A June 1999 trip
to Maui by tamtbell
Quote: A short tour with my brother, sister-in-law, and husband of Maui, an island we knew quite well.
Hotel | "Maui Marriott Resort"
Walking from the lobby to your room, you pass by tropical gardens with peaceful waterfalls. There is bougainvillea in planters here and there, and I swear we noticed a distinct smell of plumeria throughout the resort. The rooms were more than comfortable, with good views--either Mauka (mountain/land) views or Makai (ocean) views--average-sized bathrooms, and turndown service in the evenings. We were on the Mauka side, and were blessed with good weather every day of our trip.
This hotel is on a pretty good area of Kaanapali Beach, as it is relatively free of rocks. The pool was very large, with a tropical waterfall that you can stand under. If you do not have children and do not wish to be around children, this seemed like a pretty good choice, as we only noticed a few children here and there, and those we saw were very well behaved.
The hotel is somewhat close to the historic Whaler's Village (half a mile away), and during the time I visited, there was a shuttle that offered transportation; however, I honestly cannot remember if they charged for it. There are restaurants on-site, but they are pretty expensive. I would recommend traveling to Whaler's Village, or if you have a car, Lahaina, as you'll find much better prices there.
You may find more info regarding this hotel at this link:
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 19, 2003
Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Molokai, Maui & Lanai Towers
100 Nohea Kai Drive
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
Hotel | "Royal Lahaina Hotel"
Upon arriving at the hotel I was almost immediately disappointed as I looked around the grounds and walked through the lobby. For the price of $150 per night I was of course expecting something that resembled some of the other resorts that I had stayed at previously. Like the rest of the resort the beach even left a little to be desired as even though the quality of the sand was fine, the tide was too strong to allow the water to be clear for snorkelers.
After checking in, we headed on up to our room to put our bags away and again I must admit even the room was somewhat a disappointment. Our room, like the rest of the resort appeared to be decorated by someone who obviously loved using loud Hawaiian patterns and fake palm trees. Plus we had a not so lovely view of large and noisy air conditioners and storage sheds from our room, which was definitely not conducive to relaxation and romance. It seems that my husband and I got the better room however because my brother and sister in law stayed in a room that was serenaded late at night by the live entertainment at the bar right below their room.
In my opinion this resort’s best features were the customer service as the entire staff was very friendly and helpful and the luau that is held nightly on the resort premises. Just a note though there is an extra charge to attend the luau. I have to admit if I were to visit Maui again I would definitely not stay at the Royal Lahaina Resort.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on October 17, 2003
Royal Lahaina Resort
2780 KEKAA DRIVE
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
We had the pleasure of going on one of the 45-minute trips, which included a tour of Haleakala (pronounced Halee a kala), Hana, and West Maui. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a friendly receptionist who advised us where to wait, and soon after we were shown to a room where we watched a movie on flight safety (rather boring, of course, but necessary), and then a member of the staff came in to check our weight and further briefed us on flight safety and what to do in case of an accident or problems.
We then donned miniature life preservers on our waists and headed out to the helicopter, where we met our pilot. He was an Australian native who was very informative about the local geography and history of the island. He took us very slowly up to the summit of Haleakala, a dormant volcano whose last eruption was supposedly in the year 1790, where a beautiful and yet somewhat eerie sight greeted us. Many small cinder cones filled the inside of the crater, all black and brownish red. In the distance, you could see Mauna Kea, the highest peak on the Big Island, and you could actually see the atmosphere change from dark blue, the troposphere, to the lighter-colored blue of the stratosphere, and then to another darker blue, as it changed from one atmosphere to another. Truly amazing!
Further still, we continued our journey down the side of Haleakala to take a peek at the road to Hana, which unfortunately that day was covered with rain-sodden clouds, but no matter--it was still an impressive sight! Our last sight of West Maui, still beautiful in the extreme, paled compared to Haleakala and Hana. This is a journey that you should take; however, if you have a tendency to get airsick I do not suggest it.
Alex Air Helicopter Tours
834 Front Street
Attraction | "The Road to Hana, what an adventure!"
Now when you prepare for this drive, first, I suggest you buy a bag lunch in Lahaina before heading off, as there are some great places to sit down midway through the drive and have a picnic lunch while enjoying waterfalls and other local scenery. Also, there are tapes you can rent that give some info on certain areas as you drive through them - I would check with your hotel concierge if you're interested in this. At the time, when my brother-in-law rented a tape, I thought it was a waste of money, but it really was very informative. Make sure you have plenty of film, too, as I went through two rolls of it shooting pictures here and there; and most of all, take it slow and easy, as the road is full of hairpin turns, very small bridges, and narrow two-way roads. One other note: plan to be gone most of the day, as we left at around 10am and did not get back to our hotel until approximately 4:30pm or so.
During this drive, you will see absolutely amazing and beautiful scenes, from large waterfalls to lookouts that overlook the Pacific Ocean and parts of the Maui coastline. In some areas, it really looks as if you are driving through a tropical paradise, and in other areas, pineapple, banana, and papaya farms will surround you. This type of trip is relatively free (other than your gas and cost of a rental vehicle), so it is a great trip to bring the entire family on! Make sure you bring your bathing suit, as there are also many places where you can stop and go swimming in waterfall-fed pools filled with cold, refreshing water. This is a great way to break up the trip, so if you have children you won't have to listen to "Are we there yet?" as much.
Towards the very end, when you leave the tropical forests behind and head back to Lahaina, you will notice the landscape becomes very dry and barren. This area almost resembles a desert, as supposedly the weather conditions do not support much life over there. If you like to visit wineries, there is also the Tedeschi Vineyards, which sells some truly interesting wines.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2003
Road to Hana
Attraction | "Royal Lahaina Resort Luau"
The luau starts at 5pm; however, people begin forming a line around 4:30 so that they could get the best seats. We arrived to the line at approximately 4:45pm and still managed to get a good seat though.
Once they open the doors to the outdoor dinner theatre, which also, by the way, has a great view of the Pacific Ocean, you are greeted by two local girls in aloha wear who are giving out shell leis. Plus at this time you also have the opportunity to get your picture taken, so you may want to plan for that, as we did not. Once you get through this part you are led to your table which is just simply wooden picnic tables where you are sitting with many other people. Your drink order is taken and then later served in hollowed-out coconuts, which is somewhat fun, but if you have been living as a local you tend to think of this as rather touristy.
When everyone is seated a small show commences and then it is announced that you may get up and get in line to get your food. The food here is really excellent! Local favorites such as Kailua pig, teriyaki chicken, poi and lomi lomi salmon are served as well as the coconut pudding Hapia. As a teenager and then later as an adult I attended many luaus thrown by friends and the food at this luau definitely rivaled those luaus.
By the time the sun is just beginning to set everyone is just about done eating, the plates and silverware are collected and the area is cleaned up. This is when the real excitement begins!
The many men and women who perform in this show do an outstanding job telling stories about their ancestors' history as well as local Hawaiian legends by dancing, singing and pounding rhythms that make you want to dance along with them. Not only is this show fun to watch but you also walk away with a bit of history as well. This is a great show for just about all ages, however I would not bring very little ones as the show comes to an end at about 8:30pm.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 3, 2004
Royal Lahaina Luau
Royal Lahaina Resort
My second visit was with my husband, approximately 10 years later, and boy, had Lahaina grown since then. This time, we stayed at the Maui Marriott Resort for three days. As an adult this time, I still had such a great time; however, I just could not believe how everything had changed so much. The whole entire island was becoming more commercialized than it had used to be. There were now buses that took us from Kaanapali to Lahaina, and now Lahaina had many more shops just about everywhere. The Whalers village was still just about as quaint, and the shopping around there was still great. Traffic on the island had definitely increased from 10 years prior, but still, the roads were of course much less congested than they are on Oahu. At this point, I found that Maui's personality was changing, though--it was no longer the friendly little sleepy island that the Big Island still is. It was becoming more cosmopolitan, and you could tell the local economy was beginning to realize the value of relying on tourist dollars and not agriculture.
My last visit to Maui was with my brother and sister-in-law and my husband.
At this point, the island had become much more crowded and was beginning to resemble Oahu in a way. It still retained its beach-party/surfers'-paradise type of atmosphere, but that was slowly diminishing. The island had many more hotels and resorts along the Kaanapali, and Lahaina now boasted strip malls with stores like Pier 1 Imports and Walmart. The smaller vendors are now harder to find, as they all attempt to compete with the larger chain stores. This time we all stayed at the Royal Lahaina Resort, which wasn't bad, but if I had my choice, I would stay at the Maui Marriott Resort again, as the quality of the rooms, staff, and restaurants was much better. This time we all explored more of the island rather than just hanging around Lahaina and Kaanapali. We took the road to Hana, swam in one of the lagoons at the Seven Sacred Pools, saw tons and tons of waterfalls, viewed our first macadamia-nut tree (all those years of living in Hawaii, eating macadamia nuts, and I never knew what the darn tree looked like), did one heck of a lot of hiking and driving, and all in all, had a great time. This time my husband and I also took a helicopter tour with Alex Air in Kahului, which was absolutely awesome! Helicopter tours are a little expensive, so if you have a large family and are traveling on a budget, I would possibly avoid this attraction--but if money is no concern, I definitely recommend it, as long as you don't get airsick easily.
I am sure that next time I make a trip back to Hawaii, Maui will have changed to the point where I will barely recognize it. Aloha and mahalo, Maui, for the memories of great vacations.