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Big Island and Oahu Hotel Points Options

  1. Maui and Kauai Hotel Points  Options
  2. Big Island and Oahu Hotel Points Options

This is a second installment on hotel points options in the state of Hawaii. I will say upfront that I haven’t been to  Big Island and was  only in Oahu briefly to visit Pearl Harbor. I’m no expert on either island, so keep that in mind. Also, keep in mind that I’m no expert on anything. I’m more “Jack (or  Jill) of all trades and master of none” gal.

What I want to do in this post is put together a list of hotel redemptions easily accessible via miles and points hobby. Whether you decide to go there or stick with my recommendation of Maui/Kauai combo is up to you. See this post for reference on specific hotel credit cards. As always, I recommend you look into vacation rental sites (like VRBO) for comparison. To see an overall picture on what points options are available, check Awardmapper and HotelHustle

Oahu

1)Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach

This is a Category 3 Hyatt, so the cost is 12,000 points per night. You have several choices here. You can sign up for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa, though, personally, I would wait till I had a fancier redemption in mind. Of course, the nice thing about going this route is that your annual renewal certificates from Hyatt Visa are valid at this particular property.

Note that some got a targeted offer for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa where the sign-up bonus is 50,000 points rather than 2 hotel certificates. I don’t know if that’s something Chase plans to roll out within the next year, but it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. Will at Doctorofcredit reports that those who got this offer have recently created a new profile at Hyatt Gold Passport.

You can also sign up for Chase Sapphire Preferred (read about this offer here). You get 55,000 points once you meet minimum spending requirements, which is as good as it gets. The rates at this property hover around $250 per night in high season, so it’s a decent redemption, no question. Of course, a huge benefit in staying at Hyatt Place is that you get a complimentary breakfast. The rooms at this hotel fit 5, so it’s a nice option for larger families.

You can also sign up for Chase Ink Plus (read about it here). The bonus is currently increased to 60,000 points, but be aware, it’s a business card and minimum spending is quite high.

2)Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa

This is a Category 5 property, which means it costs 20,000 points per night. I would probably sign up for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa to get 2 award nights rather than burn my Ultimate Rewards points. Of course, the choice is yours. There is a resort fee of $30 per night,  rooms fit 4 and come with two queen beds.

3) Holiday Inn Resort Waikiki Beachcomber

This property is located 300 steps from Waikiki beach (important!), there are no resort fees, and the cost is 35,000 points per night. If you happen to have Chase IHG MasterCard (which I recommend to everyone), you’ll get a decent shot at an upgrade and 10% rebate on the points used. Not too shabby!

4) Ramada Plaza Waikiki

This would probably be my top choice. It’s a  decent option, but availability is spotty in high season. Wyndham runs a program where each property costs a flat 15,000 points per night, so this would be  a very good place to burn your stash. It’s located within 5 minutes walk from Waikiki beach, and rates hover around $200 per night. A reminder: Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for Wyndham co-branded card offer that comes with 45,000 points. It may come back, but you never know. It does NOT pay me referral, but I think you should at least look into it. See my post on Wyndham card.

5) Doubletree Hotel Alana-Waikiki Beach

The rate at this hotel is 40,000 points per night, and standard rooms come with two queen beds. This is a decent option, but I would definitely use points here instead of certificates. The official offer of 75,000 points on Citi Hilton HHonors Signature Visa has expired, but the non-affiliate link still appears to be working. Apply at your own risk.

The offer on Amex Hilton HHonors Surpass card has recently been increased to 80K points. If you’ve been waiting to apply for it, now is a good time. See my page of hotel card bonuses for details.

6) Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

This would probably be my last choice. The rate is 40,000 per night, the rooms have 2 double beds and there are all kinds of fees. But it is located on the beach, and you can currently sign up for Chase Marriott Visa that comes with 87,500 points’ sign-up bonus. So, it’s an option.

Honorable mention:

Marriott Ko Olina Beach Resort

Originally, I didn’t really plan to include this property, but reader Cheapblackdad mentioned it, so here it is. The cost is 40K points, which isn’t too bad. The problem? This resort is extremely popular and I had a hard time finding availability. Also, it appears that rooms require an upcharge or upgrade certificate, which adds to the cost significantly.

marriott oahuAn update: My reader Nancy has also mentioned Disney Aulani resort and how much her family loved staying there (read her trip report here). While you can’t cover this place via hotel points, you can consider signing up for Capital One Venture Rewards Visa, Barclaycard Arrival Plus or Citi Thank You Premier Visa. Read more on these cards here

 

Big Island

My in-laws didn’t enjoy Big Island as much as Maui (their favorite) or Kauai when they vacationed in Hawaii 10 years ago. As always, it’s the case of “different strokes for different folks” kind of thing. It’s Hawaii, so you can’t really go wrong with either island. And as I’ve mentioned before, you can always consider a day trip since flights are very short.

1)Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

The rate is 35,000 points per night. Judging from the photos, it looks extremely nice, and the rate hovers around $220 per night. Be aware, the rooms come with 2 double beds.

2) Fairmont Orchid

Probably the best option  on  Big Island when it comes to using hotel certificates. Read my post on Chase Fairmont Visa to see why. The rate here is $400 per night for a basic room, and there are many amenities for family. You may get upgraded to a suite if available, though, it’s not a guarantee.

Honorable mention:

Holiday Inn Express and Suites Kailua-Kona

We have a typical IHG nonsense going  on here, as they will only let you reserve rooms that fit 2. It’s probably a glitch, so you may want to call this hotel and ask them to set aside a room with two queen beds. No guarantees, of course. The reason I wanted to mention this place is because it runs at 20,000 points per night, fairly reasonable.

The rate hovers around $139 (plus tax), so it’s a respectable  redemption. The property is not located on the beach, but as it goes with HIE brand, you get complimentary breakfast, a nice perk for families. If you get Chase IHG card, there  is a decent shot at an upgrade due to Platinum status, yet another plus.

Well, it’s a wrap. Readers, what would you like to add?

P.S. If you are planning to visit the state of Hawaii, I strongly recommend guidebooks written by Andrew Doughty You can choose to purchase them via my Amazon link, or look on eBay for used copies.

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Author: Leana

Leana is the owner and founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.

12 thoughts on “Big Island and Oahu Hotel Points Options

  1. For people with kids traveling to Hawaii, I just have to put in a recommendation for Disney’s Aulani. Seriously, this resort is awesome! It’s located in the Ko Olina area on the west side of Oahu (next door to the Marriott Ko Olina you mention above). The Ko Olina area has a total different vibe from Waikiki–much less populated, the beaches are less crowded, etc. Aulani includes free childcare at the kids’ club and has a lot of entertainment that is included (a Hawaiian show that’s like a luau without the food, hula lessons, Hawaiian storytelling at the fire pit at night, etc). The pools are spectacular–lazy river, infinity pools and hot tubs, kids play pool, two big water slides, etc. And the Disney characters! But the “Disney” part of the hotel is not overpowering. As far as paying for it with points, you could use Barclaycard points, Capital One points or Citi Thankyou points. Even if you stay there just 2 nights out of your trip–totally worth the cost in my opinion. 🙂

  2. Shoesinks, thanks so much for chiming in! I was mostly focusing on hotel points and certificates in this post. But you are right, it would be a shame not to mention Disney Aulani resort when covering Oahu options. I think it looks amazing! I remember reading your trip report and thinking how much my kids would love it.
    I’ll go ahead and update the post and link to your review in case someone is thinking about staying there. Thanks!

  3. We’ve been to Hawaii a few times and visited Oahu, Big Island, and Maui. The Big Island is our family’s favorite because there are so many different things to do – it has something like 11 different microclimates. Maui is our second best, and Oahu is 3rd. On the Big Island, besides the beaches, you can visit coffee plantations, go horseback riding in the Wapio valley, hike and see ancient petroglyphs, take a kayak tour down the Kohala ditch (this just reopened 6 months ago – see http://fluminkohala.com/), view the many scenic points of interest (vistas, waterfalls, etc.) along the north road between Waikoloa and Hilo (be sure to stop at Tex drive-in for some of the best malasada pastries that you will ever have). South of Hilo, there is an amazing place to go snorkeling called the Kapoho tide pools – super clear water, lots of aquatic life, and great fun for the family (our kids were 4 and 2 when we last visited). Of course, there are many interesting things to do/places to explore at Volcanoes National Park, but people make the mistake of trying to visit as a day trip from Kona. It is a 2+ hour drive one-way, depending on traffic. Best to book a few nights at a vacation rental or B&B in Volcano or somewhere nearby. People with US military affiliation should check out the Kilauea Military Camp resort that is inside the park. West of Volcano, there is the black sand beach where you can likely view sea turtles, a green sand beach and the southernmost point in the USA. You can also visit the summit of Mauna Kea for stargazing and snow (!) at certain times of the year, but it is not recommended for people under age 16 due to the physical effects of the 14000 feet altitude.

    As far as hotels on the Big Island…I have stayed at the Hilton Waikoloa and the Hilton Grand Vacation Club about a mile north of the hotel (tip: fill out the “I’m interested” form at the HGVC web site and you will likely get a timeshare preview offer within a few months – ours was a crazy good deal for 6 nights on the Big Island). The Hilton hotel is a full-fledged resort that is very nice with it’s own self-contained lagoon where it is not uncommon to see sea turtles swimming around in addition to various fish. They also had some activities like hula lessons and lei making that my kids really enjoyed. I would definitely stay there again. The Marriott Waikoloa has a nice beach – it is great for little kids because the water is very shallow for about 100 feet and then you get into deep water where there can be good snorkeling if the water is calm. BTW, all of the beaches in Hawaii are technically publicly accessible but the public access parking lots can sometimes have limited capacity during peak times of the year. If you have an abundant amount of Marriott points, I would seriously consider stretching for the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, which is an exclusive luxury property that has joined Marriott’s Autograph collection. It is 40K points per night, but many consider it’s secluded beach to be the best beach on the whole island. While the beach is publicly accessible, there are only something like 15-20 parking spots and these passes are distributed by the security guard at the entrance to the hotel on a first come-first served basis. If there are no passes available, they will not let you in. So in practical terms, this means that the beach is mostly private to hotel guests with a small amount of public visitors. Hapuna Beach state park is immediately south of that beach on the other side of the rocks and it is also great – fortunately there is ample parking. Final tip…have dinner at the Lava Lava Beach Club one night around sunset (make reservations). It is a bit pricey but the food is good and atmosphere is totally worth it.

    Maui – if you want to just hang out at great beaches, do some snorkeling/surfing, and take some scenic drives (like road to Hana or to view the sunrise on Haleakala)…this is your place. We love the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas (a timeshare property) and the nearby Westin hotel is also very good.

    Oahu – I think everyone should visit Oahu once, to see Pearl Harbor, climb Diamond Head, go see the banzai pipeline on the north shore, snorkel in Hanauma Bay and do the luau at the Polynesian cultural center. But…Honolulu is a big city with the associated problems. The traffic is regularly rated one of the worst in the US. The famed Waikiki beach is a disappointment – so narrow and crowded when compared to other beaches in Hawaii. The area where most of the hotels are located feels very overdeveloped. One of the things that I love about Kona (Big Island) and Lahaina (Maui) is the laid-back, small-town “everyone knows everyone” atmosphere. You don’t really get that vibe in Honolulu. Of the hotels, the Hilton Hawaiian Village is nice. It is a huge resort but this actually works in its favor due to the location which is separated from the other hotels on the Waikiki strip. Next door to the Hilton is the Hale Koa, which can be a good deal for those with US military affiliation.

  4. @Erik Wow, so many good tips here! I really appreciate the time you took to write all of this down. I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to publish your comment as a separate post? I really think people would enjoy the tips on visiting Hawaii, especially the part on Big Island. Honestly, you made me want to check it out for myself, even though my plan was to take the kids to Kauai. But now I kind want to switch it up! Plus, we haven’t been to Big Island and I like to visit new places.
    Thanks again and let me know if you would rather me not publish the comment. Otherwise, it will go live sometime this week.

    • No problem. We like to visit 2 islands on a trip. For example, fly into Maui, spend several days, then take an inter-island flight to Kona or Hilo, spend some more time, then fly home from Kona. Try to go for more than a week, ideally 10 days or more if you are coming from the Eastern or Central time zones. That gives you enough time to get over the jet lag and really RELAX (which is hopefully why you are going to Hawaii?). Also, rental car rates are usually cheaper when booking 5 days or more on each island. Inter-island flights are pretty cheap when booked in advance, around $100 one-way. I would recommend flying Hawaiian since they have the best schedule reliability. I haven’t checked lately, but the 35K signup bonus for the Hawaiian Airlines credit card is normally enough for 4 one-way inter-island award tickets that have been easy to book in my experience. Bonus tip: if you are flying Alaska Air from LAX to Hawaii and have lounge access due to Alaska MVP/airline partner status, Priority Pass, etc., the Alaska Airlines Board Room in terminal 6 has a kids lounge inside the main lounge. It is a really nice feature that I’d like to see in more lounges. We’ve spent a few hours there during layovers and enjoyed the pancakes-on-demand machine, fruit, snacks, and drinks (soft and alcoholic). Kids liked the books, toys, and DVDs. I believe that some Delta and AA flights still use terminal 6.

      I plan to visit Kauai on a future trip since we have points that we can use at the Westin Princeville ORV.

      • @Erik Thanks, as always! Very good tips. The part on Hawaiian credit card is especially useful. I believe there is a non-affiliate offer that comes with 50K miles. For awhile, it was targeted to those with Hawaiian frequent flyer membership, but the public link recently became available. It’s not the best program for flights to Hawaii (ironically enough), but it’s a different story for intra-island flights. I need to double-check if the link is still working as well as the current pricing. Will probably get the post together by Friday. Appreciate you taking the time to write all of this!

  5. I have been to both islands in recent years. We really enjoyed the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. The kids really loved the beach. It had the right size waves, sort of like a wave pool. We also stayed at the Marriott near Disney. It was very nice, but the kids missed having any waves since it was all protected. Depends on what you are looking for.

    We used VRBO to get places to stay on the big island and that worked great for us. There were 7 of us on that trip so hotels wouldn’t have worked as good. If you just want beaches, Oahu is very nice. But we preferred the Big Island for the diversity. If you go there, I think you should spend some nights by the volcano and some on the Hilo side to explore different parts of Hawaii. Each part of the island is so different and has so many things to see.

    My biggest recommendation is to get the guidebook app for the Andrew Doughty book and probably also the book. Best guidebook I’ve ever used. The app would say what things there were to eat or do based on our current location. We found some great activities and places to eat as we drove around the island. We didn’t get the app until part way into the trip and we regretted not having it sooner. Get the app!!!!

    One thing the app helped us find was this restaurant: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g60872-d1013279-r218514001-Jackie_Rey_s_Ohana_Grill-Kailua_Kona_Island_of_Hawaii_Hawaii.html. We loved it. If you are nearby, definitely go there.

    • @Paul Thank you so much for your comment! I really would like to visit Big Island one of these days, it sounds amazing. I definitely love the diversity part you’ve described. I agree with you on Andrew Doughty guidebooks. We got them for Maui and KauaiI and had no regrets. The author sure knows his stuff!
      I am also a big fan of VRBO for large families, though haven’t used it in a few years. We did utilize similar sites for our 9-person trip to Europe. Boy, having that many people in one space can be a challenge!

    • @Cheapblackdad I’m very glad! I honestly think you will love Hawaii no matter which islands you pick. I know you usually vacation in Mexico and its true, it’s way easier to get to for someone who lives in the eastern part of US. But Hawaii is worth the journey and expense. You won’t regret it.

  6. Pingback: Hawaii Tips from Readers | Miles For Family

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