(Closed) Honolulu, Hawaii Honeymoon advise please

posted 6 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Member
1067 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Honolulu is on Oahu not the big island.  A car is probably good if you want to do both Waikiki and the North Shore. Don’t know about any packages but can send you a list of things to do when there.    Oahu, however, is pretty commerical feeling — if you really want a beach getaway I would look into Maui, The Big Island (Hawaii) or Kauai. 

Post # 4
Member
2620 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

When you say “the big island, honolulu” you are aware that those are two separate islands–The Big Island (which has two major cities: Kona & Hilo), and Honolulu is the capital city on the island of Oahu? Just checking because your post made it sound like you were thinking of them as one place.

They are quite different, but special in their own right. Oahu is much more urban and Honolulu is a bona fide city. The Big Island (TBI) is quieter. So it depends on what kind of experience you want (although you can easily do both because the flights between island are like, 45 minutes). TBI has the volcano and a national park surrounding it, so you can do fun things like hike in the rainforests and see the lava (albeit from a distance!) and fly over the flows in a helicopter. Because of the volcanic activity, the topgraphy of TBI is oftentimes black and sort of desolate looking (I think it’s beautiful, but others find it a bit too close to the landscape of Mars in black), and they have famous black-sand beaches. Kona is the dry side of the island; Hilo is the wet. There are some coffee companies out there that you can tour and the old Hawaiian village with the turtle sanctuary and petroglyphs, but on the whole, TBI is rural and quiet so there isn’t much by way of entertainment outside of the resorts.

Honolulu is a city. I repeat: Honolulu is a city. That doesn’t mean that you can’t find some form of paradise on Oahu, but sometimes people go expecting their desolate white-sand beaches and quiet paradise and they’re shocked that Honolulu has terrible traffic and lots of tourists. Don’t get me wrong–my family is from Honolulu and it happens to be my favorite island for many reasons. Just understand what the experience will be like. The trade-off is that just like visiting any other city, there’s tons to do and lots to see: great beaches (our family still uses Waikiki, tourists and all, because you can surf there as a non-local, it’s close to where we live, and parts of it are safe for little kids, but if you drive, you can find some less-well-trodden places), great hiking (Diamond Head and above Lanikai/Kailua to name a couple), museums and art galleries, historical sites like Pearl Harbor, shopping, restaurants, nightlife… But yeah, expect something like Rio–a city on the beach–rather than like, a faraway hut in the Cayman Islands or something. If you want more of a honeymoon experience on Oahu, I would suggest that you look beyond Waikiki. I can’t speak for hotels, but I know others who have rented private homes instead and found that to be more private and intimate. If it’s any interest to you, Lanikai, which has one of the best beaches and is quite tony, is the windward shoreline that’s north-east of Downtown Honolulu, is where Obama stays when he’s in town πŸ™‚

Either way, if it were me, I’d definitely rent a car on both islands.

And so long as you are looking at Hawaii, you might want to check out Kauai and Maui as options too. IF you’re looking for the quintessential lie-on-the-beach-making-out honeymoon deal, then those islands might be more your speed. I only mentioned more about Oahu because most flights go into and out of Honolulu (you CAN of course, spend no time in Honolulu if you don’t want to and just puddle-jump OR find direct flights to outer islands, but they might be more expensive). My one tip to that end is IF you arrange flights that go from the mainland to Honolulu, then you puddle jump to an outer island, then give yourself time between the flights because last time I checked, in almost all cases, you will have to pick up your bags from baggage check and re-check them (this is unless you only have carry-on), plus switch terminals. There’s exceptions to this rule, but on the whole, make sure you know what the deal is because Hawaii is very careful about agricultural checks on and off the islands AND between islands and it’s more often than not that you’ll have to collect bags and re-check. Just a heads up.

Post # 5
Member
666 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

We just got married in Oahu and spent about 9 days there :-).  We enjoyed our time so much there!  There are a lot of hotels in Waikiki area (busy tourist area if you don’t mind).  You can search for hotels online.  We stayed in a very simple hotel and it costed us about $160-$170 a night.  There is a fancy hotel next to the beach but I really don’t know the name and how much it costs.

We went there with our little boy who doesn’t know how to swim so we didn’t get to do a lot of water/ocean activities.  I think 10 days to 2 weeks should be enough.

Yes renting a car is a good idea so you can drive around the island.  We visited East and North Shores and they’re just gorgoues!  You can also fly to the big island to see volcano (one day trip, I think costs about $200 per person)

There are a lot of activities to do and yes lots of shopping if you love it!  Tons of designer stores! :-).

Post # 6
Member
3689 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Either way, if it were me, I’d definitely rent a car on both islands.


I’ve only been to Oahu, but it’s been my favorite vacation spot since childhood.  We lived there for a couple of years when I was really little, but went back to visit whenever we could.  My parents always rented a car, but parking at the hotels in Honolulu can be quite a PITA.  They charge a large daily parking fee, even though it’s self parking, not valet.  The garages are teeny, so it’s super-stressful to get in and out of the parking spaces because they’re very narrow.  We rented the cars because, having previously lived there, we wanted to do stuff like drive by our old house and my old school–stuff tourists would never want to do.

I’d shop around online for packages, but Hawaii tends to be pretty expensive.  I prefer the slightly higher end hotels because the more affordable ones sometimes have roach issues.

Post # 7
Member
466 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I’ve been to Oahu/Honolulu and I loved it! Even though there is a city feel, you can find some great beaches that have less traffic.  We rented a car and I think it is a must.  We drove to North shore and of course many beaches, including Diamond Head.

We stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort: http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/hawaii/hilton-hawaiian-village-waikiki-beach-resort-HNLHVHH/index.html

and we loved it.  There was a variety of travelers though, including couples, but also families.  But we stayed in their Ali’i Tower, which was more secluded and a bit more upscale (thanks to a nice upgrade upon arrival!). 

Overall I would highly recommend Oahu! We are going to Maui on our honeymoon and I can’t wait to see how it differs πŸ™‚

Post # 8
Member
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

The only island I’ve been to is Maui, but it was amazing.  There’s tons of stuff to do, gorgeous white sand beaches, we rode donkeys down into a volcano, snorkling, et.  All the things you would expect on a vacation in Hawaii.  We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua (on the island Maui), but only because my Dad used to work there.  This was a number of years ago, and we got to stay there for free because of my Dad’s work, so I have no idea what their prices are.  It’s hands down, the most luxurious hotel I’ve ever been to, with excellent customer service.  They have a lovely concierge desk that will happily help you plan things to do during your stay.  I would strongly suggest renting a car, no matter which island you go to.  You can check out sites like travelocity for reviews and bookit.com for super cheap vacation packages. Do some more research to find out what area in Hawaii you want to visit.  There’s quite a large difference in the feel of each place, everything from low populated, intimate feeling places with beautiful scenery, to crowded tourist areas with a hopping club scene.

Post # 9
Member
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

@strawbabies:  “I’d shop around online for packages, but Hawaii tends to be pretty expensive.  I prefer the slightly higher end hotels because the more affordable ones sometimes have roach issues”

And gecko issues.  We stayed in a cheap motel one night because we were visiting some of my Dad’s friends in a different area and it was terrible.  We had roaches, insects (stinging ones, but I didn’t recognize them), and geckos.  At first I thought the geckos were kinda cute, but they got really annoying after a couple hours.  

@OP: It’s totally worth the extra money to stay in a nicer hotel.

Post # 10
Member
8315 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@AllTheGoodUsernamesAreTaken:  You get roaches and geckos even in the 5 star hotels in tropical locations. It is part and parcel of a tropical environment. Even the Summer Royal palace in Thailand has roaches and geckos!

Honestly if you want a honeymoon feel I would definately suggest not staying in Waikiki- try a resort outside of the city or even a condo. There are a lot of 5 star condos in Oahu that are beach front that come in under the cost of a hotel room!

We went to Oahu for our honeymoon but stayed in Ko olina at the Marriott. Whilst it was really nice and romantic we are going back in May 2013 to visit the other islands as they are apparently much better for beaches, scuba, scenery etc etc

Post # 13
Member
8315 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

@AllTheGoodUsernamesAreTaken:  lol or a good does of poision. Some 5 stars go over the top to appease the sensitivities of tourists unfortunately. Tourist got very sick in the last year at hotels in Phi Phi Island Thailand and Pattaya Thailand due to chemicals being used to kill bugs.

The worst complaint I saw was when we stayed at the Evason in HuaHin Thailand and someone was blasting all over trip advisor about rats everywhere. I was a little alarmed and emailed the manager of the hotel. The resort is set on the grounds of tropical forest so I expected some wildlife but certainly not rats. Turns out the so called rats were native mammals (I forget the name) and totally harmless. But yet even though they were told that, these tourist were wanting them killed! Nice lets just kill the native animals in their own environment because we built a hotel on it and want to use the beach!

Post # 14
Member
2137 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

If you decide on Oahu, there was a lot of good advice posted on this board! 

Oahu Traveling Tips

I LOVE Oahu. My parents lived there and we go back every summer. I agree with PP that Waikiki is not all that Oahu has to offer. Lanikai is an amazing beach with soo much to offer- if you stay on Oahu, I would definitely recommend it. That’s where we stay when we go.

Post # 15
Member
2239 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@AllieANT:  Ha, you beat me to it!!  People, like you, responded to me with such great information.  

I’m going to subscribe to this post too because I’m still very interested in more info <3

Oahu is going to be amaziiinnnggggg!

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