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Maui Trip Report (2 of 3) *LONG*

Old Apr 20th, 2003, 07:35 PM
  #1  
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Maui Trip Report (2 of 3) *LONG*

This is part two of my trip report covering five days in Maui. I’ll be happy to try to address any specific questions you might have, but given how wordy I tend to be perhaps there won’t be much of anything that I haven’t said in excruciating detail already.

The process of getting to Maui was uneventful and our choice of rental car was the ubiquitous Mustang convertible. To me, there is no question that you want to get a drop top in Maui. First of all, there’s all that sun and then the sights and smells of the Hana Road seem almost to touch you in the open air.

We actually stayed in two hotels on Maui, which I was reluctant to do because packing up and moving is a big pain in the neck and we were already moving between three islands. However, the more I read and the more people I talked to, the more certain I was that I wanted to spend the night in Hana. So we stayed for the first part of the trip at the Maui Prince and the last night at the Hotel Hana Maui. The Maui Prince was not my first choice, but I felt that the cost of the trip was heading towards insane and I wanted to do something cheaper than the Four Seasons or the Kea Lani, which would have been my first choices. We got a very nice deal on the Maui Price from one of those website reservations where they don’t admit what hotel it is until you reserve (although I was almost 95% sure it was the Maui Prince from the text). The only knock I usually read about it is the location, but that is what I liked best. Frankly it is only about 5 minutes or less south of the Four Seasons or the Kea Lani and no one ever complains about the location there. The beach at the Maui Prince is stunningly beautiful (which is a good thing, since the pools weren’t so hot) and I saw turtles almost every day there. It is also within a short walk of Big Beach and Little Beach. They are trying to hit a first-class note and they almost get there, although it is no Four Seasons. The Hotel Hana Maui was astonishing. Much of what I read about it was completely inaccurate, probably due to very recent renovations that must have been extensive. We stayed in an ocean view Sea Ranch cottage that was awesome. The rooms were massive, with an open floor plan, but with separate feeling dining area, sitting area, bedroom and fabulous bath. All of the cottages seemed to have great decks with extraordinary views of the ocean. Sunrise from the deck was one of my favorite moments on the entire vacation. The nicer rooms were literally on the ocean and had hot tubs.

(continued on reply)
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Old Apr 20th, 2003, 07:37 PM
  #2  
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This is part two of my trip report covering five days in Maui. I’ll be happy to try to address any specific questions you might have, but given how wordy I tend to be perhaps there won’t be much of anything that I haven’t said in excruciating detail already.

The process of getting to Maui was uneventful and our choice of rental car was the ubiquitous Mustang convertible. To me, there is no question that you want to get a drop top in Maui. First of all, there’s all that sun and then the sights and smells of the Hana Road seem almost to touch you in the open air.

We actually stayed in two hotels on Maui, which I was reluctant to do because packing up and moving is a big pain in the neck and we were already moving between three islands. However, the more I read and the more people I talked to, the more certain I was that I wanted to spend the night in Hana. So we stayed for the first part of the trip at the Maui Prince and the last night at the Hotel Hana Maui. The Maui Prince was not my first choice, but I felt that the cost of the trip was heading towards insane and I wanted to do something cheaper than the Four Seasons or the Kea Lani, which would have been my first choices. We got a very nice deal on the Maui Price from one of those website reservations where they don’t admit what hotel it is until you reserve (although I was almost 95% sure it was the Maui Prince from the text). The only knock I usually read about it is the location, but that is what I liked best. Frankly it is only about 5 minutes or less south of the Four Seasons or the Kea Lani and no one ever complains about the location there. The beach at the Maui Prince is stunningly beautiful (which is a good thing, since the pools weren’t so hot) and I saw turtles almost every day there. It is also within a short walk of Big Beach and Little Beach. They are trying to hit a first-class note and they almost get there, although it is no Four Seasons. The Hotel Hana Maui was astonishing. Much of what I read about it was completely inaccurate, probably due to very recent renovations that must have been extensive. We stayed in an ocean view Sea Ranch cottage that was awesome. The rooms were massive, with an open floor plan, but with separate feeling dining area, sitting area, bedroom and fabulous bath. All of the cottages seemed to have great decks with extraordinary views of the ocean. Sunrise from the deck was one of my favorite moments on the entire vacation. The nicer rooms were literally on the ocean and had hot tubs.

(continued again on next reply)
(man, I wrote too much!)
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Old Apr 20th, 2003, 07:37 PM
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We found a boat that left from the beach at the Maui Prince to go to Molokini at 6:30 or 7:00 (I forget which). I know that doesn�t sound like a vacation thing, but I never quite recovered from East Coast time, so I was always up early and it was a real joy to be the only boat at Molokini. By the time the next boat arrived, we were leaving. What a fabulous experience that was. We also did some hiking and snorkeling in moonlike environs south of the Maui Prince, walked around the �Iao Needle, browsed through Lahaina, hiked around Haleakala National Park.

The Road to Hana was absolutely amazing. We drove out a bit late, since we were staying overnight in Hana. We stopped at the stops listed in Maui Revealed that caught our interest and loved it beyond easy description. Our favorite stop on the way out was the Blue Pool and the humpy-bumpy drive out to it. Other hits included the Ke�anae Peninsula and the Pi�ilanihale Heiau. The next morning we hit the Seven Sacred Pools before the ranger did and had it all to ourselves for two hours. The rain had it a bit muddy and fast, but it was still very amazing stuff. I wish we had planned for more time in Hana � it just seemed like a place out of time and the lushness of the landscape made you ache to leave it. The girl who delivered our room service breakfast asked if we were going to Kona or Hilo on the Big Island. When we replied that we were going to Kona, her face fell and she said sadly, �Oh, the dry side.� I understand now exactly what she meant.
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Old Apr 20th, 2003, 07:40 PM
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(Man I'm a dope. Cut and paste went awry. This should have been the middle section)

There were several restaurants that I can heartily endorse, although there was nothing to equal the amazing Alan Wong’s on Oahu. We had a fantastic dinner at Nick’s Fishmarket in the Kea Lani. Service was absolutely impeccable, one of those places that refills your water glass before it hits the table. They had selected a very nice table on the edge of the property in the open air for us, but didn’t blink when we advised them that the whole day in the sun had pretty much soured us on the idea of sitting in the sun for dinner (reservations three days in advance could only obtain a 5:30 seating). They handled it very smoothly and never acted as if it was the slightest issue. It was a little stuffy for some people, but we loved it. They did a flambé dessert with strawberries that was divine. We also loved Hakone in the Maui Prince for fine Japanese dining. If you are curious about what is fine Japanese dining beyond sushi or you already know and love it, this is your place. They must have had twenty sakes by the glass and a very traditional ambiance. Sunday brunch at the Prince Court was also beyond description. There must have been 100 dishes on offer from all over the map. Our dining companions on both sides were locals who eagerly struck up a conversation about our travels and gave a number of excellent pointers. The restaurant at the Hotel Hana Maui didn’t particularly impress us, although they had a charming hulu performance by local children the night we were there, so we forgave them the uninspired food.

We decided to try the Feast at Lele even though my luau experiences have not been good in the past. To be honest, I didn’t even much like the Old Lahaina Luau, even though everyone else in the world seems to think it is great. Probably I’m too much of a snob, but buffets and bench seating just leave me cold and I find myself thinking that it is all too hokey for words in the first half hour. However, I really enjoyed the Feast at Lele. We made our reservations about two weeks in advance, which was sufficient to net a table on the front row for two. I could have patted the dancers on the hip from my table (although that probably would have resulted in my death from my lovely wife, who wouldn’t believe I was overwhelmed by the aesthetic beauty of the moment). The food there was quite good and would have seemed at least better than average for a nice Hawaii restaurant. I wouldn’t put in a league with the best places on the islands, but for a dinner show it was excellent. For a luau, it was a home run.
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Old Apr 20th, 2003, 08:10 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Thanks for the report Mike, good stuff. Your comment regarding the Oheo pools "..muddy & fast" bear repeating as flash flooding claimed two people last week. I'm leaning towards Maui Prince for next trip .. location/beach is great.
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Old Apr 21st, 2003, 09:47 AM
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Thats for the trip report, I'm going to be staying at the Prince in a couple of months and was wondering if you had any pictures of the room, views, bathroom, or property. Also any good restaurants with views in Wailea?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 06:08 AM
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Victor: I do have pictures and would be willing to e-mail them to you if you could provide an address. The only place I can remember in South Maui with great views is Carelli's, but I wasn't a big fan of their food the last time I ate there (2 years ago). I think Nicks and Humu are the best meals in Kihei, but neither of them have drop-dead views. The Prince Court in the Maui Prince has a nice view, but it reportedly doesn't do such a great job food-wise. I only ate there for brunch on Sunday, which was awesome.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Thanks Mike, I really appreciate it. My email address is [email protected]. Would be greatfull for any pictures you can provide. Also thanks for the restaurant suggestions.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 04:11 AM
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Sarento's on the Beach in Kihei has great sunset views and it's food is very good as well.
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