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Where in Hawaii for family vacation?

Elan

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Tentatively planning a Hawaii family vacation around Xmas. Would likely be 9 or 10 days in duration. My kids are early teen and pre-teen. My wife and I have been to Hawaii (Oahu), and for us it was very "meh" -- too crowded, not that scenic, etc. But my kids want to go to Hawaii, so............help me decide on an island/resort.

Here's the criteria:

Decent resort (we like "down" days occasionally, where we don't do much)
Access to a nice beach area nearby -- ideally on or walk to from resort
Good scenery that's moderately easy to drive and/or hike to
Access to touristy type Hawaiian things (luau, tours, etc.)
Access to reasonably priced golf (not a must-have)

A realize that this isn't particularly specific. In essence, we're seeking a good mix of nature and tourist type things. Somewhere that will scratch my kid's Hawaii itch. A co-worker, who was born and raised in Hawaii, thinks Maui might be best. Thoughts?
 

DeniseM

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Christmas/New Years are the highest demand and most expensive time to go to Hawaii for both accommodations and airfare. If money is no object, Maui is a good choice for families.

*It will be near impossible to get an exchange for this timeframe.

*I would not expect anything to be "reasonably priced." ;)
 
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Ron98GT

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First, is this exchange thru RCI or II.

Second, what are you using for your exchange: your home resort, bedrooms, etc.
 

Passepartout

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Kaanapali/ Lahaina area of Maui. I'm not a fan of the big resorts there- Marriott, Hyatt and similar, but there are plenty of others and tons of vrbo's to fit any budget. And Maui Brewing is close. Biking down Haleakala, snorkeling, whale watching, etc. etc, all available that time of year.

Jim
 

Elan

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Christmas/New Years are the highest demand and most expensive time to go to Hawaii for both accommodations and airfare. If money is no object, Maui is a good choice for families.

*It will be near impossible to get an exchange for this timeframe.

*I would not expect anything to be "reasonably priced." ;)

What I meant is - if I'm paying $250 for a round of golf, it's not going to be in Hawaii.

I have a match for an OGS (Kauai) as we speak. May be rare, but not impossible. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Not that big of deal. Hawaii is not high on my list.
 
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DeniseM

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Where did you get a match?
 

tschwa2

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I think to get a 2 br during that time frame you are going to have to take what you can get. For points inventory you can't start an ongoing search but you might want to do one for weeks inventory anyway. My gut tells me that Shell might deposit a Paniolo Greens Resort unit or two. It has some of what you are looking for but not easy beach access.

A 2 br walk to beach resort on Maui through RCI for 7-10 days over Christmas and New Years holiday is very very unlikely to happen.
 

Elan

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I think to get a 2 br during that time frame you are going to have to take what you can get. For points inventory you can't start an ongoing search but you might want to do one for weeks inventory anyway. My gut tells me that Shell might deposit a Paniolo Greens Resort unit or two. It has some of what you are looking for but not easy beach access.

A 2 br walk to beach resort on Maui through RCI for 7-10 days over Christmas and New Years holiday is very very unlikely to happen.

Understood. I don't mean to imply that I have to have all of those things or that this has to be this year or that it even has to be a TS based trip. Just trying to initially determine which island/resort would be a good fit.
 

DeniseM

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With a family, I'd avoid the Big Island until they get Dengue Fever under control.

Some of the resorts on Kauai are very quiet, and some are very busy, so it depends on which resort you got.
 

Elan

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With a family, I'd avoid the Big Island until they get Dengue Fever under control.

Some of the resorts on Kauai are very quiet, and some are very busy, so it depends on which resort you got.

Pono Kai Resort
 

DeniseM

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Pono Kai is an ocean front resort in the middle of Kapa'a, but a quieter resort. I like it, but you will have to drive to most activities. However, to get anything for Christmas is great, so I'd hesitate to throw it back.
 

davidvel

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Given your criteria and experience with Oahu, I'd second the recommendation for Maui/Kaanapali.
 

Elan

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Pono Kai is an ocean front resort in the middle of Kapa'a, but a quieter resort. I like it, but you will have to drive to most activities. However, to get anything for Christmas is great, so I'd hesitate to throw it back.

Right -- scoped it out on satellite map. Slightly worried about boredom/disappointment. Would rather do it right than settle, given that it would be my kids first trip to Hawaii, and likely my last.
 

DeniseM

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For lots of onsite activities, you really need one of the Mega-resorts on Ka'anapali Beach, or the Marriott's on Kauai. Extremely difficult to get for Christmas.
 
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pspercy

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Poipu area of Kauai, Suite Paradise is a good agency.

We like Lahaina/Kaanapali area on Maui, lots of condo rentals, Kihei worth a look, some good beaches down there.

Sent from my Lenovo TAB 2 A8-50F using Tapatalk
 

BevL

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I'd head for Maui. Next to Oahu, it has the most amenities, without the big city feeling of Honolulu.

I love the Big Island, but it's a lot of driving.

Frankly, and I'm ducking as I write this, didn't care that much for Kauai, wouldn't go back.
 

Elan

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For lots of onsite activities, you really need one of the Mega-resorts on Ka'anapali Beach, or the Marriott's on Kauai. Extremely difficult to get for Christmas.

Don't have to have activities onsite, per se. But a resort that makes one feel like they're at a resort would be nice. Doesn't need to be a Marriott, but family-oriented pools, etc. Pono Kai looks like the type of place that would be great for a couple looking for a relaxing break, but not so great for a family. That's my impression from online pic's, anyway. Could be wrong.

As I said, given that it's going to cost an arm and a leg just in airfare, I'm not going to limit our experience by RCI availability.
 
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Ron98GT

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Marriott & Westin are in II, so forget those. I don't think you'll see any Hyatt's. For HGVC, you'll have to wait until April/May of this year for their bulk deposits for 2017.


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Bill4728

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Pono Kai Resort

Pono Kai is an ocean front resort in the middle of Kapa'a, but a quieter resort. I like it, but you will have to drive to most activities. However, to get anything for Christmas is great, so I'd hesitate to throw it back.
I'd say go for it.

Kauai is not as buzy as Maui but there will be plenty to do in Kapa'a There is a 8 mile long beach walk/bike trail


Driving either north to Princeville/Hanalei bay is easy and Driving south to Poipu isn't to bad either.

Good Luck
 

Ron98GT

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For Kauai, I also give a vote for Pono Kai, just don't expect Marriott/Westin quality and amenities. Also be aware that although Pono Kai has a beach, it's not a swim-able beach because of rip currents, but there is a beach near by that you can walk to. If you get a 2-BDRM on the 3rd floor, you could get a 2-BDRM that also has an upstairs loft.

For Kauai, there are a couple of Wyndham's between Pono Kai and the airport that you could look at.

For Maui, I see Sands of Kahana has 2-BDRM's available for December. What ever you do, Do Not Say at Kahana Falls.
 

DaveNV

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Frankly, and I'm ducking as I write this, didn't care that much for Kauai, wouldn't go back.


No reason to duck, Bev. That's the best thing about Hawaii - each island has its own appeal. And as the signature line somebody here has, "If you like Kauai, send your friends to Maui." ;)

I tend to agree with Maui as a better choice, if trying to occupy teenagers. Lots to do there, if location and budget can be made to fit. Certainly no chance of being bored.

The thing for OP to consider is how they like to vacation. If it's a "lay on the beach all day" vacation, then Maui beaches are pretty great. If it's a natural sites kind of thing, then driving is in order, and in some cases, LOTS of driving. If the kids want to see a live volcano, then only the Big Island will serve - but that means sacrificing great beaches on most of the island.

Pono Kai is a nice place - good, not great, but has a central location that works well for a leaping off point to see other parts of the island. Kauai has a slower pace, but it's also not as crowded, and likely not as expensive as the fancier places. It depends on how OP wants to spend the vacation time.

Dave
 

alwysonvac

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I would consider the summer over XMAS. I suggest pricing out the two to compare. I believe XMAS prices are higher than summer for airfare, car rentals and hotel /condo rental rates. Less Availability mean higher demand and higher prices.

Also, if you choose a summer visit, you'll have more resorts to choose from if you search across all possible summer dates. Keep in mind, summer is also peak travel time (with the height of demand starting from mid June through mid August for two bedrooms or larger).


Good Luck :)
 
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