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You’ve picked a good place to stay. Hawaii Kai is a proverbial gem, and conveniently located near a wide number of attractions that visitors flock to the island to see, without the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. However, since it doesn’t fall under one of Oahu’s designated resort districts, there are no hotels in the direct area which means you’re probably staying in a vacation rental. As such, there is no accommodation-provided shuttle at your disposal, but no need to worry because we’ve got you covered. The details are below, along with a few other tips to making your day of arrival go smooth.
How to Get from Honolulu International Airport to Hawaii Kai and What Else You Need to Consider Before Arrival
Best Way to Get from HNL to Hawaii Kai
Your journey will take you from the I-H-1 E and then on HI-72, better known as Kalaniana’ole Highway. It’s a near 18-mile trek and the I-H-1 E portion can feel like a real drag during peak times of the day, which is when most flights arriving at the airport. For that reason alone it’s best to save the car rental for the next day, after you’ve settled into your vacation accommodations. There is an Enterprise in Kailua (a great place to start your windward side to North Shore drive!), which you can hop a city bus to, or take an Uber.
So what about Uber (or Lyft) as an option from the airport? It’s not much of one. Please note that RideSharingDriver.com states the following:
There’s a very good chance that a small UberX (vs XL or greater) simply won’t cut it. The last thing you want is to be crammed into a hatchback on your near 18-mile drive from HNL to Hawaii Kai. So is UberXL (or other upgraded version) really an option? Well, here’s the price from the airport to Koko Marina Center, the focal point of Hawaii Kai:
The ride share options you need from the airport (with luggage) simply don’t align. Why? Because our flat rate direct no-share shuttle to this residential community ranges from $60 to $70 (for your entire party of up to four people) depending on how deep into Hawaii Kai your accommodations are. Right away you can see we provide the cheapest option. That said, don’t let “cheap” trick you, as our shuttle fleet is comprised of sleek new model Toyota Sienna minivans, offering comfortable transport for your party, and luggage. And we even offer lei greetings, something that ride share services don’t do. View more on the other reasons why you should avoid ride share services from HNL, and while you’re at it, view this article on how traditional taxis are likely the worst option of them all.
What Do To if You Arrive Early?
Some of you may be wondering what to do if your flight arrives at HNL early, leaving you with many hours to kill before you’re able to check into your Hawaii Kai vacation rental. Should you bide your time at the airport? Not at all! You can certainly head into Hawaii Kai and find plenty to do until the rental is fully ready to accept you. If you have a lot of luggage and you don’t want to bring it with you, ask your host if you can leave it at the property while you venture into town or to check out the waterfront. Koko Marina Center is the most popular “time filler” for new Hawaii Kai arrivals, namely because it’s home to famed Kona Brewing Company, which is even great for families. The outdoor plaza is also where you’ll find cafes, eateries, boutique shops, and activity centers so you can book marina adventures, snorkeling tours, boat rentals, jet skis, and much more. There’s even a movie theater should you prefer to seek two to three hours of solace from the sun prior to accommodation check-in.
However, there’s another option should you not be able to stow your luggage yet want to capitalize on your early arrival free time – book a custom island tour! That’s right, in addition to serving as your chariot from HNL, we can also take you on an island tour until you’re ready to check into your rental. The best part, is that you can package this into the cost of your airport pickup and end up saving money, when compared to booking the island tour on another day. View more on your custom island tour options, or simply contact us toll free at 1.800.929.1219 to discuss what works best for you.
~ ALOHA ~