Maui: Top Attractions
|Maui zowie! (courtesy, Hawaii Tourism)|
The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
Guests at this beachfront luxury resort in sunny Wailea have the option between villas and suitesthere are no simple hotel rooms here. Villas include full-gourmet kitchens, bathrooms with deep Italian-marble soaking tubs, state-of-the-art entertainment systems, secluded courtyards, and private plunge pools. Active types can choose from sailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and golf; the more leisurely can wile away the days at the top-notch Spa Kea Lani.
This hotel possesses serious dedication to Maui's architectural and decorative heritage, and as such, travelers seeking authentic Hawaiian spirit choose the Hotel Hana-Maui. From lovingly restored plantation houses perched on an ocean bluff to cottages overlooking spectacular Hana Bay, this bliss-inducing enclave erases thoughts of urban life. Indulge in modern beach activities on Maui's lush eastern coast or delve into hula, ukulele, and lei-making lessons.
Kapalua Bay Hotel and Ocean Villas
Pampered guests enjoy this elegant 18-acre beachfront resort for its totally luxe environment, stunning sunsets overlooking Kapalua, broad island views of Molokai and Lanai, and world-class private beaches. It's also a golfer's paradise with three challenging courses boasting views of ocean, pineapple fields, and volcanic rock. The Village and Bay courses were designed by Arnold Palmer, while Plantation was designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore.
Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea
Indulge in opulent spa treatment at this over-the-top, 50,000-square-foot haven. Treatments include hydrotherapy in deep Japanese baths (furos) and cascading waterfall massages, facials utilizing seaweed and purifying volcanic ash, and sybaritic full-body treatments like the Hawaiian Ginger salt scrub and Lomi Lomi massage. Make a day of it.
Honua Spa at Hotel Hana
Treatments fit for a Polynesian queen (or king) allow guests to take in panoramic views of Hana Bay from the private spa suite and garden. For deep relaxation, choose the Aquatic Renewal watsu sessiona therapist stretches and soothes your body as you float in a warm pool. For a blend of island experiences, try the Polynesian Body Glow, which includes a sea-salt mineral scrub and application of native clay and kukui nut oil.
An elegant meal here will be the highlight of any visit to Maui. Chef Gerard Reversade combines the freshest Hawaiian fruits, vegetables, fish, and meats with the finest traditions of French cooking. Delectable offerings range from shiitake and oyster mushrooms in puff pastry to fresh Kona lobster and glazed island fruits. Let a Pacific Rim sunset and this gastronomic extravaganza wash over you.
Gerard's: 808.661.8939, www.gerardsmaui.com
Innovative Hawaiian-Californian cuisine, colorful contemporary art, and fantastic views greet guests at celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's restaurant that overlooks the Pacific. Fans deservedly rave about the organic ingredients in Puck's lobster and coconut soup, the fresh fish laced with Asian spices, and exotic tropical fruits. An international wine list completes the world-class dining experience, located in the island's acclaimed Four Seasons Resort.
Golf on Lanai
Pop over to Lanai on a small plane for two rounds of golf at two of the world's top courses and enjoy some stunning aerial views in the process. The Challenge at Manele offers panoramic ocean views and serious water hazards, including a few cliff-to-cliff shots 150 feet above the sea below. The Experience at Koele, with its legendary 250-foot drop from the 17th hole, includes mountain vistas, rare native trees, and dramatic tropical landscaping.
Additional Info: 808.565.2222, www.lanai-resorts.com; 808.565.4563, www.visitlanai.net
The Shops at Wailea
Tiffany, Prada, and Louis Vuittonall steps from the beach! More than 60 shops and restaurants offer luxury goods for the discerning traveler at The Shops. With the extravagant wardrobe offerings at Georgiou and Tommy Bahama's Emporium, to name a few, there's no need to pack for your vacationjust touch down on Maui and head here. Add a rare Tahitian treasure from Black Pearl Gallery and you're set for the island's most exclusive venues.
Additional Info: 808.891.6770, www.shopsatwailea.com
Scuba Diving off Molokini
Join Ed Robinson's crew on a special charter to Molokini for some of the best diving in Hawaii, and for that matter, the world. The crescent island harbors a vibrant natural marine-life park inside an extinct underwater volcano right off Maui's southern coast. Rainbow-hued creatures, from small butterfly fish to graceful manta rays, swim past as you float in sparkling blue water that fills the partly-submerged crater. Ocean depth here is from 35 to 350 feet, providing both gentle snorkeling and multi-tank adventures (for intrepid experts).
Ed Robinson's Diving Adventures: 808.879.3584, www.mauiscuba.com
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication