Condos vs. Hotels – Which should I book??

Deciding whether to book a condo or a hotel for your Hawaiian vacation will depend on your personal preferences.  There are many differences you may want to take into consideration when planning your trip.  In many instances, both will have additional resort fees and parking fees, so make sure you look things over carefully before making a reservation.  The following are some of the pros and cons of each.


  • Condos are typically less expensive
  • Condos have a lot of the conveniences of home…including small appliances, dishes, silverware, cups, etc.
  • Condos have kitchens so you don’t have to eat all your meals out…unless you want to of course!  You can also keep drinks, food, and snacks on hand.
  • Condos are larger…more room for you and/or your family
  • Many condos have a washer and dryer in each individual unit
  • Condos are typically less flashy, meaning the grounds and pool area are more basic
  • Condos generally do not have room service


  • Hotels are typically more expensive
  • Hotel rooms generally just have the bedroom / bathrooms areas
  • Hotel rooms are smaller
  • Hotels are typically more flashy, meaning the grounds and pool area(s) are more lush, tropical, and have pool side services
  • Hotels include many amenities, such as housekeeping, gym, restaurants/bars, and spa
  • Hotels have room service

Both options are good, so give us a call and we will help you plan which option is best for you.

What You Need to Know about Renting a Car in Hawaii

People always ask, “Do you recommend we get a car in Hawaii?”…the answer is “YES!”.  On all the outer islands like Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii (Big Island) a rental car is a must have.  Unlike Mexico and the Caribbean, you’ll want to go out and explore the island on your own.  There are so many things to see and do, and you’ll need your own wheels to do it.  Rental cars on Oahu are considered optional due to the close proximity of lots to see and do in the heart of Waikiki, however, I like to have one there too even if it’s just for a couple days…it’s such a beautiful island outside of the hustle and bustle of Waikiki.  Also, rental cars are relatively cheap in Hawaii, we have been selling rental cars for under $230 a week for over 20 years…let’s hope it stays that way!


Some things to remember when renting cars:

  1. The rental car must be returned at the same time on the last day as the day you picked it up, otherwise the rental car company will charge you overtime.
  2. Check with your insurance agent about your rental car coverage before you go.  The rental car company will be very convincing that you need to buy their insurance when you go to pick up the rental car.  Insurance through the rental car company can cost you as much as the rental or more.
  3. Don’t accept the gas option, it’s silly to prepay for gas that you may not use.  Just say no and fill the rental car up with gas before you return it.  The only way you might be okay with the gas option is to bring the car back on fumes, & that’s not a good idea!
  4. If you wreck the car and you didn’t buy the rental car insurance, you are liable for the repairs.  You could also be liable for the time the rental car is out of service…some insurance policies don’t cover this part, so make sure you know before you go.
  5. Hawaii is a safe place to visit, unfortunately there are people everywhere that prey on tourists.  Do NOT leave valuables in sight in the rental car, if you do it’s very likely you will lose them, and the car may get damaged in the process.


Different types of rental cars available in Hawaii:

  • Economy Car – Mitsubishi Mirage or similar
  • Compact Car – Nissan Versa or similar
  • Midsize Car – Hyundai Elantra or similar
  • Standard Car – Volkswagon Jetta or similar
  • Fullsize Car – Nissan Altima or similar
  • Premium Car – Nissan Maxima or similar
  • Luxury Car – Cadillac XTS or similar
  • Convertible Car – Ford Mustang or similar
  • Minivan – Dodge Grand Caravan or similar
  • Midsize SUV – Nissan Rouge or similar
  • Standard SUV – Hyundai Santa Fe or similar
  • Fullsize SUV – Chevrolet Tahoe or similar
  • Premium SUV – Chevrolet Suburban or similar
  • 2 Door Jeep –  2 Door Jeep Wrangler
  • 4 Door Jeep –  4 Door Jeep Wrangler


We would love to help you plan your Hawaii Trip!  All of our rental cars include all the taxes and fees, plus you also get one free additional driver!  The only thing not included would be gas, insurance, GPS, and car seats…all of these are options you can add when you pick up the car, and you will pay the rental car company direct for these additional fees.  Call today! 800-315-1812

Don’t End up in a Room You Don’t Want

When booking a hotel or condo reservation in Hawaii, make sure you understand the category of room you are booking.  Misconception of what type of view/room is one of the biggest problems when booking online.  No matter where you are from, Hawaii is a long way to travel to find out when you get there that you booked something you don’t want. The online agency is always going to display the cheapest, least desirable room…and it’s not the cheapest because they want to give you a good deal. It may be the cheapest because it has a view into the alley, doesn’t have a balcony (or lanai as we say in Hawaii), or possibly even has no windows – like the inside cabin of a ship.  Using our knowledge and expertise in the Hawaiian Islands, Blue Hawaii Vacations will help you avoid these mishaps when planning your trip.  We’ve listed a guide below to help you with the different room views and types of rooms in Hawaii…


Standard Room:  No promise of any special view or location, the least desirable views and rooms; also called moderate rooms.  Most likely an alley or parking lot view.

Garden View Room:  Should be a better location, views of property without seeing the ocean.

Mountain View Room:
 Typically views of Mountains in the distance.

Partial Ocean View Room:  Major obstructions between room and water; however, you should be able to see some ocean view from the lanai (balcony).

Ocean View Room:  Should have good ocean views from the lanai.  These units are usually located on the side of the resort and your ocean view will depend on which side of the resort your room is located.  Also, many resorts that are not located oceanfront and are located across the street may be quite a distance away and will call their rooms ocean view, even at a distance.

Oceanfront Rooms:  Should have great ocean views, and they should face directly oceanfront with a minimum of obstructions.  You should  have an ocean view even inside of the unit.


Room:  This is a typical hotel room.

Suite:  Larger room and may have a separate sitting area and bedroom.

Studio:  Like an efficiency apartment, everything is in one room and most have a small kitchen.

1 Bedroom:  Generally most have a separate bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room.

2 Bedroom:  Generally most have a 2 separate bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, and living room.  Waikiki is an exception, many of the 2 bedrooms only have 1 bathroom.


Oceanfront Resort:  These resorts are located on the ocean, but not necessarily on a beach.

Beachfront Resort:  These resorts are located directly on a beach.  You should always ask if their beach is swimmable – many beautiful beaches in Hawaii are not.  Always check with the front desk or someone local.  Please be safe.

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