Award Trip Breakdown: Aloha From Hawaii!

A big Aloha to all of you as we are currently en-route to Hawaii, flying Hawaiian first class JFK-HNL-KOA on our first big trip of 2015. This is our second time to the Hawaiian islands (after spending our second honeymoon here) and this time around we spending 3 nights on the island of Hawai’i (better known as the Big Island) followed by 6 nights in Maui.

Last year when we made this trip we flew Hawaiian in economy the whole way and back but we decided to splurge with our points and fly Hawaiian “First Class” for this trip. Before you said that’s a waste of points, I’ve read the reviews and I know Hawaiian “First Class” is more comparable to a domestic first class product with big recliner seats instead of lie-flat seats but it still beats economy for 11 hours on the JFK to Honolulu route. I’ll be sure to post my experience and if I thought it was worth the additional miles.

Hawaiian A330 First Class

Hawaiian A330 First Class

On the Big Island we are staying at the Hilton Waikokola Village. I had initially booked our 3 nights with Hilton HHonors points but on Cyber Monday there was a fantastic 50% off sale on all rooms. I decided to book a room in their new MAKAI rooms which offer an upgraded level of service and amenities. With the 50% off sale, it was only about $50 more a night for this room category compared to the base rooms (which were under $100 with this sale) and I’m interested to see if the premium is worth it.

The Massive Hilton Waikokloa Property

The Massive Hilton Waikokloa Property

For Maui, while the allure to stay at a new hotel was promising, it was actually more tempting for us to return to the Andaz Maui. We stayed here last year after staying a few nights at the Grand Wailea and we simply loved it. I booked a Points & Cash stay but unfortunately it seems like the hotel has stopped making these available (I actually booked this stay last year when points & cash awards were more available). It works out well for me that Hyatt’s promotion is ongoing in which I will get 20% of my points back. I did see on the Flyertalk thread for this property that people aren’t as enamored with the property recently so I’ll report back to see how it compared to my stay last year.

Andaz Maui

Andaz Maui

I highly recommend following me on Twitter and Instagram as I will be posting updates and pictures on those social media sites instead of the blog. I do plan on writing up a trip report on the blog that further documents our travels and how easy it was to do on points and miles. So while I’ll post some pictures and details on the flights and hotels in the trip report, you can expect much more analysis in how I booked these awards, what points/miles I used and my recommendations for others to replicate this. Blog posts will be a little less frequent while were away but I will be checking my email. So stayed tuned for more details on this trip and Mahalo!

3 thoughts on “Award Trip Breakdown: Aloha From Hawaii!

  1. While on Maui you should check out The Gazebo! They have the best Macadamia Nut Pancakes! ENJOY!


  2. I managed to get us upgraded to a Makai Suite when we stayed at Waikaloa and loved it. I don’t think the resort is manageable unless you are in the Makai tower. It is the tower closest to the lobby, otherwise you are looking at a 20 minute walk to your room.


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