I've read a lot about when is the best time to visit Hawaii. I noticed all various articles agree on the fact that the Christmas period is the most wanted and thus the most expensive one of the year.
As a person who hates to spend his money when it's unnecessary (I knew it doesn't have to be like that), I decided I'm going to break the above widely known 'agreement' and prove everyone (particularly myself) that it's still practical to spend time in Hawaii in a relatively luxurious way and spend the minimum!!
So me & my wife planned our honeymoon to take place in Hawaii this December (2015)! Yes, indeed: two and a half weeks in which we'll explore all 4 main islands of Hawaii!!
Do I need to mention all our booked hotels are Marriott's?... I thought not
We all know that the major cost of such a vacation is the accommodation part - not just in December, but also specifically in Maui (apparently): The cheapest room in the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua towards Christmas is almost $1000 a night (taxes & fees exclusive)! The Courtyard near Kahului airport is $399 a night for the cheapest room (taxes exclusive)!! That's crazy!!! Are Maui hotels the most expensive in Hawaii? I guess that's a discussion for another post
Despite all of the above, as an experienced Rewards member, I had all the tools I needed to reduce all the high accommodation costs in an amazing way!!
My main key of achieving this was: using Marriott's 'Look No Further' rate.
If you haven't read yet my post about this type of rate you're welcome to click here and read some very useful information on what it is and how to use it wisely.
So, as indicated inside the above link, one of the more important things is to book as much as possible in advance. I actually booked my flights about 6 months ago thus getting the lowest rates available, but regarding hotel booking the process is much different:
It's an ongoing process in which you need to improve (reduce) your booked rates from time to time (by using this type of rate). Yes, you need to be consistent, persistent, patient, and always keep searching for rate changes. After all, it is your money you're saving!
I planned my trip's schedule about 6 months ago and started to book the hotels according to the plan. All the rates I booked are, of course, LNF rates which have been reduced rapidly with time due to rate changes during those 6 months. The main idea is to secure a reduced, relatively low, rate (which can be cancelled anytime for no charge) and to improve it when there's a chance (I will not elaborate on how I practically did it as all that info is inside the link above).
Some of my hotels in Hawaii are Courtyards (which in Hawaii are considered to be better than the ones in the mainland) and some are Marriott resorts. Most of the rooms I booked are upgraded ones and as a platinum member I'm counting on my privilege to be upgraded further more!!
You must be very curious of what I've achieved, so here it is (all indicated rates below are taxes & fees inclusive):
5 nights in Kauai - at the 'Courtyard at Coconut Beach': $117/night in an ocean view room.
5 nights in Oahu (Honolulu) - at the 'Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa': $216/night in a premium ocean view room (Kealohilani Tower).
3 nights in Maui - at the 'Wailea Beach Resort & Spa': $202/night for the first two nights and $245 for the third night in a garden view room.
4 nights in Kona (big island) - at the 'Courtyard King Kamehameha': $145/night including breakfast in a regular room.
* Before booking the 'Waikiki beach Resort & Spa' in Honolulu I managed to book a suite in the 'Courtyard Waikiki Beach' for a $162/night!!! (eventually I preferred staying at the Marriott).
So now do the math:
With all taxes & fees included I'll be spending a total of around $2900 for a total of 17 nights. That gives me an average of about $171/night!
Not too bad considering the facts that it's for an upgraded stay in Hawaii during Christmas!!
There's always a better\cheaper option
(It just depends on how much time you're willing to invest in order to save your money)
Looking forward to our honeymoon!!!