You may have heard that Hotel Hana Maui, Maui’s most isolated resort on the east coast of Maui, has transformed itself and is now called Travaasa Hana. This 70 room resort is under new ownership and management and has upgraded its guest rooms. I would choose to stay in a Sea Ranch Cottage with sweeping views of the Pacific, but you might prefer one of the bungalow-style Garden Suites. The restaurant menu focuses on local organic cuisine, with traditional Hawaiian dishes as well as elements of Asian and Old World European Cuisine. Some of the signature dishes are Pohole Fern Shoot Salad, a native Hawaiian favorite; fish wrapped in Ti Leaves; fish smoked with guava and mango wood; Lilikoi Mahi with Hawaiian sweet potato and ginger lime coconut sauce; and an Open-faced Smoked Chicken Salad Sandwich on house-made bread with a locally grown sprout salad. Darn, now I’m hungry. The Spa also uses local plants in their treatments. There are many activity programs that are included in your room rate such as cooking classes and yoga on the beach. You can also choose a plan that includes meals and even a spa treatment. If you’re looking for a truly relaxing and authentic Hawaii vacation away from it all, this is the spot.
If you prefer not to be quite so isolated, there are plenty of interesting, fun resorts around the island. In the Kapalua area you might want to check out the Kapalua Villas. They have a new lecture series where you can learn about Hawaii’s marine life. Ke Kani O Ke Kai (Voices of the Sea) is led by a local marine biologist on the first Monday of each month. Did I mention that this is free? If you love food and wine, you will want to plan your vacation for next June to coincide with the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival.
You could combine your Food & Wine vacation with some offerings from the Maui Film Festival which is also held in June, over in Wailea. Some of the fabulous resorts on this part of the island are the Grand Wailea which is always a favorite with families because of the wonderful Wailea Canyon Activity Pool, they have also redone their Spa Grande. On the 20th of each month the resort hosts a free fair in the spa’s lobby with discounted spa products, beauty demonstrations and prizes! The Four Seasons Maui has a fantasy tennis camp, a wellness series featuring physical & spiritual practices. The Wailea Beach Marriott has added the Akamai Business Center, a 690 square foot business center that can take care of pretty much any of your copy, print, and shipping needs – as well as offering short time rentals of computers, copiers and printers – which makes it the perfect location for your corporate retreats. And of course, one of my favorite resorts, the Fairmont Kea Lani is in Wailea. This area boasts some fabulous golf courses, restaurants and shopping.
Kaanapali is probably the most well known of Maui’s resort areas. Numerous resorts are located on this beautiful beach, and you are close to Lahaina. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel bills itself as “Hawaii’s most Hawaiian Hotel”. They have Hawaiian Cultural activities and entertainment daily; the staff sings when you arrive; they use the Hawaiian language around the resort and in brochures and more (they actually say there are 110 reasons they are the most Hawaiian). If you stay in Kaanapali you will want to be sure to eat at Aloha Mixed Plate – right on the water with wonderful, affordable specials every day.