Hi everyone - new member to the community and a platinum status. I would like to take the family to HI in 2013 using marriott reward points. We are most interested in Maui and Oahu
Can I get some advice on using the points for a property in Hawaii, which ones to stay at, and the best time to go. I noticed you can never use points at the vacation clubs, but would love advice on that. Also, do you book a year out, or hope for a deal close to the date?
Appreciate the advice!
I've stayed at the JW Marriott Ihilani at Ko'Olina using points, and although it's the only Marriott property we've stayed in while in Hawaii, I probably wouldn't stay at any other. It's fabulous! While sightseeing on Oahu, I hope you'll take some time for this:
The JW Ihilani is fabulous! It is a man made bay area, perfect for kids, swimming and snorkeling! Wonderful paths for walking and when we were there they had daily planned activities like yoga on the beach, nature walks, etc! It is about a 30 minute drive into Waikiki but you will be away from the hustle and bustle of a big city. I have stayed at the Marriott in Waikiki and although it was nice I was overly impressed with it!!
Maui is one of our favorites!! The Vacation club is on Kaanapali Beach in the perfect location. Easy walk to Whalers village, nice pool area, good for children. Kaanapali can get busy so you'll have to deal with that! We have never found it to be a problem! Have never been to the Ritz but how can you go wrong with that!! If you are a golfer its heaven! The Wailea Beach Resort is beautiful and I believe it is a nice property but I have never stayed there. That part of the island is lush, tropical and less people. You will have a bit of a drive, about 45 minutes or so, to get into Lahaina but you will definitely want to go there.
The vacation clubs are harder to get but it can be done. You have to really keep an eye on it and book as soon as you see it available. Best time to go is anytime! But other than that stay away from Christmas and spring break! Not sure what your thoughts are as far as 2 islands but we always enjoyed taking a few days in Oahu to see the Arizona and play in Waikiki then go over to Maui for the remainder of the stay for the relaxing part. Kauai also has some nice properties and vacation club so you might look into that as well.
You didn't say what time of year you were thinking about but I would suggest you book as soon as you see the rooms available. You can keep and eye on it and adjust as you need to. Enjoy!
Our family has vacationed in Hawaii since 1973 --- we were charter guests when the former Maui Marriott (now the Maui Ocean Club timeshare resort) opened back then.
Besides 15-year owners at Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club (hybrid hotel and timeshare resort) and Maui Ocean Club, we have stayed at the Waikiki Marriott and the Wailea Marriott Resort.
With any Marriott Hawaii property, it's nearly impossible to go wrong. However, our favorites are the Kauai Marriott (because Kauai is less "touristy") and Maui Ocean Club (because of its prime location - as pointed out by the previous responder).
You can't go wrong with Hawaii. No matter which island you pick.
Now if you want a very nice Marriott and really want adventure I would recommend the Big Island and the Waikoloa Marriot in the Waikoloa Resort. About 15 miles north of Kona.
I know you said Maui and Oahu. Maui is great! To me Oahu is just a big city. But to each his own. We've stayed on all the islands, as I said you cannot go wrong with any of them.
Have a great time and lots of fun.
PS: You may want to look at the pictures I posted from the Big Island. It will give you a personnel idea about that island. ALSO, I took all the pictures there are no pro pictures shown.
I have been going to Hawaii every year for the last 11 years - the last 5 or 6 staying in Marriott property. I have stayed on all of the main islands (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai) at each of the Marriott general properties (no vacation clubs). Each property has its own advantages and depending on your interest - each is a great option. For Oahu - if you like a quieter and more secluded spot - stay at the JW. It is a great property with a lot of positives. But some of those positives are also negatives (depending on how you view things). One of the negatives is it is a drive away from Waikiki and the shopping/food options available there. Another is if you are into people watching and the "side shows" around Waikiki beach - you will miss out on that as well. On the other hand - the Marriott at Waikiki is right in the middle of all of that. You have to cross the road to get to the beach, the beach is very crowded, and there are no free chairs on the beach - but you have lots of people to interact with, great shopping, and almost unlimited food options. Personally I like the seclusion but my other half loves the shopping - so we usually stay at the Waikiki property on Oaha (my least favorite island).
As for Maui - outside of the vacation club - there is only one option (Wailea Beach) which I have stayed at 4 or 5 times by now. It is another great property except it does not have its own beach. But the beach beside it is a short walk and it is nice (except once again no free chairs). The location in Maui is really good because you are in a very nice area with a high-end mall (once again - shopping) and golf course in easy walking distance. You can also head over one town to find some other food options. In the winter you can sit anywhere that faces the ocean and watch the whales play all day long. This property has had a couple of major makeovers and it is a very nice. There is a lot of green space to wonder around and lounge by the ocean.
As for time of year - that again depends on interests. If you go from December through the end of February - you can watch the whales in Maui (pretty much limited to Maui). The weather can get a little cool for laying out. Beyond that - there is not a lot of difference besides the types of tourist you want to hang out with (summer and school breaks has more kids).
Each island has its own personality - so you really need to study each one to determine which island has what you are looking for.