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Maui: The Unforgettable Valley Isle

Updated: Jun 15



Considered one of the best islands in the world to visit, Maui features environmental diversity unlike anywhere else. From lush rainforests to lunar desert-like terrains, Maui is a must-visit island for families and anyone seeking tranquility, relaxation, culture, adventure, and world-class amenities. Experience a 5-star luxury stay, fine gastronomy, and a variety of water, land, and cultural activities.

Known as “The Valley Isle,” Maui is the second largest island of the Hawaiian chain located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. First settled by Polynesians in 700 AD, it was then overtaken by Kamehameha, the founder and first ruler of the Kingdom of Hawaii in 1795. An infusion of missionaries and whalers followed in the early 1820s. A few decades later, the sugar industry grew, but within a century, it started to decline and was overtaken by tourism, which makes up Maui’s largest economic sector today.

From Miami, travel to Chicago or Dallas and enjoy a nonstop flight to Maui. There are also numerous nonstop flights from other major US airport hubs including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Portland, San Diego, Seattle, and more.

Covid-19 Travel Advisory: Before booking your travel to Maui, please visit Hawaii Travel Authority for the latest travel updates: www.hawaiitourismauthority.org

LUXURY STAYS


Maui is the unique home of the Four Seasons Resort at Wailea, Andaz Maui Resort, and The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua allowing you to experience the magnificent island of Maui without sacrificing luxury.



Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

3900 Wailea Alanui Dr., Kihei, HI 96753

fourseasons.com/maui

808-874-8000

Overlooking one of Maui’s most prized golden sand beaches in Wailea, Four Seasons Resort Maui is considered by many the top tier five-star luxury hotel on the island. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens and palm trees, the property has a chic open-air architectural configuration allowing you to enjoy breathtaking views from virtually every angle.



FEATURES


Experience Maui’s grandeur by living in one of Four Seasons Maui’s 383 rooms. Choose from residential suites, clubrooms, large/small suites, and guest rooms. Oceanfront suites feature personal assistants, while the Club Lounge offers a dedicated concierge team, four daily food service periods, an exceptional bar, and complete privacy. Rooms boast a ritzy design featuring cream colored walls, azure accents, floating cabinets, embedded reading lights, posh furniture, and carefully selected art by Hawaii-based artists. Most rooms feature a private balcony, which seamlessly connects you with Maui’s marvelous Pacific Ocean views.


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NOTABLE


Pools, beach cabanas, games room, world-class spa, premium shops, sophisticated art collection and an adults-only infinity pool with swim-up bar are just a few features that await you. Retail boutiques, managed by Seaside Luxe, offer exclusive world-class brands such as Ports, Cabana, and 22 Knots.

In addition, a personalized spa experience is offered at Four Seasons Resort Maui. Choose from a list of massages, body and anti-aging treatments, facials, and hair services at their salon. Popular spa features include open-air hales (traditional Hawaiian huts), which allows you to enjoy an alfresco massage, steps away from the Pacific Ocean. Choose from an array of local ingredients such as Molokai sea salt, Hawaiian spirulina, coconut, and turmeric to enhance your treatment experience.


CULINARY SITES


Haute cuisine is available at Four Seasons Resort Maui, including Spago, DUO Steak & Seafood, and Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante.



Spago serves a fusion of Hawaiian and California cuisine. Enjoy panoramic Pacific Ocean views while savoring masterful dishes prepared by Executive Chef Peleg Miron --a Wolfgang Puck Master Chef. Notable starters include the Japanese Hamachi rambutan served with avocado, chives, mango and hibiscus as well as the Kaluga Caviar served with crispy taro hash browns. The Black Winter Truffles homemade linguine pasta is also mouthwatering. For a main dish, enjoy the grilled Sonoma Lamb chops with Hunan eggplant, sweet peas with a touch of coriander, and mint or the Mahi Mahi with roasted macadamia nut, Molokai yam, and ginger butter.



DUO Breakfast offers a comprehensive buffet featuring a delightful Wellness breakfast (freshly made juices, smoothies, vegan options) as well as an array of hot dishes, made-to-order eggs, and everything else you would expect for a morning feast. Don’t leave without tasting their savory famous pancakes.


For dinner at DUO Steak & Seafood, Executive Chef Hyrin Salaguinto creates masterful dishes made from local seafood and premium steaks. Their extensive wine list will dazzle; recruit the help of one of the many experienced sommeliers. For a starter, try the Keahole Lobster Bisque with scallion oil or the Seared Scallops served with smoked pork and pickled Hamakua mushrooms. For a main course, savor the 35-day, dry-aged ribeye steak or enjoy local Hawaiian Snapper.


For a memorable lunch or sunset dining experience, book a table at Ferraro’s Bar e Ristorante. The Italian-Mediterranean restaurant offers homemade pasta, an extensive Italian wine list, oceanfront views as well as classy, live music Tuesday through Saturday.


Italian-born Executive Pastry Chef Riccardo Menicucci creates masterful desserts for DUO Steak & Seafood, Ferraro's Bar e Ristorante, Lobby Lounge, and In-Room Dining. With an impressive Michelin-starred resume, Chef Menicucci expresses his talent through sophisticated and playful pastries. Don’t leave without trying his ingenious tiramisu!


For reservations and inquiries, call 808-874-8000.



EXPERIENCES


Opt for one of the resort’s once-in-a-lifetime Unforgettable Experiences to connect to the island’s most interesting characters and hard-to-access places.



Join Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst on a helicopter adventure that touches down at ONO Organic Farms for a private exotic fruit tasting, which he will masterfully incorporate into an Ultimate Dinner back at the Resort. Or, taste Maui’s wild side on an open-fire culinary adventure led by advanced sommelier Yeshua Goodman on the impeccable grounds of the historic Haiku House, which concludes with a dessert demo by Executive Pastry Chef Menicucci. Seasonally (from December through May), embark on a private whale watch, with whale experts and fine art underwater photographers the Cesere Brothers.



If you prefer to stay on the property, book the Four Seasons Serenity Pool After Hours for an intimate, unforgettable dinner. Four Seasons Resort Maui offers an array of on-site activities such as scuba clinics, Hawaiian outrigger canoe excursions, fitness classes, game room (featuring a ping-pong and billiard table), yoga, and a gym, featuring cardio machines and top notch equipment. Tennis enthusiasts can book a private lesson with tennis pro Darin Zerbe, the Owner and Director of Zerbe Tennis Group, LLC. For reservations, call Darin at 808-989-6470.

EVENTS


Four Seasons Maui Wine & Food Classic



Four Seasons Maui Wine & Food Classic showcases the world’s best vintners, sommeliers, and celebrity chefs at this globally-praised, weekend-long event. Guests will enjoy world-renowned wines and spirits, Riedel-certified glass tasting experiences, grand food tasting, a lavish brunch, plus meet the world’s most influential industry experts, including Christian Navarro, President and Principal Wally's Wine & Spirits and a list of celebrity chefs: Josiah Citrin, Craig Dryhurst, Jackson Yu, Michael Mina, Riccardo Menicucci , Melissa Perello, Francis Mallman, Erik Anderson, Ryan Kluver, and Wolfgang Puck.


For event dates, reservations, tickets or inquiries, call 808-874-8000 or visit www.fourseasons.com/mauiclassic.


Four Seasons Maui Weekly Art Viewing

Four Seasons Maui is playing a leading role in Hawaii’s vibrant art scene. Its permanent art collection now features hundreds of original works by Hawaii-influenced artists. According to Art Director Rosina Potter, “That's a lot of artists living in Hawaii. Each island has a really healthy arts community, but I've been really inspired by recent developments on Oahu, including the Honolulu Biennial, Pow Wow, and Aupuni Space.”

With the Artists Showcase program, guests and visitors have the opportunity to meet local artists. “We have 60 artists that show here on a weekly basis and our guests love meeting artists creating gorgeous works and learning about their lives on Maui. It’s a win-win for everyone,” states Potter. Potter is available every Friday at 2 p.m to discuss art, including her beloved works. “Some of my personal favorites are the works of Taiji Terasaki, Chenta Laury, Linda Whittemore, and Nike Schroeder.”



Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

3550 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, HI 96753

www.hyatt.com

808-573-1234

Located on the golden shores of Wailea Beach, Andaz Maui captures the island’s iconic tropical philosophy by encouraging guests to express their own sense of style. Enjoy direct access to Mokapu Beach, explore the exotic Polynesia culture, and enjoy regional farm-to-table dining, including authentic Ohana-style meals and cocktails during the Feast at Mokapu.



FEATURES

Featuring 301 rooms, including 35 spacious suites, and eleven luxury villas, enjoy your own private lanai and admire the gorgeous island views. Rooms are elegantly designed with a soothing neutral palette and modern wood furnishings. Villas feature a spacious and private plunge pool or hot tub, and sweeping Pacific Ocean views. Ocean front villas come with a gourmet Miele kitchen and Viking outdoor grill for your enjoyment.


NOTABLE

The property sits on a 15-acre beachfront setting, offering five different Maui pools, including three ocean-facing, cascading infinity pools, a lagoon pool, and an adult tranquility pool for guests 18 and over. There are five delicious dining options onsite, a 24-hour fitness center, eco-friendly spa and salon, and 70,000 square feet of event space.

Andaz Maui welcomes your traveling canine companions. All dogs must be housebroken and comply with state Animal Quarantine laws ($100 per stay). Special access is provided for individuals with disabilities to ensure a seamless experience.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort offers functional spaces and high-tech services for business events and meetings. They are fully equipped for intimate beachfront ceremonies, weddings, bridal showers, and more. Enjoy personalized catering services to fit your style and taste, no matter the occasion.

CULINARY SITES

Savor the tropical flavors of the Hawaiian Islands at the on-site restaurants. Share authentic, farm-fresh, seasonal cuisine with a modern twist at the award-winning Ka’ana Kitchen. Watch the Wailea sunset amidst infinity waterfall pools with a craft cocktail in hand at Lehua Lounge. Enjoy lunch by the lagoon pool or pick up grab-and-go goods from the 24-hour Mokapu Market for an island picnic. For a memorable dining experience, choose the Chef's Table Tasting, featuring a six-course customized menu with wine paired by the resort’s expert sommelier.


Relish a sumptuous Japanese lunch or dinner at Morimoto by acclaimed celebrity Chef Masaharu Morimoto (Iron Chef and Iron Chef America). Savor locally-sourced, seasonal, fresh ingredients from Hawaii with a Western and Japanese fusion. For reservations, call 808-573-1234.

EXPERIENCES

Choose from a variety of experiences and get inspired. Explore the Pacific Ocean on a snorkeling expedition covering miles of gorgeous reef or take a day trip to ascend the rugged trails of the volcano at Haleakala National Park. In the heart of Wailea, guests can experience an authentic beachfront Polynesian luau right at the resort, after hitting the links at the Emerald Golf Course, a five-minute drive away.

For a private hiking tour, lace up your shoes and get ready for adventure. Small group and private guided hikes in the valley isle are available for those seeking nature exploration along the iconic Maui coast or in the lush rainforest of East Maui.

Experience Maui by air and land with Maverick Helicopter tours. Fly through waterfall-filled ravines on your way to Hana. After landing at Hana Airport, you will be picked up by a guide and travel through Hana in luxury SUVs or Mercedes.



The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

1 Ritz Carlton Drive, Kapalua, HI 96761

ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui

808-669-6200

Located just an hour drive from Kahului Airport, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua sits in the northwestern part of the island. Known for its rugged beaches, distinctive tall pine trees also known as Cook Pines, incredible surf breaks, and world-class golf courses, it is the ideal site for those looking to escape the touristy hustle and bustle. Overlooking the Pacific golden-sand beaches, The Ritz-Carlton is nestled within the pristine 22,000-acre Kapalua Resort. Guests can expect world-class amenities and service from the legendary luxury resort.

FEATURES


The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua features 466 newly-renovated guest rooms and 107 Residential Suites. All rooms are beautifully designed with an island modern theme, featuring locally-inspired artwork. Guests will enjoy a plush king featherbed with comfortable duvet, 55” flat-screen TV, work desk, high-speed internet, and a specious lanais. There are a range of hospitality services, including newspaper delivery, Nespresso coffee, and twice daily housekeeping service.


The Ritz-Carlton categorizes its guest rooms and suites into Terrace, Deluxe, Deluxe Ocean View, Club and Club Ocean View and Oceanfront categories. Club Level offers guests exclusive services, including a dedicated concierge staff, daily complimentary culinary delights, and more. Accessible by a specially coded elevator key, it is ideal for those seeking additional privacy and comfort.



NOTABLE


The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua offers a variety of notable features, including two championship golf courses, The Bay Course and The Plantation Course, along with the award-winning instructions of the Kapalua Golf Academy. Guests have access to one of Hawaii’s largest nature preserves with two marine sanctuaries; a 10,000-square-foot, tri-level swimming pool with a 20,000-square-foot sun deck; a children’s dedicated pool; and luxury cabanas featuring flat-screen televisions and a range of amenities.



Signature events are annually held at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, including XTERRA World Championship and PGA Tour Tournament of Champions, Celebration of the Arts, Kapalua Wine & Food Festival and Wellness Week.

The Fitness Center and movement studio boasts new, state-of-the art cardiovascular and weight-training equipment, personal training options, and beautiful ocean views.


CULINARY SITES


Take time to indulge and taste all of the flavors available at The Ritz-Carlton’s culinary destinations. Dining options featuring local cuisine include The Banyan Tree, Ulana Terrace, The Alaloa Lounge and Bar, The Burger Shack, ’Olu Café, and Kai Cafe.



Acclaimed Executive Chef Isabelle Bella delivers a masterful menu at The Banyan Tree. Featuring classic Hawaiian dishes fused with a Mediterranean cooking technique, Chef Bella will take you on a gastronomic journey featuring local Hawaiian ingredients that are both sustainable and unique in flavor. Start with the Lobster Lumpia, delightful shrimp and lobster spring rolls served with garlic fried rice and Calamansi sweet chili sauce. For a main dish, Chef Bella’s fisherman’s seafood pot is a superb option. Enjoy the catch of the day cooked with shellfish, octopus, in a spicy-coconut broth with local vegetables and fresh herbs.


Ulana Terrace offers lavish breakfast and brunch options with stunning ocean views. Choose from a variety of hot dishes, fresh squeezed juices, and unique Hawaiian-inspired dishes. For an evening cocktail and appetizer, head to The Alaloa Lounge and Bar. The Burger Shack offers alfresco casual dining entrées, featured cocktails, craft and local beers. The poolside eatery ’Olu Café is the ideal spot for local fish tacos, poke bowls, and fresh cocktails. Stop by Kai Cafe for fresh coffee, homemade pastries, fresh juice, smoothies, and more.


EXPERIENCES


The resort offers a variety of experiences for every occasion, including a full schedule of wellness programs. Numerous hiking trails are available near the property, including the strenuous Mahana Ridge Trail. The 20-mile round trip hike offers breathtaking views of Mokupe’a and Honokahua Gulches. The path travels through former coffee and pineapple fields. Numerous village walking trails are available, along with a 1.76-mile coastal trail which passes through Oneloa Bay sand dunes.



The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is the ultimate destination for golf enthusiasts. Considered one of the best golf courses in Hawaii, it was recently redesigned by Bill Core and Ben Crenshaw. The course is also one of the PGA Tour’s acclaimed finishing holes.


Fitness activities include the labyrinth meditation walk, sound healing, yoga, core classes, pilates, even a Tai Chi workout. Two tennis courts offering dramatic coastline and mountain views are also onsite.


For a memorable off-property experience, book the Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment program where participants learn about the cultural traditions of Hawaii and the natural wonders of the island. For inquiries on this environmental experience, call 808-665-7292. Other notable Kapalua experiences include, coastal hike and tide pool exploration, ziplining, ride and dine into the sunset, ocean discovery tours, cultural experiences, hula lesson, guided hikes at Pu‘u Kukui Watershed Preserve, and more.

Story and property reviews by Markin Abras. Images courtesy of properties featured on this story.