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Hawaii dive resort / dive op/ location reccomendation

Discussion in 'General Travel and Vacation Discussions' started by LI Diver, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. LI Diver

    LI Diver Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Long Island New York
    I'm looking for recommendations for a dive resort with onsite boats or a quality resort with a nearby top notch diving operation. We have never been to Hawaii so we don't even know what Island would be best. Light or non existent currents and a concierge dive op would not be bad for this old diver. I have heard about the molokini crater and wrecks around Oahu so these sound interesting. Any and all help would be appreciated!
  2. KathyV

    KathyV ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US
    I would also be interested in the responses.

    We once did a great dive trip to Hawaii but it was years ago. We spent a couple of days on Oahu sightseeing, then we flew to the Big Island to do a livaboard trip with the Kona Aggressor. The diving was easy and fantastic and the night dive with Mantas remains one of my all-time favorite dives. And we saw whales when we were out cruising on the Aggressor.

    After a week on the Aggressor we spent a few days on land in Kona and it was wonderful trip.

    I have been back to Oahu but only for business (with a little extra time for sightseeing) so I would like to go back to Hawaii for another dive vacation.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    jonhall likes this.
  3. diving4ever

    diving4ever ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco
    I've dived Kauai, Maui, and The Big Island--and the Big Island is hands down my favorite. I has more sites, lots of diversity, and generally better conditions. It also offers the opportunity for night diving with mantas and black water diving. That said, all the islands have their charms Maui has the Carthaginian wreck and back wall of Molokini, In the summer Kauai offers an opportunity to get out to Nihau.

    To my knowledge, there are no dedicated dive resorts in Hawaii. But there is the Aggressor.

    In Kona, there are several good dive ops, but my favorite is Kona Dive Company. Family run, and a top-notch staff that offers valet service. The offer the manta night dive and they offer 3 tank long ranges more often now that they have another boat. Ther marina is about a 12-15 minute drive from downtown, so I suggest renting a condo in that general area. We like the ocean front units at Kona Bali Kai, and that adds another 5-10 minutes to the drive time. Dive with them once and you really do get treated like family. The only thing they DO NOT offer is the black water pelagic dive. If that is your thing, it needs to be arranged with another op like Big Island Divers (also great).
    LI Diver and KathyV like this.
  4. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    There are no dedicated dive resorts in Hawaii.

    About the closest thing to that you'll find is that some of the regular resorts have dive operations on-site but it would be mostly for shore diving off the premises.

    In South Maui the Grand Wailea has a shop on-site - Wailea Beach is a decent dive. Most of the Molokini boats leave from the Kihei Boat Ramp which is about 10mins. or so from the resort areas. A couple Molokini boats leave from Ma'alea harbor but some are snorkel cruises with diving. Maui Diamond is a smaller dive boat based there but it's booked thru Maui Dreams Dive Co - a shop in Kihei. There are some resorts/condos nearby in Ma'alea but not affiliated - it would be a good hike with gear from any of them.

    The only way to get "valet diving" would be to use one of the shore diving operations and even those generally meet you on-site. Shaka Divers or Maui Freams are a couple in south Maui - I think Scuba Mike based in Lahaina dives the whole west coast. Also be aware that there's maybe 3 dive boat operations in Lahaina and about twice that in Kihei so some operators are merely booking agents.

    A couple of smaller, semi-valet operations would be Mike Severns Diving in Kihei or Extended Horizons in Lahaina. Either meet at the respective docks. EH also has a shop slightly inland of Mala Pier - one of the better shore dives. They also provide guides shore dives.

    On Kauai I believe the Sheraton has a dive operation with a zodiac mostly for their guests. Sheraton Caverns is the dive just off their property - too far to realistically swim out to. The other shops - Seasport Divers or Fathom Five are based in the town of Poipu and keep their boats in a nearby marina - except one that is based near Port Allen - Bubbles Below - maybe 20 minutes west. There is no north shore dive operation and really only one decent shore dive - Tunnels Beach - the Poipu shops guide up there in summer - too rough to dive in winter. Most of an hour to drive up there from the Poipu resort areas.

    On the Big Island generally all the boats are in a harbor just north of town including KDC mentioned above and Jack's Diving. Some of the shops have offices in an industrial park slightly east of downtown - Jack's is to the south on Alii Drive. There's no dive operation south of there so staying in any of the resorts or hundreds of condos nearby requires a drive back to Kona - actually Honokohau Harbor which is about 10 mins. north. Nothing nearby as it's state land.

    Up on the Kohala Coast either Waikoloa Divers or Kohala Coast Divers (can't remember which) keeps their boat in the harbor adjacent to the Hilton Waikoloa- it's a mega-resort with all sorts of other activities. I think you could walk over but I'm not sure - the resort itself is broken up into different sections.There's also 2 shops in the Hilo area but that's all shore diving only.

    I don't know Oahu well but it's my understanding that most operators pick up at the Waikiki hotels and nearby and shuttle you to their boats. Kaimana Divers is often recommended here.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
    LI Diver likes this.
  5. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    There's also a forum for this: Hawai'i - with more detailed options/reviews.
  6. racanichou

    racanichou Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Toronto, Canada
    Every time I went to Oahu I dove with @scottitheduck outfit.
    They were excellent. Some of the best diving I ever did with a bunch of awesome folks!
  7. Raevyn

    Raevyn Garibaldi

    If you are still looking it would help to know what Islands you are even considering. As was stated an official "dive resort" is not a thing on the islands. I lived there (Oahu and the Big Island) for a long time and would be happy to recommend operators for the big island. My husband is disabled so we tend to pick operators that put special care and attention into helping their clients. We also pick our shore dives with care because I have to schlep all the gear and I don't want to haul it long distances. I do not recommend Oahu at all; this may be biased due to my dislike of crowds but I really don't like diving there. Molokini crater is awesome, for a short bit. But in reality I find that there is nothing there that really stood out in the grand scheme of things so I regretted spending the cash to go there when I could do more on the big island with the same amount. Feel free to hit me up via personal message if you are still looking for more information.

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