Author Topic: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR  (Read 2418 times)

Offline dvol

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dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« on: August 27, 2014, 12:10:02 PM »
Trip Report - a bit long:

8/17 -checked our bags all the way through to JFK-LAX-HNL-OGG (HNL-OGG on HA) without an issue - the rep even checked the interline baggage agreement first although according to HA's website they no longer allow this.
JFK-LAX lie-flat beds in biz and we were part of the 15 religious jews on the flight :). LAX-HNL in first- sat directly behind Tim Gunn. Had a 2 hour layover in HNL and then finally arrived to OGG. Until we got our rental car and got to our hotel was about 7PM.

Andaz
The service here is just great and the hotel itself is stunning. Got upgraded to an ocean view room due to me emailing the hotel in advance and telling them it was our wedding anniversary (it was). We had 2 suitcases with frozen meals (we were 4 people in total) and they took it down for us to their special "kosher storage" freezer right away, unpacked it for us, and brought back up our suitcases. We were told that any time we wanted a meal to just call down and let them know which one we wanted - they were labeled - and they would bring it up for us. I had reserved microwaves and fridges in both rooms before we came and they were already prepared, we also had a toaster delivered from Amazon to the hotel 2 days before we arrived and they had that brought up right away as well. Just one time when we ordered food were we mistakenly charged "delivery and heating fee" of about $100, but that was corrected as soon as we called down.
We just got to our rooms and passed out, as by the time we were settled was past 10PM.

8/18-woke up at 6AM (still on NY time where it was 12PM) and took a stroll on the beach. Didn't do much of anything except relax by the beach and pool and stop by Walmart since we were still a bit jetlagged. In the evening we drove to Lahaina for the Warren & Annabelle's magic show. I had called and had been told they were full that evening but then received a call back saying they were adding a row in the back with "extra legroom" if we were interested. I wouldn't recommend it since it sort of felt like the chairs were throwing us off although the view to the stage was good. The show was entertaining and funny and we really enjoyed it. We were too exhausted after the show to explore Lahaina so we just headed back to the hotel.

8/19 - our plan was to start the Road to Hana at 8AM. That turned into about 10:30 being that we're from NY :). We had 2 door and 4 door Jeep Wrangler converteribles which was great for the drive and made several stops including Ching's Pond, some waterfalls, etc. Then we stopped by the Black Sand Beach where we took a dip and checked out the lava cave down there. We then bbq'ed in the park and by the time we were done it was almost 7PM so we were advised by a local there not to head back to Wailea by taking the road all the way around but to head back the way we came.

8/20 - We rented snorkel gear from the Andaz - $10/daily for a set - and went snorkeling on the beach right in front of the hotel. Because it was already about 10AM the water was a little wild but we still got to enjoy the snorkeling for a bit.
We spoke with the Andaz concierge and booked an Express snorkel tour at the Molokini Crater for 8/21 in the morning. We then tried to book massages at the Andaz spa but they were completely booked until Friday, when we were departing. So thanks to Maui Revealed we decided to check out the Spa Grande at the Waldorf Astoria down the road. They had the "Ohana Special" listed on their website good until 8/31 where for $135 you could get 1 of several treatments plus 1 hour access to their facilities and a 5 minute body scrub. The service was great, the spa was fabulous and we were able to use the facilities both before and after our treatments for as long as we preferred, no mention of the 1 hour limit. When we were done we headed back to our hotel and enjoyed the Andaz pool and beach.

8/21 - We left our hotel at 5:30AM and drove to the Makena Resort about 10 minutes away for the 6AM checkin with Kai Kanani. We departed at 6:30AM and headed to the Molokini Crater where we were 1 of only 3 boats. The captain told us that during the day there can be about 2,000 people in the Crater which is why they do such an early tour for those that want to go when it isn't so crowded. They served a light continental breakfast of coffee, fruit and pastries and then we went snorkeling. It was raining lightly but it didn't affect the snorkeling in any way and in fact the water was quite calm. The snorkeling there was beautiful and we got about 40 minutes to explore. I then proceeded to get extremely seasick - I'm not a fan of boats and try to avoid them when I can - and spent our next stop at Turtle Town trying to pretend I was back on solid ground. I was able to see some of the turtles from the boat though and the rest of the snorkelers seemed to be enjoying it. All in all, a pleasant crew, a nice clean boat and would definitely recommend it if you can get yourself out of bed that early.
We went back to the hotel to change and recharge, and then headed out to Haleakala. The drive was stunning and we went up to the Leleiwi Lookout where we got some great pictures and saw some amazing views. We decided to head back down after that since there was still about 2 hours to go until sunset and we didn't feel like waiting around for it. Due to valet recommendations, we stopped in Makawao and Pai'a on our way back to the hotel where they had a bunch of cute little shops but they all close at 6PM except for the food places so that was a bit of a disappointment. We stopped into Mana Foods in Pai'a to stock up on some kosher snacks and then went back to our hotel.

8/22 - We took the 7AM complimentary outrigger canoe tour (had booked it on 8/18) and it was really fun. We saw a bunch of splashing a few feet from our boat which our guide told us was a shark. We thought he was kidding but when we returned he told the beach crew and they all got super excited and said it was very rare to see. All in all, it was definitely worth the price  ;D. We then spent an hour by the pool and then packed up and headed to the airport for our flight to HNL.
The flight was delayed a bit so we got to HNL a little later than planned. We had arranged a pickup for some Shabbos food from Oahu Kosher and so we went to the Ala Moana Hotel to pick it up and then started our drive to Ko'olina where we were staying. The traffic is horrendous as we were told they were widening the highway so there was construction. We stopped into Walmart near Ko'olina to pick up some essentials and then made it to our hotel about 30 min before shabbos.

Marriott Ko'olina Beach Club
Besides for Oahu being a bit of a letdown after Maui, we were in for a bit of a disappointment with the hotel as well. Talk about a downgrade, especially coming from the spectacular Andaz. Ko'olina seems to be a gated community and has several hotels, a small shops/food court and a golf course. The Marriott hotel itself looks pretty dated although the grounds are nice. We were told that most of the people staying there were owners, since this is a Marriott vacation club and perhaps that is why the service is what it was - subpar and not too friendly. At check-in each guest gets a wristband, a room card and a towel card. There is no service at the pools or beach, meaning you need to get your own towels from the towel huts and set up your own beach chairs. The towel card is traded in at the towel huts for 2 towels and is returned when you return the 2 towels. Failure to return the towel card at check-out is a penalty of $25 per card.
We had a "mountain view" 2 bedroom villa with a full kitchen and a living room area with a view of the gorgeous parking lot from the 4th floor. We were right next to the stairs which was convenient for Shabbos since the pool and beach area is accessed by the 3rd floor. The beach is actually a lagoon and is extremely calm, so it was good for swimming and was full of little kids with tubes. They have 3 pools and 7 jacuzzis but all but 1 of the pools were packed with kids so it's definitely more of a family-friendly place. There is a 1.5 mile boardwalk along the 4 lagoons that you can walk which is behind 3 or 4 hotels including Aulani, a Disney hotel which looks new and very nice and the JW Marriott. There is also a free shuttle that takes you around Ko'olina every half hour.

8/23 - Shabbos.

8/24 - Went to use the pools some and then headed to Waikiki. The valet told us to go to the zoo and park there - $1/hr and that is where the strip seems to start. We stood for a while watching the surfers - there was even a surfing contest going on at the time - and then strolled the shops. We went to the flea market on Duke's - total waste of time, all the stuff was overpriced and obviously made in China. We did come across a "Jerusalem falafel stand" that said he was kosher but had no supervision and that his kitchen was in the Chabad house. We stopped by Chabad on our way to the airport and they told us he indeed uses only kosher food and rents a kitchen from them but with no hashgacha we weren't going to eat there.

8/25 - checkout is at 10AM, no exceptions according to their policy. They hold your bags for you and allow use of the resort and all of its facilities on the day of checkout. But I slipped the maid a $20 bill and we didn't see her until 12. We decided to spend the next few hours at the spa and went to the JW Marriott down the road since our hotel didn't have a spa on-site. The spa is in a small building right next to the hotel and is quite old - decrepit comes to mind. One of the massage therapists told us that Marriott's contract runs out at the end of the year at this location and they were closing down and possibly reopening in the future as a Ritz. After we were done we made our way to the airport and flew back HNL-LAX-JFK in first and biz.

All in all, a spectacular trip and one we'll remember for a long time.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2014, 02:23:00 PM by dvol »

Offline Yaalili

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Re: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2014, 01:33:26 PM »
Nice. Were the tickets from the delta glitch?

Offline TimT

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Re: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2014, 01:35:03 PM »
Nice TR. Why no photos ?

Offline dvol

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Re: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2014, 01:57:26 PM »
Hi,

Yes, this was from the Delta glitch. I originally posted this in that thread but I see a mod moved it. Have pics, but haven't uploaded them to my computer yet as I'm at work. Hope to do so shortly.

Offline saulwohl

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Re: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2014, 01:16:32 PM »
Great TR. Where are the photos?

Offline stever

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Re: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2014, 03:55:10 PM »
Very nice

Offline Racer7400

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Re: dvol's Maui and Oahu TR
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2014, 09:48:03 PM »
Nice TR!!