Half-price Honeymoons in Hulaland
Using resorts that insiders cherish, you can enjoy that famous nuptial interlude in a better Hawaiian setting, yet for far less than others pay--for as little, in fact, as under $100 a day
North of Lahaina, in a small quiet community of Honokowai, lies this oceanfront budget condo, recently upgraded, with new paint, bedspreads, and drapes in each unit. The island-style one-bedroom units feature an ocean view and fully equipped kitchens, with everything from dishwashers to washers and dryers; some units of this low-cost property even have air-conditioning. The complex has a heated pool, and there's very safe ocean swimming just off the rock wall (no sandy beach). Restaurants and shops are in the neighborhood and Lahaina is just a ten-minute drive away.
Napili Sunset, 46 Hui Dr., in Lahaina, Maui, tel. 800/447-9229 or 808/669-8083, fax 808/669-2730, napilisunset.com. 42 condominium units. Rates: $105 studio low season, $120 high (check Web site for specials).
Honeymooners: these plain two-story structures may not look like much from the outside, but looks can be deceiving. Overlooking one of Maui's finest beaches, these clean, older, but well-maintained units offer a great location, bargain prices, and very efficient accommodations. The studio units are all located in a building off the beach and a few steps up a slight hill; centered around a swimming pool, they're good-sized, with complete kitchens (including a dishwasher), a sofa bed, a queen Murphy bed, extra large bathrooms, balconies, ceiling fans, and daily maid service. Just a five-minute drive to the activities at Kapalua Resort or a 15-minute drive to Lahaina.
Noelani Condominium Resort, 4095-L Lower Honoapnlani Rd., Lahaina, Maui, tel. 800/367-6030 or 808/669-8374, fax 808/669-7904, noelani-condo-resort.com. 45 unit condominium. Rates are $107/studio low season, $127 high, and include continental breakfast on first morning (check Web site for specials).
This first-class oceanfront condo is a deal. Located north of Lahaina (about a 10-15-minute drive), this top-notch property has received AAA's three-diamond designation. All units are beautifully decorated and have full kitchens, entertainment centers, and spectacular views (watch for spinner dolphins and turtles in the summer and humpback whales in winter). There are two freshwater swimming pools (one heated for night swimming) and an oceanfront Jacuzzi. Guests are invited to a continental breakfast orientation on their first day and weekly mai tai parties at night. Next door is a sandy cove beach park, great for swimming and snorkeling.
Resorts charging less than $150 a night per couple
The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel, 2863 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki, tel. 800/356-8264 or 808/923-1555, fax 808/922-9404, kaimana.com. Small oceanfront hotel with 125 units. Rates: $140-$184.
This boutique property presents a different face of Waikiki: a quiet, isolated stretch of white sand beach at the foot of Diamond Head, with Kapiolani Park just across the street, about a mile from the hubbub of Waikiki, and thus far enough away for lovers to nestle in peace and quiet. Most of the budget rooms are small but tastefully decorated in pale pastels with balconies providing ocean and park views. Because the hotel overlooks Kapiolani Park, honeymooners will have easy access to all the activities there, plus kayaking and snorkeling at the beach. The airy lobby opens onto the alfresco Hau Tree Lanai, a charming beachfront restaurant with adjoining Sunset Lanai Bar.
Manoa Valley Inn, 2001 Vancouver Dr., Honolulu, tel. 808/947-6019, fax 808/946-6168, manoa-valleyinn.com. Tiny eight room hotel. Rates: $99 with shared bath, and $140-$150 double with private bath, ten percent discount for seven nights. Parking is free as are local phone calls and Continental breakfast is included.
Here you can spend your honeymoon exactly as dignified, demanding vacationers did near the turn of the century, in a historic 1919 Carpenter-Gothic home, located near the University of Hawaii (a 5-minute drive from Waikiki Beach). A genteel ambiance pervades throughout, helped along by the Victorian decor (antique and period pieces along with old-fashioned flowered-print wallpaper) and the peace and quiet of the neighborhood. Guests gather on the verandah to play chess or other board games, or have a turn playing croquet in the backyard. The budget rooms, which all share a full bath, are just as exquisitely turned out in antiques as the more expensive rooms with private bath.
Holualoa Inn, 76-5932 Mamalahoa Hwy., Holualoa, Big Island of Hawaii, tel. 800/392-1812 or 808/324-1121, fax 808/322-2472, holualoa-inn.com Small inn with six units. Rates: $175-$225, 15 percent discount for seven nights, and rates include full breakfast and sunset pupu platter.