Travel

Where to go and stay in Hawaii (Marriott Points)

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 11th, 2019 11:38 am
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If you like Japanese food, Hawaii is definitely the place to go, especially if Japan is too far for you. Tons of Japanese tourist go to Hawaii so they have lots of Japanese food and restaurant around Waikiki. Also, there's a lot of homeless people on Waikiki Beach.
Here's a view from Marriott Waikiki
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My first time in Hawaii, I did 3 days in Waikiki and then did a 7 night cruise on the Pride of America. Because it's the only cruise ship that does a round trip around the Hawaii islands, it's a bit more expensive. However, if you have limited vacation time, a cruise is a great option to see multiple islands in a week.

https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/cruises/7-day ... OKOANWKHNL

If you have a bit more time, you can also look that longer cruises that start in Waikiki and ends in Vancouver like the Celebrity Solstice in April.

https://cruiseweb.com/cruise-lines/cele ... ahu-hawaii

While you don't get to stay along time on each island, there are some things you might not see on land, i.e.:
Napalii Coast (not my pic)
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Possible active lava in the water:
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alohamom wrote:
Jan 19th, 2019 10:13 am
I think you might want to look at the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club but only if you are planning on renting a car. The pools here alone are worth it. I have stayed here twice and the rooms were redone approx 3 years ago, I really like this resort as a home base for Oahu. But I am in my early 50s and go to Hawaii for hiking, beaches and relaxing so maybe not the same demographic as you LOL, I suspect you are much younger. The only thing I dont like about this resort is that it is situated on a beach cove that was dug out rather than a naturally occurring beach. Just isnt as nice as the natural ones imho. There is an incredible little natural cove about a 5 minute walk down the beach just past the Four Seasons hotel that has amazing tidepools and turtles and is great for snorkelling but it is a bit of a hidden gem and a little hard to find.
Ko Olina located about 30-45 mins (depending on traffic) to the West of the city of Honolulu and the very touristy area of Waikiki.

If you like to party and want to go to clubs etc then maybe stay in Waikiki but if you are truly looking for relaxation and taking advantage of the natural beauty of Hawaii then stay elsewhere. If find the traffic into and out of Honolulu and Waikiki is getting so bad that I prefer to stay in other areas like the West or the North Shore.

If you do decide on Waikiki (lots of people do this on their first trip to Hawaii because the majority of hotels are here and it is iconic) the Marriott Waikiki Beach is a pretty decent hotel for the money (or points in your case) It is a long rectangle with the smallest part being across the street from the beach. It is also in a fairly decent part of the city and the Kuhio section of Waikiki beach-not too many homeless people here, they congregate more to the east and the free hula show happens right in that area on some evenings.

One way to get a feel for these places in Waikiki is to do a street view. You will see it is a vibrant, bustling section of a major city whereas if you do a street view of the Ko Olina resort area you will see it is very much opposite of that. Both of these Marriotts are category 6 for awards so it should cost you the same in points.

You could try the Courtyard by Marriott which is sort of near the North Shore. I feel it is kind of isolated though and probably not the best for a first time visit.

@Arrgh has some great things listed to do in Oahu in their above post but I would add Kailua and Lanikai beaches, two of the most incredible beaches in Hawaii. You are going in March and there can still be some pretty strong surf at most beaches but these two are part of a large shallow cove that hug the East side of Oahu making for warmer clearer water than some other beaches. Lots of times, I will be swimming the length and a turtle will swim along side of me. Kailua can be busy on weekends but never anything like Waikiki. It is a busy busy beach. Another place you might be interested in is Kualoa Ranch. It is up in the Northern area and an easy drive up. They have ATV tours, kayaking, a movie site tour (you can actually go into the Indominus Rex pen from Jurassic World) horse back riding etc. It can be pricey but it is amazing. Here is the link https://www.kualoa.com/toursactivities/

Links for the Marriott Ko Olina

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... each-club/

and for Marriott Waikiki Beach

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ ... t-and-spa/

These are two I would suggest if you have so many points you dont know where to use them all

If you have lots of points but need to stretch them because Hawaii is expensive point wise, then I would personally stay away from the Waikiki Courtyard. It is a few blocks back from the beaches and really isnt the greatest. I have walked by and I was not impressed by the outside upkeep. Plus there is kind of an area of dumpsters right behind it.

So if you are stretching those points and really want Oahu, then maybe look at the new Laylow (falls under Marriott) It is an old hotel redone and re branded but it is kind of funky and hip. It is however very set back from the beaches as well, closer to the Ali Wai canal than the beachhttp://www.laylowwaikiki.com/?scid=bb1a189a-fe ... ba596febe2 my caveat is that I have not stayed her or even seen the outside so research the crap out if it first

NOW-as others have suggested you might want to go to a different island instead, especially if you are interested in the active volcano which is on the "Big Island" of Hawaii. There is an interisand airfare special happening right now because SouthWest Airlines is about to begin servicing the Hawaiian Islands so there is a pricing war beginning .... more info on this blog https://beatofhawaii.com/hawaii-travel- ... -each-way/ I would not island hop within that one week but just in case you wanted to that will help

One last thing is March is the end of whale watching season so if you are lucky you might be able to see a humpback or two before they leave for summer migration, the Makapu'u Lighthouse trail is an easy hike and the views here are amazing, one of the best for spotting whales
http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/hiking/oahu/ ... use-trail/


I have been to all the major islands many times over the years so if you have any questions feel free to dm me or ask away here, I just may not see it right away Aloha and happy planning, you will have a blast!
Wow, thanks for this great write up! Right now it seems like we are going from March 16 - March 23. Ko Olina doesn't appear available for this time, but the Marriott Waikiki Beach appears to be (50k/night). When I look at this one it states, "Daily resort fee of USD 37 added to room rate. Does this mean that it has already been incorporated, or that an additional fee needs to be paid? Also looking at the RItz-Carlton Residences (60k/night), if anyone has been?
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MikeZ13 wrote:
Jan 20th, 2019 4:43 pm
Wow, thanks for this great write up! Right now it seems like we are going from March 16 - March 23. Ko Olina doesn't appear available for this time, but the Marriott Waikiki Beach appears to be (50k/night). When I look at this one it states, "Daily resort fee of USD 37 added to room rate. Does this mean that it has already been incorporated, or that an additional fee needs to be paid? Also looking at the RItz-Carlton Residences (60k/night), if anyone has been?
The resort fees are on top of the 50/k night and then you will have to pay to park 45/USD per night (if you have a rental car) and tax on top of it all. This is pretty typical of a lot of resorts in Hawaii-it is a total cash grab. Waikiki is pretty expensive for parking at resorts no matter where you go and most are between 30-45 per night. Honestly because of the location I would be tempted to stay at the Sheraton Waikiki before the Ritz. I assume it will be less points too. The Sheraton Waikiki actually have one of the best kept secrets in their infinity edge pool and small waterslide. It is situated directly on the ocean with beach on either side.
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oops never mind @MikeZ13 -I just read the Sheraton is undergoing refurb right now. If you were interested you could call or email and ask when it will be done but you dont want to be staying there if you have other options
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I see that the Ritz doesnt have the resort fee. It is located in a fairly congested area that is on the west side of Waikiki and you are walking a bit to the beach but it looks like the hotel/condo itself is very nice. So keep in mind that staying Waikiki is kind of like staying in downtown Toronto but with a beach whereas if you were to go to a different island like Maui or Big Island (not Kauai in march, too much chance of rain) it is more like staying at a Muskoka resort. Youa re going to have to be driving out of Waikiki to get to the rest of the gorgeous island of Oahu
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alohamom wrote:
Jan 20th, 2019 5:19 pm
The resort fees are on top of the 50/k night and then you will have to pay to park 45/USD per night (if you have a rental car) and tax on top of it all. This is pretty typical of a lot of resorts in Hawaii-it is a total cash grab. Waikiki is pretty expensive for parking at resorts no matter where you go and most are between 30-45 per night. Honestly because of the location I would be tempted to stay at the Sheraton Waikiki before the Ritz. I assume it will be less points too. The Sheraton Waikiki actually have one of the best kept secrets in their infinity edge pool and small waterslide. It is situated directly on the ocean with beach on either side.
The Sheraton Waikiki can get overcrowded at times and takes forever to wait for an elevator.
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Our trip is booked! :) Anyone ever going skydiving in Oahu? Any knowledge on any good travel insurance to buy (in case of broken ankle type things when landing)?
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MikeZ13 wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 3:33 pm
Our trip is booked! :) Anyone ever going skydiving in Oahu? Any knowledge on any good travel insurance to buy (in case of broken ankle type things when landing)?
Putting my trip for this summer together.
Can you share what airline did you book with which island is the best one to go?
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seadooxp30 wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 8:04 pm
Putting my trip for this summer together.
Can you share what airline did you book with which island is the best one to go?
Haven't gone yet but will let you know after! We booked through WestJet (have their rewards card/vouchers) and are going to Oahu :)
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MikeZ13 wrote:
Feb 6th, 2019 3:33 pm
Our trip is booked! :)
Awesome! I was beginning to think you changed your mind - you will have a blast.
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Best way (meaning cheaper than taxi cab) to get from Honolulu airport to Waikiki?
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komodor wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 10:35 pm
Best way (meaning cheaper than taxi cab) to get from Honolulu airport to Waikiki?

See if your hotel runs a shuttle but off the top of my head I dont think any of them do.

There is "The Bus" which is actually a very well run system however I believe you are limited to one large suitcase per person and it is strictly enforced. They wont let you get on with lots of bags. The price is $2.00 per person one way
http://airports.hawaii.gov/hnl/getting- ... n/the-bus/
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komodor wrote:
Feb 9th, 2019 10:35 pm
Best way (meaning cheaper than taxi cab) to get from Honolulu airport to Waikiki?
When we were there in 2018, we used Hawaii23 to get from the airport to Waikiki. We were definitely happy with the service (driver was waiting for us and was friendly). Can’t remember how much better the price was compared to a taxi but I assume it must have been or I wouldn’t have booked it.

https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_R ... awaii.html
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I went last year. 5 days in the Mariott Waikiki, 5 days in Ko Olina. All on points. It was a great time.

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