Hawaii is currently on my radar for September 2015. Not a definite yet, but if all goes smoothly, I'll be booking 2 FF redemption tickets through Alaska Airlines within the next month. From CMH, it appears I'll be on DL or AA with one or two stops each way . Duration is yet to be determined but I'm looking at between 9-12 days. I last visited both Kauai and Hawaii in 2004. The reason for visiting either island again (aside from visiting the county seats ) is to get away from the crowds and enjoy nature (Volcanoes or the Na Pali coast?). I know I will enjoy either place.
Once the flights are set, I can figure out at which Marriott properties I wish to use my points. With the exception of the inter-island flights and car rental (and of course food), I'm doing this all on points.
At the moment, I'm looking at the Waikiki Beach Marriott for 2-3 nights if the trip is 9 days. If the duration reaches 12 days, I will likely stay 5 nights on Oahu (and might look at Ko Olina) and 5 days on Kauai or the Big Island since the 5th night redemption would be free.
I notice that some of the MVC properties on Kauai are requiring upgrade certificates (in addition to the normal points redemption) which will add an extra 15k-50k points to the cost of the stay. If I'm using 210k points for 5 nights (e.g. Waiohai Beach Club) I want to be sure it's worth it.
Which properties on Kauai are worth visiting? Same question for the Big Island.
Eventually I'll tap into kharada46's extensive knowledge for more information, but for now, I'm trying to figure how best to spend my MR points.