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LeslieG
07-09-2006, 08:50 PM
There have been some great threads in the past about Hawaii in general, but I'm thinking specifically Maui. Any tips on nice hotels, what location, which airport? Are packages usually a better way to go than buying air and hotel separately? Thanks for any input. I'm thinking first of June next year, maybe 5 nights. Oh, and we'll have our 5 and 7 year olds with us, by the way.

beachbunny
07-09-2006, 09:06 PM
If it's in your budget, stay in Wailea. In June, the Maui International Film Festival is held in Wailea. Lots of free movies and tons of celebrities. My favorite hotel is the Grand Wailea. Lots of different pools and a beautiful beach - what more do you need. FWIW, Oprah recently bought out the Grand Wailea for a staff retreat. Take the kids to the Maui Aquarium. Stroll around Lahaina and on the weekend, search for art around The Banyan Tree. Have breakfast at Tasty Crust.

vhoffman
07-10-2006, 12:19 AM
We just came back from an 18-day trip to Hawaii, 6 nights on Maui. We stayed at the Embassy Suites Kaa'napali. It was a great place to stay with kids! We got a one bdr condo, they do have 2 bdr 2bath as well. We got a special deal, I don't know if they still offer it. Basically you have to attend a timeshare presentation (which was actually quite nice and low pressure). The package we got was something like $1300 for 6 nights, included rent car and luau tickets. Try their website to see if they still offer it www.maui-embassy.com

Even if you don't get the cheap package I'd still recommend considering this place expecially with 2 small children. We have 2 (both 9 year olds). Our unit had a seperate bedroom/living room and small kitchen (fridge, microwave, sink, coffee maker, utensils). The bathroom is huge with the toilet in a seperate alcove so sharing is easier. They have a really big pool (about one acre!), and right on a great beach. Also, its a short drive to grocery stores, we bought a lot of stuff to eat in the room, much more convenient. Oh, also our package included a full breakfast buffet every morning!

If you decide not to go the timeshare deal you can still get a good deal by renting a ts from an owner. Try www.redweek.com, and www.vrbo.com. I figure its better to rent from an owner than have the hassle of being one!

I really feel a condo is a much better choice when traveling with kids rather than trying to stay at a luxury hotel. You're four people crammed into one room, eat every meal out, and pay sky-high prices. However, as with everything, there are trade offs. I looked at many condos on Maui and typically they do not have a/c, and either have a small pool or none, and not on the beach. The Embassy has a huge pool, beach, a/c.

Insofar as airports, there are 3 on Maui, however, just about all commercial flights go in and out of OGG. The others are more cargo, private planes, etc.

There's a lot to see and do on Maui, however, if you decide to go driving around do pay attention to the rental car warnings about dangerous areas. We just started driving around West Maui, and were following another map (we found our rental car map later and found the road we were on was in violation of the rental agreement). The road was fine for about half our trip, then without any real warning it turned into a narrow, winding one-lane road with two way traffic! In places it was only 8 ft wide, with many blind turns. This road was right on the edge of a 5000 ft cliff, with a steep mountain on the other side! I was never so frightened in my life! Fortunately it was daytime, good weather, and we were on the mountain side. What if we bumbled onto that road at night, raining, on the cliff side? There weren't even any markers, reflectors, guard rails, etc. I was quite upset that there wasn't any warning, other than one sign "narrow winding roads next 8 miles". There should have been more warning than that--something to the effect that the road would become one lane, 2-way traffic. The first we knew it was 2-way traffic was when we me someone coming around a curve. Actually, we met several other vehicles and they all made way for us, backing up for us, smiling and waving. Since we were on the mountainside we were supposed to back up (I learned that later!), but they could tell we were tourists and didn't have a clue. At least the people who drive this road are courteous, however, they are locals, familiar with the road, know what they're getting into, and usually have an off-road vehicle (many banked up the mountainside to allow us to pass). This is not something for an amateur! I even found a website with pictures of that exact road and descriptions, so you can see for yourself what its like. Not for tourists!

www.Hawaiihighways.com/photos-Kahekili-Hwy.htm

However, the majority of raods on Maui are not like this, don't let it scare you away, just don't bumble into it like we did! Have a great trip, and pm me if you have any questions!

Oreo Cookie
07-10-2006, 06:57 AM
Maui is wonderful and you are going to have a great vacation. I've been to Maui 4 times, and have stayed at the Grand Wailea once. It is a beautiful resort, and the pool is fabulous, the kids will definately enjoy it. If you want a luxury retreat, the Grand Wailea is the way to go

With that being said, two times we went we stayed in Condos on the beach. I like the extra room you have in a condo and also the ability to cook your meals. Maui is expensive, and I've found that you can save on the cost of your trip by cooking some meals. We used VRBO and had no problems.

I prefer the Wailea area, but Maui is a beautiful island. We have stayed up in the Kapalua area of Maui, but I found that it did rain up there more often. On a trip we took at the end of April/beginning of May, it rained every morning. We had friends staying in Wailea and it didn't rain down there.

Another suggestion that I would make would be regarding snorkeling. Many people pay to go on snorkeling trips, my advice would be to rent your equipment for a week, and then just snorkel from the shore. I've found that I've always seen tons of fish by swimming right near the shoreline. You can just hop in your car, drive to different spots, and snorkel from there. Ask the staff where you are staying and they will give you great snorkeling spots.

As far as booking a package versus separate, I've always done better on my own booking separate. I do check the package costs, and then do my own research.

In terms of airport, we've only flown into Kahului airport (airport code OGG) when we've gone to Maui.

If you are going to go to a Luau, Marriott has an excellent one. We went to the Luau at the Marriott in Wailea, and had a great time.

Good luck planning!

LeslieG
07-10-2006, 07:44 AM
How many different resort areas are there on Maui? How do I make the best choice what area to be in?

barkley
07-10-2006, 10:55 AM
we're going in november (7 nites) and i got a package through hyatt for the maui hyatt. i looked at less expensive resorts, but with crazy airfares i still would have ended up paying more than i got the whole package for through hyatt (flower lei greeting, transportation, suv rental, resort stay, 2 free breakfasts for the adults each day). it appealed to me that they have a kid's program (not free but it's about the only one offered esp. since hawaii cracked down on resort programs and they now have to align with/meet the state's child care program standards/laws).

when we went sans kids many years ago we realy saved by checking out travel books and educating ourselves on which eateries had early bird pricing (alot do 1/2 price entrees and appetizers before the traditional dinner hour) or mid week specials. we also tended to grab stuff at the grocery store to have lunch on the go (deli sandwiches, salads, fruit)-in fact i plan on taking my "picnic backpack" (insulated and has plates, cutlery, napkins) with us so we can do the same this trip.

i think if you book at a resort (vs a timeshare/condo) it's well worth it (if it's not already part of the room rate) to pay the maybe $10 per day to have a mini fridge put into the room-bottled water, sodas, juice and milk (crazy expensive in maui) can be stored for use-and you can always grab those little boxes of cereal for the kids to munch on (and frankly, we've taken cup o' noodles, instant soup and oatmeal and used the hot water the in-room coffee pots generate as well).

check out the 'food network' this week-rachel ray's $40 a day is doing a segment on maui-it could provide some good tips on inexpensive eateries.

LeslieG
07-10-2006, 11:23 AM
I've actually also been leaning towards the Hyatt Maui. I need to recheck, but it appeared that adding the two kids to the package only added about $500. That didn't seem right to me considering the price of airfare. Either it was a good deal or I didn't enter something correctly.

I think the package with the free breakfast is a pretty good deal. I think I've read the buffet breakfast is very good and $25 pp.

I'd love to hear from you when you return. We aren't going til probably first of June next year.

I'm actually considering taking a package from CA, even though we live in OH, flying into LAX the afternoon before, staying at an airport hotel, then heading out the next morning. Kind of a hassle with the luggage, but I think doing it all in one day would be too much for the kids.

What led you to decide on the Hyatt, by the way?

klfrech
07-10-2006, 12:40 PM
Love this thread! Our family (from Pittsburgh) are considering Maui next July. DH, myself and DD (age 13) and although I love the idea of a condo, I know I'll miss the luxury of a resort. We stayed at the Maui Hyatt for our honeymoon and it was fabulous! Can anyone recommend a luxury condo with elaborate pools, and a/c that feels like a resort?

Also thinking about flying to LAX, overnighting and then on to Maui the next day. What kind of deals are out there?

barkley
07-10-2006, 12:40 PM
I've actually also been leaning towards the Hyatt Maui. I need to recheck, but it appeared that adding the two kids to the package only added about $500. That didn't seem right to me considering the price of airfare. Either it was a good deal or I didn't enter something correctly.

I think the package with the free breakfast is a pretty good deal. I think I've read the buffet breakfast is very good and $25 pp.

I'd love to hear from you when you return. We aren't going til probably first of June next year.

I'm actually considering taking a package from CA, even though we live in OH, flying into LAX the afternoon before, staying at an airport hotel, then heading out the next morning. Kind of a hassle with the luggage, but I think doing it all in one day would be too much for the kids.

What led you to decide on the Hyatt, by the way?

we stayed at embassy suites back when it was still strictly a hotel and while it was nice it just seemed like every other embassy suites we've stayed in (same breakfast buffet, same cocktails) and while the pool was nice it was'nt anything spectacular.

the hyatt has gotten great reviews in both the travel books and by both adult and family travelers on tripadvisor. it has a great looking pool (a big issue with the kids-and for me who likes one with lots of shaded areas) and probably most importantly has the kid's program. dd is very social and loves to go, go, go-so when i saw that they offered the traditional 'tourist' activities for the kids (lei making, shell art...) as well as kid oriented field trips (the aquarium, the pineapple plantation, a visit to the see just the entertainment portion of the luau held on site) i knew it would be worth the kid's club fee to let her do somethings that ds might not be into (i suspect we will have to dip him in sunscreen each morning and drag him out of the pool/off the beach). the breakfast looks realy good and the kids prices are 1/2 the adult-so i figure if we can get a full breakfast meal for 4 for around $30 per day that's a pretty good value (and we tend to sleep in and eat late morning-so it's more like a brunch for us and eliminates the need to spend on a big lunch).

i think your idea of breaking up the travel into 2 days is a great idea-since you gain time going to hawaii from california the last thing you want to do is arrive there early in the day and be wiped out from travel.

one thing i'de reccommend in travleing with kids (and all the extra luggage they require)-look at upgrading the rental car to a mini-van or suv. when you check out how little luggage the standard or compacts hold you have to wonder how anyone but a single adult can manage to fit their luggage in.

vhoffman
07-10-2006, 01:26 PM
Hi, KlFrech!

I have just the place for you--a condo that feels like a luxury resort, elaborate pool, a/c--Maui Marriott Ocean Club. www.Marriott.com. We stayed there 2 years ago. It pretty much all timeshares now, but you can still book accomodations through Marriott, or try renting one from an owner. The condos are one or 2 bdr, but all have 2 baths. They essentially just put two rooms together and kept both baths. Well, its nicer than that, has a kitchen, etc., full a/c, and a fantastic pool! I think its one of the nicest on Maui! My kids still talk about it--has caves, waterfalls, shade, etc. Nice, upscale place. I really wanted to go back there this last trip but couldn't find anything that synced up with our travel dates. Trust me--this is what you're looking for!

klfrech
07-10-2006, 02:32 PM
This is exactly what I'm looking for. Stayed at Cypress Harbour in Orlando last year and loved it. I've poured over the Maui Marriott's website and can't see any reference to the 1 BR having a washer/dryer in the unit. Can you tell me if they do? Thanks for the info!

vhoffman
07-10-2006, 02:40 PM
Unfortunately they don't have washer/dryer in the unit, at least not when we were there. I'm always hesitant to recommend a place based on my experience if it was awhile ago, so it would be best to just call and ask. However, I doubt it. When we were there they had a coin-operated laundry. Do take dryer sheets with you, they take virtually no room and they charge about $2 for a box of 2!

My kids loved it so much they thought Maui meant that hotel and pool. This time we stayed at Embassy Suites, which was also quite nice with a large pool, but not quite the Marriott. I had to explain to them that Maui was the name of the island, not the pool! Oh, well, once they got over the initial disappointment we "roughed it" at Embassy suites :rotfl: Still a great place, but if I could get back to Maui Marriott I would!

Oh, also, the number of rooms available through Marriott's website is limited since most are owned as timeshares now. However, you can rent from an owner, I've found a lot of listings for rental at this property from www.redweek.com, and www.vrbo.com, and www.tug2.net. You can sign up for a notify service when a listing is posted.

vhoffman
07-10-2006, 02:52 PM
Oh, just noticed you stayed at the Maui Hyatt and loved it. The Marriott is right next door to the Hyatt, you can walk to it, so you're familiar with the area. The Marriott is similar in ambience--it holds its own. I loved the hotel/condo mix!

Oreo Cookie
07-10-2006, 04:50 PM
Oh, just noticed you stayed at the Maui Hyatt and loved it. The Marriott is right next door to the Hyatt, you can walk to it, so you're familiar with the area. The Marriott is similar in ambience--it holds its own. I loved the hotel/condo mix!

I got to admit that I too love the hotel/condo mix because you get the both of best worlds, and if you rent the condo you can still use all of the hotel amenities!

Kitty-chan
07-10-2006, 09:08 PM
If you're renting a car, I'd suggest checking out Island Car Rentals (http://www.rentacarinmaui.com/pages/1/index.htm). They're off-airport, so it's not quite as convenient, but you can save a ton. I rented a mid-size for a week from them last February and paid $177; this was at least a $50 savings over anything at the airport. If you rent from them, be sure to bring your car insurance proof -- they'll ask for it for sure (we forgot ours and had to have our agent fax it to them).

The island is beautiful beautiful beautiful! There's plenty to do without paying for expensive "activities." I'd suggest a drive to Upcountry, which plenty of tourists miss. You can soak up the local flavor, see beautiful rolling green hills, and not spend a fortune. Makawao has cute little shops, and the best cream puffs on the island at the Komodo Bakery (get there early in the day -- they sell out fast!). Plus there's a great little spot far off the beaten path, the Surfing Goat Dairy (http://www.surfinggoatdairy.com/), which is quirky and sweet and great fun.

vhoffman
07-11-2006, 10:37 PM
Bumping this up, would like to see more tips!

staceyfe
07-11-2006, 11:09 PM
Can anyone tell me when the "in-season" and "off-season" is in Hawaii in general? I want to go next year for our 15th anniv., preferably September but I will change it to anytime that's good weather but less expensive. TIA!!

LeslieG
07-12-2006, 07:37 AM
I believe I've read spring and fall are the off-season. And weather is good year round. Winter is the peak season, followed by summer when families vacation. September sounds like a great time.

100AcreWood
07-12-2006, 09:23 AM
We love Maui! I'm looking forward to taking my girls there one day :rolleyes: .

I recommend staying on the Wailea side as well because the hotels are incredible. However, most of the actitivies are on the Kannapali / Lahaina Habor side. We really like the Fairmont Kea Lani the best. But next door is the Grand Wailea and it also looks beautiful.

I suggest going during whale watching season. It was my favorite part of the trip! We spent every day going out on Captain Steve's boat watching whales. I believe the season is December-early April but you may want to check. After that it's whale searching season - LOL!
http://www.maui-activities.com/captsteve.htm (I would call him directly for rates).

Have fun! I think your kids will love it at their age!

SuzanneSLO
07-12-2006, 09:49 AM
Can anyone tell me when the "in-season" and "off-season" is in Hawaii in general? I want to go next year for our 15th anniv., preferably September but I will change it to anytime that's good weather but less expensive. TIA!!

The 2 slowest months are May (before Memorial Day) and September (after Labor Day) and the weather is generally lovely all year 'round. Early December is also slow.

Peak season is Christmas-Easter (crowded and expensive) and summer (crowded but less expensive).

We love the Wailea/South Kihei area becuase we find it be less windy and less touristy. That said, if you like to people watch, any of the resorts actually along Kaanapali beach are great as there is a lovely beach walk between the Sheraton and the Hyatt. You definitely will pay resort prices for this area.

In Wailea, there is a beach walk between the Renaissance (which I think is closing down to convert to condos this Fall) and the Kea Lani. Our favorite condo along this stretch is Wailea Elua, but it is not cheap.

For cheaper condo accomodations, we like South Kihei. Those that are on or across the street from the 3 Kamaole beaches or Keawakapu beach are good values as many units offer ocean views and the beach access is very easy. These are all good swimming beaches and usually are also good for snorkeling. Also, there are lots of restaurants (including a Denny's with an ocean view) within walking distance in this area.

Farther north in Kihei, the swimming is often not good at the beaches. As a disclaimer, we own units at the Maui Banyan in South Kihei, so of course we are biased!

Have a great trip. --Suzanne

aclov
07-12-2006, 03:51 PM
I went to Maui in Sept, the weather was nice and not very crowded but the downside was no whale watching. So our next trip to Hawaii, we went in January.
There is a Japanese holiday to watch out for since it will bring in alot of people, called Golden Week I believe. I want to say it's in April or May but I'm not for sure.

willoughbyclan
07-13-2006, 09:46 PM
My husband and I are going to Maui in September of this year for our 15th wedding anniversary. We are spending 1 night in Hana and the remaining nights in Wailea at the Renaissance. We plan to fly over early in the morning after spending a few nights in Oahu and start the road trip to Hana, spend the night there and then return to Wailea for the remainder of our trip. My question is this: What do we do with our luggage while on our road trip? We have reserved a Jeep Wrangler so we can't lock it in the trunk and I have read that breakins are fairly common. We only wanted to have an overnight bag with us on the trip to Hana. Any suggestions? :confused3

P.S.

I didn't want to break up our resort stay with the road trip and I didn't want the road trip to be our last day before departing so I can't really change the date of the road trip.

beachbunny
07-13-2006, 11:22 PM
In Hawaii, there are two tourist seasons, the one for mainland tourists and the one for Japanese tourists. It used to be that Japanese tourists outnumbered mainland tourists. Now, the numbers are reversing. So what used to be slow season may not be any more. Just looking around and guessing, I'd say the slowest season is fall. Whatever you do, don't come at the end of April, beginning of May. That's Japan's Golden Week - there are seven national holidays in a real short span and most Japanese companies are closed during this time. It's the equivalent of WDW's week between Christmas and New Year's.