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Looking for advice: Kauai vs. Maui

Looking for advice: Kauai vs. Maui

Old Jun 24, 11, 10:29 am
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Looking for advice: Kauai vs. Maui

The Mrs. and I are travelling into Kauai and out of Maui for 7 nights in November. Using SPG resort nights we'll be staying at the St. Regis Princeville on Kauai and the Sheraton Maui. I haven't booked the nights yet because I can't decide how to break up the trip. I figure one day for golf/spa, 2-3 days relaxing poolside or on the beach and the remaining time doing cool hikes, seeing sites, etc.

For those that know the islands well, how should we break up our time between Maui and Kauai?
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Old Jun 24, 11, 11:04 am
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Congrats Azeckel,

We just got back from Maui a couple of months ago. To me, you can't go wrong with any of the islands.

But I think it depends on what interests you and the Mrs. more.

First, I would start off by going to http://www.hawaiigaga.com/best-hawaiian-island.aspx and trying the quiz there. This will give you an idea of some of the activities that you can do and will help narrow down your choices.

We love Maui for the mix of activities, shopping, dining, but more important to us are beaches and snorkeling (we go about 5 hours a day when there).

Kauai, while I haven't been there, is more back to nature, less touristy, more of the Hawaiian culture than Maui. My officemate has been several times and while she enjoys it, she told me that after 3 or 4 days, she is ready to island hop. But I do know someone that goes there for two weeks, and they love it and wouldn't go anywhere else.

Since you are there for seven days, maybe a 3/4 split. You listed golf/spa and beach time as the first items you want to do, that would be more Maui. But hiking is definetly more a Kauai thing, even though you can do it in Maui, you can't beat Kauai for unspoiled nature.

Good luck in your decision. I don't think a wrong choice could be made.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 11:04 am
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Sorry, double post.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 12:55 pm
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Maui is cool. I did only spend like 4 days there, but it was by no means an inactive visit. I enjoyed ziplining and a helicopter ride plus a bustrip to Paia and the drive to Hana. Well Maui is the only place I have been robbed in Wailuku while waiting for the bus to downtown Kahului... I think I got half of the Maui County Police Department on the case.
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Old Jun 24, 11, 9:45 pm
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There are more "things to do" in Maui and more places to chill out in Kauai. But I believe you could be active or chill out for 4 days at either one and not run out. I typically spend 5-7 days per island and after 2 to Kauai and 3 to Maui am just starting to repeat activities.

From the very minimal description - hiking instead of zipline/waverunners, I'd say the extra day should be in Kauai.

If you plan on coming back in the future, you might even consider just hanging in Kauai for 7 days and catching the interisland flight either just in time to connect or for just a day on Maui. That saves you a pack/unpack/check-in/out cycle.
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Old Jun 25, 11, 10:35 pm
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When I go to the islands with the whole family, my first choice is Maui. When I go for alone time with Mrs. tigre, our top choice is Kauai. I personally would choose to spend the bulk of your time at Princeville. The Sheraton Maui is a very nice hotel, but it doesn't compare to the St. Regis.

For one day of golf and spa, the St. Regis is the clear choice for that day. Both have good pools and beach. I'd prefer lounging at the St. Regis pool. While snorkeling is fine there too, the snorkeling at the Sheraton's Black Rock wins. The North Shore of Kauai has the best hiking, including the mother of all Hawaiian hikes in the Kalalau Trail (at least do the 4 mile trek to the inland waterfall - to go further than the beach, you'd need a permit).

A helicopter tour would be much better on Kauai. I've done the zipline at Princeville Ranch in Kauai, which was very cool, but have yet to do it in Maui.

The biggest issue with Princeville is that your trip is in November. I have only been there in the summer and even then the weather can be a bit more sketchy. It can rain almost non-stop for days on Kauai's North Shore in the winter. That won't happen on Kaanapali Beach.
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Old Jun 26, 11, 3:14 am
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I agree with tigre - if you have not been to Kauai before I would spend the extra day there.
The St. Regis Princeville on Kauai is one of my favorite hotels - as they put me in one of the top 5 best suites for a view. The hotel is just like the pictures they show. The pool was very relaxing and was not very busy. I had a great time exploring the island with hikes and in the car. When I went to a beach on the east side of the island there was three people on the beach - it was peaceful. I took a helicopter ride and even though it was expensive it was well worth the money.
Maui was nice and had better shopping but for a relaxing trip with fewer tourists I prefer Kauai.
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Old Jun 26, 11, 9:51 pm
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Will be trying Kauai in the next few years if not next year.. trying Oahu for sure for my first time next year..

Can't go wrong with Maui.. Pretty much each of the Wailea, Kaanapali and Kapalua beaches have won best beach in the world..

I would highly recommend Wailea for the ultimate stay.
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Old Jun 28, 11, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by azeckel View Post
I figure one day for golf/spa, 2-3 days relaxing poolside or on the beach and the remaining time doing cool hikes, seeing sites, etc.

For those that know the islands well, how should we break up our time between Maui and Kauai?
don't have suggestions on how to break your trip up, but some thoughts:
- the spa at the st. regis wins hands down - not even sure the sheraton maui has one- iirc, my wife went down to the one at the westin.
- the beach at the sheraton is nicer, while the pool at the st. regis is nicer. i think snorkeling on maui is better in general (and there's some decent snorkeling right at the sheraton, at black rock), while beaches on kaui are better in general.
- hiking... i'm not sure there's a clear winner. great hikin on both.
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Old Jun 28, 11, 1:21 pm
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getting robbed is part of the tropical sparkle
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Old Jun 28, 11, 1:39 pm
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Originally Posted by edscholl View Post
don't have suggestions on how to break your trip up, but some thoughts:
- the spa at the st. regis wins hands down - not even sure the sheraton maui has one- iirc, my wife went down to the one at the westin.
- the beach at the sheraton is nicer, while the pool at the st. regis is nicer. i think snorkeling on maui is better in general (and there's some decent snorkeling right at the sheraton, at black rock), while beaches on kaui are better in general.
- hiking... i'm not sure there's a clear winner. great hikin on both.
Gee.. If beaches are better in Kauai.. like better than Polo Beach in Wailea (award winning).. its time for us to visit..
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Old Jun 30, 11, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Ancien Maestro View Post
Gee.. If beaches are better in Kauai.. like better than Polo Beach in Wailea (award winning).. its time for us to visit..
Stick with Kamaole I Beach and south on Maui. Kauai has little that compares with the southwest Maui beach quality and choices (and weather).

Last edited by mr.brodie; Jul 1, 11 at 12:18 pm
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Old Jul 1, 11, 2:16 am
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Originally Posted by mr.brodie View Post
Stick with Kamaole I Beach and south on Maui. Kauai has little that compares with the southeast Maui beach quality and choices (and weather).
Have to agree.. Maui South and for that matter South West is very nice as well..

I heard its quite rainy in Kauai.. although there is a side of the island that is more dry..
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Old Jul 1, 11, 1:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Ancien Maestro View Post
Have to agree.. Maui South and for that matter South West is very nice as well..

I heard its quite rainy in Kauai.. although there is a side of the island that is more dry..
Thanks for pointing out my "southwest" (Maui) typo. The evidence for dry and warm has to be the cactus.
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Old Jul 2, 11, 1:08 am
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Originally Posted by mr.brodie View Post
Thanks for pointing out my "southwest" (Maui) typo. The evidence for dry and warm has to be the cactus.
Wailea is very nice.. I was in the valley looking at Haleakala this past spring break..

All the clouds on the east was sheltered by Haleakala.. thus you get Hana which is wet.. and Wailea which is dry with less rain.. Beautiful.. Sort of like the extreme of Kohala Coast on the Big Island..
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