Thank you for your assistance
by Phil & Lori
(Park Forest, IL)
Thanks for your help in arranging the flights, accommodations and rental cars for our two-week visit to Hawaii and for all your wonderful suggestions of places to go and things to do.
It was especially nice to experience three different types of accommodations on the three islands we visited.
We would highly recommend the Coconut Plaza in Waikiki for those who may be looking for something a little less expensive but still modern and comfortable. It is in a quieter neighborhood several blocks off the main street, but it is just 2 blocks from the Waikiki Trolley terminal, so making connections to other parts of Honolulu is quite easy. Our room was basically a "studio" apartment with sink, refrigerator and microwave, plus lanai with a "mountain" view. A continental breakfast was included every morning; nothing elaborate, but sufficient to fortify us for the morning.
The Resort Quest at Maui Banyan on Maui was a full-featured one-bedroom apartment with full kitchen, plus a washer-dryer and a double-width lanai, from which we could see the ocean and the island of Lanai in the distance. The complex's two swimming pools and tennis court were fun. The beautiful Kamaole Beach is right across the street, and there are several nice restaurants within walking distance
On the Big Island, we stayed at the Outrigger at Keauhou Bay, a 4-star hotel that juts over the rocky coast and tidal pools. The package that Mark arranged included a full breakfast buffet every morning in the hotel's open-air restaurant.
One of the nicest things for us about the Outrigger is that it happens to be located immediately adjacent to one of the best snorkeling beaches on the Big Island.
Thank you, also, Mark, for directing us to Big Island Water Sports for our snuba adventure. (For those unfamiliar, snuba is similar to scuba diving, except that the air tank is in a raft on the surface, and the diver is connected by a 25-foot air hose. The raft is free-floating, so the divers can swim around underwater, following our guide, and the air tank follows.)
We also had an excellent horseback ride in Waipio Valley, offered by Na'alapa Stables. The valley is very scenic, with 2,000-foot cliffs on three sides and numerous streams flowing through the forest and taro fields. The guide meets the riders at the top of the valley and drives them down to the stable because the only road into the valley is so steep and narrow that only four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed to drive it.
On Maui, we are glad we drove the Road to Hana. While it is not for the faint-of-heart, it is not a difficult drive if you take your time and allow time for various side trips. We especially enjoyed our visit to Wai'enapanapa State Park (just before you reach Hana), which has a beautiful black sand beach. Thank you, Mark, for your suggestion to begin the trip early in the morning to avoid much of the mid-day traffic.
Once again, thanks for all your help in giving us a memorable visit to Hawaii.