Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Resorts

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 Hawaii, 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.

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 "Hawaii." 

One thing that intrigues me about resorts in Hawaii 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?

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 Hawaii 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.

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 Hawaii resident would thumbnose resorts as they are a major component of the tourism economy.

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
While 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 Hawaii 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.

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. 

Aloha and mahalo (thank you) for reading!

If you are commenting from the A to Z challenge, please include a link. 
I'm doing my best to keep up with commenting, but do sometimes get behind. Mahalo for understanding!

FYI, I use a program called Disqus to moderate comments but from some devices or systems, it doesn't show up, and then the Blogger default comment system shows up... I'm including a comment I found below from Damyanti, one of the co-hosts. 


  1. A to Z was so right to highlight your pretty blog, but now I have a need to visit Hawaii. Never been. Thank you for the virtual vacation. A friend of mine offered me a Liebster Award for networking. I hope your success is keeping you way too busy to do it! But if you're interested, please see Other Posts on my blog for details. Best!

  2. I would love to visit Hawaii some day! We are on the East Coast, so it's so far away!

  3. A Hawaiian Resort sounds pretty good to me. It's seems smart to position these places in the best possible locations. You have to keep the tourists happy. Our weather patterns are opposite here. Most of the wind and storms come from the west towards the east.

  4. How fascinating that most of the resorts are on the same side of the islands! Makes sense though.
    Rinelle Grey

  5. Boy, I've done that East Coast to Hawaii flight. It can be long. If you can, break it up somewhere in CA or AZ. Hawaiian Air now offers a direct flight from NYC to Hawaii. When it first came out, last year?, fares were $500 -600 RT. Thanks I will hop by your blog!

  6. Funny how opposites attract though. I remember meeting a local gal from Honolulu who went to Cape Cod in the winter and loved it. She wanted to experience the cold and to get away from it all!

  7. I like the idea of staying in a resort, but only as a base. It would be a shame to travel all that way and not see the rest of it.

    Story Ideas
    & Just

  8. Hawaii is on my bucket list of places to go.
    Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2013

    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

    AZ blogs
    on Social Media

  9. I'm not a resort type of person. I prefer the countryside and exploring, and finding out what the locals do. Mind you, if I came to Hawaii I'd want to explore loads - and go to the observatories if I could :)

    Thanks for visiting and happy A to Z-ing!

    Jemima at Jemima's blog

  10. Thanks for stopping by. Yours looks quite interesting but I have to bookmark and save it for later.

  11. Yes, I agree! And some people do really stay right in the resort their whole time on Maui.

  12. I don't think I have ever set foot in a resort. I am not comfortable spending that kind of money when it could be spend on other activities. Still, it was nice to read about them. Give me a condo or a tent and I would be off exploring all the wonderful things you have shared in the A to Z challenge.

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