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Hawaii itineraries

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The Roundup

A Hawaiian Vacation for All of Life's Big Occasions

by Jeralyn Gerba

A Hawaiian Vacation for All of Life's Big Occasions
A bride, her friends, and the vast ocean. Photo by Jeralyn Gerba.

It didn't take much island-hopping, mock-wedding crashing, or tiki-tippling for Fathom editorial director Jeralyn Gerba to realize there's pretty much always a good excuse to celebrate in Hawaii.

HAWAIIAN ISLANDS – The aloha spirit is the most hospitable kind. The sun is shining, the palm trees are swaying, the rainbows are doubling down, and the fruit is always fresh from the tree. What more do you need to celebrate? Just the people you love. (Not that it will take too much convincing to get them there with you.)


OCCASION: FIRST VACAY WITH YOUR BAE

When You Want: To look like you're trying, but not too hard.
The Island: Maui
The Hotel: The Ilikahi, an affordable and hippie-chic four-room sanctuary that is laid-back, ecofriendly, and a far cry from the golf course resort. Its Lahaina location is known to have a great reef and break wall, making it just the spot for learning to paddleboard and surf.
Go home with: A box of Maui Gold.

OCCASION: BACHELORETTE WEEKEND

When You Want: Enough room for all your girls, the ease of big resort amenities, and the option to effortlessly customize.
The Island:
Maui
The Hotel: The Westin Maui Resort & Spa has rooms with half-moon balconies overlooking aqua pool after aqua pool, surrounded by tall palms (great for selfies). The spa, the hotel's main feature, can be booked for private parties. This means you'll spend a whole afternoon getting treatments, relaxing together in a private suite, and snacking on a lovely arrangement of healthy snacks (parfaits, local fruit plates) and fresh juice cocktails.
Send the ladies home with: Ocean Organic Vodka from the island distillery.

Impressive breakfast spread. Photo courtesy of The Palmwood.

OCCASION: THE HONEYBABY (A.K.A. BABYMOON)

When You Want: To feel grounded.
The Island: Kauai
The Hotel: The Palmwood is a B&B delight. The secluded guest house, fashioned after the ryokans of Japan, offers simple luxuries, carefully prepared meals, and a rustic breakfast you'll be talking about until the baby comes home.
For the Ride Home: Locally made Anahola Granola.

OCCASION: WEDDING NIGHT

When You Want: Old-fashioned glamour.
The Island: Oahu
The Hotel: The Royal Hawaiian, that iconic palace of pink on the shores of Waikiki. Slip into a rhythm in side-by-side rocking chairs on the lanai overlooking a coconut grove or retreat to your well-appointed room to put on matching, pink-striped Frette bathrobes and relax. In the morning, claim a chaise-for-two around the beautiful circular pool and nap under the pink umbrellas, the sounds of bustling Waikiki Beach in the background.
Keepsake for the two of you: Get the bathrobes! And Rare Hawaiian organic white honey.

Citrus as decor at a breakfast party at Moana Surfrider. Photo by Jeralyn Gerba.

OCCASION: BRIDAL BREAKFAST

When You Want: A wow-factor for your wedding guests.
The Island:
Oahu
The Hotel: Moana Surfrider, with its sweeping colonial style and famously fab Waikiki beachfront location. We're talking prime-time views and well-worn tropical luxury. Avoid the crowds and call on the incredible on-site wedding planners to arrange for an intimate Hawaiian blessing at sunrise on the roof and a gorgeous breakfast spread to follow.
Parting Gift: A trio of Sea Salts of Hawaii.

OCCASION: BIG ANNIVERSARY

When You Want: Comfort and convenience for the whole family.
The Island: Kauai
The Hotel: Get everyone to book out the apartment-style hotel rooms at The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas. The large resort is low-density, with plenty of room for a game of freeze tag or catch, swimming, sunbathing, and sporting — without getting in the way of other guests. Rooms have working kitchens and washer/dryers, and dotting the premises are barbecues for dinner as you like it. (There's an on-site grocer, and you can ship or deliver whatever you like in advance of your stay).
Stock the Pantry: Find local specialties the whole family will love, like Adoboloco Hot Sauce and bean-to-bar Madre Chocolate.

Chill out. Photo courtesy of Surfjack.

OCCASION: BIRTHDAY BASH

When You Want: Cannonballs and cocktails at the pool.
The Island: Oahu
The Hotel: Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, a soulful little boutique hotel — new to the island — with mid-century modern furniture, local artwork, organic Hawaiian home cooking, and a really cute Instagram feed.
The Snack of Choice: Maui Style potato chips (shrimp flavor!).

Welcome! Photo by Jeralyn Gerba.


PLAN YOUR TRIP

Hawaiian Airlines offers nonstop service from several US cities — mostly from the west coast, and there is a 10-hour direct flight from New York's JFK. Their clever and under-the-radar Wedding Wings program allows brides and grooms to get discounts for their flights and send fare discounts to their guests.

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE

Fathom Guide to The Big Island

Jeralyn is Fathom's co-founder and editorial director and NYC's biggest fan. You can follow her at @jgerba Instagram, and Pinterest. She travels for the ancient ruins and the future relics.
Get to know her better: Fathom Questionnaire
Read more: Fathom stories

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