+ My Maui Travel Blog Guide

D. T. Fleming Beach

I probably work abroad 3-4 times a year – this year I’ve flown to San Francisco three times already. Luckily for me, my boyfriend also got to fly to San Francisco for work around the same time!

We wanted to make the most of both getting flown thousands of miles for free, so the answer was to spend two weeks in Hawaii! Here’s my Maui travel blog guide to get you started.

Why Maui?
From the online research and anecdotal feedback from Californian colleagues was that Big Island is too touristy, Kihei is too quiet and so we narrowed it down to Maui and Oahu.

Maui ticked the boxes with the variety of natural beauty, and was consistently described as ‘good for couples’ which I interpreted as idyllic, full of romantic restaurants and not too many all-inclusive Disney-type resorts!

Napili Bay

Where We Stayed
Initially AirBnB was the best bet, but after browsing Trip Advisor it was Napili Kai which converted us to an apartment-style resort. That way, we’d get the best of a community atmosphere, the hotel bar/restaurant and still have the flexibility of a kitchen to save money with basic meals.

The apartment itself was renovated, had a massive bathroom suite and a lanai (balcony) with an ocean view of Napili.

Napili Bay and Kapalua
If you end up staying in this area, beware that there’s not much variety in terms of restaurants and only one bar by way of the Sea House Restaurant, on the hotel grounds.

– Rent a car! Ned and I left it last minute and the cost, combined with the threat of three hurricanes, forced to abandon this idea and rely on the Maui Bus for trips to the supermarket and Lahaina.

– Book a table at Cane & Canoe or Merriman’s for a high-calibre meal overlooking the ocean. The meals we had at these two establishments were 100% the best meals we had during our whole time in Maui.

– Rent your snorkelling equipment from Water Works. Unlike nearby Snorkel Bob’s, this place rented a full set for just $25 per person.

– Spend a day at Kapalua beach to get the best possible chance of seeing turtles come to shore to dine off the slimy rocks within the bay. We saw two during our stay!

Downhill Biking & Sunrise Tour

Haleakala Sunrise

We went via the Viator website to book this two-in-one experience thanks to the great ratings on Yelp and Trip Advisor.

> Book this for be start of your Maui trip. With the three-hour time difference, it will hurt less to wake up for the 2am pickup!

> Take a neck pillow with you so you can get an extra two hours sleep throughout the ride up to Haleakala.

> When you get to the vista (normally about 30 minutes before official sunrise) you’ll see a large railing. I stood to the left of it and so a few of my pics were concealed by other tourists. I’d recommend standing around the midway point to get the best view.

Lahaina

This town had been described to me as the busiest, most built-up part of Maui… It definitely exceeded my expectations as it was actually a beautiful seaside town with such a relaxed vibe about it.

The biggest memory from our day here was just how friendly and close-knit the community was! Every shop owner/gallery assistant was super friendly and were either recommending a place to see… Or that we should just move to Maui!!

Banyan Tree Park - Lahaina

if you go you should definitely see the large banyan tree park on Front Street as it’s a crazy quirk of nature. Tree trunks and branches lean inwards towards each other, simultaneously fusing with a tree metres away. Quite the sight!

The Most Expensive Souvenir I’ve Ever Bought!

When I walked into Vintage European Posters I barely had an intention of buying a $25 poster, let alone an original print from the ’60s!

However, after close to twenty minutes in the shop a love affair had begun between the two of and a gorgeous print called Hawaii by Charles Allen. We checked our bank accounts and then made the leap so we now own our first piece of legit collectors’ art!

Hurricane Iselle
When we landed in Maui I had no idea that a few days into it I would be packing a precautionary overnight bag, googling nearby shelters and reading a government-provided emergency toolkit. Seeing as I’d never experienced a hurricane before, I wasn’t sure if I was over or under-exaggerating the threat in my mind!

Our hotel weren’t much help, saying to us, “truth is we don’t know what will happen. We cannot provide any food or water for you so please go to the supermarket and stockpile your own essentials”. That evening they also asked us to bring in or secure the balcony furniture and upon my texting my dad the news he advised me to “stay away from windows”… I was well and truly shitting myself.

We woke up on Friday to the briefest of rainstorms and a generally cloudy sky. I’m so grateful Iselle reined herself in and settled into a tropical storm, but it still had a big impact on the Big Island and people ended up without power for days 🙁

All in all, Maui was a paradise of unique animals, unrivalled sunsets (and sunrises!), world-class food and service and just a general chilled vibe. I have already promised myself I will visit again within the next few years, and next time I hope I’ll get to go whale watching in Hana, stay at the beautiful Montage hotel, rent a car and (hopefully) avoid any hurricanes!