Agent Name: Lisa Knotts
Date: December 2008
Trip Location: Maui – Napili, Lana’i, Lahaina & Kihei
Overall Impression: Travelling to Maui in December with my grandmother, before the snow fell in Vancouver, was just what we needed; a tropical retreat with sun and warm trade winds and the one road around the island really makes it difficult to get lost along the way.
Places Visited: Our Maui visit included Tropical Plantation, Maui Ocean Center, Napili Kai Resort, Lana’i Town, Four Seasons Manele Bay, Four Seasons Lana’i The Lodge at Koele, Lahaina Shores Beach Resort, Kihei Akahi, Big Beach, and, for the scrapbook enthusiasts wanting tropical specialties for your memory book, a visit to island Paperie. We stayed for 3 nights at the Napili Kai Resort. It is a great condo resort edging on the Kapalua district and golf heaven. The resort is set on a sheltered bay, though the beach is quite steep and the sand is very soft which makes navigating the shore a little difficult for anyone who may be unsteady on their feet. Most of the suites are facing the ocean so it is hard to not enjoy your stay. We were in a family suite which provided a large living/bedroom area that opened onto a large deck overlooking the putting green, and beyond that to the pool and just beyond that to the beach. Make sure you book an air-conditioned room as some of the studios only offer a fan.
Then over to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai’i at Manele Bay. Service was top notch. Beach towels brought to your beach chairs and shortly after settling in the beach, attendants ensure you remain well hydrated and comfortable with frequent, yet not intrusive, offers of chilled face cloths and ice water or lemonade.
Lahaina Shores Beach Resort was our next stop for 2 nights. In the town of Lahaina you really feel the charm of the old whaling town. Looking out over the channel to the island of Lana’i we found a terrific and walkable beach for the mature traveller who enjoys walking, but without the worry of unsure footing when stepping out the gate of the property. Located next door to a little shopping village in recreated buildings from the whaling era we explored the shops and restaurants where we found Gaby’s Pizzeria & Deli at 505 Front Street. For a simple meal on the patio watching the sun set, this fit the bill for us.
Kihei Akahi Condo Resort – South Kihei Our final two nights were spent in South Kihei. The Condo holiday is not for everyone, but those of you who like to self cater its easy to get yourself set up for the week. South Kihei has great beaches and they are very accessible to everyone. Save yourself the hassle of parking by spending the day at Kameole Beach Parks with your picnic lunch. Showers, washrooms and barbeques are all available to use when you need a break from the surf. Great place for body surfing. And if you enjoy a stroll in the evening, there are many restaurants around for your choice of cuisine and budget, or you can pick something up and grill it by the pool back at the condo resort.
Travel Advice: Maui is an island that is easy to navigate but you don’t want to go without renting a car. It just makes things easier and opens up the door for you to explore the island as it strikes you. Utilize the many guide books that are available to look for something different to visit and check out. Of course many are for timeshare opportunities, so be aware of what you are signing up for. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Remember to pack your portable cooler or collapsible insulated lunch bags so you can pack your lunch and head to the beach for the day…
Favourite Hotel: Of course the service and location was hard to compare at the Lana’i Four Seasons, Manale Bay Resort. But a close second was the location of Lahaina Shores Beach Resort.
Favourite Town: Lahaina with the art stores and wide variety of restaurants.
Favourite Place: If you want to explore a little further make the day trip to Lana’i’s Town. A charming company town that was built up on the top of the island with a town square where you can find more local galleries and the Lana’i Art Program that funds future student programs by the sales of the student projects.
Favourite Beach: Big Beach over near Makena. Mind you there are many more beaches for us to still explore.
Favourite Restaurant: Gaby’s Pizzeria in Lahaina
Local Foods to Try: Lappert’s Hawaii Ice Cream and Coffee – YUM!
Best Show: ‘Ulalena is a show worth seeing. It is a powerful theatrical sensation that depicts the history of Hawaii beautifully.
Best Place to Shop: We weren’t in the mood for a lot of shopping in the traditional sense but we were in Maui right before the holidays and there was a terrific little market underneath the Banyan Tree in Lahaina that we found most of our gifts, from local artists and crafters. And of course for your dry good gifts ABC or the local supermarket is also a good choice. But check out the stores, as there are many specials offered across the island.
Best Souvenirs to Bring Home: Everyone enjoys a treat, but my personal favorites were the plumeria flowers for the girls to tuck in their hair, and the wide variety of macadamia nuts with or without Chocolate.
Most Beautiful Attraction: Not a traditional “attraction” the beautiful little Keawala’I Church near Makena, Maui, founded in 1832, surrounded by the Plumeria trees and fronting the ocean.
Best Time of Year to Travel: In the fall (September to Mid December) for the best “bargain” rates and almost reliably great weather, also a time to avoid some of the crowds that appear during the Christmas through winter season.
What to Pack: For a week pack a couple pairs of shorts, a bunch of t-shirts and a couple of swimsuits. Maybe take one outfit for a nice evening out, but Aloha Casual is everywhere. And of course your flips flops, a pair of walking shoes, a hat, a good sunscreen and sunglasses.