A destination in itself, the former Hotel Hana-Maui might have a new name, but this secluded and quietly luxurious property still delivers the tropical Hawaii of your dreams. A property-wide restoration in 2015 installed a dew decor featuring sustainable materials, artwork, and traditional kapa bark cloth that reflect Hana's natural and cultural significance. Also new, the Preserve Kitchen + Bar, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner centered on locally harvested fish, meat, and produce. For more peace and privacy, splurge with a stay in the updated Ocean Bungalows set on sprawling lawns overlooking the rugged coastline. The Garden Junior Suites are fantastic for families. Guests can simplify their stay by opting for the Total Travassa package that provides three meals a day, nonalcoholic drinks, and a $125-per-person resort credit—all the better to partake of the resort's natural spa treatments. There are no noisy air-conditioners, televisions, radios, or clocks in the rooms—just beautiful scenery and tranquillity. Activities include tennis, a three-hole putting course, fitness center, horseback riding, free use of bicycles, and cultural programs. For getting away from it all, there's no more beautiful place.
YOU SHOULD KNOW This is a no TV resort, and in-room internet can be a bit sketchy, This resort is all about disconnecting and relaxing.
Bungalows are set in two sections of the resort, those in the garden area and those in the ocean area. The rooms are spacious and include comfortable beds with spa quality sheets, lots of wood features, and (lanai?). The small kitchenette includes a mini fridge and sink, as well as coffee pot and tea kettle. The ocean front rooms are like staying at a refined beach house, a little more rustic than you’d typically find at a luxury resort.
Though there isn’t a beach directly accessible from the resort, being able to hear the waves crashing along the cliffs all night and wake up to that sound in the morning makes the oceanside rooms so worth the extra cost.
Bathrooms are outfitted with Kohler fixtures, double vanities, and an abundance of Travaasa branded bath products.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The proximity to the ocean leaves some of the oceanfront rooms smelling a bit musty and some of the features a little moldy. It’s the price you pay for waves crashing right outside your lanai, and it doesn’t take long to get accustomed to it.
The open-air lobby is more of an area to check in, get a ride on the golf cart, or make arrangements with the concierge than a place to linger, though it does have some cozy seating and a really lovely water feature a bit further down from the reception desk, as well as a gift shop and library.
There are two pools on property. The first, for all ages, is a medium-sized rectangular pool with surrounding deck. The activity center opens up to the pool, so at any given time someone can be playing ping pong or receiving hula lessons next to the pool, making it a fun and lively place to gather. The huge adults-only pool has a nice view of the ocean and nearby rolling hills, a poolside bar that serves a limited food menu, loungers with umbrellas, and a hot tub.
Guests can enjoy a variety of treatments including facials, body treatments, and massages (six different kinds are available), as well as waxing services. Their signature treatments are where it’s at, though, pulling from the land and sea to create unique ways to help guests relax and rejuvenate. Don’t let the sticker shock get you because their prices seem a little higher than other spas -- gratuity is already included at this non-tipping resort.
In addition to the fitness center the resort offers its signature experiential program (with yoga, hula lessons, spear throwing lessons, and much, much more), as well as a tennis court and a three-hole pitch-and-putt course.
Though the lunch and dinner menu doesn’t pop out as wildly innovative or unique, the food at The Preserve Kitchen & Bar is so well done that it doesn’t have to. Every bite of every item will make you go back for more from their menu that features “Hana fusion” with a daily fish special, salads, and heartier fare like steaks and pork chops. Dinner reservations are highly suggested, especially if you’re not a guest of the hotel. Breakfast is another story, however, as you’ll find some things that are really different, like their English breakfast and their “Shaka Shuka.” In-room dining is available, though a little less traditional than what you’d expect. Limited poolside dining is also an option for guests.
The full bar at The Preserve offers island twists on classics, without going too crazy, as well as beer, a nice wine menu, and a full bar. During the day guests can sip on tropical cocktails at the adults-only pool.
It’s easy (and preferable) to explore Maui’s smaller towns by foot, but to get to them and around the island, you’ll need to rent a car. If you plan on exploring the Road to Hana, get something with a little extra horsepower (but not too big as the road can get very narrow).
The Hana Farm’s Farm Grill & BBQ (7-min drive) is a nice stop on your way into or out of Hana. The menu of this food truck features quiche, sandwich, and savory pie plates, with cute, covered outdoor seating surrounded by thick groves of banana trees. Finish your meal by stopping at the farm stand for fruit and banana bread to take with you and a coffee for the road.
Da Fish Shack (2-min drive) food truck serves up just what you would expect -- fish! And it does a great job at it. Fish burgers, fish tacos, and even an ahi BLT all celebrate fresh, local fish, including ono and Mahi. They also serve a few shrimp dishes if you’re not in the mood for fish.
There are basically only two places to grab a drink in Hana, and Hana Ranch Restaurant (5-min drive) is one of them. There you’ll find a limited cocktail, beer, and wine menu. It’s definitely not a drinking destination, but it will get the job done.
WHY WE LIKE IT
This experiential resort is the only luxury resort in Hana, and though it’s a luxury resort, it maintains a lot of the quiet charm of its surrounding town. The food is stellar, the staff is about as friendly as it gets, and the views are stunning. You’ll have more chances to learn and experience things here than most other resorts, including participating in some specialty outings.