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Hawaii Condo VacationsMay 12, 2008 By: Mark Rogers Travel Agent
The Islands’ diversity of condo resorts allows maximum choice when planning a vacation
When it comes to providing condominium vacations, Hawaii has been getting it right for years. The diverse islands offer a range of products to suit any budget, and a variety of vacation options to suit any taste, from active and cosmopolitan to laid-back and nature-based.
ResortQuest Kaanapali Shores' resort combines the convenience of a condo with the services of a hotel.
ResortQuest Hawaii is one of the islands’ leading condo resort suppliers. The company has a product mix that is 60 percent condo and 40 percent hotel, out of a total of 5,000 rooms. “We saw an increase in families traveling together after 9/11,” says Kelvin Bloom, president of ResortQuest Hawaii. “Our guests were looking for vacations that feel like home.”
Bloom believes that a condo vacation can be tailored to provide whatever the guest is looking for. “I have a friend who is somewhat of a travel snob—he’s accustomed to vacationing at Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton resorts,” says Bloom. “Well, he booked one of our Poipu Beach condo properties for a destination wedding and thoroughly loved it.”
There are some misconceptions about condo vacations. While they are casual, convenient, and offer an opportunity to spend more time with your family, a condo vacation is different from a vacation home. “We offer much more service than you would receive at a vacation home,” says Bloom. “We’re similar to a hotel in that regard, with full hotel services and amenities at our properties. We feel the need to control all aspects of the guest’s experience.”
Although there are exceptions, Hawaii’s condos tend to fall into four location types: beachfront, oceanfront, across the street from the ocean and near the ocean. Your clients will pay a premium for beachfront, so take the time to find out if they’d be just as happy walking a few blocks to the beach.
Condo rentals can be a good match for couples, families, large groups and even singles. When qualifying a client, ask them whether they’d prefer a high-rise or low-rise property, and if they want daily maid service.
Because condos have full kitchens in each unit, guests can save considerable amounts of money and time by preparing their own meals. If your clients are traveling with children, they’ll enjoy not having to haul them off to a restaurant for breakfast—especially when most kids will be more than happy with a bowl of their favorite cereal.
Hawaii is busiest during the summer months (June through August) and during the year-end holiday season and into March. For bookings during these peak times, make reservations at least three to six months in advance to secure the desired condo units for your clients.
Beach and City Condo Vacations
ResortQuest Kaanapali Shores has a prime location on Maui’s Kaanapali Beach. The full-service condominium resort combines the convenience of a condominium with hotel-caliber services such as daily maid service, a guest activities desk and in-room movies. This self-contained resort also features a beachfront restaurant and bar, a wedding gazebo, two swimming pools, spa, fitness center and sauna.
ResortQuest Kaanapali Shores on Maui features a beachfront restaurant and two swimming pools.
The One- and Two-Bedroom and Aloha Suites have separate living areas and bedrooms, complete kitchens, in-room washer and dryers and private lanais. Suites also offer free high-speed Internet access and free Wi-Fi service. The most popular accommodations are the One-Bedroom Suites, which measure 900 square feet and can accommodate a family of five. For larger families, the Two-Bedroom Suites are roomy at more than 1,200 square feet. These can accommodate up to seven people.
The Aloha Suites measure 2,005 square feet and are the most requested premium accommodations. Although the Aloha Suites are also designed to accommodate up to seven people, they measure about twice the size of the resort’s Two-Bedroom Suites. Aloha Suites also have wrap-around lanais.
Garden View Suites overlook the interior grounds of the resort, which feature tropical landscaping, garden and beachside pools, and a waterfall flowing into a koi pond. The best views of Kaanapali Beach and the islands of Molokai and Lanai can be seen from the resort’s Two-Bedroom Oceanfront Suites and Aloha Suites. During whale season (November-April), guests might even catch a glimpse of humpback whales. Oceanview rooms offer a combination of beach and garden views.
Travel agent inquiries can be directed to Shirley Kawashima, ResortQuest Hawaii’s director of sales for Maui ([email protected], 808-931-1427).
The resort has the Camp Kaanapali kids’ program, which combines fun activities with education about Hawaii’s ocean and land environments, as well as Hawaii’s unique culture, arts and crafts. Activities include hula and ukulele lessons, lei making, Hawaiian sand art, beach explorations and fishing.
The Salon and Spa at the Kaanapali Shores Resort has two spa treatment rooms, one ocean cabana, one garden cabana and one indoor massage room for massage treatments. Guests can also opt for an in-room massage and request special early-morning and moonlight massages at no additional charge. The most popular spa body treatments include the Mango and Mandarin Salt Scrub and Seaweed Ti-Leaf Wrap. Most spa and massage treatments are also available to kids. Henna body art and hair braiding are especially popular among younger clients.
Spa reservations are recommended; call 808-661-0142 for the salon and spa. For massage treatment contact Carina Ingram at 808-667-7755. The Spa Director is Maddi Gallafent ([email protected], 808-661-0142).[PAGE-BREAK]
Poipu and Waikiki Beaches
Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation is on family-friendly Poipu Beach on the island of Kauai. Poipu Beach is a perennial favorite and is often singled out as Kauai’s best beach. The resort has 42 plantation-style buildings with 333 One- and Two-Bedroom units. Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation is set on 37 acres that combine tropical landscaping with a cactus and orchid garden, manicured lawns and koi ponds, all set off by palm and plumeria trees. Condominium units at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation feature full kitchens and spacious quarters. Guests will also find full laundry facilities on the property. Ocean View or Ocean Front One- and Two-Bedroom units go fast because of their convenience to Poipu Beach, and their ocean views. Partial Ocean View units look out over the resort’s lawns and beach. Smaller families will do fine in a One-Bedroom unit, although larger families will want to consider one of the bi-level Two-Bedroom condos. These have a large living room, full kitchen upstairs and large lanais.
Units at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation on Kauai feature full kitchens and spacious quarters for guests.
When guests get enough of cooking for themselves, they can enjoy moderate to upscale dining at the resort’s Plantation Gardens restaurant, or the Casa Blanca restaurant at the Kiahuna Swim & Tennis Club. The Kiahuna Swim & Tennis Club has a pool with a waterslide and sand-bottom children’s area, as well as a whirlpool spa that features 10 hydrotherapy jets and submerged bench seating. Use of the facility’s 10 tennis courts is complimentary for Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation guests. The Tennis Shop stocks tennis attire and tennis balls, and offers racket rentals, racket re-stringing and lessons with the onsite tennis pro. Families receive a complimentary Outrigger Island Explorer Kit for children ages five to 10. Guests also have access to a children’s program at the adjacent Sheraton resort.
Agents with VIP requests can contact the resort’s general manager, Dale Verkaaik ([email protected], 808-742-3522). The resort also has a travel agent liaison, Gana Maheshwaran, assistant general manager ([email protected], 808-742-3559). The resort’s reservations agent is Nida Constantino ([email protected], 808-742-3559).
Aqua Bamboo & Spa’s Waikiki location makes it a good choice for those who want to combine a city break with a beach vacation. This boutique “condotel” is 1½ blocks from Waikiki Beach, with facilities that include a spa, saltwater pool with waterfall and cabana and sauna. Complimentary amenities include daily continental breakfast, in-room Internet access and Wi-Fi in the lobby and poolside and coffee and tea service in the lobby.
Steer families toward the One-Bedroom Family Suite with separate living area. The suite features one double, two twins and a sofa sleeper and can easily accommodate a family of four. These suites also have full kitchens or kitchenettes. For even larger families or groups, the two-bedroom/two-bath Penthouse Suite accommodates up to five guests. Studio Deluxe Rooms have views of the pools, while the One-Bedroom Deluxe, Pikake and Maile Suites, on higher floors, provide mountain and city views.
The travel agent liaison is Zenie Butay, guest services supervisor (808-922-7777). Agents can also contact Tulinh Luciano-DeSmith, director of market sales ([email protected]). The property’s AquaSPA has one treatment room that can accommodate up to three people. Treatments can also be performed outdoors in the cabana or poolside. The most popular therapy is the 60-minute Romance Massage for couples, utilizing a combination of Swedish and Hawaiian lomi lomi massage techniques. Book treatments for clients ahead of time by contacting AquaSPA reservations at 808-924-2782.