My 13-year-old daughter had wanted to go to Hawaii for several years. We were originally going to go with some friends last summer, but then my daughter had to have elbow surgery and we couldn’t go. I’m a very nervous traveler and not very good at planning trips on my own. But I really felt that I owed my daughter the trip and, what’s more, our cousins from Chicago were planning to be on Maui over the Christmas holidays. So I decided to screw up my courage and try to get to Hawaii (from New York no less, quite a distance for me) over Christmas break. I contacted Susan in mid to late September—which was pretty tight timing, given how busy things are in Hawaii over the holiday period.
From the moment we began speaking, I started to feel more confident and less fearful about the entire process. Susan was amazing from start to finish. She listened to all of my needs and concerns and addressed all of them. She set everything up just beautifully for us. She truly went to amazing lengths to be sure that everything met our needs. When I was worried about a particular hotel, she had a friend of hers who had just stayed there give me a call and describe it in detail (and it was, indeed, a really good choice for us). When I couldn’t make decisions about outings and restaurant reservations and so on, she just took care of all of it. All we had to do was follow the written itinerary.
Most of all, she really balanced the trip beautifully. We spent five nights on Maui at a smaller family oriented hotel—which I really liked—close enough to the larger hotel where our cousins were, but definitely more our style. We had two nights in Volcano Park and were able to take a nature walk, a hike, and a five-hour tour (all in one day) in the park. This was followed by four amazing days and nights at the Fairmont Orchid in Kona. It was without a doubt the most exciting, diverse, and also the most refreshing and rejuvenating vacation I have ever experienced.
What’s more, because I was nervous about landing in Hawaii late in the evening, exhausted from the long trip from New York, Susan broke up the flight from New York to Maui by having us spend one night in Los Angeles at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina del Rey. She and her sister not only sent a complimentary limo to take us to the hotel, but came over themselves and took us out to dinner. We had a wonderful evening together. You really can’t ask for more.