Post # 1
Hey bees! I know theres a lot of threads going about Hawaii honeymoons… But I am just wondering, what your advice would be for a couple that is used to all inclusive vacations???
We are strongly considering either Aruba or Hawaii for our honeymoon at the moment. Aruba we could do all-inclusive… but Hawaii just looks SO amazing. All inclusive is a big appeal to us, we love the price and we love that magic wristband that just gets us endless cocktails on the beach all day haha. So, what would your advice be, to make Hawaii as enjoyable as the all inclusive vacations we have had??? Where should we stay? Where should we eat? What are some good resorts with nice beaches/pools, do they have kitchenettes , what does an average meal cost, what do drinks cost?!
We want a relaxing beach vacation with a couple excursions- a fishing trip is a must for the FI , I would love to do some hiking, and just general sight-seeing. We both enjoyed meeting people at our resorts in the past and I think I might feel too isolated if we did one of those property rental by owner type things. We like to socialize!
We want to stay around $3,000 each (including our flights) for a week vacation, and are hoping to use airmiles & best western rewards to help with flights, or hotels, or car rental, whatever way we can save.
Post # 3
Ok so I haven’t actually been yet, but we rented a waterfront VRBO penthouse just west of Waikiki for $225/night. We are staying 10 days, renting a car and we booked our flights on points. Probably our total will be similar to your $6k goal. You should definitely check out VRBO, our place looks great and my aunt and uncle rent houses all the time in Palm Springs and Arizona through that site.
Post # 4
We stayed in a waterfront rental for a week for under $150/night on the Kona side of the Big Island. It was a little more work since we had to cook and clean up afterward, but it was so worth it to be able to control what and when to eat. As for the booze, we hit up the Costco in the beginning of the week and were never short on drinks!
Post # 5
@Jessicachantal: You won’t find all inclusives in Hawaii but the condo rentals should be well within your price range
Post # 6
Two different kinds of vacations (but I think you know that)
An all-inclusive is all about the vegetating – relaxation – pampering
A DIY Vacation is usually more about adventure – exploration etc.
ONLY YOU can decide what type of Honeymoon you want.
Hope this helps (somewhat)
PS… I haven’t been to either Aruba or Hawaii, but I have friends who have been to each / both, and they would say there are definite merits in each (great destinations)… it just comes down to what you are looking for
Post # 7
We were strongly considering going to an all inclusive in Jamaica but we wanted to go somewhere for two weeks instead of one and we didn’t love the idea of spending two entire weeks at an all inclusive, not to mention it would be very expensive. I absolutely love Hawaii and have been there before when I was much younger but I had always thought it would be much too expensive for a honeymoon but luckily to my surprise I was wrong. We are going to Maui for 8 days and Kauai for 6 days in the spring and renting through VRBO for both. VRBO is awesome and totally the way to go. There’s a huge range of places to choose from at many different price points. Our plan is to bring in food to have breakfast and/or lunch at home and then eat out for dinner. We booked our flights on airmiles and we are going to rent a car as well. Can’t really comment on restaurants yet and meal/drink prices as it has been a long time since I’ve been there but I’ve heard that there are lots of options. Not sure where you’re thinking of going in Hawaii but I’ve heard that there’s a really great helicopter tour in Kauai, I think we might have to check it out. Oahu is fun and there’s a lot to do (Waikiki beach, Pearl Harbour, etc.) but it’s very touristy so if you’re looking for more of a relaxing vacation you may want to choose one of the other islands. Kauai is absolutely gorgeous but it’s very quiet and there’s virtually no night life so if you want to go out at night you might be a bit bored. Waimea Canyon is beautiful and definitely a must see. I can honestly say that Kauai is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in my life. Those are just my two cents, hope this helps.
Post # 8
I absolutely LOVED Kauai!! When DH and I decided to honeymoon in Hawaii, we discussed it as a “once in a lifetime” trip. On the plane home, we were talking about everything we wanted to do “next time”. Between the two of us, I believe we spent around $3k-$4k.
We split our time between Oahu and Kauai. I preferred Kauai. Oahu has that lovely shopping experience in Waikiki (which I’ll admit, I enjoyed immensely), but Kauai was all about relaxation. Even the traffic was more relaxed on Kauai. Everyone was very friendly towards us, and the excursions were wonderful.
We did the Blue Hawaiian helicopter tour. Let me tell you, I saw some of the most beautiful things on that tour. We went right up into Mount Wai’ale’ale, the wettest spot on earth. It cost quite a bit of money, but the photography experience (and sharing all of this with DH) was priceless. We also did the Captain Andy’s sunset tour (stopped at the coffee plantation on the way– they have free samples and tours), which took us up the Na Pali coast before sunset. We then had dinner and drinks while we watched the sun set on the open ocean. DH and I also enjoyed the Smith Family Luau– I definitely felt very pampered and entertained, especially when the host remembered our names and congratulated us several times throughout the night. We loved the food.
Then you have all of the beautiful places to hike to, and several good snorkeling spots. I actually got within a few feet of a turtle without realizing it. I swam right over him and didn’t see him until DH pointed at him. We saw a lot of different kinds of fish and corals. They do have guided hiking tours, and if you looked into it, they probably have snorkel tours too. I know they have guided tubing adventures, which DH and I wanted to do, but they were all booked out by the time we found it.
Before we left, one of our guests gave us this book as a wedding present. For a couple of people who were strangers to Hawaii, it was a helpful starting point. I found all of the tips on tours and beaches helpful, although we didn’t find the restaurant reviews to be very accurate for us. It was more helpful as a starting point, where we then looked up actual reviews. If you’re considering going to any of the islands, there’s a whole series of Hawaii Revealed books, so it’s worth checking them out.
Post # 9
We just got back from our honeymoon at the Disney Aulani resort on Oahu, and it was incredible. If you can make it to Hawai’i, it’s so worth it!!
Post # 10
@This Time Round:
Absolutely two different types… I really really enjoy all inclusives so I am nervous to do a condo rental type trip- we kind of like the hustle and bustle of the resort and just the care-free, no-planning type of days we had.
That being said it may be nice to do something different for our honeymoon, we have the rest of our lives to do cheap all inclusive carribean vacations. (Also, we plan to go in September, which limits our options, and makes Hawaii more appealing)
@actually_06: I think I will check out VRBO although I am not sure it is the direction we want to go. I like the idea of doing our own breakfasts and lunches and spending more money on going out to dinner. I think my ideal would be to find a suite at a resort that has a kitchenette to do this… I am not sure if thats in our price range!
Your input definitely helped, I have no idea which island would suit us best!! They all sound amazing for different reasons. Guess FI and I have to decide what exactly we are looking for!
Does anyone know which island is best for fishing excursions?!
@firefliesinthesky: Ahhh the helicopter tour sounds amazing!!!
@LibrarianTellsAll: How was the disney resort? What were the costs like for meals/drinks? I’ll check out some reviews on trip advisor!! Thanks!
Post # 11
Please don’t use the Hawaii Revealed books, as suggested by another poster. We who live here really dislike those books. Athough they do have nice photos and maps, they also give a LOT of inaccurate information, all delivered in a snarky kind of conversational style. They encourage people to trespass to get to so-called “hidden gems” (how would you like 300 tourists a day treking through your front yard?) and all of their cultural information is total BS.
There have been dozens of community meeting around the islands about how to deal with all the problems those books have caused. Some visitor deaths can be directly traced to doing something that those books suggested that visitors do. There are lawsuits . . .
When we see tourists walking aorund with those blue books, we immediately write them off as clueless, even though they likely just didn’t know any better.
Lonely Planet and Fodor’s are both good starting places, and TripAdvisor is a great resource.
I can tell you that Hawaii Island (the Big island) is well known for great fishing excursions. Maui probably has the closest to the all-inclusive experience you like. Kauai is gorgeous and very romantic . . .
Post # 12
+1 to all the wonderful things @firefliesinthesky said about Kauai. FI and I went to Kauai in October 2010, and it was fantastic. We are planning to go back for our honeymoon, which will also be in September. It’s a great time of year to go because the water is still calm but it’s apparently less crowded than the summer months.
We stayed at a resort on the southern side of the island in Poipu. The resort itself was a collection of condos, which we liked a lot. There are other more traditional resorts (but not all inclusive) in the Poipu area that might be more up your alley. And the resorts are all pretty close to restaurants.
For our honeymoon though, we are going to try the VRBO route because we’d love to stay on the northern side of the island, within walking distance of some of our favorite beaches.
We used the Lonely Planet book and Trip advisor, which were both pretty helpful for finding beaches/restaurants/etc.
Post # 13
@wahine777: Like I said, we used them as a starting point of things to research rather than our one-and-only guide. We did a lot of research on our own based on things we’d read, and I definitely recommend researching what you read rather than going off the book entirely. For someone who’d never been there before, it was more helpful than not having any direction at all.