Aloha! This past fall I went to Hawaii with my family, and during the second half of our trip, we stayed on the beautiful island of Maui. Below are some notes on where we stayed, where we ate, what we did, and a few tips and tricks too. For more info, I have detailed photos from the trip also saved on my Instagram stories. Enjoy!
Where We Stayed
During our time on Maui, we stayed at the wonderful Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. I have an amazing group of girlfriends, who are not only great women, but who let me utilize their friends and family discount for hotel deals. We booked our entire trip around the dates where I was able to secure an amazing deal at this stunning property. The strategic planning was well worth it, as this place is breathtaking.
The property has multiple pools, so you never felt that the resort was too crowded. There was also a small private beach, tons of complimentary resort activities (we participated in a cocktail class, bingo, and snorkeling). I enjoyed the spa one late afternoon, and it was near perfect (it would have been perfect if there were a private outdoor space for spa guests). The Andaz had everything that we needed, including a complimentary resort car that could take you anywhere in the village we were in.
What We Did
Road to Hana- All of the reviews that I read about Maui said that the road to Hana was a must do adventure. However, I have mixed feelings. Would I recommend it to anyone visiting? Unsure. To give you some additional information, below are some pros and cons of the road to Hana.
The views were stunning- out of this world true natural beauty everywhere you look
Good variety of food in Hana for lunch
Amazing coconut ice-cream at Coconut Glen's
Did I mention the views? Countless waterfalls, coves, little trails, and of course ocean views
Great (mainly shaded) hike on the Pipiwai Trail, that ends at a beautiful waterfall (about 2 hours round trip)
Quality time with those in the car with you
You will spend an ENTIRE day doing this. We left around 7 am and returned to the hotel at 6pm. Could your day be better utilized doing another activity? Probably.
Car sickness is real. The roads are windy, and even after taking some Dramamine prior to getting on the road, you still will feel it.
Did I mention it takes an entire day to see the entire road to Hana? You will spend 6+ hours in a car, while on vacation.
Wailea Beach Path- There is a stunning ocean front walking/running path between our hotel and the beach. We did a few little walks in the morning to get some movement in, before staying horizonal on a lounge chair for the rest of the day. It was a great way to see other hotel properties, as well as the ocean views along the coast.
Sunset Dinner Sail- On our last night, we did a sunset dinner cruise that was wonderful. The food was average, as expected, but the drinks were all included in the price paid. Seeing the stars, from the water, with little to no light pollution, was worth the sail alone. The pictures do not do it justice. Expected average food, but amazing views, a great experience, and you will have a wonderful time!
Snorkeling- Luckily for us, the hotel had free snorkeling equipment, included in the resort fee. Great little reefs, fish, and turtles, right at the resort!
Where We Ate
This part of our trip was more relaxed, so we did not leave the resort much, which meant a lot of meals on site. My favorite onsite meal at the Andaz was at Morimoto Maui. We had both the sticky ribs, and the rock shrimp as appetizers, followed by the braised black cod, chef's combo sashimi and one of their daily specials of a filet cooked tableside on a hot stone. The meal was fabulous, and the restaurant is located at the edge of the resort, with ocean views. Another notable meal on site was the lobster grilled cheese and ice-cream sandwiches at the Lehua Lounge. Service for meals/drinks at the pool was great, just pricey. Skip the breakfast buffet, unless you plan to eat your money's worth in food.
Outside of the resort we ate at Monkey Pod one night, with our new friends that my Mom met while playing bingo. The hotel car brought us there and picked us up too. This place is known for the best Mai Tai on the island, and they lived up to the expectations. Food was very reasonably priced too, which was a nice change compared to the hotel prices. We also found a great spot for breakfast on the Beach Path, but I cannot remember the name. Leave the resort and head left, and you will stumble across it. Very large portions on the breakfast sandwiches, with fresh smoothies and great coffee.
Tips & Tricks
If you do the Road to Hana you MUST download the Shaka app! Trust me. It will give you history of the island, tell you what site you are coming up on, details around it, and it will even tell you the time it will take to visit each stop. Well worth the money!
Have dinner at Morimoto, get seated close to the ocean, on a day where the hotel is having their Luau, and you will get dinner with a show. We ate at the restaurant on an evening of a luau, and were able to semi enjoy the show. However, already seeing a luau on Oahu, we instantly knew that the quality at the Andaz Luau was much better. As I mentioned in my Oahu post, skip the luau and do this instead.
Mama's Fish House was a must for lunch/dinner, from everyone I spoke to and every article I read prior to my trip. However, we were unable to get a reservation, and I tried multiple months prior to the trip. If you want to eat here, book as soon as you book your flight.
Utilize the hotel's free car service. You are paying for it in the resort fee, so use it!
See you soon Hawaii!