Resorts are synonomous with vacation, paradise, sun tan, beach… a room with a view, a nice spa, pool, golf course, restaurants, and luxury amenities, where one can be pampered like royalty, and be the envy of everyone back home. Plus resorts are where one can gawk at the occasional celebrity. Woo hoo!
|A gateway to the resort area of Wailea on Maui.|
There are many other options for a vacation in
, yet they are not as upscale:
camping, bed and breakfasts, hostels, a little beach cottage, even
couchsurfing or airbnb. The next step above those is condos and timeshares, fancy beach
homes, some of which are pretty posh in their own right, but they do not have
the same cachet as luxury resorts. Hawaii
Resorts just seem to fascinate people the most, and in keeping with the Hawaiian cultural theme, resorts are one of those things people think of when they hear the word "
One thing that intrigues me about resorts in
is where they are all located. They
are mostly on the western or sometimes the southern side of the islands. If the
south shore of the island is not a true south but faces towards the east, then
there usually aren’t any resorts there. Why? Hawaii
|Source: original image is by NordNordWest/Wikipedia, as a creative commons image with this uniform resource identifier. I have remixed the work to include places in red to highlight resort development in Hawaii. |
There may be areas I've missed, but this is a general idea of where resorts, condos and hotels are located.
The eastern and northern shores of the islands are considered the “windward” side and get more wind and rain and therefore have few if any resorts.
The resort development in
is located in the most protected, least windy, and sunniest sides of the
islands. Make sense, right? To keep tourists happy, they need to have reliably
nice weather. No one comes to Hawaii
to get rained on. Hawaii
With resort development, there are some complex issues around land use, environment and sustainability, jobs, changes in the neighborhood, quality of life for residents, dependence on tourism. I’m not exploring any of that here.
However I don’t think any
resident would thumbnose resorts as they are a major component of the tourism
|The resort area of Oahu: Waikiki with a view towards the ever-present Diamond Head.|
Source: Wikipedia Creative Commons by Alan Light, also on Flickr.
Hawaii resorts are happy to take
one’s money, they won’t prey on vacationers the way some resorts do in the Caribbean.
I’ve heard stories that resorts on the other side of the world will encourage the hotel staff to set up your umbrella or cabana, bring you fancy drinks all day and then charge you $400 for all the room service on the beach. Yikes! $$$!!
It’s also safe in
to leave the confines of the resort. You will not be kidnapped or sold on the
black market if you leave the resort. In fact, the concierge will even
encourage you to see the island. Hawaii
Resorts, however are not for everyone, and there are great reasons to stay at a resort and great reasons to stay somewhere else. I’d be happy to talk about that more at some future time.
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