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DOES IT EXIST? Maui resort with calm-water beach and snorkeling?


Jan 2nd, 2005, 06:18 AM
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DOES IT EXIST? Maui resort with calm-water beach and snorkeling?

I'm going to Maui end of February and beginning of March and we would love to stay in beautiful resort on a beach that doesn't have a huge surf and where you can walk into the water and do some snorkeling. If I can't get the snorkel part, I'll settle for a nice beach with little rollers.
Any ideas?
rjneuman is offline  
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 07:27 AM
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Look into the Maui Prince hotel.
Iregeo is offline  
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 07:31 AM
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We stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel on Kaanapali Beach in Feb. 2003. The beach and resort was wonderful and we loved our stay there. However, the ocean was cold and had several waves and not good for swimming. There were signs posted everywhere "swim at your own risk". I attempted to brave the cold and the waves and ended up justing getting knocked around and my swimsuit full of sand. DH was smarter than me and stayed on the beach. They had the beach showers and I was able to get most of the sand out and we decided to just use the pool. Still is was too cold to swim even in the pool.

We went down to the Kapaula area which had huge waves and watched the sufers.

KVR is offline  
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 08:29 AM
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My suggestion would be the Renaissance Wailea, the snorkeling next door is very good. Most of the Wailea beaches have a pretty mild surf, but I'm not sure of the snorkeling at all of them.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Stayed at Wailea Four Seasons twice...snorkeling there is limited but there...stay there for the calm beaches (a relative term in Maui they are not very calm but gorgeous) and drive up the road to snorkeling areas...read a tour book and they'll tell you where they are, it's been awhile. Or, better yet take a snorkeling or snuba excursion. Don't reserve ahead...go on a calm day.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Seems to me the answer lies with Kapalua Bay. The beach there is generally regarded as one of the best in the world...the waters are calm, and the snorkeling is great. The two major hotels there are the Ritz Carlton and the Kapalua Bay Hotel. We stayed at the Kapalua Bay Hotel several years ago and loved it, though I've read recent reviews that it's aging a bit (Marriott apparently recently bought it and may be doing some renovations). But you can't go wrong with the beach there - it sounds like its exactly what you're looking for.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 09:56 AM
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How about the Kapalua Sunset: www.kapaluasunset.com

We went to the most fantastic spot for snorkeling last June: Honolua Bay in Maui. It is north of Lahaina and is a marine preserve so there are lots of fish who are not too worried about people. We saw turtles, eels, and even squid/octopi (I don't know the difference). It is a cove so there was not a strong current when we were there (June 2004). My guidebook says the snorkeling is best in the morning and calm spring, summer, & fall. The snorkeling was easy enough for my children, as well as my 60-ish mother and in-laws. My family all agreed that it was like being in a National Geographic special. Take hwy 30 north of Lahaina past D.T. Fleming Beach Park. You'll see a Mokuleia-Honolua Marine Reserve sign near a parking area. Go past this just a little ways and watch for a tiny dirt side road on the left. There will probably be other cars parked there. Park by the road and take the trail/dirt road in. The trail is an easy walk and absolutely lovely. The Snorkel Bob shops may even have a free print out map. We felt so pleased with ing in for free when we saw one of those snorkel tour catamarans that people pay a tidy little sum for.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 11:29 AM
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In winter you likely will find tamer surf in the south (Wailea), rather than the west (Kapalua, Ka`anapali and Napili). Most of the south beaches have good or better snorkeling. You'll see more humpback whales from there too.
KVR: to "go down" to Kapalua from Ka`anapali you'd circle the island, as Kapalua is north of Ka`anapali.
Lex1 is offline  
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 11:47 AM
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Try Napili Point and Napili Shores condos. The Shores has a nice sandy beach, while the Point is above a great little rocky cove for snorkeling (I think it's called Hanakeana Cove). The developments are next-door neighbors, so you can easily walk from one to the other.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 11:57 AM
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I had a very different experience staying at Kaanapali in February-we had calm (there weren't ANY warning signs), swimmable waters and snorkling up the beach at Black Rock, in front of the Sheraton. The water was warm enough-it was only February, so it wasn't as warm as it would be later in the year, of course. Also we saw whales all day long, right from our hotel, looking out over the beach toward Lanai.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 03:24 PM
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I know what KVR is talking about. We also experienced water too cold to snorkel or swim one January off Kauai. The weather was overcast and drizzly every day. Out of desperation, my husband and I wore wet suits into the water, yet couldn't stay in longer than one fairly miserable hour.

So, yes, Rusty, the Hawaiian water can vary to uncomfortable coldness at the northern islands.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 03:55 PM
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MaureenB, where do you normally do your swimming and snorkeling that you would find Kauai waters too cold? What was the water temperature? Some people think that 80 degrees is too cold. The fact that the weather was overcast and drizzly has absolutely no effect on the water tenmperature.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 04:54 PM
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From the National Weather Service:

The ocean supplies moisture to the air and acts as a giant thermostat, since its own temperature varies little compared with that of large land masses. The seasonal range of sea surface temperatures near Hawaii is only about 6 degrees, from a low of 73 or 74 degrees between late February and March to a high near 80 degrees in late September or early October. The variation from night to day is one or two degrees.

Hawaii is more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continental land mass. Therefore, air that reaches it, regardless of source, spends enough time over the ocean to moderate its initial harsher properties. Arctic air that reaches Hawaii, during the winter, may have a temperature increase by as much as 100 degrees during its passage over the waters of the North Pacific. Hawaii's warmest months are not June and July, but August and September. Its coolest months, are not December and January, but February and March, reflecting the seasonal lag in the oceans's temperature.
Paul is offline  
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 06:12 PM
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73 degree water is on the chilly side in my book. 78-80 is perfect!
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 06:38 PM
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I was expecting the same waters we experienced in Mexico/Caribbean. Calm, crystal clear, warm water. We were disappointed in the non-tropical atmosphere we experienced in Maui. It was cold and rained for most of our trip. The ocean/pool temps were cold and unbearable to swim in. The waves were too rough/high. Never experienced waves like that in the Caribbean. I'm not saying that that is the norm, just what we experienced on our trip. And it doesn't matter were I'm from to know when the water is too cold and the waves to high to swim in.
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Jan 2nd, 2005, 08:41 PM
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The last time I was in Maui was in early March. It rained two days out of ten. We had great snorkeling at Kapalua Bay and at the beach off the Maui Prince. I stayed at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel and the wave action was not bad. I was able to swim and snorkel off of Black Rock and I don't remeber the water being cold.
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Jan 3rd, 2005, 03:12 PM
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KVR, you didn't do your homework if you thought the Pacific Ocean and Carribean Ocean were similar. I love the fact that it gets down to 62 or so at night in Huelo in January. Very pleasant sleeping weather. It's a shame the weather was bad during your stay. Maui is such a beautiful island, I hope some day you will give it another try.
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Jan 3rd, 2005, 06:10 PM
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We found the water in Kauai in June 2004 colder than Maui in July the previous year. I thought it had to do with Kauai being farther north than the other islands, and that Hawaii gets cold northern currents whereas the Caribbean gets warm southern currents? Anyway, in September on the Big Island, I found the water to be much warmer than on Kauai in June...apparently September is a warmer month, and the Big Island is the farthest south.

We had bathtub warm water in the Florida Keys one March...don't expect this from Hawaii. It's not like the Caribbean, but still absolutely beautiful, and with wonderful water, sometimes a ridiculously deep electric turquoise (especially on the north shore of Kauai) but usually a darker blue than you'd see in the Caribbean--still very very clear, just not that typical swimming pool color.

The calmest snorkeling will usually be in the morning, especially in south Maui. We loved the snorkeling in that area, and mornings were always dead calm; the wind picks up around midday. I wish I could tell you what those beaches will be like in March but we were there in July. South Maui/Wailea has a string of gorgeous golden crescent beaches (not white like the Caribbean, but sweet and golden), and several resorts on them. You can't go wrong with any of them!

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Jan 7th, 2005, 04:47 PM
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We used to stay at the Kaanipali Beach Hotel when our kids were small. They used to play in the water safely...there seemed to be set times when the big rollers came in. I took my kids out to black rock with life vests, saw lots of fish but felt a bit spooky as the water was so deep. However, the last 2 times we've stayed at the Maui Prince: the water has always been calm (occasionally there'll be a few waves..fun) snorkeling is easy, lots of fish and occasional turtle. Highly recommend! Will be there in March!
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Jan 8th, 2005, 07:51 AM
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Hi RJ,
we were on Maui for the month of Nov 2004. We had 27 days of perfect weather, with no wind, 85 degrees, and calm warm water. This was followed by 3 days of clouds, medium winds, and 85. We stayed at Makena ,past wailea, and the beaches were great, and the snorkeling was fantastic. Try any of the Wailea resorts, depending on your budget, but I can highly recommend the Makena Surf condos , if you want condo instead of a resort. Great condos, great beach,, and great location. Cheers, Al
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