I returned from
Jurassic Park (Maui) a couple of weeks ago after taking a week-long trip with the husband for our Maui honeymoon slash one year anniversary ((the week after our wedding, we moved from North Carolina to Texas, so a honeymoon just wasn’t going to happen)). We left the trip looking into buying property and saving the sea turtles from tourists who thought lifting a sea turtle out of the ocean for a selfie was appropriate. Not kidding.
I fully intend on doing my next post about my top beauty items during this trip, but keep reading if you want a recap on why we chose Maui, where we went, what we did, where we ate, what I recommend packing – and what I still have on my to-do list when we return (aloha)!
Why we chose Maui
(as opposed to Costa Rica, Greece or the Virgin Islands)
I am a very methodical person when it comes to making any type of financial decisions. After weighing out the estimated costs of flights to Maui, Costa Rica, Greece or the Virgin Islands, Maui was the most affordable for May. Additionally, the length of the flight was obviously way less than Greece (half way around the world). I can only tolerate about 6-8 hours on one leg of a flight in economy seating, so Maui was already winning.
Activities were also a high priority for picking a destination. My husband and I had been on a couple trips before our honeymoon – just the two of us – and most couples can probably relate to what happens after about 3-4 days of staring into each other’s eyes. You start to want to scratch your eyes out. There’s only so much sunbathing and piña coladas you can have before you need some other human interaction and things to do! Costa Rica was a strong contender for outdoor adventures and beautiful natural sights to see, but so was Maui.
Food. Food is an imperative deciding factor for me, as I have a gluten allergy and also don’t speak dozens of languages. I visited Santiago, Chile last summer and I can’t tell you how many times I verbalized, “Tienes pan sin gluten, por favor?” and got a “Que?! No.” -__- Traveling to Maui allowed us to communicate in fluent English and we’d be in a highly touristy location, where it would be fairly easy for me to find gluten free snacks and also communicate with any restaurant servers or staff to accommodate my needs. Also, store brands generally were the same that I find in Texas, so I didn’t have to do any scientific research on my iPhone when purchasing snacks.
Transportation. Again, this is the USA. Although you can rent a car in the other locations, I figured let’s not make this more complicated. The driving rules are the same here as in the mainland so the chances of a car accident should be contained.
Where we went
(accommodations, excursions, food)
Again, I Google Doc/Excel spreadsheeted our options for hotels. For one week, the price for the standard resorts in Wailea and Ka’anapali ranged from $3,000-8,000. Yes, $8K for a week in a hotel in a basic room (includes your bed and bathroom. No food/bev/personal assistant). We opted to stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Ka’anapali because it was a solid choice; moderate in pricing and we had friends who stayed there and loved it. We also considered the Westin on Ka’anapali. They’re right next to each other. Hyatt was slightly cheaper during our visit.
We chose a deluxe ocean view room. I didn’t think a suite was necessary during our visit since we didn’t spend much time in the room except to shower and sleep. Our view was ah. may. zing. See that second photo of the shoreline at the top of this post and also the sunset shot? Those were from the view from our room’s patio/balcony. I also LOVED that balcony. It had the cutest mini table and chairs to drink my morning coffee and just watch the sun come up or down.
Activity/excursion-wise, we chose to do a sunrise bike tour, ziplining, road to hana (full loop around the island), luau, and of course… a couples’ massage.
*Recommendation: make sure you choose a self-guided tour where you set your own pace. I had a friend who was on a tour with a guide and she was petrified because they pretty much force you to ‘release’ the brake on your ride down and you go FLYINGGGG. 40 MPH on a bike on the highway alongside a volcano can be a little much for someone who hasn’t ridden a bike in 15+ years. You’ve been warned.
I was lucky to get an extremely thorough list of recommended restaurants filtered down by my good friends based on their honeymoons to Maui. Think of this as a creme de la creme of recommendations. I’ll denote the recommended restaurants with an asterisk:
General travel recommendations:
Things to do next time:
Whew – that was a lot to take in. Have you been to Kauai or other spots in Maui you recommend? Let me know in the comments!