Categories for Maui

Take a New Year’s Resolution Trip!

We’ve all been there – we start off every new year with an earnest proclamation of our resolution. You’re really going to do it this time! As great as our intentions might be, however, it’s often not too long before something goes awry and we slip up, our resolution abandoned in suit. The trick is staying focused, delving in with a plan. Believe it or not, travel can be a fantastic way to help mentally reinforce your resolution and to immerse yourself in the mindset. We’ve taken some of the most common New Year’s resolutions and matched them to an environment that can foster your intention.

Get Healthier in Palm Springs!

Palm Springs is home to dozens of hiking trails!

Looking to clean up your diet or get a little more active in 2015? Look no further than Palm Springs, California! With perennially warm temperatures and clear skies, this sun-soaked destination is ideal for keeping active. Hiking, rock-climbing, cycling, golfing and even more traditional sports like tennis, baseball and soccer can be enjoyed – just be sure to stay hydrated under that desert sun! Palm Springs’ diverse array of international dining options allows for healthier options to be embraced as well. Many establishments even boast organic, preservative-free or vegetarian/vegan options if that’s what you’re looking for. Finally, Palm Springs is home to twenty different spas. Book a reservation and enjoy the pampering you’ll receive – you’ll be all the more motivated to take care of your body if you’re feeling great!

Spend More Time with Family in Stowe!

Picturesque with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, this mountain town is the perfect place to reconnect with your entire family. Stowe, Vermont is often revered for its ski scene but has plenty to offer families regardless of the season. Summer offers gorgeous biking trails, zip-lining opportunities and the much-beloved Gondola SkyRide for breathtaking aerial views. In addition to skiing, winter activities include dogsledding, snowshoeing and sleigh rides. Regardless of the season, families can also learn how cider is mad at Cold Hollow Cider Mill, enjoy a factory tour (and samples!) of ice cream giant Ben & Jerry’s, sip malts in the 50’s-themed Depot Street Malt Shoppe and learn a little something new at the family-oriented Appletree Learning Centers.

Be More Green in Maui!

The Hawaii Nature center is geared towards all ages!

If you’re hoping to make your life a little more green and learn how to be environmentally friendly, Maui, Hawaii is a great place to start. Maui has a long history of preserving its beautiful environment while also allowing others to experience it. The Hawaii Nature Center offers programs where you can not only learn about Maui’s unique environment but also play a direct role in its preservation. The Sierra Club also offers two Maui volunteer vacations where you can help with dedicated projects while also experiencing local attractions. Even many of the area’s timeshares are in on the effort to stay environmentally friendly – The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas details its green efforts while the Hyatt Ka’anapali Beach was awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification!

De-stress in the Florida Keys!

The Florida Keys are very much the epitome of relaxation and time seems to slow down just a bit as you unwind. The Keys’ slogan “come as you are” speaks of the destination’s laid-back and easygoing manner, no matter whether you choose Key West, Key Largo, Islamorada, Big Pine Key or Marathon. Whatever your idea of relaxation is – boating, fishing, golfing, a spa treatment or even just lounging on the beach – you’ll find boundless opportunities. The Keys certainly epitomize the “lazy summer days” atmosphere, but don’t let that fool you. There’s still plenty of high-adrenaline activities to be found – it’s hard to remember your day-to-day stressors when you’re parasailing hundreds of feet in the sky!

Get in Touch with Your Spiritual Side in Sedona!

Sedona’s red rocks are said to house energy vortexes with the capability to heal and energize.

Sedona, Arizona has long been considered a spiritual retreat rife with energy and mysticism. If you’re hoping to re-energize and reconnect with your spiritual side, you can do no better than the famed red rocks. Sedona’s mysterious “vortex sites” are said to be ideal for meditation and inspire a sense of peace and harmony with the world. Sedona is also home to a strong alternative medicine community as well as practitioners of astrology and shamanism willing to pass on their crafts.

Get a Makeover in New York City!

If you’re resolving to reinvent yourself or spruce up your style a bit, New York City is the place to visit. New York will always be a shopping wonderland – SoHo and Union Square are the places for all your favorite brands, while Madison Avenue is home to the ultra-stylish and ultra-expensive stores if you’re seeking to really treat yourself. New York is also home to countless salons and spas to complete your makeover, as well as plenty of unique dining options to take a break and keep your energy up for even more shopping!

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Picking the Perfect Hawaiian Island

When the average traveler thinks of Hawaii, sandy beaches, palm trees and warm ocean water might spring to mind. While Hawaii is most certainly a tropical paradise, it’s so much more than just pretty beaches – six islands packed with their own personality up Hawaii. Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui and Hawaii (or “Big”!)  Island all have their own charm and local attractions that set them apart from one another. Which island is perfect pick for your tropical getaway? Read on!


Kauai lies perched at the top of Hawaiian island chain, slightly set apart from other islands. Renowned for a fierce and natural beauty, Kauai has a distinctly adventurous vibe to it – Napali Coast is marked by majestic sea cliffs, while a glimpse of Waimea Canyon (or the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”) will take your breath away. Souls who flourish when immersed in the beauty of nature will feel at home among the wild, dramatic atmosphere of Kauai.


Home to the state capitol of Honolulu, Oahu is very much the cultural heart of Hawaii. Those who prefer more urban experiences will find no shortage of unique, authentic dining and shopping experiences. If culture is what you’re after, check out the Chinatown Art Walk in Honolulu, or the historic Iolani Palace. Oahu is also nothing short of a surfer’s paradise – catch lessons on Waikiki Beach or tackle the biggest waves at North Shore. Oahu is fantastic for families with diverse interests who might prefer the big-city comfort.


Of all the Hawaiian islands, Molokai has stayed truest to its roots – the island spirit is thick in the air. Kaunakakai is a small harbor town off the southern coasts where fisherman and farmers showcase their hauls. Halawa Valley is an ancient Polynesian site of worship ringed with majestic waterfalls and lush groves, making it the perfect retreat when you’re in need of some tranquility. If you’re seeking escape back to a quieter, more peaceful time, Molokai is the perfect island for you!


Entirely devoid of traffic lights and lacking the crowds of the other Hawaiian islands, Lanai is all about quiet luxury and romance. Keahiakawelo – known as the Garden of the Gods – allows for an utterly surreal hiking experience, while sunset at Hulopoe Bay (one of America’s best beaches!) is one of the most romantic experiences that Hawaii can offer. Couples seeking a romantic retreat will find no better option than Lanai.


While Maui might be known as the “Valley Island”, most vacationers know it by its shimmering beaches. Indeed, Maui calls itself home to over thirty miles of beaches and some prime spots for windsurfing, beachcombing, surfing and snorkeling. In the winter, Maui boasts some of the best whale watching opportunities in Lahaina. For breathtaking island scenery, consider driving the winding road to the remote town of Hana. If you’re looking for classic island scenery and beachside fun, Maui is where you’ll want to be!

Hawaii Island

More commonly known as the “Big Island”, Hawaii Island is the southernmost in the chain and is larger than the other five combined! Hawaii Island makes good use of its space with every sort of scenery from snow-capped mountains to rain forests. If you’ve always had an itch to explore a volcano, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park offers you the opportunity. The calm and clear waters of Kona offer a more tranquil experience and are ideal for snorkeling and dolphin watching. For a taste of everything Hawaii has to offer, look into vacationing on Big Island!
Have you had the opportunity to experience one of the Hawaiian islands? Let us know and share your story! Also, you can check out to learn more about each island and all their best-kept secrets.

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Marriott Adds Hana to Maui Offering

MAUI — In a move to create more vacation opportunities for timeshare owners — and to alleviate an inventory crunch at the Maui Ocean ClubMarriott Vacation Club (MVC) has partnered with a luxurious, rustic and remote resort in Hana to accept Vacation Club points for nightly reservations.

As a result, MVC Destinations Club owners can now book stays at the Travaasa Hana, a so-called “experiential” resort that caters to couples who want to unwind in the most deliberately underdeveloped resort on Maui.  On a busy day, for example, this 70-unit resort at the very end of the steamy Road to Hana can host 140 adults and a handful of kids.  With a one-story, original Hana plantation look and feel, it’s an extreme change of pace from the hustle and bustle atmosphere of the family resorts along Kaanapali Beach on the western side of the island.

Views along Hana Highway
photo credit: Jonathanking

That’s the whole idea in Hana.  Create an original island experience that celebrates the culture, customs and culinary tastes of Hawaii.  Unplug, unwind, take a spa and enjoy the spectacular views of Kaihalulu Bay.  But don’t look for TVs, clocks or radios in the rooms, because there aren’t any.   On purpose.

Travaasa Hana is the charter member of a new “boutique partner” program that Marriott just launched, without any fanfare, to increase owner options on Maui.  The program is new enough that not many reservations agents are familiar with it.  If you call Travaasa Hana directly, their agents will refer you to Marriott’s Destinations Club and for reservations.  Room rates range from 1000 to 3000 MVC points per night, depending on number of guests and time of year.  Kids are extra.

“This is a great option for people who are going to spend a few days at Maui Ocean Club then drive to Hana anyway,” said Brody Long, marketing director at Maui Ocean Club.  He also acknowledged that it takes some pressure off a chronic supply-and-demand problem at Maui Ocean Club.  In peak seasons, Marriott simply doesn’t have enough rooms at its massive, nine-to-12 story, four-tower Maui Ocean Club resort to fulfill requests from deeded owners and members of its Destination points program.

Too Popular for Its Own Good

Maui Ocean Club is arguably the jewel in the crown of Marriott’s Vacation Club.  With 719 villas, the Kaanapali Beach resort is ideal for families who want to explore the island or just hang out at the giant waterslide pool, the swim-up bar or kiddie pirate ship. It’s walking distance to restaurants and shops in Whale’s Village and a short shuttle to Lahaina.  The newer units in the 12-story Lahaina Villas and 10-story Napili Villas are all two- and three-bedroom oceanfront suites with complete kitchens and modern appliances.  What’s more, the staff is persistently service oriented.  Unlike some other timeshare resorts on Maui, the Maui Ocean Club suites also draw top rentals.  Marriott owners using can typically rent a summer week in a 2-bedroom, 2 bath, sleeps-8 suite in the Lahaina Villas tower for $3500 to $4500 (approximately double the annual maintenance fee).  No surprise that Maui Ocean Club earned a #4 ranking on’s list of top 25 timeshare rental resorts for 2014.

The downside of all this popularity is a housing squeeze.  For legacy and new owners, it is increasingly difficult to get weekly reservations at Maui Ocean Club.  This has been a problem for years.  Even though

Marriott has added resorts around the world, and created other travel programs for owners to use points — such as guided tours of Europe and Asia, attending major sports events, or Manhattan getaways  — Marriott has not added inventory on Maui.  Because of its location, amenities and year-round activities, the Maui Ocean Club also has a much higher rate of returning owners every year compared to stateside timeshares.

In fact, Marriott keeps contributing to the popularity crunch.  Their marketing staff aggressively sells new memberships in the Destinations Exchange Club, citing the availability and example of Maui Ocean Club as a place where new owners can come back again and again, as if the inventory is unlimited.

It’s not.  In its Annual Report for 2012, Marriott executives bluntly stated, “Our points-based product…exposes us to an increased risk of temporary inventory depletion.”  With 421,000 owners/members, and increasing sales of points to legacy owners, the risk of having “no vacancy” signs at Maui Ocean Club continues to grow.

More Rooms, More Options

That’s where the Travaasa Hana comes into play.  Even though it’s tiny compared to the Marriott Ocean Club, it has expansive grounds, including 70 acres of tropical gardens, ocean views and a get-away-from-it-all atmosphere that will appeal to many.  Only downside is that it caters primarily to adults.  Kids under 16 are not allowed in the “couples only” Sea Ranch View Cottages except during family weeks, which are very limited.

Travaasa Hana’s Sea Ranch Cottages

It also takes commitment to get there, because the only thing that stands in the way of enjoying a getaway at the award-winning Travaasa Hana is the infamous Road to Hana, which is one of the muddiest, bumpiest and least maintained highways in the USA.   Tourists who drive the circuitous 50-mile Hana Highway, along S-curve switchbacks at 15 miles an hour, usually call it a “once in a lifetime experience.”  They mean it.  They’re happy to navigate it once, and to see all the jungle waterfalls along the way, but they’re not likely to return.   Too taxing for a laid-back trip to Hawaii.  Especially on a road that is purposely under-maintained (this is Hawaii’s way of reducing traffic).  It’s a three-hour drive that takes all day if you’re making a single-day round trip trek from Kaanapali Beach to Hana.  But if you’re heading there for a two- or three-night stay at Travaasa Hana, it becomes a tropical road trip worth repeating. Travelers who don’t want to risk wrecking the suspension on their rental cars on the Hana Highway can, instead, reach Hana by taking a tour bus from Lahaina or hopping a six-seater Airbus from Kahului Airport ($200 per person, round-trip).

Owned by Travaasa Experiential Resorts, the Hana property won “#1 Resort in Hawaii” and “#1 Spa Resort in Hawaii” in Conde’ Nast Travelers 2011 and 2012 Readers Choice Awards, respectively.  Its regular room rates are steep, especially for their all-inclusive packages but also for their a la carte packages.

For example, a family of four reserving one of the two-bedroom, two-bath, full kitchen Waikoloa Suites would pay $970 per night this summer.  A couple, meanwhile, would pay $681 per night to stay in one of the coveted ocean view sea ranch cottages under the a la carte package.  The everything-included package (meals and activities) would cost $1234 per night.

More Bang for Your Points?

The Hana resort should appeal to Marriott owners with deep pockets in their MVC accounts.  But is it a good value?   The least expensive rooms garden view suites cost 1000 to 1500 points per night.  High season rates for ocean front sea ranch cottages can reach 3000 points — per night.  For comparison purposes, here are examples of other ways MVC owners can use their points this summer.

A seven-night, eight-day, 9-meal guided tour of Rome and Florence costs 7500 MVC points per couple.  A week in a two-bedroom, two-bath week villa at Marriott Ocean Club requires 5450 points for an island view, or 8650 points for an oceanfront suite.  One week at Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas, where all 700 suites are two-bedroom, two-bath villas, costs 4725 points. The Fourth of July week at Newport is 5675 points.

In addition to booking stays at Travaasa Hana, MVC owners can redeem points for rooms at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua, which is located just a short drive up the coast from Maui Ocean Club.  Depending on time of year, nightly rates run from 1000 to 2200 points in a deluxe hotel suite, and from 1400 to 2600 points in an ocean view suite at the luxurious Ritz Carlton.

The good news for Marriott owners is that there are no restrictions — yet — on how they use their reservations at Travaasa Hana.   Other than observing a 10-day cancellation policy, owners can list their Hana reservations for rent on

Need More Information?

Reservation tips: Family friendly dates for Sea Ranch Cottages are March 11 to 24, July 25 through August 8, and December 22 to January 4, 2015.  Travaasa Hana will provide complimentary room upgrades to Marriott owners, depending on availability.  For reservations, call a Marriott ownership advisor at 888-682-4862.  For specific information on Travaasa Hana, call 808-248-8211 or visit

This article provided by RedWeek’s new investigative reporter, Jeff Weir.  Jeff is a California-based journalist who has covered California, Congress and the White House. He also has roots in Silicon Valley, where he directed public relations and marketing programs for high-tech companies. He is also a timeshare owner and member of

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Win Their Heart With These Top Destinations!

February begins to roll around and the hunt for the perfect Valentine’s Day present is on! Even with great intentions, how many of us fall back on the tired standbys of chocolate, flowers and a night out?  As much as everyone might love chocolate, we know you can do better! This Valentine’s Day, treat your significant other to something they really want – how about a week away in one of the romantic destinations in the country? We’ve put together a little list of our favorite romantic getaways that has something perfect for every couple!


There’s just something about Maui… it’s in the States, but still carries the spirit of an exotic paradise. Maui also boasts some super-luxxe resorts that are swoon-worthy, and is very tourist-friendly and welcoming for new visitors. Maui epitomizes the sun-soaked, easy-going vibe travelers expect from Hawaii and the adventurous couple has plenty to experience – exploring exotic jungles, hiking around volcanoes or learning to surf. Of course, if you’re after a more relaxed experience, Maui has still got you covered. Beach lounging is a perennial favorite of many a Hawaiian visitor, and the island is home to quite a few award-winning spas to leave you and your lover feeling utterly pampered.


Perhaps a beachside vacation just isn’t your thing… are you the type who perks up at the mention of snuggling on ski lifts and sharing hot cocoa in the lodge? Perhaps Vail is the perfect choice for you! There’s something about the chilly weather and forested mountains that inspires romance, and while skiing is naturally the highlight of a Vail getaway, there’s plenty more to keep you occupied. Hiking and equestrian trails offer some uncontested views of one of Colorado’s most breathtaking regions, or enjoy an afternoon together strolling through Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. The Gerald Ford Amphitheater is one of America’s premiere outdoor venues, and catching one of the varied performances here is the perfect conclusion to a Vail day spent together.

Key West

Key West is defined by its laid-back oceanside attitude, making it a blissful retreat for couples who just want to relax. Between days lounging on the beach and nights out dining at quirky, local retreats, Key West might be one of the least demanding getaways ever. But should you find a day to peel yourself away from the ocean, there’s plenty to do in this one-of-a-kind community: the Key West aquarium, shopping in Mallory Square or enjoying the bars of Duval Street are just some of the local pastimes. 

Cape Cod

Cape Cod embodies the spirit of the Northeast, and is ideal for the traveling couple who seek a quaint and quiet ambiance but with plenty of opportunity for fun. Cape Cod’s main attractions are of a decidedly nautical nature – lighthouse touring, whale watching and seaside dining as well as mainstays such as boating, charter fishing and kicking back on the beach. For an extra romantic night, how about a waterfront, seafood dinner at the Black Cat Tavern, followed by a starlight cruise with a Catboat cruise at Hyannis Port!

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe is all about the splendor of nature, where every view is a breathtaking one. While it might not be the best vacation spot for the average couple, adventurous pairs will not be left disappointed. Regardless of whether you’re going away for Valentine’s Day or planning a summer trip as a gift, Lake Tahoe is packed with seasonal wonders. Winter visitors will have access to Lake Tahoe’s best skiing and snowboarding opportunities, while summer visitors can enjoy swimming and sailing on the lake. With gorgeous mountain trails and thick, evergreen forests, hiking and biking can be enjoyed almost all year long. Lake Tahoe also boasts over 300 clear days a year, so you can count on some stargazing together after a day of adventuring. 

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Top 5 Things to Do in Maui, HI

Maui locals will tell you that nothing is native to Maui. Fruit, trees, plants and more were brought in to thrive under the Maui sun including pineapples (not native!). There is lots to explore on this tropical island that is half desert and half rain forest. Stay in a Maui timeshare and explore the top 5 things to do in Maui, HI:

1. Go Hiking: Frolic in a rain forest, swim beneath waterfalls, cliff jump into the deep water, and along the way as you hike learn from a local guide how to identify various fruits that are edible from the ice cream pod to apple bananas and more. Plus get the scoop on all the non-native trees in the forest including the Cook Pine. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes as this is a rain forest so it rains a lot. Your knowledgeable guide (guide Kate knows the terrain well!) will supply you with a backpack, a rain poncho, and bottled water (and lunch). Choose from half day or full day excursions. Insider Tip: Put bug spray on before you go! Web: Hike Maui. Location: Intersection of Highways 350 & 380.

2. Go Tasting: Feed your five senses with a Hawaii Tasting Tour in Lahaina. Your local guide, Gigi, will take you on a culinary journey to several Lahaina restaurants where you will get to try the best of the best from local fish to the best Mai Tai on the island and even the best shave ice at Breakwall. Insider Tip: Come hungry, this tour offers quite the feast! And while you dine you learn about Maui’s history and your guide, Gigi, will snap photos of you along the way. Gigi will email the photos to you after the tour, a nice memento from an exquisite culinary journey. Web: Hawaii Tasting Tours. Location: Downtown, Lahaina, HI.

3. Go Snorkeling: Maui locals will tell you the best place to snorkel is Black Rock. Along the three mile stretch of white sand is an underground playground of sea life with easy in and out snorkel access right off the beach. Insider Tip: Public parking at Black Rock is located at ground level at the Sheraton Maui Resort. For those who like a more challenging snorkel experience head over to Honalua Bay and carefully navigate over the slippery rocks to the right where the coral is underwater. Be careful entering the water as the seashore is rimmed with sea urchins. Insider Tip: Don’t be alarmed by the murky water, visibility gets better as you near the coral. And keep an eye out for local sea turtle, Nugget. P.S. If you want to snorkel at Honalua Bay by boat hitch a ride with Terilani Sailing and snorkel right off the boat! Locations: Black Rock: 2606 Kaanapali Pkwy. Honalua Bay: Mile Marker: #32 (Honoapi’ilani Hwy aka Hwy 30).

4. Go Driving: Hop in your rental vehicle and visit the Nakalele Blowhole. Park out front and hike half a mile to the right down the ravine and then get your camera ready for the Nakalele Blowhole show! This is nature at its most powerful. Then hop back in your vehicle and venture down the hairpin turns of highway 340. This 13-mile stretch is narrow (drive slow!) and the sweeping views are jaw dropping. Insider Tip: Keep an eye out for Julia’s Best Banana Bread along the way. Web: Nakalele blowhole. Locations: Here’s a map.

5. Go Shopping: Lahaina offers a beach-inspired row of stores off the main drag including the best place to buy affordable Hawaiian gifts at the ABC Store. New to the area is Maui’s first ever outlet mall, which is set to open on November 21, 2013. The outlets will house 35 retail shops including Coach, Brooks Brothers, Michael Kors and many more. Several new restaurants are at the outlets including Hard Rock Cafe and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse with others to come. Web: Maui Outlets. Location: Corner of Papalaua and Front Streets in Lahaina, HI.

Discover timeshares in Maui, HI.

Photo Credit: CopyStrands

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For Father’s Day – A Budget Timeshare Rental Vacation to Hawaii

Does dad dream of going to Hawaii? Everything he’s heard about Hawaii being a piece of Paradise is true. The soft trade winds, air filled with the scent of plumaria blossoms, a spectacular turquoise ocean, and sandy beaches that range from dazzling white to surprising black – all make up Hawaii.

 And actually Hawaii is even more than all of that. Each one of Hawaii’s islands is unique. If you’ve seen one, you certainly have not seen them all. 

Kauai, the most northern island in Hawaii’s chain, is distinctive for its extraordinary natural beauty. The lush tropical vegetation has earned Kauai the nickname “The Garden Island.” Kauai highlights include stunning Wiamea Canyon, known as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific.”

Oahu is the home to Hawaii’s state capital, Honolulu, and the largest portion of Hawaii’s population. Here dad can visit Dole’s pineapple fields, watch world-class surfing with the giant waves of the North Shore, and take an exciting outrigger canoe ride (see photo). In downtown Honolulu he can even enjoy cultural activities such as art museums, symphony concerts, and theater.

Maui, the second largest island, is the “windsurfing capitol of the world.” And its most iconic activity is watching a spectacular sunrise from the top of the Haleakala crater, as did Mark Twain who said of his experience,”It’s the most sublime thing I ever saw.” On Maui dad can also hang-glide, take a glider ride, or even clamber through the caves of a real lava tube.

Hawaii’s Big Island is larger than all of the other islands combined, and is vast enough that it amazingly holds 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones. Here dad can see everything from cattle ranches to active volcanoes, from coffee plantations to mango groves. He can bask on sandy beaches or hike above the timberline on snow-capped mountains.

Hawaii offers something for every kind of dad, all amidst tropical beauty and friendly people. The entire family can hula dance, make flower leis, prepare fresh mahi mahi, snack on succulent papaya, and eat shave ice.

As you can see, like a delicious smorgasbord Hawaii offers a wonderful variety for every taste. And if your family travels on a budget, the secret to an affordable Hawaiian vacation is – a timeshare rental.

For example, timeshare rentals on Oahu are currently starting at just $99/night, right in the heart of Waikiki.

So if dad is dreaming of going to Hawaii but you think the family can’t afford it – think again, and check out Hawaii timeshare rentals for a once in a lifetime Father’s Day gift.

Photo Credit:

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