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Hawaii

mheinze

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Not sure whether to post here or the Hawaii forum - I'll try here first. We would like to go to Hawaii next summer for a week (probably late July) and are trying to figure out where to make reservations. There will be 4 of us - 2 college kids and 2 parents of college kids :). We love to do anything outdoors (snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, hiking, etc.) and my wife is really curious about volcanos. Our home resort is Myrtle Beach so a great beach would be nice but not critical.

I've been to Waikiki. This will be the first Hawaii trip for everyone else. What Wyndham resort should we book and what should we do once we get there?

Thanks!
 

DeniseM

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The only Island with an active volcano is the Big Island of Hawaii. If you are looking for a Wyndham resort, I'd stay at Wyndham Kona Hawaiian Resort. We spent 2 weeks there and liked it.

I recently stayed at Wyndham Mauna Loa Village, and I would not stay there again.

Be aware that the Big Island is big - it's bigger than all of the other Hawaiian islands put together, so to get the most of your trip, do some advanced planning. To plan your trip, buy this book: https://www.hawaiirevealed.com/hawaii-the-big-island-revealed/
 

jjking42

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No lava to see right now just steam. Still worth a visit.
 

mjc775

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On Maui we’ve done snorkeling, surfing, visiting a dormant volcano, and biking down it. A guided tour along the road to Hana and beyond is a must.

It looks like there’s 2 Worldmark resorts there, however we’ve stayed in Maui using our DRI points, and an overnight docking on NCL’s Pride of America cruise ship.


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Braindead

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I would split your stay between the Big Island & Honolulu.
Even if the lava isn’t flowing the volcano is a must see if you haven’t seen one before
Honolulu take the tour to visit Pearl Harbor, Punch Bowl etc. You don’t need a car if you stay at Waikiki Beach Walk. Probably 50 restaurants within a few blocks, Beach is a block away & public buses go around the whole island, we took the bus to the north shore where the World surf competitions are held.
 
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OutSkiing

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While on the Big Island, I recommend Royal Seacliff. We stayed there and had family at Kona Hawaiian so we got to compare .. we felt Seacliff was a more unique experience. I suppose Kona Hawaiian is supposed to feel more like the old days .. bamboo trimmed buildings closer down to the lush colorful 'brush'. But I can't get past the cheaper looking construction of those little frame buildings .. while Seacliff is concrete it is a very unique multi-level building tiered down a slope until it overlooks the ocean waves crashing into the black lava rocks. And it has beautiful gardens in a central open air 'atrium' and other embedded gardens throughout. With two pools both overlooking the ocean.

For your other outdoor activities I would vote for the island of Kauai .. book far in advance an inflatable motor raft ride up the Nepali coast from Hanalei bay (just around the corner from Princeville) .. absolutely breathtaking experience looking up at the Nepali coast mountains and learning of the ancient civilizations that used to inhabit the area. You can snorkel off the boat and have lunch before returning. Then next day drive up the mountains and look down at the ocean below where you were yesterday. Along the drive is a mountainous interior they call the 'grand canyon' of Kauai .. people book helicopter rides to see it. Lots of hiking options up in the mountains as well.

While in Kauai stay at the Shearwater .. beautiful cliff side view in Princeville. Apparently you can whale watch from your lanai (we were not there in whale season so cannot vouch for this).

Of course Waikiki is worth a stop .. Beachwalk is nestled right in the hubub of this amazing blend of metro and beach casual.

Bob
 
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mheinze

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Thanks everyone! Great advice. I'm still not sure which resort to pick but it sounds like we'll have a great time at any of them.
 

bnoble

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We had a week in an oceanfront 2BR at Kauai Beach Villas last summer. We loved that so much that we are in the process of picking up a couple of (unconverted) float weeks in the oceanfront category. The mid-island Lihue location is a decent compromise to give access to the entire rest of the island, and having the constant sound/sights of the ocean just outside your living room is awfully nice.
 

bbodb1

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I'm returning this thread to life as it appears our ducks are now in a row for a visit to Hawaii for the first time ever. We are headed to the big island (flying into Kona) and will have 11 days to explore this paradise. We will be staying at the Royal Sea Cliff and from the descriptions I've read thus far, I am very much looking forward to this experience.

As @DeniseM suggested earlier in this thread, I have ordered the reference book to start reading / planning. It is only 4 months away so time to get started.

FWIW: We will be using Southwest Airlines for this trip and I'll be sure to post so reviews of the experience.
 

BillyBob444

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I'm returning this thread to life as it appears our ducks are now in a row for a visit to Hawaii for the first time ever. We are headed to the big island (flying into Kona) and will have 11 days to explore this paradise. We will be staying at the Royal Sea Cliff and from the descriptions I've read thus far, I am very much looking forward to this experience.

As @DeniseM suggested earlier in this thread, I have ordered the reference book to start reading / planning. It is only 4 months away so time to get started.

FWIW: We will be using Southwest Airlines for this trip and I'll be sure to post so reviews of the experience.
You will enjoy the Royal Sea Cliffs. We spent 2 weeks there last March and had a great time. Try and take an Island trip because they will show you all the important places in one day. The one we went on was a 10 hour trip that included a coffee plantation, Black sand beach, the volcano, and then on to Helio and included a breakfast at the coffee plantation and a fresh made lunch. We lucked out as the van could hold 12 people but no one else booked that day so the 6 of us had the guide to ourselves.
Also went north and did a raft trip down canal that was built in 1900 to bring water to the sugar mills on the coast. It is no longer used so we floated down about 6 miles of it with guides that gave us the whole story
 

mjc775

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@bbodb1 To add to the previous comment, do a “Circle Island Tour” early in your stay so you can plan to go back to any stops that you wish you had more time to stay - on your own via car rental.

On our last trip to Hawaii I purposely held out getting flights because I knew Southwest was about to start reservations in Hawaii. The day they announced, I missed the $49 fares - but got $119 one way from HNL to RNO via OAK.

On the morning of our departure back home, the flight got delayed 5 hours, so we were going to miss our connection in OAK. They booked us on the following morning’s flight, and we got a hotel voucher. Everybody received a $100 Luv voucher at the gate for our inconvenience.

We later decided to just do a one-way car rental from OAK to RNO since we needed to get home well before before noon the next day. Since Southwest didn’t get us to our final destination, they refunded the entire flight. I figured we came out ahead about $150 for the 3 of us for our inconvenience- free flight + $100 Luv voucher each - car rental fee.

The flight was much more comfortable than the 17 hour SFO - TPE flight we just did on a 777 on EVA Air. EVA has seats setup 3-4-3 (very narrow), no leg room, and some electronics box in my under-seat storage area.

We’re going to Oahu and Kauai in September and will be flying Southwest again for all segments of the trip.


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