Maui and Kauai Hotel Points Options

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

This write-up was inspired by my last week’s post on Chase Fairmont Signature Visa If you look at the comments, you’ll see that a certain selfish reader has slyly manipulated me into it:

hawaii

This topic has been covered extensively in blogs. What I want to do here is give my personal opinion on what credit card options would be best. Emphasis on “personal.”

Hawaii is a place most families would love to visit, but simply can’t afford to do so. A beautiful thing about The Hobby that with some planning,  it’s very much within your grasp. Of course, some work and effort are required. I’ve mentioned some possible options for flights, like Air France and Singapore programs. You can also book off-peak Hawaii  tickets at a cost of 17,500 miles one-way using AAdvantage, as long as you do it before March 22nd.

But today, I’ll focus on hotels and what IMO would be  your best bet. See this post on hotel  bonuses for reference. I’m looking for options that are easily achievable via new credit cards sign-ups.

I’ve mentioned before that if you are visiting the state of Hawaii for the first time, I would split the stay between Maui and Kauai. Once again, this is my personal opinion, and I strongly recommend you do your own research. I thought for sure my father-in-law would love Kauai, based on what I know about him. He didn’t.

If you badly want to  see Volcanoes National Park, then you should fly to Big Island. Enjoy large cities and are dying to visit Pearl Harbour? Then you should go to Oahu. Keep in mind, you can also do a day trip to a neighboring island, especially if your kids are older. So, without further ado:

Maui

1) Fairmont Kea Lani

I honestly think this is your best bet for Maui. Read my post on Fairmont card to see why. If both spouses get this bonus, you will have 4 nights in a suite (fits 5) in an oceanfront property, plus dining credits. Seriously, forget Hyatt, this card is the one to get. Speaking of…

2) Hyatt Andaz Maui

I admit, this property looks amazing. That said, I think it became a victim of its own success as far as award rooms go. Many blogs report that it’s hard to find availability during peak times. And that’s when you plan to travel with your kids, right? There is also a $40 (plus tax) resort fee. I don’t think that those things are deal-breakers, but you should take them into consideration. If you have some flexibility and don’t mind the crazy resort fee, go for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa.

3) Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

This looks like a poor cousin of Maui Andaz. Of course, the term “poor” is relative. It’s a very nice property, located in Lahaina, the heart of Maui. That means you will have more access to affordable dining and entertainment. So, if you get Chase Hyatt Visa, and Andaz has no availability, this could be your back-up option.

4) The Westin Maui Resort and Spa 

It’s a Category 5, so the cost varies between 12K-16K points, depending on the season. You would have to sign up for Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card, personal or business version. Right now, the offer comes with 25K points, but will probably increase in the summer, maybe even sooner. If you haven’t heard, Marriott bought out SPG, so eventually, Amex card will be phased out once the merger is complete.

5) Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa

This hotel is also a Category 5, and doesn’t appear as fancy as Westin, but it’s  an option.

Honorable mention:

Grand Wailea Waldorf Astoria resort

This would probably be my last pick. Why? The certificates that come with Citi Hilton Reserve card are only valid on weekends. So, you’ll have to make sure that it would work with your award tickets. Then, there is also an issue of availability. This property is very popular, and standard rooms sell out on a regular basis. It’s not that it would be impossible to find availability. You just need to have a lot of flexibility, a luxury many families just don’t have.

All these hotels go for more than $400 per night in peak season, so it could make sense to burn your certificates/points here. That said, don’t overlook other options like renting a condo in Kihei area via VRBO or similar site. You’ll get a unit with a kitchen and washer/dryer combo. Of course, the pools  won’t be as fancy and landscaping not as impressive. I do think Fairmont property is the overall winner on Maui, and would be my top pick for all the reasons I’ve mentioned.

Kauai

1) Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

My cousin-in-law and her husband have stayed here and really enjoyed it. It has extensive facilities and entertainment options for kids. Once again, you would have to apply for Chase Hyatt Signature Visa in order to get 2 free nights. The resort fee will be going up to $30 per day staring in January of 2016.

2) Sheraton Kauai Resort

The cost varies between 12K-16K points per night. Be aware, rooms that fit four come with two double beds.

Honorable mention:

Wyndham Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach

This is currently the best option for Kauai. You can redeem points for 1-bedroom and occasionally even 2-bedroom unit.

kauai wydnhamThis is as smoking hot deal as it gets! So why is it merely an honorable mention? Well, availability is very spotty. Award rooms open up and disappear with no rhyme or reason. Also, some reports indicate that this property will be re-branded in 2016. I personally would hesitate pursuing this redemption. Will they honor your reservation when you get to Kauai? That’s a million dollar question.

If you do decide to go for it, you would have to apply for Wyndham Signature Barclaycard (see my linked post). Make sure to select the version with an annual fee of $69. You will get three nights at this property from just one bonus, IF you can find availability.

Just like Maui, Kauai has many non-points options for you to consider, so definitely do your homework. My cousin-in-law went through Hotwire, and was able to get this Kauai Beach Resort for $123 per night (including resort fee). She said they really liked it, in fact, almost as much as Hyatt.

Bottom line

Hawaii is a good place to burn certificates from credit card sign-up bonuses. The rates are very high, and resorts have many amenities for kids. But  don’t ignore other non-hobby options, which may suit your family better. That said, if I were to plan a week in Maui and Kauai, I would get Fairmont card X 2 for Maui, and Chase Hyatt Signature Visa X 2 for Kauai. No, they don’t pay me referral.

Readers, what are your thoughts? Anything you would like to add?

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9 thoughts on “Maui and Kauai Hotel Points Options

  1. Going to Maui in Summer 2016 and used my 2 free nights at Hyatt Regency Maui and we’re staying another 5 nights at the Hyatt Residence (2 bedroom 2 bath ocean view) next door. Probably not the best use of my 2 free nights, but I didn’t have enough points for Hyatt stays or Airline ticket redemptions so at least the 2 free nights saved me $700.

    I would love to do Kauai in a few years and should have enough Hyatt points to get a free stay — but I’m still confused as to how to get flights on Singapore from LAX to Maui or Kauai using Ultimate Rewards.

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    • @Stephanie I think Hyatt Regency Maui is a fine use of your certificates. Don’t even second guess yourself! I actually liked that area, it’s very central with lots to do. I’m so jealous.
      As far as flights go, if you are flying from LAX, your best bet will be to go through British Airways Avios program. One roundtrip economy ticket runs at 25K miles (UR points transfer instantly 1:1). BA partners with American and Alaska Air, the last one does not show up in search on ba.com AA flights should come up at 25K level.
      Singapore program runs at 35K miles roundtrip, and the flights would be on United. It’s cheaper to go through Singapore as long as United.com shows “saver” tickets which will run at 45K miles on United website itself. One-way redemptions are available also. UR points transfer to Singapore 1:1.
      But like I said, from LAX your best option by far is Avios. You may also look into redeeming UR points on paid flights since you get 1.25 cents on travel redemptions. If a super good deal come along, it may cost less than 25K UR points per ticket, and you will earn miles. Hope this helps, and don’t hesitate to email me or comment with further questions.

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  2. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Kauai earlier this year 4 nights on certificates. We were not charged the resort fee. We didn’t pay a dime to stay there. Not sure if that has changed, but that was my experience.

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    • @Jennifer That’s interesting! Perhaps it was waived due to your Platinum status. BTW make sure to read my last post on Hyatt status match. Your IHG Platinum status should qualify. Hurry and email them, this is a super deal.

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  3. Bad news: Was traveling for work this week so a bit behind on posts.
    Good news: Got some Southwest and Marriott points out of it ;). Also, 2 stays away from Marriott Gold!

    So, I love this. Obvs, I was the one who asked for it. We are playing around with what trips to do next year — unlike shoe sinks I am not quite planned out for 2016 and 2017 ;). My wife is studying for the CPA next year and we just finished the move so we may lie low next year.

    If we did Hawaii, I am leaning towards splitting our time between Kauai, Maui, and Oahu. I am thinking Oahu because:
    1. Oahu has the museums, and I think the kids would like that, and if we did go next year, my wife would be studying 4 hours a day so I would need some things to keep the 3 of us occupied while she studies.
    2. Oahu feels fairly driveable? That’s the good thing about going to a US state, I could drive the kids around to a few sites. Am I off here?
    3. The Marriott Ko Olina looks fun, and it’s next door to a DISNEY property that we may try for 1 night.

    However, I think the best points options are at Kauai and Maui, as you indicate. So I’d like to do 2-3 of them, with Oahu being the one I would not drop.

    Having said that, I am not as crazy about beaches as the average guy, unless it’s a very calm, shallow, lagoon like beach. So that takes me to the Caribbean. And I really want to try that super cheesy Atlantis property now that it is a part of the Marriott portfolio. Choices.

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    • @Cheapblackdad Congrats on an upcoming Gold status! Quite an achievement. I think your Kauai/Oahu/Maui split makes sense. If you do decide to focus on two islands, IMO it should be Oahu and Maui. It sounds like you have your heart set on Oahu anyway. Plus, the scenery is similar to Kauai: Jagged mountains once you leave Honolulu. Maui has some calm beaches, plus tons of other stuff to do. It’s the island that sort of encapsulates the state of Hawaii.
      Kauai is my favorite, though. It feels more rural and authentic. There is just something about it that is hard to convey in words. Maybe you can do a day trip from Oahu and see it for yourself? I haven’t been to Big Island yet. Hopefully, one of these days! I’m actually working on putting a post together for the other two islands. Hope you’ll find it beneficial.

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  4. I love Fairmont Maui. We went as a couple but it would be great for family. Each card has $150 dining credit($100 for 2 days of breakfast for 2, and $50 for lunch), but in reality when you check-in you can apply the $150 to your room and splurge it all on one meal if you wish. The a la carte breakfast/lunch menu is about 20 something per entree, not too outrageous for expensive Maui. They also have laundry facilities guests can use for free (too bad I only found out about this after we left). The rooms are spacious and can easily fit a family of 4, or even 6, if you want to utilize the queen sofa bed in the living room. Granted, it’s not as elegant as Andaz Maui (which is better for couple), but with a family in tow space is key.

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    • @Katye Thank you so much for your feedback! It’s nice to hear from someone who stayed in Fairmont. It really does look like a family-friendly property. I would love to take my kids there but alas, too many travel plans as is. You are absolutely right. Space is extremely important when you travel as a family. This card is a hidden gem when it comes to Maui lodging options.

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  5. Pingback: Big Island and Oahu Hotel Points Options | Miles For Family

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