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turn_it_on Aug 4th, 2003 11:53 AM


The kayak trip we took was with Maui Kayaks, We took the La Perouse trip, but they do have other trips out of different parts of the island. Having been to a lot of the other places they go to though, I can't imagine anything being more incredible than the La Perouse trip. I think it's definitely worth the trip down if yr staying in West Maui because after kayaking you can visit some awesome South Maui beaches.


lschrage Aug 4th, 2003 05:05 PM

Thanks Roxy!! You're the best!


PS: I'll think of you when we're doing the kayak trip ourselves:-)

kip Aug 5th, 2003 03:31 PM

Excellent trip report. Once upon a time, pre-kids, we had adventures in Hawaii that sound a lot like yours. We still have adventures but these days they seem to involve gecko tails and creative ways to deal with carsick kids.
Was glad to hear about your cool stay in Hana. We had a favorite hideaway on that side of Hana Bay that is no longer on the rental market. Good to hear that there are other magical spots.

Wanted to share another great place to stay on Keawakapu Beach in addition to Kihei Surfside. We have twice stayed at Kihei Surfside. They do have fantastic views of the West Maui Mountains and they have the zoomiest barbecues I've ever seen. The drawbacks for us have been the long narrow design of the units and the noise from the parking lot at night. If the tradewinds are blowing, the units can feel like a wind tunnel. If you leave a lanai door or window open, you can come back to a windswept mess. Also, the bedrooms back up to the outside hallways and parking lot. There is a lot of traffic in and out of that parking lot at night. It can be really tough to sleep. The end units on the ocean side are great, though, and totally worth the extra dollars; awesome views and an extra bedroom. Still, great value for what you are paying. We prefer Hale Hui Kai which is right on Keawakapu Beach (Kihei Surfside is on the water but not on the beach) right next to Sarento's on the Beach. It is a smaller complex with ~22 uts in the rental pool. It is a three story bldg with a small heated pool; garden, side ocean, and oceanfront units, and is very well-maintained and managed. The views from the oceanfront units are incredible and the prices are reasonable for the location. The garden units are pretty economical and the ground floor units have beautifully landscaped lanais and access along a private footpath to the ocean. The beach is there is glorious and you can walk along the beach to the footpath that runs all the way to the Kea Lani. Both the Kihei Surfside and Hale Hai Kai are nice alternatives to the packed in condos in Kihei and they cost about half of what you'ld pay less than a mile up the road in Wailea.

turn_it_on Aug 5th, 2003 09:45 PM


Yes, I did neglect to mention the "wind tunnel" effect at the Surfside. We always had the lanai door open because we love the air and the fresh beachy smell but when it really gets blowing, we actually struggled to push the door open against the wind, and then had to dodge real fast out of its way for fear of losing a limb. And anything that wasn't tied down was blown away.

Also, we didn't sleep in the bedroom for exactly those reasons you listed...mostly because it was dark and nothing compared to the feeling of sleeping on the sofa bed in that big airy room next to the open lanai and waking up to actually SEE Maui out there.

I didn't mention this in the report, but we did have a BIG trail of ants from the living room to the bathroom(ants in Maui are totally different from ants in California, very tiny with brown heads and translucent bodies...unless those weren't technically "ants" but rather some other pest) that we would spray for and plug up a hole in the bathroom they were going in--every other day we did this. But I don't think there's much you can do about bugs in the tropics. There WAS a full can of bug spray though.

Yes, those Surfside bbq grills were awesome! One night we started cooking at about 8:45 and noticed a sign that said "gas turned off at 9pm". We figured someone would come out, but at 9pm on the dot, the gas shut itself off. Plan accordingly.

We had also considered the Hale Hai Kai but having seen both, I really am in love with that huge Surfside lawn looking out over the lava rocks and ocean. Looking out from the lanai at the huge expanse of green grass, black lava rocks, blue ocean, and white clouds is amazing!


EllenW Aug 11th, 2003 08:31 AM

Hi Roxy...great report. You mentioned you went to the Olivine Pools. Did you do the whole drive around the northwest end of maui? If so, how does that compare to the road to Hana?

turn_it_on Aug 11th, 2003 01:10 PM


We drove from South Maui up to the Olivine Pools and turned around from there. We even knocked on the Bellstone. Maybe it knocked back. The jury's still out on that one.

Anyway, yeah, the drive was really beautiful, lots of incredible ocean views, but in my opinion, not as lush as the Hana Hwy, and lacking in falls/pools. I don't think it ever would have occurred to me to substitute one for the other. But then again, we didn't go beyond the Olivine Pools so maybe we missed something. Hana is worth doing just to see at least a few beautiful falls and swim in the pools (and stay overnight for even more!).


sk84fungirl Apr 25th, 2004 05:32 AM

I know I'm bumping up an old post, but anywho...

Thanks so much for referring me to this in a previous post. I was able to find so much awesome information on this site before going to Oahu, really needed this on Maui.

Bumped it up because I'm sure I'm not the only one asking questions about Maui and your trip report is the best I've seen yet.

Thanks so much.

turn_it_on Apr 26th, 2004 12:05 PM

Awesome! You're welcome!

Coming soon: Kauai in June!


sk84fungirl May 1st, 2004 06:20 PM

turn it on,

would you recommend Kihei for a woman traveling alone?

or should I stick with the resort areas?

Rusty May 1st, 2004 06:38 PM

Many people, me included, wouldn't recommend Kihei to ANYONE!! The main advantage of Kihei is that it is cheap, and the reason it is cheap is that it is the least desirable part of Maui.


here_today_gone2Maui May 2nd, 2004 11:49 AM

Least direable in your opinion, perhaps. For me, I personally find the Ka`anapali area to be a rather less desireable area. I think it is an overcommercialized sprawl of hotels that is reminiscent of Miami Beach or one of many other beach cities anywhere in the world.

Kihei is not cheap because it is not a good area. You make it sound like it is seedy or dangerous. It is a lovely area with clean safe swimming beaches. Kihei does not have large Japanese-owned resorts as in Wailea, nor was it planned and built to be a sprawling resort area, as in Ka`anapali. Accommodations in Kihei are largley timeshare or private vacation rentals, and, expect for the condos along Kihei Road, it is largely residential.

To answer sk84fungirl's question, Kihei is a fine location for a single travler who is not looking for a resort experience. Some people prefer resorts, some do not. if you want to rent a condo by the beach, and avoid the resort scene, then Kihei is fine. If you want room service and daily maid service, then not in Kihei.

bonniebroad May 2nd, 2004 12:03 PM

AMEN! here_today_gone_to_Maui!!! You are so right about Kihei. I have always stayed at the Renaissance Wailea because we are there for less than a week and I love that resort, but my sister, who has, believe me, the bucks to stay ANYWHERE on Maui, chooses the Maui Sunset in Kihei for seven weeks every winter because she thinks it's a wonderful value there, and that it's ridiculous to pay what you have to for a condo in Wailea, when Kihei is just fine. No, it isn't a planned resort...... but there are wonderful beaches, some really nice condos, excellent shopping and very good restaurants. Some people want to/need to pay $100 a night for their condo, some people think nothing of paying $400. I don't think it's necessary to be rude and dismissive of other people on this Forum , whatever their questions or choices might be!

sk84fungirl May 2nd, 2004 06:16 PM

Thank you all for your responses.

I actually have a back-up plan as well. A group is getting a cruise together to Hawaii for next summer. Don't know too many details yet. It's $1100 per person (1st two) and up to two addl at $49. If you've been on a cruise before, you know that 4 in a room is tight. I know people that have done this, I've never seen what the room looks like, so not sure. However, you really and truly spend no time in the room. So, not sure if it's dooable for 7 or 10 days.

I've heard some say that cruising to Hawaii is not the thing to do. But I look at it like this...EVERYTHING's included. I can rent a car or do a tour when I get to an island.

If it includes airfare from ATL, that's an awesome deal. Otherwise, frequent flyer and hotel reward I come!!!

Will keep you all posted.

umniy2000 May 10th, 2004 09:48 AM

Wonderful report!
We are going to Maui in a few days, staying in one Kihei condo. Road to Hana is definitely in the plans. I know that beyond Seven Pools the road is not paved, but our friends drove it anyway on the way back to Kihei. I was thinking, would it make sence to even go around the Southern tip of the island from Kihei to Hana in the morning and drive back to Kihei going North? Seems like driving against the trafic may not be a bad idea. (I know, rental car company will not like it, but heck...) From your report looks like you took this route.

Rusty May 10th, 2004 10:06 AM

Here Today, you are one of the best informed posters on this froum. I think you live in Maui don't you, maybe even in Kihei? If you do I did not mean to insult your town which is where I would choose to live if I was moving to Maui. But Kihei does not offer as much to MOST short term visitors as do Wailea and Kaanapali.

Otherwise, why are condos of similar quality cheaper in Kihei than in West Muai? I believe the reason is that given similar quality and price, most people prefer West Maui over Kihei. Please correct me if I am wrong.

BonnieBroad, if I insulted your preferred area of Maui - tough break !

here_today_gone2Maui May 10th, 2004 10:29 AM

umniy2000, if you go the upcountry route, there are some things for you to consider. While it seems like this is a more direct route, it really isn't because you will still need to drive to Kahului to get upcountry before heading around. It takes me about 90 minutes to drive to Kaupo. There is a shortcut that can take to get up to Kula, but be warned it takes you through can fields, past the landfill and through some very fragrant rural parts of Maui. It is not really a route I'd wish to take on my vacation.

All of the cds and guidebooks will be giving you locations coming the other way, so pretty much the Road to Hana cd will not work for you. Although you will be missing the Road to Hana tourist traffic, you will be headed upcountry and towards Kaupo with local traffic. When we have to go towards Hana we always take this route because it gets us out of visitor traffic. But that means the traffic flows move sometimes a brisker pace, and some of the locals can be less than patient with visitor traffic, especially in the morning. Be sure to pull off and allow them to pass, and please don't stop in the road to take in a sight. There are places to pull off for this, and it is so very dangerous to stop dead for a photo op. The road may look deserted to you, but you never know what is coming around the bend, and it is usually a lot bigger than your rental car.

On the other hand, once we got behind a farm truck up near `Ulapalakua in the early morning and we ended up driving at 10 mph for about 40 minutes, until we got to a clear place where we could pass.

Be sure to check the weather first. I can't begin to tell you how many times we have seen people in Dodge Neons trying to navigate through mud and rock slides. It may be nice where you are, but it could be pouring out in Kipahulu, and it can become treacherous for even a 4WD vehicle when the weather gets rough.

To me, one reason for a visitor to come back upcountry would be to stop at `Ulapalakua and the Tesdechi Winbery. But, unless you plan your trip late enough you will be missing that. I'm not sure I would encourage a wine tasting before driving the rest of the route.

By the time you will be driving the lusher side of the island, the sun will be headed west and it will put you in the shadows. It gets fairly dark in the rainforest as the day progresses and you will miss some of the wonderful sights that include sunlight coming through the vegetation.

Finally, do remember that when you are driving the north shore, you will be among the bulk of the visitors who drive a portion of the way and then turn around and head back. These folks have already been this way earlier. And many of the pull-offs at waterfalls and such are on the other side of the road.

No matter which route you chose, take it slow and enjoy the sights. Pull over and get out of your car and take a few moments to enjoy the blessings that are Maui.

here_today_gone2Maui May 10th, 2004 10:44 AM

Thank you Rusty, Yes, I live in south Kihei, almost in Wailea.

I find different people come to Maui for different things. Some people come and never leave the grounds of their resort, others come more for the Ka`anapali experience, but I find that many of ther people who come and stay in Kiehi do so because it is the antithesis of the resorts in either place. Some people prefer to be away from the crowds and you must admit that the beaches and pools at the resorts and be pretty far removed from a classic Hawaiian experience, as seen in the movies (we can exclude Elvis movies). You can get hotel rooms cheaper than as Kihei condo, but there are many, many people who prefer Kihei over being in a resort area.

I think the rental rates have more to do with property values than activities and restaurants. Ka`anapali and Wailea are both planned communities and in each community a larger portion of the real estate has been designated as luxury and high-end property. When you have multi-million dollar homes and condos that sell for 6 figures, obviously the rent gets higher.

turn_it_on May 10th, 2004 07:54 PM


Here_today offers some good advice. We drove from Kihei to Hana the "normal"
direction, from Kahului around through Paia to Hana, and then two days later drove to the airport around the south side of Haleakala. So I can't really answer your question about doing it the opposite direction, just to let you know. And you HAVE to drive back to Kihei going north, which road did you mean?


turn_it_on May 10th, 2004 07:55 PM

A kinder, gentler Rusty:

"Author: Rusty
Date: 05/29/2003, 11:09 pm
Message: I just got back from Maui and I drive the distance from the Kihei Surfside to the Renaissance Wailea just for you. It is exactly 1.2 miles one way with a sidewalk all the way. Decide for yourself if that is too far to walk. Shouldn't take more than 20 minutes (30 minutes at most)."

Just for ME he did it! Aw shucks!


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