Honeymoon Discussions

Hawaii - Which Islands?!

We are planning to go to Hawaii for our HM and would like to focus on two islands while we are there (probably about 8 nights or so).  I have received so much conflicting advice on where to go.  Since Hawaii is such a popular HM destination I would love to hear how others decided where to stay. 

We are mostly interested in luxury accommodations, great meals, great beaches and probably some hiking and biking while we are there.  Any advice on how to make these decisions would be so helpful!  Thanks.
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Re: Hawaii - Which Islands?!

  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited November 2015
    Most people like Kauai and Maui best.  The active volcanoes are on the big island of Hawaii.

    If you want a chance to see a lot of different locations, take a look at Norwegian Cruises.  They have a Hawaiian Islands cruise that takes you to all of the major islands.  The ship sails at night while you sleep, and you wake up in a new destination the next morning.  Your daytime activities are up to you, but they do offer excursions.  You get two days in Maui, and a day plus the next morning in Kauai.  Food is included, but tips, airfare, alcohol, and planned excursions are extra.  Prices vary.

    http://www.ncl.com/cruise-destinations/hawaii-cruises?cid=PS_TSI_CAN_DST_GOO_N-A_N-_HAWAIIN_XXXXXXXXX_norwegian+cruises+hawaii&utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=norwegian_cruises_hawaii&utm_campaign=G_-_Destinations_-_Hawaii_-_Exact_(USA_-_B)&gclid=Cj0KEQiAsNyxBRDBuKrMhsbt3vwBEiQAdRgPsmBMGZiubRgZRKT8gg76gJ4WtsGWuEdBq1rkKX4wxTsaAsAP8P8HAQ
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  • Thanks @cmgragain but we don't really care for cruising.  We would prefer to pick two islands and stay at some nice resorts.  
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  • Have you checked out TripAdvisor or bought a guide book? 
  • dalm0m said:
    Have you checked out TripAdvisor or bought a guide book? 
    I do love TA and I have been all over that. I posted a similar question on the Hawaii forum and was told to do more research and also got recommendations for all the islands  I realize that no one can tell us which islands are best for us but I am hoping someone has great advice on how to choose.  I bought a book today and maybe that will inspire me.  
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  • I personally don't think the beaches in Hawaii are that great. However, the best ones you will find are in Kauai and Maui. They also offer lots to do and a few luxury resorts to choose from. I've been to Kauai twice and Maui once. In Kauai, the St. Regis or Grand Hyatt are the top luxury choices. In Maui, focus on the Wailea area. I stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani, but the Four Seasons and Andaz are also in that area.

     I also personally love Lanai, but it's very quiet. There are two Four Seasons properties there. It's not a typical tropical island, but it's scenic and secluded.

    On the Big Island, you'll get in lots of hiking and sightseeing, but the beaches aren't that great. The Four Seasons and Fairmont are options, with the Four Seasons being tops.

     







    laurad75
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    We went to Oahu and Maui last year and just got back from the Big Island.  I can say that my favorite island so far was Maui.  Oahu was like a big city by the beach.  In fairness, we were only there a day (to see Pearl Harbor/Diamond Head) - and I did hear other areas of Oahu (like the North Shore) are really nice.  Maui had more of a lively vibe that we enjoyed....whereas the BI was pretty dead at night (we had a hard time finding restaurants that were open after 9pm!).  Each island had things we enjoyed though - I really think it's going to be dependent on your personalities and what kinds of things you like to do.
  • I went to Oahu and Kauai.  We did a few hikes and other outdoorsy activities on both.  We loved Kauai.  highly recommend.  Oahu was more commercialized, but we stayed in a less crowded area, far from Waikiki beach.  We really want to go back to kauai, but the next time we go to Hawaii we want to also visit the Big Island.  We really want to hike in the Volcanoes National Park.  Beaches are not all that important to us though - DH can't sit still for more than a couple of hours and i am so white i'm basically transluscent, so laying on the beach all day is not one of my favorite pasttimes.  A few hours here and there (under a large umbrella) at the beach or by the pool is more than enough for us.
  • This is all super helpful!  I think we have decided on Maui and then Kauai.  Yay!  Thanks gang!
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  • We are going to Big Island and Maui for our honeymoon. Kauai will have lots of hiking and lush greenery. Maui has the best beaches. Big Island has some amazing snorkeling and of course the volcanoes (if the flows are running). While Big Island doesn't have as many beaches, there are some pretty amazing ones if you know where to go. Wailea is definitely the more luxury spot on Maui but it is kind of far from a lot of activities. Lahaina is where a lot of the town, shops, and bars tend to be.

    We are staying at the Fairmont Orchid on Big Island (it has its own private beach alcove) and the Royal Lahaina in Maui. 

    I HIGHLY suggest checking out the "Hawaii Revealed" tour books by Andrew Doughty. They've been rated the best tour books of Hawaii.

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    laurad75
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I was going to suggest Maui and Kauai just based on your estimate of 8 days.  H & I went to Hawaii in January and that visit allowed us to now have been visitors to the 4 major islands.  And while the Big Island has lots of hiking and other adventurous things, its so big that you will feel like you haven't seen any of it after 4 nights!  (On our next trip there, we plan to spend a full week there.)

    H & I did 3 islands in 2 weeks.  Maui for 4 nights, BI for 3 nights, and Kauai for 7 nights.  The first part of our trip, Maui and Kauai, we felt a bit rushed to get all of the big things done.  The full week we spend on Kauai was our most relaxing.  That may also have been because we went to Kauai and Oahu for our honeymoon in 2012, so we knew what we wanted to do and what to skip.

    For Kauai, check out Kauai Backcountry Adventures for their tubing trip.  It is awesome!  Also drive the Waimea Canyon, and a dinner cruise of the Na'pali Coast.  For Maui, either a sunrise or sunset at Haleakala Crater, the Road to Hana, and a snorkeling trip to Molokai. 

    Regardless of the island, make sure you book a luau.  Some will be sold out before you arrive, so book this before you even go on vacation.  I have been to Germaine's luau on Kauai and it was awesome!  I haven't been, but heard very good things about Old Lahaina Luau on Maui.

    laurad75

  • Regardless of the island, make sure you book a luau.  Some will be sold out before you arrive, so book this before you even go on vacation.  I have been to Germaine's luau on Kauai and it was awesome!  I haven't been, but heard very good things about Old Lahaina Luau on Maui.

    We've also heard from people that have done the Old Lahaina Luau that it was very good, and very authentic. However, we booked the Feast at LeLe because it is beachfront, has a 5-course sit down dinner where they bring the food to you, and it is intimate/private seating for the two of us rather than sharing a table with strangers. 
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    laurad75
  • I stayed on Oahu, maui and Kauai and they were all very nice. I think doing maui & Kauai will be really nice.

    On maui we did the luau at the hyatt. I'm not sure how authentic it is because it does have a fire dancer, but I kind of liked that part too.

    Stayed at the hyatts on both islands (maui now has 2 I think, we did regency, andaz is new and fancy). I think the Grand Hyatt Kauai was probably the most spectacular - so gorgeous. We rented a car on each island. Maui we did the road to hana, so worth it (at least once!). Kauai we drove around the island and did a wonderful air/sea tour. I pimp it out to everyone I hear going there because it was so fun! https://kauaiairtour.com/air-boat-combo-tour/ 

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    laurad75
  • I stayed on Oahu, maui and Kauai and they were all very nice. I think doing maui & Kauai will be really nice.

    On maui we did the luau at the hyatt. I'm not sure how authentic it is because it does have a fire dancer, but I kind of liked that part too.

    Stayed at the hyatts on both islands (maui now has 2 I think, we did regency, andaz is new and fancy). I think the Grand Hyatt Kauai was probably the most spectacular - so gorgeous. We rented a car on each island. Maui we did the road to hana, so worth it (at least once!). Kauai we drove around the island and did a wonderful air/sea tour. I pimp it out to everyone I hear going there because it was so fun! https://kauaiairtour.com/air-boat-combo-tour/ 

    This tour looks awesome.  I saved the link for our planning.  We are looking at the Four Seasons in Maui and the Grand Hyatt Kauai.  Thank you!  
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    teddygirl9
  • laurad75 said:
    This is all super helpful!  I think we have decided on Maui and then Kauai.  Yay!  Thanks gang!
    Glad you made a decision.  We're planning on going in 2017 but since I couldn't come up with a better basis to make a decision, were' doing a couple of days in Waikiki to go to Pearl Harbor & mostly chill but then we'll board a cruise just to get the overview.  DH isn't much of a beach guy so the beginning in the city will be more his style. 
    laurad75
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