NORTH AMERICA

MAUI: ISLAND OF ROMANTIC DELIGHTS

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STORY AND PHOTOS
   //  BY RON STERN

Whether you are planning a perfect destination wedding, celebrating a milestone anniversary or just searching for a romantic tropical island escape, Maui has more than enough ways to say “I love you.” “Aloha wau ia `oe” is but one. Your own love story may start here and can only grow on this second largest Hawaiian island. Maui has broad appeal with a year round temperate climate, ocean view resorts just steps from the beach, tantalizing local cuisine, and a host of activities.

Most of the hotels and resorts have wedding coordinators to help you create your own idyllic wedding. Located in L’haina, Napili Kai Beach Resort is situated on Napili Bay. Upon our arrival, their friendly staff greeted my wife and me with a cool drink in their open-air lobby. A gorgeous crescent sand beach, set on 10 lush acres and bordered by low-rise plantation rooms and suites in the tradition of old Hawaii, awaited us. We were both looking for a quiet, laid back Maui experience, and here we were able to relax and enjoy a romantic dinner at the resort’s award-winning Sea House restaurant, right at the ocean’s doorstep.

 

During the day you can grab some snorkel gear and swim with the turtles that have made these waters their home. Napili Kai offers free parking and WiFi and amazingly, no resort fees, which made our visit both stress- and worry-free. The next stop along our romantic route was the upscale Westin Maui Resort & Spa overlooking the Pacific on Kaanapali Beach. Woven among 12 acres of indigenous trees, flowers, waterfalls, and native wildlife, including a friendly black swan, are a bevy of secret nooks and crannies—perfect spots to say “I do.”

 

At the center of the Westin is an 87,000-square-foot aquatic playground, including five swimming pools, two water slides—one of which is a jaw-dropping 128 feet—rock waterfalls, hidden grottos, private cabanas, and beachfront activities that include stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, parasailing, and intimate boat cruises perfect for couples to watch the sunset.

Most of the suites have views of the ocean or the West Maui Mountains and all feature the Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds®, a feature we always love, to ensure a restful and relaxing night’s sleep. A daily resort charge of $30 covers high-speed Internet, shuttle service to nearby hotels and attractions, and self-parking.


There are several on-site restaurants like the poolside Relish Burger Bistro. They serve classic American fare, like local huli-huli Hawian style grilled chicken with pineapple salsa and their signature Japanese Kobe beef burger with a choice of toppings. This was one of the best burgers I have had in a long time, and I would say it’s the envy of other burgers everywhere. Of course, I washed all that down with one of their tropical drinks with those little umbrellas.

 

The Westin also has a dedicated wedding office and all of the amenities to make your dreams come true. They can arrange private side-by-side couple’s massages and photo ops in their Roman-style gazebo, create a perfect beachside ceremony and even provide your guests with favors and personalized bottles of sparkling wine. Maui has many ways to say “hoomaum maua Kealoha” (“may our love last forever”). From adventure sports to intimate excursions to culinary pleasures, Maui has it all, and while it’s easy to get here, it’s hard to leave—the reason why we return year after year.

 

INSIDER TIPS:
If you are looking for night life activities such as dancing, go to “the triangle” in Kihei (South Maui).  There are several different bars, from Dog N Duck to Tiki Lounge, to Ambrosia, to Life’s a Beach – each has live entertainment.

 

To Do's
Alii Nui Snorkel & Sailing Adventure is one of the most romantic things to do and see on Maui. Enjoy a glass of champagne as South Maui's dramatic shoreline creates the perfect tone to end your day.
www.aliinuinuimaui.com

Sunrise at Haleakala The best activity for couples in Maui is a romantic sunrise trip to Mt. Haleakala’s summit. You will need to do a bit of preplanning, but it will be all worth it, once you are both enjoying this majestic views.

www.gohawaii.com

The LUAU Plan a night of fund entertainment at a Lele Luau in Lahaina. This authentic performances of traditional dance, chanting, and andrhythmic sounds of the Polynesian culture is one of Maui's top activities for couples.
www.mauiactivities.com
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Slack Key Concert Enjoy authentic Hawaian music during this live concert held twice weekly at the Napili Kai Resort in Lahaina. $39.99 per person.

www.slackkeyshow.com

Old Lahaina Luau Providing an authentic taste of old Hawaii, this is a not-to-be-missed experience in Lahaina featuring traditional dancing, music and mouth-watering cuisine. [remove parentheses/KT] $95 for adults and $65 for children, plus tax.
www.lahainaluau.com

Lahaina Town Once the historic capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a whaling ship harbor, Lahaina Town is now lined with historic sites, restaurants, retail shops, and art galleries along Front Street.
www.visitlahaina.com

O’o Farm & Luncheon Tour 
a farm-to-table culinary experience that’s little known to tourists but very popular with locals. $58 per person. 

P. 808-667-4341

www.oofarm.com

Ali`i Kula Lavender Farm Located on the slopes of Haleakala Crater with more than 45 varieties of lavender. Tours run from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $12 per person or $10 per person with an advance reservation.
www.aliikulalavenderfarm.com


The Eats
MAMA’s FISH HOUSE
www.mamasfishhouse.com
Continues to receive awards from readers and writers alike as the place for an authentic Polynesian dining experience, from fresh fish to traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

 

The Stay
WESTIN MAUI RESORT & SPA

This hotels has great views of the Pacific on Kaanapali Beach
www.westinmaui.com



NAPILI KAI BEACH RESORT 

Situated on Napili Bay this boutique condominium offers accommodations right on the beach in a peaceful, uncomplicated setting: low-rise buildings scattered over ten oceanfront acres of lush tropical gardens.
www.napilikai-px.trvlclick.com

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