Firs time posting on this forum. Planning a trip with the wife to Hawaii in early February for a week. First time going to Hawaii and looking to redeem our points for the stay. With so many hotels available in Hawaii, we have a decent amount to choose from. But my biggest concern is the weather in February. I have read that it is slightly cooler and there are more rain storms. But is there a specific island or property that would be warmer than the rest? My biggest concern is it not being warm enough during the days to sit out on the beach or pool. We have not done a beach trip in quite awhile and wanted to make this one it. I know there are lots of other things to do in Hawaii, but the beach/pool is really the highest priority thing we want to do. Any tips on which property or island to give us the warmest option?Ha
Tons to say about Hawaii. I've been in February and loved it. The weather will be fine.
A couple questions back to you so the knowledgeable Hawaii folks can give you better answers.
You'll be able to find great beaches on all the islands. Oahu is always great, but if you want to get away from the crowds a bit, consider Kauai or the Big Island. Maui would be perfect for whale watching that time of year. The drawback there is that the Marriott properties don't have the best beach access.
In my opinion, the best beachfront hotel in all of Hawaii is the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Check out my review Mauna Kea Beach Hotel - Autograph property par excellence
I know kharada46 will have plenty to add.
Thanks @bejacob! To answer your questions, right now we are only planning one island since it is only one week. As far as activities go, we've done a lot of exploring trips recently and really only want to sit on the beach or pool and totally relax with perhaps a spa appointment in between. Anything else that we might be able to do is a bonus and we may consider it, but won't be at all disappointed if we can just do the beach and pool everyday.
I was looking at Kauai and Maui. Both have great looking Marriott resorts so they caught my eye. Perhaps the pictures are deceiving, but Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and the Kaua'i Marriott Resort were the two I was considering...they both looked like they were on the beach. That was one reason I was not interested in the Waikiki Marriott...I know its near the beach, but not on it.
Got it. If you decide on Kauai, you might prefer the Waiohai or Koloa Landing. The latter is not actually on the beach, but it is close. There was a good thread on Kauai recently Kaua'i Marriott Resort. Take a look at that.
The Wailea Resort is nice, but difficult beach access. I haven't stayed there, but I did stop in for a drink. Others can give better advice on that. I suspect you may decide to remove that from your list especially after you read this Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa - Unfortunate Stay
I agree that the Mauna Kea Beach Resort (pictured here) on the Big Island is amazing. We stayed last summer and I can't say enough good things about it. We stayed in a golf course view room, and the views were still beautiful. The bathroom was as large as a standard hotel room! It is somewhat secluded, so ideal for someone who just wants to sit on the beach and relax, or enjoy a spa day. If you are looking for something to do, stargazing atop Mauna Loa is also something you can only experience here.
bejacob makes some great points. I would also like to add, now that we can transfer status and points to SPG, that opens up several more options for Hawaii. You can simply transfer to SPG and the 3MR to 1SPG point rate. They also have the redeem 4 nights get the 5th free. It works great if you don't want to use one of the +Air packages where the cert is for 7 consecutive days at the same property and can't be broken up.
The properties that opens up are:
O'ahu (all in Honolulu):
I have stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki and it is decent, but very crowded and beach access is lousy.
I have also stayed at the Sheraton Black Rock, and the location absolutely cannot be beat. Their pools are awesome and the grounds are beautiful. I have been to Maui four times, O'ahu once, and spent one night on Big Island but didn't get to see much there . Maui is my favorite place on the planet, therefore I recommend it highly. As far as your weather concerns, I have not been in Feb, but have been in early April and no issues at all with weather. In fact, weather there is never really a concern. You can check weather.com monthly forecasts (average temps and rainfall) and you will see Feb will still be great. I know kharada46 is itching to give you a long detailed avalanche of info.
Thanks for the shoutout bejacob!
jithu9684, weather in Hawaii is cooler in February, but that usually means 70s-80s instead of 80s-90s. It can get into the 60s, at which point you'll see a lot of locals bundling up as if it were 40s on the mainland . I've gone swimming in February and it isn't bad, especially if you're used to cold weather on the mainland. Rain is inevitable in Hawaii, unfortunately, and the weather the past few years have been weird. This summer was really wet, while last winter was really dry. What happens this winter is kind of a toss up, but at least you'll be here after hurricane season ends.
As to which island to visit, it depends what you want to do. Oahu definitely has the greatest diversity of activities. We have the best dining of all the islands and the best shopping. We've got tons of hiking ranging from super easy to expert; and some of the easiest hikes even have some of the best views. We've got tons of beaches, some of the nicest and best in the state if you're willing to travel outside of Waikiki. And of course we've got great snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, the Polynesian Cultural Center, Paradise Cove Luau, the Pearl Harbor Historic Sites, Iolani Palace (the only royal palace in the U.S.), etc.
Maui is my favorite neighbor island with a great balance of dining, activities, and natural beauty. Nakalele Blowhole, Haleakala, the Road to Hana, Maui Wine, etc. are all great points of interest.
The Big Island is another place I'm growing to love, but everything is really spread out and dining options are limited. Things close EARLY on the Big island, so forget about any night life. Of course the Big Island has the Kilauea volcano (currently erupting), Mauna Kea (13,000ft mountain), my favorite Akaka Falls zipline, etc.
Kauai is definitely the most country of all the islands, so it's great to really get away.
Let me know what your interests are and I can definitely help you narrow your options and then narrow down your hotel options.
I have a few posts on Hawaii in my Insiders blog, so if you're interested, please take a look there too. I cover Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island only, as I haven't been to Kauai in YEARS: Hawaii & Beyond!
Thanks so much!!
I think after doing a lot of research, we have decided on doing 6 nights in Maui and then doing 3 nights in Oahu. That way we get a mix of everything. Now I just need to hope that it will be warm enough. We don't actually swim in anything "cold" on the East Coast. All of our beach vacations have been to the Carribean or Florida where it has always been warm. So hopefully it won't be bad!
We went to Oahu and Maui the last week of January, and first week of February in 2015. The weather was delicious! No worries there at all. It was low to mid 80s, one rainy, gray day the entire time. The trade winds kept things from getting too hot. However, there were nearby storm fronts the second week that caused our two snorkeling trips to be canceled, and a whale watch tour to be rescheduled.
I am a recent SPG -> MR member, and I am planning our next trip to the islands for March. I am finding that the Marriott properties in Hawaii are a much better point value than the Starwood properties right now. On the Big Island, we had the Sheraton Kona booked for 10K Starpoints per night. But then looking at the Marriott properties, we decided to cancel, transfer points and book instead at Waikoloa Ocean Resort for the equivalent of I am sure The Powers That Be™ will even things up in the near future, and likely not by decreasing the point-price for Starwood. :/
Welcome lissakay! I think that was the right move on the Big Island, as the Sheraton Kona is in kind of a weird location anyway. The Courtyard Kona is probably better location-wise. But (having not stayed there yet) the Waikoloa Marriott looks good.
On Oahu and Maui, though, Marriott may have better value, but Starwood's properties (except for the Princess Kaiulani) are all much better in quality and location. Price definitely reflects that, though.
jithu9684, the leeward side of Oahu is dryer and warmer than the windward side. Ko Olina is on the leeward side, so maybe check out the MVCI property there. We went in Feb. and got 5 days of nice warm weather and 2 days of rain, including a really bad storm with sheets of rain and huge gusts of wind. So you may get some rain.
Sounds like a great plan jithu9684!
clebert and ks77 both make a great point about Ko Olina being drier and warmer, but Waikiki doesn't rain all that much either. Ultimately what it comes down to, though, is what you want to do on Oahu. Ko Olina is great, but it's FAR from Oahu's easier (and beautiful) hikes, and much of our dining/night/shopping scene.
And like lissakay said, Hawaii is in the 80's pretty much year round. It can get into the 70's during the day, but even that is warm by mainland standards. I think you'll have no problem temperature-wise, but the rain is extremely unpredictable and variable. It's common actually, except for the Kihei-Wailea area on Maui, which has been in a persistent state of drought for some time now.
I wouldn't worry about the weather too much. I'm sure everything will be fine and you'll have a fantastic trip!
So I have only been to Maui once, in early March. The weather was perfect! We stayed at the Westin Ka'anapli and loved it! Great pools, right on the beach, restaurants to walk to in Whalers Village and a short drive/cab ride to Lahaina. I know the Marriott to SPG point conversion is not great, but maybe at least take a look at this as an option. Wherever you decide, I am sure it will be great!
How was check-in at the Westin? What time did you actually get into your room? I only ask because West Maui hotels are notorious for late check-ins. I have heard and read horror stories about the Hyatt where many people say they didn't get into their rooms until after 6PM and sometimes later. For me, traveling from the East Coast, I usually arrive at the hotel somewhere around 3PM. I can understand the room maybe not being ready at 3 but if it was 6PM and my room still wasn't ready, I would be steamed.
Hmmm....we were with friends that were there for a conference. They had arrived at the hotel the day before. Our flight arrived very late at night, so we spent the first night at the CY near the hotel (from what I can recall it was a nice CY) & our friends picked us up the next morning. We initially stashed our carry on luggage in our friends room (our bags didn't make the flight!), but I seem to recall we were into our room by mid-afternoon? I never noticed any huge lines to check in while walking thru the beautiful lobby of this hotel.
On my trip last year, I arrived in Maui around 10am from Kona. I called the Maui Ocean Club as soon as I had picked up my rental car. They told me my room was ready and I could check in whenever convenient. I'm not sure if that's normal, but I loved being able to get settled before exploring.
We have been to Maui 2 times in November for the Maui Jim Basketball Tournament and 4 times in February to see the whales. We had great weather on every trip. We've gone just to Maui and also combined it with visiting other islands. We have been very satisfied with our stays in Marriott properties on each island. I'm looking forward to hearing more about what Insiders say about the Starwood properties.
When I lived on Oahu about 30 years ago, we did have to deal with a couple of hurricanes, but I don't remember which months they were in. kharada46 can probably give us more up to date weather info.
We stayed at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas - North in February 2015. It is truly a wonderful place. We loved it so much, we bought into the (then) Starwood Vacation Network. (Regrettably, we later discovered that we could have bought the same for half or less resale ... ) The only gripe we had was the studio villas have no storage space for luggage and other large items - and seriously, can it get any more petty than that? (It's my husband's gripe ... I'm like, I'm in flippin HAWAII, dude! Shove the bags under the stinkin table and let's go! )
There are two phases of Westin Ka'anapali - original and North. They are so close together as to seem like one huge resort, and guests share privileges at both. Both are timeshare villas with hotel inventory. The Westin Nanea villas will be open next spring, also in Ka'anapali, and also timeshares. I've not been, but I hear the Sheraton Maui at Black Rock is fabulous. The Westin Maui gets some mixed reviews though.
I'd be happy to answer specific questions, as I can, for WKORV.
So what did you decide to do?
My wife and i are embarking on a similar trip February. Oahu for the first week. Staying at the Waikiki Beach Marriott out of convenience. And then off to Hawaii for the second week. Staying at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. This will be our first trip to the big Island. Can't wait!