So excited to be sharing my trip to Maui with you guys today.
This was our first trip to Maui and it was nothing short of fantastic. Radiantly beautiful, it was the perfect place for us to escape, relax and unwind.
Although I was all about fall before I left, it was pretty easy to slip back into summer mode. From the beach to the pool, I definitely enjoyed dressing the part. I kept things pretty classic and was all about black and white beachwear and accessories. The perfect sun hat, sunnies, bikini and cover-up are all must-haves when travelling to a tropical destination like Maui.
What I loved about Maui were the varying types of landscapes - from volcano vistas and rainforests to spectacular beaches, waterfalls and the serene pastoral upcountry. There really is something for everyone and it's a great place for people of all ages - it's hot, clean, safe and lots of fun. So if you're planning a winter getaway this year I would highly suggest Maui!!
We spent a sun-filled 10 days on the island and the Hotel Wailea was our Maui 'home away from home'.
When we were first looking at where to stay I was initially a bit unsure as the hotel isn't on the beach. We looked at staying at the Four Seasons but didn't like the idea of being at a busy resort with a bunch of kids. We definitely made the right choice by staying at the Hotel Wailea! It's boutique, quiet and beautiful!
Set on 15 lush tropical acres of gardens, streams and ocean views the 72-room Relais & Chateau haven is nothing short of perfection. I took full advantage of the morning yoga classes and the gorgeous pool side cabanas are a full afternoon of tropical island bliss. Our room was huge and very comfortable with a deep soaker tub for two, stylish kitchenette and private lanai (veranda). It's all very grown-up, with an adults only policy.
The hotel also has a beach club with lounge chairs and towel service so it really was the best of both worlds. The beach club is right next door to the Four Seasons, so I wandered over there one afternoon to check it out and it was noisy and crowded!
There are many different hotel options on Maui, but luxury Maui is an experience all onto itself and worth splurging on, if only for a few days during your stay. So if you're a hotel snob like me but can't afford the 10 days at the Hotel Wailea my suggestion would be to either start or end your trip at this beautiful hotel with 2-3 days of pampering. Trust me, this place is a MUST stay... even for just a few nights.
We ate at lots of different restaurants in Wailea and around the island, from five star to casual, but found that most tended to miss the mark. This was especially so for some of the higher-end restaurants which we found underwhelming and overpriced. That said, we did have some great dining experiences, below is a list of some of the hits.
Monkey Pod Kitchen, Wailea
Be sure to stop here for happy hour as their Mai Tai's are the best on the island! I'm not even a big Mai Tai fan but I must admit these are pretty tasty and definitely worth a try! We went here with a group of friends and ordered just about every appy on the menu as well as mains and everything was great. The service was fab and the food was fresh, locally sourced and inventive without being over the top or pretentious. This place gets super busy so be sure to make reservations.
Flatbread Company, Paia
Awesome atmosphere, service and killer flatbreads! We ate lunch here twice cause it was so good! This down-to-earth little restaurant has a farm-to-table like menu and they do a great job with flavour. By far the healthiest and most flavourful pizza I've ever had. And I loved their organic salad - fresh local lettuce topped with shredded green papaya, carrots, sprouts and homemade vinaigrette. All organic, homemade and too good not to finish every single bite! Yummy yum yum.
Matteo's Osteria, Wailea
The vibe at this italian eatery is energetic and upbeat with great food, fresh pastas and a surprisingly good wine list! The service was friendly and attentive, the food delicious and the Gnocchi was melt in your mouth amazing. We ate at Ferraro's and Spago (both located in the Four Seasons) and this place far surpassed both those restaurants. Would definitely recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for great italian food and service on Maui.
Although there is lots to see and do on Maui we really just wanted to relax and spend time together - stress free! So for us that meant lots of chill days spent at the beach or the pool.
We had a few other friends that happened to be on Maui at the same time as us, so we got to get in some awesome hang time with them which was tons of fun. It was so great to be able to spend time with friends on this beautiful tropical island.
Drive - There is so much to explore on Maui and most areas of the island can be reached within a few hours drive. We rented a Jeep Wrangler while we were on the island and it was perfect - I loved being able to take the top off while we were cruisin' around.
Snorkle - We quickly discovered that on Maui the trade winds are much stronger in the afternoon. So to beat the wind, be sure to schedule any snorkling or paddle boarding before 11:00 am.
The Road to Hana - This is probably one of the most popular attractions on Maui, along with Mount Haleakala, which occupies more than 75% of the island. Plan to leave early as this will be an all day affair! Trust me you do not want to be driving this road in the dark! The road is beautiful with lots of great vistas and waterfalls but it's also super windy! You might get car sick and you might want to pee your pants every time you make a sharp turn alongside a cliff. Start early in the day to avoid some traffic and be sure to go all the way around, as opposed to turning around once you get to Hana.
Paia - Located on Maui's north coast, this is one of the coolest hippie surfer towns around. The community is filled with colourful one-of-a-kind boutiques, local art galleries and fabulous restaurants. During the winter, the big north shore waves make Hookipa Beach a great place to watch windsurfers and kite surfers and surfers.