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Dive Review of Dive Makai/Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel in
Hawaii/Kona Coast, Big Island

August, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by Robert Johnson, NM, USA
Report Number 134
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Okinawa, Belize, Honduras, Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman,
Bonaire, Bimini, Florida Keys, Texas Gulf Coast, Califronia, Maui
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
surge, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Computers required, can rent computer for $5 fee; no restrictions on dive
time; I was allowed to make long dives, up to 1.5 hours.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Plentiful tropical fish and small critters. Sea turtles were numerous and
were unafraid of divers; very easy to approach. Dive Makai's leisurely pace
made it easy for photographers to take their time; I did not feel rushed at
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel was fantastic! The staff was extremely helpful
and friendly; very service oriented. From the very first day the staff
greeted me by name. The hotel pays attention to details; upon check in I
was greeted with a cool wet towel and a refreshing drink. There were
absolutely no extra charges for valet parking, local phone calls, use of
in-room safe, porter service, etc. (Several firends staying at the Waikoloa
Hilton were constantly being charged for this and that.) The hotel is
beautiful; it is very quiet and secluded. The beach was voted the best in
the USA by Conde Nast Traveler; it was great for swimming, but the
snorkeling was not great. 

I found the best snorkeling at Honaunau (Place of Refuge) Bay near the
National Park and Kahalu'u Beach Park. There are plenty of things to do
other than dive or snorkel; the giude book "Hawaii The Big Island
Revealed" was extremely helpful ([ link]). For fish identification, I
recommend "Hawaii's Fishes, A Guide for Snorkelers, Divers and
Aquarists" by John P. Hoover.

Dive Makai is the best day charter I have encountered. I dove with Kona
Coast Divers on a previous trip; the staff was not very friendly and had a
bad attitude; they enforced limits on dive time and depth; they harrased
the marine life. Dive Makai was just the opposite. They were very
enthusiastic and knowledgable about the island and its marine life. They
dive guides were adept at finding interesting critters and were mindful of
not disturbing the animals. Dive Makai allowed me to dive at my own pace.
They allowed more experienced divers to enter the water first and dive on
their own, while they helped less experienced divers. I saw many
interesting animals: angler fish, mating octopi, spotted eagle rays, helmet
shells feeding on sea urchins, to name a few.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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