DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
Part 3: Maui
Part 4: Kauai
–Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?
–DansMeals: Los Angeles For The Kosher Traveler
Previous trip reports with pictures:
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
–Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
–Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
–The Hawaiian Islands (2011)
And one of these days I really ought to write up a trip report on Maui and The Big Island.
DDF forum threads:
–Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
–Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
–Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
The 2nd most popular destination that people booked with the Delta glitch was Hawaii. There’s more detail that can be found via the trip reports above, but this will give a quick overview of the options.
If you’re flying to Hawaii in coach on Delta glitch with your family you should look into the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express which gets a free checked bag (a $50 round-trip value per person per trip) for up to 9 people on an itinerary with the primary cardholder!
There are 4 major Hawaiian islands. I’ll cover them each separately. Hawaii is paradise defined and one of my favorite places in the world.
It’s not just the pretty beaches and incredible snorkeling, it’s the refreshingly pure air, hiking, waterfalls, volcanoes…ahh. Just be sure to also leave some time to relax!
Best of all, as a US state, you have all of the conveniences of being back home, though it can take a long time to fly there from the east coast. Your phone works without any roaming fees.
I’ve been lucky enough to make it to Hawaii 5 times:
-In March 2006 I flew to Oahu for 2 days as part of a glitch that included flights and hotels for $87.
-In January 2008 I got $150 United tickets for the family to Hawaii. We spent a week on Maui and a week in Kauai. My parents rented condos in both places for the family.
-In December 2008 Mimi and I spent nearly a month in Hawaii with a week on each island before topping it off with a Shabbos in LA on the way home. We nabbed the Sheraton Waikiki for dirt cheap on Priceline, stayed at the Hyatt Regency Maui and Grand Hyatt Kauai on faster free nights, and had a treehouse on the Big Island via VRBO.
-In December 2009 we went back for 2 nights at the Westin Moana Surfrider Waikiki, a week at the Hyatt Regency Maui, and a week at the Grand Hyatt Kauai on faster free nights once again. This time Hyatt was actually paying me thousands of miles for every free stay.
-In December 2011 we flew with 5 month old Rafi and stayed for a week at the S. Regis Princeville thanks to Starwood free resort nights and a week at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui thanks to lifetime Platinum free suites.
For the last 3 trips we flew Continental BusinessFirst using miles.
Fair warning: The Huffington Post (Disclaimer: This article has non-tznius pictures) says that Hawaii will ruin your life . They’re not far off, it’s kind of like how flying internationally in business or first will class will do the same to you!
The revealed series of books are absolutely required reading if you are going to Hawaii. They read like a novel and are unlike any other guidebook you’ve seen before. It’ll be the best money you spend on your entire trip:
–Big Island of Hawaii Revealed
You can use miles to island-hop. United charges 5,000 for a one-way flight on Hawaiian or IslandAir. They even allow a free stopover on a round-trip so you can fly Oahu-Kauai-Maui-Oahu for just 10,000 miles.
Be sure to allow plenty of time to change terminals in Honolulu and beware that you may have to recheck your luggage in Honolulu. Though, always ask your originating airline to check your bags through to your final destination. Bring a copy of your interisland itinerary to allow them to attempt to do so.
How long should you spend on a single island? The bare minimum is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.
Bringing kosher food:
Food that is in a deep-freeze will remain frozen upon arrival in Hawaii. Mimi cooked a month’s worth of food in about 2 days for our honeymoon and we brought it all frozen. We had each hotel freeze the food for the next islands. Or save the time and buy ready made double sealed travel meals from places like Pomegranate.
You can even bring a double sealed meal onto the plane and have a flight attendant heat it up for you.
Call your hotel beforehand to arrange for an extra fridge and to place extra food in their freezers.
Hotels can heat up double-wrapped food for varying fees. Or bring along your own burner or buy a cheap toaster oven or grill on the island to do it yourself.
Shelf stable La Briute meals may not be great but they’re nice to have a pinch on a long outing like on the Road to Hana on Maui or during an all-day hike.
WalMart sells inexpensive Tabi shoes which are shoes that have a grippy bottom that are great for hiking in stream and waterfalls. They also sell snorkeling gear if the idea of renting old gear grosses you out.
You will sunburn much faster in Hawaii due to its southern location than back home, buy and apply plenty of sunscreen.
If you have a mustache then you’ll want vaseline to stop your snorkel mask from leaking.
You’ll definitely want a car on any island to explore its beauty. There’s no need for a 4WD on Oahu and Maui, the ideal car there is a convertible.
On the Big Island you’ll definitely want something with 4WD, more on that in the next installment.
Most of Kauai can be explored in a regular car though a 4WD may be helpful, more on that later as well.
Chabad of Hawaii has passed on a corporate rate for rentals at Enterprise or National in Hawaii that provides better rates, waives underage fees, and waives different location drop-off fees.
The company name is Hawaii Kosher Weddings. The contract number is XZ36016 and the pin is HAW
You can also bid for car rentals on Hotwire or Priceline that can save you a fortune!
Buy gas at Costco where’s it’s cheaper than at most stations on the islands.
Some Rabbinical authorities hold that you must keep 2 days of Shabbos in Hawaii as the exact location of the halachic international dateline is a matter of debate. Be sure to discuss this with your Rabbi before traveling to Hawaii. If you will keep 2 days remember to discuss all potential ramifications regarding candlelighting, warming up food, etc.
The local communities on each island only keep shabbos on Saturday. Consider yourself lucky if you are able to hear the pilpul from Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz on the subject, a truly fascinating topic.
Oahu: Home to Hawaii’s only major city, Honolulu.
Oahu gets a bad rep from people who stay in concrete Honolulu the whole time. The key is leaving the city behind!
Kosher traveler info:
-Chabad of Honolulu is located at 410 Atkinson Drive, adjacent to the Ala Moana Hotel. It has the only daily minyan in all of the Hawaiian islands. There is daily shacharis at 8:30 and mincha/maariv can be arranged for someone who needs to say kaddish. There is a minyan every shabbos and you can join communal meals on Friday night and Shabbos day. The cost for both meals is $70 for adults and $45 for kids and reservations should be made beforehand.
-Yudi Weinbaum lives on Oahu and runs Oahu Kosher, a delivery food service. Orders for Oahu deliveries must be made the day before and orders for other island must be made 48 hours in advance.
Deliveries to Waikiki are $10. Deliveries to Honolulu airport are $30. Shipments via refrigerated cargo for pickup at other Hawaiian airports is about $75 for a box of 10 meals.
-Grocery stores carry the same kosher items you find back home. In Honoulu there is Safeway, Whole Foods, Costco, WalMart, and Sam’s Club. Costco in Hawaii Kai has kosher cold cuts, frozen salmon, empire chicken, etc. Costco prices are very close to prices back home though prices at other stores can be double what it is on the mainland.
-Chabad of Honolulu sells Hawaiian kipot for $8, a neat gift. If you wear it in Hawaii everyone will want to know where you got it from.
-Most hotels are located in Waikiki. If you’re traveling with a family in Hawaii it’s definitely worth looking into renting a private home or condo from sites like VRBO , Home Away , or airbnb.
-Chabad is located adjacent to the Ala Moana hotel, call Chabad directly for specially discounted rates there at 808-735-8161 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also request the Chabad rate when calling the Hawaii Prince or at the Modern Honolulu. Both are located within half a mile of Chabad.
You can also bid for hotels on Hotwire or Priceline that can save you a fortune.
-The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort costs about 50K Hilton points per night (20K Starpoints transfers into 25K Virgin Atlantic which transfers into 50K Hilton points. 25K AMEX points with the current Hilton transfer bonus or 25K Chase or AMEX points transfers into 25K Virgin Atlantic which transfers into 50K Hilton points) Chabad is 0.7 miles away.
-The Sheraton Waikiki is an SPG category 5 property (12K-16K Starpoints per night or 9.6K-12.8K per night on a 5 night reservation). Chabad is 1.2 miles away. Beware for shabbos that most stairwells here had motion activated lights, though when we stayed here 5 years ago there was one service stairwell that didn’t.
-The Royal Hawaiian is neighbors with the Sheraton and is part of the SPG luxury collection and is a category 6 property (20-25K Starpoints per night or 16K-20K points per night on a 5 night redemption). It’s a highly regarded hotel also known as the pink palace of the Pacific. Chabad is 1.2 miles away. People who have stayed here did not have shabbos issues.
-The Westin Moana Surfrider is an SPG category 6 property (20-25K Starpoints per night or 16K-20K points per night on a 5 night redemption). Chabad is 1.4 miles away. Beware for shabbos that stairwells here have motion activated lights. There are a few rooms that can be accessed from interior stairwells, so make those arrangements in advance if needed. This hotel did give us an absolutely incredible suite upgrade when we stayed here several years ago.
-The Hyatt Place Waikiki is a category 3 hotel (12K Hyatt or Chase points or 6K points+$75 per night). Chabad is 1.8 miles away.
-The Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort is a category 5 hotel (18K Hyatt or Chase points per night if you lock it in by 01/06, otherwise 20K points/night or 10K points+$125 per night). Chabad is 1.5 miles away.
-Turtle Bay Resort is a North Shore hotel far away from the city hustle and bustle.
The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express earns 10K bonus Starpoints for spending $1 and 15K bonus Starpoints for $5,000 in 6 months which would give you a total of 30,000 Starpoints.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 40,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus points for spending $3,000 plus 5,000 points for adding a free additional user. It offers 2.14 points per dollar on all travel and dining expenses and has no foreign exchange fees. The Chase Ink Plus and Ink Bold each earn 50,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 in 3 months, offer up to 5 points per dollar spent, have no foreign exchange fees, and come with free lounge passes. Chase points can transfer into Hyatt points instantly at a 1:1 ratio if you or your spouse holds a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Card card. Chase also has a Hyatt card which gives 2 free nights for spending $1,000 though the bonus categories on the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like Sapphire, Freedom, and Ink are generally much more lucrative than the Hyatt card. Bear in mind that Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire and are transferable while the Hyatt nights must be completed within 1 year and are officially non-transferrable.
-Venture out of touristy and overcrowded Honolulu, there are plenty of stunning views, private beaches, and fantastic hikes on Oahu but you need to leave the city behind and explore.
–Hike Diamond Head, Manoa Falls, or dozens of other hikes that you can read about in Oahu Revealed.
–Snorkel at crowded but beautiful Hanauma Bay or find your own secluded spot.
-Drive the stunning H3.
-Watch surfers wipeout on the Banzai Pipeline.
–Kayaking to a “sunken island” off the leeward (east) coast is very neat (See Oahu revealed for full info on this and many other activities)
–Jetskiing up north on wild waves is a real treat.
-If you go to Pearl Harbor/USS Arizona Memorial, go early. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Be there at 8am and you won’t have to wait around for hours. Also don’t bring any bags with you.
-Kids may enjoy the Dole Plantation.
-Count how many ABC stores are in Waikiki 😀
-Helicopter tours are breathtaking, but they are better taken on other islands if possible.
Have more tips? Hit the comments and share your thoughts!
Leave a Reply
84 Comments On "DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler. Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu"
All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.
I think it’s time to have a section just of travel itenirarys
Really awesome job!!
Thanks to Dan, there are a bunch of people from LA going to be in Maui for Shabbos 1/25/2014. We are looking at possibly arranging davening and catering at the Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali. If anyone is interested, please email email@example.com. Thanks.
wow great article, even though i am not traveling to hawaii still thanks so much for all of this!
planning to be in big island Shabbat Feb 8th
“Chase also has a Hyatt card which gives 2 free nights for spending $1,000 though the bonus categories on the Chase Ultimate Rewards cards like Sapphire, Freedom, and Ink are generally much more lucrative than the Hyatt card. Bear in mind that Ultimate Rewards points donâ€™t expire and are transferable while the Hyatt nights must be completed within 1 year and are officially non-transferrable.”
whats better than 2 free nights in a Hyatt? How are the ultimate reward cards better than 2 free nights?
If you want a sure thing though go for shabbos to HNL.
The Ink cards gives 55K for spending $5K for example.
Sapphire gives 48K total for adding an AU and spending $3K. Those points can go to Hyatt or to many other airlines and hotels.
2 nights at the Hyatt Oahu or Hyatt Maui are just 40K or 20K+$250.
Plus those points never expire and are transferable. The Hyatt nights expire in 1 year and are officially non-transferable.
2 nights are great, but so are the points.
But my point there was that for general spending you’re better off earning 1.07, 1.1, 2, 2.14, or 5 points per dollar with the Chase UR cards rather than on the Hyatt cards.
I’m really confused these tickets were to Honolulu, can you tell us about honolulu, is ohau Honolulu? I’m really getting confused with all these names.
Anyone going to be at the Sheraton Waikiki during 1/25 ?
The Arizona Memorial is must do. We loved Diamond Head, Iolani Palace and rented a house in Ewa Beach, a residential community not far from Waikiki but worlds apart. Our backyard was the beach with the Honolulu skyline and we had it to ourselves.
Thanks dan actually going there next month with delta glitch first class. From those hotels you mentioned can you grade them on a 0-5 basis (not concerned with distance to chabad)
Also car rentals are $100/day
Nice post! It’s making me consider shortening our Italian trip and go to Hawaii as well.
“Oahu: Home to Hawaii’s only major city, Honolulu.”
Hard to say as I’ve only been to the Westin and Sheraton, which were both nice hotels.
The Royal Hawaiian is probably the best of the bunch though.
Did you try the code in the post?
Did you try hotwire/priceline?
Don’t have any Avis Daily Getaway vouchers?
Both great places to visit, big world out there!
Luckily for you from LA it’s really easy to hit up Hawaii!
Thank you for an informative and well written post. I really appreciate the time and effort you expend to make planning our vacations simple and cheap.
Just curious, what’s dansMeals? And why is this post in that category?
@Dan: so you would agree it worth it to spend the $1000 on Hyatt to get the 2 nights free and then do all the other spending on the freedom, sappgire etc??
Just a way to categorize this new series for jewish travelers.
The LA report was pretty heavy on restaurants, so that’s what I went with! Not really a DansDeals, more like a DansMeal 😉
2 nights is obviously worth more than 1,000 points if that’s what you’re asking. It’s just not as good as the bonuses that come from the other Chase UR cards.
@Dan, are you aware of any deals or offers to stay at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore?
yehudi are you going first ? i want to send avremel chazanow a case of wine for my trip in march.
Please help me help others, i can arrange a well packed case of wine (about 40 lbs) in either ny, la or miami. I think i’ll take a case of meat and just bbq galore 🙂
Try to find it on Hotwire or priceline.
It’s the only luxury place up north.
Or see if AAA or Costco has discounted rates, etc.
Does this Walmart give you an easy time with bb and gc?
If your in LA, I’ll lend you the Oahu revealed (with $15 mashkon) valley or city. twitter: @kingsfan3344
anyone know about the Disney hotel on Oahu? I believe it is called the Aulani resort. any Shabbos issues? (yes I realize its an hour drive to chabad…so walking is out of the question, not going to happen) is it nice?
Thank you for an informative and well written post. I really appreciate the time and efforts you expend to make our trip planning simple and cheap.
I expect that book in my hand by days end 🙂
I’d like to see pics of the treehouse! 🙂
Heading to Hawaii with my wife on Delta glitch tickets.
Do you think it is worthwhile for both of us to open Hyatt CC for the two free nights each?
thank you Dan for the informative article and for those amazing tips on having A good vacation in Hawaii. My question is we will only be hi in Honolulu 5 days, does it pay to take a plane ride to another island or just hang out in honolulu?
We are going in May: Anyone else going then???
@Dan: Whats the kosher food like on business elite and first class with delta? Thanks
I’m green with envy. I didn’t get to the computer in time to book the glitch tickets.
The Chabad car rental contract #XZ36016 that Dan lists above saves you a fortune! Even though it shows a high price when you select the car, when you continue to the next page to confirm – the prices are much much less!
Thanks Dan & Chabad!
Hey Dan , when will you do a seminar in monsey? It would be great here !
I made it to your LA seminar…time well spent!!
Also booked on the Delta glitch – TY!!!
Question: This past week my iphone has not been converting your site to mobile…Any idea why, and is there a fix?
I have a Waldorf free night voucher good thru feb that I would consider selling – the Waldorf resort starts around 600$ a night ..
@Dan or anyone else for that matter- Anyone ever stay at the Sheraton Maui? I currently have a reservation for February for that hotel using SPG, and curious as to whether its worth spending money to stay elsewhere…
Dan how do i get those avis daily certificate?
I am going to Oahu and Waikiki in 2 weeks thanks to the glitch. Wanted to use chase points for a hotel. I received the ink busness cards a week and a half ago and met the spending limit. When do those points post and any way to speed it up. Thanks!
So I guess if I want to have a manin for shabbes my only option will be to be in Oahu?
I am planning to be there for 2 weeks how should I make my trip from ny
Thanks for this info dan.
Dan, great job as usual.
The only thing i would add is to check all items before buying. We bought a product in Walmart Waikiki that we were familiar with (some bread product, I think maybe those whole wheat thins) and they didn’t have a hashgacha in Hawaii. We found a comparable item that did, I’m just saying it’s good to double check and not assume.
It’s yours. Coffee bean 830
If we are 2 people flying mainland to HNL, then to an island, then the reverse leaving. Is that 4 legs requiring $6 per person per leg= $48 for the bags? Still cheaper than what they want to charge.
Just wanted to confirm what Dan mentioned above about Priceline for rental cars– we are going to be enjoying our convertible around Hawaii for $34 a day 🙂
With 5 days pick one island to hang out on.
Rarely is airplane food good.
We had to take it offline temporarily.
Do you find that the mobile site is better than the desktop?
People enjoy it though I’ve never been there.
They sell them in the summer only.
The points post on the statement after you meet the spending.
Though if you meet the spending too close to the statement close date then it may not post until the following statement.
@Ready to vacation!:
Aulani. Amazing. Seriously. Stayed there when they opened January 2012.
The revealed series is available on Android and possible iPhone for half the price. Awesome app. Searchable and had everything the book has.
Should I add it to the post?
What was so amazing about it? Seems expensive for Oahu.
What are you thoughts on opening Hilton card for 2 weekend nights for the hilton near Chabad is that a good value?
I get them but I was on the road. Was this first class glitch a once-in-a-lifetime or does it happen occasionally ?
Part of my itinerary on oahu from January 2012
And my shark diving video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9vayrO_gis&feature=youtube_gdata_player
I will send you some screenshots
here is my brief review of the “revealed” series app:
screenshots here: (i also put some pics from my oahu trip of 1/12 in the sub folder) https://www.dropbox.com/sh/yx37wha7rojnnl8/_E6XnR084y
-tag the places you want to see in your favorites.
then when you are there just click the favorites button.
-lets say you remember you wanted to go shark diving, instead of sifting through the pages just search for shark
wait. how far is it from Waikiki? just click map. you can also click direction on the bottom and it will open your map app (waze, google maps, etc). or link directly to the company’s website
-so far my favorite feature is “best bets”. since there are so many attractions, just choose the area, then it will give you the authors favorite choices of each category.
definitely worth the few bucks.
although i do have the book and the app…
i wanna go
so the book is reserved for tully….
@Dan: Should i use UR points to rent car in HNL? 16000 for 3 days with Dollar car rental?
Yes! It’s much easier to use your site on iPhone with mobile site…
Desktop mode requires too much effort. Please bring it back soon and keep up the great work!!
Consider yourself lucky if you are able to hear the pilpul from Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz on the subject, a truly fascinating topic. Any link available?
I was in Hawaii for a year last year.. I can definitely concur with this article.
Though I might say that a 4wd is much better on Maui… so much more convenient especially if you’re completely circling the island and/or you go off road…
@dan I dont know if you’ve been to the island of molokai, but its such a beautiful island.. its ideal if u know someone there who you can stay by and have him show you around.. (ppl there have so much pride in that island and know they’re island well) I stayed at a friend there who comes to chabad of hawaii (his land itself is about 200 acres) and the north shore there is beyond, and i mean BEYOND words!! The island has insane valleys and some of the most highest sea cliffs in the world!! (great hiking places) and the island has like what, a few thousand people living there..
You can easily do a day trip to an island but there’s plenty to do for five days.
Aulani is very expensive and the only reason I stayed there was because it was brand new and i had a travel agent friend that was gracious enough to get a room for us on the travel agent new hotel rate at a deep discount.
however, if someone is interested in splurging, it is by far the nicest place i have ever stayed. i’ve previously stayed (in maui) at: fairmont kea lani & the westin kaanapali
i posted some pics here:
You gotta see the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees in Kailua on Honolulu. Google them;they’re beautiful
Kingsfan. You are awesome. You too Dan.
Dan if I’m diamond status what will i get with hyatt regency and hyatt place in Honolulu?
if I am flying first class to Hawaii On Delta Airlines do I have to pay for luggage?
Dan can u an itinerary for Arizona I am going and know lots of people going”’Thanks
@Joe: No you do not
is there kosher meals on direct flughts from the east coasr to Hawaii in econmy class? bc its a long flight…almost like going to Israel…
@Joe: when are you going
Hawaii..I dont know yet either Oahu or The big island…
Which hotel do you think is better the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort or on the other island the Hilton WaiKoloah Village Beach Resort?
Its a touch one for me. If I go to Hilton WaiKoloah Village Beach Resort I have to take another flight to the other island and thats another $350
@Please elaborate: Oahu is on the Honolulu island
hey dan !! thanks for all your work. me and my wife really want to go, but we want to b able to go to the beach and know 100 percent that no one else will show up. would you know which island and where would be the best bet?
Dan can you explain how you can do Hnl-lih-ogg-hnl for 10k points. shouldnt it just be hnl-lih-hnl?
Dan, thanks to your post going to hawaii jan 19-26 be”H!
Thinking of visiting Maui since we don’t have much time. Worth it to split the trip between oahu and maui? Any cheap commuter planes between the islands?
@mmb: we will be 🙂 trying to figure out how shabbat will work there. Let me know if you hear of anything regarding that hotel
@mmb: sorry we are being at the hilton Wakkii
Going to HNL 2/13-2/19
Need a place to stay for shakos for 6 people near chabad that isn’t high up or has the lights in hallway and electric key issues. Any advice? Anyone else going that wants to share a bigger place?
Also, will be staying in the Marriot resort suite in Ko Olina from Saturday night. Any tips for that area?
Also, have a night available Wednesday night after 8:00 through Friday. If interested, let me know and we can rent it out for really cheap.
Lastly, can you take kids to diamond head?
“Chabad of Hawaii has passed on a corporate rate for rentals at Enterprise or National in Hawaii that provides better rates, waives underage fees, and waives different location drop-off fees. The company name is Hawaii Kosher Weddings. The contract number is XZ36016 and the pin is HAW”
What website do I go to in order to book this/check out pricing? Thanks, Hanna
@MES: MES, please PM me, i will be there that week as well (staying in the Hilton Waikiki Village for Shabbos), and am interested in your Wed night-Fri offer….
Dan is there any way to travel from Oahu to the other islands using delta miles?
has anyone been to/know about the polynesian cultural center in oahu?
Hi dan, u mentioned there are private beaches on oahu, canu
tell me where? Its pretty crowded this week in wailiki.
Airbnb has now expanded to Cuba.
Anyone have an updated Chabad discount code for car rentals? They keep asking for an exact account number and the one listed isn’t working
@dan this post can def. Use an updated