If you want to see the island you will need a rental car. KBC charges for parking (I,m thinking around $10- $15 a day). If you want you can rent a car by the day and pick it up at the airport (about 1 mile away) they provide a shuttle to and from the airport and the resort. I think Hurtz also has a car rental location at the resort.
Sunset from the Waikoloa Marriott
If you want big city stay on Oahu. If you want a fantastic relaxing vacation stay on Kauai. If you want a fantastic relaxing vacation with good nightlife stay on Maui.
But if you want it all, then stay on the Big Island at the Waikoloa Marriot. Rain forests in the northeast part of the island. Erupting volcanoes on the southeast part of the island. Nightlife in Kona 15 miles south of the hotel. And whatever you do don’t miss the giant manta rays at night off the coast of Kona.
PS: While at the Marriott Waikoloa in February you will see dozens of whales all day long just off the beach, guaranteed.
You've gotten good advice from all the prior posts......Hawaii has something for everyone. We've stayed on Maui, Oahu, and Kauai many many times....and the comments regarding the pros and cons of the various Marriott properties are all very objective. We own two Marriott timeshares on Kauai....one week at Kauai Beach Club and two weeks at Waiohai, and even though both are on the same island, they're quite different in terms of activities and nearby attraction. The former is a high-rise with nearby shopping and dining plus what has to be one of the most beautifull pool areas in the world, while the other is low-rise and more laid back. Neither has any real negatives, it just depends on what you're looking for. You DO need a car on Kauai, and you want to visit all the attractions you'll see listed in Frommer's or other such tour books, for instance "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific" and the waterfall featured in "Da plane! Da plane!". On Oahu, if you're really budget minded, you can get anywhere on the island (with a little help from the concierge regardinsg schedules, etc) on the bus line. Not fast , but very cheap way to travel. If you do nothing else on Oahu, do three things: hike up Diamond Head, go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, and visit Pearl Harbor to understand how lucky we all are for the sacrifices made by those who went before us.
Aloha. On our most recent trip in November, we stayed at the Marriott in Waikiki, the J. W. at Ko'Olina, the Marriott at Wailea Beach on Maui, and the Marriott at Waikoloa Beach on the Big Island. All were great stays with a lot of pros and only a few cons that didn't even distract from the stay. By all means, go on a whale watch. This time of year they say the waters around Maui are nicknamed "Whale Soup".