Thursday, December 06, 2012

Steal - romantic Hawaiian dream vacation!

For the second installment of Splurge vs Steal: Hawaii, I present to you the "steal" itinerary!
While this trip is a bit shorter and does not have quite as many high-end room categories and extra amenities as the splurge trip, it still offers 4- and 5-star resorts, ocean views from all of your rooms, and plenty of romantic extras - all for about than 25% the price of the splurge itinerary!

Steal: 9 nights/10 days on 3 incredible islands!
Please don't hesitate to contact me at if you'd like to book this trip or have me fully customize your own dream vacation! 

Day 1:
Upon arriving at the airport in Honolulu, you'll be met at baggage claim, lei'd, and whisked off by private car to begin your 2-night stay at the beautiful Outrigger Reef on the Beach.

Champagne on ice awaits you in your Oceanfront Room.

Toast with a glass of bubbly on your balcony while taking in the incredible view, before heading down to the beach to soak up the late-afternoon rays and watch the sun sink slowly into the sea.
This evening, head out into Waikiki to check out one of the area's hot new restaurants.Back at the Outrigger, enjoy a post-dinner drink and live Hawaiian music at the hotel's Kana Ka Pila Grille.

Day 2:
After breakfast at Shore Bird Restaurant & Beach Bar, your driver will pick you up for a private tour of the island. Suggested stops include Diamondhead, Pearl Harbor, the North Shore, and shopping in Waikiki, but the itinerary can be fully customized to your interests!
Back at the Outrigger around 5, freshen up, then relax with a cocktail on your oceanfront balcony as the sun slips down below the horizon.
Tonight, head out to explore another restaurant in Waikiki, or stay closer to "home" and 
enjoy steaks and fresh-caught seafood at the casually elegant Ocean House restaurant at the Outrigger.

Day 3: 
After breakfast, you'll be picked up and taken back to the airport for your flight to Maui. Upon arrival in Maui, pick up your GPS-equipped convertible, and head for the luxe all-suite Fairmont Kea Lani.
The Ocean View Suites at the Fairmont are 860 square feet and boast the largest furnished balconies in Hawaii!
Planning to spend most of your time on the beach, so a view of the ocean from your room isn't a top priority? The Mountain Side suites offer the same size, layout, and amenities, along with gorgeous views of majestic Haleakala and the sunrise - all for about $100/night less than the Ocean View Suites.
Spend the afternoon on the Fairmont's gorgeous beach, with a leisurely break for a light lunch at the Polo Beach Grille and Bar, and a tropical cocktail or smoothie at their swim-up bar!
This evening, head to the resort's Ko restaurant for a early dinner inspired by Maui's sugarcane plantation era. The Three-Course Cultural Experience is available between 5PM and 6PM; enjoy these delectable and creative dishes while you watch the sun set!
After dinner, burn off some of the calories from your Hawaiian feast with a long walk on the beach! Afterwards, relax on your balcony before snuggling early into your dreamy bed - tomorrow starts
before sun-up!

Day 4:
This morning starts very early, but for good reason! You'll be picked up before dawn and driven to the summit of Haleakala, where you'll enjoy a light snack as you watch the sun rise up over the island, flooding it with incredible color and light.
 After breakfast at a traditional Hawaiian restaurant and a tour of Maui's stunning protea flower garden, you'll be dropped off back at the Fairmont. Spend a few hours just relaxing in a cabana at the adult-only pool, or laying in the sun to perfect that tan!
If you're not exhausted from your early wake-up call, head to the beach for some snorkeling, sailing, or stand-up paddle boarding.

This evening, take in the classic Maui experience of the Old Lahaina Luau dinner and show! Afterwards, a stroll through Old Lahaina Town to explore the charming shops and have a drink at a waterfront restaurants is the perfect way to cap off another wonderful day on Maui!

Day 5:
After breakfast, grab the keys to your convertible and head off for an incredible drive along the Road to Hana! Winding past rainforests, waterfall pools, beaches, botanical gardens, and other gorgeous sights, there's no end to the photo and exploration opportunities.
When you arrive in Hana, enjoy a late lunch at one of the funky little eateries, then take some time to explore this charming and beautiful town!

For dinner this evening, head to one of Maui's numerous notable restaurants, then cap off the evening with live music and a Mai Tai at the Fairmont's Luana Lounge.

Day 6:
Pack your bathing suit - you're heading off for a day on the high seas! If it's whale season (December-March), you'll head out for whale watching, snorkeling at a tropical reef teeming with colorful sealife, and a barbeque lunch on the boat, complete with all the beer, wine, and mai tais you can drink (and still be able to swim)!

If it's a different time of year, you'll instead head for a snorkeling adventure in the clear waters off the uninhabited volcanic islet of Molokini.
 With some of the more colorful coral and amazing species of sealife, you'll be treated to a visual feast.
Afterwards, feast more literally with a delicious on-board barbeque lunch. A stop at Turtle Town to see some of Maui's famous Hawaiian Green Sea turtles completes the tour.
Throughout your day, be sure to keep an eye out for the playful spinner dolphins who love to jump and surf on the boat's wake!
Arriving back at the resort in the afternoon, it's time to loosen up those tense snorkeling muscles! A couple's massage in the Oceanside Spa Cabana will have you feeling amazing in no time!
Tonight, head out to another of Maui's great eateries, or enjoy fresh local seafood at Nick's Fish Market at the Fairmont. Sit on the beach under the stars and listen to the waves gently lapping the shore or take a late-night dip in the adult pool before turning in for the evening.

Day 7: 
Time to say good-bye to Maui - but at least you have another amazing adventure ahead! After a scenic 45-minute flight, you'll arrive on the garden island of Kauai. Pick up your GPS-equipped Jeep and head for Koa Kea Hotel & Resort, a sophisticated boutique property located on spectacular Poipu Beach.
After checking into your beautifully decorated Ocean View Room (for an even better view, Ocean Front Rooms are also available for just a bit more), head to the beach!

Bask in the sun on the golden sand. Take a stroll hand-in-hand down the shoreline. Snorkel and splash in the clear turquoise sea. Sip an umbrella drink as you enjoy that beach read you haven't yet finished. Just luxuriate - you're in paradise!
 Tonight, enjoy the sunset and dinner at Kauai's fabulous Beach House Restaurant!

Day 8:
Time to explore some of Kauai's 69 beaches! Grab some sandwiches on sweet Hawaiian bread and a few other goodies from a local deli, then take off in your jeep for a day of fun in the sun!
If you're a hiker, spend some time on one of Kauai's famous hiking trails. If you choose the right trail at the right time, you may even be able to enjoy a private romantic interlude under a secluded waterfall!
 Back at Koa Kea, take a sunset dip before heading to dinner at the resort's restaurant, Red Salt.

Day 9:
To the helipad, Jeeves! Spend this morning high in the sky on a helicopter tour. You'll fly over Manawaiopuna Falls (the setting for the film "Jurassic Park"), Waimea Canyon, the spectacular Na Pali coast, Hanalei Bay, and (weather permitting) into the center of Mt. Waiale'ale Crater, .
Spend the late morning and early afternoon on the beach, by the pool, or exploring the island a bit more in your jeep. Late afternoon, you'll picked up and taken to a pier to board a sailboat for your sunset cruise along the dramatic Na Pali coastline.
End your trip with a private ocean-side dinner, or room service on your lanai overlooking the moon-lit water.

Day 10:
Time to head home - this is always the worst part of any trip. But at least you've made memories to last a lifetime - and you can always come back again soon!

Please don't hesitate to contact me at if you'd like to book this trip or have me fully customize your own dream vacation!

Photos courtesy of the noted resorts/restaurants and

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