Hawai’i has many experiences for everyone to enjoy. With not just one island to visit in the archipelago, I jumped at the chance to experience another bit of land just after my Honolulu Pride experience on Oahu (Travel Thursday: Experiencing Honolulu Pride, Exploring Oahu). Maui was to be my next destination and the HYATT REGENCY MAUI RESORT AND SPA, part of the Kā‘anapali Beach Resort.
Departing One Paradise For Another –
My first task was to return the Avis rental car to the airport and hop on a plane. As a note shared with me in a helpful email from Hawaiian Airlines, generally, airports in Hawai’i request that all passengers check-in at least two hours prior to all domestic departures and 90 minutes before inter-island flights. It was also shared that you’ll also need to allow extra time for federal security screening of checked baggage and carry-on items. When leaving the Hawaiian Islands, all luggage must be checked and approved by the Department of Agriculture prior to checking in at the ticket counter. So just a little F.YI. which I appreciated. The less surprises the better.
I always like to get my checked bag to the airport at least one hour before take off. This trip, I magically packed everything in a carry on, but still got there at a proper time. And I’m glad I did as I was happy to be entertained by Hawaiian Airlines staff at my gate while I waited. How relaxing was this!
After the serenading we all received in the gate area, boarding was stress-free as everyone was at ease. The Hawaiian Airlines staff was full of smiles, there to help, and were always calm and inviting. I was soon off to Maui, gawking out the window at the beautiful sights, and landing just a short 40 minutes later at Kahului Airport, then whisked off in a West Maui Taxi on a 50-minute ride to Kā’anapali Maui.
First Day Of Relaxation & Exploration –
We were booked for a room at the Hyatt Regency Maui but there are multiple resorts, restaurants, shopping, and more at the Kā’anapali Beach Resort.
I did not have enough time to explore everything listed for options the resort had to offer, but I was excited for a future stay. And what I did experience was more than enough.
I had forgotten about the lei and not getting one at the airport when I arrived to the islands, but I hit the jackpot with a fragrant necklace of fresh flowers. The drive to the resort was beautiful and inspiring, but the flowers just took me up a notch to “yes, you’re in paradise.” The 450+ square foot king oceanfront room was very much to my liking, loving the toiletries accented in red, the large private patio overlooking the pool and ocean (see video of the room in my Instagram post inserted below), as well as the reusable water bottles which, for this big water drinker, was a great plus. Hyatt had ice machines and filtered water dispensers very accessible on every single floor. The dedication to reusable resources and energy efficiency aided Kā’anapali Beach Resort in becoming the first resort in Hawai’i to be LEED EBOM GOLD certified. For this big water drinker, this was a great plus and they actually had ice machines and filtered water dispensers very accessible on every single floor. Sold!
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa sprawls across 40 oceanfront acres of lush gardens, shimmering pools and cascading waterfalls. This 810-room resort is ideally located in the heart of West Maui.
Recreation facilities include a Keiki Lagoon with ocean features, a half-acre swimming pool with 150-foot waterslide, tennis, scuba, snorkeling, 15,000 sq. ft. full-service ocean front spa and fitness center, and astronomy program. In house activity concierges can make reservations for activities and dining island-wide.
Walking around the Hyatt Regency end of the Beach Resort was just the tip of everything there is in Kā’anapali. And there are many dining options among all of the properties, but keeping it close to my room, dinner the first night was to be at Japengo. You can check out all of the Hyatt dining options here or see the Japengo menu here.
And after a dinner like that, we were off to the roof! Yes, the roof. The resort offers a Tour Of The Stars event where you get the opportunity to spend time with Mr Mahoney.
Edward J. Mahoney, Director of Astronomy and NASA Solar System Ambassador, uses a computer to select an agenda, locate and identify 1,000 objects in the sky including stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae. You’ll learn to interpret with the unaided eye, then with giant astronomy binoculars, and on to the “Great White”. It’s a cosmic experience for the entire family!
It was such a great night time experience to wind down and enjoy the beauty of nature and science. Ed would program and reprogram his expensive telescopes to show us sights that are historical and in pop culture, all millions and billions of miles away.
Day Two –
I was a slug on day two, but when in paradise, that’s okay, right? And what better place to be a slug than in such a visually stimulating, tummy filling, body relaxing venue?
Submitted as evidence for the one of the reasons to just be ahhhhh all day, here’s what our breakfast at Swan Court at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa looked like.
Yes, we did the breakfast buffet which had a great mix of traditional items and local favorites like the Maui Onions, and we added on the Kalua Pork Hash (slow roasted pork and potatoes, fried cage free eggs, peppers) and the blue Ube Pancakes (coconut cream, fresh berries). We had to eat such a grand breakfast in order to get enough energy to sit on our two-person day bed by the ocean for umpteen hours. We did break from the lounging to enjoy a massage at Spa Kamaha’o (a Marilyn Monroe Spa) and to get shaved ice at the stand on property.
One of the more delightful aspects of the Beach Resort was that it had options for everyone. I actually did more than the day bed and spa time that day. Whaler’s Village is a shopping destination in the islands and many resort goers love that there is no sales tax on the islands, but instead Hawai’i has a general excise tax of 4.166% that is applied to all retail purchases, lower than many other states’ sales tax levels.
Whalers Village is Maui’s most scenic shopping destination located right on the beach! The white sands of world-famous Ka‘anapali Beach are just steps away from this three-level, open-air venue with more than 90 different shops and restaurants. From classic haute couture and cool island apparel to made-in-Hawai‘i gifts, desires are easily met in this shoppers’ paradise.
Whalers Village also offers a variety of complimentary activities and events. From ukulele lessons and hula shows to traditional Hawaiian lei making.
If you desire to go local, the resort is also just a simple Uber into town, a 5-minute ride that was roughly $12. Lahaina, the first capital of Hawai’i, is a cute little touristy spot that provided great walking and people watching opportunities with amazing ocean views, wonderful locals, and some nice little shops. I’ve been to several other beach resorts across the globe and getting into a local town if there was one was not as easy as just pulling up an app like we do here at home and I did on Maui.
Another off-resort jaunt we did was to dinner at Macadangdang–
Macadangdang presents Hawaiian-Filipino Fusion Cuisine! In celebration of the island’s melting pot of Asian and Polynesian flavors, Macadangdang brings you the best blend of traditional and modern dishes.
I recommend ordering a ginger ale (not on the menu) as they made it on the spot with fresh ginger, I can still taste it. All the food was divine, the dish on the right was Sisig (Foie Gras, Pork Belly, Pig Ear, Chicharon Gremolata, Lettuce) – simply amazing. All the dishes were new experiences for my mouth as the fusion of Filipino and Hawaiian was a great treat.
Departing In Luxury –
I did not wish to depart America’s 50th state, but knowing that I was going to be pampered while in the Hawaiian Airlines Premium Cabin and relaxing in my lie-flat seat for the 5-hour 20-minute flight from Maui to LAX. Not all flights to Hawaii on Hawaiian Airlines have the lie-flat seat in the first class section so just look for that and you will be very happy. The area around the seat was spacious and allow me, the window seat person to move to the aisle without bothering my next door neighbor, even when he was fully reclined in the 180 degree seat. When they say lie flat, it is FLAT. Everything was wrapped in leather and the ergonomics were impressive. The staff was attentive, friendly, and the care they gave was smile-inducing. Here are some of the photos I snapped from the first class area.
We Shall Return –
Our time in Maui was brief, only two nights. When I return to explore more of this island, I know that Kā‘anapali Beach Resort has so much more I need to see and do. Looking at the map below, you can see the vastness of the resort. But with this great foundation that I have already experienced, a beach that has been visited by royalty throughout history, lodging and dining that are pampering and comfortable, my mastery of the day bed, and a staff and culture that is so welcoming, I will not mind considering one of the other twelve lodging variables as I know Kā‘anapali will deliver yet another vacation that will keep a smile on my face long after I say Aloha.
HAWAIIAN DIACRITICAL MARKINGS
Kā‘anapali Beach Resort Association recognizes the use of the ‘okina [‘] or glottal stop, one of the eight consonants of the (modern) Hawaiian language; and the kahakō [ō] or macron (e.g., in place names of Hawai‘i such as Lāna‘i).
Kā‘anapali Beach Resort
HYATT REGENCY MAUI RESORT AND SPA
200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
T: +1 808 667 1234 F: +1 808 667 4497