My husband I are planning a trip for relaxation using rewards points. Our most recent travel has been African Safaris - very active & adventurous, so we are looking to slow things down a bit. We have visited the Kauai Marriott Resort in the past & loved it. Last year we tried the Aruba Marriott. While lovely, we preferred Kauai.
We are retired and very active. My husband's hobbies include photography and scuba. I enjoy wildlife, scenery, outdoor activities, cuisine and a bit of luxury. Curacao looks interesting since it appears less traveled, is a colorful, cultural destination & offers great scuba. The Hotel Punta Islita in Costa Rica looks fantastic, but I'm concerned about difficulties getting there from the Midwestern US and if there is anything to do outside the resort (we would go for 10 days.)
I'd love to hear people's advice and experience with Marriott beach destinations. Returning to Kauai is definitely an option. Thank you!
Disclaimer: I'm biased towards Hawaii because it's where I live
Reading up on your wants, I'd say keep Hawaii in the cards, but scratch Kauai. You've been there, done that, and the other islands have so much more to offer!
The Big Island is amazing & beautiful for it's natural diversity, ranging from pristine white/black/green sand beaches to volcanoes; lush, tropical, native forests; to snow. There's much to do and see here, your limiting factor being your sense of adventure and time.
Luxury? No problem! The Big Island is home to some of the most luxurious properties in the state, including the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, which bejacob will be visiting soon.
Now, Maui is another favorite of mine. The natural beauty, the food and the rich diversity of activities is awesome. Not to mention Maui is home to some of the best snorkeling/driving in the world at places such as Molokini crater. Maui has not shortage of luxury too with the Ritz-Carlton. Did I mention the winery with free tours & wine tastings and a goat dairy with tons of cheese for sale (tours for a fee, including sampling)?
Of course Oahu has the best food scene of all the islands
Dude you just topped the charts with those pictures....WOW
I just cancelled a Curacao trip in favor of the new JW Marriott Los Cabos Beach Resort & Spa: San Jose del Cabo Luxury Hotels as getting to Curacao was a nightmare while Los Cabos is very very easy.
@ kharada46 claims a bias as a resident of the "Islands". If you travel to Kauai you will discover that, bias aside, why the majority of West Coasters prefer Hawaii over most destinations in the Caribbean. There are things to avoid. I try not to go near Waikiki or similar crowded areas on each island. As to Kauai we own a time share at Waiohai and don't use it. We rent our time out and guess where we stay? The Kauai Marriott (Lihue) - far from a five star status, but certainly four stars, it is one of our favorites of all Marriotts. Our last visit we didn't even rent a car. The hotel fetched us at the airport and (due to our 20 previous stays the last 15 years) have each nights eateries planned as the well as the side of the pool we spent each day. There are fancier, more classy and prettier spots in the Islands. BUT, there is not a more comfortable hotel. AND one of Hawaii's best bargains.
misterchk, biased yes, but not towards Kauai. Admittedly, it's the island I have the least experience with (excluding Lanai & Molokai). Been there only twice, once was with school (not much sightseeing or free time) and the other was for work (got to stare at an office all day). It's some place I hope to return to someday, but my goal right now is to explore the Big Island and Maui as much as I can
So far, Kauai is my favorite of the islands. I'll let you know if Maui changes my mind especially with the snorkeling trip to Molokini.
As our man in Hawaii, you owe the community a trip to Kauai with a full report, kharada46. I expect the planning to begin immediately.
I hope you understood that my statement was to support you bias. Your State (all the Islands) holds a very special place in my family. Since the middle of 1960's it has been our first choice for relaxing vacations.
We are of the opinion that Kauai is the "last bastion" of the Hawaii that we remember from the 60's.....not yet commercialized and expensive as Maui and the opposite of the crowds found on Waikiki.
Prices for all services, accommodations and meals, are still below those of the other tourist centers on the other Islands.
Last but not least, albeit the entire state subscribes to informality, Kauai is (in my opinion) the most laid back.
Finally, and this is really "nit picking", but to leave LAX and land at the small, mostly uncrowded airport in Lihue is psychologically uplifting. Leaving the mess known as LAX and landing at HNL (with the crowds) is a depressing way to commence a vacation.
That's enough for now, I could go on for hours.
Totally misterchk. And I totally agree. Kauai isn't really on my radar since I haven't had much experience with it, but it is very laid back and country compared to the other islands, save for Lanai & Molokai, but at those islands you experience truly astronomical costs.
But I have been contemplating a trip to the island for the very reason you like it... a change in pace, as well as to get to know it better as bejacob had suggested. Right now it's between Kauai and Maui. We shall see!