It started out as a reunion with a budding romantic interest…a promise of finding love in one of the world’s most ideal, magical islands…Maui. I was to meet a long distance paramour who flew in from a far off destination while I had the easy trek from Oakland, California.
While filled with great anticipation for this journey, I felt so very alone as I boarded my
www.hawaiianairlines.com flight. Although the airline is an amazing way to begin any journey to Hawaii, setting the stage for an island departure, I was surrounded by couples and I was on my own.
Upon arrival in Maui (www.mauivb.com), and as the first of our own coupling to arrive, I secured the Budget Rental car (www.budget.com), picked up some supplies at the nearby Costco and returned to the airport to pick up my companion.
The reunion was tense, but we had nine days to get to know each other. We’d met in Palau, while I was traveling for work three months prior. There was a spark that ignited an interest we nurtured via phone for many weeks. Our reunion was intended to explore that initial trigger.
This story, however, isn’t about my personal journey. Instead it is meant to provide a diverse menu of options for others that are looking to create their own love story; reignite a long-time relationship; or just relish in a romantic departure with that special someone…
To begin, it is essential to set the stage, and Maui has so many wonderful resort options. I found this selection to be the most ideal “love nests.”
– Wailea Beach Villas (www.WaileaBeachVillas.com): this grand property is nestled into one of my favorite parts of the island, Wailea, and makes a big statement if you are trying to impress a new love interest. The oversized suites are fully equipped with a kitchen, lanai, large bedroom and well-appointed bathrooms. The grounds are filled with burbling fountains, a beautifully landscaped pool and access to one of the best beaches on Maui.
– Travaasa Hana Resort, formerly known as the illustrious Hotel Hana Maui (http://www.travaasa.com/hana): this very secluded property is perfect for hard core romantics who want privacy as well as a little adventure. The bungalows are scattered over an expansive resort and each room features a private, outdoor Jacuzzi that overlooks panoramic views of a forest of palm trees and the glistening ocean beyond. The bonus of this property is that the rooms do NOT have TVs, clocks nor Internet access…so there are few distractions.
– Napili Kai Beach Resort (www.napilikai.com ): for those that want to explore traditional and authentic Hawaii, this is THE place! Cuddled up in an intimate crook of Napili Kai Beach, this property features the gracious hospitality for which Hawaii is known. Our room peaked out over crashing waves that rocked us to sleep each night. Additionally, the property features one of the most romantic restaurants on Maui, namely the Sea House Restaurant, where you should reserve an ocean view table and ask for the “catch of the day.”
Need some stimulation for romantic activities and adventures? Here’s a list of my favorites for each of the recommended regions…
– It’s all about the beaches…try out my favorite at Makena White Sand Beach and cuddle up in a private hide out
– Be sure to schedule a sunrise trek down Haleakala (best if done on your first morning in Maui, before you adjust to local time…as this is an early wake up call)
– While en route back to Wailea, make a stop at the Lavender Farm, which is a beautiful mountain sanctuary
– There are several romantic restaurants within walking distance of the Wailea Beach Villas. Our favorites are Nick’s Fish Market; Spago; Cenrento’s on the Beach; and Capish
– For those that prefer a more intimate table for two, hire a private chef that can prepare and serve dinner in the romantic setting of your Lanai or on the Wailea Beach
– Take a sunset dinner cruise
– There’s no need to over-plan while you’re on your way to or once you arrive in Hana.
– To begin, on “The Road To Hana,” prepare for a quiet, beautiful three+ hour drive fill of colorful ocean views, cascading waterfalls and secret hiking trails. You will find little signs along the way to point you in the right direction, whenever the mood strikes.
– Take a hike through the Bamboo Forest.
– Once you arrive at the resort, there are many free experiences in which I suggest visitors indulge, including: lei making class; Hawaiian net fishing; Holoholo bike tour; archery; snuggling up in the private Jacuzzi on your room’s lanai; ukulele lessons; hula lessons.
– Additionally, the resort features a wonderful selection of activities, for a fee, that are extra special and romantic. I’d suggest the following: horseback ride along the beach; Fruit Tasting Tour; Underwater Sea Scooter Adventure; kayak and snorkel tour.
– With all of these Hana adventures to choose from, my genuine recommendation is to just chill out and love the one you’re with!
Napili Kai Beach:
– Spend a lot of time in your room, listening to the crashing waves below.
– Enjoy stand up paddleboarding, in Napili Bay or grab your snorkel gear (also available for rent at the property) and kick up your heels in the secluded cove adjacent to the resort.
– Hire a private sailboat in Lahaina and pack a picnic of local products.
– Get a Moonlight Couples Massage under the stars on the beach outside the hotel.
– And, for a truly memorable and romantic encounter, be sure to book the exclusive oceanfront Na Hoku Dinner at the Napili Kai Resort where you will have a private table on a small quiet corner of the property on the edge of Napili Bay.
Molly’s Top Ten favorite romantic activities on Maui:
1. Bicycling down the dramatic slopes Haleakala at sunrise (you may want to do this on your first morning, before your inner clock adjusts to the local time zone).
2. Watch the sunset on westside and wait for the green flash at end of sunset.
3. At the South part of island, hike into La Perus Bay where you might find a pod of napping dolphins in afternoon. Many visitors swim with the dolphins, which are rumored to be good, romantic luck charms with a positive influence on relationships.
4. Although I am adverse to anything to do with fishing, one of my favorite, romantic memories was the Hawaiian net fishing excursion, which was a free activity for guests of the Travessa Hana Resort.
5. Additionally available at Travessa Hana Resort…while you might have a hard time convincing the masculine half of your coupling, the tea leaf lei making experience was very romantic because the “guide” teaches you to work together and shares romantic Hawaiian legends of Hana while you’re in the moment.
6. A privately charted sailboat out of Lahaina.
7. The Road to Hana…which forces couples to just enjoy being together, whether it’s in the car or spontaneous stops along the way at any one of the many waterfalls or intimate hiking trails.
8. Cruising on the ocean aboard an Outrigger Canoe.
9. Hike up Hana’s Fagan’s Memorial Hill, adjacent to the Travaasa Hana Resort, and watch the sunrise, then snuggle up back in your room with breakfast in bed.
10. For the quintessential, romantic diversion, and just 15 minutes south of Hana, visit the famous Pools of Oheo where you’ll discover beautifully tiered pools fed by waterfalls and take a dip in these tranquil bodies of water.
And, since we all enjoy bringing home tokens of our adventures, here’s a list of local products you can purchase to bring back home the romantic memories:
– Pecocki (Hawaiian Jasmine) fragrance
– Local pineapple wine
– Lavendar Farm soap or organic lavender honey scrub
– Schedule a couple’s photography session at sunset (available at most of the luxury resorts in Maui)
– Pack up airport ready fresh fruits and flowers
– As a more unique option, check out the Maui Humane Society and adopt one of the poi dogs, giving the pet a Hawaiian name after your visit