Honeymoon Discussions

Advice on Hawaii in early March

Hello. We are considering a honeymoon in Hawaii the first week in March and would like some advice on which island to visit. We can fly direct from San Diego to Honolulu for a great rate. I'd love to hear more about Honolulu (and Waikiki Beach) in addition to other suggestions you might have. We like to kayak, snorkel, hike, zipline, etc. We'd like a mix of relaxing with activities maybe every other day. Nightlife is not important but great restaurants are. Staying directly on the beach is a must. We are also considering looking at VBRO or Air BNB instead of a traditional hotel. 

Our budget is roughly $7,000 for around 8-9 nights. 

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Re: Advice on Hawaii in early March

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited May 2015
    We went to Hawaii last fall.  We stayed in Oahu for a couple nights, but only because we arrived late and the following day we went to see Pearl Harbor.  We also went to Diamond Head.  Both were nice, but I'm so glad we didn't stay any longer.  DH and I both didn't like Oahu.  Too city-like for us and we did not feel like we were in Hawaii.

    We stayed for almost a week in Maui and loved it.  We snorkled, scuba dived, did a sunrise at the top of Haleakala (dormant volcano) and then biked down(!), spent a day on the famed Road to Hana and stopped at many wonderful sites, ate lots of great food from hole in the wall lunch carts to really nice restaurants, etc.  We plan on going to the Big Island next.  

    All the islands offer different things.  Have you checked out a site that shows the characteristics of each island and the things to do?
  • We were in Hawaii in late March/early April and the weather was great.  We went to Maui and The Big Island.  Both were beautiful and we really enjoyed ourselves.  The Big Island was by far our favourite!  It was incredible. 
    We had been to Oahu a year and a half ago and didn't like it nearly as much.  It didn't feel like Hawaii, just another city.  We really disliked Waikiki.  Once you get outside of Honolulu and the terrible traffic, the island is beautiful.  But we probably wouldn't go back.
  • I did Oahu when I was in high school and being right in Waikiki it was just more of a city and not really a "Hawaii" feel. It was fun then but not sure I would go back as an adult since a tropical vacation for me wouldn't include city living. In December we did 7 nights on Maui and it was amazing! We snorkeled, went to a luau, relaxed on the beach, watched the sunrise at the top of Haleakala (caution if you get car sick, had a prego lady with us and had to pull over a couple times). FI loves to golf and enjoyed that a couple of times, and we got engaged. If I went back I would do Maui over Oahu hands down, but I also work with a lot of people that go to Kauai every year and love it so I would like to check out that island as well.

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  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    H & I have been to Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai over the last few years.  H & I both agree that we don't need to go back to Oahu since we have been to see Pearl Harbor.  I think everyone should see Pearl Harbor if they are traveling to Hawaii.

    My suggestion would be to do what Joan did.  Fly direct into Oahu, visit Pearl Harbor and then head to another island for the remainder of your time.  Since you are doing 8-9 days, I would limit it to 2 islands.  In January, H & I returned to Hawaii and did 3 islands in 2 weeks.  We felt constantly on the move the first week.  We did 4 nights in Maui, 3 nights in BI, and 7 nights in Kauai.  The last week was the best since we could fully relax that week!

    Here are my descriptions of each island: Oahu, as PP said, is very much like a city on the beach.  It is very crowded and not really that relaxing.  Since seeing Pearl Harbor, H & I will probably not go back. 

    Kauai is the least developed island.  They don't even have a road that goes all the way around the island.  The Na Pali coast is amazing to see and its only accessible by boat or helicopter. 

    Maui is a good blend of Oahu and Kauai.  It is a bit more developed than Kauai, but has some of the excitement that Oahu does. 

    Big Island is a very residential type place, but also has the touristy areas.  It has the volcanoes, which is also an amazing experience!  But there is also plenty to do and explore.  H & I are going to spend a full week in BI on our next trip back.

    Once you narrow down your islands come back here for recommendations!

  • I would not recommend Honolulu for your Honeymoon.  I've been to all of the main islands and by far, hands down, the Big Island and Maui are the best.  Next would be Kauai.  

    I lived in Oahu for a semester while studying at UHI.  Waikiki is a huge tourist trap, and yes you can find every restaurant under the sun... all of the chains for sure.  Waikiki on most occasions had a film of sunscreen floating on the surface of the water.  I enjoyed it for what it was, but I spent more time trying to find the special beaches off the beaten path- most of which you would need a car to get to.  

    We are going to the Big Island for 6 nights, Maui for 8 nights, and Kauai for 2 nights.  We are only staying in a large resort for 4 nights total.  The rest of the time we are staying at B&B's, places we found on VRBO and small hotels.  I can give you a lot of great info if you go with the Big Island or Maui!  We already have our whole trip planned including activities.
  • Okay, you've talked me out of Oahu. :) Well, we'd like to stay a night or two there to see/hike Diamond Head and visit Pearl Harbor. Then we are thinking of heading to Maui. I'd love to hear recommendations on where to stay on Maui. We are open to hotels and condos, the benefit of a condo being the kitchen.
  • We stayed at Honua Kai on Maui and loved it.  We chose there because it had a full kitchen and washer and dryer in the room.  We choose the Kaanapelli area because it offered a lot of choices for our guests if they wanted to stay elsewhere (we had a DW).  They offered us a great group rate, but can be a bit pricey.  I do think Costco often has them in their travel deals if you are a member. The resort was beautiful, the pools were nice and it was close to restaurants and shops.  We also stayed at Royal Lahania and it was nice and clean.  It was just a standard hotel (no kitchens or washers in the room).  It was more reasonably priced and I don't have any complaints.  VRBO has lots of condos if you want to go that route.
  • On Maui we are first staying at the Hyatt Andaz as our splurge resort to get that honeymoon feel (we didn't pay for it though, we both got the hyatt credit card and earned 2 free nights each- and it's $600/night)  I've also stayed at the Sheraton Maui a long time ago and I did enjoy it quite a bit.  On Maui you will want to go to a luau for sure and it should be the Old Lahaina Luau.  I've been, it's amazing.  Open bar, lots of food and a great show at sunset.  In order to do that activity we decided to put it at the end of our trip and we are just staying at the Best Western for two nights which puts us in walking distance to the Luau (a longer walk but I'm fine with that) and puts us in the center of Old Lahaina which is a great town with lots of shops and charm.  From there we are also doing a submarine tour, but they also have great cruises.  If you want to do a great snorkeling tour, do Molokini.  I hear great things, haven't been yet.  I'm not sure what places we are staying at in the middle of the trip but we are spending a day hiking Haleakala and hoping to go either at sunset or sunrise... it beautiful up there.  I haven't done the bike ride down which include watching the sunrise but a lot of people recommended it to me.  We are also spending a couple of days doing road to hana and stopping somewhere along there for a night to split it up.  You should probably rent a car so you can make stops along the way if you do this.  Lots of great beaches and waterfalls along the way.  I've also been horse back riding on Maui and I enjoyed that a lot if you're into that kind of thing.  

    As for Oahu, if you are hiking diamond head, and seeing Pearl Harbor, I would stay someone along waikiki, yes I put it down- but you will be close to it.  Do this at the beginning of your trip, though.  I've stayed at Hilton Hawaiian Village and I did enjoy that resort- but if you don't care for the pool, then maybe stay at a cheaper hotel off the beach.  They do have the bus which is fairly easy to use or you could get a cab.  You might actually have time to do Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay in the same day if you are up early.  It has great snorkeling.  I even saw a sea turtle up close.  

    Lastly, I will say that VRBO is a great option, but don't do it because you want to cook for yourselves.  Food in Hawaii is very expensive since it's mostly imported.  It might be a cheaper option to find some local restaurants, or stay at a B&B which will take care of breakfast for you.  
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    When we stayed in Maui in January we stayed at the Days Inn in Kihei.  It was a Days Inn, so not the most glamorous of hotels, but it got the job done.  They had a fridge and a microwave, so we ate breakfast in every day except 1.  It was also an Ocean front room, so yes, the Days Inn is on the beach!  They have 4 ocean front rooms.  If you end up trying for here, request the 2nd floor ocean front rooms, they come with a small balcony.

    I have also stayed in a townhouse in Puamana in Lahaina, but they also have smaller condo units.  It is a gated community.  Most people have their units available on VRBO, but I'm sure some are doing airbnb now too.  A little pricy, but some of the units are ocean view or ocean front.

    Things to do in Maui: see sunrise or sunset at Haleakala, Road to Hana, Drive around West Maui mountains.  Pride of Maui offers snorkeling at two locations Molikini and Turtletown, it also includes a continental breakfast and BBQ lunch.  For the price, I thought it was a very good deal.  But we ended up not doing a snorkeling adventure on Maui this time.

    I like Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina.  It's a good place for a burger and its right on the water!  I recommend ALL the shave ice too!  Some places are better than others, Ululani in Lahaina was the best from our entire trip!  We stopped there twice :) Chez Meme in Kihei was amazing for breakfast!  I had a passion fruit pastry that was out of this world!  We also ate at Stewz Maui Burgers and Moose McGuillicuddy's in Kihei, both were great as well! 

  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We stayed at the Sheraton in Kaanapali.  We booked almost our entire trip through Costco....our hotel in Oahu (Hilton Hawaiian Village), car rental in Oahu, inter island flight to Maui, hotel in Maui and car rental in Maui.  They also included breakfast in both hotels and the resort charge included in Maui....highly recommend them if you have a membership.  And, worth getting a membership if you don't have one!   The only reason they didn't do our regular flights is because we redeemed airlines miles directly with the airline.

    We thought it was a great location.....there is a sidewalk along the beach that passes by all the hotels.....I think it's about a mile or so in length.  About 5 or 10 min down the walk is Whaler's Village with a bunch of shops and a few restaurants.  Lahaina is only about a 5 min. drive and had lots more stores and restaurants.  We really liked the area.

    I highly recommend the sunrise at Haleakala and the bike ride down.  We did the self guided bike ride down.  There's only a couple companies that offer it (we used Maui Sunriders)....the rest you have to follow the leader.  For us, it was much more enjoyable going at our own pace (than worrying about keeping up with the leader, especially when we haven't been on bikes in years, haha!) and stop when we want.  Just a word of caution.  It was FREEZING at the top and very windy!  We packed gloves, hats, scarves, and wore multiple layers and that hour waiting for the sunrise still felt like forever (the tours get there early to get prime viewing spots!)

    Road to Hana - I feel this is another must do.  We left early, maybe around 6am.  I think it took about an hour to get to Paia, where we got breakfast.  Then we headed off to beat the crowds.  I recommend the app GyPSy.  It's a guide that tells you about the different sites, where they are as you approach them and helpful hints....and it knows where you are based on the GPS so no guessing!  I also recommend reading up on the various stops along the way.  You will never be able to stop at all of them in one day, so pick your must-see and go from there!

    Old Lahaina Luau - Word on the street is this is the best luau on the islands.  We really enjoyed it.  Do note, you will need to book in advance before your trip or else you risk the luau selling out.  In fact, I just took a look at the site and it looks like the next 3 weeks is sold out.  Also, the earlier you book, the closer your table is to the show.  (though, there really isn't a bad table in the house!)

    Do keep us posted on what you decide!  Good luck!
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2015
    You might consider a Norwegian Cruise around the islands.  They are the only cruise line that visits all the main islands.  You can go to as many beaches as you like without paying a lot of money, or take an organized tour.  The cruise line will offer excursions that include just about everything, and the food on the ship is prepaid.  There are specialty restaurants on the ship (extra cost) or you can eat on land.  Don't miss Volcano National Park on the big island, and I strongly recommend the helicopter tour in Kauai.


    A seven day cruise offers two days in Kauai, two days in Maui, and starts and ends in Honalulu.  Talk to a travel agent.
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