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Too early to book for March 2014?

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Mesa, AZ
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Too early to book for March 2014?

Is it too early to book the Hapuna Prince now for March? Anyone think prices may come down a little later? And I read that all rooms face the ocean, so why would you pay extra for an "ocean view "?And if I book online, it's not like you can choose a particular room or floor, right? Please advise....thanks so much!

Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

All the rooms do not face the ocean.

There's generally no advantage to waiting to book. Do check a wide variety of sources for pricing, although you'll often get a better room or upgrade if you book directly with the hotel. No you can't book a particular room or floor, but you can make requests.

Edited: 3:49 pm, July 15, 2013
Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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2. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

Shea knows the Prince better than I do, but I did get a recent tour.

From what was explained to me last week during a tour, the three towers are each given a category. I think they are Oceanfront (tower 3), Terrace, and Premium Oceanfront. They don't seem to have any mountain view because the rooms are all facing towards the ocean. But some will have more obstructions to view than others.

For example, the Oceanfront has trees that are in the view plane, but there is still a blue view just not a panoramic unobstructed view.

The premium view rooms are higher and above the tree line. I am not clear on what the deal is with the Terrace rooms.

I was in the Oceanfront on the top (third) floor, and I could really hear the waves at night, so that made up for some trees in the view.

I don't think the rates are going to come down, because tourism is picking up and the Prince is going to be done with its room renovation by March, so it will be way nicer. But as for big specials, you can watch for sales. You can sign up for email alerts on specials directly with Prince Resorts. I have been getting their emails for a couple years now.

Prices are often better at the last minute, but that's risky. You can typically save money by making a prepaid non-refundable reservation, but be sure it's a good deal and I would take the optional travel insurance if you do that just in case.

Have fun!

Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

PS. Whatever your room view, all the public spaces in the hotel have beautiful views.

Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

I know they say they're all "ocean facing"

But I think that's misleading. I stayed in a lower category room once, I don't remember what they called the room category, I thought it was garden, but I had zero ocean view even though I guess technically the room faced toward the ocean. But in looking what they're calling the room categories now, they're saying they are all ocean view so maybe they've stopped using those or have cleaned up landscaping or something.

I stayed in one of the "refreshed" oceanfront rooms last year and previous to that the year before and wasn't impressed, personally, although the room size is awesome.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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5. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

Shea, Iʻve now seen the current "refreshed" look too, and I agree.

Thing is, the new refresh takes it farther. Old carpet (really needs to go) will be replaced with pretty carpet. Wallpaper will be OFF and they will do paint with a batik look olive green and cream accent wall. They will do away with the clunky old TV armoire style cabinets and replace with wallmounted large flat screen TV. New cushion covers. Adding in some coral to interact with the greens brightens the room and gives it some pop. New lanai furniture too. Bathrooms will have tile regrouted.

I can send you some pics. I went from an old style room to the new look model room on the tour, and the change in mood was remarkable. Also, all the slight but noticeable when closed up mildewy smell (I am very sensitive to any hint of mildew) was gone with the wallpaper and carpet.

It is not the Four Seasons, but itʻs a great facelift. I can send you some pics (tomorrow).

Edited: 6:50 pm, July 15, 2013
Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

I would love to see your pics. I trust your taste level. Are they going to do something about the pool area?

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

Sure thing! Not home much today but tomorrow.

I heard nothing about the pool area changing.

Far as I can tell, Prince's main competitor is Marriott, at about $20 less per night. Marriott tacks on a $21 parking fee for self park, not sure about Hapuna.

Mauna Lani and Fairmont cost more than Hapuna most of the time, do they not? Mauna Lani is a wonderful hotel and I do consider it a beach hotel even though the beach isn't a broad swath of sand.

One thing I enjoyed about the Hapuna is it is very casual at this time. I remember when it was stuffier feeling in the last. Mauna Kea is still that way. Hapuna felt more relaxed than the Mauna Lani in terms of interaction and the public areas right in the hotel. Mauna Lani is of course a very relaxing property, but I mean the lobby and atrium.

Hapuna has an outstanding view in its lobby, the Reef Lounge, and the Ocean Terrace for breakfast, and some of the pool bar and cafe tables, also the Coast Grille.

It is not fair to compare any hotel with 4S Hualalai, I'm sure you agree. It's in its own league.

Big Island, Hawaii
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8. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

I actually have seen the Prince coming in about equal to the Fairmont and just a small bump up for the ML, during quiet times especially. The Prince prices seem to be steadily increasing. I imagine after this bigger "refresh" they'll bump up more.

9. Re: Too early to book for March 2014?

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