50, and they're good, but not amazing. The view, though, was really nice. But if we hadn't gotten such a good seat, I think we would have felt less amused with the $200 meal. Although all the meals at nice restaurants were around $180, so relatively speaking, an extra $20 for the view made sense, but the food wasn't as good as what we got elsewhere for that money.
I'd heard that we should get souvenirs at Costco but I don't have a membership, so we hit up KMart. Same stuff, $1 or $2 less per item.
Kaua'i - we stayed at the Hyatt. The service wasn't as good as at the Four Seasons, so that seemed like a let down, but it was still good. And the hotel was beautiful (I think even nicer than the Four Seasons, as far as how it was decorated). And there was a lot more affordable and interesting shopping at the hotel. For the brunch, when we had a little more time, we went to the one at Poipu, which isn't a buffet, but it's really nice, especially on Sundays when they offer a few unique breafkasts (like creme brulee french toast) Our favorite restaurant was Tidepools right at the hotel. Our first night, we were able to be seated without reservations, but later in the week it booked up and we had to reserve a night in advance. We ate at Capische too, the Italian restaurant. But we eat Italian all the time, so we stuck with the fish and it was really good. Dinners at both these places were pricey, welcome to Hawaii. For excursions, we did Princeville Horseback Riding which was really good, even in the rain. Be prepared for more adventure than just horseback riding - the hike back and forth to the waterfall at the end was fun, if you like brief bursts of outdoor challenge. And note, I threw my sneakers out afterwards. Although the rain made it a lot more muddy. The other trip we made was Captain Andy's. Very nice. Snorkeling was okay - the water was 15 feet deep, so it was hard to see the reef's. Crazy enough, my husband dove under the water and got water in his inner ear canal (beyond where ear drops can reach) and this made him dizzy and violently ill and led to a trip to the emergency clinic. So that ended our excurisions for the next two days (and we flew home after that). But even when he was getting dramatically ill on the boat, Captain Andy's staff remained calm and really helpful. And boat or plane is the only way to see the Napali coast, and that's definitely worth seeing. So we'd recommend it, in spite of what happened in our particular case and the fact that in the confusion, someone walked off with our underwater camera (I'm sure they thought it was there's).
Feel free to post me back if you have any questions. I'll help with whatever I can! Happy honeymooning!
From: andricjl Date: 6/13/2006 at 10:11 AM
Our honeymoon was better then I could have even imagined it. We started off in Maui for 3 nights at the Westin in Kanaapali. The service at the Westin was great. They even upgraded our room and sent us up a bottle of champagne.
While we were in Maui we did the sunrise bike ride down Mt. Haleakala. For anyone doing this excursion make sure you where layers because it's like 30 - 40 degrees up at the top of the mountain where you watch the sunrise and start your bike tour. The tour company we used provided us with rain gear (jacket and pants) as well as gloves (since it was cold) and a helmet. They say you get up to about a speed of 30 mph as you coast down this mountain. I'm not gonna lie, it was scary in the beginning especially going around the curves, but once you do it for a while you get more relaxed. I would say when we were about half way down the mountain is when we were able to start taking some of our layers off as it warmed up some. It really was a very unique experience and I'm glad I didn't chicken out and actually rode the bike.
We also went to the Old Lahiana luau. They say it's the best one out there and it books up way in advance so make sure you book this before you go. I've been to a few luaus in Hawaii before and I will say this one was one of the best. We ate dinner one night at a great restaurant in Lahiana called Longhi's. I got their shrimp marinara and it was yummy. We also went to Bubba Gump's one night which of course has yummy shrimp as well.
Our next stop was 4 nights on the Big Island at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. The Kona side of the Big Island is like you are on the moon. There is lava rock area with very little vegetation. It was really weird when we landed at the airport and headed to the hotel. You could tell that the Waikoloa area had to be mostly man-made with the palm trees and golf course and whatnot. The Hilton was spectacular. You needed to take a tram or gandola just to get around the place...it was huge. The service there was great and again they gave us a bottle of champagne. We ate in the King's Shopping area right down the street from the hotel at the Big Island Steakhouse and at the Chinese restaurant there too (can't remember the name). I will say though both restuarants had great food and service.
We did a tour called Flumin Da Ditch and what another unique experience this was. It was like going down a lazy river, but you did have to duck your head once in a while and you go through tunnels. It's a kayaking tour through the irrigation flumes. It was a lot of fun. We also took an entire day and drove around the entire island stopping along the way at scenic points and whatnot. We drove to Volcanoes National Park and toured through it. Although we didn't go close enough to see the lava itself, we could see where the lava hit the ocean because it was like a big cloud of smoke rising up from the ocean. It really was a neat place. It was also cool to see how different the Hilo side of the island is from the Kona side. We stopped at Akala Falls and saw a wonderful waterfall. The scenic lookouts along the way were breathtaking.
On this island we also saw Hootie and the Blowfish as they were putting on a concert at our hotel one of the nights we were there. They put on such a fun and great show, even DH enjoyed it and he's not a big Hootie fan.
Our final stop was 6 nights on Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Again, what a magnificant hotel. The service again was impeccable, although this time we didn't get any special treatment for being honeymooners, no champagne or anything. I've been to Oahu 3 times prior to our honeymoon so I knew what to expect...the city-like atmosphere in the Waikiki area, but DH and I like that sort of thing, plus the whole island isn't city-like. We didn't have a car on this island, but we did rent a Jeep on 2 different days so we could go up to the North Shore area and then on a separate day we drove around the South east part of the island and went to Diamond Head and snorkeled at Haunama Bay. On our drive to Haunama Bay we saw something being filmed, although we couldn't tell what it was for. The snorkeling at Haunama Bay is phenomenal, definitely a trip worth taking. The North Shore area has breath taking views and beaches. They also have Shrimp Shacks...they are like Hot Dog trucks except they sell shrimp. You can get shrimp scampi, hot and spicy, shrimp with lemon and butter sauce, coconut fried shrimp. The shrimp were out of this world and if you stop at one I would recommend Bluewater Shrimp Shack.
We also stopped at Giovonni's Shrimp Shack, but liked Bluewater better. We also stopped at Turtle Bay Resort, the only hotel on the North Shore of the island. It looked like a neat place and somewhere we might stay in the future. We also stopped at the Dole Plantation and took the little train tour. It was late at this point so we never made it through the Dole Maze, but we will definitely check it out next time we go to Hawaii. We have both already been to Pearl Harbor so we didn't do that this time around.
Most of the rest of the time on Oahu was spent by the pool or at the beach and then we went around the town at night, hitting up the International Market Place as well as some restaurants in and around the hotel. One of my favorite things to drink while on the trip were smoothies. You can get them with or without alcohol and they are just the yummiest things in the world. I had strawberry/banana, chocolate banana, banana/pineapple/coconut, guava, etc. I think I had atleast one or 2 of those things a day, I just couldn't resist. So that was our honeymoon in a nutshell :-).
PHOTOS: MAUI, OAHU, BIG ISLAND
Pride of America + Oahu Hotel Reviews
From: ZaNy 6/12/2006
Review of Hawaii Honeymoon
(Oahu-Turtle Bay Resort, Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. Cruise - NCLA Pride of America)
We rented a car when we got to Honolulu through Enterprise. (their prices online were a lot lower than the other places when we reserved- their airport shuttle took longer than all the others but not more than 10 mins)
Turtle Bay Resort
We were only there two full days (3 nights) It was really nice and relaxing on the north shore. Very quiet - not too busy, no problems getting lounge chairs etc. The beach there was beautiful and the water felt nice but we didn't go in past our knees because the 'red flags' were up indicating dangerous water - other people went in anyways but we're wusses. I'm not sure how often the flags are red there though. But they have 2 beautiful pools there (one is heated - that's the one i was in because it was pretty windy there in mid may) and 2 hot tubs that were also great and had great views.
almost all of their rooms must have great ocean views because there's water almost all around the hotel. the balcony on our room was a little small (one chair only) they have room layout pictures on their website (www.turtlebayresort.com)
They have horseback riding and hiking trails, tennis and golf. There are a few restaurants at the resort (their menus are also on their website) we ate at 21 degrees one night and it was very good. The poolside bar was good, and the food at the main restaurant was also good.
I saw the beach cottages from the outside but unless you're staying a long time (maybe they have kitchens?) i don't see much advantage in them over the hotel rooms - but just my opinion!
Pearl Harbor -
we took our rental car there - we showed up at 8:30 AM (on a Friday) and got a 'ticket' for 9:30 AM. For an hour we looked around the bookstore and the mini-museum. at 9:30 they show a special video about Pearl harbor then boat you over to the memorial. We didn't make it over to the Missouri but that sounded like it was interesting to see.
hotel = Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
We spent one day here before our cruise and 2 days after our cruise.
I really liked waikiki beach - it was the nicest beach to swim in (i can only compare to turtle bay and ka'anapoli beach) and it wasn't AS crowded on the beach as i expected (i had really low expectations based on friends' who'd been and didn't like it) greg thought it was too crowded though.
The hotel was great. I liked the location - right on the beach (in between the royal hawaiian [pink one] and the Sheraton Moana Surfrider) they had a big pool but i didn't go in because the ocean was so gentle to swim in and the bottom was soft to walk on. so no need for the pool afterall. Across the street was the international marketplace w/ all the small carts and corners with neat crafty stuff. name brand expensive stores were all over in the hotel lobby and all down the street too.
Food - even though it was in our hotel lobby and we heard good reviews about Duke's we didn't get a chance to go we were also pretty worn out from fancy meals on our cruise so a couple times we just got subway etc. and brought it back to the hotel.
Round table Pizza & Sports bar - pizza was decent considering it wasn't your favorite-home-town-pizza and the local beer was good. (greg liked it cuz of the sports bar part.) this was near the "king's" shopping center another block away from the beach i think.
Brew Moon - microbrewery - very tiny food menu but what we had was good. the beer was very good.
Cruise Review - Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL America) Pride of America
Ports of Call:
Hilo (big island) (1 day) Maui (2 days) Kona (big island) (1 day) Kaui (2 days)
Shore Excursion reviews:
Hilo: Volcano National Park.
This was hightly recommended to me by my friend but the only part of it i really liked was the thurston lava tube. i thought that was really cool. Plus the cruise ship sailed by the active volcano at night and the view of the red lava going into the black ocean was amazing. we were a lot closer than i thought we'd be.
Day 1 = Beach Day at Ka'anapoli. we did this through the ship but i heard from others on the ship you could get to the same beach on the public bus for a few bucks (just might take a little longer).
This beach was really nice - they dropped us off by the Sheraton (which looked really nice if anybody is considering staying there.) not a wide beach (i don't know if any are wide on hawaii) and the tide came in to cover most of it eventually. the water was nice and calm but th en would suddently get to be pretty big waves, knocking people over and everything, then go back to calm. after the first set of huge waves scared me i stayed out except for ankle level. we rented a beach umbrella. there was the whalers market 5-10 min walk away but we didn't get to it.
Day 2 = Road to Hana.
We signed up for this throught the cruise ship - originally i wanted to rent a car and do this ourself -- but then i got caught up with wedding planning and just didn't feel like dealing with it and neither of us really wanted to do the driving ourselves anyways. Now I'm glad we took the tour because my favorite part of the trip was the road "From" hana (past hana) the part that is the dotted line on the map that you're not allowed to take rental cars on (unless they're 4wheel drive i think? not sure on the rental rules) that part i thought was the most beautiful. we didn't really have a relaxing time at any of the places we stopped because we were with a group of 13 and our tour guide (who was very good) rushed us through so we could see a bunch of things. it wasn't what i'd imagined it to be but it was still very beautiful and i'm glad we went with the tour in the end.
Kona = we didn't do any excursion here - just took one of the free shuttles to a nearby market with local crafty things. international market place i think it was called. I heard other people saying the snorkling on kona was amazing though.
Kaui = we did the princeville waterfall hike through the ship. it was expensive but amazing. the hills were pretty steep that we went up and down. there was a great view at the top. there was a part where you 'rock climb' down a 10 foot "cliff" (it wasn't as scary as it sounds and there were harnesses) and a bunch of places where you cross streams. then you get to this beautiful waterfall & pool where we got to go swimming it was awesome. we had a sunny day but they said sometimes it's a lot wetter/ranier. it was at princeville ranch and they also have horseback riding and ziplines there.
when leaving kaui, the boat went past the Na Pali Coast and we got a great view. I wouldn't pay extra to go on a tour there since you can see it so well from the ship.
I thought the food was very good but I'm not the pickiest and many other reviewers said it wasn't the greatest. We only ate at one of the 'pay extra - specialty' restaurants once Lazy J steakhouse and the filet mignon was DELICIOUS. They offered more pasta dishes in the main dining room than the other two cruises I've been on - some probably say that's bad cuz it's not as expensive but i Love pasta. so i liked having the option (plus I didn't make reservations at the italian rest. in time before they booked up)
Even though i had read about making all your reservations the first day for the whole week i still didn't do it (silly me! got convinced that the main restaurants wouldn't need reservations) but at busy time there was a 30-45 minute wait and they gave people beepers like a chain restaurant which was kind of annoying. and those boards telling you how full each restaurant are are totally wrong (it was annoying to be waiting 30 mins for a restaurant and have the board mock you by saying it was 1/2 empty!)anyways after 1 night of waiting i made reservations for the rest of the week but didn't get the times i wanted every night.
everything was very clean - no funny smells like some of the early reviews said. our room steward boycotted cleaning our room for 1 day randomly then started up again - odd but we didn't see him/her that day to ask them to put our room back on the list. american crew - i didn't really notice a big deal about having an american crew but i heard other people had opinions good and bad about it. i guess it depends.
i thought what they had was good but I expected them to have a bit more considering the only time people were really on the ship was in the evenings. there wasn't as much day-time activities as other cruises which makes sense since you're in port so much and there's so much to do on land. they had a juggler/comdedian who was OK but they had him perform twice during the week - how many people can handle 2 nights of juggling in one week? They had a 2 good comedians. And their one big 'song and dance' show was good - i mean some people aren't into that stuff - I usually like it and thought some of it was a bit corny or out of place but i still enjoyed it.
Kauai and Maui Reviews
From: Mrs.Meagan&Dean 8/2/2006
Honeymoon- Kauai 5 days, Maui 5 days
I am putting the restaurant reviews on the bottom and splitting up the activities by day. Long, detailed reviews! If you have any questions feel free to email me Kermie7400@aol.com
Maui Revealed Book and Kauai Revealed Book- A
I am giving these books an A mainly because of the detailed maps. They really helped out when trying to getting around the islands, more so Maui. They do go into detail about where to stop and what to see, which was really nice. These were the only books/maps I had on the entire trip. One thing I don’t agree with are the restaurant reviews. It seems like they give out their ONO’s too much. Many restaurants they highly recommended we did not like. So for maps and locations of things to do, use these books. For restaurants, ask the locals.
American Airlines- Flying from Newark to LAX to Honolulu and vice versa- A
Good airline, don’t serve free food anymore. You can buy snack packs for $4 and sandwiches for $5. Just bring your own. They were long flights. 5+ to LAX and 5+ to Honolulu, but not a lot of turbulence each flight. If you get motion sickness like me, ask your doctor to give some meds. I took Dramamine and the meds she gave me, and I slept on every flight. We left Newark at 8am and after the time changes, didn’t get to Honolulu until 3pm their time (9pm EST). So make sure you plan on a long day of flights!
Hawaiian Airlines- B
They were less expensive than Aloha. We had to book one way from Honolulu to Kauai, one way from Kauai to Maui and one way from Maui to Honolulu. Came to about $500 total for 2. When we got to Kauai, we only had 1 hour to get on the Hawaiian flight. American arrived late, and they didn’t check our bags straight through to Kauai. So we had to go through security again. We had to cut people in line and ask if we could go through the first class security. They finally said okay. If we didn’t, we would have missed the flight. However, our bags did not get on that flight and we had to wait ½ hour for our bags on the next flight. So definitely leave at least 2 hours in between so that won’t happen to you. Then on the way home they were very nice in Maui- they checked our bags straight through to Newark so we didn’t have to pick them up in Honolulu. That helped a lot since we had about 8 carry-ons!
Tom Barefoot Discount Tours- B+
We booked 3 excursions with Dale at Tom Barefoot before we left home. DH talked with Dale and said he was very nice. We booked our 4x4 Movie tour with Helicopter ride, Luau at Feast at Lele, and Pony Express Horseback ride in Maui. We sent a check and they e-mailed us all the tickets. Once in Kauai, we called to confirm everything. Only problem- when we got to the Will Squires Helicopter office after the movie tour, they said we needed to pay $20 per person fuel surcharge. We told them we paid in advanced, but they said we still had to pay. We paid and called Tom Barefoot that night. The woman we spoke to wasn’t very friendly, and then Tom Barefoot himself called us back but he couldn’t refund the money (strange since the place is named after him). He said we had to get approval from Dale. Dale did send us a check for the $40 but said that he usually tells everyone that extra charges may occur. It was not in our paperwork we received, so they technically had to refund us. Other than that, they were good to work with and send our tickets via e-mail as soon as they received payment. Gratuity is not included, even at the luau, so make sure you have some spare cash on you. We did see a lot of discount brokers around both islands if you do want to wait and book the same day. Seems like a lot are cheap.
Kauai Hotel/Condo- Kauai Coast Resort, Kapaa- A+
This condo was recommended to us by friends that go to Kauai often. It is literally right behind the Coconut Marketplace, which has many stores to shop in. We were told before we went to tell the front desk not to call for timeshare information. They supposedly call you very early your first morning and tell you to come to “orientation” at 8am. We told them from the start- we are on our Honeymoon and not interested in time shares. They seemed a bit offended, but we never got a call! We also saw that the pool would be closed during our stay, so we tried to get a free room upgrade or spa session, but they wouldn’t budge. Luckily the pool was open. If you are looking to get pampered and spoiled for your Honeymoon, I suggest staying at Hyatt. But, we were in our room for sleeping only, and the price was just right. For $188 a night, we got a beautiful condo with fully equipped kitchen with brand new appliances, washer/dryer (definitely need this), big living room, bathroom, huge king size bed and lanai. The lanai had the view of the ocean on the left and mountains on the right. It was just perfect. The website shows the room exactly how it looks in person. There was daily housecleaning too. Most big resorts don’t have washer/dryer in room, and I loved this the most. I washed our clothes daily and thank goodness, because I didn’t bring many shorts. I brought capris and pants but didn’t wear them because it was 85 degrees every day! So, if you don’t care to stay at the posh resorts, this is a perfect alternative. They even have a restaurant and spa on site. We will definitely stay here again, if they don’t sell out all the rooms to time share guests!
Budget Rent-A-Car- A
The reason we went with them on this island was because they were the cheapest. We got a compact Chevy Colbalt which actually had a lot of truck space. It was the perfect little car and we only had to fill up on gas one time (other than going back to the airport). The gas was about $3.60 in Kauai. It was only $125 for Sunday-Friday rental.
Must Bring: Waterproof bag (can get from Dick’s or Effingers). They sell them in the Kayak section. DH had a lot of camera equipment, so when we knew we were going to swim, he put it all in this one bag. It was wonderful.
Sun block- 40 SPF or more- I applied every day and when I didn’t reapply, I got sunburn in less than 1 hour. I did good until the last day, and that one day caused me sunburn on my legs, back, arms and shoulder. And I was just shopping and in the convertible. Also, the new spray sun block is good to get your hair part and to reapply later in the day.
Beach mats- they sell them over there in Wal-Mart for $1. Perfect for the beach.
Good pair of sandals- I bought mine in Kohl’s and wore them most of the trip. They were like sneakers on the bottom and enclosed in the back, so they were good for hiking over the lava rocks. Or a good pair of sneakers.
A few bathing suits- lots of swimming!
Water Shoes- Bought at Wal-Mart for $4 each and it was the best purchase. You need them to walk on the slippery rocks in the water and even in the ocean.
Day 1- Kauai
We arrived in Kauai about 5:30 their time and didn’t get to the hotel until about 6pm. We called Tidepools and Beach House to make reservations. We got in but to get a table at sunset at Beach House we had to call much earlier. We were exhausted! We went to dinner at the hotel restaurant Hukilau Lanai Restaurant (review below), went back to the room and passed out until about 6am the next morning! We soon realized that the time change really affected us, so we were falling asleep every night around 9pm and getting up around 6am. Just be aware of that- this is fine too because most places close early.
Day 2- Kauai
DH was kind enough to get McDonalds for breakfast- one of the best McGriddles I have ever had! We headed out to explore the island and went to visit the waterfalls. We went to Wailua waterfall first- it was beautiful! Not to be missed! We decided not to hike down to the bottom, but the Kauai Revealed book gave two trails. Then we went to ‘Opeaka‘a falls. This one was also nice, but you weren’t as close. Then we followed the book’s advice and found Kipu Falls. It was scary because we saw all this broken glass on the road and locals hanging out in their truck. We followed the narrow path to the steep incline to the falls. We were above the falls and it was very hard to walk on the rocks with all of our camera equipment and bags (we took everything from the car). There were some people swimming. I just didn’t feel comfortable and told DH we would come back- we never did. It was nice, but I’m sure there are plenty of other hidden coves and things that you could go to that didn’t require walking through farmland. One thing the book barely mentions but you should definitely go see is the lookout near Kipu Falls. When you drive back, instead of making a left to get back to the main highway 50, make a right onto Hulemalu Rd. Follow the road and you will come upon a beautiful view of a pond and mountains called Menehune Fishpond. We took some pictures here. It was very pretty. Then the road just brings you back to the main highway. We went back to the hotel and went to the Coconut Marketplace to do some shopping. This is a great place to shop and has some nice stores. We left the book in the car and just decided to eat at Tropical Burgers- bad choice (review below). Then we relaxed a bit and went to Beach House for dinner (review below).
Day 3- Kauai
We had a movie tour all set up before we left home. We booked through Tom Barefoot (review above). Only problem was we didn’t know the itinerary beforehand, and they were taking us to the same waterfalls we went to the day before! So we pretty much wasted one of our days! It was a 4X4 van, and they picked us up right at the hotel (we were 5 minutes away). There were 10 of us in the van but it was very big. If you get car sick, when you book make sure you request the front seat. Someone already did and I got stuck in the back. But luckily everyone was nice enough to switch seats with me when it got to the very bumpy part. They show movie clips during your ride and then take you to those places. Sometimes the ride got a little boring, but overall it was fun to see the places in the films. They take you to Ahukini Piers first, then Waimea Falls, Coco Palms Resort (I really liked this part), ‘Opeaka‘a Falls, then lunch is supplied at Lydgate State Park. Then after lunch they take you all the way up the back roads to the location where Jurassic Park was shot- very bumpy 15 minute drive. This was really cool and you are basically paying extra for this since the regular tour goes everywhere but here. There is a really nice view, too. The Jurassic park sign is no longer up- just two poles- but it is still really cool if you are a movie fan.
Afterwards they drop you off at Will Squires. We requested the front of the helicopter because I did not want to get sick. They don’t guarantee anything but luckily DH and I got the front. I got middle, he got the left. There were two more couples behind us. They give you headsets with music to block out and the pilot talks intermittently. This was the BEST part of the entire honeymoon. It was so beautiful I was crying! I videotaped about 20 minutes and then started feeling the motion sickness. I made it through the hour without getting sick but the people behind us said they really felt it the whole time. So try and request the front. You get the best view for pictures and video. It really is amazing and worth the money.
After the helicopter tour we were on a high the rest of the day. My sister also sent us a gift basket with treats, wine and leis (sp) which we wore to dinner that night. We ate at Kintaros (review below) and ate Hibachi with some really nice older couples. It was the best day.
Day 4- Kauai
North Shore Beaches- A+
Losing DH’s ring at Secret Lava Pools- F
We wanted to wake up early and head to the North Shore, but it rained early AM so we slept in to about 8am (this is sleeping in at Hawaii!). We ate breakfast at Kountry Kitchen (review below) and headed up the North Shore. I had a Beachside dinner planned for DH at 5:30 so we didn’t have a lot of time. We first stopped at Moloa’a Beach because the book said it was really nice. It was. It was just off a small road that you had to park on the local street. We didn’t stay long because we wanted to get more in, but I wish we had. It was one of the prettier beaches I saw in Kauai. We tried to find Larsen’s Beach, but the book’s directions were confusing and we couldn’t find the road. Next we headed to the lighthouse, which is the smallest lighthouse I have ever seen! You have to pay $3 each because it is a wildlife refuge, and the views are nice, but I wouldn’t go back. Next we headed to Secret Beach. Had I only known what was going to happened, I would have just headed back to the hotel. It took about 10 minutes to walk down this steep trail just to get to the bottom. When you got there, the beach was absolutely gorgeous. But we didn’t stay on the beach. We wanted to follow the book and go to the left, to the Secret Lava Pools. After walking another 10 minutes over lava rocks, we finally made it. It was beautiful. There were 2 other people there already, and some following us. We put our stuff down and got into the bigger lava pool. Before DH jumped in, he asked me if he should take his wedding band off. I said no, I always keep my engagement ring on when I go swimming. Well, two minutes after he was in the water, he looked down and realized it wasn’t on his finger. My first reaction was calm and I just said its gone. There were rocks and sand and fish and it was pretty deep in spots. He put the cheap Wal-mart snorkeling mask on, which broke right away. He was diving to the bottom but we are both not good swimmers and it was very hard to look. One couple heard we lost it and said oh you will find it. But they didn’t help; they just kept splashing around in the water. Another newlywed couple showed up and offered to help. He was a good diver and he looked for us for about ½ hour. It was very nice of them. By this point I was saying just get out we can’t find it, it’s just a piece of gold that can be replaced. I wasn’t upset until the other couple said its much more than that, it has meaning to it. Finally we left and I just broke down hysterically crying. He didn’t even have it for a week but it wasn’t his fault. It didn’t fit right and we didn’t know it. We are working on getting a new one (luckily it wasn’t very expensive).
So I was crushed but I already had a surprise beach dinner planned through Heavenly Creations so I had to go. It was good that we did go because it took my mind off of it. It was excellent (review below). It was at ‘Anini Beach on the North Shore and during sunset. DH was surprised and loved it. After that I tried not to think about the ring the rest of the trip, but it was strange saying we were on our HM and he didn’t have a ring, so we had to tell everyone!
Day 5- Kauai
Waimea Canyon- A+
This was our last full day on the island and we still didn’t get to see the Canyon from the lookout or go to the North Shore, so we decided to cram it all in. I wouldn’t recommend it but we really wanted to see the entire island. We went to McDonalds for breakfast (review below)- it was excellent! We headed towards the West Shore and passed some very beautiful parts of the island. We took the advice of the book and took the first road to travel up to the Canyon. It was all uphill and kind of scary, but beautiful! This road gave gorgeous views of the canyon. I think the other road gives more views of the ocean. Finally we made it to the Waimea Canyon lookout. This is not to be missed! It was so pretty, and we go there around 11am so it wasn’t too crowded. DH and I were very clever on this trip- he bought a tripod at Wal-Mart when we got there and every time we wanted a picture of the two of us, he would set it up and set the timer on the camera. So we knew exactly what we were getting! We did this at so many places. Yes, it is a pain to lug around the tripod, but when your husband loves taking pictures, you can’t say no!
We headed back on the road to the farthest lookout, Pu‘u o Kila. The last mile of the road was closed because of potholes, just like the book warned. But we decided to do the mile hike and it was the best decision we made! You get a beautiful view of the Na Pali Coast from up there. If you keep walking past the first lookout, it looks like you are walking on Mars! The soil is light brown and bumpy all over. It’s crazy! We walked a bit until we found a nice spot to take a picture and then turned around. If we kept walking we heard people say you would come over a ridge and see a whole other side of the Coast. But we didn’t have time and we were exhausted from all the walking!
Driving back down was a pain because everyone was so slow! We finally got down and flew right by JoJo’s Shave Ice, which I hear is excellent but we didn’t have time. We took the advice of the book and ate at Brick Oven Pizza (review below). Then we continued for the long 2 hour drive to the North Shore. By this time it was getting later in the day and we had reservations at Tidepools, so we couldn’t lay out on any of the beaches. But the book said if you follow the road to the last beach on the North Shore, Ke’e Beach, you could get a beautiful view of the Na Pali Coast from that side. We got there- nice beach and park- but no view! You had to walk out really far over lava rocks which were very dangerous, and I didn’t do it. DH did and he said you could barely see anything! It was disappointing to drive all that way for no view. We stopped at a few quick beaches on the way back, but we didn’t get to do Tunnels, which supposedly has amazing snorkeling. We also didn’t get to stop in Princeville or any of the towns on the way. So my advice would be schedule a day for each shore- we made the mistake of doing the waterfalls one day and doing it on the tour the next day.
We were so tired but made it to Tidepools for a late dinner (review below). The Hyatt hotel looked beautiful! If you want to be pampered definitely stay there. But if you aren’t going to be in your room very long you should do what we did and stay in a less expensive but still very nice condo.
Day 6- Kauai to Maui
Lydgate State Beach/Park- A
On our last day we only had until 1pm to catch our flight. We packed and left our bags in our room. The employees were nice enough to bring our bags down for us and store them until we came back to pick up. We decided to stay local and go to Lydgate State Park/Beach. We ate there for lunch with the tour, and it looked like a safe place to swim. Some children were there because there is an area where the ocean is blocked off with rocks, so the water inside that small area is very calm. Some were snorkeling. I went in for a bit (I don’t really like the ocean) and I could see fish by just looking down! DH swam for another half-hour and then we had to pack up to make the plane!
We ate something quick at the airport, and had to fly to Honolulu first before Maui. We didn’t even have to get off the plane which was great.
Arriving in Maui
National Rental Car- C
We originally rented a convertible before we booked our flights and had to change the pick up/drop off times. They charged us an extra $100 for the extra 2 hours because it was considered a weekly rental. They were still the cheapest for the convertible. Then, someone in Kauai told us to get a Jeep for the back road to Hana, so we called a day before and switched. When we got to Maui, we saw the Jeep and thought it wasn’t right for us, so we requested to go back to the convertible. The woman was so rude, and she said next time call the local office, not the 1-800 number, because that messes me up. I’m already thinking there won’t be a next time. She hesitantly gave us the convertible, a White Sebring. Nothing special, and very dirty on the inside. It did get us through the bumpy roads to our house and the back roads of Hana (which are not back at all). So overall the car was good and I would definitely recommend getting a convertible in Maui, just not from National.
Cliffs Edge- Guest House Rental- C
I have very mixed feelings about Cliff’s Edge, but ultimately I had to give it a lower rating. On the one hand, you are extremely secluded, you are right at the beginning of the Hana highway (could be good or bad depending if you like the Hana highway-we didn’t), and you have a magnificent view and private hot tub. Nice TV with Satellite too, but we never used it. On the other hand, the house needs some major work. The road to get to the house has crazy potholes and it is 10 minutes off the main highway. Plus, the closest town is ½ hour away, and it is very inconvenient to go out to dinner at night and have a long drive back (not very much drinking at all!) As DH appropriately stated, it has the potential of being on of the most romantic places on Maui, but it isn’t there yet.
Paul, one of the house sitters, greeted us and showed us around. He was very nice. The owners were out of town so he explained all the ‘rules’. When we originally booked, the pictures on the website show a house that looked like it had two floors (the picture of stairs is still on the website). But when we arrived it was just one floor with two smaller bedrooms connecting into the bathroom. Right away when I walked in I knew I wouldn’t like it. The doors and windows were left open and there were a lot of bugs around. The kitchen had some older appliances, and some things just looked dirty. It was very hot with no a/c too, and they like to keep the fans off so the air was not circulating. The bathroom tile looked really old, and the washer/dryer was kind of dirty. I’m not the camping type, but I am also not the prissy type- kind of in between. But the house was just not what I expected.
Once Paul left and we began unpacking, I found a huge dead cockroach (they call them island cockroaches- it’s the same to me). DH threw him out- that’s how we chose our bedroom. We went straight to the other room! He later found another dead cockroach in the kitchen. We told Paul about it and he said it should be dead because they have someone come out and terminate every few months, but not inside the house, only outside (whats the point). We also had to ask Paul for an ironing board- they had an iron but no board. He said most people don’t iron in the tropics, but we told him our clothes were in bags for 5 days already; they were really wrinkled. I didn’t think I had to explain why I needed an ironing board!
That night it was hard to sleep because there were no locks on the doors and you have to keep it all open to get air in. It was still very hot in the bedroom every night, even with the trade winds. It was weird to go from locking doors in NJ to keeping the entire door open, even when you left for the day. I also didn’t like how they had a safe in the closet, but it was fingertip operated and I couldn’t put any jewelry in it. It was useless.
The next night we came back from our dinner, and I laid in bed only to see a huge gecko above the bed. I know they don’t hurt us, but I couldn’t fall asleep with it right there! Plus there were a few flying bugs around too. We noticed the screen blew open in the corner when it got very windy, and the bugs just climb on in! The windows/screens are very poorly maintained- they are always open and they were all rusted. You couldn’t even close them if you wanted to because the rust wouldn’t let you. We chased the gecko around for ½ hour (we were so exhausted too) and finally got him outside. DH went to speak to Paul the next day, but another girl Lisa (the owner’s cousin) was there. He explained the problem and she said she would be up to look at it. When we returned that day, all the fans were turned off (If I’m paying $300 a night, I should be able to leave them on to cool the house down, right?). She left a note basically saying she wasn’t sure what we were referring to, and then wrote “Bugs are a part of island life. I had a gecko in my room the other night. They won’t hurt you.” I was very offended by the island life statement. Yes, bugs are a part of island life, but when you stay at the Four Seasons, you don’t have bugs crawling on the ceilings and dead cockroaches in your closets. I was ready to leave right then. Having bugs all over the house is not romantic at all, and it really killed the mood.
The next day DH talked to Lisa again and explained more about the screen. She finally came in and put tape over the corners of the screen. There were still bugs all over the living room ceiling because of the screens up top.
Finally it was the last day and I was excited to leave. We had a nice time in the hot tub and the view was great, but the bugs and dirtiness really got to me. It wasn’t very romantic or relaxing because I was worrying about the bugs all the time. We followed all the check our rules (which was turning off fans, cleaning up dishes, wiping down counters, taking out trash, etc… man I thought I was on my Honeymoon!) We asked Lisa if it was okay if we left our bags in the house until 5pm, she said no problem- the cleaning lady doesn’t come until the next day (why do they need a cleaning lady if I just basically cleaned the whole house for them). We double-checked with John, the owner (first time we saw him) and he said no problem, just put them off to the side. We told him they were all in the living room. We came back at 5pm to find our bags all stacked up in the corner. Looks like the cleaning lady came after all. It was very insulting, as to say get out now, we have other guests coming (but no one was booked!). We grabbed the bags and ran. So, overall, the house was a disappointment, the view and hot tub was not. But, that would not entice me back to stay again. Plus, the rates went up- now $325 a night for the house (was 300) and $350 for the cottage (was 325). The cottage looked nice, but not as private as the house. Next time, I would either stay at a nice condo like we did in Kauai, or spend the money and stay at a big resort.
Day 6- Maui
My first impression of Maui was, wow this is much more industrialized than Kauai. I didn’t like it. We got the convertible and got lost immediately. Even the book’s map wasn’t detailed enough for the airport roads. We finally found Dairy Rd and made it to Wal-Mart. We were told to stop beforehand for food because the nearest shopping area was ½ hour away from the hotel. It was much busier than the one in Kauai, but still the best place to stop for food. We bought teriyaki hot dogs, which were excellent later that night!
We finally found our way to the house (review above). We were so exhausted from the flights, we decided to stay in for the night. We cooked our teriyaki hot dogs and beans and it was delicious! We made reservations for Mama’s Fish House for the next night.
Day 7- Maui
Makena Beach/Big Beach- A
It was the weekend, so we asked our housekeeper if we should attempt Hana highway or go to the beach. He said you will find more locals on the highway on the weekends, so it may be busier. We opted for the beach. He recommended Makena Beach/Big Beach/Little Beach (there are a few that are considered Makena); he said go to Little Beach for more privacy. Well, the book said Little Beach sometimes has nudity, and I have never been to a nude beach. I didn’t think many people would be nude, so when we got there, we went to the right and climbed over the big rock. Well, EVERYONE was nude, and they were mostly old, wrinkly guys!! It was so scary! I just put my sunglasses on, we walked across the beach to some rocks, then back really quick. Funny thing- we saw an old, naked guy playing Frisbee and he lifted his leg and caught it. It was gross!!
We made our way back to Big Beach and laid out for a bit. I thought it was too rough to swim but DH had to go in for a bit. After the beach we got lunch at Da Kitchen (review below). We drove around a bit to get acquainted with the area. It was very nice with a lot of beaches right on the strip in Kihei. We ended up at an indoor/outdoor market on South Kihei Rd called Kihei Kalama Village across from Kalama Park and did some shopping. I got a Hawaiian dress and DH got a new Hawaiian shirt. We also got a nice Tiki glass and some gifts to bring home. This was also the first time we had Shave Ice. The book did not talk about this place, but it was excellent!! (Review Below).
After shopping we made the long trek back to our house and got ready for Mama’s. It was a 30 minute drive from where we were staying. Mama’s was disappointing & expensive (review below).
Day 8- Maui
La Perouse Snorkling- A++
We had reservations for Feast at Lele this evening so we had to do any activities early. We took the suggestion from our house sitter and the book to rent snorkel gear and go to La Perouse Bay. We got up very early to get there by 9 a.m. We rented from Maui Dive Shop, and the gear fit perfect. No complaints about them. We drove to the end of the road (which was really spectacular with lava fields on both sides) and realized we went too far. The book says to go about 2/10 mile back to an opening in the fence, and walk the path. We parked on the side of the road and luckily found the opening. It was a long walk and very dangerous over all lava rocks, and VERY windy. That’s why you have to get there so early- because the wind is so bad!! We started to see a few places but didn’t think they were good to snorkel in. We saw two people in one pool and got in. The book says do not go into areas that have sand on the bottom, because it is really like quicksand. Well, we got in and sure enough I was sinking in it! I couldn’t see anything so we realized we didn’t walk far enough. We went over the ridge to another area that looked really nice. I stepped in and put my face in real quick, and I saw an eel right there!! I never snorkeled before so I was sooooo scared. DH got in and helped me relax. I got the hang of it real quick and realized we had picked a good spot. There were fish all over! It was amazing. We were the only ones there! We swam around for about 30 minutes, and then climbed over a bit of lava rocks to get to another pool right next to it. This had even bigger fish!! When we came back to the other pool, we saw a Ranger looking guy shouting. By this time there was one other couple in the pool. I swam over to the Ranger and he was very nasty. He said don’t stand over there on the coral, get out over here. I snapped back and told him don’t worry, we are leaving. He walked away and we got out. We had a wonderful time and highly recommend La Perouse. We didn’t make it all the way to the “Fishbowl” or “Aquarium” as the book calls it, but we were happy with what we saw. The book says if you got there really early and went to “Aquarium” you may be swimming with Dolphins. We didn’t do this; in fact we never saw a dolphin or turtle the whole time we were there! But this was one of the most memorable parts of Maui.
We left and went to lunch at Maui Taco (review below). Then we wanted to check out the resorts, so we followed the sign for beach access and parked. It wasn’t too busy because it was already later in the afternoon. We walked past the Four Seasons, and I had to look at the book because I didn’t think that was it. It wasn’t very impressive with colors or design. I thought it looked kind of plain! We kept walking farther down, but Fairmont Kea Lani was too far so we just stopped halfway and turned around. We got a nice view of the resorts here and the beach. I don’t think the Wailea beach was impressive at all! Not compared to the beaches on Kauai, and even Big Beach was nicer. It looked like a small, resort beach, nothing special.
We walked past Grand Wailea- now this is a beautiful resort! We were hesitant to walk on the property, but we did anyways. We went inside to take a look and got some nice video. It was so beautiful! I was wishing we had stayed there! Then DH wanted to sneak on their impressive water slides, but I wouldn’t go. So we left. Then we went onto Four Seasons Property and walked around the lobby. I wasn’t impressed! Even though you get more free things staying with them, I just didn’t like the décor or pool area. I would have definitely stayed in Grand Wailea over the Four Seasons.
We went back and got ready for the luau. It was over an hour from the house we stayed at! We parked at a lot that you had to pay for, and when I purchase the ticket I thought it said 24 hours. Well, it was actually 2 hours, and on a Sunday night we got a $35 ticket! I was going to fight it but we paid it to just get it over with. The Feast at Lele was fun (review below). DH had the video camera and regular camera going all night. When we drove home, it was late and we were both tired. DH realized the next day that he was missing a 512 MB memory card and camera battery. We called Feast but they said they never saw it. We even went and looked ourselves but didn’t find it. So we lost all of out La Perouse pictures, resort pictures and luau pics. So, that’s one wedding band, one memory card and one camera battery lost on our Honeymoon! That was all, thank goodness!
Day 9- Maui
Hana Highway- 1st Part- F
Banana Bread at the Halfway to Hana Store, A+
Blue Pool, Venus Pool, Black Sand Beach, 7 Sacred Pools- A
Back roads of Hana that loop all the way around- A+
We decided to do the HANA Highway since it was a weekday and we thought it would be less busy (we were wrong). It would have been a great start because we were staying at the 3 mile marker, 30 minutes past Paia. Only problem was, we forgot to fill up our tank the night before!! We had to drive back into Paia to get gas. We grabbed breakfast at Anthony’s (review below) and boxed lunches from Hana Bay Juice Company (review below). So we started with all the rest of the tourists at 8:30 from Paia. We borrowed the Road to Hana CD from the House we stayed at- definitely NOT worth buying.
First Part of Hana Highway to Blue Pools:
We skipped twin falls and kept going. We wanted to try and do the more hidden waterfalls that the book talked about, but it was so hard to follow. The roads are so narrow and windy, it is very hard to pull over when traffic is in front of you and behind you. Plus, you get frustrated with the slow drivers, every time they stop, you don’t want to stop because you want to get ahead of them. We stopped just a few times and it felt like the road was forever! I didn’t find anything impressive. We got out at Ching’s Pond- nothing great to look at. We got out at 3 Bears Waterfall- just okay. The best Waterfall was the last one before 7 Sacred called Wailau Falls (actually in second part of Hana Highway past Blue Pools, etc…so shouldn‘t even be in this section). This one was pretty and people climbed down to go in it. But there was a dead pig on the bottom that was gross to look at. Overall, we hated the first part of Hana Highway and would probably never do it again. The best part was just driving in the convertible with the top down and the banana bread at the halfway store.
Second Part of Hana- Blue Pools, Black Sand Beach, Venus Pool, 7 Sacred Pools:
We FINALLY made it to Blue Pools after following a long 10 minute bumpy road. There are two parking lots at the end of the road. You just park and slip $2 into the mailbox (trust system). As we were walking down we came upon two cones with a sign on them saying “Blue Pools does not exist. You are walking on private property. Turn around and go home” or something to that effect. We just kept walking. We didn’t really know where to go so we followed a couple. You have to walk on the rocks crossing the stream (no water on the rocks when we were there) and over lava rocks until we saw it. It was really beautiful!!! It wasn’t flowing that much but it was just enough! No one else was there when we got there, so we got some video of us under the waterfall and in the pool without anyone else being in it. Then more people showed up. As we were getting ready to leave, everyone left too! So we had it for another ½ hour to ourselves. We already dried off so we just took pictures and enjoyed the scenery. As we were leaving more people were coming. I highly recommend you stop here- you won’t see anything else like it!! Not to be missed!
Next stop down the road was Black Sands Beach, which is in Wai’anapanapa State Park that you can camp in. This is where we sat and ate our very delicious lunch. It was already around 1:30pm! We walked down to the beach- we never saw anything like it! You really can’t lay out on the beach because it is small and there are a lot of Man-o-Wars (Jellyfish) lying around. We took some really nice pictures here. This is another not to be missed spot!
We decided to go past the red sands beach because the book said it was a bit of a hike. We drove straight through Hana- it looked like a nice town but we didn’t have time to stop. Next we saw some cars on the side of the road and we knew we were at Venus Pools. Its tricky to find the opening in the fence. Its really not an opening. There is barb wire on the top and bottom, and the middle is cut out, so you have to duck under. The path is easy to follow and you’ll find it in about two minutes. This was also beautiful! A few people were there when we arrived. The rocks look almost silver and there is a huge pool. People were jumping from high up. It was really nice. We didn’t go in the water because we wanted to get to 7 Sacred Pools, but it is another must see.
Next was 7 Sacred Pools- finally!! We got there later in the day, around 4:30pm. It was still busy and we were so tired from the drive. There are a few pools to go in, but the bottom two are busier because the top one is a real trek to get to. We went to one of the middle pools. It was wonderful! Definitely an advertising gimmick to get people to drive all that way, but once you get there, you have to go swimming! There were also brave jumpers here too- we got some good pictures. It is $10 to park, but you can use that pass again at Haleakala Crater. The bathrooms are the worst bathrooms I have ever been in! If you can stop elsewhere, definitely do so!
Third Part of Hana- The Back Roads
We did not want to go back the same way, and even though people said don’t attempt the back roads without a Jeep, we tried it anyways. It was the BEST decision we made on the trip. It is gorgeous. The road is just as the book said- regularly grated gravel road. It is bumpy for 5 miles, but then you hit regular road. And nothing bad enough to really do damage to your convertible (the road to our house had huge potholes and that was more dangerous than this road). You first have curves and ocean on your left. Then the road is hillier, and farmland starts. On the right you get a beautiful view of the back of the crater. On the left you have the ocean. No one was traveling this road so we had it all to ourselves, and during sunset!! The cows were awesome, and we kept stopping to take pictures. It was just amazing to think that we were in Maui, Hawaii, yet we are in farmlands. The landscapes were just indescribable. It was really a special time for us. There was one part where you make a sharp turn and come upon these dry mountains (pic on page 114 of book). Wow, this was stunning to see. As we kept driving the sun started going down, and we saw one of the best sunsets ever. We had to keep stopping at every turn just to look. It was breathtaking. Then we realized the road was actually way above the road where the resorts are in Wailea. We had some nice views of Molokini. Finally we got back on main highway and ended up on Dairy Road, where Wal-Mart is. I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed that back part of Hana. It was a wonderful ending to a very long day! We ended up just eating McDonalds for dinner because we were exhausted! But if you can do the back road, especially at sunset, you won’t be disappointed!
Day 10- Maui
Horseback Ride Down Haleakala- A+
Pony Express Tour Guide- D
We booked with Tom Barefoot before the trip to do a horseback ride with Pony Express down the crater. We were originally going to do the sunrise, but we were so tired from the Hana Highway the day before. We said we would do the sunset the next day (we didn’t). We drove up the road to the crater, first stopping at the checkpoint for Pony Express. They gave us bottled water and said to drink at least ½ so we don’t get dehydrated with the elevation. We were told to meet Rah at the top. We drove up the amazing road, and DH was very scared driving. He couldn’t look off the side because we were above the clouds and there were no guardrails! It was an amazing site.
We got to the top, ran to the bathroom (much better bathrooms than 7 Sacred Pools) and met with Rah. He wasn’t too friendly from the start. He told us we couldn’t bring the water or the bag with our camera equipment, so I had to wear the video camera around my neck and DH had to wear the regular camera. By the end of the trip they were both covered in dirt. Rah did mention that he accepts gratuities of course, but didn’t warn us about the sun or to put sun block on, but I knew I should put some on my ears and face. I wore a hat which helped tremendously, jeans and a windbreaker which kept my arms and legs covered. What I didn’t think about was the top of my hands. After the 4 hours total horse ride (2 hours there and back) I looked down at my hands and saw they were burnt! DH had the same thing, but he is Greek and already has a dark complex, so it wasn’t as bad. I’ll talk more about this in a bit.
Rah asked everyone if they had ridden a horse at least once- DH and I did not. He seemed a bit shocked but then said it was easy. The book as well as the website said you need no prior experience. He lined us up in the order we arrived (DH & I were almost last- one single person behind us). This is the order we rode the horses. So we were the least experienced and in the back of the pack. He explained very quickly how to maneuver the horse- DH was confused and never really got the hang of it. First his horse didn’t cooperate, then he switched with Rah and finally his horse was moving.
The best part was the views! When you do the bike ride, you bike down the same road you just drove up, which is probably thrilling but you already saw it. With the horse, you go down inside the crater, and we took the Sliding Sands trail, which was amazing. I felt like I was on the Moon or Mars. The red colors with the white clouds were something you can’t describe unless you were there. The horse ride starts to hurt and eventually you become numb to it, but you will be sore for days. But it is all worth it! But, Rah stunk as a leader! He was always way in front of the group, and if he stopped to talk about something, only the first few people would catch up to hear, and when we finally got caught up, he would be done with his speech and start walking! It was frustrating- we barely got to stop for pictures but DH kept snapping away and a lot came out nice. We finally made it halfway to lunch. I thought they would have benches since it is a trail that people walk on also, but they had nothing. I guess they don’t want to ruin the landscape. We had a sandwich and fruit snack with chips and guava juice (no water- which was crazy because I don’t like the juice and I was thirsty). Rah just set the food out and everyone had to take their own. He didn’t even offer wet-naps but I saw he had some lying out so I grabbed a few. It was very uncomfortable and flies were everywhere, plus the ponies were tied up right there. They didn’t feed them during lunch, and on the entire way back my horse kept stopping to eat any greenery it could find.
So we went back up the trail, which was much easier than going down. We finally made it to the top and that is when I saw my hands. Within the next few days, my hands turned almost a dark purple. My left hand eventually peeled and healed okay, but my right hand is not so good. Eventually bumps came to the surface, which I thought was sun poisoning, but they still have not gone away (3 weeks now). I am going to the doctor and hopefully all is okay. But please make sure you wear gloves or put sun block on.
We drove back down the windy road and got some good video going through the clouds. It is really an amazing site. We went back to the house and got ready for out last dinner on the island- at Hali’imaile General Store (review below). We had a wonderful last night for dinner. We tried to make it an early night because we planned to get up at 1am and go to the crater.
Day 10- Maui to NJ- Last Day
Old Lahaina Shopping- A
We tried to wake up at 1am to see the sunrise at Haleakala. I got up and felt so sick, because I didn’t get enough sleep. We both felt if we tried to drive the hour + there and back, we may not make it on the windy roads. We decided to head back to bed. This is one thing I wish we could’ve done on the trip, but we just couldn’t. If you go to Maui, try to do this early in the trip, because the longer you are there and more activities you do, the more tired you will be. We were just drained from 10 days nonstop activities, so our bodies just wouldn’t let us. If we ever return (and that is a big if because we really liked Kauai much better) we will do this first thing.
We still woke up early because I wanted to get some shopping in and DH wanted to go to one more beach. We drove all the way to Lahaina, this time making sure to park in the free parking lots! There was really a lot to do and so many different shops- I loved it! It was crowded, but probably not as bad as a weekend. DH dropped me off and decided to go find a beach. He went to the small one in front of the Feast at Lele and did a bit of swimming. I got some nice earrings and necklace charms for my sister and mom, and some t-shirts. You’ll find most clothing stores have the same Hawaiian shirts/dresses, so you just have to shop around for the cheaper price (but they aren’t cheap!)
We drove a bit past the shops and ate at Aloha Mixed Plate (review below). Great last meal on the island. We also had some Shave Ice in Lahaina at Lappert’s Ice Cream Shop on Front Street which was terrible (review below). We left around 3:45 to get back to the house at 5pm and didn’t plan on traffic! It was pretty bad and we didn’t get back to the house until 5:15. We got to the airport at 6pm and were racing around like maniacs because we needed to drop the car off, take the shuttle to the terminal, and check our bags. We didn’t want what happened to us coming into Hawaii to happen again (almost miss the flight and wait for our bags!). The woman was so nice at Hawaiian that she checked our bags straight to Newark. Wish they would have done this for us from Newark to Hawaii!
We went from Maui to Honolulu and had to wait about 3 hours for our plane, which was fine because we didn’t want to rush. We ate dinner at a sports bar in the airport- not bad. We caught the red-eye from Honolulu to LAX, and another plane switch back to Newark.
I noted which ones the book gave an ONO to (Maui & Kauai Revealed Books). This means they think its worth going to. I think they gave their ONOs out too much and disagreed with them a lot, moreso on Maui. The grade we gave it is next to it.
Hukilau Lanai Restaurant, Received ONO, A+++
This was our first meal on Kauai and it was after a long day of plane rides. It ended up being one of our favorite restaurants. We didn’t look in the book to see what they rated the place; we just went because it was in our hotel and we needed food! We told the waitress we just got off our third plane and we were starving and needed food! She first suggested a new cocktail the bartender made up, which I had and it was yummy. DH had a Mai Tai and he said it was excellent. It still took a bit to get our food, but when we got it everything was wonderful. We ordered Mediterranean Shrimp Stack which was sooo yummy! There was nothing left on the plate. Then our meals came with soup or salad- we both had the salad. I ordered the grilled Mahi-Mahi and DH had the Hukilau Mixed Grill (different fish & shrimp). I can’t tell you how good they both were! I ate everything, and that is rare! We wanted to eat here again but never had the time to. It was an excellent restaurant with good prices- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Tropical Burgers, F
So, we were very hungry after our day of waterfalls, so we went back to the hotel and walked over to the Coconut Marketplace. I forgot the book in the car, but I assumed we could just find a good place to eat. I was SO wrong. We chose tropical burgers. We almost walked out a few times. It took 10 minutes for the waitress to come over, and she wasn’t nice at all. Sodas took another 10 minutes to come, and the flies and birds were annoying. Burgers were nothing special. We didn’t even leave a tip that is how bad it was. We got in the car and I looked in the book- basically said bad service, bad burgers, don’t eat there! It was HORRIBLE.
Beach House, Received ONO, A
We made reservations for the Beach House the night before. If you want seats during sunset, I suggest you make it months before your trip. We could only get an 8:30 reservation, 1 hour after sunset. BUT, I would suggest making the reservation after the sunset. The way the restaurant is set up, there is a huge grassy area right in front. So, during sunset, all the people that are waiting to be seated go outside for pictures. If you were seated in the restaurant, I doubt you would get a good view past all the honeymooners taking pictures!
DH brought his tripod and it was the best idea ever! Instead of having other couples take our picture, we set it up with the timer and took so many with us together, with the sunset in the background. We also got nice pictures in front of the tiki torches. Everyone was looking at us, probably jealous because they didn’t think of the idea! It was great!!
So we went inside and finally got a table- the view wasn’t as important at this time. Since we had a late lunch, we just wanted to get to our dinners and no appetizers. The waiter took a while to get to us. I ordered an excellent Banana alcoholic drink which took a good 10 minutes to get to us. I noticed a couple that had sat down after us had already received their drinks and appetizers while we didn’t even order yet! Finally, I ordered Kauai Duet which had Ono fish and scallaps and DH the Fire-roasted Ahi. The waiter then tells us that since we did not order appetizers, it would take 25 minutes to get our dinner! We were very upset because it took an hour to get seated, then longer to get drinks and others were being served before us. We were not happy honeymooners! DH got up and spoke with the restaurant manager. He came back and said everything was being taken care of; he was getting our food to us in 5 minutes and took the drinks off the bill! I was impressed at the level of service we were given. Usually when you go to a restaurant you have to beg to have anything taken off the bill- DH said he didn’t hesitate to give us the drinks for free. He later came by and apologized and made sure everything was okay. The food was first-rate. My scallops had caviar on them and it was good!! We decided to order the Chocolate Soufflé for dinner and that was also very good. So, even though we didn’t have the best waiter and we had to wait forever for our table, the food and location made up for it. It is expensive but one of the only expensive restaurants worth eating at.
Kintaros, Received ONO, A+
We love Hibachi at home so why not try it in Hawaii. It was great. We sat at the Hibachi table (they only have a few so make sure you make a reservation) with 2 older couples. They talked with us all night about our wedding, honeymoon and future. They all Honeymooned in Hawaii and come back all the time. They said Kauai was their favorite island (which soon became our favorite). I ordered the shrimp and DH the filet mignon. I actually finished my entire plate! I was doing a lot of this in Hawaii as the food was sooooo good! The restaurant was located 1 minute (I’m not exaggerating!) from the condo. Everyone told us to go to Kintaros because it was their favorite, and it was worth it. Again, another expensive meal, but worth it because you get big portions.
Kountry Kitchen, Received ONO, B+
We went to Kountry Kitchen for breakfast one morning. It was about a 15 minute wait until we got seated, and it was small inside. Also didn’t look the cleanest, but it was a good place to go to for a Hawaiian breakfast. We got a side order of cornbread, and it was delicious. I ordered something like an Eggs Benedict, but it was smothered in cheese sauce instead of Hollandaise. It came with Hash Browns that were too dry. DH got Eggs Benedict with Turkey instead of ham- he said he loved it. We shared Macadamia Nut Pancakes- tasted like regular pancakes with a crunch. It was expensive for breakfast, but a nice cozy place with homemade food. We would eat there again.
Heavenly Creations Beachside Dinner, Book recommended them, A+
OK well this was the day DH lost his wedding band in the Secret Lava Pools at Secret Beach. I had planned a month in advanced for this dinner and I wasn’t going to let the ring ruin it! I e-mailed DJ Star about their service for $285 for a beachside dinner. They got back to me with their menu selections, which you can change around, and their additional services. We would get appetizer, salad, dinner, rolls, dessert, a bottle of wine, soft drinks and water on a beach during sunset with a personal chef for 2 hours for $285. They recommended ‘Anini Beach because you can see the sunset from there. I e-mailed back a few times with no response, so finally called and spoke with a woman. She said their server wasn’t working right, but she finalized my selections on the phone. I added in a fire with roasted marshmallows for an extra charge. Overall it came to about $325. It sounds expensive, but if you have the money, definitely surprise your sweetie! DH had no idea what I had planned.
We got a little lost because I wasn’t given exact directions on where they would be. Finally we found them- we had 2 people waiting for us. Unfortunately I forgot the woman’s name but she was soooo nice and made the experience so much better. She walked us to a small area on the beach (no one was around) with a table set up with a big umbrella behind us. DH was soooooo happy! It certainly helped us forget about the lost ring! We started off with Brie & Macadamia nut spread with crackers- yum! I asked for a bottle of Chardonnay, and I didn’t like it at all. You may want to suggest a certain brand when you order. Then the salad- I ordered DH a mixed salad with edible flowers and dressing he couldn’t get enough of! I don’t like lettuce so they prepared a tomato and roasted red pepper salad with balsamic. Then we had Hawaiian sweet rolls, filet mignon, baked potato, and zucchini and broccoli mix. The steak was good; not the best steak I have ever eaten, but the view made it the best dinner ever!
Our personal chef chatted with us for a while and took some really great pictures of us together- some of the best on the trip with the sunset behind us. She was very friendly and her assistant just helped serve us. The dessert looked like a brownie- it was very rich and chocolaty. They started to set up the fire and DH still didn’t know about it. He was snapping away sunset pictures! Finally he saw what they were doing and he was even more pleased. The sun was almost all the way down and now we have a nice fire with roasted marshmallows, sitting on a bamboo mat with wine and soda and nobody around us. It was magical. The chef stayed past the two hour time frame because she was talking and helping us with the fire. We gave her a really good tip (not included in the price). She left and it was so dark I was getting scared! But the stars were beautiful and everything was so romantic. It was perfect.
We finally left and DH couldn’t stop thanking me. Next to the helicopter ride on Kauai, it is the best thing we did. The cost didn’t matter because when else will you be able to have a beach all to yourself, with a private chef and the sunset? Not often! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
McDonalds for breakfast, A+
We had a long day ahead of us and just wanted to do a quick breakfast. Most of the time we ate in and had cereal but we wanted to try McDonalds. We heard they had some local specialty foods. We both got the big breakfast, which came with eggs, white rice, spam and Portuguese sausage. We LOVED it! And it wasn’t that expensive! There was a lot of food, and eating white rice for breakfast was surprisingly good! DH loved the Portuguese sausage. He couldn’t get enough! He came home and looked for it in the grocery store but can’t find it! So if you want a cheap, tasty breakfast, do McDonalds! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Brick Oven Pizza, Received ONO, D
We didn’t expect the best pizza in Hawaii, but we looked in the book and they raved about this place. They said it was expensive (it wasn’t too bad) but they said the pizza was great. It wasn’t. We didn’t care for it at all. We tried the wheat pizza with ½ plain, ½ olives. The sauce, the cheese, everything just didn’t taste good. If you pass this on your way back from Waimea Canyon, keep driving. Not recommended.
Tidepools, Received ONO, B-
This is another fancy, expensive restaurant the book recommended, and a lot of Knotties actually recommend it, but we didn’t like it much. The ONLY reason it gets a B- is because DH said his prime rib was the best he ever had! The ambiance is nice, but not well lit. I had a nice banana liquor drink, while DH had another specialty drink. They were $10 a piece I believe. We ordered the Sake and Peppered Beef Carpaccio dish for appetizer (we were starving) and it was so small for $13! I called it an app because they left off the -etizer part of the dish! Way too small of a portion. I ordered the Mahi Mahi and I didn’t care for it. I had much better at the all the other restaurants I ordered it from. You could taste the fishiness in it- just wasn’t good for me. But DH said his Garlic Peppercorn Rubbed Prime Rib was awesome, and the portion was big. For dessert DH chose the Banana Cheesecake Strudel and I thought it was too dry. Overall, it was the most expensive meal we had and I liked it the least. However, if you are not staying at the Hyatt, it is definitely worth going to take a look at- just eat elsewhere (unless you order the prime rib). Overrated.
Restaurant Reviews- Maui:
Da Kitchen, Received ONO, A+
Great place for a quick lunch. We each got a sampler platter with plenty of food! I had the teriyaki beef and kalua pork which comes with 2 scoops rice and potato mac salad (a mix of potato and mac and cheese). I really liked the teriyaki beef. DH had teriyaki beef, chicken, and chicken katsu (breaded chicken). He also liked the teriyaki the best. It is very fatty foods so if you are dieting don’t eat here. We would eat here again- HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Shave Ice at Kihei Kalama Village, Book does not talk about it, A+++
Now the book does not talk about this shave ice place, but it is on the main road in the open air market, right next to – coffee shop. This was the first shave ice we had and it was one of the best things I have ever tasted!!! So much better than Italian Ice (or water ice, whatever you call it) back home. I ordered a smaller size with ice cream on bottom, cherry and banana flavors, and their special crème on top for $3. It was huge, but I ate it all!! It really hit the spot on a hot day. DH got watermelon and tangerine flavors with ice cream but not crème on top. He liked it a lot but liked my cherry/banana mix better. We went back the next day and got a big cherry/banana to share. He took pictures of it but it was on the memory card he lost. I don’t know what JoJo’s in Kauai tasted like, but this was amazing!!! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Do not miss this shave ice!!! Mama’s Fish House, Received ONO, C
We were warned by the house sitter that this is an expensive restaurant and not really worth it, but it was one of the closest restaurants to our house, and the book raved about it. It looked like a nice restaurant and our waiter was nice, but the food and waiting time for the food was not very good. We didn’t have any alcoholic drinks (they were so expensive!) but we did order the Macadamia Nut Crab Cakes with fire and ice relish for appetizer. This came out fairly quick, but it was a small portion. DH was worried that it was going to turn out like Tidepools- very expensive with small portions. He was right. It took a ½ hour after the appetizer to get our dinner! It was a ridiculously long wait, and the waiter never came by to tell us the status, until we stopped him and asked. He said it would be just a few more minutes at the 20 minute mark- it was 10 more. DH was very unhappy. He ordered the Hawaiian Ahi, medium rare, and it was more like medium well. It was a small portion for him and he didn’t like it. I ordered a special- Shrimp and Red Snapper with angel hair pasta in a lemon garlic sauce. The shrimp heads were left on (which he warned me about when I ordered). The shrimp wasn’t very good, but the red snapper was tasty. The pasta had too much oil in it, and it actually turned my stomach halfway through. I couldn’t finish it because my stomach hurt so bad.
Even though we were there for so long already, I needed something to calm my stomach, so I ordered tea and DH had fresh brewed coffee at the table. DH also ordered dessert- I think it was a Banana Mac Nut dessert but I can’t remember. The dessert and tea were much better than the appetizer and dinner. Overall we were there for about two hours!! Way too long! The bill was crazy, and DH wanted to ask for something off because of the long wait, but I just wanted to get out of there. It was another let down. Too Expensive, small portions, and overall not the best fish! I totally disagree with the book on this one- again… SKIP this restaurant and go to the much better Hali’imaile General Store.
Maui Taco, Received ONO, A
This is another good place to get a fast, cheaper lunch with big portions. We both ordered a meal. I had a Soft Taco and Burrito with meat, which came with beans, rice and chips. DH had the same but with fish in his taco. They were both really good, filling lunches! It is a small place and if it is busy, it is hard to get a seat. But seeing all the celebrity pictures on the wall makes you feel like you are eating at a really cool place!
Feast at Lele- Recommended by book- says food incredible, B-
I really disagree with the book on the food at Feast. The Feast is a good luau for couples since you have your own table, and we were front, center! I think when we booked with Tom Barefoot they probably told them we were on our honeymoon so they gave us the best seats- we also got a slight discount from the $99 per person. The location was gorgeous- right on the beach at sunset. The waiters were okay- working a few too many tables so they didn’t come over very much when we needed drink refills. But the alcoholic drinks were included in the price- too bad we had over an hour drive and couldn’t drink too much. The show was really fun- we really enjoyed it. We have some great video, and would have had great pictures except DH lost that memory card (we think we left it at the Feast but they said they never found it. I’m thinking someone did and kept it).
Now to the food- or lack thereof. They make it seem like you get so much food- 5 courses. Well, each course is supposedly portioned out for the number of people you have at your table, and it is served family style. Really, it looked like it could feed my DH only, and even after that he would still be hungry. Most of the food is very specific, and two courses I didn’t even eat because I didn’t like any of it. It all sounds great on paper, but there wasn’t nearly enough to feed both of us. This was disappointing because we love food, but we didn’t love this food. The last course was actually one of the best, with steak (only a few small pieces though). The dessert also sounded great, but was a very small portion. The book said the food is so excellent and big portions- I don’t think they were at the same luau as us!
Overall, the location and show were great, and that’s what made me give it a B-. But if you are looking for a lot of food, maybe try Old Lahaina Luau. I’ve heard you get big portions there.
Anthony’s Coffee Co. for breakfast, Received ONO, A+
Even though we stayed at a house between the 3rd and 4th mile marker on the Hana Highway, we forgot to get gas the night before and had to travel into Pa’ia anyways!! So, we got breakfast at Anthony’s. Since DH was in love with Portuguese Sausage, he got a sandwich with sausage, egg and cheese. It was so fresh and delicious. I got a toasted bagel with cream cheese and even that was good! Unfortunately we didn’t get to eat here again, but I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND it just after have one breakfast there.
Hana Bay Juice Company, Book doesn’t talk about it, A
The Hana Bay Juice Company has signs all over it saying Boxed Lunches. We decided to pick one up on our way to Road to Hana. They had some different choices (sandwiches with sprouts and stuff) but we stuck with Roast beef and Ham. It comes on a large Hoagie Roll, with potato salad, chips and cookie. It’s pricy, and if you don’t rent a cooler from them, it gets warm in the car (we found that out the hard way). Also drinks weren’t included. But after the long drive, it hit the spot, even if it was a little warm. If you don’t go here, make sure you pack lunch, because there aren’t many places to stop on the highway.
Hali’imaile General Store, Received ONO, A+++++++++
The book hesitantly gave this place an ONO because of its location- kind of out of the way, especially if you stay at the big resorts. But since we were ½ hour from Pa’ia, and this was about 10 minutes from there, we decided to check it out. It was also recommended by the locals. This was going to be our last dinner on the island. We were finally pleased with dinner! We told the waiter it was out last night of our HM, and even if we didn’t say this I’m sure we would’ve still gotten the great service.
The waiter was so friendly the whole night. I had a banana daiquiri with mac nuts and DH had a Mai Tai. We ordered the Crab Pizza for appetizer- it was outstanding! For the price, it was a nice sized portion- we were almost licking the plate it was so good! For dinner, I ordered the Macadamia Nut Crusted Fresh Catch (Mahi Mahi that evening) with mango lilikoi butter and mashed potatoes and veggies. It was the BEST Mahi Mahi I had in Hawaii! So fresh, not fishy at all, wonderful!!!! DH had Hoisin Marinated “On the Bone” Short Rib with blue cheese mashed potatoes and a hoisin demi glace. He was going to do fish, since it was our last dinner, but the waiter suggested the short ribs because they are actually a local specialty. He LOVED them! He also said it was one of the best dinners he had. For dessert, DH had Hali’imaile Pineapple Upside-Down Cake- warm caramelized Maui pineapple served over vanilla cake with whipped cream. DH doesn’t like pineapple from the mainland, but he loved it there. It was so rich! I had Lilikoi Brûlée and Almond Brittle Cup-Lilikoi brulee and a crunchy almond brittle over fresh berry compote. I didn’t know what Lilikoi was, but I think it is a passion fruit because the Brûlée had a very distinct taste to it. It wasn’t my favorite Crème Brûlée but the almond brittle cup was incredible!
This was the BEST and most memorable dinner on Maui, and even though it is out of the way, it is WORTH the trip!! Plus, it was the least expensive of all the expensive meals we ate on Maui, but it was the best one! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! IF YOU HAVE DINNER ANYWHERE ON MAUI, YOU HAVE TO HAVE IT HERE!!!
Aloha Mixed Plate, Recieved ONO, A+
Our last day on the island we went to Lahaina and wanted a good lunch. Cheeseburger in Paradise was recommended by the book, but we asked a local in a shop and she said it is overrated. Plus the line was out the door. We asked about Aloha Mixed Plate, because friends on the mainland recommended it. She said it has very good food, but we couldn’t walk there from the shops. So, if you drive a little past the shops on Front Street and go over the bridge, it is on your left. It is next to the Old Lahaina Luau. Very casual place with outdoor seating. It was busy so it took a while for the waitress to take our order. Finally, I order the Aloha Mixed Plate, which was Mahi Mahi, teriyaki beef and chicken, with white rice and macaroni salad. The flavors combined were so good- I got a little bit of everything. DH ordered the Loco Moco, which we saw all over Hawaii but didn’t get to try it until then. Its two hamburger patties topped with two over easy eggs covered in brown gravy, served over a bed of rice. It tastes as good as it sounds!! He loved it and so did I! I only wish we could have ordered more dishes like this on the entire trip. It was similar to Da Kitchen- local foods at a decent price with lots of flavor. It was a great last meal on the island. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Lappert’s Ice Cream shop Shave Ice at Front Street in Lahaina, Not in Book, F
Unfortunately our last shave ice wasn’t as good as our lunch. We walked in this ice cream shop and ordered mac nut ice cream with cherry and banana ice on top. They didn’t have the cream like the other shop, and the ice was not shaved, more like packed ice. It was HORRIBLE. The ice cream wasn’t even good! We threw it out after a few bites. DON’T go here for shave ice.