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
This Hawaiian inn, located on 40 pastoral acres in the secluded, artsy village of Holualoa, on the slope at 1,350 feet above Kailua-Kona is one of Hawaii's most romantic places for a honeymoon. Impeccably decorated suites overlook the garden Jacuzzi, pool, and coffee plantation (source of the morning brew). Great honeymoon amenities include a gas grill for a romantic dinner next to the pool, a telescope for star-gazing, and a billiard table. It's a 15-minute drive down the hill to busy Kailua-Kona and about 20 minutes to the beach, but the on-property pool is itself a compelling option and has a stunning view of the Kailua-Kona coastline.
The Plantation Inn, 174 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina, Maui, tel. 800/433-6815 or 808/667-9225, fax 808/667-9293, theplantationinn.com. Boutique inn with 19 units. Rates: $157-$250, ten percent discount for seven nights, including breakfast for two.
Romance is in the air at this charming Victorian-style inn (which looks like it was built at the turn of the century, but is actually 1990s vintage). Cupid couldn't have designed lovelier rooms, artfully done with period furniture, hardwood floors, stained glass, ceiling fans, and four-poster canopy beds and armoires in some rooms and brass beds and wicker in others. All come equipped with soundproofing (a plus in Lahaina), TV, VCR, fridge, private bathroom, and some have large balconies. The rooms overlook the large pool and deck. Also on the property are a spa and an excellent French restaurant (hotel guests get a discount on dinner). Gourmet breakfast is served around the pool and elegantly decorated pavilion lounge.
Maui Coast Hotel, 2259 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, Maui, tel. 800/426-0670 or 808/874-6284, fax 808/875-4731, mauicoasthotel.com. Mid-sized hotel with 265 units. Rates: $165-$195 (includes a car).
For the newly married who seek the sunny beaches of Maui, but who can't afford the expense of a Wailea beach resort, this off-the-beach mid-rise is one of the rare moderately priced hotels in the neighboring community of Kihei. Not only is this hotel centrally located, about a block from Kamaole Beach Park, but there are plenty of activities, restaurants, and shopping within walking distance. We've included this hotel, even though it's over our $150 limit, because the $175 room includes a car and the value offered is outstanding. A $2.5 million renovation of all the rooms plus the remodeled public areas (lobby, pool, restaurant, bar) has turned this once moderately priced property into a semi-luxury place for honeymooners (not the Four Seasons, but for the money a terrific deal). The rooms offer extras such as sitting areas, coffeemakers with free coffee, air-conditioning, hair-dryers, mini-fridges, safes, ceiling fans, and private balconies. There's a restaurant next door, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. room service, and a poolside bar with nightly entertainment. Additional amenities include heated pool, two Jacuzzis, and tennis courts
Should you book a honeymoon "package"?
Nearly every hotel, resort, and condominium in Hawaii, including the ones listed in this article, offers a "honeymoon package." Read the small print and do the math before you book. Generally the "honeymoon packages" do not actually save you money, and you can reproduce the amenities of those colorful, gussied-up offers yourself at a much lower cost. Most "honeymoon packages" consist of a couple of flowered leis (which you can purchase yourself for $5 each), a bottle of champagne delivered to your room (even a good vintage goes for well under $50), and perhaps a breakfast or dinner in the privacy of your room (eat in a restaurant and save the cash).