27 Apr HAWAII TRAVELGUIDE PART I | MAUI
[A]loha. Thinking about travelling to Hawaii, and looking for some inspiration and tips? I’ve always wanted to travel to Maui since I’ve been a teenager and my dream finally came true! I am super excited to get to share my experiences with you about Hawaii in the next few posts! This is part one of my Hawaii Travel Guide and in this post I’m sharing my experience about Maui. And just to warn you, it has some text and quite a few pictures 🙂 Since I was wayy excited to be there, I took soo many pictures and want to share soo much with you about my trip, so I split my Hawaii Travel Guide into three parts, one per Island I visited. So a separate post about my time on the Big Island of Hawai’i, and on Oahu is following soon, in which I will share my experience about the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Disney Aulani, Waikiki, Pearl Harbor and much more. So stay tuned for part two and three of my Hawaii Travel Guide. Enjoy the trip and please let me know in your comments below if you have any questions I didn’t cover.
Welcome to Hawaii
I live in New Jersey, so I took a flight with United Airlines to San Francisco with a short layover and then took the connecting flight to Maui, Hawaii. The flight was pretty good, they had snacks and food available for purchase and internet was available also (great bonus if you have work to do). Without complications, and about 11 hours on a plane later, I arrived at the airport in Maui. From there I took about a half hour cab ride to the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort.
Where to stay?
During my stay on Maui, I stayed at the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort which is in Wailea. The hotel is located right at the beach, and retail and convenient stores are not too far from the resort either. Additionally, the resort has a few stores also for souvenirs etc. The Grand Wailea is part of the Hilton Honors program, so if you’re a Hilton Honors member, bonus points for you! The hotel rooms at the resort come at different price points, depending on balcony or ocean view etc. Everyone at the hotel is so friendly and welcoming, and when you arrive at the hotel you either receive an Orchid Leis or Kukui Nut Lei, they are so pretty. It’s an absolutely amazing hotel, I will let the pictures do the talking 🙂
I did some more research on a few other hotels for you guys, and one of the hotels that I found is the Residence Inn by Marriott Maui Wailea. It got some pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor and has some good rates! This hotel is actually also located in Wailea, and is very close to the Grand Wailea. Another hotel I found is the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa which is located in Lahaina, Maui. It also got some pretty good reviews on Trip Advisor and might be the most economical option from the three hotels. I really like resorts, because I like to go to the pool as well as to the beach. 🙂
First look: Pants: Aqua by Bloomingdales , Top: Aqua by Bloomingdales (similar, similar) , Hat: Amazon , Purse: Louis Vuitton , Sunglasses: Ray Ban ; Second look: Bell Sleeve Dress: Aqua by Bloomingdales , Shoes: TjMaxx (similar , similar) , Purse: H&M , Earrings: Amazon ; Third look: Beach Dress: ASOS (similar, similar) , Beach Bag: Amazon , Bathing Suit: Michael Kors via TjMaxx ; Fourth look: Long Sleeve Tunic: TjMaxx (similar)
The Wailea Beach by the Grand Wailea is absolutely gorgeous, the sand is so soft and there are no rocks or algae to climb over to be able to walk into the ocean. The beach is absolutely a dream!
I did not go beach hopping this time, but beach hopping is definitely on my list for when I travel back to Maui. Kapalua Beach is definitely on my list. The white sand beach is located in Lahaina, which is on the north west side of Maui, and is sheltered by two reefs which makes it ideal for snorkeling. Another beach that I’d like to visit next time is Makena Beach. Besides the Wailea Beach, this beach is considered to be one of the best beaches on Maui and is the largest one. The beach is actually not too far from the Grand Wailea Resort.
The resort offers a variety of activities and also has a gym, spa, kids club (if you’re travelling with little ones), and they also have a Luao a couple evenings a week. And let me tell you, if you’re in Hawaii you will want to experience a Luao. I had such a great time at the Luao! The performances were amazing, and the food was great. It was a nice way of getting to know the Hawaiian culture a little bit more. And a tip, make sure you make reservations in advance, especially if you want to have good seats! The reservations fill up quickly.
Dress: Bardot via Bloomingdales
On my first night at the Grand Wailea I went to a local restaurant in Wailea called Monkeypod . The restaurant only uses products from Hawai’i and works closely together with farmers, brewers and artisans. The food is seriously so amazing, and the people are very friendly and welcoming also!
If you’re staying at the Grand Wailea, make sure to check out the restaurant Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, or short Humu Humu , which was named after Hawaii’s state fish. They have dinner available from 5.30pm (reservation required), and Sunday Brunch at 10.30am. The cuisine is Hawaiian and Polynesian style, the food is absolutely amazing!! And if you have a sweet tooth like me and like coconut, try the coconut macaroon. So delicious! Unfortunately I have a shellfish allergy (about 8 years now), so I couldn’t try any of that but it all looked sooo good!
During my time on Maui, I went to the Volcano Haleakala to watch the sunrise. Watching the sunrise is absolutely breath taking, I took a video of the sunrise and a bunch of pictures! I left the hotel around 3am (with a rental car), since the drive is about an hour and a half (there are tours available here). I got there around 5.30am and then needed to get situated with my camera. Plus there are a lot of people, and as a matter of fact you need to make a reservation (here), because it gets so crowded. Otherwise the park ranger won’t let you go through. 😉 And another tip, it is freeeezing up there! It was 34 Fahrenheit, so it was around 1 degree Celsius, so make sure you dress warm! I actually brought a blanket from the hotel with me additionally and wrapped myself in it, it was so cold! And when leaving the tip of the volcano, down by the mainland it was 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius).
After the sunrise, on the way back to the resort I stopped for breakfast at the Kula Lodge (it’s a hotel and restaurant) and it was absolutely delicious. If you’re planning on getting French Toast or Pancakes, definitely try their Coconut Syrup, YUM! They also have a really pretty garden where you can find some liguanas, geckos and beautiful flowers. Very close to the Kula lodge is a nice souvenir shop too 🙂
All pictures are mine.
I had such an amazing time in Maui and cannot wait to plan a trip back there. I already have a few items on my list to try next time I’m there: swim with the dolphins, helicopter flight around the island, day trip to waterfalls and swim under the waterfalls, snorkeling, swimming with turtles, try out more local restaurants and I’m sure my list will expand over time.
The Travel Guide for Oahu, and the Big Island of Hawai’i is following soon, so stay tuned 🙂 Mahalo, Joëlle