45 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2017 1:10 PM by phctourist RSS

Big 5-0 in Hawaii

bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

Many of you know, I'll be celebrating my 50th birthday in the 50th state in just a few months. The trip is coming together bit by bit.

 

Already booked

  • First class one-way from CMH to PHX to SAN on AA
  • 1 night CY San Diego/Liberty Station (closest property to the airport)
  • Premium class one-way from SAN to LIH on AS
  • 5 nights on points at the new Autograph property, Koloa Landing
  • 5 nights on points at the MVC Ko Olina Beach Club
  • First class one-way from HNL to JFK to CMH on DL (overnight with lie flat seats)

 

I held off booking the SAN-LIH leg until I achieved MVP Gold status with AS. Unfortunately, by the time I booked, I could not get a guaranteed FC upgrade. I settled for the Premium class upgrade which ended up saving me a few hundred dollars over the FC upgradable fare, though I'm bummed I won't be in FC for the flight to Hawaii. At least I will be for the overnight flight home.

 

I still need to book the flight between LIH and HNL as well as any activities. I plan on reserving a helicopter tour of Kauai (Na Pali coast, Waimea Canyon, waterfalls ... need I say more?)   Also planning a day trip, fly-in/fly-out to Kalaupapa on Molokai from HNL (since Kalawao county is technically a separate entity from Maui county).

 

Given that I'll be there in March, there's a good chance I might see some whales (though I know Maui is the best island for whale watching). It's been almost 13 years since I was last on Kauai. I visited Oahu a little over a year ago, though I'm not familiar with the area around Ko Olina, having never visited that side of the island.

 

Any suggestions for other things I should do on Kauai or Oahu?

I've been to Pearl Harbor and climbed Diamond Head, though I won't object to doing either again.

 

Anything major I'm forgetting?

(For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

Location Brand Hotel
Kapolei - Oahu, Hawaii, USA Marriott Vacation Club Intl Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club
Kauai , Hawaii, USA
Poipu, Hawaii, USA
  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    peymanagement Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Congrats on reaching the half century. i found 40 to be the tough one psychologically. I thought about it with the big 5 - 0 but breezed by 60 without a thought.

     

    Your plans sound amazing. I can tell you are not sit on the beach people. I am looking forward to your report and pictures.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      50 was big but not as big as 70

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
        bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Nice to have something to look forward to.

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    bpelican Platinum 57 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    bejacob

     

    Congratulations on reaching the half-century mark.  What a perfect place you've picked to celebrate it.  Good luck in your next half-century.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I am not a usual fan of luau's but the one we did in Kauai at an old plantation was the best

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      pointjunkie Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Yes, I agree with jerryl, The Smith's Family Luau was great food and really cool show.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    seatexan Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    50... and think, you look darn good for 50! not a day over 40 looking! I think the same about pluto77, looking SO MUCH younger.

     

    This trip sounds amazing! I know you are going to have a blast! 10 days! woot! So... do they have counties to collect there too?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Aww shucks, thanks SeaTexan.

       

      Hawaii does have counties, 5 of them but only 4 county seats (Kalawao county, which used to be a leper colony, doesn't have a county seat, but I plan to go there anyway). I visited three last time, so I'll wrap up the state this trip.

       

      Here's some additional info on the counties https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_counties_in_Hawaii

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    nmballoonist Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Sounds like a great trip to celebrate the big 50.  Congratulations!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    NO WAY half a century....wow.  Not start acting like it!!   Yeah. I'm one to talk huh?

     

    Helicopter tour, far too many moving parts for me to want to entertain that idea.  However; we did a fixed wing tour of Kauai years ago and it was fabulous.  Simply amazing how many waterfalls there are to see so I'm sure you'll have a grand time hovering near them, something one should not try in a fixed wing craft.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Of course there will be another Insider meeting between bejacob and kharada46.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
        kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Getting closer!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    AZDesertRat Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Kauai is a beautiful island which you will really enjoy.  I highly recommend the luau at Smith's Family Luau near the mouth of the Wailea River.  Great food and plenty of it and the show afterwards is memorable.  When we saw it the rain poured down on the dancers, who never missed a beat and were seemingly oblivious to the downpour - while we (and the band) watched under cover.  The helicopter tour is also wonderful, and a trip up the river to the Fern Grotto is worth taking.   

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I'd forgotten about the Fern Grotto. That's something I didn't do last time on Kauai.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    troytraveler Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    Have you done the following in Oahu? Visit:

    • Hanauma bay
    • Polynesian cultural center
    • Dole Plantation
    • USS Arizona Memorial
    • Iolani Palace

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Good list troytraveler. Of those, the only one I haven't done it the Iolani Palace. Thanks for reminding me about it.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      The USS Arizona Memorial is probably my most favorite historic site I have ever been to. It is a quiet and somber but a beautifully constructed memorial. The entire Pearl Harbor site is really well run and designed. I enjoyed every minute of it.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    nationwide Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    The celebratory trip sounds great bejacob!  Happy early birthday my friend!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    mustanggt Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    Wow, only turning 50...Your just a kid!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Fun stuff on Oahu:

     

    Hike Koko Head - no cost associated, and you get a great view of the windward side and Hanauma Bay

    Hike up to Manoa Falls - $5 to park, I think

    Hike the various trails in the trail system on/near Tantanlus Drive and visit lookout at Tantalus Drive

    Nu;uanu Pali State Park - Pali Overlook - $3 parking fee, I think

    Punchbowl National Cemetery

    Japanese Gardens - I think the one I saw was East/West Center

    Secret Beach/Kalama Beach Park/Kailua Beach Park in Kailua (on the windward side; really nice and not crowded)

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Good list clebert. I made it to Kailua Beach Park last year on the County Collecting Hawaiian Style - Part 1, Oahu trip. Having traversed that side of the island pretty well, I'm not sure if we'll head over there this time or not. I'm looking forward to checking out the leeward side (I've barely been west of the airport, so there's lots to explore).

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    ks77 Gold 23 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Rent a water hammock for the lagoon. You will never want to leave the water!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    bejacob, when on Oahu:

    • Makapuu Lighthouse Trail is an easy but incredibly scenic hike/walk that has great views of the ocean, Ka'iwi Coast, Molokai, and even whales

    10255936_10203843301104523_1572791965186640801_o.jpg

    • Iolani Palace, the only royal residence in the U.S.
    • If you'll be here on a Sat/Sun, you can check out the Hawaiian Railway Society.  It isn't a super interesting ride, but is what's left of Hawaii's only Class 1 railroad that used to go from Honolulu up to Kahuku.  Now it goes from Ewa to Kahe Point.  Rolling stock and locomotives are former U.S. Navy from WWII/Vietnam/Korea
    • Pacific Aviation Museum at Pearl Harbor
    • Waimanalo Beach instead of the crowded North Shore or Waikiki
    • Kailua Pillbox Hike for great views of Kailua Beach at "The Mokes," even better if you're willing to do a sunrise hike, just be sure to get some headlamps

    13055741_10208916264725443_2230783279389265691_o.jpg

    • Manulele Distillers/Kohana Rum - tours for a fee which include free tastings, or just visit the shop for free tastings.  Reservations a must for tours.  Company makes agricole rums from organically grown, native Hawaiian heirloom sugarcane
    • Friday night fireworks at the Hilton Hawaiian Village (pick a spot early on their lagoon, which is open to the public)
    • Dolphin encounters with Dolphin Quest at the Kahala Hotel & Resort
    • Kualoa Ranch (many different experiences from aqua culture to movie tours to zip lining, etc.)

     

    That's all I can think of now, but if I remember more, I'll be sure to post them.

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Good stuff kharada46. I'll look into a couple of these.

       

      With only a couple months before the trip I'm trying to tie up many of my loose ends. I just booked my LIH-HNL flight, so now all that's left are the excursions (helicopter on Kauai, whale watching/snorkeling/sunset cruise(s), the day trip to Kalaupapa, and anything else I think I need to book before leaving home).

       

      Things are coming together nicely. I was even able to switch from a "mountain view" to an "ocean view" at Ko Olina for the same number of points.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
        kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Mahalo, bejacob

         

        Awesome on the room.  Upgrades are always great!  For some of your activities, I've got some recommendations for you:

         

         

        Paradise Helicopters is great too, but they only operate on Oahu and the Big Island.  FYI Star of Honolulu does offer vegan menu options on some of their dinner packages. 

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
          kharada46 Alumni Steward Gold 10 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Actually, they have vegetarian/vegan options for all plated dinner packages, just not on the buffet one. 

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Happy 50, bejacob, and welcome to the "second half-century" club!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks ssindc. Reaching the half-century mark just means I've outlived many of my bad habits.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
        ssindc Platinum 42 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Sadly, bejacob, my experience suggests it's exactly the opposite....

         

        But maybe you won't become so set in your ways!

         

        All the best!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    ilmk0801 Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Happy 50th! What a milestone! This just sounds like the BEST trip! What a way to celebrate 50 awesome years on this planet! I would go snorkling...I'm sure you thought of this already but I really enjoyed going to Hanauma Bay to do this. I saw fish, turtles and lots of water...imagine that I, also, burned my butt! So if you do take my suggestion wear long shorts and then lots of sun lotion on the back of your legs

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    PSU Fan Platinum 2 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    We vacationed in Oahu and Maui to celebrate our 60th birthdays in November. This was our 3rd trip to the Ko Olina, so we obviously love it. It's the type of resort that lends itself to total relaxation. However, we never tire of a drive to the North Shore with a stop at a shrimp truck and beautiful views of the ocean and surfers. Another favorite day trip is to Pearl Harbor and the Swap Meet at the Aloha Bowl (Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday only). We're also fans of a day in Waikiki for the beach, surfers, shopping, and great restaurants.

     

    Our last trip to Hawaii was in March of 2015 and the highlight was definitely whale watching! Wishing you a great trip, lots of whales, and Happy 50th!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    advalancecrashd Silver
    Currently Being Moderated

    I saw the promotional trips to earn x2 points and 20% off one was hawaii package but had no knowledge where to go so your 5-0 bday trip really helps with ideas especially the whale watching       my bday was Jan 2 so I wanted to go on vacation since I reached my 1/2 century age too!  I like your 5-0 idea    ha ha thank yo

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    The big 5-0... and Hawaii too! That is one heck of a way to do it. First Class all the way!

     

    GEtting very close now, bejacob

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    I noticed today that Ko Olina has a bunch of point saver nights in March. Did you see that too?

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
      bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I did now that you mention it.

       

      Turns out it won't work out for me. I was able to grab a 1-BR villa the other day for a modest expenditure of points (5k per night). I can move up to a 2-BR, but it will cost an extra 45k points (no 5th night free for some reason). For now, I think I'll stick with what I have.

       

      I have noticed the room inventory has been changing every few days for the past week or so. I'll have to keep an eye on it.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
        pluto77 Alumni Steward Gold 25 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        There is no availability on points for the two nights that I will be there, so I'm looking at about an $800 spend.   Or Waikiki Marriott, which is not much different.  Hawaii is so expensive!

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
          bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Keep checking. When I originally planned my trip there was no availablity on points either. Granted, I think your trip is coming up sooner than mine, but something could still come available. Don't give up hope yet.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
          bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          I've been regularly checking back on my reservation at Ko Olina. Finally secured the room I wanted at the beginning - 2 bedroom, ocean view villa for 5 days on points. Normally I don't need the extra bedroom, but there will be three of us on this trip.

           

          When I first looked, no availablity on points. Later I found a regular guest room, mountain view. Then a guest room, ocean view. Early January, I upgraded to a 1 bedroom villa, mountain view Finally, a 2 bedroom villa, ocean view came available on points. Naturally, I grabbed it.

           

          It cost a bit more, 210,000 points for 5 nights instead of the 160,000 for the regular room, but given that the nightly member rate is $817/night, I don't mind redeeming the extra points for what would set me back over $4600 (with taxes/fees) for a 5 night stay. Seems like a ~2.2 cents/point redemption might even impress brightlybob. At that value, I won't mind  paying the $37.70/day parking fee.

           

          Only about six weeks to go now. Almost everything is now set.

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
            iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            It does pay off to keep checking that's for sure.

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
              brightlybob Platinum 10 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              I think all of us here are pretty obsessive check & recheckers, but that's where we get 2.2UScents/pt redemptions.

               

              EXcellent going bejacob. Enjoy your big 5-0. I've just had mine for a weekend in the Peak District, fourposter, snow, roaring fires, excellent food in a 15th century pub... Happy memories of turning 50 just 4 days ago!

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
                iahflyr Platinum 26 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                And a most Happy but belated Birthday wish Sir.

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
                bejacob Platinum 38 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                Sounds like a nice way to spend a weekend. Happy Birthday

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
                razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                And Many More, brightlybob

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
                nmballoonist Platinum
                Currently Being Moderated

                Hope you had the merriest of birthdays.  If only I could remember my 50th!

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Big 5-0 in Hawaii
    phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Happy, Happy 5-0  bejacob.  Enjoy these milestones and keep travelling and keep posting!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...