A Spring Escape
And Hotel Wailea
Story and photos by Greg Aragon
s we sailed across the Auau Channel we could see Maui's rugged landscape
reflected in the crystal blue water. We could also see humpback whales,
dolphins and the outlines of Molokai, Kahoolawe and the Big
Island. We had just left the secluded Lanai
and we were now ready for a couple nights in another true Hawaiian Paradise.
When the Expeditions
ferry docked in Lahaina Harbor, we disembarked and walked beneath a
forest of banyan trees to our rental car. We then drove down the southwest
Coast to Hotel Wailea, where we checked into a beautiful suite overlooking
the ocean and hills of lush vegetation.
Hotel Wailea is a tropical paradise, surrounded
lush vegetation and Hawaiian charm
Nestled on 15 acres, Hotel Wailea is an authentic tropical
paradise, surrounded by palm and avocado trees, rolling hills, thick
gardens, waterfalls and streams, and lots of Hawaiian charm. Because
the property is a few blocks above the beach, it offers an intimate,
romantic atmosphere not found at larger, busier resorts. This is a place
to enjoy the island and forget about life for awhile.
The hotel also boasts a full service spa and fitness
center, a sparkling pool, an award-winning restaurant, complimentary
breakfast, and an efficient shuttle service to and from the beaches
and shopping areas a couple minutes drive away.
The suites at Hotel Wailea offer great views of Hawaii's other islands
All 72 suites at Hotel Wailea feature 900 sq-ft, separate
bedrooms and living areas, deep soaking tubs, kitchens, free wireless
internet, TVs, plush bathrobes, and private lanais with chaise lounges
and chairs. Ours overlooked the water, white sandy beaches and the island
a few miles offshore. And if all this isn't enough, the grounds around
the rooms are patrolled by friendly wild chickens, who are happy to
come inside and share some bread crumbs if invited.
When we werent lounging poolside at the hotel,
we were exploring the rest of the island. One of my favorite spots was
Iao Valley State Park, located in the center of Maui. This magical,
4,000-acre reserve is carpeted with thick, tropical vegetation and guarded
by towering mountain peaks. It is home to one of Maui's most popular
landmarks, the 1,200-ft Iao Needle, a giant jagged rock shooting above
the Iao stream.
Iao Valley is a magical reserve, carpeted with tropical
and guarded by towering peaks
A sacred, historical place in Hawaiian history, the
Iao Valley is a great place for a nature hike, as there are well-maintained
trails leading to the needle above and to an old village below.
One of Maui's most popular landmarks is the 1,200-ft
From the valley we drove to gorgeous Makena Beach. Also
known as Big Beach, this beach is Mauis largest and also one of
its best, which to me means its one of the best in the world.
With white sand stretching nearly a mile-long and 100 yards wide, this
ocean-front playground offers great swimming, snorkeling, picnicking
and sunbathing. There is also a tasty taco truck in the parking area,
where we experienced some pretty awesome fish tacos.
Makena Beach is Mauis largest and also one
of its best
After a day at the beach we drove back to Hotel Wailea,
where I napped in a big hammock outside our room, while my friend relaxed
in the Jacuzzi. For dinner, we strolled into the hotel's signature Capische?
restaurant and bar. Serving creative Southern Italian cuisine, the restaurant
is delicately woven into the hotel garden setting, so guests can dine
in various romantic outdoor nooks, with memorable views of the ocean
and rolling grounds.
Capische? restaurant serves fine Italian food and
indoor and outdoor seating
Our meal began with mushroom truffle risotto; and a
Kona Maine lobster, with garden vegetable, preserved lemon and herb
crème. We followed scrumptious appetizers with Caesar and arugula
salads and white wine.
For the main course I devoured a tasty Capische Cioppino,
with Kona Maine lobster tail, Kauai shrimp, clams, local fish and house-made
saffron orrecchiette. My friend went with a divine Porcini Crusted Ahi,
with mushrooms, roasted root veggies, polenta and pumpkin seed vanilla
After dinner we relaxed on our suites private
lanai and watched the sun fall into the ocean behind Molokai, while
sipping mai tais, breathing in the warm fragrance of plumeria, and feeding
breadcrumbs to wild chickens.
In the morning, we drove the legendary Road
to Hana. This incredible 56-mile journey along the seaside cliffs
of Hana is filled with lush forests, waterfalls, secret pools, trials,
black lave beaches, historic farms and everything that makes Maui standout
among tropical islands.
The Road to Hana is a 56-mile journey along the
seaside cliffs of Maui
For more information on staying at Hotel Wailea and
current specials, visit: www.hotelwailea.com.
For more information on visiting Maui, taking the Maui/Lanai ferry and
other activities, visit www.gohawaii.com/lanai.
to the Island of Lanai; Maui's
Garden Island of Kaua'i; Oahu's
North Shore; Kaunakakai,
Island Hawaii; Hana