“See that line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me…”
-Moana, Disney Princess
No matter how many times you’ve been there, a trip to Maui never gets old. Back in 2016, as you may have read in my previous post on the wonders of the Valley Isle, our vacation was filled with interesting discoveries and memorable experiences. Although checking out anything new always tops the list, a return visit to previous destinations on the island can feel familiar and comforting, like slipping on an old worn pair of palaka shorts. On a recent journey back, I happily stumbled upon a few new discoveries and also enjoyed return trips to old favorites. The results ended in an event-packed week I won’t soon forget.
A great way to start vacation and shake off the stresses of life on the mainland is to start your morning on Maui with an invigorating walk. No matter where on the island, any nearby trail can lead to tropical beauty but a ride down to Wailea will get your day away started with the best of all worlds. My favorite path winds along the sparkling southwest coastline and is easy to access. Start walking at the southern end of the path by driving to the end Makena Road. Park in the public lot at the Polo Beach Club, go west from the lot to the beach and you’ll soon find yourself on the unbelievably scenic Wailea Beach Walk.
For the next 3.5 miles, you can soak up the beauty and splendor of Maui’s southern resort living. I make time to walk here whenever I come to Wailea. The path is on the narrow side and can get pretty crowded, so an early start is recommended. Plenty of black lava rock alongside the golden sand of the coastline will visually remind you of exactly where on earth you are.
During your trek, you will pass by some of the most luxurious living quarters the entire island has to offer, plus get a taste of what it’s like to stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani, the Four Seasons Wailea, or the Andaz Hyatt Maui. Many of these palm tree-lined, lush properties boast swimming pools located on the east side of the path and private beaches on the west side, creating a visual oasis of greens and blues on either end.
The Andaz Hyatt Maui stands out amongst Wailea’s chicest resorts. One of the more recently remodeled properties on Wailea’s Gold Coast, the vibe is cool; sleek and modern against a colorful tropical backdrop. You can feel it as you make your way down the dramatic stone and wood entrance walkway and into the expansive open air lobby.
As this was our first visit, we curiously toured as much of the resort as possible. It boasts not only a private beach but also five glistening swimming pools, three of which are ocean facing and cascade down into one other. We chose the Adult Tranquility Pool for extra privacy and quiet (18 years and older only). The best feature of this particular pool are the underwater ledges that provide an in-pool lounge chair experience. This genius design kept us cool with the added bonus of not having to put our bare toes on the hot cement when finding their way into the refreshing water.
Nothing beats lunch served by the pool any day of the week. We dined on the fresh Ka’ana Farm Salad topped with fish and the tasty Crispy Chicken Katsu sandwich off of the Bumbye Beach Bar menu while lounging on our favorite in-pool recliners, facing the sun so we could continue to tan ourselves while we lunched. After more swimming, relaxing and socializing, it was on to our next stop.
Before departing Wailea, a quick trip to its outdoor shopping mall to visit our very favorite store was a definite on our to-do list. We discovered this wonderful boutique last time I visited and fell completely in love. If you have not yet been to SoHa Living, high tail it over there to shop the island’s newest and most on-trend home goods, accessories and gifts.
SoHa was originally created as a home furniture store in 2002 by sisters Brooke Watson and Shyra Maurer, who recognized that Hawaii generally lacked a good source for modern, beach-y home decor. As the sisters started to expand their selection into home goods and accessories, they decided to start designing their own merchandise and established a Hawaii-based factory to produce their creative ideas.
Because of this, most items for sale at SoHa are actually made in Hawaii, making a purchase worth saving room for in your suitcase. The store carry items for people of all ages including keiki, and offer a nice selection of local edibles as well. Unfortunately their online store is not quite open yet, but if you find yourself without a plane ticket to OGG yet wishing for a little piece of Hawaii, check back in the coming months to have an island treasure sent right to your door.
There is so much more to share that I’m reluctant to sign off now, but a trip back to reality is unfortunately necessary. I promise to download the rest of my adventures on Maui in my next post. They continued to transport me to places new and exciting, as well as back to my tried and true old favorites. Until then, much aloha to keep you warm until the Hawaiian sun finds its way here again.
Lisa Ihnken ©2018 All Rights Reserved