A July 2005 trip
to Maui by bmesser
Quote: Although Kauai was our favorite island, we did enjoy our stay at Maui Hill. I would rate it an 8.5 out of 10, and definitely stay there again.
We stayed at Maui Hill the second week of our first Hawaii vacation. We were impressed with our unit. You walk into the dining area, which is a step up from the living area. There is a closet off the dining area where a previous guest left foam coolers, plastic play things, and games. We left beach mats and foam noodles for the next guests when we headed back home. It was a little smelly, however, and I wouldn’t suggest storing anything in there other than beach gear.There was a small bath in the master bedroom, and another in between the other two rooms. The living room and master bath had a series of doors you could open to allow the island breeze in. Outside these doors was an unscreened lanai, which was frequented by various birds. It was my favorite place to sit and read, listening to all the birds. We had a nice view of Mount Haleakala, but could only catch a tiny glimpse of the ocean. Units higher up the hill could probably see the water, or if you were upstairs, but our unit was downstairs.
The kitchen did not have a cookie sheet, but otherwise seemed pretty well stocked. It was a small galley kitchen, but we had plenty of room to maneuver. There was plenty of cupboard space for our stuff, and there was also a wet bar just outside the kitchen.
The pool was rather small, but I never ended up in it myself. My daughter spent time at the pool and in the hot tub. There was a library in the reception area, and a few books were left in a drawer in the unit we occupied. One interesting item was a diary the owner had left in the unit. It was interesting to read about everyone’s stay, and we left a note before we headed home. We participated in a lei making class, but that was our only activity even though they pretty much just have the concierge sell you activities. There was no timeshare tour although they may have had some resales available.
This is a nice central location. In general, we were able to get where we wanted without experiencing too much traffic. We learned to go up to the expressway, and take a side street down into town instead of taking the main street all the way to the other end.
You can walk to one of the beaches, but it is not a short walk. There are steps from the resort property that lead down to the street, but they are not very obvious, and we didn't find them until we were on our way back. I really like the ocean side parks in town, they were very well maintained and had a variety of sports available. We drove to snorkeling spots, and ended up swimming with the sea turtles. It was amazing.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 31, 2005
Maui Lea at Maui Hill
Attraction | "Haleakala National Park"
We got up at about 2am to prepare for our drive up the mountain. We were told it would take longer than it did, but to be there by 5am.
The drive was very dark, and it rained at times as we passed though the rain forest belt. It was a bit scary at times, as you could not see where the drop off was, but you knew it was there. We had no problems, though, and just drove slowly. We arrived around 4am.
Take a blanket from your hotel and wear your warmest clothes. At an elevation of 10,023 feet, it is very, very cold. If you want to take pictures, you need to get your spot early, as it gets very crowded. There is a room you can go inside in order to view the scenery protected from the wind. However, I felt the picture would be better from outside.
After a very long wait, the sun finally started to peek over the horizon. It was beautiful and indescribable.
If you have a National Parks Pass, it applies to this park; otherwise, there is an entry fee. The gates are open but unattended in the early hours, and you pay in a box to the side. The gates are attended as you leave, so you could also pay then.
The drive down is slow due to all the bikers. Biking down the mountain is a popular sport. I would recommend someone do this once, because I would probably not do this a second time.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 2, 2006
Haleakalā National Park
Po Box 369
Makawao, Hawaii 96768
Maui beaches were more populated than the Kauai beaches, probably because there are so many more in Kauai. In Kauai, you didn’t need to watch the time of day as much. The best snorkeling/swimming time in Maui is in the morning because around noon, the waves pick up, and you can get bounced around. Since most of the best snorkeling spots are a little swim away from the shore, you can get tired having to move around in the currents. Remember, you don’t want to get pushed into the coral.
We wanted to encounter sea turtles, so I read in my copy of Maui Revealed about snorkeling at area beaches. There was one area that noted turtles. I couldn’t get the kids to come along, but my husband and I got up early, grabbed our gear, and headed out. The parking lot for this location only had eight spots, and it was a little hard to find, but we made it. The parking lot and walkway were public areas within the resort, and the beach was surprisingly empty in the morning. Most of the people there were sunbathers, and therefore came out later. Note: when the sun comes up, the sand is burning hot.
We found a spot on the beach and put on our snorkel gear. The turtles were said to be around the rocky edges of the beach. As we started out, the water seemed murky, and we could barely see any fish. I was afraid my husband was going to complain that we saw fewer fish than during our last snorkeling trip in Kauai, but all of a sudden, I spotted a turtle on the bottom of the ocean. They seemed to be sleeping earlier in the morning, so you need to time your snorkel from mid day to noon in order to see the turtles, but be out before the water gets rough.
At one point, I was tired and wanted to head back. As I turned around, I was startled by a turtle that was swimming right behind me. It was so neat, I could have reached out and touched it. Before we returned to this spot again later, we went out and bought swim noodles to help us float. It’s not a life preserver, but it helps preserve your energy. Shore can be far away sometimes, and the currents can make it hard to get there.
Swimming with sea turtles was definitely a high point on our trip. Another would have to be the fantastic sunsets you can see in Maui. Lihue is the perfect place to see sunsets, because it is located on the western side of the island.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 6, 2006