Aloha Maui - Trip report

Jul 6th, 2004, 01:40 PM
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Aloha Maui - Trip report

We just returned from Maui (June 27-July 4), we had a fabulous time! Maui is really amazing, the sunsets were unbelievable!

Here is my trip report...I'll try to highlight some info that I hadn't found in past trip reports. Thanks for everyone that helped me, it was very useful.

I had the blue book as well as Maui for Dummies, and thought that having the two was very useful. The blue book (Maui Revealed) was good, but I sometimes found that it didn't get to the point (would give history about something when I just wanted to know how to get there!). But it was a very useful book to find places/things that are off the beaten path.

Day 1: We arrived via Kahului airport on United (direct flight from SF, which was nice and short!). No problems getting there, we arrive at the airport, get our luggage and head to Alamo to pick up our car. We had electrical problems with the car, so we turned back and got another one. Turns out later that this convertible also had problems (screeching window, airbag light going on and off). Even though the service was great (they gave us $25 credit for the trouble), the cars there are not in the best shape.

Went to Costco/Safeway to get groceries, and finally headed to Kihei to stay at the Kihei Surfside. What a WONDERFUL condo!!!! We were directly on the ocean in line with the was unbelievable, we actually ran to the Lanai when we opened the door. This totally made our vacation, and we're glad we picked this condo. The condo itself was in excellent condition, nicely decorated, the lawn outside was better than a putting green. Thank again to Roxy for recommending it.

Ok, enough about the condo. We cooked our meal, watched the sunset on our lanai(you would have had to drag us off the lanai every morning/evening!)and called it a day.

Day 2: We decided to go to Ulua beach to do some snorkelling. Lovely little beach, but it does get crowded after 10am. We got there at 8am which was great. Saw some eels and nice fish. It was pretty shallow water, which I like since you see the fish closely. Hung out at the beach, and then went back to our resort.

Had lunch at Maui Tacos, which was very good, although I've had better. Plus they gave us maybe 5 nacho chips each. So we got an extra plate. But it was cheap, nice pics on the wall...

Hung out at the beach, visited the condo, cooked meal on the bbq's at the condo (which were good but sometimes hard to get at dinner time) and watched the sunset. What a hard life...

Day 3: Road to Hana - we decided to do this at the beginning of our trip. It was fun, but we didn't pick the best day. It rained most of the day on and off. The views/waterfalls were gorgeous, we especially loved the 'Three little bears' waterfall, although the hike down there isn't too easy. It was the nicest one we saw, even nicer than blue pool I thought.

Overall, the roads were ok to drive, my complaint would be that it was difficult to find some of the spots. Reading 'go past the white bridge past the 17 mile marker' wasn't enough to find some hidden spots. We missed the Venus pool, and some early waterfalls, and it was pretty stressful checking out the book all the time to see where we were. That's the only part of it I didn't like personally. Blue pool was nice, although the road there is pretty crazy! Also you get all these nasty signs saying 'Turn back' 'Trespassing', etc..We even had a local stop us in her car to lecture us about the Private property. We didn't really like doing this.

We really like the Black Sand Beach at the Park (don't have the book with me so can't remember but it's a state park). Lots of picnic tables, a nice cave to take a dip, and lovely views of the beach. It was very crowded during lunchtime, but worth stopping.

Stopped at the 7 pools (Oheo Gulch) only to find out it was closed for swimming...they were really nice, it must be amazing to get to swim there.

Overall, I recommend the Road to Hana, but it is a long day of driving...but very beautiful, and swimming in pools/waterfalls is worth the trip. We did the whole loop (towards Haleakala), nice scenery, however the road is awful!!! The blue book says that is becomes paved about 5 miles before it really does (it's paved, but really bumpy). Seriously, we were praying at every corner that the road would be paved at the other end

Returned to our condo, had dinner on the lanai, watched another amazing sunset...

Celine is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 02:13 PM
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Part Two

Day 4: Went to the beach (right beside our condo), husband went boogie boarding and then we decided to go kayaking. Rented the Kayak for $15/hour for two (very cheap!)at a little booth on the beach about two doors down from Sarento's on the Beach restaurant. Saw 3 huge turtles in the water while kayaking, and they were even diving under our kayak! Lots of fun...we had seen dolphins from our lanai that morning as well.

Had lunch at Da Kitchen, which we both loved. Husband had the HAwaiian plate, he couldn't figure out what half of the food was, but he loved it. I had the Fish Tempura (Fried breaded fish) which was the best I've ever had! Very cheap too. We were going to have Shave Ice but we were too full (never had the chance to taste any because we were never hungry when we passed by the stand!).

Did a bit of shopping at Hilo Hattie's, and some other stores...

Made dinner and ate it on our lanai, watched the sunset and went to bed early.

Note: just realized that we had dinner at Cheeseburger,Mai Tais and Rock&Roll in Wailea on day 3. Wailea was very nice and posh, very quiet as well. The restaurant/food was good, mai tais were very good, but the place was pretty quiet.

Day 5: Went snorkelling right in front of our condo, saw lots of fish. Got ready to leave our condo to go to the Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali, where we stayed for 3 nights.

Headed to the Sheraton Maui...we were very impressed with the grounds, and our room was amazing!! We got upgraded to an oceanview room, we were in room 3643. I think that this building is recently renovated, they were finishing up some rooms on the 1st floor. Our room was in perfect condition, very nice. The grounds at the hotel are amazing, very lush, the pool is great as well.

The check-in wasn't as seamless as we would have wanted it to be, but that's our fault. We decided to get there early (1pm) to hit the pools, but our room wasn't ready which was fine. Well, we brought our luggage to the concierge, then had to get in line to check-in, then went to the pools, got back in line to pick up our key. Then we had to get in another line to pick up our luggage, and brought it up ourselves. All of this was fine, but I was expecting a really easy check-in. It was pretty standard, but nothing to complain about.

Anyway, we had made reservations for the Hula Grill for dinner. We loved this restaurant! It was exactly what we wanted. I had the Macadamia nut crusted Mahi, husband had the special (ono and ahi). Very good! We were lucky and had an oceanfront on the lanai...not sure how we managed that! I'm glad that we had reservations, the place was a mad house at dinnertime. Walked back to our hotel via the beach path, very nice walk.

Headed back to our room, and went to bed early (we would usually wake up at 6:30 because of the jetlag, and kept the same schedule all week since the sunsets are at around 7:15pm).

Day 6: Went snorkelling at Black rock. Snorkelling was decent, but not the best visibility. The currents were pretty strong as well, but it was fun nonetheless. We had brought our own snorkelling gear, and I even brought a life jacket (I feel safer with it, especially in deep waters).

Hung out at the pool, which was always crowded. You had to reserve your chair by 9am most of the time, although we found a spot that was usually free later in the day. The drinks at the bar were so expensive ($8.50)!!! So we brought our own drinks/snacks for the pool. The room had a safe and mini fridge which was nice.

We went to the Old Lahaina Luau that evening, this was so much fun! The grounds are so beautiful, I definitely recommend getting there by 5:30 or earlier. It's nice to be able to walk around with your drink. Our seats weren't the best for the show, but they were very close to the ocean which was nice. We had booked only a month before, so I wasn't expecting the best seats. Either way, you get a great view from wherever you're seated. The drinks were good and strong, the food was good (by the way I always wondered why the food is only 'good' in reviews, well the reason is that it's authentic! It's pretty bland, but we loved that it was different and authentic...but definitely not food you'll have 3-4 servings of). The desserts were good, they serve them on the table directly which was nice. The service was very good considering the amount of people there, you even have a hostess to show you to your seats.

We had a great time, the show(dancers) were really great and very good looking! Definitely not to be missed!

Celine is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 02:26 PM
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Part Three

Day 7: Haleakala Crater - we almost skipped this since we were running out of time on the island, but I'm glad we went. It was really beautiful!

We decided not to do the sunrise trip, and left at around 8am. The weather was very nice, and it wasn't cold at the top. We ran into some of the cyclists coming down the mountain (not literally!), it was nice to see them. The views of the crater were spectacular! We saw some people on horseback going down the Sliding Sands trail, it was really beautiful to see. If we ever return we'll do the ride as well.

We returned to Lahaina, and had lunch there. We hardly spent any time in Lahaina, it was too hot to walk around, and it's not our thing (even though we're in our late twenties!). I went to see the Banyon tree, and we just drove on Front St. That was enough for me.

We returned to our hotel, went swimming in the ocean/pool. Watched the torch lighting and cliff diver at Black Rock at sunset, it was very beautiful, the pictures we got were so nice!
Celine is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Oops, clicked on 'post my reply' by's the final part (although I could say much more!)

After the sunset at Black Rock, we headed to Whaler's Village to eat at Hula Grill (Barefoot bar), since we loved it so much there. It's a different and cheaper menu at the bar, and there was a live band (really good!) with hula dancers. BUT the wait was over an hour (after sunset!), yet it was worth the wait. Since we had eaten at Hula Grill a few nights before, we received a free ice cream sandwich (no ordinary ice cream sandwich either!), with our meal...Our meals were very good, and decently priced.

Day 8: Our flight was at 1:45, so we had time to spend having breakfast, taking last pictures,etc...they were setting up the grounds for the 4th of July celebrations. We had breakfast at the hotel, a breakfast buffet which was very good. And we even saw Jennifer Love Hewitt, who had breakfast at the table next to us! We ran into her later in the morning as well, but didn't say hi or anything.

We packed our bags, walked on the beach, then decided to head over to Hookipa beach to watch the windsurfers (close to the airport). It was very nice, very windy beach which is perfect for them. Took some nice pics of them, and left for the airport.

Returned the car at Alamo, which was fairly easy, however we regret not dropping me off at the curb of the airport with the luggage. We had to squeeze into a shuttle with our luggage (with lots of people in line), to get back to the airport. Oh well, we got to the airport with lots of time left. Lines were a bit long, but not bad. Our flight was good and very short (because of the wind). Our trip back would have been great, however stupid us decided to leave on the 4th of July and arrive in San Francisco at 9:30pm right after the fireworks. Of course we were taking public transporation! You get the picture...oh well, we had such a fun trip, nothing could take the smile off our faces!

Maui was worth every penny, it was so much fun, and there is something for everyone. The weather was so nice, warm nights and warm weather, which would be nice in California (although I can't complain about living in California )

Let me know if you have any questions, I'm sure I forgot a ton of stuff, I have such a bad memory!
Celine is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 03:08 PM
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Just re-read my posts, here's a few clarifications/corrections. Sorry, still a bit jetlagged?

Our condo at Kihei was #202 (right close to the beach). It's worth asking for a condo closest to the beach, however you get a great view from any condo.

Our room at the Sheraton was 3623 which was partial oceanview (although I would consider it oceanview, since you see it clearly from the room). The view is not of the beach in front of the hotel, but the one behind it (if that makes any sense). We also had a wonderful view of the mountains and golf course!

We also ate at Leilani's for lunch on our first day at the Sheraton. The meal was good, but we preferred Hula Grill.
Celine is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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Oh, Celine, I was just about to start posting my Maui trip report when I saw yours. Our vacation dates overlapped. In fact, I think we might have gone to Hana on the same date and had similar experiences (Oheo Gulch was closed because of rain). Thanks for the TR; I always enjoy them. It's almost like taking someone's trip with them.
sap is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Were you close enough to the ocean to hear it with the lanai doors open? We just got back from a week at the Grand Wailea. We enjoyed Wailea but may return to Kaanapali next time. I like the variety of staying different places. GW rooms seemed like a LONG way from the ocean.
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 05:23 PM
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Another question about the Sheraton, if you don't mind. Did the bathrooms have separate tubs and showers? We stayed at the Hyatt in Kauai and were surprised to find those yucky tub/shower combos. complete with shower curtain in the bathroom. Quite a comedown after the Grand Wailea!
crazy4Hawaii is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 10:59 PM
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Thanks so much for your great report! I just can't wait to be there! 10 days!
HvnScentU2 is offline  
Jul 6th, 2004, 11:11 PM
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Celine...thanks for the TR, exactly how far away from Kihei surfside, is the sandy beach? I'm trying to decide between that condo & Sugar Beach, for our Dec trip. Thanks!
j12 is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 08:48 AM
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Here are my answers:

Sheraton: the ocean from our room was pretty far away (5 minutes walk), but that wasn't Kaanapali beach or at least not the beach right in front of the hotel. That beach was a 30 second walk. Very close. For the Kihei Surfside, we could almost dive into the ocean from our lanai, we were that close! But from the sandy beach, we were maybe 30 seconds away (had to walk to the resort right next door and it was right there). Really close. I HIGHLY recommend the Kihei Surfside!!

The showers at the Sheraton were just regular (shower & tub all in one), and it even had a hand held shower head which was nice to rinse off our feet and swimsuits,etc...

Celine is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 11:12 AM
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Maui sounds wonderful - and thanks for an excellent trip report.

We're so looking forward to our trip in January.
ATPittsley is offline  
Jul 7th, 2004, 10:42 PM
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Celine--Aww, shucks, always happy to help!

J12, you just have to walk across the Surfside parking lot and you're at Mana Kai's little lawn and the beach. It's just a short stumble over there.

turn_it_on is offline  
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