A September 2006 trip
to Molokai by John Denholm
Quote: The places, people, and experiences that made us fall in love with this island.
You will need a rental car on the island if you want to get around. I saw many older bus stops but no buses. As of this writing, Dollar and Budget are the main car rental companies on the island. There is also an independent car rental company that is locally owned and rents late model vehicles in very good shape.
Hotel | "Molokai Ranch - Overview"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2006
Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch
100 Maunaloa Highway
Molokai, Hawaii 96770
Hotel | "Molokai Ranch - Lodge Rooms"
In my journal entry overview of the hotel, I describe the overall resort amenities. This entry focuses on our room at the Molokai Ranch Lodge.
The Lodge offers standard and deluxe rooms at comparatively reasonable prices. The standard room is offered for approximately $250 per night while the deluxe room is offered at approximately $300 per night. Both room types are uniquely decorated with ranch-themed artifacts from the area. The cowboy-themed throw pillows on our bed were hand-stitched by a local artist. You may be wondering about the difference between the two room types. The hotel’s website comes up short here so I will attempt to fill in the blanks. The deluxe rooms include what is described as an additional king-size bed. In reality, I would describe it as a day bed as it fills up an alcove and is situated across from the television. The day bed is very comfortable and would be perfect for kids. Aside from the day bed and extra room to accommodate it, I do not think there are any more differences. The bathroom was really the luxurious part of the room. I supposed that even a cowboy (or girl) needs well-appointed facilities to get washed up for supper. The bathrooms are furnished with natural stone floors. A pet peeve of mine is when the room’s theme does not flow into the bathroom. In this room, the theme of the room continued seamlessly. The hand-made towel bars and hooks matched the drawer hardware for the dresser and wardrobe. The spacious bathroom includes an antique style claw-footed bathtub, a large shower and plenty of room to unpack toiletries.
The little touches really separate hotels like the Molokai Ranch. Details like sea salt in a large sea shell by the bath tub helps to justify the room’s price tag. To get back on track, each room also has a separate tile counter bar area. This was great as it housed the coffee maker and refrigerator. It is so nice when the coffee maker has to compete for scarce real estate on a countertop. This would be impossible here as the sink is the old fashioned pedestal type.The four post king bed was a treat after an action packed day. The mattress and pillows were very comfortable. The linens were great. I’d say it is on par with the Westin Heavenly bed.
One peculiarity at this hotel is that there are no ice makers. An employee comes by your room around 5 PM to turn down the beds and offer to fill your ice bucket.
All in all, I’d say the rooms offered at the Lodge are well worth their price tag. Take a drive to the Molokai Hotel and have dinner at Hula Shores restaurant. Take a look at the hotel and rooms. The Molokai Ranch Lodge caters to the well-heeled traveler who demands luxury on the not so luxurious island of Molokai.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 2, 2006
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 27, 2006
Highway 450 and Mohala St.
Reservations are recommended in the high season but visiting in September, we never had a problem getting oceanfront tables to admire the sunset painting the island of Lana'i unreal colors.
Nightly entertainment is a nice touch and features talented local performers performing popular and original Hawaiian songs. One night we were treated to a song called 'Holo Holo Bucky' that paid tribute to the local FedEx driver. The next visit we were treated to an excellent rendition of 'Moloka'i', originally performed by Malani Bilyeu.
Prices are very reasonable, the waves gently lap 10 feet from your table and the service is friendly. This is the perfect place to dine on Moloka'i and I wish I was there at this moment sipping a tropical drink while watching the sun slip behind the coconut trees swaying in the evening breeze.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 28, 2006
102 Farrington Ave.
Molokai, Hawaii 96729
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 28, 2006
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
+1 808 553 5655
P.O. Box 557
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
+1 808 553 3391
Attraction | "Post-A-Nut at the Ho'olehua Post Office"
Post-A-Nut - Hoolehua Post Office
Puu Peela Ave
Attraction | "Molokai Fish & Dive"
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 28, 2006
Molokai Fish & Dive
Ala Malama St.
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
(808) 553 5926
Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 28, 2006
Attraction | "Mokolai Museum and Cultural Center"
Moloka'i Museum & Cultural Center
Molokai, Hawaii 96748
(808) 567 6436
Attraction | "Molokai Mule Ride"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 2, 2006
Moloka'i Mule Ride
Mule Route 1
Molokai, Hawaii 96757
+1 808 567 6088
Most likely, your flight will originate in Honolulu or Maui’s Kahului airport. Flights depart through standard gates in Maui. If arriving from the mainland in Honolulu, you must claim your bags, exit the airport, and walk (or ride the Wiki Wiki shuttle) to the commuter terminal. Regularly scheduled airlines operating from this terminal include Island Air, Go!, and Pacific Wings. If you are planning on having something to eat between flights, don’t count on the commuter terminal. There is a small newsstand before security and a small sandwich shop in the gate area.
All flights are open seating so Southwest-like lines do form as the aircraft pulls in. Flying small planes on short routes, ground crews are able to turn aircraft around very quickly.
The older 100 flies at slower speeds. However, the plane is extremely stable and renown for it’s STOL (short takeoff or landing) capabilities. Generally, these planes only need 2,500 feet of runway to takeoff.
The climb and descent are usually the two bumpiest parts of the flight. Low altitude turbulence often occurs when land meets ocean and Hawaii has plenty of this scenario. The flight smooths out quickly and the lower operating altitudes make your trip more of a sightseeing flight.
En route, take a look at the airline’s official magazine, Holo Holo. There are some amazing coupons in this magazine, especially if you are traveling to Maui or Moloka’i. Arriving at smaller airports in the Island Air system will change your attitude about airports if you are used to feeling like a rat in a maze at major airports. The plane pulls up to it’s parking spot on the ramp, the door is opened and you walk into the gate area, claiming your bag from a large table. That’s it!
Until 2004, Island Air was part of Aloha Airlines. It is common for smaller airlines to operate behind the scenes in the guise of its parent (Mesa Airlines for American West, Skywest Airlines for Delta and United, etc.). An independent Island Air is now thriving without battling recent upstart Go! (which is operated by Mesa), Aloha and Hawaiian in the inter-island fare wars. One reason for their success is the fact that they serve two airports that none of the above mentioned airlines do; Kapalua airport on Maui, Lana’i City and Ho’olehua on Moloka’i. Other small airlines fly to these destinations, but none operate aircraft as large as Island Air does. That being said, you can take comfort in the fact that you are flying the largest aircraft possible. Island Air has two variants of the DeHavilland (now owned by Canadian Bombardier) Dash 8; the -100 (37 seats) and the brand new -400 (78 seats). If you are flying to Molokai or Lana’I, you will fly the smaller -100. The runways on these islands are 4,494 and 5,001 feet, respectively. For comparison, the runway at John Wayne airport in Santa Ana, CA is 5,701. Turboprop planes fly to these airports because of public demand, not because of the runway length. The current trend in the airline business is to offer smaller aircraft at greater frequency.
Time is of the essence when traveling to your vacation destination. The sooner you arrive, the more time you have to enjoy yourself. Don’t avoid smaller islands for lack of transportation options. Most or the larger operations allow online booking. Island Air retains a partnership with Aloha and Hawaiian so you can even book your connection flights through those airlines. My advice would be to check fares on Island Air’s website, as well. I was able to save $50 per person, per segment by booking directly with Island Air instead of booking through Hawaiian Airlines.