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Old 09-29-2011, 09:12 PM   #1
minnie4me
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Hawaiian resort help

Read an article in magazine that offered the 5 best family friendly Hawaiian resorts...has anyone stayed at any and if so can I have your honest opinions. Our family consists of DH, me , DS (9 @ travel time), DM (64 @ travel time).
resorts: Hilton Waikoloa Village
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort
Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Turtle Bay Resort
Aulani Resort

Thanks !!
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:06 PM   #2
rodfromhawaii
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It all depends on which island you want to stay on.
Any preferences?
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:35 PM   #3
c&m
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Out of the hotels you listed, we've been to the Grand Hyatt in Kauai. The resort is perfect for a 9-year-old. The pool has a lazy river and pool slide, and there's also a lagoon where you can rent kayaks. On weekends, at the Seaview Terrace (a lounge area that opens up to the Pacific Ocean), there's entertainment with hula dancers and live Hawaiian music. There's lei making and shell necklace making activities for kids. We had a great time at this resort. Also, customer service was great. We loved it there.

The only thing is that Kauai is a very quiet island. There's no active night life, shopping malls, or a huge selection of restaurants to choose from. The activities outside the resort are very outdoorsy (like hiking at the Waimea Canyon), which my DH loves. We were unable to snorkel from the beach (Shipwreck Beach) in front of the Grand Hyatt because it's too rough. You also have to make sure you go at a good time of year when it doesn't pour rain. (It's a lush island and is known as the garden isle for a reason.) If you like more of a vibe and energy, then Kauai may be a bit too quiet. We loved Kauai, because we went there to get away from it all. Our kids were 6 & 9 when we went, and we had some amazing family time.

Now that our kids older, we go to Maui and Honolulu, because our tween and teen love the energy and vibrancy of both. But whenever we go to Maui or Honolulu, I always wish we were at the Grand Hyatt instead. It is the perfect resort IMO.

BTW, I've never stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel but have passed by it. As a resort, it does not compare at all to the Grand Hyatt.
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Old 09-30-2011, 02:00 AM   #4
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I'd focus on which island you want to go to first and then pick the hotel. Each has it's own special unique thing to offer. It all depends on what you are looking for and what kind of vacation you want. Do you want to explore the island or just kick back and stay at the hotel?

I got married at Turtle Bay It's nice, has a small pool and a small waterslide. Has a decent beach. I like it there, but it's more of a kick back hotel. Not that much going on.

I am going stir crazy to stay at the Aulani! I can't wait till the day we get to. I have a friend that works there and he says it's "The Grand on Steriods". He said it's amazing and filled with things to do for kids. So I'm voting for the Aulani if you are picking Oahu
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:41 PM   #5
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I stayed at the Hilton Waikaloa last February and it was awesome. It's definitely family friendly for many reasons:

1) multiple pools with waterslides, zero entry, etc
2) oceanside mini putt course
3) it has a lagoon and beach instead of beach right at the oceans edge so no worries about waves crashing in - the lagoon is fed by the ocean so it's full of fish, sea turtles, etc and has a lovely waterfall - you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, etc
4) a ground level monorail and boat service to take you around the resort instead of walking - kids love it!
5) swim with the dolphins area right at the resort - it's not cheap, but if your kids are interested, it's nice to have it right there - you can also just spend time watching others do it

This resort is located on the Big Island which also had other activities available if you are interested - whale watching, ziplining, Volcanoes National Park, helicopter rides over the volcanoes, etc. Plenty of stuff to do and it's all family friendly.
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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I have stayed at Turtle Bay. I liked it very much. My entire family stayed in a 4 bedroom villa.
Pros: nice beach area
saw a seal on the beach every morning we were there (Sept.)
pool with water slide and bar service
relaxing
close to Ted's bakery, shrimp trucks, and sharks cove for awesome
snorkling

Cons: restaurants very expensive (we ate at the buffet breakfast once)
far from Honolulu and Waikiki
need a car
might not be enough to keep your 9yr old occupied (my 5yr old at the
time had her cousin to play with)
It is very beautiful. They have horse back riding for the kids and we saw turtles.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:55 AM   #7
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Glad you started this thread. DH & I plan to go to Aulani within the next 5 years. - lol I'm starting to gather info because I know we will want to go to at least one other island too. I'm subscribing hoping others will chime in on their resort, island, & activity recomendations too.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:00 PM   #8
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Been to the Islands three times, first for honeymoon (Maui & Kauai), second with kids (Oahu) and last time just DH and I for our anniversary (Maui) .

If you are travelling with kids, I would recommend looking into vacation villas - priced lower than a hotel, and you have room to spread out, a full kitchen and maybe even a washer and dryer!

Most of the time we were on the go, and we needed a pool just to relax or cool down. Besides, our boys wanted to boogie board in the ocean, no "lazy river" for them.

Try vrbo.com once you have narrowed down your island. If you are taking the kids, I would highly recommend Oahu, Maui or the Big Island (next on my wish list!).

Happy travels!
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:11 AM   #9
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My replies always get eaten on this thread Anyhow, to make it short this time, you should try to figure out which island(s) you want to see and go from there. Each island is different and has different things to do as well as how everything is on it. And what kind of vacation do you want, do you want a kick back relax at the beach or do you want to explore, hike, going to attractions, etc. It can really make a difference which island you choose. And island hoping is very very easy, only about a 20 minute to 50 minute plane ride. And each island has at least one really cool hotel you might want to stay at
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