Picking where to vacation can be such as chore, especially when you want to get the most out of your money. While there are many gorgeous beautiful places on this earth, this video is about the islands of Hawaii. Planning any trip can be a very overwhelming and daunting experience, especially if you have never been there before.
The Islands of Hawaii are no exception to that rule, in fact, they can be even more frustrating when trying to plan a trip because they are multiple Islands and how do you choose when you’re on a budget or a time limit. With that said Hawaii is expensive very expensive. Let’s say I went to Europe for less money. So, if you can’t visit all the Islands, then you have to be selective with which one you choose. Although all the Islands are unique, my top two favorites are the Maui and Oahu.
- Maui because it was so relaxing, I’m kidding you not the air feels like massage therapy, it’s a plus for all the yogis out there; as this place is the definition of serenity.
- Oahu to me it’s the adventure Island; home to the filming of many principal box office hits in Hollywood such as Jumanji and Jurassic Park. Oahu is the place you want to go if you’re going to zip line, hike, or want to pretend a velociraptor is stalking you.
I recently visited both of these places, so I have first-hand experience of these sites; here is my breakdown.
Let’s start with Maui. While Maui has lots of excellent accommodations, even the options to rent condos, I choose the Grand Wailea. My kids had walked through The Grand Wailea years earlier while they docked from a cruise with their dad. They had taken pictures of the hotel and had wished to return there one day as quests, therefore, it was on my mom bucket list for a long time, and I can see why they wanted to stay here. With that in mind no place is perfect so here are my pros and cons for The Grand Wailea so you can decide if it’s right for you.
- Breathing landscaping as beautiful ponds and exotic plants surround you on your stroll to the pool or dinner.
- Massive pool with water slides
- Adult only pool
- Free yoga class available on the beach
- Game Room
- Free bike rentals
- Walking distance to shops
- The pool area is overcrowded, which forces people to bicker about chairs. For instance, a family had gone down to the pool area before it opened and had laid their items on a chair to reserve it. However, that’s not allowed by the hotel, so the housekeeping moved their stuff to the front desk. Then when I went down to the pool area, I saw an open chair and was thrilled but little did I know the family would assume I had stolen their stuff and then threw my items on another chair. The hotel could have avoided this by just incorporating stylish lockers as many people need to put their stuff somewhere because they jump in the pool anyways or they could have left a note on the chair notifying the family their items had been moved to the front desk.
- Free Bikes rental option is lovely, but they are beaten up, and the seat is uncomfortable.
- Their free photo session advertisement; isn’t free; careful with that one. It’s $$$
- Water slides close at 5:00, but check-in is 4:30 so you only have about 30 minutes to rush down there if you arrive right at check-in. I believe it’s a waste as there is still plenty of daylight left so they should be open longer.
- Yoga was great on the beach, but the class should be earlier as the hotel staff is beginning to set up and can be noisy. When trying to listen to the waves; however, all you hear are surfboards being dragged on to the sand is the furthest thing from relaxing.
- Food is decent and bit overpriced, and shops don’t carry much candy and chips.
- Beware of the option to use a room to clean up after check out. We checked out, but our flight wasn’t until later in the evening; therefore, we left our luggage at the front desk and enjoyed the pool. Since the hotel offered the option to give us a room to clean up, but it was discussing with no clean towels.
With all that in mind, my kids didn’t notice most of that stuff; only I did. They still had a fantastic time, loved the pool, and we’re thrilled to be there. When traveling, remember nothing is perfect.
Must thing to do in Maui is the Road to Hana as it has breathtaking landscapes. There are mile markers to stop to take photos and take in the beautiful wonders of the Island.
Oahu is my next choice as I describe it as the fun adventure island.
If you have little ones staying at the Disney Aulani is a must for their childhood! It’s expensive but worth it for those Disney lovers looking to enjoy all the things the Disney hotel has to offer. Here are the pros and cons for Disney Aulani
- Check-in for us was rough; only one person serving the desk, and the line was super long. Took us at least 40 minutes to check in then when we got to the front they were running behind, and our room wasn’t ready.
- The pool is defiantly average compared to The Grand Wailea in Maui. At the time of this trip, my kids were 13 and 11, and they were highly disappointed in the pool; better for younger ones.
- It’s Disney so be prepared to spend some $$ on food.
- It’s Disney! We were met with characters right away from checking in.
- Refilled cups, just like the theme parks, was a great value.
- Free kids’ classes!
- Walking distance to food and shops there’s a great Mexican place across the street called Just Tacos.
My next all-time favorite place, especially If you have older children, teenagers or just adults, is The Paradise Bay Resort. This place is AMAZING! Breathtaking views of the Jurassic area and the rooms are condo style with a kitchen! This part of the Island feels like you stepped in a Hollywood movie set. Not too far from here, you will find Kualoa Ranch with tons of excursions such as ziplining through the Jurassic Park area, ATV’s Movie tours and many more. Beware though as Kualoa attractions filled up quickly; therefore, it’s best to make reservation months in advance! We got lucky and got on a tour of the movie site last minute.
There you have it — my favorite places to visit in Hawaii, where to stay. If anyone wants me to elaborate on anything I discussed, be sure to send me an email by signing up for our newsletter.