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Friday, May 30, 2008

What about a massage in Hawaii?

Relax in Hawaii with a Spa visit Aloha Hawaii travelers,
For all those who are ready for their Summer Vacation in Hawaii and already wonder what to do first after their arrival on the islands. Here is what Pua and Keoki, your editors from Best Hawaii Vacations and retired licensed Hawaii massage therapists, recommend. Let's say you stay at an oceanfront hotel, there is nothing which can beat a first dip into the clear warm waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Next best thing to begin your Hawaii vacation to melt away your Mainland tension and allow you to enjoy our island atmosphere is to get a massage from an experienced licensed massage therapist. We already talked about in former posts that Hawaii healing vacations - see our related article links in the bottom of this post - are more and more in demand. Life on the Mainland is too busy, and people have a hard time to slow down. Travelers come to the islands to relax and let go. What better way is there than a therapeutic massage?! Make your massage appointment ahead of your arrival time, so it's a fixed 'date' in your vacation schedule.

Most everybody who had a massage before knows that there are lots of different massage techniques like: Swedish Massage, Shiatsu (Acupressure), Trigger Point Therapy, Reiki, Cranio-Sacral Therapy and last but not least, the popular Hawaiian style Lomi Lomi Massage. Every Lomi Lomi Practitioner does it in the unique style of his or her kumu (teachers).

Like the European massage, Lomilomi, the traditional Hawaiian massage, uses kneading and gliding strokes for increasing circulation, soothing nerves and loosening tight muscles. Any experienced massage therapist treats the whole person with paying close attention to the body and mind connection. Lomilomi practitioners go one step further including the spirit into the Lomilomi treatment through prayer, chants and aloha.

As a therapeutic massage at one of the Hawaiian hotel spas starts at $120/hr and ocean front cabana massages are available from $160/hr., we are well aware that a lot of you think you cannot afford this luxury treatment. Here are a few tips from us.

How to get your best massage in Hawaii for the most affordable rate:

1. Hawaii hotel spa and massage packages

Quite a number of hotels in Hawaii offer packages with their room rate, which can include special golf rates or special massage rates. So before you book your hotel, find out whether they are offering a Spa Vacation Package. If you you plan of having 2 or 3 massages anyway, why not get them at the best price with your package.

2. Book your massage at your vacation rental with a local therapist

When you stay at a private vacation rental, check the Yellow Pages in the area, talk to your hosts and locals which massage therapists are experienced and what kind of treatment they offer (you don't want to be disappointed afterwards). Most licensed massage therapists offer out-call service at a very reasonable rate compared to Hawaii hotel spas. Make sure with your hosts that they agree with having a therapist bring his/her table for a massage to your rental home.

3. How to save the most on a massage in Hawaii?

Of course, you guessed it. Do just the same as above but take your rental car and drive to the massage therapist's office. You will be amazed how Hawaiian massage therapists create an atmosphere of utmost relaxation for their clients, locals or vacationers. The only negative part with this arrangement, you have to drive back to your hotel or vacation rental. Why not combine the town visit with getting some groceries, Hawaiian fruits or Hawaiian gift shopping done?!

Well, I am nearly done with today's post, which was a lot of fun as we are so closely connected with the topic of getting massages in Hawaii. As we love to share Hawaii vacation tips with you, we figured to include the following spas which About.com lists as the best in Hawaii

Best Spas in Hawaii by About.com

SpaHalekulani, Halekulani, Honolulu
Spa Suites at Kahala Mandarin Oriental, Honolulu
Hualalai Sports Club and Spa, Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Ka’upulehu-Kona
Spa Grande at Grand Wailea Resort, Maui
The Spa at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Wailea, Maui
Spa Moana, Hyatt Regency Maui, Lahaina
Spa Kea Lani at The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, Wailea, Maui

Surprisingly, this list does not include one of our fine spas from the Kohala Coast. OK I cannot resist naming at least two of our favorite spa choices for the Big Island, which are actually both at the Mauna Lani Beach Resort: Mauna Lani Spa at Mauna Lani Beach Hotel and Bungalows and Spa Without Walls at Fairmont Orchid. Check them out when you are on the Kohala Coast and let us know what you think and what you liked best.

As usual, we ask all of our Hawaii blog visitors to leave a comment about spas and massage in Hawaii. Mahalo and aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations Kohala Coast Spas

Spas and Massage in Hawaii Related Articles

Hawaii Big Island Healing Vacation
Hawaiian Healing
5 Best Things to Do on Hawaii Vacation
5 Top Secret Travel Tips for Best Hawaii Vacation

Monday, May 26, 2008

Hawaii Summer Vacation 2008

Aloha to all our Hawaii vacation blog visitors,
Spring is finally everywhere on the Mainland with blooms and blossoms everywhere. So it's about time to plan the summer vacation for the family, which the kids (and you!) have been waiting for all year. Can we blame them?! Hey, two long months July and August no school but enjoying all the summer fun in the sun like swimming, biking, hiking and basking in the sun all day long. Whether you will take the kids to Hawaii this summer, depends on several factors. Here are a few thoughts by the editors of Best Hawaii Vacation blog.

With the Summer Vacation 2008 approaching fast, the big question is how Hawaii will be able to keep up its top ranking as best vacation destination. July and August have always been in the past our second highest season after extremely busy winter months, when they snow birds flock to sunny Hawaii with its warm weather all year round. Not that July and August are necessarily the best time to visit Hawaii.

Summer Vacation in HawaiiWhen we wrote the above post, we made our point clear that to visit Hawaii during the biggest travel time of the year, July and August, means higher travel expenses for you, for air fares to Hawaii, car rentals and even hotels on the islands. Additionally, those two summer months are the hottest months of the year, not just on the Mainland but in Hawaii as well.

Despite of it, July and August have always been the months in Hawaii when we are used to welcome families with kids for their Hawaii vacation. This is the time when the kids are on vacation and a lot of families have no other choices. And to tell you the truth, the heat factor does not matter much. I have never seen a kid complain about the heat in Hawaii. They can hang out in the ocean for hours a day till they fall asleep at dinner at night!

OK, let's get to the basics. Is a Hawaii Vacation still affordable and how much does it cost? Remember our recent post where we questioned AAA's quote for Hawaii vacation costs of $793 a day for food and lodging alone for 2 adults?! We don't argue that Hawaii is the most expensive state to vacation in. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, any traveler from the Mainland has to get on a plane to Hawaii.

Round trip air tickets for Hawaii Summer Vacation don't come cheap these days but as mentioned in previous articles they have never been in the past. But...you can save big money on your accommodation, first when you stay at a fully equipped vacation home and second when you book your Hawaii vacation in summer but for September or October.

I know that a lot of parents are hesitant to take the kids out of school during regular school time but I also know that there are fall breaks and since those are different from state to state, this might be your best chance for a great family vacation in fall. For all those, who still want to book a Hawaii summer vacation 2008, here are two links which offered Hawaii Vacation Package Deals for Summer: Shermans Travel with Hawaii hotel discount rates for Oahu, Maui and Big Island starting at $83/nt. for Waikiki hotel and Hawaiian Airlines with more vacation deals. I also noticed when cruising those links that quite a number of Hawaii hotels advertised 20 - 30% off for June. Admitted, those LAST MINUTE Hawaii Specials are always a privilege for those travelers who have a flexible working schedule.

Let us know where you will spend your summer vacation in Hawaii and if it's not Hawaii, where will it be. If you have any feedback on round trip rates from the Mainland to Hawaii, please, share with our blog visitors. They appreciate it! Looking forward to hearing from you.
Mahalo and aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations June 2008
Our today's Hawaiian post girl is Amber from Wahine Style.com.

More Hawaii Vacation Tips

Ever tried Huli Huli chicken in Hawaii?
Where to buy fresh fruits in Hawaii?
Hawaii Resort Fees an Issue for your Vacation?
How to Search our Hawaii Vacation Blog?
Biggest Waves in Hawaii - Where and When?
Best Hawaii Books to prepare Vacation?
What to know about Hawaii Vacations with Kids?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ever tried Huli Huli chicken on your Hawaii Vacation?

Most everybody living in Hawaii knows how to make a tasty banana bread. I have my own recipes too but have you ever tried Huli Huli chicken on your Hawaii vacation or even just heard about it? Huli huli means in Hawaiian 'turn - turn' and that is what the Hawaiians do. The chicken halves are turned repeatedly over the fire from mesquite coals. Just driving by a Huli Huli chicken barbeque stand and smell of the flavorful meat is a mouth watering experience and temptation, which hardly any Hawaii visitor can resist.

Let me tell you what makes the huli huli chicken so special. It's not just the way how it is cooked but more so the very unique BBQ sauce the Hawaiians use for its preparation. Ingredients like pure Hawaiian brown sugar, soy sauce (locally known as "shoyu"), ketchup, garlic and fresh ginger gives it its distinct flavor. When I checked online Huli-Huli Sauce recipes, I noticed they varied quite a bit in addition to the basic ingredients. Some used pine-apple juice or lime juice, sesame oil, Hawaiian sea salt. So don't ask me which recipe is the best. I guess they all taste excellent.

When you are in Hawaii on vacation, ask the locals or the concierge of your hotel where you can find Huli Huli chicken in the area. Locals will know which parking lot the huli huli chickens are prepared and on what days they are served. There is no better way to get a 'bite of Hawaii' than enjoying one of those Hawaiian huli huli chickens after a sightseeing tour, swimming in the ocean or a tough hike through one of our spectacular valleys. Make sure you know where you can find this Hawaiian delicacy after you worked up an appetite.

Your best chances when visiting the Big Island are Church Row parking lot in Waimea, the parking lot in Kawaihae next to the Blue Dolphin Restaurant (there is also a great fruit stand with delicious strawberry papayas and apple-bananas), the Texaco Station parking lot in Honokaa and parking lot in Kealakekua next to Bank of Hawaii.

When visiting the other islands, here is another good tip besides asking the locals. The Hawaiians also use the popular huli huli chickens for fundraising events. Scan the newspaper on weekends for Huli Huli benefits. Otherwise, we invite everybody who knows a place on Kauai, Maui or Oahu where they found Hawaii's own version of barbecued chicken, please, let our Best Hawaii vacation blog visitors know. Mahalo and aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Last but not least, if you can't visit Hawaii sooner or later this year but would like to try to make your own Huli Huli chicken at home, Maui4You sells you the BBQ sauce for it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New Owner Of Home Interior

The Home Interior blog has found a new owner--CHG Healthcare Inc. CHG Healthcare is a medical staffing company that has a strong focus in the traveling healthcare industry.

Why would a medical staffing company buy a home interior blog? We decide to purchase this blog because we wanted a site for our traveling healthcare professionals, which assisted them in decorating their homes in the different locations that travel to.

Currently, it will be a few weeks before we start blogging regularly, but we thought we would let the causal web drifter, who may find this blog, know what was on the horizon.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Big Island Secret Beach

After our fun interview with the guys from Beat of Hawaii and some great recommendations for your Kauai vacation, it's Big Island lovers turn again. Welcome back to Joanne Sala from California who joined our Best Hawaii Vacation articles with another wonderful story of her visit to Kiholo Bay when on Big Island vacation. In case, you missed her entertaining Big Island horseback riding adventure in Waipio Valley, it's not too late. It's a fun post. Great photos of Waipio Valley too! Well, let's get things started with Joanne's

Off the beaten Path - The Big Island's Kiholo Bay

"The Big Island has wonderfully uncrowded beaches compared to Oahu and Maui, but if you really want to be guaranteed absolute solitude on Hawaii’s killer Kohala Coast, I adore Kiholo Bay. Once part of a Hawaiian fishpond built by King Kamehameha in 1820, the brilliant turquoise waters of the bay are an unusual mixture of salt and fresh water. Be warned: green sea turtles are everywhere. You can look, but don’t touch!

Plenty of green sea turtles at Kiholo BayThe 30-minute walk to the beach off of Highway 19 at mile marker 81 (no public facilities either), practically guarantees you’ll have this gorgeous piece of paradise to yourself. The first time we visited we got sunburned on the hike down, so wear protective sun gear and tennis shoes—not flip flops—for this adventure. The walk takes every bit of a long, hot 30 minutes and is slow-going, especially when you’re carrying water, snacks and beach accoutrements on your back. Once you reach the bay, you’ll be overwhelmed by its beauty. You’ll also have a little more walking to do over coarse black sand and lava rocks.

Big Island Secret Beach Kiholo BayAt the northern end of Kiholo Bay you’ll find the famous fish pond, which is basically a shallow, partially walled five-acre lagoon that lies next to a sand spit approximately a quarter mile long. We waded across the water, waist-deep, to the sand spit where there are a few palm trees to provide shade, and of course, a gorgeous swath of soft white sand for settling in for a picnic or short siesta. Swimming along the pond’s enclosed walls is a delight, especially when the turtles are out for a romp. We used our snorkel gear, but it was challenging as the water is slightly murky (and cold)! due to the mixture of fresh and saltwater.

The second time we visited to the bay, the tide was too high to reach the sand spit, so we hiked north along the bay’s maze of black lava fields and found some large flat rocks at the ocean’s edge on which to sun ourselves. We kept cool by jumping into the ocean and swimming near the shoreline, ever alert for those beautiful prehistoric creatures.

I recommend consulting the latest copy of "Hawaii Revealed" before going to Kiholo. This thorough and well-researched guidebook to the island provides extremely accurate directions on how to find the footpath from the highway to the beach and gives an interesting overview of the fish pond’s history and information on how to get to nearby Queen’s Bath."

Once again a great Big Island story, Joanne. Lot's of mahalos. We are certain that all those who were not lucky yet watching the green sea turtles in Hawaii will pack the backpacks and head out for Kiholo Bay.

We love your Hawaii stories, Joanne. Hope more will come our way for publishing on Best Hawaii Vacation blog. As everybody knows 'Word-of-mouth' is the best advertising. So, all those Hawaii lovers who have a great Hawaii story to share, please, contact us. Sorry no advertising but we will publish your Hawaii article with a short bio and link to your blog or website URL and include you in our Hawaii Blog Authors category. Short stories are accepted too. Hawaii photos are most welcome! Share your Hawaiian story with our blog visitors and Hawaii lovers.
Much mahalo, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Kiholo Bay is on the sunny West Coast, Kona Kohala Coast, of Hawaii Big Island. See our Big Island map.

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Best Big Island Restaurant
Best Big Island Beach
Best Rates Big Island Spring Vacation 2008
Get a Taste of your Big Island Vacation with Big Island Photos
How to have a great Big Island Vacation and Save Money
Big Island Trip Report 1
Big Island Trip Report 2
When to Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Hawaii Vacation Travel Tips

When searching the web for Hawaii vacation information, you have probably noticed that more and more Hawaii blogs show up in Google search results. The Hawaii blog community is steadily growing. We reported recently about the big variety of Hawaii theme related stories and posts one can find these days when searching for Hawaii vacation.

Today we'd like to introduce one of the new Hawaii travel blogs. The 'new kid on the block' is Beat of Hawaii, which we actually mentioned in our recent post What does a Hawaii vacation cost? and hopefully triggered your curiosity about it. Within a short period of their blog existence, Beat of Hawaii got acknowledged by Arthur Frommer, the Arthur Frommer from 'Frommer's Budget Travel' or 'Frommer's Hawaii'. That alone makes this blog stand out among Hawaii blogs.

The editors of Beat of Hawaii, Jeff and Rob, post about Hawaii travel tips, deals, events and culture. Their post topics are chosen carefully, well researched and presented in a way they attract the attention of Hawaii travelers and Hawaii blogging fellows. Their commitment, unique approach and Hawaii Travel Tips definitely got our attention. Ever since their start-up we have been following their blogging project closely and decided to have a little interview with the guys from Beat of Hawaii, currently living on the garden island of Kauai. Don't miss what Kauai Vacation Tips they have for visitors.

Visit Hanalei Bay on your Kauai Vacation Best Hawaii Vacation:
"What was the reason to start a Hawaii blog about travel tips? What is your connection to the travel, vacation or tourist industry generally?"

Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: I’ve been active on many travel forums over the years, and decided it was time to start
my own site. In addition to writing about Hawaii, I also wanted to write about the travel industry. Travel has been a part of my life for decades. When I had my own international technology consulting company, I traveled around the world 4 times a year. I also managed travel for 30 of my consultants.

Rob: I felt it was a great opportunity for us to write about Hawaii since we live here full-time. We know what’s happening and have an insider’s perspective. Many years ago I worked in the travel industry for United Airlines. Otherwise, I’ve been an avid traveler. I started young. When I was a kid I was always planning our family vacations and writing away for travel brochures. I still remember writing to the Hawaii Visitor Bureau in grade school and the two-color brochure they mailed me (perhaps a sign of things to come!. My favorite place to
hang out as a kid was the airport to watch planes come and go.

Best Hawaii Vacation:
"What blog message do you want to accomplish by writing posts about Hawaii travel?"

Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: Hawaii is affordable and within everyone’s reach. I want readers to feel that they are better informed consumers after reading our articles.

Rob: There’s a lot of Aloha in our state and we hope that message comes through in our writing.

Best Hawaii Vacation:
As the new 'kid on the block', is there anything you would like to change or improve within the Hawaii blog community? What do you like? What don't you like?"

Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff/Rob: Even though we’re new to the blogosphere, we’re not new to technology. It’s been exciting for us to participate in this new medium. We both appreciated the warm welcome you gave us Pua when we first started Beat of Hawaii. That’s what we like best: feeling part of a community. The only thing we don’t like happened recently. Another Hawaii blog placed one of our articles on their website, in its entrity, without permission or giving us credit.

Best Hawaii Vacation:
"We all made a decision when moving to a certain Hawaiian island. What made you choose Kauai over the other islands?"

Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: I started coming to Kauai in 1974 and bought a condo here in the ‘90’s for business. As time went on, I was spending more time on Kauai than my home in California. About 8 years ago I sold the condo and bought a home in Kalaheo. I always found Kauai to be comfortable and a good fit for me.

Rob: My very first trip to Hawaii was in 1989. I remember a few minutes after arriving on Kauai, I felt this immediate connection. Perhaps it was a feeling of coming home since my family’s history on Kauai goes back to the 1850’s. I moved here full time five years ago.

Best Hawaii Vacation:
"As Kauai residents, what do you recommend as the 3 Best things to do on a Kauai vacation?"
Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: Hike in Waimea Canyon/Kokee Park; Swim in the Ocean; Take a boat trip of Na Pali Coast
Hawaii sunset over Salt Pond KauiRob: Visit Kauai Museum; Check out one of the gardens (National Botanical, Limahuli or Na Aina Kai); Hike to top of Sleeping Giant

Best Hawaii Vacation:
"Which beach do you consider the best Kauai beach?"

Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: Hanalei in Summer for its beauty. From April to October we’re there twice a week to swim miles.

Rob: Salt Pond Beach. Great for swimming. It’s also has Hawaii’s only natural salt ponds.

Best Hawaii Vacation:
"Which Kauai restaurant is your favorite restaurant and why?"
Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: I’m not the best guy to ask. I bake my own bread, roast my own coffee and have been cooking for years. So far I haven’t found The restaurant to recommend on Kauai. I’m still searching.

Rob: My favorite is Lihue Barbecue Inn on Kress Street (not to be confused with Garden Island Barbecue on Rice Street). It’s a local place to eat, not elegant, but we always feel welcomed the moment we walk in. Their lunch specials are a good value. The same family has owned Barbecue Inn since the 1930’s.

Best Hawaii Vacation:
"What should tourists know when visiting Kauai on their Hawaii vacation?"

Beat of Hawaii:

Jeff: If you’re here longer than a week, I think it’s a good idea to split your stay between a North and South shore accommodation. This will reduce the amount of driving time and give you more chance to enjoy Kauai.

Rob: Slow down and relax.

Much mahalos, Rob and Jeff. It was fun 'talking' to you. Our best Hawaii vacation blog visitors are looking forward to reading more of your Hawaii Travel Tips at 'Beat of Hawaii'.
Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacation
For your Big Island vacation, read our recent post about the Best Big Island Restaurant.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Best Big Island Restaurant

When answering questions about best Hawaii vacations, the question for the best restaurant on the Hawaiian island of your vacation choice comes right behind the question for the best beaches. Today we would like to introduce to Big Island visitors our favorite Big Island restaurant. Before we do that, please, be aware that the Big Island is really big and to drive to a special restaurant just for the food does not always make sense. In addition, tastes and food preferences vary - luckily - very much.

Here is one of our favorite Big Island restaurants. It's would probably be exaggerating a bit and unrealistic to call it the best Big Island restaurant. There are quite a few others which acclaim this title as well. However, let's stay with the one we would like to talk about today: the Bamboo Restaurant in Hawi, North Kohala. When you know the Big Island, you immediately notice this Big Island restaurant is a little big out of the way, namely in the northern tip of the island.

John Keawe playing slackeyguitar at Bamboo Restaurant dinner
It makes sense that tourists staying on the Kohala Coast or upcountry in the Waimea area frequently choose the Bamboo Restaurant for its old style Hawaiian ambience, great food such, as differently prepared delicious Mahimahi, and accommodating and fast service. There are many more reasons why we love it and probably other guests agree with that. First of all, the fresh seafood in different styles is a big attraction to us. Another big plus is that at the Bamboo Restaurant in Hawi, guests can choose between full entrees (mostly over $30) and the petite portion of the same meal at under $20. We love that! This allows us to enjoy an appetizer before the main meal. I don't know any other Big Island restaurant which offers this great opportunity.

We talked about the Hawaiian ambience. Anybody who has been coming to Hawaii for a Big Island vacation, knows John Keawe the famous slackkey guitar player. Hawi is his hometown. He regularly plays at the Bamboo Restaurant. So make sure to check his calendar, when planning your special Big Island dinner at the Bamboo Restaurant. He plays twice a month at the Bamboo Restaurant at no extra fees for the guests. You might also have the chance to enjoy a gracefully danced hula by his wife Hope. So, all together this dinner night at the Bamboo Restaurant on the Big Island will be special: great food, special Hawaiian entertainment and hopefully the company of good friends. Oops, I nearly forgot, the Bamboo Mai Tais and Lilikoi Margaritas are awesome!

Hope dancing a graceful hula for Bamboo Restaurant guests
For those Big Island visitors who stay in Kona, and it's too hard to make it all the way for dinner to Hawi, we recommend to combine a visit to spectacular Pololu Valley Lookout - the walk down to the ocean is a moderate 30min hike - with an afterwards rewarding lunch at the Bamboo Restaurant. We promise you it will be an unforgettable Big Island experience.
Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Last but not least, in 2004 the Bamboo Restaurant won the Hawaii Hale Aina Award, the highest award in the state of Hawaii!

Read Fodor's Review of Bamboo Restaurant in Hawi.

Don't miss our post about the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, Hawaii state fish? Yes or no.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What is the Hawaii State Fish?

Mauna Kea beach on the Big Island has a great reputation not just for the whitest white sand beach but also almost perfect coral reefs for beginning snorkelers. I myself mostly enjoy the clear warm waters for an early morning swim, which I combine with watching the tropical fish in the reefs, as I swim across from one side of the bay to the other. On either end, one finds great coral reefs with an abundance of tropical fish. When you are new to the ocean, we recommend you snorkel on the right side when facing the ocean. This area is covered by Mauna Kea Beach hotel life guards.

Humuhumunukunukuapuaa Hawaii State FishWhen recently snorkeling the coral reefs at Mauna Kea Beach, I spotted several of my favorite Hawaiian fishies: the spiked puffer fish (can blow himself up by swallowing lots of water to a huge size, so he won't get eaten by the sharks), the yellow tang, which are a favorite by lots of Mainland visitors because of their strong yellow color and last but not least, the popular Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, which is really a cutie because of his colors and shape. Of course, there were many more fish to admire and Bobbie from the Right Blue, who wrote our guest post about Diving and Snorkeling in Hawaii would be able to name them all, with common and Latin names.

When preparing this post about the Hawaii state fish, which I was convinced was the Humuhumu, I came across the controversy and the statement that it was 'dethroned'. Well, I had not heard about that in all my years living in Hawaii and Wikipedia had not heard about it either. No one told the public that the Humuhumu's reign was over, so few knew anything had changed. Problem seems to be that the Humuhumu 'only' got chosen by the public through projects by the University of Hawaii and the Waikikia Aquarium in 1989. So lawmakers decided to make it the Hawaii state fish only for 5 years.

I can't even imagine that anyone would not want this fish to be the Hawaiian state fish. Opponents say the humuhumu is not unique to Hawaii. There is no lack of fish species specific to the islands. Thirteen species of wrass alone are found here and nowhere else in the world but none is as cute as the Humuhumu plus has this great Hawaiian name, which any tourist has a hard time to pronounce.

No wonder that we see the cute fish and its long name on T-shirts, cups and in TV commercials. Let's have some fun! Gov. Linda Lingle refused to give the fish the state title back and instead said that decision should instead be left to the public. If it ever comes to a new 'vote', let's vote for the Humuhumunukunukuapuaa as the Hawaiian state fish, or what do you think?
Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations

Saturday, May 10, 2008

3 Best Things to Do on Maui Vacation

We recently posted an article on 'Things to Do on Maui', which was more or less referring to the area of Central Maui. Today we welcome another guest post by Julie, the owner of Ideal Vacation Rentals, who we consider an expert not just of Hawaii vacation rentals (and vacation rentals around the words!) but also of anything related to your Maui vacation. Here is what Julie has to say about 'Three Best Things to do on Maui':

"The enchanting island of Maui has so many wonderful experiences to offer the visitor that it is hard to think of the best things to do. The reason being is that each person has their own individual preference of what is the "best" for him or her.
In this article I will share with you my choices for the three best things to do on Maui and the reasons I have chosen them.

Visit Maui's best Beaches

First, Maui is all about its wonderful beaches not only because they are beautiful but because of the many things that a person can do at the beach. Probably my favorite all round beach is the Old Airport Beach in Kaanapali, at Kahakili State Park. The coral reef here offers wonderful snorkeling or diving and you can see many colorful tropical fish, including the Hawaiian State fish, Humuhumunukunukuapuaa. Turtles live in caves in this reef and if you are lucky you can go swimming with them. Also to be seen in this underwater garden are octopus, spotted eels, and sometimes you may meet one of the curious spotted eagle rays that are known to visit the area.

Black Rock, also on Kaanapali Beach is another of my favorite beaches for snorkeling. Hookipa Beach, on the North Shore is known as the windsurfing capital of the world so if you are seeking adventure this is the beach to go to. Kayaking, outrigger canoeing and deep sea fishing are also available from many Maui beaches. Just plain relaxing on a Maui beach and enjoying the trade winds and sound of the surf, is another reason to vote for Maui beaches. Not to mention the miles of sand for great walks.

Another of my favorite beaches is Waiohuli Beach in Kihei. It is not one of the most popular ones but to me it is unique because of the many treasures you can find washed up on the shore, from sea urchin shells, to colorful lobsters. It is also a great walking and sunbathing beach. Other great beaches in Maui including the famous Kihei beaches of Kamaole I,II and III and the beautiful Charlie Young Beach. Whale watching from Maui's beaches is often more exciting than paying to go out on an official whale watch, as they come quite close to shore during whale season.

Take a Road Trip to Hana

For the second best thing to do on Maui, I have chosen the famous trip to Hana. This incredibly beautiful drive winds through lush tropical rain forest, past stunning waterfalls and takes you over 59 one lane bridges. You will also enjoy spectacular scenery of the coastline in certain areas. "The Road to Hana" is all about the journey not so much the destination. You can even stop off for some great walks on marked trails, or try some banana bread or a fruit smoothie from vendors at the side of the road.

If you are interested in a self guided tour to get more out of the trip, there are many places in Maui to purchase a tape or CD to play in your car. The audio tour is very well put together and points out just what you are experiencing every turn of the way. Hana is a charming little village with a general store, a few shops, a resort, and a black sand beach. If you drive on past Hana for about 20 minutes you will come to the famous "Seven Sacred Pools" part of Haleakala National Park. If you don't feel like driving the 3 hour trip back the same day, you may want to stay overnight in a cottage or vacation home in Hana.

Visit Maui's Best Luau

The third best thing to do on Maui is to attend one of the many great Luaus, especially if it is your first time to Hawaii. At a luau you will experience the Hawaiian culture through Hula and song, and often there will be an extraordinary fire-eating act to complete the program. You also get to taste the traditional food, such as the Kalua pig which is roasted underground all day long. The Old Lahaina Luau is voted the most Hawaiian luau and one of my favorites is the Hyatt Luau in Kaanapali.

So these are my choices and I hope that you will leave your comments and tell us your ideas for the 3 best things to do on Maui. Let's hope this will help make your Maui vacation your Best Hawaii Vacation. Aloha, Julie"

Once again a big 'Mahalo' Julie for another great guest post about Maui. Your 'Maui Trip Report' found many readers on our Best Hawaii Vacation blog and in the search engines. We are certain this Maui guest post will do so too.

Mahalo and aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations

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Friday, May 9, 2008

What does a Hawaii Vacation cost?

Well, we all know the costs for a Hawaii vacation cannot compare with an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico! But again there is no place like Hawaii! I get really mad when Hawaii travel websites pretend to offer all-inclusive Hawaii vacations. There is not such a thing. Advertising all-inclusive Hawaii vacations is misleading and false promises. You really pay for what you get. If breakfast is included in your hotel stay in Hawaii, believe me this is not free. But let's come to the point of this post: How much does a Hawaii vacation really cost?
Plan your Hawaii Vacation today
Definitely not $792/day average for lodging and food in Hawaii as recently announced by the American Automobile Association AAA. Coming up with a figure like that really stirred reactions in the Hawaii blogger community and probably by all those travelers who love to vacation in Hawaii. You bet that all the major newspapers picked up on this Hawaii vacation 'quote'. We appreciate what our friends Jeff and Rob from Beat of Hawaii had to say about it in their post Conflict of Interest in AAA Hawaii Report We don't want to repeat their concerns and considerations. We warmly recommend to go and visit their blog for further details.

Here are a few thoughts from Best Hawaii Vacations editors. Nobody doubts that it's easy to spend the quoted amount of $795, actually just for lodging at any of our 5- star Hawaii Beach Resorts. However, we are talking a quote for average costs of lodging and food for a Hawaii vacation.

In all these years which we have been running our Hawaii vacation rental business and having hosted hundreds of guests, we've never come across visitors who spent $80/meal, meaning $80 for breakfast, lunch and dinner each as listed by AAA! What a luxury! The average couple visiting Hawaii probably has 2 or 3 dinners between $100 - $120 (prices at Hawaii restaurants went up quite a bit like anywhere on the Mainland) and adding that to a daily rate for an affordable fully equipped Hawaii vacation rental of $85 - $150/nt., this definitely does not add up to the AAA Hawaii Vacation quote.

Bottom line: Hawaii vacations are still possible for the average Hawaii visitor but tourists will have to set priorities. With high gas prices, those who visit Hawaii on a budget might want to limit their driving activity around the Hawaiian islands and be selective with choosing activities. Does it need to be this special helicopter flight or would a hike through a wonderful rainforest valley do? What concerns us more is the fall-out of Aloha Airlines and ATA.

Hawaiian Airline is in the process to cover those old Aloha flight routes from the Mainland to Hawaii. It was bad news for all those who accumulated thousands of miles with Aloha and lost them all. We learned to use our miles as soon as we can get a flight for it! One never knows what can happen. Hey, if you are in love with Hawaii, it's a good idea to sign up with Hawaiian for email updates to find the lowest fares the minute they are available.

And again, Hawaii business owners are awaiting you with their hospitality and aloha spirit. Come visit Hawaii. Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Thanks Kawika from WahineStyle for our today's Hawaii post girl, another sexy girl from Hawaii! What better way is there to invite you to a Hawaii vacation?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Best of Hawaii from Hawaii Blog Carnival

The Hawaii blog community is growing rapidly. It's fun to follow Hawaiian bloggers what they have to say about their subject of expertise and passion. Believe me keep the blogging alive and have something interesting and attractive to say can be challenging. This is where the love to Hawaii and to the Hawaiian people becomes a major motivation.

Take time to smell the plumerias in Hawaii
Evelyn from Homespun Honolulu shows this love with posting about Honolulu related topics plus she takes the challenge to host our Hawaii Aloha Blog Carnival on a regular basis. It's quite surprising what variety of blog posts got submitted by Hawaii bloggers for the latest Hawaii blog carnival 'Taking Time to Smell the Plumeria'. From watching the stars over Mauna Kea summit to the Meaning of Aloha, Thoughts on Fishing, Upcountry Maui, Best Hawaii Vacation Money Saving Tips and much more.

We joined with our blog post 'Maui is the Best More about Surfing'. So, if you are not only intersted in your Best Hawaii Vacation but would like to hear about Hawaii life style, traditions and culture, visit the Hawaiian blogs on this 9th Aloha Blog Carnival.
Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Hope you did not miss our post about Mauna Kea beach - Best Beach of Big Island. You will find lots of plumerias there.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Best Beach Big Island

After visiting Maui for best beaches for surfing and windsurfing in recent blog posts, it's time to catch up with famous Mauna Kea beach on Hawaii Big Island, which has its well-deserved reputation as the Big Island's best beach. It's definitely our favorite Big Island beach! Can you imagine that Mauna Kea and Hapuna beach have both been ranked among the best beaches in the world by Conde Nast Magazine? That's proof by itself.

Walking Mauna Kea beach
Why do we love Mauna Kea beach so much? The beach is a nice half a mile stretch of beautiful white sand shaped in a crescent bay, witch each side extending coral reefs into the ocean perfect for amateur snorkelers. Best time for snorkeling the clearest turquoise waters are the early morning hours before bigger waves roll in and make the water murky. Most visitors take advantage for easy beach walks and strolls along the water's edge. The afterwards swim feels like a heavenly reward.

OK we promised our Best Hawaii Vacation blog visitors an update on Mauna Kea Beach. Here it is. Mauna Kea Beach hotel is still under major construction and remodeling, which naturally comes with some noises. However, since the beach is stretching from the hotel south for a good distance, you can totally get away from it. Currently, parking is not at the former beach parking by the golf shop but at the regular hotel parking.

Views of Mauna Kea Golf Course
When you come to the entrance of Mauna Kea Beach hotel, you just ask for your beach pass, which is free. The hotel gives out 30 beach passes a day according to the available parking spaces. We watched that at low season months like April and May, passes are available all over the day. As in the past, some visitors and locals don't want to 'go through the hassle' to ask for a beach pass and prefer the easy access at public Hapuna Beach State Park. But as there are only a few hotel guests from Hapuna Beach hotel who take the shuttle to Mauna Kea beach, this most wonderful beach is all yours! At least till Mauna Kea Beach hotel will reopen in December 2008.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the totally remodeled Mauna Kea golf course - old sprinkler system was deteriated and grass was not resistant enough to constant ocean spray - are expected to open for business December 20, 2008. We heard, not from an official source, that the hotel is already booked out for one year in advance. To be honest I don't doubt it. When you once fell in love with Mauna Kea beach, there is no other Big Island beach which can compare.

But who knows?! What doe you think which Big Island beach is the best beach? We'd love to hear from Big Island beach lovers. Mahalo and aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations
Locate Big Island beaches on our Big Island map.
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