Arriving in Honolulu in March then going to one of the other islands.
Looking for recommendations.
Myself and spouse. Our ages are between 50-55.
It depends on what you enjoy. I have only stayed at the Marriott Wakiki 2 nights before a cruise. It is right on the water, although it's across the street. Not much of a beach there. The hotel itself is very nice. They have a good breakfast (around $35) and pretty sure they have a CL. We walked to and hiked the trail to the top of Diamond head if you are into that. We actually took a city bus to the palace (something I don't usuallly do) and that was an adventure itself. Remember,this is not a beach resort but a nice city hotel that overlooks Wakiki.
If you stay there, I would recommend a room with at least some type of ocean view. There are some shuttles from the airport.
If you want the resort experience, there are some georgeous ones on the Island but I don't know a thing about them. This is a view from the room. There are some with a direct vew.
There is not a CL at this location. The resort fee does cover one breakfast per stay (not per person or per day). Great, extensive buffet, though probably not worth the $35 price.
bejacob is right. There is no CL at the Marriott Waikiki, but there is a $30 resort fee but this is not really a resort. I think it's a stretch to say this property's on the water. Some of the rooms have ocean views, but the property itself is not on the water.
Sorry about the sideways pic - that shows the road between the Marriott Waikiki and Kuhio Beach Park which is the green space you see on the pic. The beach is accessible at that point, so it's an easy walk. But this is not the Royal Hawaiian or one of the properties right on the beach:
Sorry pink building is the Royal Hawaiian - my wording is confusing. I wouldn't pay $35 for breakfast at the Marriott. There are dozens of restaurants all around Waikiki that offer great breakfasts at much more reasonable prices. Or if all else fails, there is a Denny's and a IHOP nearby. Yes, I will confess that I have eaten at both because sometimes you just want waffles at 10pm
For Oahu: not many Marriott choices. Marriott on Waikiki is supposed to be pretty good, but it's not right on the beach and can be expensive. Plus, there is usually a resort fee which is annoying since this property really isn't a resort. Courtyard Waikiki is newly remodeled and if you book ahead enough you might get a good rate. Rooms are tiny and hotel has a very modest pool, but it's walking distance to Waikiki Beach and decent/clean. No resort fee. Parking is expensive and valet only, but you might be able to find free parking on the street nearby if you are willing to drive around a bit and go hunting for a spot. Ko Olina has a MVCI which is a very nice expansive resort. Lagoons instead of natural beach, but very enjoyable. About 30 min. from Honolulu if no traffic, but if there's traffic it's more like 90 min. Also there's a new CY on North Shore but I wouldn't stay up there unless you want to watch the surfers. Too far away from the main Oahu tourist draws. If you are only staying on Oahu a couple of nights and want to take in Waikiki and the main tourist items, I'd suggest the CY if you can get buy in a tourist class place for a night or two. Make sure you ask for one of the remodeled rooms as construction might still be going on. Do not expect much from this CY except a central location where you can walk to all the Waikiki Beach attractions. bejacob has some blog posts about the Marriott on the Big Island. If that's where you are headed, I'd spend your money at that resort instead of the Marriott Waikiki Beach. Check this out: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel - Autograph property par excellence
Thanks for the shout out clebert.
cdaytona9, definitely check out my blog posts
County Collecting Hawaiian Style - Part 1, Oahu
County Collecting Hawaiian Style - Part 2, The Big Island
County Collecting Hawaiian Style - Part 3, Maui
County Collecting Hawaiian Style - Final Thoughts
Also take a look at anything by kharada46. He's our resident Island expert.
Any thoughts on which other island(s)?
As for Oahu, I really enjoyed my stay at the Waikiki Marriott. Check out this view from my balcony.
There are probably no wrong answers as far as Hawaii goes. Part of it is just deciding what you want to see. Having a view from the room is great, but odds are pretty good you'll be out exploring most of the time anyway.
We'll all be curious about where you plan on going. That will help narrow down the options and allow the community to share more helpful advice.
Thanks bejacob for the shoutout! As he has stated, I do live in Hawaii... On the island of Oahu to be specific! And I'd love to help you out with your plans in the islands.
But to better help, I'd like to know what your interests, what kind of activities you like, dining preferences, etc. Hawaii has a lot to offer to everyone, whether it be sitting on a beach, freezing on a mountaintop, or going on a super exerting and exhilarating hike.
Oahu is definitely the center of the state with the most shopping, dining, etc. If you like food, this is the island for you with some of the best restaurants in the state, and dare I say, some of the best in the world. Some don't like Oahu because it's such a big, bustling city, but drive for a bit, and you'll be out in the countryside. There are easy hikes to waterfalls like Manoa Falls (near Waikiki), easy hikes with excellent views of the ocean and even islands beyond (Outdoors Oahu - Makapu'u Lighthouse). You can swim with Hawaiian spinner dolphins in the wild, or have an encounter in a more controlled environment. You can have real local food that's been around for generations, dine at a great farm to table, have the best of Hawaii regional cuisine, or even sample the cuisines of countless different cultures. Of course Oahu has great beaches too, though to get a bigger, less crowded beach, you'll need to drive out of Waikiki or stay in Ko Olina, at the Kahala or Turtle Bay. You can even visit the only royal palace in the nation. There's a FS Marriott and Courtyard in Waikiki, a MVC in Ko Olina, and a Courtyard on the North Shore.
Maui is probably my favorite of the neighbor islands. There are great beaches on Maui of course and even a greater variety of outdoor activities. You can watch sunrise or sunset atop Haleakala, taking the amazing views and scents at Alii Kula Lavender, sample wine and tour a vineyard, visit a distillery with organic vodka samples, have farm fresh goat cheese at the source, view dozens of waterfalls on the road to Hana, lay on a black sand beach, walk through a bamboo forest with a magnificent waterfall at the end, see endangered plants, visit a heart near the ocean, or even visit the grave of a famous aviator. This island has a MVC in Kaanapali, Courtyard near the airport, a FS Marriott in Wailea (wouldn't recommend) and a Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua.
Big Island is quickly giving Maui a run for its money in my book thanks to the myriad of outdoor activities. There's tons and tons of hiking, some of the best ziplines in the state, stargazing atop the tallest mountain in the world (measured from its base on the sea floor), seeing new land being created by an active volcano, see endemic plant and animals you won't see anywhere else, visit the birthplace of a king, experience a working ranch, talk a walk in rare native forests full of critically endangered and beautiful birds, and get some of the best snacks in the state. Driving distance are really far for Hawaii, with a drive across the island taking about 2.5 hours. There's a Courtyard in Kona, a FS Marriott in Waikoloa, and an Autograph Collection near Hapuna. Hotel options are extremely limited in Hilo.
Kauai is definitely the small and most rural of all the main islands. It's where you'll experience the most laid back lifestyle, though your dining and shopping options will be very limited. Ironically it's the island with the most Marriott options, though most are MVCs or Courtyards. There's a single FS Marriott.
Anyhow, I look forward to learning more about your preferences and assisting you with your trip! In the meantime, you can also check out the ton of blog posts I have about Oahu, Maui and the Big Island: Hawaii & Beyond!
What does the resort fee include? I've heard anything from breakfast for 2 everyday to one breakfast / person / stay?
One free breakfast per day. Not per person. Be prepared to pay something near $33 for anyone else.
I stayed for two nights and didn't have breakfast at the hotel the first morning. I was able to get the hotel to give me a voucher so two of us could eat together the second morning. It took a bit of effort, but they we able to make it happen.
Also a couple drink coupons (mai tais or similar). If I recall, there was also a free coffee (might have been one per day). Discounts on activities. Seem think there might have also been free or reduced price DVD rentals on site. Other than breakfast and the mai tais, I didn't take advantage of anything else.
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