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Hawaii- Which island & where to stay?

scooooter

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I'm starting to plan for vacations in 2009 and 2010. It's our 10 year anniversary in 2010. I would like to go somewhere special and I'm wondering about hawaii. Can someone give me an idea of what island is your favorite and where I might consider looking to stay? We are RCI members and I would be going on a banked River Island (OLCC) week which is pulling up some units in Hawaii but I have no idea which resorts are nice and which island we should consider.

We love the beach. Probably not interested in hiking or helicopter rides. Love horseback riding.

Any suggestions from anyone?

Oh, also, how long is the flight from CA?

Thank you!
Rhonda
 

DeniseM

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The flight from CA is 5 hours.

I'd suggest that you check out the TUG reviews and scan through the old posts - there's a lot of good info. here. Use the search function (Search this Forum) to search for each island by name.

Oahu is the most urban island with lots of shopping, night life, and dining. Also great for historical stuff. More people live on Oahu than all the other islands combined - relatively easy exchange.

Maui is a nice blend of urban and rural, but getting more crowded all the time - toughest exchange of the islands.

The Big Island of Hawaii is huge and very diverse - it has the active volcano - fairly easy exchange.

Kauai is beautiful, laid back, and the least developed of the 4 biggest islands (our favorite!) - probably has the most timeshares of any island.

Molokai and Lanai are tiny islands - each interesting in it's own way, but I wouldn't visit one of them for my first trip. Molokai has less than 10 TS units in a nice, although remote resort - no TS units on Lanai.
 
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mheysie

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FH & I are going to Kauai in May for 1 week (possibly 2) and I think, from what I've been reading, it is the most laid back, nice for relaxation & has an old Hawaii feel to it. There are a lot of different beaches, waterfalls etc for snorkelling & touring. And it's a small enough island that you can go around it in a little over 2 hrs. But we are also trying to go for another week in the Big Island as well with the volcanoes & the great views (although all the views are great!).
 
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Timeshare Von

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We own a week on Oahu (Waikiki) and love it . . . but admittedly, Oahu isn't for everyone. There is a very big city hustle bustle about it, but you can get out of the city and enjoy the countryside, beaches, snorkeling, etc. relatively easily.

We've been to The Big Island and really enjoy it for the diversity of climate and activities. We've stayed in Kona and the highlands too . . . would recommend either depending on what's on your vacation agenda.

Maui is also nice, we've only been there once but thoroughly enjoyed it and will go again someday.

Kauai is on our short list for Sept09 as we've not been but hear it is beautiful with much to see and experience as well. I would avoid Princeville, based on what I've read.
 

Liz Wolf-Spada

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Kauai is lovely, the Princeville area is very lush and green. Personally, I love the Big Island and the Koholo Coast area near Waikoloa, which has the most beautiful and uncrowded beaches. The Volcano Park is fascinating as is the Place of Refuge. The BI is very uncrowded, once you are out of Kona or Hilo and very rural.
Liz
 

rhonda

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So far, our favorite HI destination is the Waikoloa Village area of the Big Island. We've stayed in both the Bay Club (RCI exchange) and Waikoloa Colony Villas (II Getaway). There are lovely hidden beaches nearby, horseback riding not too far off and spectacular volcano viewing for the longer "day trip." Lots to see and do ... or nothing at all but sea and sky. Take your pick!

We booked our airfare yesterday for our Feb 2009 exchange to Kauai. It will be my first visit to that island and I'm looking forward to it!
 

scooooter

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Wow, everyone. This is such GREAT information! So helpful! Thank you. Will keep this in mind as we try to figure out what we are going to do. One of our children will be in college next year, so we'll be looking for something that fits in the budget without a lot of expense for sure! ;)
 

alanraycole

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Short answer: Kauai

For help making up your own mind, I suggest doing a search using all of the four major islands to review similar threads. Put "Kauai Maui Big Island Oahu Molokai" into the search box and enjoy a multitude of thoughts.
 

DeniseM

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If you are taking teenagers - I'd try for something on Ka'anapali Beach, Maui, the "Waikiki of Maui" - where there are all kinds of activities to interest them. Based on your OP, I thought it was a couples trip. My favorite island is Kauai, but it might be too slow and quiet for teens.

As far as saving money, Hawaii is just plain old expensive - food, dining, and activities are going to be a lot more than you pay at home. It really doesn't matter which island you go to - they are all expensive. (But so worth it!) You can save money by cooking in and just doing one or two for-pay activities.
 
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