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Plantation Inn and Gerard's Restaurant, Maui
The 18-room Plantation Inn and the award-winning Gerard's Restaurant are a dynamic duo and only steps from Lahaina town.

Maui's Plantation Romance
Story by Richard Carroll
Photography: Halina Kubalski

erard's Restaurant, in a classic Maui setting of soft ocean air, the scent of flowers, and the pop of a champagne cork, sets the table perfectly for an evening of pleasure. A gentle sea breeze tousles the hair of a newly-wed couple from Sweden lifting their wine glasses to a recently married couple from Boston, their passion settling across the veranda of the restaurant like a mantle of French fervor.

Gerard’s Restaurant
Gerard's, opened in 1987 has won a huge number of restaurant awards.

The esteemed restaurant in the heart of Lahaina's historic center, on the West coast of the island, is tucked into an old plantation-style house, and connected to the equally impressive 18-room Plantation Inn. Together they are a dynamic duo that provide the perfect tonic for those in need of an appealing rejuvenation.

Chef Gerard Reversade said, "When the lengthening shadows recede into the dusky light of a lazy Maui moon, it [puts] your heart in a good place." Reversade, born in the southwest of France to a family of chefs and restaurateurs, was pulled into the kitchen at age 14. His restaurant expertise began developing from that early age, revealing itself over time to be a life-long endeavor. Moving to the United States in 1973 at age 23, he eventually landed in Maui, fell in love with the island, and opened Gerard's in October 1987.

fresh fish and and organic fruit and vegetables at Gerard's
Gerard's offers fresh fish caught by Lahaina fishermen and organic fruit and vegetables.

A server presenting a desert platter for two on
Gerard's veranda.

The only French restaurant in Maui, Gerard's offers time-honored, contemporary, French cuisine with a touch of island flavors. The restaurant is guided by Reversade's hands-on expertise and has been flattered with some eleven international dining awards, which come as no surprise to the resident gourmands, who proudly claim it "Hawaii's best."

Reversade explains in a rush of words, "I use only local fish caught by Lahaina fishermen, no flour or starch, traditional French reduction, filtered water, fresh island juices and herbs, and I carefully select organic fruit and vegetables, farm to table." Smiling, "All desserts are created in the kitchen which includes a ten-day span to make fresh yogurt."

A 200-bottle wine cellar compliments a tasty menu selection, inclu ding Chilled Cucumber soup with Surfing Goat Cheese, and appetizing Scallops with Passion Fruit and Coconut Oil Vinaigrette.

Chef Gerard Reversade, born and raised in the southwest of France, came from a family of chefs & restaurateurs.

Connected to Gerard's like kissing cousins, the Plantation Inn is the essence of romance and relaxation. Noted as Maui's preeminent Bed & Breakfast, the property's serene disposition has been carefully designed for adults and couples, 18-years and older. Those with children can book in at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel, the Plantation Inn's sister property. Children or not, Ka'anapali is a short ten-minute drive from Lahaina, where Inn guests have full privileges along with a beach that seems to reach to the horizon.

The Plantation Inn, built from the ground-up in 1987, focuses on island decor with gleaming hardwood floors, ceiling fans, and the vivacious colors of Hawaii. Rooms are non-smoking, free Wi-Fi and parking is provided, and in keeping with the agenda, quiet time is from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m., although the pool and Jacuzzi are open 24-hours.

the Plantation Inn
The intimate Plantation Inn, adults only, was built from the ground up with a
colorful island decor.

The complimentary patio breakfast is served beside a sparkling swimming pool while soothing Hawaiian music plays in the background and the bouquet of Gerard's special coffee blend dominates the senses. Fresh island juices and French toast with homemade jelly and local maple syrup highlight the morning meal.

a room at the Plantation Inn
The Plantation Inn with ceiling fans, hardwood floors, and high-end amenties, is a popular honeymoon destination and those wishing to escape the hustle and bustle
of everyday life.

Steps from Lahaina's celebrated Front Street, guests can browse through the town's historic district enjoying the architecture and history of the old whaling town, the harbor and Baldwin House. Adjacent to Lahaina's famous banyan tree is the original courthouse, now an art gallery which also houses the offices of the Lahaina Visitor's Center where travelers can pick up a copy of the free Maui Historical Walking Guide.

a guest enjoying breakfast at the Plantation Inn prepared by Gerard's
Guests enjoy breakfast at the Plantation Inn prepared by Gerard's. The menu including a special Maui coffee blend.

Bordering the harbor, the banyan tree, an amazing maze of trunks and branches reaching skyward in a mighty display of longevity in aptly named Banyan Tree Park, is the largest banyan tree in the United States and among the largest in the world, standing 60-feet high, 200-feet wide, spreading through most of the block and still growing. Imported from India, the tree was planted by then sheriff William Owen Smith in 1873, when Ulysses S. Grant was President of the United States and Hawaii was a dot someplace in the middle of the Pacific. Every holiday season the residents decorate the tree with lights, and on December 7th Front Street is ablaze with color.

Front Street, Lahaina
The Plantation Inn and Gerard's is only steps from historic Lahaina town

A tradition with many of the old-time Lahaina residents is to stop by Lappert’s Ice Cream store on Front Street for a refreshment and then settle on a bench under the banyan tree and enjoy a little piece of Maui and the lovely island life.

the historic district along Lahaina's Front Street
Along Lahaina's Front Street is the historic district with museums and noted architecture.

When You Go

Those intrigued with whale watching should book well in advance if traveling to Maui from December 15th to April 15th with February a highlight. During this time the energetic humpbacks are mating, birthing and breaching in the channel off Lahaina and Ka'anapali. The drive from Kahului Airport along the ocean to the Plantation Inn is approximately 40 minutes unless the whales are romping in the channel.

the Banyan Tree at Banyan Tree Park
The famous Banyan Tree in Banyan Tree Park in the heart of Lahaina on Front Street, planted in 1873, is the largest banyan tree in the United States standing 60-feet tall and still growing.

Visit the Plantation Inn; (800) 433-6815. Gerard's at the Plantation Inn; (877) 661-8939; Ka'anapali Beach Hotel; (800) 262-8450.

Related Articles:
On Foot On Front Street in Lahaina; The Road to Hana: The Road More Traveled – And With Good Reason; Paradise (and Culture) Found at the Ka'anapali Beach Resort; A Taste of the Garden Island of Kaua’i

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Let Richard know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Paris

In Paris would love a tour of Hemingway’s haunts.

--- Roy Curnow, New Jersey

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A very well written and empathetic article about literary Paris. I am visiting again with my husband in early November and having re-read 'Moveable Feast' in my 60's following reading all Hemingway during my 20's and subsequently again ever since, and – honeymooned for a weekend in Paris in 2004 – cannot wait to retrace Hemingway's steps from the book (as we walk) this time. Also heard great Radio 4 cover of Shakespeareand Company so will be making a visit there without fail.

--- Caroline Timmis, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, UK

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Enjoy getting your Traveling Boy newsletter. Just read the article about Paris. Brought back many fond memories of my year there. I frequented all the haunts mentioned esp. on the Left Bank.

--- P. Sammer, Hawai'i

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We loved your story...we love Woody's new movie and we love all the spots in Paris you outlined. Next time I go there I'm taking your story with us so we can prowl around Hemingway's hot spots. Thanks for letting us know about the story. Merci beaucoup! mon ami...

--- Joseph Rosendo, Topanga, CA

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I just finished reading your piece. Traveling with you must be like enjoying the past, present, and sometimes the future. You bring a place to life. Thanks for sharing. The photos were also excellent.

--- Maxine, Salt Lake City, UT

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A fantastic story, Richard. It's so evocative and seductive that after reading it, one could easily be tempted to buy that one-way ticket to Paris. I read Paris Wife, but after reading your story, Paris and the Paris Walks are definitely in our future.

--- Maris Somerville, Los Angeles, CA

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Richard, thanks for sharing the link to this wonderful article. Helina's pictures are a great complement to your writing. Best regards,

--- Mitchell Lane, Shadow Hills, Los Angeles, CA

Feedback for Las Alamandas

Dear Amigo Richard,

What a beautiful and well written article well your photos and illustrations are amazing!!! Thanks for been such a good friend and promoter of Mexico.

--- Jorge Gamboa, Los Angeles, CA

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Richard's beautifully written and illustrated story brought back many magic memories of my visits to lovely Las Alamandas! I can't wait to return.

--- Marian Gerlich, Los Angeles, CA

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I thank you, it looks like a great place to relax. Maybe... someday who knows?

--- Mel Carroll, Bountiful City, UT

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Nice piece. I missed the rates.

--- Harry Basch, Los Angeles, CA

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This is my favorite of all your pieces I've read. The pictures are lovely. Halina looks like she's in heaven. I would love to visit there.

--- Maxine, Salt Lake City, UT

Feedback for Playa del Carmen

Great photos!! Can't wait to see these sites myself - these pics alone got me even more excited! Any other places you'd recommend in the Yucatan!?

--- Kyle Goes Global

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Man, you draw the tough assignments. You must have been a good boy when you were young (perhaps an earlier incarnation?)!

--- Mel Caroll, Bountiful

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