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Looking for the perfect place to stay

Seattle, Washington
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Looking for the perfect place to stay

Planning a first trip to the Big Island in June for our family with 11yo twin boys. We were hoping to find a place with easy beach access, a nice pool area, and a full kitchen, probably on the Kohala Coast. We've been to Maui a couple of times and loved staying at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Villas and were hoping to find something similar.

It seems like we might have to choose between a resort that has the easy beach access but no kitchen, or a condo like those in the Fairways at Mauna Lani that have the kitchen but either a walk or drive to the beach. Is that true, or is there a place that combines the two and we're just overlooking it?

Canada
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1. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

What is your nightly accommodation budget....and how many nights do you plan to stay?

Island of Hawaii...
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2. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

The Maui accommodations comparison is not helpful to me; if you could translate that into amenities you want instead of similar to Maui, that would be good. This island is so different from Maui.

Kohala Coast has very good beach access, but for the most part you have to pay upper end to step out onto the beach from a condo.

You are correct that in the hotels and the multi-million dollar villas have the front row along the coast here, while the condos were built one step back. Mauna Lani Point is an exception as far as view goes.

The drive is painless. You will get a much lower density feel as a trade-off. We are thankful that the runaway development on the West Maui coastline did not manage to repeat itself here.

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

Thanks for the responses. We're planning to stay for a week in mid-June and are budgeting somewhere in the neighborhood of $200-250 per night. It will depend on how much we end up spending on airfare and what kind of package deal is available.

Mauna Lani Point looks beautiful, but is a bit more than we were hoping to pay. We'll have to look into that more.

As for amenities, we were hoping for a place where we could cook most of our own meals -- especially breakfast and lunch. We'll probably go out for one or two dinners but otherwise will cook in the kitchen or grill if that's available. On a typical day we would want to be able to sit by the pool, walk out to the beach and snorkel. Then maybe go back and forth between the pool and beach while taking breaks for meals in the room. We also want to take a day trip to the volcanoes and other half-day outings for other sights. Anything involving dolphins or sea turtles will be a highlight of the trip. We know the whales will be gone in June.

Having a view from our room isn't important, but a view from outside the room would be nice. We don't golf, so while we're not opposed to the condos on courses, it's also not an attraction.

I'm sure we're hoping for too much here, but would love to hear if there's someplace that's close to what we're looking for. Thanks for the help.

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

I wish I could think of the perfect thing ... but I canʻt.

June is high season as you know, especially mid-June, so not a great time for deals. And this June ... you are late to the table, Iʻm afraid.

The only way to fix your meals is staying in a condo. Thereʻs no condotel type hotel.

The beach at Waikoloa, Anaehoʻomalu, is simply not much for snorkeling, and the situation isnʻt really better there for walking to the beach. Mauna Lani has the snorkeling.

What you want sounds ideal, but there arenʻt that many Mauna Lani condos with an easy short walk to the beach. $200-$250 is actually more like entry level at this resort area, and the complexes with those rates are a bit farther from the beach, unless you find a deal -- like maybe you can find one at the Point. I think the Palm Villas are the ones that are next closest.

Resort map:

http://www.maunalanirealty.com/Resort-Map/

The ML Terraces are older condos that do have MLB hotel privileges, and have a great location. They generally cost more, because they come with hotel amenities. But they also donʻt have an elevator and some are dated, so you might find an affordable one.

How much looking at VRBO have you done?

Another option is Puako, although most donʻt recommend snorkeling from shore there, but it is summer. Puako is cottages, and I have to warn you they are hot when they are not oceanfront, which you most likely will not find at the price.

If I were in your situation, I would probably accept the idea of driving to the beach. Itʻs truly 3-5 minutes on a very quiet road, and the beach is a 2-3 minute walk from the parking.

Edited: 2:51 am, April 22, 2013
Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

Hereʻs another map:

alohahawaiivacations.com/images/mlmap_new120…

And hereʻs the Google map link, which is perhaps better than the resort maps Iʻve seen.

http://goo.gl/maps/cnGWv

Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

You actually should be able to find condos at the Point for $200-250/nt at vrbo. The Palm Villas are less and are further from the beach, but still only about a ten minute walk.

Canby, Oregon
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7. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

I just checked VRBO for Fairways at Mauna Lani and there are several in mid June for around $200 including tax. We stayed there last year and drove to the Beach, and thru the gated access to parking. Beautiful with great snorkeling.

Big Island, Hawaii
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8. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

The Fairways are nice, but you do have to drive to get to the snorkeling beaches. The Fairways are on the Fairmont side of the resort area. It's not my favorite location within the resort for that reason.

If you read the Top Question on the right hand side on where to stay on the west side, there are lots of discussions comparing different complexes and areas.

Denver, Colorado
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9. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

Best from my point for your family would be a South Kohola condo w/ a pool view so you an check on the twins easliy and get your early morning dip easily. Island Gourmet at the Waikoloa resort Queen shops is a good place to get groceries or stock up in Kona at Safeway before heading north.

Then in South Kohola area there's lots of very short drives to great beaches like Spencer Beach Park, free access to Mauna Kea Beach thru the entry guard house, Hapuna Beach, or Waialea Bay (great for all family beach activities)...

If you must have easy access to the beach that's probably something like the Hapuna Prince Hotel at Hapuna Beach and give up on the cooking requirement. Yes consider maybe a Puako rental w/ short drives to those beaches but probably very hot in the day and maybe cooler at night w/ ocean breezes.

San Jose, CA
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10. Re: Looking for the perfect place to stay

I am a fan of the Mauna Lani Resort Development. I've stayed at a Fairways North Course 12th Fairway view, bldg. 8, that had the most amazing sunsets from the lanai. You can choose a condo closer to the pool if you don't care about unobstructed views of the sunset or Mauna Kea sunrises, if that is more fun for your twins.

As far as ***walking*** to the beach, you might find a MLPoint squeeze in rate at your price point, but I don't know about that price point for a whole week - unless you have the guts to wait until the last minute for anything left available.

But, from my experience, the walking part might be your deal breaker, and maybe not the most to get attached to at that price point. To jump in the car at the Fairways and get to the Beach Club within a couple of minutes, and park in their reserved Club parking lot gives the best of both worlds, imo - especially if you're lugging snorkel equipment, towels, sunscreen, snacks, etc.

If you care about neighbor density, then MLPoint might not be your choice either. The Fairways are less dense than Palm Villas, and the Villages, and maybe a little less dense than the Golf Villas. Kulalani is another option across the street from the Fairways.

Again, there ARE places that have all that you're asking for but at a higher price point. The comparison to Maui, like KK said, is not apples to apples because Kohala has resisted high-density developments ***right on the water***. Down in Kona, yes, there are definitely some options that are more in line with your wish list, and in Kona you would be closer to a lot of the excursions that you mention. But you asked for Kohala.