How long will your stay be this time?
Nightly budget? Did you enjoy Waikoloa beach Resort area? Are you looking for an alternate location this time?
Is a condo on the agenda...or Hotel?
TN, you don't mention budget, so I'll jump in with my favorite place. Kona Village Resort has the beauty, excellent snorkeling, and a laid back atmosphere for relaxation. All the food is included, as is the snorkel gear, kayaks, tennis, and other stuff. I'm a huge fan, and did a website just because I like thinking about the village. Take a look at www.davidskvr.net and see if it intrigues you at all.
I'm confused. I would think that you last trip would have given you a sense of the two areas. Did you not get out and about, find places to snorkel, swim, shop, and so forth?
There is no BEST for this mixed agenda, not a clear best. I think it depends on your budget and which area you liked enough to want to hang out.
We enjoyed our time in the Waikoloa area. We spent much of our time in our previous visit touring and exploring the island. My reason for asking for additional input is that we explored the whole island and spent most beach time in the Waikoloa area. We want all of the information we can accumulate from experiences of others to plan for our next vacation.
To clarify, we will be on Hawaii for 5 to 7 days, we want a condo/multi room accommodation and our budget is $200 - $300 a night.
10 days minimum is my recommendation if you are doing the whole island which allows for ample beach and relax time.
If you liked Waikoloa area start out there to get your sea legs again. Then head south to Volcano either direction for two nights. Along the way stop by at Captain Cook sites (Place of Refuge, Two Step, Painted Church, Black Sand Beach), then late afternoon orientation at VNP. Then full day at VNP, Then loop back around thru Hilo town, falls, gardends, especially Hawaiin Tropical Botanical Garnden. If you extend to 3 nights in Volcano or Hilo then you can do an additional side trip to lower Puna scenic drive one early afternoon.
Kona is great for shopping, dining, and snorkeling access but only one good beach just 5 miles north at Honokahua Marina (behind boat stacks).
For best accomodation in Volcano check out Kilauea Lodge. In Hilo check out the Shipman House. If you do that right in the middle of your trip you can loop the island at a liesurely pace and keep your driving to a minimum.
Avoid heading south thru to Pahoa or Kona late afternoon rush hour.
As usual never ever leave your valuables in the car during scenic stops or your car keys unattended and drive safely (night driving for long distance not advisable). Def. avoid events like Iron Man and Merry Monarch.
Here's a good drive guide to help you map out your adventure.
In March, the ocean can be a little rough. For swimming, Kohala (where Waikoloa is) is probably the best option. Not so great in Kailua Kona. Snorkeling you can do in both. Tours will give you more options with snorkeling at that time of year.
Maybe instead of Waikoloa, try moving up to Mauna Lani Resort.
Honestly, I am still confused by what you want people to say short of writing a long essay about the island, which you can already get from a guide book.
I take it you've been to Kailua-Kona. Did it feel desirable to you? Do you have more specific questions about it?
Thanks, great info.Edited: 02 November 2010, 20:09
So read the reviews of the places that interest you, such as Muana Lani. Mine is a classic :-)