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Hawaii with 4 kids - mad or not??

(13 Posts)
swedishmum Tue 26-Apr-05 02:10:04

The plan is to stop off in LA for a couple of days on the way. Also any experience of good islands - don't want to end up in American style Benidorm...
Hotel recommendations especially welcomed.

Many thanks

PS Children are 11, 9, 8 and 15 months.

MeerkatsUnite Tue 26-Apr-05 07:27:39


Its a long ol' slog of a journey to Hawaii (journey time from LA to Hawaii is around 6 hours) and your children (particularly the youngest) may find it at times tough going. The time difference between the UK and LA is 8 hours; Hawaii is (I think) 10 hours behind UK time.

You are wise to consider a stopover in LA, you might want to consider this on the return journey also to break the journey up a bit. You might have to do this anyway as time may well be tight to catch the plane back to the UK (many flights from the Islands tend to arrive between mid afternoon and late evening). Also flights to the UK tend to leave LAX around 7pm.

Oahu is where most people who go to the Islands head for and Waikiki in particular. This by far is the busiest and most visited part of the Hawaiian Island chain of islands. Waikiki is a very built up area indeed - think of America by the Sea and you have the general idea. There is a lot to do for families on this island overall and it is quieter once you get out of Waikiki. Beach at Waikiki is safe for families to swim in and there is soft sand. One hotel I would recommend for a visit to Oahu is the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Maui is another destination that I particularly like (I got married there). Most people who go to Maui head for the beaches at Kaanapali on the western shores of the island. There are many hotels and apartments along there.

Kauai is also lovely with nice hotels and is very quiet; might be too quiet for your children though. Sheraton Kauai at Poipu Beach is very nice for instance.

The Big Island (Hawaii) is also lovely with many climates!.

It very much depends on what you want to do as a family; do you want to be able to go places or just sit on the beach. has many comments from visitors to the Hawaiian Islands and I'd suggest you look there also.

If you do go, have a fab time!.

SecondhandRose Tue 26-Apr-05 07:33:48

Don't go in the summer, it's their rainy season.

MeerkatsUnite Tue 26-Apr-05 08:04:41

I can only agree in part with SHR's comment. It can rain there but mainly on the Big Island (Hawaii) or in the centre of Kauai. The Hawaiian Islands are not like Queesnland where they have a wet season (the wet).

The outstanding features of Hawaii's climate include mild temperatures throughout the year, moderate humidity, persistence of northeasterly trade winds, significant differences in rainfall within short distances,and infrequent severe storms.

For most of Hawaii, there are only two seasons: summer, between May and October, and winter, between October and April.

swedishmum Tue 26-Apr-05 18:16:04

Thank you - think we'll go for it. The children are quite used to travel but haven't been on quite such a long journey yet. Baby already done New York and Bahamas so I guess she'll just have to cope - if not, large g and t on plane for me and daddy can be in charge...
I like the idea of a Sheraton - we have loads of free points as dh stays a lot on business!! And we will look at a stopover both ways.

Frizbe Tue 26-Apr-05 18:27:37

Make sure you stay in Santa Monica or Anaheim for LA, the rest of it I certainly wouldn't feel happy/safe taking my kids to....but Haiwai, wow, go girl!

RTKangaMummy Tue 26-Apr-05 18:37:52



We stayed in HYATT REGENCY, WAIKIKI just over from beach, it is further away from tacky Waikiki.

We travelled around when we have been to the islands and so IMHO it doesn't really matter which one you are on as travel between them is easy

Recommend helicopter tour over islands deffo brill

Hire a car and drive around to find desserted beach obviously checking first that it is a safe beach, no rip tides etc.

franke Tue 26-Apr-05 18:59:17

This is a good website. We went to Kauai with dd who was then 15mo a couple of years ago. It is quiet but that is what we wanted. We stayed at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation which was fine (not luxurious) and the gardens were beautiful - full of orchids.

Agree with everyone here - stopover LA, helicopter ride if you can (the centre of Kauai is the wettest place on earth and a heli ride will take you right into the central crater). We also had a car and found it essential.

It is a long haul but IMO well worth it, once you're there it is a really easy, relaxing place to be.

Goldfish Tue 26-Apr-05 21:35:45

We stayed on Oahu but it was before kids. We flew to the big Island (Hawaii) and it was beautiful. Oahu was very popular and we stayed near Waikiki beach. We had an overnight stay at the Los Angeles Hilton - lovely. I would def go again and I would take my kids as they are used to frequent flying. Your older 3 would absolutely love it. I'd go for it.

soapbox Tue 26-Apr-05 22:01:16

Swedishmum - DH and I went on honeymoon to Hawaii and came back with a little Hawaian baby bean who turned out to be our wonderful DD who is now 6 YO. We intend to return with teh children to Hawaii for our 10th wedding anniversary so I would defo say go for it.

The flight is long and a bit arduous but they will be fine If it were me, though, I would stop off in San francisco rather than LA. I think SF is a fantastic city to do with kids and far more accessible than SF - stay somewhere at Fishermans Wharf and take the Cable car anywhere you need to

On Hawaii we stayed in 3 places:

Lanaii - The Manele Bay - fab but wouldn't do it with children

Kawaii - breathtakingly beautiful and an absolute must when we return - stayed at the hyatt regency which has great water park thing in the grounds with slides etc that kids would love. Big mini grand canyon for hiking too and the breathtaking beaches where lots of famous films have been made - bit waterfalls as well. Went catermaran sailing round the island which was fab too.

Hawaii - big island - would go back because the kids would love it - volcanos, the observatory for middle of the night star gazing with massive telescopes and midnight picnic, helicopter tours over the volcanos etc etc. Would highly recommend the Hilton where there is a boat service which shuttles round the site dropping off and picking up We had only just arrived at this hotel when we turned on the tv and heard that Diana had been in a car crash - we watched the whole saga unfold at an hour when everyone in the UK was still in bed! All the staff at the hotel were so respectful and treated us like we had known her personally

Can't remember which island we were on, but from one of the islands we took a boat trip to Maui which I would definately add to any trip we make in the future. Lovely place very sophisticated compared to the other islands!

People are right some of the islands can be rainy - but the worst of the rain seems to be very localised and the big resorts are built in the dry parts of the islands.

I'm so excited for you writing this that I can't wait to take my children there - only 2 years to go

miggy Tue 26-Apr-05 22:34:26

Took DD to maui at 11 mths, biggest problem we had was jetlag. Big time difference meant she was up and ready for the day at 3 am-bit soul destroying in a hotel.
Very pretty island but not much for children, we had left 2 older ones at home and never really thought that we wished we had them to "see" or "do" something (unlike stopover in San Diego on way back where I kept wishing they were with us) Might be better to do bigger island?
Also if you do go to Maui, avoid the ritz carlton-fab hotel but built on the side of the island that according to the locals is always cold and windy, most other hotels are on the other side!
have a lovely time

pixie54 Tue 26-Apr-05 22:35:03

Another vote for kauai - I can't wait to take our family there again.
Great snorkelling and scenery, nice and unspoilt, not overdeveloped, friendly and safe.
Re the Sheratons - the Poipu one is nice and family orientated. I think there is a grander one on the North side, too.
There are also lots of apartments for rentals.
The journey there is hell though!

MeerkatsUnite Wed 27-Apr-05 07:09:19

Would also recommend the Sheraton Poipu Beach hotel as well having stayed there but there is a caveat. There is a small road that bisects this property - you MUST choose a room on the beach side of the resort (this is where the restaurants are as well). Also rooms this side tend to be more modern. Poipu Beach is sandy and generally safe but the depth of the sea can become quite deep quite quickly.

I can vouch for the fact that the travelling there can become arduous; we travelled there without doing a stopover in LAX (but stopped over in LA on the return leg), factoring in the time difference as well it took just under 24 hours door to door.

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