9 reasons to Love Maui
by John Dunn

The Old Lahaina Lu’au: The Old Lahaina Lu’au not only enjoys a spectacular oceanfront setting where lei draped revelers sip mai tais and watch the sun sink slowly behind neighboring Lanai‚ it also prides itself in being Maui’s most authentic luĠau. Guests will be regaled with tales of Hawaiian history and mythology and feast on a whole roasted pig that is slow cooked in the traditional Hawaiian style; oldlahainaluau.com.

Chez Paul: Everyone who drives from the airport in Kahului to Lahaina‚ Ka’anapali and Kapalua passes a humble little roadside building that is adorned with the French tricolore sign, but only the truly curious and those in the know will stop to savor the divine aroma of fine French cuisine wafting out into the street. This unassuming abode is Chez Paul, a world class French bistro whose outer appearance is belied by the delectable morsels served within; chezpaul.net.

David Paul’s Lahaina Grill: With a lively bar, sumptuous wood decor and windows looking out onto the streets of Lahaina Town, David Paul’s Lahaina Grill exudes in colonial charm. The food is equal to the ambiance‚ featuring local ahi and mahimahi that is so fresh it can be cut with a spoon, though you may want to save that spoon for the mouth watering deserts; lahainagrill.com.

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua: For those who want the quiet seclusion and romance of an island getaway without missing Maui’s shopping, nightlife and adventurous daytime activities, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua offers the best of both worlds. Just fifteen minutes north of lively Lahaina Town on the edge of Maui’s wild north coast, the Ritz feels like it is a world away from the sprawl of mega resorts that line the beaches further south. Kapalua is blessed with picturesque crescent beaches, some of Maui’s best snorkeling and surfing and 54 holes of fabulous golf, including the breathtaking and challenging Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore designed Plantation Course; ritzcarlton.com.

Ka’anapali Ali’i Resort Condominiums: Each spacious suite in this elegant, upscale alternative to the island’s many full service resorts is like a home away from home, with a full kitchen, living and dining areas and a balcony overlooking beautiful Ka’anapali beach. Right across the street, Ka’anapali Golf course offers 36 gently rambling holes that enjoy sweeping views of the Pacific and the lush rugged slopes of West Maui Mountain; kaanapaliresortrealty.net.

Hyatt Regency’s Spa Moana: Stepping into the open air "relaxation room" between treatments at the Hyatt Regency’s Spa Moana is like a classic Hollywood depiction of a recently departed soul being received at Heaven’s pearly gates. You are clothed only in a white robe and slippers, your worldly cares have just been massaged away and you are suddenly bathed in the golden light of the sunkissed Pacific. Of course, the real pleasure lies in getting salty and sandy first, then stepping right off of the beach into the capable hands of the professionals waiting to pamper your body and soul; maui.hyatt.com.

Hula Grill: There are few pleasures as satisfying as a sunset stroll along Ka’anapali Beach’s walking path, especially when you are headed for a scrumptous meal at Hula Grill, located in the Whaler’s Village; hulagrill.com.

Vino Restaurant: Don’t be put off by the fact that Vino Restaurant is located in the clubhouse of The Kapalua Village Golf Course. There is no standard country club fare served here. With an adventurous and extensive Mediterranean meets Pacific tapas menu, Vino offers one of Maui’s most unique dining experiences; kapaluamaui.com.

Maui Eco-Adventures: Famous for its beaches, ecologically diverse Maui also boasts lush mountains, volcanic wastelands, rainforests and pristine, waterfall fed pools. Maui Eco-Adventures specializes in sharing this other Maui with those visitors who are willing trade their flip flops for a pair of cross trainers. For those staying in Ka’anapali or Kapalua, Eco-Maui offers hikes into the mountain valleys of West Maui. Longer excursions include day trips to majestic, waterfall draped Hana, where it is possible to live out the picture postcard Hawaiian fantasy of swimming in crystal clear freshwater pools beneath cascading falls;


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