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Robin about Sydney Hire Cars  Robin   --   none (Switzerland)
posted: 2013-08-25 10:48:22
Like many people have said, it all deenpds on what you're looking for in a vacation. My husband and I just came back from Oahu, stayed at the Kaimana Beach Hotel at the base of Diamondhead, and had a lovely time, but I liked Maui better (but I might be a little biased because Maui was for our honeymoon four years ago). Plus side of Oahu: our hotel was at the southeastern tip of Waikiki, so we were far enough away from the crowds that it was peaceful and quiet on our beach. But we were within walking distance (10-15 minutes) to the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. We could stroll in for breakfast in the morning or drinks in the evening. We got good use out of our rental car going to see other beaches, North Shore and the Polynesian Cultural Center. Down side of Oahu: it does remind me of California, which is where I'm from. And I'm looking for something different from the ordinary on my vacations. The food along Waikiki was the same stuff I could get at home, with the exception of the kahlua pork omelet at Lulu's (yum!). Waikiki is nothing but a tourist strip with a pretty beach, really. Driving on the freeway around Honolulu was pretty annoying just like at home.Plus side of Maui: we stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel and loved it! Kaanapali is a gorgeous beach and our hotel had the largest square footage of beach with the fewest people (other luxury hotels like the Marriott had only a little strip of sand for their beach space and the people mostly crowded around their pool patios, with lounge chairs laying shoulder-to-shoulder. I shudder to think of it!). We were near Black Rock, which is a rocky area at the end of the beach that had great snorkeling. We were an easy walk away from the luxury hotels so we could walk around and admire them, and just beyond those hotels was a shopping area with nice restaurants to have a drink by the sand and watch the sunset. Lahaina was a nearby cute, tourist-ey beach town that was worth a visit for shopping and strolling. We didn't venture out much beyond Kaanapali and Lahaina, but were perfectly happy where we were. It was more relaxing and romantic than Waikiki and the Kaanapali Beach Hotel was voted most Hawaiian by the local papers they have activities like lei-making, polynesian dance lessons, etc. Maybe they were tourist-ey, but it sure beats walking the hot, crowded streets of Waikiki. And your first morning there, they invite you to a complimentary breakfast buffet where they serve lots of traditional Hawaiian foods like ahi tuna poke, kahlua pork, fresh pineapple and sweet bread as well as the usual mainland fare: eggs, bacon, toast, etc. They have a little entertainment while you eat, raffle off gifts like a complimentary beach lounge chair rental or tickets to their evening shows, and give you tips on things to do and see on Maui. And we told them at check-in that we were on our honeymoon, so they sent a complimentary bottle of champagne to our room. That hotel really makes you feel welcome. And when you check out, they give you a complimentary kukui nut lei and tell you the symbolism that leis and kukui nuts have in Hawaiian culture. I was a little sad to leave anyway, but the whole thing got me a bit teary-eyed.Down side of Maui: I can't think of anything. Even if you're the nightlife party type that Waikiki is full of, Maui has Lahaina which is nearly the same, just without the concrete jungle. I guess the only downside might be that Maui is generally a bit more expensive than Oahu.I recommend working with a travel agent as well, preferably someone who is very familiar with the islands so they can help you find what you want from a vacation. Good luck, aloha and have a wonderful time!
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