Hawaii Oct 2010

submitted by Nancy - Manager Bursch Travel Marshall

Hilton Hawaiian Village. This is a very large property so meeting up with friends from another tower may take some planning. Rooms, lobbies & elevators were all very clean and well lit. Bus & trolley stops are close by.
Getting around in Honolulu is very easy with the bus and trolley. I would encourage people to rent a car for a day or two so they can drive out to the north shore or enjoy the beaches up by Diamond Head. Some tours and one of the city buses go to Diamond Head. We did the Arizona/Missouri tour with Delta Vacations. It was very interesting but it did get long, 6:30am â€" 3:30pm. They offer one with just Pearl Harbor that gets you back by noon, this one may be better if there are small children involved. We had a car on the Big Island which is almost a most. We enjoyed the green lush Hilo side a little more than the Kona side.
While on the Big Island we did a helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiian. They have several options but ours went over the volcano and out over the ocean so we could see where the lava was flowing into the water. They also took us over some water falls and the macadamia nut farms.
A tip to keep in mind - buy your pineapple to bring home at the grocery store as it is much cheaper. Delta shipped it free!! We were expecting to pay $50 like an extra suitcase
Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel and Waikiki Sunset Beach Condo -
The hotel is located right across the street from the beach â€" great location. They offer a light breakfast and give you a cooler so you can enjoy it on the beach. The Sunset is about 1 â€" 1 1/2 blocks from the beach. The rooms at both locations have gotten new paint and soft goods. I had a 1 bedroom unit at the Sunset which also offered a full kitchen. I was able to see a two bedroom unit too. You have lots of room and you are close walking distance to the beach & shops.
Ko Olina Beach Villas Resort. This is a gorgeous resort/condo in the KoOlina area but not close to anything! They offer full kitchens with top of the line appliances; you can pre order your groceries before you arrive. You may want a car if you stay here as there isn't much happening in this area. A cab is approx $100 to Waikiki. There is no restaurant on site so you would need to go to the JW Marriott for meals or the future Disney property if you don't bring any food in. They have a marina and golf course on site. Nice beach area that is very calm, good for little ones. We did not get in the Disney property but it looked really nice from the bus!!
Waikiki Beach Marriott. Good location across the street from the beach, close to lots of shops & restaurants. They have a nice outside bar on the 4th or 5th floor that overlooks the beach; nice for people watching, catching some sun or watching the sunset.
Ohana Beachcomber. They were just changing their soft goods over to the Holiday Inn Express. Rooms are not real big but we found them very clean and the staff was VERY pleasant. You are just steps away from the International Market Place and a short walk to the beach.
Hilton Waikoloa Village. This property is very large; they offer a tram or boat to get you from the lobby area to your rooms. Being located on the Kona side it is very rocky. We did see people walk slowly into the water but we felt it looked a little treacherous. They did have an area that was carved out yet ocean feed for swimming and snorkeling. They have many pools to choose from and not a shortage of chairs. They do have an area that you can swim with the dolphins.
Kona Village Resort. I was invited to tour the resort and attend their luau while we were on the Big Island. This resort is very nice. There are NO phones, NO internet, NO air & NO tv's. I was told that many of their clients have been return guests for over 25 years, some of them staying for a month or two at a time. Each unit is an individual little hut like building. They are very clean and spacious. This is an inclusive property…all your food is included but no alcohol. The pool isn't very big but they have a very nice beach area that isn't very rough. We saw 5 big turtles sunning themselves while we were there! Their luau is very well known in the area, we met several people from other hotels that evening and the meal was awesome.