by Karoline Cullen
Do you like interacting with locals or are you someone who likes to retreat from the world? Perhaps you’re in between, preferring the luxury of space and modern surroundings? Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Depending on your vacationing style, one of these three Maui destinations, all doable in day trips from Honolulu, may be just the spot for you.
Culture takes on a deeper dimension at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, an older hotel near the iconic black rock of Ka’anapali Beach. Rooms are decorated with Hawaiian quilts and that’s just the start of the cultural immersion. Employees, learning Hawaiian values in an ongoing program called Po’okela, are encouraged to “talk story” with guests. You may hear about the legend of the demi-god Maui pulling the sun with a lasso or the many uses of the native plants in the garden, or the story of the canoe they built or learn to make a lei. A housekeeping staff choir cheerfully sings during the welcome breakfast and the farewell kukui nut lei ceremony also has a chant and songs. There is no glitz here, just ample aloha, and guests are encouraged to explore and enjoy all the attractions Maui has to offer.
The luxury of space is a trademark of the Honua Kai Resort on North Ka’anaplai Beach. Whether it’s just you and your sweetie or the entire extended family, there is a suite roomy enough for all. Snazzy euro appliances and lanais big enough to comfortably use make eating in a pleasure. After a day exploring the island, playing in the pools or sunning on the golden sand beach, the elegant decor and giant bathrooms welcome you back. The croissants from the ‘Aina Market downstairs are not to be missed and if they are serving macadamia nut crusted opah at Duke’s, the on site restaurant, order it.
If you are going to weave your way over the fifty-nine one lane bridges along the twisting road to Hana, do stay there a night or two. There is much to explore in this remote, laid back corner of Maui. Pamper yourself and retreat to one of the Sea Ranch Cottages at Travaasa Hana. The dark green plantation style cottages are scattered over a grassy hillside overlooking the ocean. Watching the waves crash while the sunset paints the sky pink and purple, perhaps from the hot tub on the deck, more than makes up for the absence of TV or internet. Of the choices in wellness or cultural activities and spa treatments, the Hawaiian Lomi lomi massage is highly recommended. As a preface to your treatment, relax on a teak lounge chair in the spa’s garden overlooking the lava rock whirlpool and feel your tensions ebb. After a respite here, the drive back from Hana will be all the more enjoyable.
For more on marvelous Maui, see http://www.gohawaii.com/maui
About the author:
Pursuing superb travel experiences to later share in words and photographs keeps Karoline Cullen travelllng. As a freelance travel writer and photographer at Cullen Photos, Karoline regularly contributes articles and photos to a variety of newspapers and magazines.
Photo by Karoline Cullen, Cullen Photos