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bogart Jun 18th, 2003 10:48 AM

Maui and Kauai trip report
I'm finally rolling off my keester to do this...;-)

We got into Maui late the first night, so not much to report other than it was very windy at the airport and we had a long, dark drive to our hotel. We stayed at the Kapalua Bay many of you we went back and forth, agonizing over hotel choices until we finally decided not based on what we thought was THE place to stay, but which hotel was the place for US. The peaceful and laid back atmosphere put us at ease immediately and we were very happy with our choice. Upon entering our room we heard Hawaiian tunes coming from a bedside cd player. Our room was larger than I expected, albeit not as plush. This did not matter to us, it was very accomodating for our needs. We enjoyed the lanai, the spacious bathroom, the ceiling fan and the cool breeze that put us to sleep every night and greeted us in the morning.
Day 1
We woke up at 2:30am for sunrise on Haleakala. We left by 3:00 and were at the summitt around 5:15. We dressed in layers, but it wasn't enough...I really wished I had gloves, I think I lost a finger or two taking pictures. A blanket would have been nice to wrap up in also...the wind rips right through you! It was an amazing experience and well worth getting up for, IMO. We did not bike down and were grateful for our decision after seeing the herds of bikers and talking to locals about the activity. After sunrise we drove down to the Leilewei (sp?) Lookout which offered really awesome views of the crater. We were the only ones there, felt like we were the only people on some strange planet. Afterwards, we had a yummy breakfast at the Kula Lodge. We got there early (around 7-7:30) so it was not crowded yet. Delicious bananas foster pancakes with mac nuts, friendly service and breathtaking views. Spent the rest of the morning and afternoon on Kaanapali Beach. Checked out the Westin, nice pool, but too hectic and crowded with kids for our taste. Had a great lunch at Hula Grill, loved the spicy coconut calimari, the sand/barefoot section and the views of Black Rock. Service was kind of slow...but didn't bother us. We went back again later in the week. Got to see Kapalua for the first time in the green and lush. The grounds of our hotel were even more lovely than we imagined, as was the open/breeziness and charm of the hotel itself...very old-hawaiian feel to it. We had a delicious and romantic dinner that evening at The Bay Club, complete with a dazzling sunset over Molokai.

Day 2
We took the Road to Hana. Loved every second of it...we enjoyed the drive itself, drank in the sights, sounds and freshness of it all. I made a priority list of sights (using Maui Revealed), knowing that we wouldn't have time for everything. My favorites included the Upper P----(sp?) falls which was our first stop, Chings Pond and Blue Pool. It seemed like everyone was carrying their "blue bible" around so we were never alone but maybe a few minutes at the later 2 stops. We took a picnic lunch with us (from the hotel) and ate that on the rocks at the Blue Pool. One of our best finds of the entire trip was at a roadside stand in Hana...there were several stands actually, a coffee shop, souvenir stand and Uncle Willie's. He makes this roasted coconut that is super tastey. We bought tons and brought it home to all our friends and family. They loved it! and it was much cheaper than buying everyone kona coffee..;-)
On the way back...we helped out honeymooners that had gotten a flat and had no key for the spare. We had the same jeep so gave them our spare and they followed us back to Mama's Fish House in Paia. That really made the trip even more meaningful and special to us than it already was. They bought us a round of mai-tais and we enjoyed those and some delicious pupus including the poke. Loved Mama's...could have stayed there all evening...but we had dinner resies later that night at Sansei in Kapalua. The sushi was awesome and we enjoyed the lively atmosphere...although were too tired to participate in the karaoke ourselves.
Day 3
My husband played the Plantation Course in Kapalua, he's quite the golfer so he really enjoyed it. From what I could see it was an amazing course with gorgeous views. I had planned on riding along for the back 9, but I couldn't pull myself away from the pool. We spent the afternoon at the hotel. Really enjoyed the pool, and the natural setting around it, especially all those plumeria trees - they smelled soooo good! ..much better than the noisy pool at the Westin, IMO. The beach was perfect, totally idyllic for swimming and snorkeling. That evening we attended the Feast at Lele - what fun! This was one of our most memorable experiences on Maui. Location, food, service, entertainment, and overall experience all receive an "ono" from us.

Day 4
This was a designated R&R day...we spent most of the day at our hotel. Took a drive back down to the Whaler's Village to hit up the Hula Grill again. Stopped by one of the small beaches south of Lahaina to watch the surfers. Napped back at the hotel...slept right through our dinner resie at The Banyan Tree, but made it for a late din din at Roys in Kahana. Love that molten lava cake!

Day 5
to the airport and Kauai!
We loved Maui...thought it had everything, adventure, romance, awesome beaches, great dining, and Mama's.
...stay tuned for Part II.
aloooohaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :-)
and mahalo again for all your help..we've got such a great hawaii gang here!

a few extras...
We had a jeep, loved it!
We ordered flowers from the gift shop next to the Kula Lodge...had them shipped to my mother-in-law. they were gorgeous!
We received very personal and attentive service at Kapalua Bay, I e-mailed some with the executive chef before our stay (he arranged for most of our dinner resies, tee time, picnic lunch etc)...he sent me a followup e-mail a few days ago.
Best mai-tais...and we had many, were at Mama's Fish House.
Had I one thing to do differently...we would have spent the night in Hana (I actually liked it there) and would have gone all the way around the next morning, stopping at 7 sacred pools etc, venus pool etc.

kikahead Jun 18th, 2003 12:39 PM

Looking forward to part II!!! =D>

islandmom Jun 18th, 2003 03:14 PM

Great new places for us to check out!

scott_s Jun 18th, 2003 06:40 PM

Great trip report!!! I felt like I was there too. We were trying to decide between Kalupa Bay hotel & Westin too, we chose the Westin, the pool looks awsome & it may be one of the highlights of my 9yr olds trip. We are not planning to see the sunrise....not my idea of vacation. We originally were going to book OLL, but the Feast looks too good and less crowded to pass up.



jor Jun 18th, 2003 10:57 PM

Congratulations for the longest threat ever written. Please give us the unedited version.

bogart Jun 19th, 2003 02:13 AM

jor, I DID give a short recap when I first got back and everyone asked for more. Nobody is forcing you to read it.

may I suggest taking your happy pill today?


bogart Jun 19th, 2003 02:19 AM

Scott, I think your family will like the Westin a lot. The pool area really is great, it was just too noisy and packed with kids for us (we don't have any yet and are in our late 20s)...
You can always drive up to Kapalua Bay if you want to check it out. The pool area there is not much fun for kids, but the beach is great for snorkeling. (although, Black Rock at the Sheraton is good too).

hope you have a great trip!

kayebert Jun 19th, 2003 03:32 AM

Thanks so much bogart for the trip report! I'm so glad I found this forum. I have found out so much from all of you.
Your feelings on Haleakala have helped me with my decision whether or not to try to cram it into our itinerary. We come from a place with alot of wind and cold and that's NOT what we're going to Hawaii for!! Also a special we watched on the Travel Channel showed a guy doing the bike trek down after the sunrise. It was raining and he looked absolutely miserable, so I think we'll skip that activity for this trip--maybe next time.
Thanks again!

iceeu2 Jun 19th, 2003 04:22 AM

So bogart, did I miss your Kauai trip portion? Ignore Mr. Happy and add Kauai to this thread!!
Did you win in Vegas???

bogart Jun 19th, 2003 05:05 AM

Aloha, iceeu2! You didn't miss part II..working on that right now. Yes, we did win in Vegas - woohoo!!

bogart Jun 19th, 2003 06:03 AM


Day 1 - We took Kal's advice and split up at the airport. DH waited for the bags and I hopped the shuttle for the car. I was third in line..and moments later a whole herd of people came through the door. We were supposed to get a convertible...but I really wanted another jeep so we switched(you can still go topless). Stopped at Duane's Ono-Charburger for a quick bite...most delicious burger I have ever had! We enjoyed the rest of the ride up to Princeville. The Princeville Hotel is really amazing! The Asian/European architecture and decor seemed a little out of place at first...but when you see Na Pali and Bali Hai across the lobby it all seems to work...the views are magnificant! Our room was very nice, much more plush than Kapalua Bay...but we missed having a lanai. However, we enjoyed the incredible views of Na Pali and Hanalei Bay from our room...and the shower! Loved that. The pool was much like that it's a a no frills (waterslides/waterslides) kind of deal. We enjoyed the swim-up bar and the way the water seemed to go on forever..(infinity pool, right?) The beach was kind of small but nice. Room service that night was really good.

Day 2
We got up early and drove to Hanapepe on the south shore for our InterIsland heli tour (the one with no doors). Wow! It was absolutely amazing and a great way to see most of the island in a short amount of time. We even got to go to the top of Wai'ale'ale...which is very rare because of the weather up there. It was absolutely breaktaking. Na Pali, Waimea Canyon, Hanalei Bay, the valleys...all very stunning from the air. We got some awesome pics!
We spent the rest of the morning/afternoon on the south shore. We were really looking forward to the pizza at Brick Oven but it was we went to Camp House Grille - very good and cheap. Loved their homemade chips&salsa and of course their homemade pies were deelish! Spent some time at the Sheraton on Poipu beach (again, glad we didn't stay here...soooo many kids) The beach was very nice but the water a little rough that day. We drove through Koloa, very cute! Took the road that goes to Spouting Horn. Drove back to the north shore late in the day...watched the sunset from the terrace outside the Living Room at the attacked by termites so we took our wine and sushi inside. Sushi was excellent as was the entertainment.

Day 3
Got up early to hike Kalalua Trail. Arrived at Ke'e Beach around 7:30...not many cars there at that time. The hike was great! A little intense at times but the views were very rewarding. We only hiked to the beach (which felt like more than 2 miles)...we cooled off in the stream (since it's not a good idea to get in the ocean there) and relaxed before the trip back. We skipped the falls, having already seen so many in Maui and during the heli ride. The hike bike was a bit more challenging because the sun had risen higher in the sky...thank goodness we could get in the water back at Ke'e beach to cool off. It was now very crowded back at Ke'e beach and the parking lot overflowing...I guess it was around noon or so. We drove back to Hanalei and had awesome fish tacos at Tropical Taco. We browsed some shops...I really liked Sand People and the Yellow Fin Trading Company?? We went back over to Hanalei for dinner that night at Zelo's. The ono was incredible there!

Day 4
R&R day...beach, pool, beach, swim-up bar ;-)
That evening we went to The Beach House on the south shore for dinner. We enjoyed a brilliant sunset there but the food was somewhat disapointing. Maybe we just oredered the wrong entrees or something or maybe it was because it was totally talked up to us...but we didn't think the food was that great. The chocolate souffle was a nice ending though..and I really liked their "tikitinis" - kind of like a mai-tai martini...
not worth the 3 hrs in the car if you stay on the n. shore, IMO.

Day 5
DH played had an amazing round at The Prince...meanwhile I checked out the health club/spa. didn't hang around for long...found it very snooty and not all that to begin with. Back at the hotel I decided to look into surf lessons. Hanalei Surf Co. was booked I ended up going with an instructor from the hotel. What a great time! Getting up was much easier than I thought it would be...I had a few, er, ungraceful dismounts...but I was instantly hooked! loved it. Tried to talk DH into getting up early the next morning before our flight to go out...but it was a no go.
Dinner at Cafe Hanalei that night was fairy good - nothing to rave about, but we enjoyed it and our last sunset. sigh...

The weather was perfect while we were there! It was quite sunny and hot on the north shore..not that windy (which is why I think the termites paid us a visit) and I don't think it rained at all...maybe a sprinkle one morning. Same on Maui...great weather. A little drizzly and overcast in Kapalua in the am but it generally burned off by noon.

Also, breakfast buffets at both hotels were great! Princeville had a little more to offer...but we enjoyed them both.

Maui and Kauai were both amazing islands! I think it's impossible to say one is better than the other...they are just different and I think you have to experience them both for yourself. There is still so much on both islands we want to do...just couldn't fit it all in and have time to kick back in 5 days. Having said that, I'm in love with Kauai...and will be back one day, hopefully very soon. ;-)

one more of the best things we did...was to send back a box of pineapples to enjoy when we got home!


dhoffman Jun 19th, 2003 10:13 AM

Thanks for the report. It gives folks like me planning a trip for the first time, good insights. However, you didn't mention how you traveled between the islands.

bogart Jun 19th, 2003 10:41 AM

Interisland flight..Aloha Airlines.

iceeu2 Jun 19th, 2003 10:48 AM

Thanks for the wonderful reports bogart. Everyone would ask DH about the pineapples and he would tell them he always ate the ones in my mai tais...i guess all of his friends must think i am a real lush.....I wouldn't dare share a mai tai soaked pineapple with anyone!! .((r))

margot55 Jun 19th, 2003 10:49 AM

((r))Aloha Bogart! ((Y)) on a great trip report and for making my 7 day countdown to our trip to Kauai seem endless right here in the midst of our dreary Northeast weather!:(I can't tell you how much we look forward to this trip, and I hope to post as thorough a trip report as you did! Mahalo and when are you going back??!!;)

Suzie Jun 19th, 2003 10:54 AM

Thanks for "taking us back" bogart! Sounds like a great trip.

Iceeu2, I was wondering why the pineapples here tasted so different from the ones I'd had in Hawaii. It's the rum presoak!!!

Margot55- how jealous can you make us? 7 days? ;)

margot55 Jun 19th, 2003 10:56 AM

Think of it this way, Suzie - after July 10th, I'll be joining you in envying Kal's Kountdown!!!;)

Suzie Jun 19th, 2003 11:02 AM

So true Margot55, so make sure you do a trip report so we can imagine we went too!!!!

We don't yet have a countdown but we have a brand new roof! ;;)

That what I like, something that costs alot that you can't wear, eat or visit! Oh well at least we'll be dry next winter! ;)

margot55 Jun 19th, 2003 11:14 AM

Oh, I dunno, Suzie - Hmmm...New Roof vs. KAUAI???!!! And you chose the new roof???!!! ((n)) Shame on you!!! ((r))

DB Jun 19th, 2003 11:19 AM

Jealous of Margot55 and 7 days, :-& sure. But when they're back, we'll just be arriving... nyah, nyah. [-(

However when it's winter and we're all suffering in the cold, Kal will be here giving us his 7, 6, 5.... :-d

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