View Full Version : Going to Hawaii to dive for first time.. Looking for advice on resorts/dive charters
October 18th, 2011, 12:29 PM
My wife and I are taking our first trip to Hawaii. I was thinking of going to Oahu. I have no clue where to stay. I'm looking for moderately priced rooms from $ 150-$250 a night on the ocean.
I'd really like to stay someplace where there is decent snorkeling on the beach. We are also looking for a good dive charter close by to wherever we stay.
Any suggestions or tips?
October 18th, 2011, 01:32 PM
We went to Oahu last year, and stayed 1/2 time at the Sheraton / Waikiki (VERY nice, central location, right on the beach. Phenomenal views of the ocean). The other 1/2, we were in Kailua at a VRBO rental - about $120/night near the ocean, but not ON the ocean.
I didn't think we'd like Waikiki, but we did. Busy, but great paddleboarding, people watching. No matter where you go, I'd expect that you'd drive all over to the various dive sites. Waikiki seems centrally located. We did dives both north and south of Waikiki.
If you want to stay away from the hustle/bustle of Waikiki, Kailua felt like a residential area - almost suburban. Not sure that I'd do that again. VERY nice place, but didn't have that beach vacation feel. Plus, the wind was going the "wrong" way during our trip, so the Lanikai beach wasn't as spectacular as we hoped. This is what it "should" look like:
View from Sheraton:
October 18th, 2011, 01:41 PM
I can't help you with accommodations, but I had a great time diving with Gabe Scotti (Scotti The Duck on SB) - see http://www.scubaboard.com/forums/hawaii-ohana/297641-big-shout-out-scotti-duck-gabe-scotti-kaimana-divers.html . One benefit to diving with Gabe is that he picks you up at your hotel and takes you to the boat - no traffic to deal with, no parking meters.
October 18th, 2011, 02:05 PM
If you are coming to Hawaii to shop and dive, in that order, Honolulu is great. If you coming to Hawaii to dive and sight-see, try the Big Island next time.
October 18th, 2011, 04:48 PM
I looked into the Sheraton Waikiki and it's way over my price range. It's like $ 400 a night. Can't do that. I need something in the $200 A night range.
October 18th, 2011, 04:55 PM
Hilton Hawaiian Village is on the beach and within 15 min walking distance from downtown Waikiki, several restaurants, and Ala Moana Center (shopping mall) they have all ranges of rooms from single hotel rooms to 3 bedroom suites. If you are renting a car, parking at most of the hotels is pricey. I did my OW with Ocean Legends it's not that far from the hotel. They don't have their own boat, but the ones they use wasn't over crowded with divers. One of the boats they use is a catamaran, which was great because there were 6 to 8 foot waves. And they dive on both sides of the island, the time of year that you go will determine how the waves are.
Oahu Hotels & Resorts - Hilton Honolulu Waikiki Beach Hotel & Resort, Hawaii - HI (http://www1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/HNLHVHH-Hilton-Hawaiian-Village-Beach-Resort-Spa-Hawaii/index.do?ctyhocn=HNLHVHH)
Hawaii Scuba Diving | Dive Oahu | Tours, Activities & Training (http://www.oceanlegends.com/)
October 18th, 2011, 09:46 PM
I have been to Oahu twice within the last 4 years. We stayed at the Aston Waikiki Beah Hotel. It was comfortable and directly across from the beach. The charter we used is called the Hawaii Nautical. They are located about 30 minutes out of Waikiki in the Ko Olina Resort harbor. I highly recommend them. They are professional and courteous. If you don't want to haul gear they have it all to rent. Both times we went out with Chris - she was awesome and lots of fun. My wife doesn't dive, but she went out on the charter and enjoyed the trip. If you want some great snorkeling you must go to Haunama Bay about 20 min from Waikiki. Here are the links: Hawaii Nautical - Surf and Scuba (http://www.hawaiinautical.com/scuba) and Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel (http://www.astonhotels.com/resort/overview/aston-waikiki-beach-hotel)
October 18th, 2011, 11:02 PM
When are you looking to come over? If you give me some dates, I can give you an idea of a good place to stay. PM me if you want.
October 19th, 2011, 12:37 AM
Charlie, we were thinking in July or August.
October 19th, 2011, 01:41 AM
We've used VRBOŽ is Vacation Rentals By Owner (http://www.vrbo.com) for all our lodging when on inter-island trips. I'd take a look there first.
For diving, give Gabe at Kaimana Divers (Kaimana Divers: SCUBA Diving in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii, Waikiki (http://www.waikikiscuba.com)) a call. His crew is great...good people that love what they do and are good at it. You'll enjoy diving with them. They don't have their own boat, so they can easily dive all over the island. They're quickly becoming the only operator that I dive with on Oahu.
October 19th, 2011, 06:13 AM
Another vote for Gabe. I have been to Waikiki Beach 3 times and dove with him with excellent results.
I stayed at Outrigger Reef on the Beach and it was within your price range; nice hotel.
I hope you have a great time.
October 20th, 2011, 12:19 AM
Outrigger Reef is a great choice. SELO! Come back..... We miss diving with you. Nov 19th, Ducks vs Trojans.
October 20th, 2011, 10:37 PM
Looks like Gabe is my top choice then. Gabe, how far is Outrigger Reef and the Hilton Hawaiin village from your shop?
October 20th, 2011, 10:46 PM
Charlie, we were thinking in July or August.
That's probably a GREAT time to dive with Gabe. By then, he'll have forgotten about the whooping my Colorado Buffaloes serve up to his ducklings this upcoming weekend.
October 21st, 2011, 11:06 PM
Steve, PM me on RC - FMAS or call me, we where just there and can give you lots of info.