I love Maui! We went there for our honeymoon in August right after our wedding. It was so incredibly perfect – it’s romantic, relaxing, and beautiful. We normally do more adventurous travel (last year we went to the Middle East and saw some camels and the Dead Sea, the year before that we were in South East Asia) but for our honeymoon we wanted a slower pace to just enjoy each other’s company, plus the idea of an easy-to-get-to destination from our home base of Vancouver was appealing. If you’re thinking a trip to Hawaii is in your future, here are my Maui tips:
- The Andaz at Wailea – we stayed here and I would go back in a heartbeat. It is beautiful and new with a modern design. It’s perfect for couples or friends traveling together. It’s not as kid friendly as most of the other hotels, with noticeably fewer little ones here. There are three stunning infinity pools and a regular pool at the bottom (not so infinite after all, I suppose), plus the beach, so you’re set. We had a king oceanfront room on the top floor and it was perfect. Pro tip: before you arrive, request that the hotel put you on one of the top floors if possible. The views are definitely worth it.
- Other hotels in Wailea that I would consider are:
- The Four Seasons
- Fairmont Kea Lani
- Grand Wailea
- There seem to be a lot more kids at these other hotels, especially around the pool areas (which makes sense, Hawaii is a great family place). The Grand Wailea is also dated in appearance and has a Vegas-like quality about it, but it is in a prime location and you can often find really good deals to stay here that make it worth it.
- For condos, booking a place that suits your fancy through VRBO seems to be the best option. I would suggest sticking to the South part of the Island (Wailea or Kihei).
- Ka’ana Kitchen – in Wailea at the Andaz. So delicious. We went here for dinner. The food was yummy and they had a good wine list. They also do a legendary brunch that’s worth checking out. Ask to sit on the lanai if possible.
- Morimoto – also on the Andaz property (we did leave the property, I swear!), we enjoyed this place so much we went twice. We first had a cocktail at the bar and then moved to our table outside (ask to sit outside if possible). We couldn’t get enough of the rock shrimp tempura and the wagyu beef carpaccio. I still crave that shrimp. Order those appies, some mains, and a bottle of sake and you are set.
- Honu – in Lahaina, a 30-40 minute drive away from Wailea. Lahaina is a super cute area and Honu is a great, beachfront place to grab dinner and a drink. Show up early, around 6 to snag a good seat right on the shoreline and watch the sunset.
- Coconut’s Fish Cafe – super casual place in a strip mall in Kihei, they serve delicious fish tacos. Stop in here for lunch one day, order the heaping plate of fish tacos, and make sure to give yourself plenty of time to digest before your next meal.
- Order a selection of slushy drinks at the Andaz’s Bumbye Beach Bar and when you’re hungry, try the lobster grilled cheese sandwich. I got really good at this during our time here.
- Rent a convertible or a jeep and explore the island. We didn’t do the Road to Hana (we were too lazy, as per drinks/lobster grilled cheese activity above) but note that some parts of the road are sketchy and your car rental insurance contract may not cover you if you go there – read your policy to make sure you’re covered before heading out, and rent a jeep if you think this is an activity that you want to do (I think these are the only rental vehicles that might be covered – our mustang convertible wasn’t).
- Snorkel outside your hotel – bring your own travel snorkel set or rent/borrow one from your hotel.
- Go diving at Molokai.
- Check out the Bamboo forest.
- Get a pedicure or a massage at your hotel spa.
- If you’re looking to shop, stop in at the Shops at Wailea. From Louis Vuitton to Quicksilver and an ABC store, this place has you covered. If you’re here and in the mood for a coffee, grab one at the Honolulu Coffee Co.
- Bring your own sunscreen and after-sun products – it’s more affordable than buying them at the hotel. Having said that, if you need to pick some more up, head to Kihei where they have plenty of chain drug and grocery stores where you won’t pay an arm and a leg for these products.
- Travel snorkel set (mask and fins).
- Ladies: plenty of sundresses for dinners in the evenings.
- Guys: a few pairs of nice shorts (re: not board shorts) and some lightweight collared shirts for dinner and drinks at night.
- A pair of nice sandals/shoes other than flip flops.
- Multiple swim suits.
- Running shoes (if you think you might do any hiking).
- Travel steamer – I bring mine everywhere, and it prevents my nice sundresses from being all wrinkled when I wear them. I got mine at London Drugs for $45 and it was well worth it.
HAWAIIAN WORDS TO KNOW:
- Aloha – used as a greeting to say both “hello” and “goodbye”.
- Mahalo – thank you.
- Lanai – porch, balcony, patio.
- Pū-pū – canapé, appetizer.
I can’t wait to go back! I miss it already.