Welcome to my first blog post!
My husband Eugene and I recently came back from a trip to Maui. I’ve never been to Hawaii and when I started the planning I was pretty overwhelmed. There is so much to see in Hawaii and so many places to stay! I wasn’t even sure what island to visit, much less which hotel to stay at.
After doing some research we settled on visiting Maui. From everything I had read Oahu (the home of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach) is very touristy and extremely busy. We were looking for a more relaxing vacation, as we had recently spent 2 weeks exploring Iceland and Europe prior (more on that in an upcoming post). I’m happy we settled on Maui because the island is gorgeous!
Waianapanapa State Park
Rainbow Eucalyptus Tree
Once we narrowed down the island it was time to pick the hotel. We stayed at the beautiful Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort and part of the Hilton family. The hotel is in good company sitting next door to the Four Seasons and the Fairmont. This place is great for families with kids, couples and friends trips. The Grand Wailea is known for their spa which is rated as one of the top 10 in the US. The grounds are massive and include 9 pools, 3 hot tubs, a lazy river, waterslide, water elevator and a pool bar. Eugene and I aren’t really pool people, so we spent most of the time at the beach.
Grand Wailea- Waldof Astoria Hotel
Grand Wailea Pool View
Wailea Beach is gorgeous! We’ve done a lot of traveling to the Caribbean and Mexico and found this water to be crystal clear and seaweed free. Besides the pools and beach, the restaurants were great as well (although rather expensive). We loved the poke nachos and ordered them from Bistro Molokini pretty much daily.
The hotel was also about a 5 minute walk to the mall (The Shops at Wailea) which had several restaurants to choose from, as well as a convenience store and high end shopping (Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, etc). We really liked the area! It was easy to get around without a car and for places that were a bit further Uber was available.
The only downside of the trip was the weather. Late November is rainy season for Maui and the majority of the island got rain daily while we were there. They had flash flood advisories each day as well. Although the beach didn’t get rain, we had overcast conditions most of the week.
Spicy Hawaiian Pizza
Sunset at Wailea Beach
Besides relaxing on the hotel grounds, we ventured out of the resort area to explore the Road to Hana. This was an awesome experience and is definitely a must for first timers in Maui. The Road to Hana is a 64 mile long stretch of highway which connects Kahului with the remote town of Hana in east Maui. Along the way we saw breathtaking views of the ocean, mountains, cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation. There are about 600 turns/curves through the drive, so I’m glad I popped some Dramamine beforehand. We decided not to do the drive ourselves and instead booked a tour through Viator.com. I found an awesome small group tour through Blue Hawaiian Helicopters that included a drive through Hana and a helicopter tour back. This saved us the 3 hour drive back and allowed us to experience the sights from a different vantage point. There is so much to see through and around Hana that you would need a full day if you wanted to do the drive on your own.
Overall, our Hawaii trip had the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation. Next time we go back I would love to do a cruise to explore the rest of the islands.
Thanks for reading!