Hawaii in Style

Honeymoon in Hawaii. Went all out for this one but well worth it!

Hawaii in Style

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by Phil P on July 24, 2007

My wife and I decided to go to Hawaii for our honeymoon. We wanted a place that offered both relaxation and adventure so we picked Hawaii. We visited the islands of Oahu (4 nights), Maui (4 nights) and the Big Island (3 nights). Since this was our honeymoon, we decided to go all out and get Ocean View Rooms at the Kahala Hotel on Oahu, the Four Seasons in Maui and the Four Seasons on the Big Island.

Each island offered a different experience, each amazing yet unique. On our first day on each island, we usually just randomly drove around the island to take in the beauty without the pressures of time. This allowed us to truly see the islands and what they are like (A rental car is a must in Hawaii). We then started doing activities from the second day on.

The highlights which will be described further in this journal are:

Kahala Resort and Hotel
Pearl Harbour
Waikiki Beach
Atlantis Submarine
Kahala Beach
Polynesian Cultural Center

Four Seasons Resort
The Road to Hana!!!
Lahaina Town
Lu'au at Lahaina

Big Island
Four Seasons Resort
Mauna Kea Summit Adventure
Volcanoes National Park

Also, all Islands have some great places to eat, with all types of food available. ${QuickSuggestions} The tips I would give are:

Rent a car. At first we reserved a 4 door car for all islands except Maui but were offered an upgrade at Oahu to a convertible, which we took. It ended up being one of the best decisions we made, especially on the Road to Hana! Also, each island has some amazing natural sites that you see on the side of the road so it's nice to be able to stop when you want and see them.

Guide Book. We used the blue books (Oahu Revealed, Maui Revealed, Big Island Revealed) by Andrew Doughty, and Harriett Friedman. These were super helpful and made finding some amazing sites very easy. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!${BestWay} Rent a car!

Four Seasons Hotel and Resort

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

This is an amazingly beautiful place to stay. The rooms are all bungalow style so you pretty much have your own apartment by the water. The grounds are beautiful and it includes a golf course. Our bungalow-style apartment was between the ocean and the 18th hole!

Everything on the resort is spaced out so you get to walk through the grounds to get to the lobby, or to the beach or restaurants.

Four Seasons Hualalai at Historic Ka'upulehu
72-100 Ka`upulehu Drive
Kailua Kona, Hawaii, 96740
(808) 325-8000

Four Seasons Resort

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

The Four Seasons Resort is located in Wailea, which is an area filled with luxury resorts, stores, and golf courses. The Four Seasons is a beautiful hotel where the lobby area is open aired, giving everyone access to the stunning pool area and the beach. Of the three hotels I stayed in while in Hawaii, I saw more of the other guests in this one. There were more people at the pool and beach. I guess many just stay at the resort, which offers everything you need for a great stay. There are some great restaurants there which over look the pool and beach. Among these are Spago, a Wolfgang Puck Restaurant and Ferraro's, which are great!

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui Drive
Maui, Hawaii, 96753
(808) 874-8000

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

This hotel was, without a question, the best hotel where I have ever stayed. A truly magical experience. The staff were amazingly friendly, and they made us feel like royalty. The concierge had cards with driving directions to virtually everything on the island so that was super helpful.

Our ocean-view room overlooked the Pacific Ocean. The pool included Dolphin Quest, where one could spend an hour playing with the dolphins, which live in the hotel's lagoon. The hotel's beach was great, exclusive to hotel guests so you feel like it's your own.

Every morning, we had breakfast buffet at the hotel restaurant the Plumeria Beach House ($30 per person) which included some of the freshest food I have ever tasted. The tables were outdoors so you eat literally 100 feet from the ocean. A magical view and great way to start every morning. They even opened at 6:30 so it was perfect since we got up to see sunrise on the beach (highly recommended) a few mornings.

I still miss the Kahala. It is the best hotel and well worth staying there!
Kahala Hotel & Resort
5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816-5498
(808) 739-8853

Plumeria Beach House

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

The Plumeria Beach House, located in the Kahala Hotel, provided some amazing beachside meals. We basically had breakfast there every morning before heading out. There is a buffet ($30), which includes omelettes, fruit, muffins, waffles, suasages, and many other breakfast foods in a beautiful relaxed setting. This was the perfect way to start our days on Oahu.
Plumeria Beach House
Kahala Hotel & Resort , 5000 Kahala Ave.
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816
(808) 739-8888

Atlantis Submarine

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

For those who don't want to scuba, the Atlantis Sub will take you to see the coral reefs out past Waikiki Beach. There are two subs which seat about 50-60 people. One is a little bigger than the other but go to the same place. You will take a 15-minute ferry ride from the pier outside the Hilton to the spot where the subs are. This ferry ride will allow to take some great shots of Waikiki beach as well as Diamond Head.

After entering the subs, you sit in seats and facing a row of windows and head down 100 feet and the driver will take you past some coral reefs. We saw many fish, as well as sea turtles and even some sharks. Wear a shirt with red on it for some cool effects. You will be able to get a good view from any seat in the sub.

It costs about $80 but it is worth it. It is kind of tight in there and I thought I would get tense but the amazing views kept my mind off that for the 45-minute ride. I definitely recommend it.
Atlantis Adventures
1600 Kapiolani Boulevard
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96814
(671) 649-5050

Diamond Head

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

One morning, we decided to take the 45 minute (each way) hike up to the top of Diamond Head Crater. We parked the car for $5 at the entrance on Diamond Head Road and started to walk. The early part of the walk is a winding dirt path up the side of the mountain. The walk is not that steep but your are going in a constant incline so you may want to stop a few times on the way up.

There are two steep staircases towards the top as well as some narrow corridors through the rock itself but the view at the top is completely worth it. You can see all of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach on one side and Koko Crater, which is 9 miles away.

Our guidebook said you gain about 600 feet over 1 mile and the crater is about 761 feet tall.

We saw people of all ages there. Get there early to avoid the heat; we got there are around 9am and there were lots of people there already, and bring plenty of water, a hat and hiking shoes. The path is not smooth and some of the people hiking in flip flops were having some difficulty.

It was well worth the morning we spent.
Diamond Head State Monument
Diamond Head Road And 18th Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96816

Driving Around the Island

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

On our first day in Hawaii, we decided to take our rented convertible and drive around the Island to take in what it had to offer. We did not have any particular destinations in mind but stopped at many places along the way as we passed them and read about them in our Oahu Revealed guide book.

Since we were staying at the Kahala, which is on the south east tip of the island, we headed up the east coast along route 72 to 83 and then westward once we got to the North shore.

We got to see many beautiful beaches as well as where people on Oahu live. We stopped at many lookout points along the way as well as the Polyneisan Cultural Center (which is basically a Polynesian Epcot Center) and the Waimea Valley Audubon Center, which has a beautiful water fall at the end of it (a 3/4 mile hike to it) as well as some lush vegetation. One of the highlights for me was La'ie Point, which is in the town of, you guessed it La'ie. La'ie point is a sandstone island about 400 feet off the shore. The guidebook said it was created in 1946, when a tsunami hit the island.

A great way to see the island!

Mauna Kea Summit Ride

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

This tour takes you to the top of Mauna Kea, 14,000 feet above sea level, where you enjoy the most amazing sunset you'll ever see. You are way above the clouds. This 8 hour trip was one of the highlights of the trip for me.

We signed up for the tour and got picked up around 3pm near our hotel. The drive to the peak took about 3 hours with our guide, Shane, describing everything we passed from a military base to many large ranches located at the base of the mountain.

At 9,000 feet, we stopped at a rest area for a half hour to have dinner, get our heavy winter jackets (it is about 30 degrees Farnheit at the peak) and gloves and get used to the elevation. Once this was done, we resumed to the peak.

At the peak are some of the worlds strongest astronomical observatories, which are used for scientific research. We saw those and then waited for the sun to start setting AND WHAT A VIEW!

You are warned that you may get dizzy or have trouble breathing at this altitude but I was completely fine. After the sun set, we were taken to another spot at about 7,000 feet (you can only stay at 14,000 for an hour or so) where we had a 2-hour star gazing session. Our tour guides took out some telescopes and gave us a great astronomy lesson. We saw Saturn through the telescope as well having a clear view of the Southern Cross.

Being from NYC, I do not think I have ever seen this many stars at once in my life. This was an amazing way to end our amaxing honeymoon!

If you are on the Big Island, I highly recommend the trip to Mauna Kea.

Here is a little fun fact. Mauna Kea, while being only 14,000 feet above sea level, is the tallest mountain in the world when measured from its base, which begins 20,000 feet below sea level.
Mauna Kea-Summit/Observatories
Saddle Road
Kona, Hawaii

Old Lahaina Luau

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

Being in Hawaii we had to do a Lu'au so we reserved a spot at the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui. The town of Lahaina is in West Maui, about a half hour from the resorts in Wailea.

At the Luau, we got to experience Polynesian food (including a pig cooked underground), and a great performance of traditional Hawaiian dance and culture. Drinks are included in the admission.

The grounds are right off the shore so you have a beautiful view of the sea as you enjoy the festivities. The event is about 3 hours long and starts around sunset.

I would recommend getting to Lahaina a few hours before the Luau because Lahaina is a beautiful little seaside town with lots of art galleries and stores.
Old Lahaina Luau
1251 Front St.
Lahaina, Hawaii, 96761
(808) 667-1998

Pearl Harbor/USS Bowfin

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

This was an intense thing to see. Being on Oahu, we couldn't miss this. We get to Pearl Harbour and had to get a number since the memorial can only handle one tour at a time. Our tour was in about 45 minutes so we sat on some benches by the Harbour and waited. Once our tour number was called, we were taken into a theater and were shown a 20-minute video on the attack on Pearl Harbour before we were loaded onto a boat and taken to the memorial.

The memorial was very powerful! It is the final resting place of 1000+ soldiers killed in the attack and you can see the USS Arizona in the water below you. A wall has the names of all the dead inscribed in it.

Lots has already been written about this so I will keep it short but if you are interested in US history or WWII, then you must go to Pearl Harbour.

One of the gems at Pearl Harbour is USS Bowfin Submarine, which is right next to the spot you go for the USS Arizona Memorial. The Bowfin fought in WWII also and was responsible for sinking many ships according to its history. On this tour ($10 per person), you could walk through the submarine, which is still maintained the way it was when it fought and you could see how sailors lived and worked. Definitely worth it!
Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial
One Arizona Memorial Place
Honolulu, Hawaii, 96818
(808) 422-0561

Road to Hana

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by Phil P on August 13, 2007

As we were planning our honeymoon, someone suggested we rent a convertible for Maui and definitely do the Road to Hana, and I am so glad we did!

The Road to Hana is about a 60 mile drive through some of the most spectacular nature sights you will ever see. The windy (I read somewhere there are about 600 curves on the road) road takes you past amazing waterfalls, lush forestry and cliffside roads with some amazing views of the coast. It takes 3-4 hours to do the drive as you will want to stop many times along the way to see a waterfall or take a photo. Our blue guidebook, Maui Revealed, gave us great suggestion of places to stop along the way and take little trails to some amazing waterfalls that are not visible from the road.

One of the highlights was the Upper and Lower Puokahoma Falls, which are just past the 10 mile marker. There is a small trail on the side of the road that leads you to the Falls so don't skip it as you drive.

Another great fall are the "3 bears" which are located betwen the 19th and 20th mile marker. These are three falls lined up next to each other.

My advice for the Road to Hana is:

1) Get a good Guide book so you don't miss some of the hidden gems along the road.

2) Leave early. It is a popular drive and there could be traffic.

3) Get a convertible. There is nothing like driving with an amzing canopy of the green above you.

At the end of the road is the town of Hana. We stopped for an hour at the black sand beach and got lunch and then headed back to Wailea (basically took the same road back without the stops). Some people book rooms for the night at Hana so that may be an option.

I will remember the Road to Hana my entire life. It really shows the beauty of the earth!
Road to Hana
Hana Highway
Maui, Hawaii


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