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Looking WKORV first trip advice

tomandrobin

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We are heading to WKORV in 20 days! Robin and I are really getting excited for this trip. Neither of us have ever been to Hawaii. We booked this trip 11 months ago and now its finally almost here. Now I know there are a lot of WKORV owners and experts here, so any last minute tips and advice would be appreciated. Is there any must see or must do's in Maui. This could be our first and last time to Hawaii, and we want to make it count.

We have two bedroom unit and are taking our Harborside frineds, no kiddies! We have a long, long, long flight......leaving 8am in Maryland, stopping in Phoenix (change planes) then off to Maui, landing arount 5pm. 15 total hours of travel time, plus the 2 hours before take-off and the 2 hours until we get to WKORV. Ok enough whining..............

Is the trip to Haleakala worth the time? Which Luau is reccommended? Anyone do the zip lines? Do we need to book a snorkeling tour or is the resort snorkeling good enough?
 

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Ooh, I'm so excited for you. You'll love Hawaii!!

If you haven't booked the luau yet, do so before you leave. Old Lahaina Laua and/or Feast of Lele are the two best. The former gives the history of Hawaii on a beautiful oceanfront setting. Food is buffet style. Drinks are watery. The latter offers fire dancers, etc., and the food is brought to your table. Both are worthwhile, according to reviewers. I've been to the former and not the latter.

If you are interested in Ziplining, book in advance as well. The Haleakala one is probably the best, though the West Maui mountain one is closer.

If you have a couples night out, I'd highly recommend Warren and Annabelle's magic show. Magic shows don't really interest me, but Warren is so funny that it's well worth it. Don't pay the extra money for the packages and just buy your drinks when you get there.

Restaurants I'd recommend: Mama's Fish House ($$$ and a long drive but worth it for a special occasion), Kimo's in Lahaina. And bring votive candles to enjoy a candlelit dinner on your lanai.

Snorkeling is great off your condo. If you want to take a trip, Molokini is great and shouldn't be as crowded in October. Pacific Whale Foundation is offering 50% off weekend trips for members this fall. Membership is cheap and you'll be allowed to board first and get the plum seats, too. I recommend them though they are a bit heavy handed with the environmental message.

I also recommend kayak/snorkeling combinations. Great way to get a little exercise and enjoy the scenery in a more intimate way.

Have a great time!!!!
 
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tomandrobin

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I also recommend kayak/snorkeling combinations. Great way to get a little exercise and enjoy the scenery in a more intimate way.
Robin is really interested in doing the kayaking/snorkeling trip. Where would we find this information?
 

pcgirl54

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Dh and I went in May for the first time. We are from Boston area and had no issue with flights or the timechange except the redeye to SFO. First redeye and I got no sleep.

You will be overwhelmed by the resort and by Maui. I posted a review.

Take your friends to Hula Grill for lunch which is in Whalers Village down the road from Westin . Eat at the tables with the sand floor while you stare at Molikai and Lanai.

Do book the Luau and zipline before you go. If affordable do a helicopter tour. The jeep we rented was so much fun. There are double jeeps to rent since you are bringing friends. Dollar was the cheapest.

Did not get to a snorkel thing or drive up to the Crater (Rt 37) ran out of time. Did see the Haleakala crater and the island from the Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour. I will never forget it. It was the highlight of the trip. Book online 6 days ahead for the cheapest rates.

Do eat at Mamas Fish House and have the concierge book a table by the open windows. About 50pp.Do this in the daytime for the killer view.

Do go to downtown Lahaina. Shop for groceries at Safeway.

Do NOT book the Reefdancer tour. Awful reviews and it goes out 20 minutes then comes back. There are no fish really to view.

We drove all over the island and each area is different.

Have a great vacation.
 
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Henry M.

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Have e gret trip! I wish I could be headed that way right now. I have to wait until next July for my MAui fix.

Are you a Costco member? I would stop at Costco, right outside the airport on the left, and get some groceries on my way to the resort. Also, get a Safeway card at the store. It will make a difference in your grocery bill.

On the activities, a lot will depend on your own personal preference. Opinions will vary widely. Below is what I feel.

I think Haleakala is definitely worth the trip. Stop at the lookouts that let you see things from a different angle. If you have time, do some hiking around there. Take it easy because the altitude makes a difference in your stamina, but plan to spend the day there. I assume you've also gotten the Maui Revealed book often mentioned here. It is helpful to plan your trips.

I wouldn't do the sunrise or the bike rides at Haleakala. I have been there for sunrise and although nice, it just isn't worth it to me to get up at 3 am to head on to the summit in the dark. The bike rides are just plain dangerous and I enjoy the car ride much better. If anything, go up by car first and then judge by yourself if you'd really want to ride a bike down. Perhaps a horseback ride into the crater would be better.

I've yet to attend a luau after many 8 years of going to Hawaii. I've seen some of the dancing near the hotels and I haven't found it to be something worth the price of admission. I'm not a cheapskate, the show just doesn't really do it for me. I'd rather go to a nice restaurant and spend the money there on really good food. If you really want to go, the luau behind the Safeway seems to be the one everyone talks about (I think it might be called Old Lahaina Luau). I'd rather do a susnet sail (I've done them on Gemini, Kapalua Kai and Teralani - all were fun).

I liked the zip lines in West Maui (near the resort). I don't think I'd want to drive an hour to go to the one on Haleakala. You probably want to book these early, before your trip, as they often fill up weeks in advance. I don't know what the situation is this time of the year. Perhaps there are fewer people there but do call and check.

I've done this zipline tour (in West Maui) and it was a lot of fun. Next time I go ziplining I want to do this one. I think it is more dramatic than the other one I did, but I haven't tried it yet. I also enjoyed the hiking and walking tours (free!) that were offerend by Kapalua Adventures. There are some beautiful views. The trails opened recently (this year was the first time I found them) and are well kept. If you are in decent shape, I'd do the full trail, walking back all the way to Kapalua. Do take water and food if you do that. I also enjoyed hiking the Waihe'e Ridge trail described in Maui Revealed.

If it was my first time to Maui I'd probably do more snorkeling than the resort and Black Rock at the Sheraton just to get a flavor of things. Now that I've been there many times I find the resort enough, but I think you really should look at some of the other spots at least once. I probably wouldn't take a tour to the locations near Maui, but I'd drive to Honolua Bay and to the beaches in Waimea (say McKenna and the beaches near the hotels, like Ulua). The snorkeling in front of WKORV is great, but it is nice to mix it up a little. I'd also go see the lava fields near La Perouse bay and walk there to the end of the trail. I didn't find the water so good to get in this summer, but the place was beautiful.

One snorkel adventure that was a lot of fun was to swim from behind Black Rock, around it and back out at the beach of the Sheraton. We took our time and stayed close to the rock. We saw lots of turtles and interesting marine life. I've seen dolphins in the area when I've stayed at the Sheratin but I haven't run into them swimming yet. I just walked down the beach with my mask and fins. You could also take the shuttle to the Sheraton and walk around. That part of the beach is sandy and usually not crowded. It is a nice area to just swim and be in the water without stepping on rocks.

One adventure I enjoyed (but some may think is crazy) is to drive all the way around the north part of Maui. There are a few miles that are on a one lane road and you have to negotiate your way if there's someone coming in the opposite direction, sometimes pulling up close to either a cliff going down to the ocean or the rock side of the road going up the mountain. Not for the faint of heart, but some there are some nice views and you see a part of the island not very frequented by tourists. I think it is still safer than riding bikes down Haleakala, though.

A nice place to eat that is not well known is Hali'imaile General Store. Dinners on Monday are half price if you bring a can of food for each person. It is somewhat out of the way near Makawao, off the road to Haleakala, but it had very good food and is actually a nice restaurant for being in the moddle of nowhere. You have to purposely make your way there to find it. It might work if you combine it with a trip to Haleakala.

I thought I'd only be going to Maui once in a while. Even when I bought my timeshare I thought I'd be mostly exchanging elsewhere as I like variety. Eight years later and I'm still going back to Hawaii every year for 3 weeks! There's just something about Hawaii that keeps my family and me wanting to go back. I've enjoyed every place I've visited around the world but after about 10 days or so, I'm usually looking forward to go home. Not so with Maui. It has become a second home for us.
 
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LisaRex

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Robin is really interested in doing the kayaking/snorkeling trip. Where would we find this information?
I'm afraid I can't remember the name of the outfitter we used (it was a husband and wife company), but it was similar to this one:

http://www.hawaiifun.org/Maui+Eco+Tours/XPLORER+-+Adult+Kayak-Snorkel+at+Makena.shtml

Note that we were staying in Wailea so Makena was very convenient to us. You might try to do one that explores Kapalua. And I'd do snorkeling/kayaking in the morning before the tradewinds pick up.

A wealth of info is found here:

http://www.hawaiifun.org/Maui.shtml#20

As far as Haleakala goes, that's your call. I've been there when it's breathtakingly beautiful and I've been there when it's one big cloud-in-a-crater. Twice we've checked out of our villa on the last day and then gone to Haleakala for the day before our flight leaves. Stop by the Manana Garage, which is very near the airport, for dinner and a cocktail before your flight leaves.
 

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There is a great thread with some excellent suggestions. We've been lucky enough to visit Maui a fair amount (15 or so times) over the years so here are a few other suggestions:

Dining:
Mala Ocean Tavern - In Northern Lahaina. Make a reservation which gets you on a "preferred" list for dining outside which you absolutely want to do. They also are open for lunch, which is a great deal.

Lahaina Grill (formerly David Pauls): Not cheap and it's been around for a while now, but I still think this is the best restaurant on the Island. It's not cheap, but the tasting menu is worth it for a splurge meal. No view.

Sansei - Easily the best sushi in Maui and excellent creative cooked Asian dishes as well. They run a nightly early bird discount so either get there early or make a reservation. No view.

Hula Grill as mentioned is a great spot for a casual lunch.

Pacific'O - Also an excellent and very romantic spot for dinner. Literally dining on the beach. Great menu and wine list. Their sister restaurant i'o is also good, though the view isn't as good. They also run the Feast at Lele which is adjacent so if you eat at Pacific'o, you can usually see the dancers warming up and catch glimpses of the show if you like.

Mamas is an Island favorite, and while it's very good, I think it's a bit overpriced and far from WKORV to make it a dinner destination.

Finally - for takeout, there is a personal favorite right next to WKORV which is ideal for either lunch or days when you don't want to splurge for a nice meal or deal with cooking: Okazuya Deli. Their food is all amazingly fresh, well prepared, and cheap. It's in a nondescript strip mall and is the food is far better than it has any right to be.
http://www.yelp.com/biz/okazuya-and-deli-honokowai-lahaina

Beaches/Snorkeling:

I personally would not book just a snorkeling tour. They tend to take up a huge chunk of time and some of the more popular spots (Molokini) aren't what they used to be in terms of marine life unfortunately.

The reef in front of WKORV is surprisingly nice.

Personally, I love Kapalua. A lot of people stay in the Kanapali and Lahaina area don't go North for beaches, which I think is a shame. While there is a lot of construction ongoing in the area in Kapalua (new Ritz residences going in), but the beach itself in Kapalua is worth the effort. There is a public parking lot on the lower road. The snorkeling there is very good, especially for beginners since it's a protected cove and the beach is perfect.

Keeping with the North theme, I also love Honolua and Slaughterhouse beach. Honolua is a marine preserve area and while it's a bit more effort to park, and access the "beach", it snorkeling is outstanding on a clear day.

Finally, I would strongly suggest you stop in (and rent if you need gear) at Snorkel Bobs or a similar shop. They have great prices on weekly gear rentals and can usually give you an accurate read on what beaches are going to be best during the week, how the weather has been, etc...

Have a great time, it's an amazing place.
 

DeniseM

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Maui is the only island from which you can take day trips by boat to other islands - Lanai and Molokai. Here's some info. about the trips we've taken. If you can only do one, do the first one - Trilogy!

Island of Lanai-

Trilogy has a fantastic all-day catamaran trip that includes 3 good meals, snorkeling in a marine preserve, a tour of Lanai City, Beach Activities, etc. It's our all-time favorite Maui activity. Yes, it's expensive, but it's full-day trip so when you add up everything that's included, the price isn't bad. We've also done Trilogy's trip to Molokini, and the Lanai trip is far superior.
http://www.sailtrilogy.com/pages/lanai_sunset.php

Lanai guided tour -
This is a great land based tour if you'd rather really tour the island rather than doing ocean activities. We took the ferry over and we met at the dock by our guide. We even saw TWO monk seals together, lounging on the beach - very rare to see 2 together! After our guided tour we had lunch (on our own) at the Four Season's Hotel where we watched dolphins playing in the bay and then we walked a short distance down to the beach where we snorkeled. We had our choice of 3 after noon ferries to take back to Maui.
http://www.go-lanai.com/reservationrequest/activitylistings.asp?page_size=1&current_page=1&actkey=596&catkey=29

Island of Molokai-
You can fly to Molokai or take the ferry. The ferry trip is about 1 hr. 45 min. and can be rough coming back. If motion sickness is a problem, you might want to consider flying or at least take precautions. If you primarily want to visit the Kalaupapa (leper's coloney) then I would suggest flying instead of the ferry, because the only way down to the colony is to fly, hike, or ride a mule.

Molokai Ferry & Island Tour -
http://www.molokaiferry.com/molokaiday.html#Alii Tour

Leper's Coloney tour-
http://www.muleride.com/rates.asp

I have lots of pictures and info. from the activities we've done on my Maui page and Molokai page - see the link below my name.
 

Ken555

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I wouldn't do the sunrise or the bike rides at Haleakala. I have been there for sunrise and although nice, it just isn't worth it to me to get up at 3 am to head on to the summit in the dark. The bike rides are just plain dangerous and I enjoy the car ride much better. If anything, go up by car first and then judge by yourself if you'd really want to ride a bike down. Perhaps a horseback ride into the crater would be better.
While it's always important to be aware of safety concerns, I found the bike ride to be among the easiest I have ever done. It was a fantastic experience and I'd recommend this highly. The WKORV concierge recommended one of the more established companies (I found a discount online which they matched so I was able to pay via WKORV). They recommended doing this the second day, so you're still not quite adjusted to the time change and won't have as much difficulty getting up early. I was picked up at 1:30am for the morning ride.

The sunrise was 'just okay' but the morning bike ride down through the clouds and the morning view was incredible. I've heard the day ride doesn't compare.

These companies use safe bikes with comfortable seats and moped breaks (soft and secure). We each wore helmets and rain outfit which they provide. If you're even considering doing this, make sure you bring warm clothes with you (sweater, at least). It is very cold in the morning up there!

This gives you an idea of the type of helmet and rain outfit the companies provide:

 
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clsmit

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Great picture! Was nodge in that group, by any chance? :)

This thread is great! What great information. We're hoping to go next summer -- getting the fingers ready to dial on October 12th at 9am. Tuggers are the best!
 

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This is all excellent advice so far. Where is D&R? Still have that excellent WSJ TR saved for use on our trip in June.
 

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Haleakala Bicycle Store/Tour is the only bike tour group that will allow you go down by yourself once you are outside the park.
 

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Wkorv Firts Trip.

Hello;

Have fun.

I would suggest you get the book MAUI revealed. This book has all of the ins and outs of Maui and who to use, where to go in it. I've gone to Maui for years and there were a lot of things in it I was not aware of. It is on sale at Costco in Maui and a few other spots.

Snorkeling: I would go up the road and go to Honolua Bay. The reef runs all the way around the inside of the bay. The North side has a very extensive reef. Many of the dive boats go there with their snorkelers.

IAO valley is a very nice place to visit and easy to get to. Well worth the trip.

Road to Hana. Well worth the effort. Make sure you go on a day that if your delayed you can aford to wait. We went a week and a half ago and there was an accident at 4:30 PM. The police did not get the scene cleared for traffic to move until 9:00 PM. Many people in the line up of traffic had airlines to catch and as such missed them.

I enjoy Lahaina at night. Lots of shopping, art galleries and such. Great restaraunts. I broke a dive watch and picked up a new Citizens watch for $50.00 less than I could get it on the internet.

The Lavender gardens and Botanical are fun for us.

Haleakala Crater is a great trip. Go early or the clouds form and cover the crater. We always stop at the KULA restaraunt which everyone we have gone with has loved. It's just a little ways from the base of the Haleakala road.

Scott
 

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Here is a portion of the Maui advice letter I give out to renters. Some of the items are duplicates to what was mentioned above (which would make the recommendations definitely worthwhile) but I mention some things that have not been discussed:

1. First stop, Costco:

There is a Costco literally right outside the airport.We usually stop here on the way to the villas. First, the produce is actually better than we have found at Safeway and Star Market. Second, I MUST have shade at beach and don't love the hassle of getting up early to snag a chaise. For the same cost of renting a chair on the beach or less than a gazebo for a day, we buy chairs and umbrellas at Costco. We then have the added freedom to explore other beaches on the island too. At the end of our trip, we usually spy a family who looks like they would appreciate a gift and we offer it to them. We still come out ahead $$-wise. Costco also has a good wine selection for sipping on the lanai at sunset.

2.Groceries:

There is a Star Market - 1 traffic light further (West) from the Westin off the main Honoapiilani Highway (sp?) - turn left
Safeway - in Lahaina (there's a Longs there too in an emergency)
Foodland - Lahaina - (In our opinion, The best market in the area across from the Ace Hardware)

Farmers Market and Fish market passed Star Market

3. Shopping:

Whaler's Village and Front St., Lahaina

4.Restaurants:

Nice & Special:

Lahaina Grill (formerly known as David Paul's, Lahaina- a not to miss)!!!!!

Pacific O (on the beach in Lahaina) or I'O next door (they own the Feast at Lele)
Plantation House (on the golf course in Kapalua)
Mama's Fish House (on the road to Hana)

Casual:

Roy's (Hawaiian cuisine in a strip mall between Kaanapali and Kapalua)
Sensei Sushi (service is questionable but truly outstanding and original sushi)

Go for the Scene:

Hula Grill or Leilani's (in Whaler's village shopping...all owned by TS Restaurants who also used to own Sunnyside and Jakes by the Lake in Lake Tahoe if that helps. They are similar is style and you can't really go wrong with either. They get crowded so if you can reserve, I would)

There are some fun, open air bars with Live music on Front St. Check local scheduling.

Skip Longhi's and the touristy restaurants on Front St Lahaina

5. Activities in the "It's touristy but you have to do it once" category:

-Snorkel trip:

Take a catamaran from Maleaa Harbor to Molokini. Do the early morning trip becasue tradwinds pick up in the afternoon making it difficult to see more. Many of them are good

I recommend either the Trilogy or 4 Winds. They are both sailing vessels as opposed to motor. Trilogy has a smaller group and you can get a 10% discount if you book on their website.

-Snorkeling from the beach:
There is great snorkeling at Black Rock at the Sheraton. It does get very crowded so go early. They also have torch lighting and cliff diving there.

Snorkeling near the hotel is very good too.

-We have never made it to Hana but even a partial ride is well worth the trip:

Paia town is has cute authentic shops and restaurants. On the way out of town, pull over to watch big time surfing and windsurfing. A small hike (walk) from the road at Mile marker 2 leads you to an awesome swimable waterfall. Another one at MM 10.
Then, at MM 11, there's this:

http://www.mauigardenofeden.com/

Kids will absolutely love it! We went today with two 13 year olds & they are difficult to impress if you can't plug it in. I highly recommend it and you can even turn around from there and head back! One day, we'll make it to Hana on our own.

-Helicopter tour (pricey but probably the best thing you can do while listening to the theme from "Apocalypse Now"- Richard Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries")

-Warren and Annabel's Magic Show

Yes, it's good. It is for adults but I think they have 1 show that will allow kids. I would skip the meal and the Annabel part and just go for the magic (Warren).

-Luau -

Years ago we did the one at the Hyatt. Big impersonal and just OK food.

This time we are going to try the Feast at Lele in Lahaina. It's run by a good restaurant and supposed to be less touristy.

Old Lahaina Luau is also recommended

6. Activities in the "Haven't done yet but seem worthwhile to plan on doing sometime" category:

-Horseback riding,
-Take a surf lesson

-Kapalua Outdoor Adventures (new zip line and kayak trips)

-Drive to Hana (this is a spectacular 3 hour drive each way so I would stay one night.....there is a Shell station in Paia on the road to Hana that sells an excellent mile by mile CD tour that is highly recommended)

-Ulalena Show (mini cirque du Soleil - supposed to be good)

-Bike ride down Haleakala (various companies)

-Watch the surfers at Jaws (North sideof the island on the road to Hana- north) or Honokahua (far west on the road passed Kapalua)

7. If you want a good massage without the hotel markup, this place is 1 minute away from the Villas:

http://www.hawaiimassagetherapynetwork.com/index_sparejuva.htm

We had 2 excellent 1 1/2 hour massages there for $95/each. It's clean and professional. The major hotel spas charge $125 for 60 minutes.

Have a blast!!!
 

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I would fit a mama's fish house meal in somehow. Nothing else compares to that view.

The Sonz restaurant in the Hyatt on Kaanapali has the BEST MAI TAI'S on earth.

A beach day under a tree on Napili bay is a must do for us also.

If a spa day is important to you then take a day to go the Grand Wailea - one of the nicest spa facilities anywhere. Just book one thing and go early and enjoy.

If you are planning a morning Haleakala drive I would suggest doing it early in your trip while your body is still on mainland time. The Kula Lodge is nice for lunch on the way down the hill..

That's all I can think of right now! Aloha!
 
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