Five Popular Birds You May See on Maui – HOP to it

According to the American Bird Conservancy, of the once 142 endemic birds to Hawaii, there remain only 44. Of those 44, 33 are listed as endangered, and of those 33, 10 have not been seen in years and are also thought to be extinct. That’s the bad news. In the spirit of keeping things positive, here are five birds, depending on where you visit, you are likely to encounter in your travels around Maui, including one of the endangered birds.

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Best Places to Picnic on Maui – HOP to it

Picnicking on Maui can be tricky. Though tradewinds are often a blessing, when it comes to picnics, they can be downright wicked. If you’re picnicking on a beach, for example, then the winds will flat out ruin your meal. But thankfully, there are plenty of places on Maui to picnic, regardless of the weather. Here are our five favorite picnic locations, listed alphabetically.

Harold Rice Park (Kula)
This little park, located upcountry in Kula, is a wonderful place for a picnic with a view. Unlike the other parks on the list, the park is nowhere near the water, but it’s also the only one with gorgeous views of the mountains and the ocean. The town of Kula has numerous bistros and delis, including Kula Bistro and La Provence. We recommend walking around Kula, picking up a snack and headed to the park. The park has nine picnic tables and a bathroom. Beyond that, there’s room to stretch your legs if you coming down from Haleakala or driving back from the Hana.

Hookipa Beach Park (Paia)
Not only is Hookipa Beach Park one of the best places to view action sports like surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, it’s also the best place on the island to view green sea turtles outside of the water. They hit the beach around sunset every day. But beyond all of this, they also have covered picnic tables overlooking the bay. A great day can be had by picking up lunch in Paia and eating it here. Most of the year the water is too rough, really, to simply jump in the ocean, but the views are spectacular.

Kahekili Beach Park (Kaanapali)
On the west side, we really like Kahekili Beach Park. we find the beach itself far less crowded than Kaanapali Beach. Beyond the beach, there’s an excellent pavilion for a large gathering. The pavilion is first-come-first-serve, so plan accordingly. If you miss out on the pavilion, though, there are numerous picnic tables. The park also has ample shade in a nice grass setting. It’s also one of the best places on the island for beginning snorkelers as the reef begins just offshore.

Kalama Park (Kihei)
Kalama Park has a little of something for everyone. With baseball, softball and soccer fields, plus basketball and tennis courts, and both a skating rink and skateboard park, Kalama Park is a popular picnic spot for after-sports events. At over 35 acres, it’s one of the larger parks on Maui and is serviced by four different parking lots. As for the picnic areas, there’s one gazebo, plus two large picnic pavilions. While it has a mostly rocky shore, there are a couple of sandy outlets that are perfect for entering the water and sunbathing. The surf in front of park is ideal for small-wave surfing and stand-up paddle boarding.

Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens(Wailuku)
Prior to arriving at Iao Valley State Monument, you’ll pass the Kepaniwai Park Heritage Gardens. With an abundance of covered picnic tables and lands to wander, the park also memorializes Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Japanese, Korean, and Portuguese cultures with landmarks, buildings and gardens. The park sits along the refreshing Iao Stream, which is always nice for a quick dip.

Tell us your favorite places to picnic in the comments below…

Sunset Dinner Cruise – Huaka’i Luau Combo Package

This month, we introduced a new combo package featuring our sunset dinner cruise and a new partnership with Hauaka’i: Journey Through Paradise luau at the Kaanapali Beach Club resort.

First, enjoy a sit-down, three-course meal with table service, drinks, live music and dancing all while enjoying a magical night on Maui’s largest and most comfortable cruise vessel, the Maui Princess. The cruise departs nightly from the Lahaina Harbor, famous for its calm winds and gentle seas.

The second half of the combo is an evening at Maui’s newest luau, Hauaka’i: Journey Through Paradise. The luau features a buffet dinner, complimentary mai tais and juices and an ocean front show that includes an exciting fire knife dance and cultural dances and the music of Hawaii and Polynesia. Let’s go back to the buffet dinner, because buffets are made for return visits! Included in the meal are kalua pork, shoyu chicken, seared mahi, bbq shortribs, fried rice, lomi salmon, ahi poke, salads and plenty of gluten-free options. The luau is only performed on Wednesday nights, so plan accordingly. Click to official Hauaka’i website for more information.

If you book online on our website, you’ll save 10% over the retail price.

The Maui Holoholo Bookmobile – HOP to it

Maui is fortunate to have a bookmobile that reaches people who would otherwise have a difficult time visiting the library. We are also fortunate to have librarian Jessica Gleason running the program. In accepting the job as the bookmobile librarian, Gleason needed to give up one of the plum librarian jobs in the state, that as head librarian of the wonderful Kihei Library. But in her words, “… the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to manage a brand new bookmobile was too hard to pass up. I didn’t expect to get the job, but was very happy to be given the chance!”

Of course being a librarian, Gleason is an avid reader. One of her favorite books growing up was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. She recently finished My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, which she found inspirational, refreshing and hopeful.

Gleason, born and raised on Maui, is the mother of twin 3 ½ year olds and has lived here all her life.

To celebrate National Bookmobile Day, we shared an e-mail exchange with her about the bookmobile…

Good morning Jessica! Let’s start at the beginning. How long has the bookmobile been in service on Maui and how was it funded?
The bookmobile has been in service since September, 2016. The custom vehicle was purchased by the Maui Friends of the Library (MFOL) and gifted to the Hawaii State Public Library System (HSPLS). MFOL also worked with HSPLS to lobby the legislature to fund a Bookmobile Librarian position (quite a feat!). There hadn’t been a Bookmobile Librarian in over 20 years (since the last librarian retired and the position was eliminated during another round of budget cuts).

Why does Maui need a bookmobile?
The mission of the bookmobile is to bring library services to people who encounter barriers (geographic, socio-economic, physical, even psychological) to traditional library service (visiting a bricks and mortar library). We serve: seniors who have difficulty finding transportation to libraries; inmates of the Maui Community Correctional Facility; preschools who have limited resources to visit libraries; public, private, and charter schools who either don’t have a functioning library or want to facilitate their students’ access to public library materials and services; and youth centers where children and young adults go after school. All of these populations may encounter challenges to visiting and using a public library and the outreach we do helps to educate the public about what public libraries offer, brings services to those who can’t or won’t visit a public library, and hopefully encourage all members of our community, keiki to kupuna, to take advantage of what the public library has to offer. We are ambassadors for the public library system.

How many communities do you visit? How many days a week are you on the road?
The bookmobile visits Haʻikū, Pukalani, Makawao, Pāʻia, Kahului, Wailuku, Paukūkalo, Napili, Lahaina, and Kīhei. We are on the road 4 days a week (sometimes 5 if we are making up missed visits due to holidays or special events). The majority of locations are preschools, followed by schools, and senior and low-income housing. We also visit community centers and youth centers as well as the correctional facility.

What are the additional challenges of working in a bookmobile vs. a standard library?
The frequent traveling is unexpectedly draining (and I’m just along for the ride). Our driver, Michael Tinker, and I do all the scheduling, checking items in and out, managing reserves, and shelving ourselves. Tinker also maintains the bookmobile and keeps it clean and safe for operation. I do the collection development, reference, and other managerial duties (much like a larger branch, but on a micro scale). Essentially, we run a small, mobile branch with just two people (and some added help from Wailuku staff with processing and mending library material). It is highly efficient considering our circulation statistics and cost of operation.

How is being a bookmobile librarian rewarding?
I am fortunate to be part of a long tradition of bookmobile service on Maui. The rewards are intangible and unmeasurable. The hugs and smiles from our youngest patrons; gifts of artwork from preschoolers; seeing a boy and his dad come aboard with a Lego replica of the bookmobile; and watching people light up when they see us drive by– these are all reasons I feel honored to be a Bookmobile Librarian. It truly is a privilege and I hope to ride with the Holoholo Bookmobile for many years to come!

Thanks again to Jessica Gleason for taking the time to meet with us. The Maui bookmobile’s schedule is available online on the official website.

Library cards are free for residents. Visitors can pay $10 for a three-month temporary card. With a library card, you have free access to wi-fi and computers and of course, all the books you can read. One perk for visitors is the ability to print out maps, directions and boarding passes for just 15 cents a page. And don’t forget, the libraries are stocked with Maui travel guides. No need to purchase a bulky guide, only to leave it in your room when you leave!

A Brief History of Haleakala

According to legend, the demigod Maui set out to capture the sun and slow it down for his mother, Hina. She was a talented woman who created cloth out of pounded bark (Kapa), but lamented that the sun moved across the sky too quickly for her cloth to dry. So Maui headed to the peak of Mt. Haleakala, AKA “house of the sun.” Once at the top, Maui lassoed the sun in an effort to slow it down and lengthen the day.

Emerging from two large shield volcanoes, the West Maui Mountains first appeared approximately 1.3-2 million years ago with Haleakala following approximately 750, 000-1 million years ago. As lava flowed from the volcano, Haleakala continued growing over time. Today it stands 10,023 feet above ocean level. The crater is roughly seven miles across, two miles wide, and 3,000 ft. deep. Recent dating tests reveal that Haleakala most likely last erupted sometime in the 17th century. Once thought to be extinct, scientists now believe the volcano is actually just dormant and may erupt again in the next 500 years. Sensors have been installed on the mountain to monitor seismic activity.

Haleakala is at the heart of the Haleakala National Park, but there’s more to the park than just the volcano. Established in 1916, the national park covers more than 30,000 acres. It runs from the volcano’s rim all the way down to the Pacific Ocean shoreline.

The Haleakala National Park is home to more endangered species than any other U.S. National Park. The Hawaiian silversword is an endangered plant that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The nene, a once nearly extinct Hawaiian goose, can also be spotted (and heard) in the park.

It has been argued how many climate zones there are in the world, some say 14, others say 20. What we do know, is that Haleakala National Park has a majority of them; descending from desert to forest to coastal. When visiting Maui, most people don’t think to pack a heavy jacket, but a warm jacket is important if you are planning a trip up to the summit to watch the sunrise, because there are often freezing temperatures.

Over the years, crowds wanting to watch the sunrise at the summit have grown. Consequently, the National Parks Service have implemented a way to manage the crowds. In February, 2017, a reservation system was put into place. Reservations are now required to enter the Summit District between 3:00 A.M. and 7:00 A.M. For more information or to book your reservation, visit the National Parks Service website.

A majority of people, who enter the national park, are there for the sunrise. But, if you want to skip the heavy crowds (or forget to make reservations), we recommend visiting at sunset. Nearly as beautiful, it’s a far more relaxed atmosphere for viewing, and you don’t have to rush to be at the summit in the wee hours of the morning. Additionally, if you stay up there until it’s dark, you may be able to see the Milky Way. At the least, you’ll see planets, moons (Jupiter’s moons!) and millions of stars. It’s one of the best stargazing locations in the world. The visitor center has star maps, and you can rent binoculars from various dive shops or hotels.

Haleakala is one of Maui’s natural treasures. If you visit, take your time to enjoy it. There are things at Haleakala National Park you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

Best Land Activities on Maui – HOP to it

When people come to Maui, they mostly gravitate towards the ocean. And with good reason! Our beaches are some of the finest in the world. Going on whale watches and snorkel excursions are a blast. But Maui is also a great place for outdoor activities that are based on land. Here are six of our favorite things to do on land on Maui, broken down into three activities that will pump your heart and three activities that are more passive.

Bicycling
Though the wind can sometimes cause issues, the climate on Maui makes for nice bike riding adventures. Head out early enough and most days you can avoid the wind, too. Between Maui’s beautiful mountains and coastal highways, whether you prefer mountain or road biking, Maui has you covered. Here’s our bicycling guide for six great rides on Maui (3 mountain, 3 road).

Hiking
There are few places on earth as beautiful as Maui. One of the best ways to explore the beauty is on its hiking trails. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a complete novice, Maui has trails for everyone. Some end in gorgeous waterfalls, others are coastal ridge hikes which offer incredible views of the ocean. Here is our Maui hiking guide, broken down by ease of hike.

Horseback Riding
It’s probably not the first thing you think of when planning a trip to Maui, but there are some outstanding horseback riding opportunities on the Valley Isle. Maui has a long history of ranching and some of the best rides on Maui are on working ranches. Other rides take you along coastal trail. Here is an article on our favorite horseback riding excursions on Maui.

Botanical Gardens
The plants and flowers on Maui are truly unique. 89% of the plants in Hawaii are endemic, meaning they are native to Hawaii. We’ve found the best places to see the majority of them are at Maui’s beautiful botanical gardens. Here is a list of our five favorite botanical gardens on Maui.

Drive the Road to Hana
We highly recommend driving to Hana… backwards. No, not literally driving in reverse. We mean, start by driving through Haiku and continuing counter-clockwise rather than starting in Paia and driving clockwise. Doing it counter-clockwise allows you to hit, in our opinion, the two biggest highlights of the trip, Seven Sacred Pools and the Pipiwai Trail (bamboo forest/400 ft. waterfall!) first, before they get crowded. Going “backwards” also means there’s less traffic flowing in the direction you’re driving. We have three Hana guides:
1. Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: Packing
2. Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: What to See
3. Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: Where to Eat

Farmers Markets
On any given day on Maui, you can find a robust farmers market with locally grown fruits and vegetables, artisanal goods and yummy foods. While some are notably better than others, depending on where you are on the island, it’s easy to skip the grocery store and pick up fresh, local produce and fun souvenirs. Here is a list of our favorite farmers markets on Maui.

When you’re out of the water on Maui, what are your favorite activities? Let us know in the comments below. Mahalo!

A Guide to Understanding Maui’s Weather

Depending on where you are on Maui, the weather conditions can be very different. It can be snowing in one area (OK, the summit of Haleakala, specifically) and 85 and sunny on the beach. That’s an extreme example. Less extreme is it can be pouring down rain near the airport, but 15 miles away at the same elevation in Kihei it can be blue skies and sunny. Why? Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out Maui’s wacky weather patterns.

First, a quick primer. Maui is generally broken down into four regions, central, leeward, windward and upcountry. The reason for the wild weather swings is due to a few factors:

  1. Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. These mountains keep rain locked on one side of the mountain. For example, the east side of the West Maui Mountains will receive 400 inches of rain a year. But the west side of the mountains (Lahaina) will receive around a foot of rain a year.
  2. Another factor in the weather, also related to the mountains, are the winds. The trade winds, arrive from the northeast for about 80% of the year. When they are blowing, they will wrap around the mountains, causing a jet stream-like action, increasing its force. We’ll go deeper on this phenomenon later in the article. The other winds on Maui, called Kona Winds, come from the south. They tend to bring with them vog (volcano ash fog) from the Big Island and are generally less strong than the trade winds.
  3. Finally, half the island is within 5 miles of the ocean. This creates a strong marine influence for these parts of Maui, but the other half of the island sees no effects.

Maui’s Four Main Regions
Central Maui
When you land at the airport, you’re in Central Maui. Central Maui is basically Kahului and Wailuku. Wailuku is the home of the government buildings and sits at the base of the West Maui Mountains. Because of it proximity to the mountains, Wailuku tends to be wetter than Kahului. But, being trapped between the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala, both towns feature warm temperatures while having less wind and higher humidity than the leeward side of the island.

Leeward Side
The most popular region for visitors is the leeward side, which consists of the south shore (Kihei/Wailea/Makena) and the west side (Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua). Here is where the trade winds really come in to play. The West Maui Mountains splits the winds. As the winds on the north side of island blow, they will continue to hug the north shore, but these same winds will also be funneled between the West Maui Mountains and Haleakala. This blast of wind ends up releasing in Maalaea then wrapping along the Kihei/Wailea coasts. This is why it can be so incredibly windy in the Maalaea harbor and the south shore. Seeing whitecaps in the Maalaea Harbor is common. The mountains that funnel the winds though, also block the rain from coming over to the leeward side, which is why it’s the sunniest, warmest and driest part of the island. Just take note of the afternoon winds, which can make the beach, with sand being kicked up, a bit unpleasant.

Upcountry
The coolest part of the island can get downright cold in the winter (the 40s are not unusual). When people say “upcountry,” they’re generally referring to the Makawao-Pukulani-Kula area. The highway from Kula to Haleakala is also considered upcountry. Upcountry, which is between 1,700 to 4500 feet elevation, is a popular location for residents to reside because of the cooler temperatures, which average in the 70’s and low 80’s vs. the 80’s and low 90’s of the leeward side. Upcountry also has far less humidity, especially compared to Central Maui. Generally speaking, Upcountry has the most comfortable climate.

Windward Side
Consisting of the north shore (Paia/Haiku) and the east side (Hana) of Maui, the windward side is noted for its high winds in Paia and rain around Hana. The northeast trade winds in Paia create legendary conditions for kite boarding and windsurfing. In fact, it’s considered one of the best locations in the world for these activities. Meanwhile, down the road on the Hana Highway, if you stay at around sea level, the weather isn’t noticeably more wet. But as you climb elevations along the side of Haleakala, you’ll be entering rain forests where it rains 365 days a year.

Do you have any questions about Maui’s weather? Ask below in the comments, and we’ll try to assist you.

Olivine Pools – Deep Dive

The “Deep Dive” series takes longer looks at some of our favorite places on Maui.

Our first Deep Dive piece is on the beautiful, yet dangerous Olivine Pools, truly one of the most scenic places on the island. During whale season, you’re bound to see the humpbacks frolicking just offshore. You will also witness the majestic power of the waves as they crash into the walls surrounding the pools. Of course, the pools themselves have their own beauty.

The Olivine Pools are located on the Kahekili Highway, accessible from both the Lahaina side of the island and Kahului. If you’re in Kihei/Wailea, you can really go either direction, though the drive from the west side (Lahaina) is less crazy. By crazy we mean, if you’re coming from Kahului, much of the highway is one lane with hairpin turns. The road starts to feel claustrophobic… even with the expanse of the ocean right below your wheels. The advantage of going “counter-clockwise” (from Kahului) to the Pools is you’ll drive past the Julia’s Best Banana Bread stand. It truly is the best banana bread on Maui. OK, we actually rated it a tie with Aunt Sandy’s, but it’s definitely worth the stop.

When you arrive at the Olivine Pools, you’ll find ample parking on the street. You’ll also come across this sign and memorial:

As stated in the intro to this piece, the Olivine Pools are dangerous. In 2017, a Utah man was swept away and his body was not recovered. SFGate.com named the Olivine Pools one of Hawaii’s most dangerous places. The Pools sit on a rocky point where the waves generally crash into the walls. However, larger waves will jump the walls and flood the pools. When the water goes back out, it sweeps everything and everyone out to the ocean.

You can actually take nice photos prior to the descent down to the tide pools. If you’re with small children or people who may not be in the best of shape, you should stop here. Here’s what the view looks like from the top:

If you decide to risk it and head down, you should wear shoes. Hiking-type sandals with heavy soles would work well, too, and if you’re heading into the pools, they’re the best thing to wear. While it’s not a difficult hike, the rocks are sharp and can get slippery. If you slip, you’ll most likely end up with cuts. Here’s what the hike looks like (the photo makes it look more difficult than it is):

After the first descent, there’s a fantastic viewing ledge. If the water is unpredictable, this is where we stop. From this ledge you can see the entirety of the Olivine Pools, as well the surrounding cliff walls. It’s relatively (but not totally) safe here and unless you want to go into the pools themselves, you’ll see everything you need to see. We recommend you venture no further than here. Even from up here, you’re not totally safe from the waves, so pay attention to the ocean. Here’s the view from the ledge:

The hike down to the pools is also filled with sharp, wet rocks. Again, it’s not difficult, but you may find yourself occasionally slipping. Once you reach the pools, you REALLY need to pay attention to your surroundings. Even on what may seem like the calmest of days, one rogue wave is all it will take to sweep you out to sea.

If you’ve come down this far, the pools are quite lovely and worthy of a plunge. They are safe in that the water isn’t poisonous or anything like that, but know that you are in the direct line of a potentially life-altering wave. Take a dip, then get back up to higher ground.

We’re sorry if we sound like worry warts, but deaths and near death experiences at the Olivine Pools are preventable. Common sense dictates you stay above the shoreline, but human nature will probably lead you down to the pools. Look, we’ve gone down there a few times so it would be hypocritical to say you shouldn’t go. But if you go, please be smart. Be safe.

Five Fun Horseback Rides on Maui – HOP to it

There are many fun things to do on Maui, but most involve the ocean. Whether you go on a whale watch, a snorkel tour or just hang out the beach, you’re bound to be having a fun time. But if you’re looking for a little more adventure, have you thought about horseback riding?

Believe it or not, Maui has a long history of ranching. We even have a Hawaiian word for cowboy: paniolo. In 1793, Captain Vancouver gifted King Kamehameha a few head of cattle. By the 1820’s, cattle were roaming Maui, destroying everything in their path. Soon, cowboys were brought in from the mainland to corral them. Eventually, the natives were taught cowboy techniques, and the rest, as they say, is history.

If you’re interested in going horseback riding on Maui, you’re in luck. There are many options. Here are our five favorite places to ride horse, listed alphabetically.

Lahaina Stables (Lahaina)
Conveniently located in Lahaina, Lahaina Stables is the easy choice if you’re staying on the west side and either don’t have a car (it’s an easy Lyft/Uber trip) or don’t feel like driving very far. Lahaina Stables offers three different rides, AM, Lunch, and Sunset that take you along the West Maui Mountain ridge giving you fantastic views of the ocean. The sunset ride, while quite a bit more expensive than the AM ride ($189 vs. $135) offers smaller groups and champagne and chocolate-dipped fruit, making for a uniquely romantic evening. (Lahaina Stables)

Makena Stables (Kihei)
Offering morning, sunset and private tours, Makena Stables also offers something the others on this list don’t… the chance to ride through lava fields that will make you feel like you’re on Mars. Riding along the shoreline south of the Wailea, you’ll have outstanding views of the ocean, Molokini and may even see the Big Island. But, oh, those lava fields. You will feel transported to different time and place once you hit the trail. Makena Stables is easily the most convenient horseback tour if you’re staying in Kihei and Wailea. (Makena Stables)

Mendes Ranch (Wailuku)
Starting from the beautiful Mendes Ranch, ride down from the valley to the coastline for 1.5 hours of gorgeous trail riding. If you visit during the winter and early spring, you are likely to see whales. When is the last time you saw whales from the back of a horse? Mendes Ranch offers two rides, AM and early afternoon. On the afternoon ride, there’s an option for a pre-ride barbecue lunch. (Mendes Ranch)

Piiholo Ranch (Makawao)
Ever see the movie “City Slickers,” where Billy Crystal played a New York City businessman who decides to vacation on an active ranch and cattle drive? Well, Piiholo offers the unique opportunity to spend three hours as an actual cowboy, rounding up cattle! Of course Piiholo Ranch also offers a more traditional two and three-hour rides (both are private, with a minimum of two riders), as well as lessons for children. (Piiholo Ranch)

Thompson Ranch (Kula)
A working cattle ranch, Thompson Ranch is known for its small groups (no more than six riders at a time) and the gorgeous vistas provided while riding along on Haleakala mountainside. Outside of the incredible views, you’re also likely to see cattle, chickens, turkeys and other creatures great and small. Morning, picnic and sunset rides, along with private rides are offered. This is a smaller operation with a decidedly less “tourist” feel. (Thompson Ranch)

Have you been horseback riding on Maui? Where did you and do you recommend it? Let us know in the comments below…

High-End Suites and Villas at Maui’s Finest Resorts

Just for kicks, we thought we’d compare the high-end suites and villas at Maui’s finest resorts that are available to the general public. We know resorts hold back certain suites to VIP’s and dignitaries, but these are all available for booking by us common folk via the internet… assuming we can afford a few thousand a night. Unless otherwise noted, we set the cost by attempting to “book” the rooms from 12/23/18 – 12/30/18.

Four Seasons Maui (Wailea)
Maile Presidential Suite with “complete suite experience service”
$20,000 per night (approx.)
This massive 4,000 square foot (plus lanai), three-bedroom/three bathroom penthouse suite features a 180 degree view of the ocean and your own personal assistant for the length of your stay. Transportation to/from the airport is provided via either a luxury SUV or a Tesla. Daily breakfast, either buffet-style at the restaurant or via room service and one private dinner are included. You’ll also receive two 50-minute massages. The master bathroom has a private, cedar sauna. The lanai is large enough to hold a full dining table, sofas and lounge chairs and overlooks the ocean. You’ll receive twice daily housekeeping and evening turndown service. This is one of the places for which we needed to look at alternative dates. For this article, we were able to “book” from 11/25/18 – 12/2/18, which is not yet prime season. (Four Seasons Maui Suites)

Fairmont Kea Lani (Wailea)
Three-bedroom Oceanfront Villa
$7849 per night
These two-level, three-bedroom/two-bathroom 2,200 square foot oceanfront villas feature two master bedrooms with full marble bathrooms, a second floor lanai and a private courtyard with your own wading pool, barbecue, dining table and lounges. There’s a fully stocked gourmet kitchen, as well as a washer and dryer. You also receive daily breakfast from the hotel’s Kea Lani Restaurant and complimentary guest parking. (Fairmont Kea Lani)

Grand Wailea
Napua Royal Suite (one bedroom)
$7,074 per night (plus $30 resort fee)
For over $7,000 per night, you’d think the resort fee would be included, right? We get upset paying a resort fee when the room is $120! So what does seven grand a night get you? Start with a room that measures in at just under 2,000 square feet. Actually, let’s start at the airport. When you land, you’ll receive car service to the resort. Upon arriving at the hotel, you’ll have a private check-in and a personal concierge for the length of your stay. You’ll have access to two private lounges, which include a complimentary continental breakfast in the morning, tea in the afternoon, drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the early evening and dessert bar at night. The private, covered lanai has stunning views of the ocean, with a large dining table and lounge chairs. Of course you’ll have access to the rest of the immaculate Grand Wailea grounds. If this isn’t enough for you, there’s also a 2-bedroom Grand Suite, but for information on it, you need to contact them directly. (Grand Wailea Napua Tower Suites)

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
Ritz-Carlton Presidential Suite
$4,930 (plus $35 resort fee)
Checking it at 2,560 square feet, the one-bedroom/1.5 bathroom suite features two large lanais with full ocean views and the master bathroom has both a marble soaking tub and a shower, as well as a state-of-the-art TOTO bidet-style toilet. You also get full club access, which includes continental breakfast, all-day cocktails and soft drinks/juices and snacks and evening hors d’ oeuvres. It was hard to find open dates to get a room rate, but the rate we show here is for January 23, 2018, which was the day the article was written, we imagine if you’re booking in advance it would be a lot more! (Ritz-Carlton Kapalua)

Ho’olei at Grand Wailea
Deluxe Ocean View Three Bedroom Villa
$4795 per night
Located at the highest elevation of the property, this three-bedroom/3.5 bathroom villa is equipped with a private elevator, attached garage, full kitchen, barbecue and two lanais with panoramic views of the ocean. Though these villas are “homes,” the grounds contain a full-service concierge, a swimming pool with a waterfall and gym facilities. In addition to that, you also have access to everything the Grand Wailea hotel offers, including a gorgeous pool, spa facilities, restaurants and beach access. (Ho’olei at Grand Wailea)

What’s the nicest place you’ve stayed in? Indulge us in the comments below…