When on vacation, your hotel room acts as your home away from home, or at least, that’s the thought behind hotel accommodations. It is designed to be comfortable, with obliging staff and luxurious amenities. Concierge services provide guests with activity plans and day trips, food is available, from continental breakfast to an upscale evening with cocktails. But it seems as though, often times, we are amazed with the grand entrance, the customer service, even the décor or layout of the hotel. And once we get up to our room, we open the door and… it looks the same as the last hotel we were in. We act as though we’re going to get a surprise when we walk through the door of room # 2304 when in fact, hotel rooms tend to be identical in look, just slightly varied with wall paper colors or shampoo scents.
The next thing we all are eager to discover is the view from our hotel window; especially if you’ve paid top dollar to ensure a good one. But how much are we willing to pay for a view? And is it really even worth it?
For some people, vacation means lounging in and around the hotel. Relaxation for these folks means not having to go anywhere, do anything, or have any type of agenda. My guess is that the amount of time spent in the hotel room is equal to the amount spent away, so a view of the tropical ocean or the lush garden would be ideal. For this reason, I understand why people would pay that extra bill per night. When you’re reading a good book on the couch, feet propped up and your drink within reach, there’s nothing better than the cool ocean breeze on your face or the sight of palm trees dancing in the wind. It just sets the mood that much deeper.
If vacation time for you means activities, exploration, and a lively day-to-day schedule, then I would image the view means much less. Especially because downgrading from an ocean view room to a poolside view room will save you enough money to book that catamaran cruise you wanted to splurge on initially. For the go-getter type of vacationer, time spent in the hotel is either for sleeping or a quick rejuvenation for the next activity. To spend an extra arm and a leg on a beautiful view is frivolous and unnecessary, unless budgeting isn’t an issue. Also, most kids don’t really care about the view, let alone understand its significance. Sure, when they walk into the room they’re ooooing and aaaaing, but soon it is forgotten and mom and/or dad is left with a huge, meaningless bill.
When dealing with Hawaii hotels, especially in Waikiki, your view will be one of two things; the ocean, or the city. Neither are bad options. In fact, a city view might be more exciting and colorful anyways. But prices vary, at the lowest, $50/night more to book the room with “the view”; that is, the ocean view of course. When you’re spending a week in Waikiki and renting two rooms for the family, $50 a night sure adds up real quick.
I personally have enjoyed my stay in a hotel room with NO view just as much as I have a hotel room with a sweeping ocean one. I believe it is not the VIEW that makes the vacation. Plus, I’m not much of a lounge-in-the-hotel-and-dry-out-in-the-AC type of vacationer anyways. But I will say, that when you’re not the one footing the bill, a bit of spectacular ocean scenery from your hotel window always does sound much more… aaahhhh.
The Pearl Harbor Memorial Tour tickets are free. Yes, that’s right. Free. But the amount of time you spend waiting for that tour has a price tag on it too. I’ve been told to arrive as early as possible, that way you can ensure you’ll be on one of the first tours. However, chances are, life happens, and you just can’t quite make it as early as you had hoped. Every day of the week this locations is crowded with tourists, commercial buses, vanpools, and tour groups, not to mention the local families who frequent the tour on occasion. And because tickets have to be purchased at Pearl Harbor, you are guaranteed at least an hour wait. Until now.
As of February 16, 2012, tickets for the USS Arizona Memorial (Pearl Harbor) were and are available online for advance reservations. Individuals and groups alike can book their tickets at www.recreation.gov for free (in theory). A $1.50 (per person) reservation fee is tacked on for online services. But this change will make the tour much easier for out-of-state visitors to plan, as well as save everybody more time. And we all know we could use more of that.
Prior to the online ticket reservation option, the USS Arizona Memorial tour was only offered on a first-come first-served basis. The tour has been operating for almost 50 years, so that’s a long history of crowds! Sometimes, an entire day’s worth of tickets were given out all within the first few morning hours of operation. The 75-minute tour is a popular destination, not to mention a historical landmark where history buffs, students, and everyone else interested can learn more about the attack, its repercussions, and the effects that surrounded it. It is a piece of history that is worth visiting, and now, the people who care have made it easier for you to come check out this monumental tour.
For those who don’t have the option to book online, the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center will still offer on-site ticket reservation. One family can reserve up to 9 tickets online, and groups can reserve up to 65. You must create an account with recreation.gov but it only takes a few minutes. And trust me, the few minutes you spend online will save you precious hours when you’re actually there.
If Maui is your island of choice, then you’re in luck. This summer, Hawaiian Airlines will be adding to their flight schedule, enhancing with five more flight option a week from the Bay Area (California) to Maui. With summer just around the corner, the sales and marketing team decided to lure travelers to the islands with more flexible flights, times, and airport choices. Thank you Hawaiian Airlines!
Starting June 1st and lasting until August 21st, flights between Kahului and Oakland will be operating on a daily basis. Whereas currently, Hawaiian offers only four trips per week. Furthermore, the carrier will also up its standard operation between San Jose and Maui from their current 5 flights per week to a daily service. This begins July 4th (what a way to celebrate!) and lasts until August 19th, 2012.
An estimated 70% increase in seats will be generated from these flight additions, making Hawaii more accessible than ever. Prices for this time of year are usually at an all time high, running anywhere between $700-$1000 a ticket. But if booked soon enough in advance, and with the right travel company, chances are you will get the best deal possible.
Many people who travel to Hawaii swear that Maui is by far the best island. While some may beg to differ, you can’t deny the beauty, variety, and all around classic Hawaii experience that Maui offers time and time again. From the popular towns of Lahaina and Kaanapli, where the evening erupts with a lively nightlife, to the verdant farmlands of upcountry and Haiku, to the relaxed resort communities of Kihei and the tropical wonders of Hana, Maui truly has something for everyone.
The former hotel management of Maui Beach Hotel is to be taken over by Aqua Hotels & Resorts, this April 1st, 2012 (no joke). Known as a leading full-service, Hawaii based hotel management company, Aqua will take over day-to-day operations and management of the preexisting hotel property.
The 147-room beachfront accommodation at Kahului Bay is centrally located in Maui, appealing to vacationers, golfers, and business travelers alike. With amenities such as free shuttle services, free fitness center access, free Internet, an outdoor pool, onsite sundry and snack shop, restaurant, lounge, and meeting center, the new management is sure to attract many guests.
Upholding an excellent reputation, Aqua Hotels & Resorts offers Kama’aina rates on their already low prices, specials, programs, and assistance in weddings, group travel, and even pet-friendly services. Aqua Hotels & Resorts offers accommodations from luxurious resorts to comfortable budget properties, and everything in between. So for those looking to spend a vacation in Maui, this hotel might be just the place for you.
Aqua team members are looking forward to the addition, and hotel owner Elleair Hawaii Inc. is happy to be partnered with such a credible management company.