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Please post your questions in the correct thread. This thread, as the title clearly states, is for general Hawaii questions only.

If you have any questions that pertains to a particular island, post it in the appropriate island thread. See below for links to all island threads.

You'd get far better answers there, and chances are that your issue was already discussed at length too.

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
-Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
-Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
-Part 3: Maui
-Part 4: Kauai

Related DD Posts:
-Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Chart and Everything You Need to Know About the Hawaiian Islands (2015)
-Trip Notes: Maui No Ka ‘Oi (2014)
-Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth (2014)
-The Hawaiian Islands. (2011)
-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
-Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?

Related DDF Destination Threads:
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread

Background on Hawaiian Islands
You've probably heard of Honolulu. That's the state capital and is located on island of Oahu, the main island with the largest airport. Honolulu hosts the famous Waikiki Beach and if you look at pictures, it looks like Miami. One long beach with a strip of hotels. Most DDFers say to go to one of the other 3 main islands which are less touristy and the hotels are more spread out. In no particular order, the other islands are Maui, Kauai and Hawaii (yes, that's the name of one of the islands. It's also known as The Big Island - confusing because Big Island sounds like it's the "Main Island", but Oahu is the main island). Direct flights from NYC only go to HNL. You can get direct flights from other cities (LAX, SFO, OAK, SJC, SAN, DEN, DFW, PHX, SEA, ORD as examples) to the other islands. Hawaii is amazing - have fun! The main airport codes are:
Oahu: HNL
Maui: OGG
Kauai: LIH
The Big Island: KOA, ITO (2 airports on 2 different sides of the island)

Interisland flights:
Hawaiian is the main interisland carrier and flies HNL, LIH, OGG, KOA, and ITO. They have countless flights each day and are nearly always on time - often even early. Never book a tight connection hoping that the interisland flight will be delayed.

Go and Island Air fly from HNL. Mokulele flies from HNL and KOA, as well as to Kapalua (JHM), Hana (HNM), Molokai (MKK), Lanai (LNY), and Waimea-Kohala (MUE) on the Big Island. Hawaiian's subsidiary Ohana flies HNL to MKK and LNY.

There is a DansDeals corporate account for Hawaiian Airlines that allows you to take 2 free bags per person, up to a $50 value per flight (see baggage fees chart). It also gives free standby on earlier flights. You can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies.

Alternatively, you can also use 5k AA, 6k UA or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. You can use 15k DL pesos for a RT interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.
HA has several tiers, similar to DL, the lowest tier is the only one that's available using partner miles, but with HA miles you can purchase tickets that are otherwise unavailable for additional miles.

@Yehuda's thoughts on deciding between Kauai and Maui:
Here's a list of the main activities on both islands. Decide what interests you, and then you'll know where to go.

LIH has what many say to be one of the best hikes in the world - Kalalau Trail. Most people will only do the first part, but it's still very highly regarded. The views atop Waimea Canyon are breathtaking, yet OGG also has breathtaking views at Haleakala. LIH also has some supposedly awesome off-roading on Miloli'i Ridge Road. Sunset at the 12-mile long Polihale Beach is supposed to be quite the sunset. A helicopter tour of LIH is generally said to be much better than a heli tour of OGG. If the water is calm, Queen's Bath, which is a natural pool in the ocean you can swim in that's protected from the ocean's force by hardened lava, is SICK, but OGG has the same thing by the Olivine Pools. Kayaking down the Wailua River to "Secret Falls" is supposed to be great as well. Of course, the luxurious, tropical amazingness of the GHK is a huge boost for LIH, except for its beach, but the great Po'ipu Beach is 5 minutes away.

OGG has the Road to Hana, which is an incredible drive through what feels like a rainforest with tons of opportunities to take small hikes to waterfalls and pools. It's just wow wow wow. Sunrise at the top Haleakala is not to be missed. A boat trip to snorkel by Molokini Crater offers what is supposedly some of the best snorkeling visibility in the world. The hotels are also magical, perhaps to a lesser degree than GHK, but the beaches by the main hotels are a big plus over GHK's beach. EDIT: The Grand Wailea in Maui is a gorgeous hotel that rivals the GHK (and its lazy river actually moves :P). Add in the fact that its beach (Wailea Beach) is swimmable and doesn't require the albeit short drive to Po'ipu Beach that the GHK does, I'm not sure that the GHK should be a reason enough to tip the scales in favor of Kauai over Maui anymore. When the water cooperates, Olivine Pools are supposed to match Queen's Bath on LIH. Warren & Annabelle's Magic Show is supposed to be a great night out.

So, pick the types of activities you'd want to do and then you'll have your island. I personally liked OGG better mostly because of the RTH, but to be fair, I did miss out on the Kalalau Trail due to weather. However, if you mainly want to just relax and be in awe, go to LIH and stay at the GHK.
« Last edited by SSLPhD on May 17, 2017, 12:01:22 AM »

Author Topic: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?  (Read 144510 times)

Offline Hudi

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #75 on: July 31, 2011, 09:29:24 PM »
I hope it's ok to reopen this thread...

Using my free nights for the SPG stay 3 Get 1 promo (thanks Dan posting it to the forum) which would you recommend in Hawaii for a trip in November? (location and island aside, just trying to compare hotels here) the St. Regis Princeville or the Royal Hawaiian Waikiki?

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #76 on: July 31, 2011, 09:34:17 PM »
St Regis.

How many do you have?

Offline damaxer91

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #77 on: July 31, 2011, 09:41:05 PM »
I hope it's ok to reopen this thread...

Using my free nights for the SPG stay 3 Get 1 promo (thanks Dan posting it to the forum) which would you recommend in Hawaii for a trip in November? (location and island aside, just trying to compare hotels here) the St. Regis Princeville or the Royal Hawaiian Waikiki?

St. Regis Princeville 100%. Unless going for Shabbos, don't waste precious time in Waikiki. You'll be very dissapointed

Offline Dan

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #78 on: July 31, 2011, 09:45:37 PM »
Do you want a shul or kosher food within walking distance?  Then go with the Royal Hawaiian.

Kauai is a much more laid back island than Oahu and is amazing, but the truth is that Oahu is underrated.  Most people stick around Waikiki and Pearl Harbor where there are thousands of other tourists and that's why they have such a bad taste of Oahu.
Make it out to Banzai or to the amazing offshore islands reachable by kayak and you'll love Oahu as well...http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/6045

The St Regis is supposed to be magnificent, but I never stayed there.  The GH Kauai is in a much better location, especially in the winter time when it's very rainy on the north shore (where the SRP is) but dry and sunny on the south shore (where the GHK is).  Besides for the raininess in the winter on the north shore, the waves make the water on the north shore unswimmable, while the south shore is excellent then.  Also from the SRP you are hours away from Waimea and Polihale, 2 of my favorite spots on Kauai, whereas they are much closer to the GHK.
On Oahu the Royal Hawaiian is definitely where to be but on Kauai I wouldn't say the same for the SRP IMHO, although to be fair again, I have yet to stay there.

Anyway what about the Cat. 6 Westin Resort Villas on Maui?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Hudi

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #79 on: July 31, 2011, 09:55:45 PM »
St Regis.

How many do you have?

I have four free nights. Isn't it very rainy on the north side of Kauai in November? (that's when I plan to go)

Offline Hudi

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #80 on: July 31, 2011, 10:00:05 PM »
Do you want a shul or kosher food within walking distance?  Then go with the Royal Hawaiian.

Kauai is a much more laid back island than Oahu and is amazing, but the truth is that Oahu is underrated.  Most people stick around Waikiki and Pearl Harbor where there are thousands of other tourists and that's why they have such a bad taste of Oahu.
Make it out to Banzai or to the amazing offshore islands reachable by kayak and you'll love Oahu as well...http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/6045

The St Regis is supposed to be magnificent, but I never stayed there.  The GH Kauai is in a much better location, especially in the winter time when it's very rainy on the north shore (where the SRP is) but dry and sunny on the south shore (where the GHK is).  Besides for the raininess in the winter on the north shore, the waves make the water on the north shore unswimmable, while the south shore is excellent then.  Also from the SRP you are hours away from Waimea and Polihale, 2 of my favorite spots on Kauai, whereas they are much closer to the GHK.
On Oahu the Royal Hawaiian is definitely where to be but on Kauai I wouldn't say the same for the SRP IMHO, although to be fair again, I have yet to stay there.

Anyway what about the Cat. 6 Westin Resort Villas on Maui?

Sorry just saw your post after I asked about the rain. Thanks for the info. read your trip reports, they are extremely helpful! Would love to stay at the GHK but have limited number of hyatt points and I'm maxed out on Chase CC :)

Is the weather on the north side unbearable? Or does it just affect the swimming conditions?

Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #81 on: July 31, 2011, 10:03:33 PM »
Sorry just saw your post after I asked about the rain. Thanks for the info. read your trip reports, they are extremely helpful! Would love to stay at the GHK but have limited number of hyatt points and I'm maxed out on Chase CC :)

Is the weather on the north side unbearable? Or does it just affect the swimming conditions?
You could always try swapping with someone...

Offline Dan

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #82 on: July 31, 2011, 10:04:19 PM »
I have four free nights. Isn't it very rainy on the north side of Kauai in November? (that's when I plan to go)
The north shore will have about double the rain, and it's cooler by quite a few degrees.
In the winter months I usually recommended the south shore more strongly than during the summer months.

Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Offline Dan

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #84 on: July 31, 2011, 10:06:53 PM »
You could always try swapping with someone...
+1.

Anyway would you go for weekdays or shabbos?
Not considering Maui at all?
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Offline Hudi

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2011, 10:09:35 PM »
+1.

Anyway would you go for weekdays or shabbos?
Not considering Maui at all?

A full week. I would use the 4 nights on one of the islands and pay for a hotel on the secondary island. I don't mind being in Kauai for shabbos.

Maui didn't really intrigue me. Especially because there is no DD trip report on it, it doesn't really exist yet ;)
 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 10:12:42 PM by Hudi »

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #86 on: July 31, 2011, 10:09:51 PM »
Kauai has some of the most variable rainfall on earth.  It has the wettest place on earth and deserts as well!
The GHK (and Sheraton) are ideally located in Poipu.

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #87 on: July 31, 2011, 10:11:38 PM »
A full week. I would use the 4 nights on one of the islands and pay for a hotel on the secondary island. I don't mind being in Kauai for shabbos.
Stay 4 nights on Maui and pay for the GHK?  We've seen deals there for as little at $200 these days.  What are your dates?
Just FYI, I usually tell my clients to stick with 1 island if they're going for less than 9 days to Hawaii, but it all depends on your personality type.
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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #88 on: July 31, 2011, 10:15:12 PM »
Stay 4 nights on Maui and pay for the GHK?  We've seen deals there for as little at $200 these days.  What are your dates?
Just FYI, I usually tell my clients to stick with 1 island if they're going for less than 9 days to Hawaii, but it all depends on your personality type.

Nov 14 - 21.

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #89 on: July 31, 2011, 10:22:56 PM »
Nov 14 - 21.
$290/night for the GHK ain't bad at all if you can swing it.

Otherwise maybe a few nights on the big island to see some volcanoes erupting/go to a green sand beach/horseback ride through rivers and waterfalls/scuba with manta rays/hike through past eruptions/swim in a private volcanically heated spring/drive up the highest mountain from its base in the world to a drop-dead sunset with a crystal clear stargazing show while staying in a quaint Hilo/Volcano area treehouse before heading over to RHW (if you want a shul with meals) or WOV/SRP for shabbos?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.