Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > America - USA > Hawaii
Reload this Page >

Hawaii for a family of four

Hawaii for a family of four

Old Sep 14, 19, 4:45 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 136
Hawaii for a family of four

A friend of mine wants to take his family to Hawaii in March to celebrate his eldest child's then-upcoming high school graduation. Being his go-to guy for anything travel-related, he asked me for suggestions and gave me a budget of CA$5500 for a 7 days (excl. airfare and alcohol). It would be him and his wife and the two kids who will be 18 and 14 by then. This is less than the budget I'm used to travelling with and I realized right away I can't suggest any of the resorts I have experience with or that jump to my mind when I think of Hawaii (FS Hualalai, FS Lanai, FS Maui at Wailea, Hotel Wailea). Therefore, I figured I'd ask here.

He has been to Hawaii once (just Honolulu), but the rest of them have never been. They are all well travelled, especially the kids for their age. $5500/7 days works out to ~$600/night for hotel and the rest for food/activities. They haven't picked a specific island, but would like a great beach, the option to do some hiking or any wildlife experience, and possibly a helicopter tour (not factored into the budget). They do not want to stay at a 'mega resort' (the 400+ rooms of Fairmont Koa Kea or RC Kapalua are not their speed) and would like luxury and good service (though FS-level service is not realistic at their price point). I think Big Island or Kauai would suit them best, and don't think they would enjoy the crowds of Oahu.

Any suggestions? TYIA
MicSanToro is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 6:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 3,064
Originally Posted by MicSanToro View Post
A friend of mine wants to take his family to Hawaii in March to celebrate his eldest child's then-upcoming high school graduation. Being his go-to guy for anything travel-related, he asked me for suggestions and gave me a budget of CA$5500 for a 7 days (excl. airfare and alcohol). It would be him and his wife and the two kids who will be 18 and 14 by then. This is less than the budget I'm used to travelling with and I realized right away I can't suggest any of the resorts I have experience with or that jump to my mind when I think of Hawaii (FS Hualalai, FS Lanai, FS Maui at Wailea, Hotel Wailea). Therefore, I figured I'd ask here.

He has been to Hawaii once (just Honolulu), but the rest of them have never been. They are all well travelled, especially the kids for their age. $5500/7 days works out to ~$600/night for hotel and the rest for food/activities. They haven't picked a specific island, but would like a great beach, the option to do some hiking or any wildlife experience, and possibly a helicopter tour (not factored into the budget). They do not want to stay at a 'mega resort' (the 400+ rooms of Fairmont Koa Kea or RC Kapalua are not their speed) and would like luxury and good service (though FS-level service is not realistic at their price point). I think Big Island or Kauai would suit them best, and don't think they would enjoy the crowds of Oahu.

Any suggestions? TYIA
Well, I am not a huge fan of Kauai, so I won't point you there. If they are coming from Canada, Maui and Honolulu are certainly easiest for airfare.

On Maui, I would actually recommend the Westin Kapalua -- I stay there on points every now and then (especially when I am doing a training camp type vacation, and not a total lie on the beach vacation -- where I vastly prefer the Hotel Wailea -- but out of budget, as you indicate), and I bedroom rooms have full kitchens which can help with the budget. There is lots to do on Maui, and it is a wonderful place with tons of dining options.

Having said that, let me say that I think the best bang for their buck would be an AirBnB or VRBO or some such. As long as they don't mind cooking breakfast and the occasional lunch, they will also have more room to spend money on accommodations.
MicSanToro likes this.
ridefar is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 7:42 pm
  #3  
Moderator: Delta SkyMiles, Luxury Hotels, TravelBuzz! and Italy
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 25,342
My kids did the VRBO at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel . They are a family of 4 and were very pleased with the accommodations. They had a beautiful home with private pool, access to the MKB beach with all privileges that a hotel guest would have. The condo was far enough from the beach that they were happy to have had a car. I don't know exactly what they paid, but that seems about ballpark price for my son, his wife and 2 teens. This was a few years ago.
MicSanToro and ijkh like this.
obscure2k is offline  
Old Sep 14, 19, 9:28 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 136
Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
If they are coming from Canada, Maui and Honolulu are certainly easiest for airfare.

On Maui, I would actually recommend the Westin Kapalua
Coming from YYZ. Looked into the Westin and it has over 700 rooms! Honestly if they were going give up on the "avoiding a mega-resort" part of their 'wishlist', I would think the Ritz-Carlton would be a better option. 400 rooms and RC service will be better than Westin. One thing I am unsure of is what that RC offers in terms of 4 person rooms.

Originally Posted by ridefar View Post
Having said that, let me say that I think the best bang for their buck would be an AirBnB or VRBO or some such. As long as they don't mind cooking breakfast and the occasional lunch, they will also have more room to spend money on accommodations.
Will look into both. I've previously looked into AirBnB Luxe offerings in Hawaii (for myself) and was quite impressed, but they start above $1000/night which won't work here.
MicSanToro is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 6:40 am
  #5  
Moderator: Luxury Hotels and FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Palo Alto, California,USA
Posts: 17,048
The intended budget for a holiday which will likely involve renting two rooms seems to be well below the luxury level so I think the OP will get a better response in the dedicated Hawii forum. Hence, I am moving this thread there.

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels and travel

P.S Contrary to what Ridefar says, I would suggest the Hyatt on Kaua'i as a very legitimate possibility. Not luxury but still very nice.
RichardInSF is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 7:17 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, SPG Gold, Amex Plat
Posts: 3,297
We stayed at the Hyatt Residence Club on Kaanapali Beach in Maui for a week in a 2- bedroom unit for $3500 two years ago. Rented the unit privately via redweek.com. Our kids were similar ages. If on Maui, they will need a car. We rented via Costco and it was $600 for the week for a large suv.
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 8:48 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 3,064
Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
The intended budget for a holiday which will likely involve renting two rooms seems to be well below the luxury level so I think the OP will get a better response in the dedicated Hawii forum. Hence, I am moving this thread there.

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels and travel

P.S Contrary to what Ridefar says, I would suggest the Hyatt on Kaua'i as a very legitimate possibility. Not luxury but still very nice.
I didn't mean to say Kauai that didn't have any good choices or luxury choices, just that I didn't personally enjoy the island. Personal preference, sure, but I will take Maui over Kauai any day.
ridefar is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 8:50 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 3,064
Originally Posted by MicSanToro View Post
Coming from YYZ. Looked into the Westin and it has over 700 rooms! Honestly if they were going give up on the "avoiding a mega-resort" part of their 'wishlist', I would think the Ritz-Carlton would be a better option. 400 rooms and RC service will be better than Westin. One thing I am unsure of is what that RC offers in terms of 4 person rooms.



Will look into both. I've previously looked into AirBnB Luxe offerings in Hawaii (for myself) and was quite impressed, but they start above $1000/night which won't work here.
Yes it is a big resort. Really big. But the design mitigates that a lot. It really doesn't feel like it at all. It is more like 3 or 4 separate resorts of 150 or 200 rooms each in the way it is set up and feels. Clearly it is definitely not luxury but it is a good choice given their constraints.
MicSanToro likes this.
ridefar is offline  
Old Sep 15, 19, 2:43 pm
  #9  
Accor Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Lake Oswego, Oregon
Programs: AS MVPG, BA silver, Crystal Society Double Diamond
Posts: 826
We used to do the Mauna Kea Beach but now our family is very very fond of the Grand Hyatt Kauai at Poipu Beach. Wonderful location for a family. Our 3 and 1 year old grandkids and their parents loved it!!
ijkh is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 11:33 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,195
Waikiki

Please forward this to your friend. Thanks

This is an alteration of 2 previous Flyertalk postings

For starters, I like Waikiki because that's where the action is. Lots of things to do, places to eat, good beaches and plenty of hotels. I would find a hotel within about 5 blocks of the Hyatt Regency. Hotel list: http://discounthotelshawaii.com/waikikimap.html

On budget, I tend to go toward the low end. To get to Waikiki from HNL you can take TheBus 19 or 20. A bus stop on the far right is on the arrival/departure level in the middle island. Make sure the flag says Waikiki. $2.75 one way or $5.50 exact change for all day. Max luggage size allowed is standard carry-on.
In Waikiki TheBus goes down Kuhio with the same numbers as Kalakaua. Check the map. My number one required attraction (a must) is the Arizona Memorial. TheBus 20 or 42 both go there in a little over an hour. A reserved pass to the movie and boat can be made on line for a fee or free passes when you arrive. They go fast so get there early. Opening time 7 am. If coming from the mainland and are wide awake early. To return you have to walk out to the main road. On the way back you could stop off at Chinatown (1st stop after the river; good place to buy fruit) or the Ala Moana Center, the largest open air shopping center in the world with a great food court. TheBus has an AP that gives real time arrival times at your numbered stop. As you cross the canal going onto Waikiki, look out toward the ocean. This is where Gilligan's voyage started.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi...hu_Hawaii.html (This website has good hotel info)

A couple of good happy hours are PF Chang's and Yard House on Lewers Street
Happy Hour Specials | PFChang's
https://www.yardhouse.com/happy-hour...estaurant/8316

Also Cheeseburger Paradise
Cheeseburger In Paradise, Waikiki - Cheeseburgerland
http://www.cheeseburgerinparadise.co...u_Standard.pdf

Good inexpensive Korean plate lunch (or dinner, same plate) is Me's BBK. Cash only. Take out or eat outside at tables. I like their chicken and kimchi, etc. https://www.yelp.com/biz/mes-bbq-honolulu
You might share 1 for 2 if not big appetite.

Good Pho bogo at Pho Tri on Saturday. A Foodland supermarket is just up the street to the left.
https://www.yelp.com/biz/pho-tri-vie...ho+Restaurants

The McDonald's on Kalakaua serving rice, eggs and SPAM for breakfast.
Duke's in the Outrigger, 2335 Kalakaua has a good buffet lunch for $19 which includes my favorite Kahlua pig and cabbage.
Father Damien museum is at the St. Augustine Church, 3500 Kalakaua. This may have moved or gone.
HIstoric items on 2nd floor of the Moana Surfrider hotel built in 1901.
TheBus 23 will take you to Diamond Head that you can climb. It is not too far to walk but if you want to use the bus one way, use going to since it is mostly downhill on the way back.

Oldest Hotel, Moana Surfrider has an excellent free tour.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser...hu_Hawaii.html

The 2nd oldest hotel, The Royal Hawaiian, "the pink hotel" has a tour Tue. & Thur.
https://www.royal-hawaiian.com/events/historical-tour/

For a scenic bus ride you can take the 22 and 23 out and back to Sea World. For a scenic walk go on Kalakaua toward and below Diamond Head until you reach the lighthouse. You will pass the Barefoot Beach Cafe and many historic houses. BAREFOOT BEACH CAFE :: HONOLULU, HAWAII :: +1.808.924.2233

TheBus will take you to the historic downtown; Chinatown, Punchbowl Cemetery, etc.

On the street past Lewers is a reasonably priced mini tiki bar, Arnold's
https://www.yelp.com/biz/arnolds-bea...grill-honolulu

The last real Tiki restaurant and bar is La Mariana, but would require a car or cab.
A good choice for dinner on a day you have a car.
La Mariana Sailing Club | Oahu's Private Marina and Original Tiki Bar

In getting a car, just get it one day at a time since overnight parking is expensive. Get in real early, the later line is long at least at Dollar. Check lots of websites for best prices. Use for North shore trip, etc

Food Pantry is a small supermarket in Waikiki, including alcoholic beverages, somewhat higher prices.
| Shops of Hawaii

A Foodland supermarket is on the far side of the Ala Moana Center.
https://www.foodland.com/stores/food...arms-ala-moana

A couple of Safeways are on TheBus lines.

A big Walmart, including alcohol and food is located a block behind the Ala Moana Center.

If need be, take a heating coil and container to make hot dogs for lunch. All hotels have a small frig. (Check to make sure) Could keep things like hot dogs, milk for cereal, lunch meat.

Beaches are good in Waikiki. Start checking for hotels and location. Remember you won't be spending a lot of time there. See if you can negotiate not paying amenity fee.

A free Army museum is located in Waikiki, Tuesday to Saturday.
https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...hu_Hawaii.html

The Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki is worth wandering through.

Toward Diamond Head are the Aquarium $12 and Zoo $19.

Aloha Ken

Last edited by KenfromDE; Sep 16, 19 at 10:02 pm
KenfromDE is offline  
Old Sep 17, 19, 9:58 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: COS
Programs: UA Gold (.85 MM), HH Diamond, SPG Platinum (LT Gold), Hertz PC, National EE
Posts: 2,737
I would suggest a Condo on Maui, preferably West Maui. Plenty of options in either Kaanapali or Kapalua. Two of my favorite management companies are Quam and Sullivan Properties. I personally prefer the Golf Villas over the Bay Villas if staying in Kapalua.

Stop at Costco after leaving the airport and stock up for the week, anything else you can pick up at Safeway, Foodland, or even Napili Market. Kapalua Bay is a great beach to hang, as is the other options if you drive a few minutes.

The other hidden gem of staying in Kapalua is the Honolua Store. Breakfast is cheap, as are lunch and dinner options. Lahaina is only a 20 minute drive, suggest parking by the outlet stores. It's paid parking, but convenient.

This is how you do Hawaii on a budget, as my wife and two kids have been doing for a while, and before even meeting my wife, I was doing for decades on Maui.
COSPILOT is offline  
Old Sep 22, 19, 1:07 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold
Posts: 95
Some corrections.

TheBus stops are on departure (upstairs) level in Terminals 1 and 2 for both directions.

Route 2 also takes you to Diamond Head. Walk 1 block longer than 23 but it's more frequent. Get off at last stop at Kapiolani Community College.

It's Sea Life Park, not Sea World.

Food Pantry is gone. Building demolished. I think it's building a new hotel.

Originally Posted by KenfromDE View Post
On budget, I tend to go toward the low end. To get to Waikiki from HNL you can take TheBus 19 or 20. A bus stop on the far right is on the arrival/departure level in the middle island. Make sure the flag says Waikiki. $2.75 one way or $5.50 exact change for all day. Max luggage size allowed is standard carry-on.

TheBus 23 will take you to Diamond Head that you can climb. It is not too far to walk but if you want to use the bus one way, use going to since it is mostly downhill on the way back.

For a scenic bus ride you can take the 22 and 23 out and back to Sea World. For a scenic walk go on Kalakaua toward and below Diamond Head until you reach the lighthouse. You will pass the Barefoot Beach Cafe and many historic houses. BAREFOOT BEACH CAFE :: HONOLULU, HAWAII :: +1.808.924.2233

Food Pantry is a small supermarket in Waikiki, including alcoholic beverages, somewhat higher prices.
| Shops of Hawaii
delayflight is offline  
Old Sep 22, 19, 7:52 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,195
Sad News

Thanks for the correction and update. Really sad news on Food Pantry. Sorry they joined the long gone Perry's. Hope a replacement is put in the new building.

Just checked the web and found good news. The Food Pantry will be replaced by The Market at Waikiki as part of the new 445 unit building.

Last edited by KenfromDE; Sep 22, 19 at 8:39 pm
KenfromDE is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread