It’s hard to go wrong wherever you decide to stay on the island of Maui, ESPECIALLY if you go during whale season (generally considered to be from November through April each year). Nineteen years ago, we stayed in a moderately-priced hotel in the Ka’anapali area and saw whales breaching everyday from our balcony. On our latest visit, we stayed at the Wailea Beach Marriott because of a veterinary conference for my husband. The resort itself was deluxe in every way, but the whales were much farther out from shore. Their sprays and blows were visible, but little else. It is off of Hwy. 31 about 30 minutes from the Kahului Airport. Garden rooms in this resort are roomy and extremely nice, but the views from their oceanfront rooms are worth the splurge in my opinion. While Steve was sitting through continuing education sessions (poor guy), I treated myself to a manicure in the Mandala Spa on site. Heavenly.
I would also recommend hotels and resorts in the the areas of Lahaina and Kihei based on the roads, the views, and the popular activities nearby.
WHERE TO EAT?
Get prepared. There are very few “cheap eats” in Maui. We generally make it a rule when we travel to avoid chain restaurants if we possibly can. But, after 5 or 6 days of expensive eating, we usually throw in a Subway or even a Mickey D’s just for something reasonable and predictable. With that being said, here are some of the restaurants we tried recently and a few words of description/advice. Click on the links to let the drooling and dreaming begin.
Home Made Cafe in Azeka Place in Kihei. We had a delicious breakfast with the locals. Owners are Vietnamese, and the little spot was packed.
Slappycakes — I loved this place and wish so much that it WAS a chain. According to our waitress, this is family-owned with the original location in Portland. The “hook” here is that you may cook your own pancakes on a griddle built into your table if you wish. There are buttermilk, chocolate, gluten-free, and whole grain options available for the batter, and a mouthwatering array of toppings to select. It had a fun family atmosphere watching everyone create their masterpieces and devour them.
Cheeseburger in Paradise located in The Shops at Wailea. Open-air, near our resort, so-so food, so-so prices.
Longhi’s also located in The Shops at Wailea. Also, open-air. Italian-themed menu. Good taste. Good location for us. Nothing to “write home about.”
Three’s Bar and Grill in Kihei Kalama Village on a very busy Sunday night. We enjoyed a coconut-crusted fish sandwich and a macadamia nut-crusted chicken sandwich. Live entertainment cranked up at 7:00. Great place for people watching.
Kula Bistro. WAY off the beaten path, almost to the top of the Haleakala Crater at a high altitude with noticeably cooler temperatures. We were there to meet some friends. The food was great. Where else could you find a monchong fish panini??
Blue Moon Cafe in Kihei Gateway Plaza. Delicious breakfast. Portions are huge. Definitely shareable. We enjoyed a Greek omelet and macadamia nut/banana pancakes.
Fabiani’s in the Wailea Gateway Plaza. Italian cuisine. Soft jazz playing. Rosemary foccacia with oil and vinegar brought to the table. Bliss.
Kimo’s in Lahaina with a perfect view of the harbor. Here we had our first taste of Hula Pie — oreo crust filled with macadamia nut vanilla ice cream, topped with whipped cream, hot fudge, and toasted macadamia nuts. And it was FREE — a treat for our anniversary from the waitress. YES!!
Pita Paradise, a Mediterranean Bistro in the Wailea Gateway Center. Very flavorful food and friendly waitstaff. The tab was about $35.
Do you have some Maui restaurants and cafes to recommend? Feel free to comment below.
Stay tuned. The subject for my next post will be THINGS TO DO in Maui.