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Jan. '06 Maui and Kauai trip report

Old Jan 26th, 2006, 12:29 PM
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Jan. '06 Maui and Kauai trip report

My husband and I just returned from 4 nights in Maui and 6 nights in Kauai, with a quick day in Oahu to finish.

Maui--

We stayed at the Four Seasons. It was top-notch and first-rate in every respect. The service, rooms, restaurants, amenities, pool, beach, spa--you name it, we loved it.

We booked a partial ocean view and were upgraded to a full view (though it didn't really seem full). The room was great though--large, pretty, huge bathroom, a lanai...

We had wonderful massages in a thatched hale (hut) on the ocean (through the Four Seasons Spa). Very pricey though.

We dined at both Spago and Ferraro's (both at the Four Seasons), and they were two of our top favorites of all the restaurants we ate at on both islands. Both were extremely expensive, but totally worth the splurge. Spago overlooks the ocean and has great sunset views (particularly if you sit outside), gorgeous decor, and our dinners were fantastic. Ferraro's is outside right on the beach, incredibly pretty and romantic, with wonderful Italian food.

We did not do a whole lot in Maui. The hotel was so lovely and we were tired and ready to relax. We walked the beach a lot, and admired the sunrises and sunsets.

We also had dinner at Nick's Fishmarket, which was pretty good, but I found my dish to be uninspired and the service was a little overattentive. We also had dinner at Capische--a fantastic, classy, beautiful, romantic, and very pricey little outdoor place at the Diamond something resort, just two minutes from the Four Seasons.

We explored Lahaina (too touristy for our taste) and Kaanipali one day, which was a nice diversion.

Kauai--

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt. This is a very nice hotel--it's not as luxurious as the Four Seasons--but still it's very nice. The grounds are lush and beautiful, with lots of pools, waterfalls, etc. We reserved a partial ocean view and were upgraded to a full ocean view with a dead-on sunrise view. Incredible.

We loved Kauai. We were extremely active here, and treasured every minute. The island is so lush and beautiful.

We did the Princeville Ranch 3-hour waterfall horseback riding excursion, which was a lot of fun and a well-run operation. Beware that it involves a harsh and, frankly, quite dangerous, hike to the waterfall.

We also did the Kipu Ranch ATV excursion, which was a blast and utterly beautiful. The guides were great, and the operation was extremely well-run. We booked the Rhino ATV, which is more like a car since it has a frame and steering wheel, and seats two persons.

We had massages at the Hyatt too--mine was probably the best massage I've ever had (Robert). My husband was not thrilled with his pedicure, however. The spa area is nice--outdoor lava rock showers, and another shower with twelve (yes, 12) shower heads.

One highlight of our trip was hiking in Waimea Canyon. The scenery is breathtaking.

We actually did a lot of hiking on this trip, pretty much on a daily basis--mountains, cliffs, beaches, the canyon, etc. This was one of my favorite aspects of this wonderful vacation. It was challenging and exciting, with the terrain and the views changing from moment to moment. We snapped 447 pictures.

We snorkled in a little bay near Poipu Beach. The water was less rough than the main beach, and the marine life (and snorklers) were plentiful.

Restaurant highlights for us in Kauai included Roy's--though the atmosphere is utterly lacking if you want to see any nature (it's in a little outdoor mall). But all was forgiven when we tasted the food, especially the warm chocolate souffle which we will continue to dream about for months to come.

The Beach House was also lovely, with perfect sunset views (get there at 5:30 or you won't get their best tables), very tasty food, and great service.

My dinner was excellent at Dondero's, the Hyatt's Italian restaurant.

Tidepools at the Hyatt was a so-so experience for us.

The Hyatt also has a bar called Stevenson's which offers excellent sushi a few nights a week. I also found my favorite tropical drink of the trip at Stevenson's--the Stevenson's Sunset Martini: orange vodka, grand marnier, orange juice, and Alize Red Passion Liquer. Mmmmm.

After Kauai, we stopped for the day in Oahu. This island was not for us--too crowded--but it was a fun way to spend a day. We visited Pearl Harbor and then wandered around Waikiki. Later in the afternoon we got a table at Duke's at Outriggers--a great place to watch the sunset, the beach, and the sunbathers and surfers.

Our trip, simply put, was fantastic. We loved the Four Seasons Maui, but liked the Hyatt in Kauai very much too. We prefered the restaurants in Maui over Kauai, though they were awfully pricey. We enjoyed the island of Kauai itself more than Maui, however we did a lot more in Kauai so the comparison might be partly unfair. But the lushness of Kauai was incredibly beautiful and unforgettable. Not that we'd ever want to forget...
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Old Jan 26th, 2006, 04:04 PM
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Kal
 
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Aloha mon cherie1,
Glad you had a good time not only on Kauai but had a good meal at The Beach House. Too many bad reports of late.
Hopefully they got their poop together because it is a nice location, yah?
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 04:04 AM
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iceeu2
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Sunset martini? Yum-o, but I would probably be on the floor after one!

 
Old Jan 27th, 2006, 06:32 AM
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kal--we did have a great meal at the Beach House. Our server was excellent(can't remember his name but he had a long pony tail), and the view was perfect (rushed there at 5:30 for a window table). I especially liked our appetizer--the macadamia nut crusted crab cakes, but our entrees were very good too (mahi mahi and the wasabi snapper). The warm chocolate souffle was tasty, but couldn't measure up to the dreamy version we had at Roy's. Plus the hot ramekin and sauces sit on a doily which got all soggy and I almost ate it by accident.

iceu2--the maritini wasn't toooo strong. I had one and a half, and that was enough for me. All the ingredients give it wonderful flavor and color.
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 07:06 AM
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Kal
 
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c1,


I'2, Wanna date? O
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Old Jan 27th, 2006, 02:24 PM
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bonniebroad
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cherie1, thanks for sharing your trip memories with us! Really takes me back ...

I hope you'll correct one thing, though. You said,

"After Kauai, we stopped for the day in Oahu. This island was not for us--too crowded--but it was a fun way to spend a day. We visited Pearl Harbor and then wandered around Waikiki. Later in the afternoon we got a table at Duke's at Outriggers--a great place to watch the sunset, the beach, and the sunbathers and surfers."

If you were only on Oahu for one day, spending that day in Waikiki and at Pearl Harbor, I think it would be fair to say that you found those areas crowded, but NOT to say that ALL of Oahu is. There is much of Oahu that is *worlds away* from that busy area (which I happen to love, BTW.)

I hate people to avoid Oahu because they get the mistaken impression that the entire island is crowded and touristy. Just ain't so!!!

I hope, in the future, that you might find the time to see all of Oahu. It is an amazing place, with some of what the other islands have, plus much more!!!

Thanks again for a very enjoyable report!

 
Old Jan 30th, 2006, 08:22 AM
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bonniebroad--Sorry for being overly broad. You are right--clearly we saw VERY little of Oahu. My husband and I just didn't love the parts we saw, but we have already agreed that we'd be open to returning to Oahu and venturing into other areas.
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