Somewhere, Over the Rainbow…

My clients are the best! I love that they take the time to send me such detailed feedback (and photos) after their trips, along with tips for other clients who might be considering a similar “escape”.  Check out this helpful trip report from Joely and Jim, who enjoyed a romantic honeymoon in Hawaii.

So my idea of fun is doing lots of relaxing activities, drinking fabulous drinks, eating fabulous food, and getting spa treatments! I know I sound like a primadonna, but what can I say! I’m not much into athletic type of activities or long tours, etc. I just wanna chill, eat, drink and be merry. So that being said, my honeymoon was skewed towards that!
 
Here is my synopsis:
 
Honolulu: We had a nice time there and enjoyed our hotel right on the ocean. The restaurants and housekeeping were very good at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. We only spent 3 days there and used it to adjust to the time change for the most part. There was tons of shopping right next to the hotel. We tried to do Pearl Harbor and caught a taxi there but it was a 4 hour wait to see the Arizona memorial so we just walked around briefly and left without seeing the Arizona (which is the main attraction there). My favorite activity in Honolulu was the Hole in the Wall Food Tour by Hawaii Food Tours. This is a great activity for foodies or people that aren’t looking to be very active. Two tour guides take you around the parts of Honolulu where locals eat and let you sample tons of Hawaiian specialty foods. The point is to get away from where tourists are and get a real look at Hawaiian food. So we sampled the best Manapua (delicious Hawaiian calzone type things)! Ate delicious local desserts, etc. The tour guide even made us a special cocktail while we were in China town. This should be booked a month in advance if anyone wants to do it. Hawaii Food Tours also has an evening tour where you go to 1-2 sit down restaurants. 
 

Then we went to Kauai. In Kauai we rented a mustang convertible which was fun! The weather was overcast the whole time which was a slight bummer but I still loved Kauai. The Sheraton we ended up staying at was very nice, right on swimmable ocean, and had a pretty pool that was recently renovated. The restaurant on site was great too. They had an awesome breakfast buffet and great dinner meals as well. We did ziplining in Kauai which was definitely a fun time! I’m glad I tried that and I would recommend it. The one mistake we made was booking all of our activities on the north side of the island but we were staying on the south side so it got exhausting with all the back and forth driving. My favorite part of my honeymoon was here in Kauai when we had dinner at the St. Regis Princeville Resort at the Makana Terrace restaurant (I think that is what it’s called). The view at dinner was absolutely AMAZING!!! The hotel is built into the side of a mountain and overlooks the bay and other mountains. Two rainbows were in the sky and it was just the most peaceful, beautiful scene I’ve ever been in. The restaurant is very expensive (side of lobster mash potatoes was $18) but I felt it was money well spent since it was our honeymoon. Tip: This resort is part of Sheraton’s network so I heard that if you stay at the Sheraton, you can use the St. Regis pool facilities as well. The resort is gorgeous and the design of their pool is beautiful too, so it would have been fun to spend the day at the pool there. We also did the Napali Coast tour. I definitely recommend people do it by boat (versus kayak or motorized kayak). Waters can be rough. The view was gorgeous again and we stopped to snorkel. They served lunch and breakfast on board, as well as alcoholic drinks. It was nice to get out on a boat and see the beautiful caves along the Napali Coast cliffs. I don’t like to get in salt water so I just stayed on the boat while everyone snorkeled and that was just fine with me. Very relaxing I’d say! 
 

We then flew to Wailea, Maui. We stayed at the Marriot. It was a nice hotel, but the food wasn’t that great there. I thought the adults pool was relaxing. We were within walking distance to the Shops at Wailea and several restaurants so we didn’t necessarily need a car there. I loved eating at Longhi’s where they served pizza bread before dinner arrived. So delicious. I loved the boardwalk in front of our hotel here. It stretched through the Four Seasons, Grand Wailea, and beach. It was a great place to take walks or go for a run. In Maui we visited the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm. It was very cute and quaint. They make their own award-winning goat cheeses. So we pulled up, got a charcuterie and ate it under a covered area. It was relaxing and the food was fresh. Goats were roaming around. Enjoyed that! We also did the Old Lahaina Luau which we enjoyed. It was a very gourmet experience and they offered wine and beer pairings with each course. I thought that was cool! Every one of their 4 courses focused on a specific Pacific region: Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, etc. The show was great as well and we had great seats because we booked early (like a month in advance). We also did a sunset cruise out of Lahaina. It wasn’t really that great but hard to complain when you’re on a boat in Hawaii right?! Again, we booked two activities in Lahaina but we were staying in Wailea so I’d suggest people not do that. It’s a lot of driving back and forth and a little tiring. We also did the Road to Hana which is beautiful as you know but I suggest people wear sneakers because hiking to the waterfalls is muddy! Flip flops are not the best for that.   Next time I’m in Maui I definitely want to stay at the Grand Wailea. That hotel looked out of this world! 
 

So there you have it. I know it’s a bit discombobulated but I hope it helps! I think next time we stay two weeks we’d just do two islands so that we can have enough time to relax and do and see all that we want to on those islands.
 
Thanks for your help!

Joely and Jim
 

 

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You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)