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Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

Seattle
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104 posts
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Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

I'd like to book the Honua Kai for Feb of 2018. I'm curious what the difference would be between booking on VRBO or through the resort directly? Also, is February a decent time to go?

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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
3,381 Reviews
Maui, HI
Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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18 reviews
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1. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

February is great! The whales are thick and there are lots of calves then.

Booking through the resort will be more expensive, but gives you some perks that private rentals don't. Those will vary by booking type and rate.

If you decide to go with a private rental, post links here before booking. We can prob give you some good feedback.

Saratoga, CA
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656 posts
30 reviews
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2. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

Typically, renting through VRBO or a 3rd party rental agency will be less money. Renting through the resort will give you a 'lite' maid service every other day (or at least it used to), while VRBO or 3rd party rentals don't usually offer mid-stay cleaning.

The upside to renting through VRBO or through a 3rd party is that you know exactly what your rental looks like inside the unit, what the view is, and where it's located within the resort. Direct resort bookings will be just like booking at any hotel with no guarantee as to location or view (other than categories like Ocean Front, Ocean View, Mountain View , etc...). Many of the VRBO/3rd party units will also have extra amenities like beach chairs, coolers, boogie boards, snorkel gear, etc... Resort rentals typically don't offer those extras.

Just keep an eye out for any red flags as to payment methods and scams. Putting it on a credit card is the way to go if possible as it gives you some assurance that the rental is above board. Stay away from Craigslist offerings or any rental that requires payment by cashiers check or money orders - too sketchy...

Curt

Nanaimo, Canada
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27,809 posts
103 reviews
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3. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

When looking for VRBO, try to find ones that book directly from the owner, in order to save the VRBO fees that they are now charging. You can also send off an e-mail, asking some questions, and include your phone number. The owner can then phone you, so you can talk with them directly, and see if they are willing to book with you directly. Not all owners will do that, but you may find someone willing to work with you.

February is very busy, because of the whales. But also, Valentine's Day, along with President's Day, is busier, because a lot of kids have the week off school.

There is also the Whale Festival around the middle of February, making it a popular time to visit Maui.

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Maui
Maui
Hawaii
Scottsdale...
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2,585 posts
24 reviews
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4. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

Definitely post links here of HK condos that appeal to yo as.AkamaiNick4SW suggested. You will get good advice on location/view as well as which are the best deals.

The following link is to a drone video of the property, this will give you orientation once you start to shortlist specific units. Views and prices vary widely. Note that the dirt lot to one side of HK is now the almost completed Westin Nanea resort.

http://travelwithdrone.com/honua-kai-resort/

Plano, Texas
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5. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

My family owns a unit at Honua Kai that is represented by one of the non-resort agencies and appears on VRBO and has its own booking site.

If you book directly through the resort, the booking experience will be much more like a hotel. You will book a room class and they will assign the room. You will have access to the on property operator's services, including the front desk, the ability to do room charges at Duke's, access to towels at the pool stand operated by the operator, the resort wifi, and the on property housekeeping.

If you book through one of the off property managers/VRBO you are picking a specific room and receive housekeeping, towel, and guest services from that manager. Units may have different amenities in room based on the owner and manager's decisions. Definitely ask about what is in the unit or available if there are things important to you. Some units use the property wifi while others contract directly with Hawaii Telecom or Oceanic Time Warner.

All units have access to the resort's pools, spa, exercise room, outdoor grills, parking, valet service.

Fees are currently decided by individual owners and managers. Most, but not all, charge a resort fee for parking, phone, etc... Some will bake that into the room nightly rate. All will charge by law GET (general excise tax) and TAT (transient occupancy tax). Those two taxes together will add ~13% to your rate. You should be able to see the state tax id from anyone you rent from.

Most units available on VRBO will also be available directly through the property manager. VRBO charges a booking fee, some of the property managers now are as well. Treat with suspicion anything that appears to be too good to be true (e.g., seemingly very cheap rates on Craigslist).

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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
3,381 Reviews
Maui, HI
Hawaii
Hawaii
United States
Scottsdale...
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2,585 posts
24 reviews
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6. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

Stewart L,

Thank you for your many posts about Honua Kai, it is good to have an owner contributing and giving unbiased information

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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
3,381 Reviews
Maui, HI
Plano, Texas
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749 posts
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7. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

My pleasure. It's enlightened self interest on my part.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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47,198 posts
19 reviews
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8. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

Sarah ~

'Just to bring to your attention that you are on the teeny sub-Forum for Lahaina. Honua Kai in not in Lahaina - but most likely has a Lahaina mailing address. Head's up!

Also, in the future, use the full Island of Maui Forum. It incorporates all of the little sub-Forums ... and has much more information and many more readers. Pull up the Maui Forum and scroll down a bit. Lots of info about accommodations, activities and restaurants. Also note the Top Questions off to the right-hand side of the screen.

So - here is a really rough map of the Ka'anapali resort area. Honua Kai is just off the page on the left-hand side. kaanapaliresort.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/…

Edited: 03 April 2017, 07:25
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Lahaina
Lahaina
Maui, HI
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
3,381 Reviews
Maui, HI
Maui
Maui
Hawaii
Ka'anapali Beach
Ka'anapali Beach
7,980 Reviews
Maui, HI
9. Re: Honua Kai - VRBO or direct?

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