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First trip - which island?

Zac495

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I'm going to use my Marriott points - one week in a timeshare with a trade - one week in a hotel - and do it. So I'm thinking - fly to the big island (that's KOA, right?), stay a week, and then do Kauai or Maui. I, personally, have seen Oahu and Maui years ago - but I was single and my family has never been.

Kids - 14 and 11. We want to do a lot of relaxing - but definitely see 2 whole islands (we'd rent a car). All 4 of us love to see the most beautiful sights - and I think the volcanoes would be fun. I love cliffs.

Weather and air-conditioning matter. Some of the Kaui resorts don't have a/c - my husband hates the lack of a/c. Also, there was some mention in the reviews of Princeville, Kauai being rainy.
If Maui was an easier trade for a resort with a/c and being on the beach , that would sway me. We have a Marriott for an exchange - so I would think I'd get something - but wouldn't want just anything.

Which 2 islands would you recommend and why? Thanks!!!:cheer:
 
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Kauai Kid

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Since hubby and the kids have never been to Oahu that would be #1 for a few days and then fly to Maui for the remainder of the two weeks--more suitable for teens.

Sterling
 

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We personally perfer Kauai, it is a beautiful island but at a slower pace. Our 18 year old son likes Kauai for its beauty but quickly becomes bored. For kids that age Maui is probably the better choice of the two. But it depends on your children. Our son has always preferred Oahu as he loves the hustle and bustle of Waikiki (which we dislike.)

What do you kids like to do in their free time? What things do you want to do on your vacation? That will determain which island is best.
 

Bill4728

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Kauai is the only hawaiian island where there is alot of resorts in the areas which are rainy (princeville). But the SE part of the island has several great resorts too and the weather there is great. Also they all should have AC.

Ohau- Big city, lots to do, a must see for pearl harbor, and Honalulu.
Maui- most developed of the other islands which is both good and bad
Big Island- The kona side is the driest and least pretty of the islands but you can drive to the other side for great scenery and also the volcanos
Kauai- Prettiest of the islands and least developed (both good & bad) Princeville is wet and SE island is nice.

Good luck
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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If you're going to use Marriott, both Marriott resorts on Kaua`i are on the opposite (dry) side of the island from Princeville. The Kaua`i Beach Club is in Lihu`e, which is sort of in the transition zone from wet to dry, but closer to the centers of island "night life" (such as it is in Kaua'i). Lihu`e is also pretty centrally located on the island for sight-seeing and getting to activities.

The Marriott Waiholi resort on Kaua`i is on Po`ipu Beach on the south shore. Definitely in the dry area, and Po`ipu is a wonderful beach.

If beaches are important to you and your children, you simply cannot do better than Kaua'i. We've stayed on every major island except Lana`i, and Kau`i has more beaches, better beaches, less crowded beaches than any other island. (Well, Moloka`i beaches are less crowded than Kaua`i but Kaua`i has a lot more beaches than Moloka`i, and as far as activities go Moloka`i makes Kaua`i look like Times Square on New Years Eve.) If you want a beach resort, it would be hard to do better than the Marriott Waiholi.

The only downside with Kaua`i beaches is if your kids have expectations that beaches are for activities and excitement. For that type of beach you shold be looking at Wa`ikiki on O`ahu and Ka`anapali on Maui.
 

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I have been to Hawaii, Oahu, Molokai, Kauai, and Maui. Our favorite probably being Kauai. However if I were only to go to one Island I would most likely choose Maui. It has a little of everything (actually a lot of everything). It has a volcano (albeit Extint), best whale watching, the fabulous road to Hanna, the 7 (or more sacred pools, and Lahaina. Also from Maui it is possible to take a helicopter trip to the Big Island to see the volcano doing it's thing. And if you want you can always take the ferry to Molokai to view one of the most Hawaiian of the Islands; there if you plan it right you can ride the mules to the leper colony made famous by the Father Damien movie. Which ever Island you choose YOU WILL HAVE A GREAT TIME!!! All have enought to see and keep you busy for the week. ENJOY!
 

DeniseM

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i think maui is the hardest exchange, but shouldn't be a problem with marriott. my favorite island is kauai, but with the kids i think i would try for the maui marriott on ka'anapali beach where there is so much to do.

there is tons of info in the old posts - try searching for the names of the islands using the search function. once u decide on an island get the hawaii revealed guidebook for that island and start reading well in advance. For exploring maui by car i think the best guidebook is driving and discovering maui & moiokai - which is on sale on the author's website for $10 right now - it's $19 at amazon.
 
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charford

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I would recommend trying for the Marriott Waiohai on Kauai with your trade. It has a great pool for the kids and is near a very nice beach - Poipu beach. The resort is fairly new and does have A/C.

On the Big Island, my favorite area is Waikoloa Beach Resort. It's about 20 minutes from KOA. There is another major airport on the island in Hilo (ITO). In Waikoloa Beach Resort, there is a Marriott, a Hilton - Hilton Waikoloa Village - which is just tooo big for me, and quite a few condos. You can find condos for rent on vrbo and through property management companies. There are plenty of condos for rent in other locations on the islands from these two sources as well. Condos tend to be cheaper and give you more space than hotels - but then again, there's usually no room service. :D

Have fun planning!
 

Zac495

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We personally perfer Kauai, it is a beautiful island but at a slower pace. Our 18 year old son likes Kauai for its beauty but quickly becomes bored. For kids that age Maui is probably the better choice of the two. But it depends on your children. Our son has always preferred Oahu as he loves the hustle and bustle of Waikiki (which we dislike.)

What do you kids like to do in their free time? What things do you want to do on your vacation? That will determain which island is best.
My kids like to be on the move - seeing a volcano will thrill them. My son talked about some green sand??? that he heard was really special. Both kids like great views. they love being able to be independent - go to the marketplace at a resort and get a soda or burger. They love the pool - and the best is when they find a friend. Me... I'm happy at the pool with a book - or on the move with the kids. If it's pretty and the sun is shining, I'll be happy. My husband just hates to be hot. If he's not baking in 95 degree heat, he's pretty agreeable. Thanks for all the replies. I'll read with great interest!
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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My kids like to be on the move - seeing a volcano will thrill them. My son talked about some green sand??? that he heard was really special. Both kids like great views. they love being able to be independent - go to the marketplace at a resort and get a soda or burger. They love the pool - and the best is when they find a friend. Me... I'm happy at the pool with a book - or on the move with the kids. If it's pretty and the sun is shining, I'll be happy. My husband just hates to be hot. If he's not baking in 95 degree heat, he's pretty agreeable. Thanks for all the replies. I'll read with great interest!
Being from Philadelphia, are your kid's beach expectations something like Cape May or Ocean City?? If that's what they are expecting then Wa`ikiki is probably the only beach remotely like that in Hawa'i.

Beaches in Hawai'i are not places where you can decide that you want a hot dog or pretzel, and find a vendor on the beach or across the street.
 

Zac495

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Being from Philadelphia, are your kid's beach expectations something like Cape May or Ocean City?? If that's what they are expecting then Wa`ikiki is probably the only beach remotely like that in Hawa'i.

Beaches in Hawai'i are not places where you can decide that you want a hot dog or pretzel, and find a vendor on the beach or across the street.
Oh no , no. I just meant they like that at the hotels.
My son is now saying he wants to learn to surf. It seems getting to Maui is almost impossible.
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Oh no , no. I just meant they like that at the hotels.
My son is now saying he wants to learn to surf. It seems getting to Maui is almost impossible.
Po`ipu on Kaua`i would be excellent. A great place to learn to surf; there are several surfing instruction operations that are located in the Po`ipu area. My son took lessons from Marge Oberg.

I think you should strongly consider the Marriott Waiholi.
 

CATBinCO

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I think your kids would enjoy Maui. We did a three-island trip in July 2006, and Maui was our favorite. (We did Oahu, Big Island and finished up in Maui). On the Big Island we only stayed on the southern tip to see Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, so we flew in and out of Hilo. Kona, which is on the northwest part of the island, is more touristy. We really wanted to see HVNP this time. Maui had the most diverse activities. Our next trip will be Kauai, Maui and Big Island. Big Island is so lush and green, Maui is just plain fun, and we hear nothing but wonderful things about Kauai. We're done with Oahu :)
 

Zac495

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Oh no , no. I just meant they like that at the hotels.
My son is now saying he wants to learn to surf. Well, airlines - there are only two choices: Into Oahu and out of Kauai OR Into Kona out of Kauai.

I'm leaning towards Oahu and Kauai (though I think we'll visit Kona for a day).
I now have to hope my Marriott points hit USAIR in time AND that I get my trade into Kauai.

I sure hope the kids enjoy Kauai.
 

Henry M.

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The green sand beach on the big island is interesteing. The black sand beach where the turtles come out is interesting too (I can't rememeber the name). Once you decide on what islands you want get the books from the Revelead series (See the Wizard Publications site). The one for the big island includes those beaches.

I find each island very unique and beautiful. It is difficult to say which one would be most appealing to you since a lot has to do with your own personal preference. I find Maui to be the best mix of tropical paradise and civilization, but love to go to all of them. The good thing is that no matter what you chose, you will probably have a great time so don't worry too much. I'm sure you'll be back and then you can see the other islands.
 
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bobk

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If you're thinking of going to the Big Island for a day the volcano is on the HIlo side as are the black and green dand beaches. From Kona to Volcano National Park is I believe about a 2 to 21/2 hour drive. That's why Hawaii is called the Big Island. For Oahu must things to do are Polynesian Village and Pearl Harbor.
 

Zac495

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Po`ipu on Kaua`i would be excellent. A great place to learn to surf; there are several surfing instruction operations that are located in the Po`ipu area. My son took lessons from Marge Oberg.

I think you should strongly consider the Marriott Waiholi.
Why do you prefer Waiholi over Kauai Beach Club? I deposited my Aruba and requested either.

We'll stay in Oahu for the first 7 nights - I really wanted to go to Kona, but it sounds as though Oahu will be better for the kids and that matters to me most.
 

Henry M.

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I just stayed at the Waiohai a few weeks ago and I liked the location a lot better than the Kauai Beach Club. The Poipu beaches are nice, there were a lot of surfers there too. It was easier to get to Waimea Canyon for hiking, the tours to the Napali coast were also more accessible. I believe the Waiohai was purpose built to be a timeshare whereas the KBC is a converted hotel. The purpose built units are usually more comfortable.

My kids preference (now 21 and 17, we've been going to Hawaii for several years) has always been Maui and Kauai. We usually do a week in one of the other islands and two weeks in Maui. Volcano National Park was great on the Big Island, but I would only want to go a few days there, not the whole week. Oahu was too crowded for our tastes, but I still need to give the area outside Waikiki another chance.
 
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vacationtime1

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Why do you prefer Waiholi over Kauai Beach Club? I deposited my Aruba and requested either.
You have two kids and the Waiohai has only non-lockoff units. If you exchange in, you are guaranteed a two bedroom unit.

Also, the Waiohai has full kitchens in each unit. I don't know about every unit at KBC, but DW and DD had a one bedroom a few months ago which had a limited kitchen -- one without a stove.

The downside of the Waiohai is that some of the units (the back of Hale 4) have parking lot views. But as a Marriott exchanger, you are unlikely to get one.
 

capjak

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Why do you prefer Waiholi over Kauai Beach Club? I deposited my Aruba and requested either.

We'll stay in Oahu for the first 7 nights - I really wanted to go to Kona, but it sounds as though Oahu will be better for the kids and that matters to me most.
I have a 17 yo and 14 yo but visited islands many times and Maui is the Best and my kids enjoyed Kona for the volcano, we took a night time walk on the lava and at night you can really see the new lava flow easily...really cool and my kids still talk about that trip from 4 years ago.

We always go to maui when taking the trip.

My least favorite is Oahau
 

T_R_Oglodyte

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Why do you prefer Waiholi over Kauai Beach Club? I deposited my Aruba and requested either.

We'll stay in Oahu for the first 7 nights - I really wanted to go to Kona, but it sounds as though Oahu will be better for the kids and that matters to me most.
Po`ipu Beach (where the Waiohoi is located) is a better beach than Kalapaki Beach (where the Kaua`i Beach Club is located) for older kids. Plus, as others have noted, the units at Waiohoi are nicer and better equipped.

If your son wants to learn to surf, Po`ipu should be better. Kalapaki is protected from the ocean => smaller waves. mo betta for keiki, but usually the waves are too small for surfing.

One of the best boogie boarding locations on the islands is located about a half mile east of Waiohoi - on the other side of Brenneke's Restaurant. The older kids might like that, too. There is a nice swimming area that is protected behind a breakwater.

Lawai Beach is a good snorkeling location, and it's only about three miles from the Waiohoi.

The Po`ipu Village Shopping Center is an easy walk and that's a small (but nice) shopping area that my wife certainly enjoys visiting.

Koloa Town is near the Waiohoi, and I think Koloa is a more interesting location than Lihu`e. Not that there's all that much to do in either town, but Koloa is focused on tourists, while Lihu'e is the commerce and government center for Kaua`i.
 

DeniseM

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I really wanted to go to Kona, but it sounds as though Oahu will be better for the kids and that matters to me most.
kona is a city on the island of hawaii - aka the big island - and the volcano is the other side of the island, near hilo. kona is ok - very touristy, not very resorty, very few beaches - the shoreline in that area is mostly lava rock.

be aware that honolulu/waikiki is a big city with sky scrapers and miles of pavement and concrete - it is a very urban experience. If you exchange into the Ko'olina (gorgeous) you will have much more of a resort experience, but it is a drive to most of the tourist attractions. i think the maui or kauai recommendations are both better for the kids.
 
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Miss Marty

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There’s no place on earth like Hawaii

Whether you’re a new visitor or returning, Hawaii`s 6 unique islands offer distinct experiences that will entice any traveler. Order free travel guide.

http://www.gohawaii.com/
 

Miss Marty

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Choose an island


KAUAI


The oldest and northernmost island in the Island chain
is graced with dramatic, natural beauty.
Outdoor adventures and romantic escapades flourish on Kauai.

Explore the golden sand beaches of the Coconut Coast.
See the massive Waimea Canyon, "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific."
Take a boat ride to marvel at the towering cliffs of the Napali Coast.


OAHU

Home to the state capitol and the majority of Hawaii's population,
Oahu is a vibrant mix of natural and cultural wonders with the
modern arts, entertainment, and amenities of the 21st century.

See pro surfers charge the big winter waves of the famous North Shore.
Learn about American history at the memorials & museums in Pearl Harbor.
Soak up the sun and learn to surf yourself on legendary Waikiki Beach.


MOLOKAI

With almost half of its population being of native Hawaiian ancestry,
Molokai is an island that has preserved its connection to the past
and its love for the outdoors.

Step back to a simpler time in the sleepy town of Kaunakakaki.
View the verdant flora in Halawa Valley.
Learn about the works of Father Damien at Kalaupapa Settlement.


LANAI

Without a single traffic light, Lanai is a true island getaway
for luxury, romance, and privacy away from crowds.

Play golf at Lanai's two prestigious courses.
See the rock formations at Keahiakawelo, "The Garden of the Gods."
Off-road amongst the pine trees along Munro Trail.


MAUI

The second largest island is home to what some believe are
the best beaches in the world, as well as Humpback whales
who migrate off Maui's shores every winter.

Wake up early to catch the sunrise atop Haleakala Crater.
Stroll through historic Lahaina, and learn about Maui's whaling past.
Drive the long and winding road to Hana for spectacular scenery.


HAWAII'S BIG ISLAND

Bigger than all of the other islands combined, the island of Hawaii,
or Hawaii's Big Island, is vast enough to hold 11 of the world’s
13 climactic zones—from sandy beaches to snowcapped mountains.

See waterfalls, rainforests, and botanical gardens in Hilo.
Snorkel, scuba, or fish off the Kona Coast.

View Kilauea, the world's most active volcano in
Hawaii Volcano's National Park.
 

Zac495

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Sounds like Maui is a must - be we can't fly in or out of Maui with FF miles.
SO - if all goes well - I think we'll fly to Oahu- then get a hopper to Maui and stay in a Marriott hotel for a week. Then a hopper to Kauai in a timeshare (hope, hope our trade works).

It's very worrisome to have so many maybes!!!:eek: Do others feel nervous waiting for all these maybes to come through - and knowing that air is paid for - so you kind of have to go. If no trade comes through on Kauai - I'd have to rent or something - OUCH. That could cost a bundle!
 
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