just got back from Maui and Kauai

Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:59 AM
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just got back from Maui and Kauai

Aloha my friends!

We truly had the most wonderful and memorable vacation ever! I can't thank some of you enough for your awesome recommendations and advice and of course mahalo to the wizardpub crew. The books were so helpful in the planning stages and even more invaluable when we were there.

I will get to work on our trip report as soon as I get caught up here at work and home (blech!) but for now, just a few thoughts...

On Maui...
DO drive up to the summit on Mt. Haleakala for sunrise. Dress warmly and then add a few layers, gloves, scarf and a hat. Take your time driving down...stop at the Kula Lodge for breakfast.
DO the Road to Hana...eat up the sights and sounds and don't be in a hurry. Pick out the waterfalls and other sights that you really want to see most and spend time there, frolic in the pools and enjoy yourself. Take a picnic lunch. Buy some roasted coconut candy from Uncle Willie in Hana. If you don't drive all the way around, stop at Mama's Fish House on the way back. They get our vote for the best mai-tais on Maui and very yummy pu-pus. YUM!
DO check out Kanapali beach, but if you don't have kids with you and are in search of a relaxing vacation...stay elsewhere.
DO go to the Feast at Lele if you are interested in doing a luau AND want good food, more authentic entertainment, and great location.
DO stay the Kapalua Bay hotel (regardless of rants here) if you want one of the most scenic locations, beautifully landscaped property and relaxing pool area without the manmade waterfalls/slides and screaming kids, a great beach with awesome snorkeling right there...if you want to feel the aloha spirit, peace and quiet, and intimate/family like atmosphere...stay here if you want to experience Hawaii. However, if slightly dated rooms with dinged up doors will ruin your vacation, stay at the ritz...but you will forfeit some of the wonderful things I have mentioned above. The rooms and lanai are very spacious and clean, we thought they were fine, but I know that some people would say they do not belong in a luxury hotel.
DO watch every sunset wherever you are.

and a few for Kauai....
DO stay on the North Shore or at least spend the day there, it is stunning! Stay at the Princeville if you want the best of the best...all in all we liked the hotel, the service was great (most of the time), the room was beautiful with breathtaking views of the Napali coast, however there was no lanai. We did find it to be a little stuffy for our taste...mostly the vibes we got from other guests, not the staff.
DO take a helicopter ride. Go with Inter-Island, no doors and no middle backseat passenger.
DO hike the Kalalua Trail on the Napali Coast, go as far as you think you can and still make it back without collapsing. We both thought it was pretty intense at times but the views were totally worth it.
DO go to the Camp House Grill for their delicious homemade pies if you find yourself on the south shore west of the Poipu area.
DO take surf lessons! I had the best time and getting up was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
DO grab a "local girl" burger at Duane's in Anahole - smothered in teriyaki, swiss cheese and a big ol' piece of pineapple.
DO have lunch at tropical taco in Hanalei and dinner at Zelos.
DO watch every sunset with a mai-tai or cocktail of choice.

This is just the beginning...I've got lots more to share.

Stay tuned...
Bogart's mom

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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 08:55 AM
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HI heading to both places in 3 weeks
love to learn more. Email me if you can
[email protected]
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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:01 AM
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Thanks for the great post. My husband and I are heading there in August and we really apprecuate all of the great ideas. One questions...we will definately see the sunrise on Haleakala, what about biking down? Any advice on whether it's worth it?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 10:13 AM
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Thanks for the info - of course we would like more info seeing that I am heading there next week. Any good or cute places to stop and shop or fun places to hang out? Music? I will take anything. Thanks
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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 01:39 PM
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Thank you for the update. My husband and I are going there in 3 weeks. Only we are going to Kauai and The Big Island.

Please e-mail me at [email protected] with any other suggestions. I am putting together an itinerary so we do not miss a thing.


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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 03:14 PM
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Looking forward to your trip report!!

Just wondering, how were the waterfalls on the road to Hana? I noticed other posters here indicated that it has been very dry in Maui lately, and that a lot of the waterfalls mentioned in Maui Revealed were disappointing.

Did you by any chance hike down any of the Sliding Sands Trail on Haleakala? We are planning to attempt the first 2 miles of the trail, and are wondering how difficult the trip back up is?!

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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 04:59 PM
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Driving up for sunrise is definitely worth it in my opinion. When we got up there it was still pitch dark and the stars were amazing. They were so brilliant and even seemed to be different colors (anyone else notice that?) The sun rising slowing over the blanket of clouds was really awesome and inspiring. I've heard that if there are no clouds it is not as good. I guess you take your chances, but I can't imagine it being a disappointment either way. About the bike tour...
1. I wouldn't do it and I consider myself a pretty adventureous person.
2. I've heard about those that did it and loved it, but in my opinion it seemed neither interesting or safe.
3. I talked to several locals about it...their exact words were "don't do it". Apparently it was really cool to do about 10 yrs ago when the original bike operator was the only one doing the tours. Now there are tons of companies taking people up to the summit and letting them lose.
4. There isn't much room for 2 cars on the road, let alone a herd of people on bikes.
5. Then there is the fact that there are people up there on the bikes that shouldn't be...and are putting other people in danger. I enjoyed the views driving down just fine without being dressed in a jumpsuit, riding a bike and worrying about having an accident. Just not my idea of fun.
6. On the way down we stopped at the Leleiwi Lookout (we were the only ones that took the short trail there at that time) and thought the views there were really great...something you would miss on the bike.

Tasha440, we did not hike the Sliding Sands Trail, but it is something I would of considered had we more time on Maui...that or the horse bike ride on Haleakala. After a long drive to the top, I think it would be worth sticking around and exploring the volcano more than just watching the sunrise. However, I will say that we did find ourselves losing our breath just walking short distances. Hmmm...horseback ride is sounding better and better ;-)

MAXSON, are you heading to both islands or just one? I wish we would have spent more time just hanging out. I really thought Paia (in Maui)was interesting and could have spent a few hours there browsing the shops and people watching. I could have hung out at Mamas Fish House longer...very good atmosphere and if you are there during the day you can watch the windsurfers. We didn't spend much time in Lahaina either but there seemed to be a lot to offer there...we did have a few post luau cocktails at Longis - live music on Friday nights. Also, if you like sushi, karaoke or both...go to Sansei in Kapalua on Thursday night - delicious sushi, half price after 10pm and karaoke...pretty cool crowd too. If you like to surf or just watch...pull over at one of the beaches just south of Lahaina.
On Kauai, I really liked Hanalei, funky little surfer town. Did a little shopping and ate out there several times. Hope this helps a little...let me know a little more about the "scene" you are looking for and perhaps I can come up with more.

Waterfalls on the road to Hana... the first one we saw was pretty awesome. It was the Upper Puohokamoa Falls I believe. The next few falls were so-so. We really liked Chings Pond and the Blue Pool (well, until the high school senior trip showed up at the later). I guess it depends on what you are looking for...some of the smaller falls (like Chings Pond) had a really nice pool to swim in.

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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 05:30 PM
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MAXSON, I can't believe I left out the Hula Grill on Kaanapali Beach. We drove down from Kapalua 2 times for lunch and people watching...sit in the barefoot/sand section. loved it! the spicy, coconut calamari rocked!
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Old Jun 2nd, 2003, 07:55 PM
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Sounds like a fantastic vacation. Can't wait to read the more detailed report!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2003, 02:51 AM
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Thanks for the great report. We leave in a couple of months and have taken some notes from your report. How was the pool, resturants, luau and buffets at the Princeville? Was there any activities at the hotel that you enjoyed or that looked like fun that you did not get a chance to do?


scott_s is offline  
Old Jun 3rd, 2003, 04:00 AM
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Welcome home........or what?
Can't wait to read the rest of your trip report.....hurry?
Sounds so wonderful, gotta hurry and get back to Kauai!!!
Old Jun 3rd, 2003, 06:44 AM
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I really enjoyed the Princeville pool - very relaxing and quite, most days. An occassional kid or two, but nothing like the circus at the Sheraton on Poipu. Loved the swim-up bar. Drinks were pretty good. Lunch was fairly good too, I really liked the shrimp quesadillas. Chairs fill up quickly, try to get there early or drop off some belongings after breakfast.

Breakfast was delicious! and the servers very friendly and chatty. We had the buffet included in our package which was nice. Eggs, omelets, french toast etc. made to order in addition to breakfast meats, eggs benedict, strawberry crepes, caramel bananas (YUM), delicious hashed brown pototoes, pastries, fruit, cereal etc. The morning views of Napali across Hanalei Bay were gorgeous and a great way to start off the day.

We ordered room service one night that was very good. We had yummy sushi in the Living Room one evening (after being attacked by termites out on the terrace, this shouldn't be a problem for you though) The tables out there also fill up quickly with people coming to see the sunset. It's an all for one out there so if you see a table opening up, jump on it. Or find a comfy couch inside. Nightly entertainment.

We had an awesome table on our last night outside at Cafe Hanalei. I mentioned in another post that I didn't think the food was outstanding (I thought the sauces were way too salty), but it was pretty good and the gorgeous sunset made it well worth it.

We did not do the luau here since we went to one on Maui. From what I saw and heard it seemed pretty lame.

There are a lot of activities offered at the hotel. A newsletter with daily events will be placed under your door every morning. You can snorkel right in front of the hotel in the bay, the best time is early morning before high tide. Or rent equipment and drive to tunnels or ke'e beach. Kayaking looked like a lot of fun but we didn't have time. I did sign up for surf lessons through the hotel (because Hanalei Surf Company was booked solid) My instructor was Del, he was great! We drove to a spot on the Hanalei Bay that was completely sand bottom and had moderate waves. There was nobody on that stretch of beach so no worries about colliding with other surfers.

The fitness room at the Princeville is small, but you can get in a good workout. There's a treadmill, bikes, and cybex equipment (no free weights though) It's pretty crowded in the morning, usually empty in the afternoon. I went up to the Prince Club when my husband played a round of golf there and I didn't think it was worth it. I found the people there to be very snooty (employees and clientele) and you have to pay a $15 fee as well as $.50 for a shower towel. I thought that was absurd. There were free weights and great views but not worth it in my opinion.

I hope this helps! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

You are going to love it!
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 01:47 AM
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bogart--just how long did it take you to get to the road to Hana and your sunrise destination from KBH?
My wife and I are planning a Kauai and Maui 25th anniversary trip next April.
Can you tell me why we should stay at KBH instead of a Wailea resort?
What road did you take from KBH to "road to hana"?
eating spots near Kapalua if you can also. Any help will be greatly appreciated. thank you in advance.
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 05:14 AM
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Thanks for the details!! I can't wait to see the sites you noted. They are on my list
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Old Oct 8th, 2003, 09:17 AM
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My husband and I just returned from Maui and Kauai and I wanted to make one comment about the bike tour down Haleakala. DO IT.

It was fantastic and one of the best parts of the trip. I had a tough time deciding on whether to do it or not, and decided to do it when I saw a post from a 50 something year old, not in great shape, that did it and had fun.

The views were great, it takes virtually no work because it's downhill, there were very few cars on the road so traffic was not an issue. The company has a truck which follows from the rear and makes sure everything is fine. If cars want to pass, he radios to the tour leader in the front who waves everyone to the side of the road to let cars pass.

At no time did I feel any safety concerns, and I haven not ridden a bike in more than 10 years.

If you go, I strongly recommend Mountain Riders (per Maui Revealed) and try and get Uncle Russ as your leader. That guy is a trip.

DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(For more info, see my trip report posted a few days ago)
jomale is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2003, 11:06 AM
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ahhhhhh...so nice to see this again!

bogart--just how long did it take you to get to the road to Hana and your sunrise destination from KBH?

Let's see. I believe we left around 3am for Haleakala and arrived at the summit around 5am. It was still pitch black and the stars were glorious! Sunrise began around 5:45.

The day we took the road to Hana we left no later than 7am. I am guessing we drove through Paia around 8:30 and onward where the road "begins". I think we were ahead of the crowds.

My wife and I are planning a Kauai and Maui 25th anniversary trip next April.
Can you tell me why we should stay at KBH instead of a Wailea resort?

We did not go to Wailea so I cannot comment. But I can tell you that Kapalua was stunning. I think that both areas are more low-key than say Kaanapali for instance. The major difference from what I understand is that Kapalua is more green and lush as compared to south Maui/Wailea. KBH was perfect for us. It didn't feel like any other hotel chain we have ever stayed at. It had it's own unique/old-hawaaian charm that I think is lost at other hotels. Some love it, some hate it. If you choose to stay in Wailea, definitely drive up to Kapalua one day, possibly have a sunset dinner at the Bay Club.

What road did you take from KBH to "road to hana"?

I can't remember the road names...I can check and get back to you. Do you have Maui Revealed?

eating spots near Kapalua if you can also.

We enjoyed the Kapalua Bay Club (at the hotel), Sansei Sushi (in the shops attached to the hotel) and Roys in Kahana (barely a 5 minute drive south).

Hope this helps! I have a more detailed trip report...I'll go bump it up. If you're interested in pictures, I have a ton. email me at [email protected]

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