I am looking to take my wife to Hawaii in March/April 2009 for 1 week to enjoy the ocean, spend a lot of time relaxing and soaking up some sun.. This will be our first time in Hawaii. We are in our late 20s, love the outdoors - water, hiking, biking, etc. and love eclectic restaurants and like trying local favorite cuisine, etc. We like clubbing and doing the late night thing too - not every night though.
I am looking for suggestions on which island to visit and which Marriott property to stay at. I will be using my points for 7 nights and would like to stay at one resort only. I would like the resort to have direct ocean access and not be in a very crowded area.
We are heading to Maui in Early February for 2 weeks. Can't wait. Enjoy yourselves.
We just got back from the Ko Olina resort area on Oahu. Definitely not crowded like Waikiki, but still lots to do. And you're only 30 minutes from Waikiki for some nice restaurants and nightlife. We stayed this time at the Ko Olina Beach Club, one of the Marriott Vacation Clubs, but I highly recommend the JW Marriott Ihilani in Ko Olina. Very nice resort. Several restaurants to choose from. Roy's restaurant is also right there at the golf course and has a variety of things on the menu. We ate there 3 times in our 6 day stay. There's not much nightlife in the Ko Olina area though. But the lagoons that the resorts are on make for very nice beach areas to relax and swim and even some snorkeling.
I also agree with the poster that mentioned that Wailea Marriott on Maui. We stayed there a couple years ago and it was very nice. Not too far from Lahaina where there's lots of restaurants.
Kauai is our favorite island though (we just bought into the Marriott vacation homes there), but it definitely doesn't have nightlife. It all pretty much shuts down after dinner. The Kauai Beach Club in Lihue has a marvelous pool and steps from the beach, too.
In my opinion you can't go wrong with a Marriott on any of the islands. We've stayed at many and have been very happy, that's why we keep going back (and why we finally bought into the vacation home).
We've been to Maui five times. I'm hard pressed to believe you can do better than Maui. For all intents and purposes, there are two places to stay Kaanapali (Maui Marriott Ocean Club) and Wailea (Wailea Beach Resort).
Both places offer ocean access "out the back door". Kaanapali is crowded and busy, Wailea is quiet and subdued. The restuarants are better in Wailea. Both locations offer plenty of things to do, but require some driving. Rent a car. Kaanapali and nearby Lahaina offer more night life.
You can't go wrong in Hawaii. Everything is terrific everywhere you go.
My wife and I stayed at the Walilea Marriott for a week in mid January. It was just great! This Marriott is on the part of the island that rarely gets rain. The grounds are terrific and the staff is wonderful. We were contacted before we arrived and offered much help and information.
As to resturants there are plenty - great food and a range of prices from which to choose. We have friends that have time shares there and they helped us find some.
For breakfast try the Kehei Cafe. It is just a few miles up the coast highway from Waliea: The omlets and cinnamon rolls are super. The menu has a lot of variety from which to choose. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60632-d615203-Reviews-Kihei_Cafe-Kihei_Maui_Hawaii.html
On the other side of the island past the airport toward Hana there is the Paia fish Market. We love the ONO (fish) burger. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g60636-d404415-Reviews-Paia_Fish_Market-Paia_Maui_Hawaii.html
For both of these don't mind the lines, they move fast and the food is both worth the wait and the price is reasonable.
We also found Jamba Juice. There are 2 or 3 on the island near malls. One is near the airport and another is in Kehei. My wife (me also) becam addicted. http://www.jambajuice.com/jamba_locator#/home/
We were there for a week and took trips each day. We drove to the lava fields (south from Wailie and don't miss the dark sand beach there and the turtles), the coast road to the north and the road to Hana. There is a taped guide and map for the Hana trip. It describes what you are seeing and speific points of interest. We did not turn back at Hana as is suggested but continued around the road to the west side and were there about sunset. Awesome! We finished the day by going to the Paia fish market. Both the north coast and Hana roads are narrow and full of curves, but full of great scenery. The road to Hana has waterfalls, the seven pools and some hiking. Leave early and plan a full day. We went up the volcano and for sun rise and hiked some. You pay to go to the seven pools and volcano as these are part of the national park. Your pass is good for 3 days so if you do either, you can save if you plan these for the time your pass is valid. We also went on a whale watch. All was much fun and relaxing.
I trust this helps and enjoy!