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Maui-bound…

Mauiyay

Have any of you been to Maui recently? I’ll be there is less than two weeks for our honeymoon and a much needed vacation…yay! We’re planning to wing it and figure out stuff when we get there. But, if any of you have any recommendations for restaurants, things to see, a good guide book I should buy, etc…I’d love to hear…. {thanks!}

Mauiyay

28 comments

  1. I was just there in July for my very small and intimate wedding, which was amazing. A great guide book is titled Maui Revealed. In the itty bitty town of Paia (before the Road to Hana), there is a restaurant called Mama’s Fish House. It is expensive but the food is phenomenal. You should also try the shaved ice at the Aloha Island Shave Ice. Also in Paia is a store called the Maui Crafts Guild, which sells crafts by local artists.
    Everyday in the lobby of the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea, they have different local artists showcasing and selling their stuff (i.e. hand blown glass, ceramics, jewelry, etc). You should buy bottles of water and snacks at the Kmart by the Kihea airport or a nearby supermarket b/c 1 med. bottle of water costs $5 at hotels. Email me if you need more info.

  2. You definitely have to go to Mama’s Fish House for a delicious fish dinner or lunch. They have their own fisherman who bring a fresh catch to the restaurant daily and the fisherman’s name who caught your meal is often on the menu. It’s right on the shore with an amazing view of the ocean through a coconut grove and decorated in the style of Old Polynesia. Romantic and perfect for a honeymoon. Enjoy!

  3. I highly recommend taking a small tour bus (no more than 8 people) on the road to Hana (not driving the 10 hours round trip on your own), stopping to swim under a waterfall in the rainforest and then taking a helicopter back. Gorgeous views of the volcano, the waterfalls, the ocean and the island….and MUCH shorter than driving five more hours back around the island. Best thing I’ve ever done in Maui…besides of course, Mama’s Fish House and all that good snorkeling!

  4. hi joy! i just came back from maui for my honeymoon!! bascially i spent the whole time eating my way through the island. the 3 restaurants you HAVE to go to are sansei (A neo fusioned japanese restaurant, it was so good i went there twice in one week), bubba gump shrimp(a forest gump themed restaurant on front St. with crazy good shrimp dishes) and of course the most famous, mamma’s boat house (the seafood there are all caught the same day as serving. i never had fishes so good in my life). i strongly suggest getting a book called, “maui revealed.” it has very insightful and blunt reviews on things to do and places to see and eat at.
    oh, and don’t forget to go parasailing!

  5. The best guide book is Maui Revealed by Andrew Doughty and Harriet Friedman. The Hana Highway is absolutely stunning as are the seven sacred pools outside of Hana. Let me know if you cannot find the guidebook, and I can send you my copy. The authors took years to put it together and updated it recently. We rented a jeep for the trip on the Hana highway which allowed us to stop as we pleased.

  6. Hi! We were in Maui in August 2005 for our honeymoon. Definitely go to Sansei like another reader commented. Also go to Hula Grill (on the water in Ka’anapali) especially for their pina colada’s (made with soft ice cream) and all you can eat Fresh Baked Foccacia Bread with Chili Pepper Water. We did the whole Road to Hana in our rental car….it was draining but we saw some beautiful sites. Do not drive the whole thing. Our favorite activity was snorkeling and our favorite place to do this was Kapalua Bay.

  7. We got back from Maui yesterday. It was heavenly. Perfect weather. Ate at Mama’s Fish House on the way back from Hana — amazing! We drove the road to hana – that way we could stop as we wanted. don’t miss swimming in the blue pool. it’s not on alot of the cds you buy but is listed in some guide books. Instead of seeing the seven pools, do the hike instead. its long but breathtaking…bamboo forests, bridges, pools and the biggest waterfall ever. plus there was hardly anyone up there! we also got up early to see the sunrise over the volcano. Do it!!! we stayed at the four seasons and i highly recommend. not crowded and the best service ever! small private-ish beach with great snorkling…have fun!

  8. My whole family is from Hawaii, and consequently, when we do any inter-island travel, we try to do as much non-touristy stuff as possible, which I recommend. Not that you can go wrong in most any cases on Maui – it’s so beautiful everywhere!
    But I also highly recommend the Maui Revealed guidebook (they did their homework and actually went to the places they talk about – it’s right on the money). Just read over the sections you’re most interested in, like, say, snorkeling or hiking, and you can count on getting good, accurate advice. My personal favorite things to do are: the Red Sand Beach (unlike any beach you’ll ever see, literally) and one of the most outrageously beautiful things I’ve ever seen, and snorkeling at the Aquarium (which requires an adventurous hike through a pretty amazing lava field, and so worth it). Also, don’t forget to try some of Hawaii’s organic produce and artisanal cheeses (a relatively new industry there) which are popping up more and more on menus across the island.
    Have a great time!

  9. Mama’s fishhouse is good and if you go earlier in the day you can check out the surfers off the bluff there as that’s where the infamous “Jaws” shorebreak is. It’s winter and waves are bigger so you might catch Laird Hamilton doing his thing.
    Mama’s Fish house is at the beginning of the Hana Highway and I don’t think anyone has mentioned Hana yet but it’s a great little town and because of it’s remoteness has more of the Aloha spirit and unspoiled shoreline with great hikes and snorkeling.

  10. I have to agree Maui Revealed is an awesome guidebook. The best snorkling on the Island was the Aquarium and was definitely worth it. It is very secluded and has tons of fish. I was more impressed with the snorkling there than on Molokini.
    The road to Hana is very draining make sure you bring lots of food and drinks with you because there is no place really to get them along the way. Costco is a much needed stop once you land in Maui.

  11. Hey, I was just there in August. Newly opened “Aloha Mixed Plate” in Lahaina for lunch is great cheap eats. Molokini snorkeling is not as great as it used to be. My local friend who works at the Maui dive shop said Honoloa Bay is the best snorkeling on the island.

  12. My husband and I were married at the Grand Wailea 6 years ago and have been going back every year since! We love Maui… we want to buy land and retire there someday:) I know that you are going to have an awesome time! Congratulations, Joy.
    BTW, yes on Maui Revealed and yes on Mama’s Fish House! I also recommend the Old Lahaina Luau if you are going to attend one. Try to get one of the floor seats… it feels more authentic. If you are going to get any spa treatments, try the Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea it’s the best!
    Have fun and enjoy a yummy Volcano poolside for me!

  13. Sansei is a MUST. It’s near the Ritz.
    You must do Da Kitchen for some good local fare. Drive the road to Hana on your own, get a jeep it’ll make it a lil adventure.
    Maui revealed is great tool while in Maui. Paia is an amazing town, next time I go I plan to spend more time there.
    Don’t bother with the winery there, the wine isn’t so hot.
    Do the sunrise volcano bike tour. You won’t regret it.

  14. We went to Maui for our honeymoon in July ’05. We stayed at the Westin Maui at Ka’anapali (fab! amazing spa!). Even if you don’t stay there, it’s fun to go to the amazing beach, and then walk up to the Black Rock at the Sheraton, where you can jump off the Rock and swim with the sea turtles (no lie – they were just swimming around out there!).
    We loved eating at the Aloha Mixed Plate, as well as the casual Maui Tacos (all over the island). The Whalers Village next to the Westin at Ka’anapali had a great restaurant – Luau Grill, I think it was called — it’s owned by the famous Duke’s restaurants.
    For the BEST luau in town, definitely do the Old Lahaina Luau. Amazing.
    We loved the laidback vibe of Lahaina and while Wailea was beautiful, it wasn’t quite as natural and easy feeling as Lahaina.
    Oh, and go snorkeling – there’s a beautiful bay north of Ka’anapali. You park your car along the road, then hike through this lush forest to get to the bay. Everybody just leaves their stuff along the rocks and then swim on out – there’s a nice little secluded beach that you can only get to by swimming there. 😉

  15. i haven’t been since i was a kid, but one of my favorite memories was going snorkling with my dad. it was beautiful. to get the fish to come closer to us we took out a bag of frozen peas (but you could use corn or carrots or comething small and bite sized) and opened a small hole and just let a couple come out at a time. the fish swarmed around us. it was lovely.

  16. we went to maui for our honeymoon too, and used the “maui revealed” guidebook that everyone has mentioned. i absolutely love their series of books about the islands. you get the best of what the locals know. i second the suggestions for mama’s fish house amd sansei. be sure to check out Banana Wind, a home goods store in lahaina cannery mall with lots of products from local artists (you’d appreciate this i’m sure).
    http://www.bestofmauiguide.com/BananaWind.html
    the farmers market is great for produce straight from the farmers themselves. for one near waimea, head up to the kihei location. it is on 61 s. kihei road, and is on mon-thurs 8am-4pm and fri 8am-5pm.
    other than that, i highly recommend getting a massage in the comfort of your hotel room. it is much cheaper than the westin or four seasons spa, and just as decadent.
    aloha and have fun!

  17. I highly recommend “The Plantation House” in Kapalua, it’s a beautiful restaurant set in a golf course with wonderful views. They have great breakfast!
    And of course Sansei sushi, which has opened a second location in Kihei.
    Have fun!

  18. If we could have transported one thing from Maui it would be the Mahi Mahi and Ono fish and chips from Alexanders. Yummy and reasonable. We ate there as much as we could. http://www.mauimenusonline.com/restaurants/alexanders/menu.html Also if you go to Mama’s as so many have mentioned and you’re looking for a non alcoholic beverage (I was trying to get pregnant) try the Coconut Mint Refresher. Yum. I tell everyone to rent snorkel equipment at the beginning of the trip and go to Olowalu first to “get your feet wet” and then Ahihi Bay. If we go back we’ll spend our entire trip there. P.S. I hated the road to Hana – sorry. But if you do go be sure to look for the rainbow eucalyptus. Have a great trip.

  19. thanks everyone for the AMAZING tips and suggestions! wow…it’s great to hear some of the same top picks as they’re sure to be fantastic. thank you, thank you!

  20. Yes, the drive to Hana can be draining, but that’s if you aren’t planning on checking into the Hotel Hana when you make it into town. My husband and I stayed at the Four Seasons in Wailea for the first portion of our honeymoon, but once we stepped inside our cabana at the Hotel Hana, we never wanted to leave! It was renovated recently by the same group responsible for the posh Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur California, and I cannot be more complimentary of the staff, the scenery, the spa! Take a guided horseback ride along the cliffs, hike over to Red Sand Beach, bodysurf at world famous Hamoa beach…and have a wonderful honeymoon!

  21. here are a few off the beaten path ideas:
    * visit upcountry maui (on the way to haleakala) to check out smaller boutiques, the makawao steakhouse (ono!), and the ali’i kula lavender farm
    * check out the maui ocean center
    * try maui’s own roselani ice cream (the kona mud pie is too die for)
    * take a ferry from lahaina for a day trip to molokai or lanai
    have fun!

  22. I don’t know if you’ve left for your honeymoon yet, but in case you’re able to read this before you go, here are some recommended sites:
    – Tedeschi Vineyards, a winery in Ulupalakua (they even have yummy pineapple wine) (www.mauiwine.com)
    – Watch the sunrise from Mt. Haleakala (extict volcano) and if you are adventures, ride your bikes downhill
    – Mama’s Fish House restaurant is wonderful located in Paia town in North Shore Maui (www.mamasfishhouse.com/)
    – If you’re up for a luau, Old Lahaina Luau is the best (when it comes to food, presentation, following tradition, hula)
    – Cruise to Molokai (you can take a short ferry ride to Molokai from Lahaina). This can be a one day excursion or you can stay overnight at one of the hotels/resorts there. Molokai is often considered the “old Hawaii” or “real Hawaii” because of the natural beauty still untouched by modern society. (http://visitmolokai.com)
    – If you like kayaking and snorkeling, I would recommend South Pacific Kayaks located in Kihei. Their tours are awesome and guides put your safety first. (www.southpacifickayaks.com)
    – Molikini snorkel trip. Molikini is a small crater just off of the coast of Maui. It’s a popular snorkel site because of the many colorful fish that hang around the area.
    – Drive to Hana. This is a very long (expect the entire day) trip to Hana on one-way narrow and winding roads. Absolutely breathtaking views and there are places to stop along the way for landmarks and other historical stopping points. In order to go back to your hotel, you will need to turn back around and go the exact same way you came from. (www.hanamaui.com)
    – Maui is beautiful everywhere you go. I suggest to rent a car and just gooooo wherever your and Bob’s hearts desire. I love hanging out in Wailea and Kihei areas, which are not so busy compared to touristy areas such as Lahaina and Kaanipali, although these are great shopping areas. Napili (just north of Lahaina) is so beautiful too!
    – Lastly, but probably most importantly, when you are out night, stop and look up at the stars – you don’t see a sight like that on the mainland. You can see stars SO clear with vapor-like substance in the air. Unbelievable!
    Joy, I can go on and on since Hawaii is my second home. So, if you have any questions at all, feel free to email me. HAVE FUN!!!! =)

  23. Driving & Discovering Maui and Molokai by Richard Sullivan is a wonderful guidebook for sightseers, as all the 300+ photos are indicated on maps so you can stand in the exact spot that the photographer did. A picture is really worth a thousand words in this case. and the photos are amazing. Its almost a coffee table book. We have gone through it many times since we got back, just to relive places we had forgotten about, and dream about going back to see what we missed the first time around, like Ulupalakua and other upcountry places. We like the Revealed books, but quite a few restaurant reviews are out of date, or we had a very different experience [some better, some worse] than the authors. I think they spread themselves too thin. D&DM&M on the other hand doesn’t specialize in restaurant and hotel reviews, but the ones that they DO include are right on. However, we find Frommer’s is always the most complete and up to date for restaurants and accommodations, because they have a huge budget being from a major NYC publisher and can afford to send people to all these restaurants and hotels on a regular basis.

  24. You stayed at a great resort. I take photos at their grounds quite frequently. I also think that winging it is the best way to do Maui. Plan to much and you begin to take the relaxation away.

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