I am a new poster to the community although I have observed everyone's great advice for a while now. Thanks.
I am taking my wife to Hawaii for our 20th Wedding Anniversary in late September. (First Trip) We will be in HNL for the first four nights and then be in LIH for five nights. We have overnight flights going and coming with a midday flight between the islands. With our flight itinerary set I am looking for recommendations for what properties we should stay. I am Platinum Elite and will be using points for both stays. I would appreciate everyone's expert advice. Relaxation, romance, fun, local must-sees and unique experiences are our priorities for this trip.
What is the best property for Oahu for 4 nights?
What is the best property for Kauai for 5 nights?
Any agenda suggestions for those 6 days aside from lounging and rest?
Should we spring for room upgrades and if so to what level?
Any local/expert advice would be greatly appreciated to maximize this special trip for us.
Thanks in advance to the Marriott Community
Good choices with regards to the time spent on each island. Enough time to enjoy without feeling rushed. I'll also defer to kharada46 on the hotel choices. I'll be at the Waikiki Beach Marriott in early September. Having stayed there once before, I do know it's right across the street from the beach. I'm sure you'll get comments about your other options.
Kauai is much more laid back than Oahu, so relaxing is the order of the day. With 6 days, you'll have time to explore the island from end to end if you choose. You can't circle the island by car, but you can cover most of it. For the part without roads (the Napali coast), I'd suggest a helicopter tour. I didn't spring for it last time, but I wish I had. On the next visit for sure. Waimea Canyon is a must for some. Even if you never leave the beach, you'll have a great time. I haven't stayed at any of the Marriotts on Kauai, so I'll let others chime in on that subject.
Sounds like a great trip.
we have stayed a lot at Waikiki Marroitt. As bejacob said its right across for the beach and this portion has a protected wall. You are also very close to a large park for walking as of course you are in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki which you may like or not. There is a good inexpensive restaurant out to left of hotel. Open air and good for breakfast or lunch
Thanks. I think we will like the hustle and bustle for the first few days. Thanks for the restaurant advice too. Do you happen to remember the name?
Also, jerryl Did you upgrade for an ocean view or Deluxe and was it worth it?
Congratulations bejacob on your upcoming trip as well. Sounds like a lot of fun. I debated about Maui instead of Kauai but in the end decided for the less developed and more relaxed option. If it turns out to be the wrong choice I guess we can always go back for our 25th and do it right.
You chose the Waikiki Beach Marriott to stay in the middle of the action I assume? My thought was to do the fast pace, busy city, touristy stuff first and then finish up relaxed on Kauai. Thanks for your suggestions there. I will certainly look into the helicopter tour.
With only a couple days on Oahu, I wanted to be in the midst of things. This is at least my 3rd trip to Honolulu (not counting trans-Pacific layovers back in the 1970s). I added Maui this time because of the four main islands, it's the only one I haven't visited.
I agree with your idea of doing the fast paced stuff early. That's how I did my last trip, and why Waikiki is up first again. I had a list of things to see, but by the time I got to Kauai, I threw it away and just did whatever felt right at the time. Mostly it was going to the beach . (I'm partial to Poipu Beach),but there are plenty of good choices.
Kauai is still my favorite, but once I see Maui, I'll let you know if I change my mind.
Welcome shakespeer! Glad to have you in the community and congrats on a momentous & wonderful milestone! Oahu is my home, so I'd love to share my advice with you. I've stayed at the Waikiki Beach Marriott a number of times as a Gold & Platinum, and have consistently been upgraded to either better view rooms or jr suites with every stay. It's been over a year since my last stay, however, so your experience may vary. The property does also have a $25/night resort fee, though during my last stay they gave me the option of waiving the fee or paying it and receiving a couple of breakfast vouchers good at Honolulu Eats - Kuhio Beach Grill, free drink vouchers, etc. That being said, as bejacob has mentioned, the property is right across the street from the beach. The property is also home to some great restaurants, such as Honolulu Eats - Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Honolulu Eats - Arancino Di Mare, both of which are favorites of mine. Of course there's a lot of great things to do and see off property too, so if you let me know what you'd like to experience, what your interests are, what your food tastes are, etc. I can make some recommendations for you. In the meantime, please checkout my review of the Waikiki Beach Marriott and some good to know info on the island of Oahu.
As for Kauai, I've been there a couple of times and know a little about it and can make some recommendations there too. As ks77 has said, though, Maui no ka oi! Maui is my favorite neighbor island to visit, though it feels quite a bit like Oahu a couple of decades ago. Kauai is definitely the place to go for some peace & quiet. Big island could be a good option too.
And since you're flying neighbor island, here's some info on that too
with their excellent advice. We are just a few months from our 20th anniversary trip to Hawaii. We are staying 6 nights at the Waikiki Beach Marriott and then 5 nights at the Kaua'i Marriott Resort. We can't wait!!
I have a couple of questions specific to the two hotels for the experts:
Upgrades: I am Platinum and I am using points and upgrade certificates. What is the best way to assure that we have an amazing and unforgettable experience? Is using more upgrade certificates a waste? Would you recommend calling the hotels ahead of time to request room upgrades? Are there other perks that upgrades could achieve like meals, parking or resort credits?
I will ask island experience questions in another post.
While I have not personally stayed at the two properties you mentioned, I recommend contacting the properties ahead of time. If you call and speak to the front desk manager or GM or get their email address from Marriott customer service and email them that you are celebrating your 20 year anniversary they will absolutely upgrade your room and in my experience will send strawberries and champagne. They love when guests are celebrating special dates and look to really make stays special. If I were you, I would book a mid level room like say ocean view and request the upgrade to ocean front or suite or corner room, etc. I have respectfully requested via email a handful of properties over the last few years (wife bday, anniversary, etc.) and each time the property upgraded me to a very nice room (corner, jr suite, and cottage in my case). I wouldn't expect a parking lot view/cheapest room at the hotel to be upgraded to the Presidential Suite, (and based on your email you are not the type of person to expect that) but they should upgrade you a full category level up if not more.
Thanks for the reply ks77 and the good info. I am willing to use more points if necessary but I wasn't sure if they become redundant at some point. Since we have worked so hard to earn these points I want to make the most of them. And I understand that just being in Hawaii for our celebration will be exceptional by itself but your advice and the others on here will help make it remarkable. Thanks. I will plan on calling the properties about 2 months out unless someone thinks there is a better timeframe.
Great to hear your plans are good to go! I've actually stayed at the Waikiki Beach Marriott quite a bit and have had great luck in securing upgrades. I must note, however, that I am a Hawaii resident, so that may have aided in securing upgrades. Further, my last stay was nearly 2 years ago, so some things may have changed.
Anyhow, during my last 2 stays, one as gold and one as platinum, I received fantastic upgrades! One of them was to a corner room on a high floor in the Paoakalani Tower. This tower is the one with the lobby in it and is located in the back of the property, so it wasn't an ocean front room, but it had a nice view of the ocean and Waikiki... and get this... 2 balconies!
Beyond the view, though, the room wasn't particularly nice or special, just (quite a bit) more spacious, though the extra space was largely empty and the bathroom was still the same size as any other room.
The Jr Suite I received had a city view, which had a sliver of ocean, but was mainly of the surrounding buildings. This room was also int he Paoakalani Tower and had a rather odd layout. The bathroom was in the usual area, as was the bed, etc. but then there was a demi room off to the right that had a sofa, a chair, a table, a lamp, and that was it. Bathroom was regular size and function, so really nothing special there. If you had to choose, go for the view. And be sure to try to try to secure an deluxe ocean front room in the Kealohilani Tower. Great views! The property also has a limited number of Diamond Head view rooms, but they may not have much of an ocean view. Have yet to get one of these rooms!
Other than that, do follow what ks77 recommended and kindly & graciously request an upgrade for your momentous occasion. It worked for me in Europe
And no, the resort does not provide free breakfasts, etc. Hawaii properties have no CLs. If you're looking for a great spa experience, I suggest going off property. My personal favorite is Honolulu Spas - Laniwai - Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa Ko Olina, with their nice outdoor (co-ed) hydrotherapy garden & soothing couples treatment rooms, but it's about an hour drive outside of Waikiki in Ko Olina. Other well regarded spas on the island include the Moana Lani (beach front) at the Westin Moana Surfrider, the Na Ho'ola Spa at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki, and of course the Spa Halekulani at the legendary Halekulani Hotel.
But yes, when you're ready for activity and dining recommendations, do let me know and I'll be more than happy to assist!