Travel Koncierge: Honolulu                page 2
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Car Rental Tips
Yes, you can do a Kayak search or something of that nature, but car rental
deals abound.  
  • Costco Travel has pretty good car rental deals, but you should
    always check because maybe 30% of the time you can find a better
    deal.
  • Whatever deal you get, and this is usually true of hotel deals, you
    should try to add your AAA discount.  That is generally good for an
    additional 10% off
  • For Hawaii car rentals, I would check out www.carrentalhawaii.
    com.  I did a Kayak search and Car Rental Hawaii beat the price by
    a LOT.

Lodging Tips
If you are reading this, you have children, so I will dispense with the “if you
have a child” beginning to every sentence.  For lodging, we found that hotel
rooms are too small for three people – even with two beds.  If you have more
than one child, you can do the math.  Getting more than one room is
expensive and then there is the issue of a 2 year-old being left alone in a
strange room.  Our solution:  suites or vacation rentals.  Hawaii has a surfeit of
both.  Even if it means one bedroom with a living room, it beats a hotel room
hands down.  The benefits:  two bedroom equivalent, privacy for you and
your spouse, and usually a kitchen with a fridge.

In Honolulu, there are a number of places to think about instead of Waikiki:  
Kailua, which is home to one of Lanikai Beach (considered one of the best
beaches in the world according to MSNBC and the LA Times); Malaekahana
Beach which is out of the way, but just a wonderful getaway; Ihilani/Ko’Olina
which is away from town, but one of those Waikoloa-type destination resorts
that is far enough away from the hubbub to feel like you are going
someplace and yet close enough that you can be in Honolulu/Waikiki in 30
minutes.

Waikiki has tons of places to stay.  We stayed at the Waikiki Banyan condos.  
These places are good for a couple of reasons:  they are at the edge of
Waikiki so you are away from the masses, but close enough for dining.  It is a
block and a half from the zoo, a block from the beach.  It has a pool and a
full kitchen.  The Hilton Hawaiian Village has condos that people can rent
through agencies.  There are many attractions to the HHV:  they were
recently remodeled, they have their own private lagoon, you are a healthy
walk from Ala Moana center and the adjacent beach park, and it is pretty self-
contained.  And, of course, you are at the (other) edge of Waikiki and thus
you avoid a lot of the madness and traffic.  You have only to drive through
Waikiki once to know that you would rather avoid doing so again.

Kailua/Lanikai and the other areas also have a ton of vacation rental
agencies that service them.  Though you have to rent them for a week at a
time in most cases, the rate is still cheaper than a hotel.  Yes, you miss out
on tacky tourists, overpriced hotel restaurants, and crowds, but you get a local
flavor, the ability to have some local meal prep (especially if your kids want
to eat earlier), and the ability to get in and out faster.

If you have to do a hotel, there is something to be said for choosing a
location that fits your needs.  I don’t know of many reasons for a family to be
right in the middle of Waikiki unless you have a convention to go to.  So here
are my picks:

If you have money:  The Kahala Resort and the Halekulani are very nice
ways  to go.
If you want the suite life:  Embassy Suites
If you don’t mind being off the beaten track:  The Kahala Resort and
Ihilani/Ko’Olina
Budget/usually available on a package:  the Outrigger Hotels.


Good to Know  If you are traveling with small children, consider calling www.
babysaway.com.  These guys rock.  You call them and tell them what you
need:  crib, stroller, car seat, toys, whatever.  They deliver to your hotel or
condo promptly and pick up afterwards.  The equipment is clean and
practically new.  Sure as heck beats bringing your own stuff.  Note:  each
locale has its own contractors, so service can vary.  I know that when we went
to Maui , the service sucked.  Recent reports from Maui confirm that the Maui
franchisee still stinks.  Oahu was perfect.  Things can change, so it is still
worth looking into.  Click here to find the Hawaii vendors:  
http://www.
babysaway.com/locations.html#Hawaii

O’ahu can be broken up into four quadrants:  Honolulu, West O’ahu,
Windward (Kailua/Kaneohe), and North Shore.  We will break out the
activities/attractions accordingly.  I have also included a little guide to
driving around the island in the North Shore guide since you will pass all the
areas I refer to on your way to the North Shore.

Honolulu will be first since that is where most of you will stay.

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Travel Koncierge Honolulu Page Two
Updated March 18, 2013
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