This month something unprecedented happened. Something I did not think I would be ready for in years/maybe never…I took a trip with my husband without our 3 1/2 year old! It was the perfect time for it, and Saige actually did very well…and so did Mama!
I originally had my heart set on a trip to Bali, but with this being my first time away from her, it worked out that we went to Maui instead! It’s an insanely quick flight from Oahu and I felt at ease knowing that I could get back to Saige quickly if anything happened. Anyyywaaayy…Mama stuff aside…Maui was amazing! It is a completely different vibe than Oahu. So relaxing and easy. I wanted to recap the trip because I know a lot of ya’ll either vacation in Hawaii regularly or are currently planning trips here! If you have any other questions about Maui or Oahu drop me a comment or message!
Where we stayed
So this is a sliiiightly humorous story. We originally started out at the Ritz Carlton on the north west side of the island. It is pretty isolated and very quiet which can definitely be a perk. Another note about this resort is it seems to be very kid friendly. As I said before, this was our first kid-free vacay so definitely not priority for us but also not a big issue. Except…our room was directly in front of the kid zone. As in, I could hear children laughing from the second i stepped into our room. Enter the mom guilt. On top of that, the room above us was under construction so there were loud sawing noises. Yikes. Unfortunately, the Ritz did not have a room they could move us to but …ta da! Enter the amazing American Express agent who was a complete angel and helped us not only switch resorts but also get a full refund!!! I was sooooo thankful we had booked our trip through our Amex and cannot recommend the Platinum Card enough! ( Side note: If you are interested in becoming a member, here is a referral link to get you started. You definitely will not regret it) So after all that, we ended up at the absolutely stunning Grand Wailea by Waldorf Astoria. As soon as you drive up to the resort and the fresh flower lei is placed around your neck, you feel like you are on vacay; an immediate sense of aloha! On top of the gorgeous resort, we warmly greeted and told that because we were American Express Platinum members we had been upgraded to Club Level in Napua Tower. This was amaaaaziiing! Seriously, book this if you go here! There was breakfast, tea time, hor d’ oeuvres, chocolate decadence, and open bar at the last 3!
I cannot say enough that the Grand Wailea is stunning. But also, the amenities are spot on. Gorgeous pools, snorkeling, a huge spa, and…a Lilly Pulitzer signature store! This was an especially big deal to me since there is no Lilly store on Oahu. Also, there is a nightly champagne sabering and honestly, what more could you ask for??
What to do
Hands down, 100% my favorite thing we did on Maui was a cruise to the island of Lanai. This was an all day event and definitely something worth doing on your vacation. We went with Sail Maui on a small catamaran. It included breakfast, lunch, adult beverages, and snorkel gear. Once we got to Lanai we had a few hours to snorkel, hike, eat lunch and explore the island. While we were cruising we saw a huge pod of dolphins and sooooo many whales. On the trip back to Maui, the captain stopped the boat and let us jump into the bluest water I had ever seen. Bonus, there were humpback whales breaching 100 yards from us and I could hear them singing underwater!
The next day we took a bike ride to The Shops at Wailea. Our resort offered free bikes every day and it was just a quick ride down the street. They have lots of high end shops, but my favorite was the National Geographic Gallery. I’m a big animal lover and these images of lions, elephants, penguins, and giraffes were incredible! We stayed there over an hour talking to the woman who worked there, Jerri. She was so knowledgable about the photographs, the photographers and the stories behind them. There are only 5 of these galleries in the world so definitely worth a stop!
Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm was maybe a little unexpected for a trip to a tropical island, but it’s worth the drive up the mountain! Note, it is pretty cold up there so definitely bring a jacket! The cold air, lavender, and stunning views made me feel like I was in New Zealand (my favorite place in the world). There is also a little cafe selling coffee, lavender scones and such. You can take a guided tour or walk the fields yourself.
I feel like you cannot go to Maui without driving the Road To Hana, but every time we would mention to someone that we were thinking of doing it they would kind of laugh, look away and say “good luck”! This did not deter us though and I’m glad! We did not go all the way to Hana, but we did make it halfway. At this point we had already done a waterfall hike (Na’ili’ili-haele Waterfall), seen parrots, eaten banana bread and walked down a black sand beach (it was gorgeous! Definitely do this!) so we felt pretty happy with it. Everyone says the road is awful to drive, but honestly it was not that big of deal. If you are on the fence about driving it, there are lots of tours that will take you all the way to Hana and back, stopping at places on the way. Or you can take a more casual approach like us and just drive until you feel like you have seen enough then turn around!
Golf lessons at Wailea Golf Club were so fun! This may not be the way some people choose to spend their vary, but A and I have been wanting to take lessons forever so in Maui, on a gorgeous course, while kid-free seemed like the perfect time. Our instructor, Renee was the sweetest and so patient with me as a first-timer. 10/10 recommend doing this!
Where to eat
Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman is delicious. We went to the location in Ka’anapali although there is a second location in Wailea right by the Grand Wailea Resort. We went at lunch time and had the poke tacos (which were phenomenal and basically melt in your mouth if you can believe that about a taco), Kauai shrimp and Hamakua mushroom potstickers, and the Saimin with chicken instead of pork. It was all seriously delicious and paired perfectly with their fun cocktails, ocean views and live music!
Humuhumunukunukuapua’a …or as I like to call it, “Humuhumu”! This is a restaurant on property at Grand Wailea, but even if you don’t stay on resort, you have got to go to this restaurant! We started with cocktails ( I had the “Where The Water Meets The Sky”. It is a gin a lavender blend which happen to be two of my favorites so I absolutely loved it!) and a simple salad – the Waipoli Greens and Herbs. It was a perfect starter because we ordered a ton of food for dinner including a filet and seared ahi that were to die for!
On our last night we walked down to the Humble Market Kitchin. It is a Chef Roy Yama restaurant and certainly lives up to the hype. It was my favorite dinner in Maui! The menu changes, but I honestly think you can’t go wrong with anything you order from there!
If you have been to Maui and have more can’t miss suggestions let me know in the comments below or drop a comment on my latest Instagram post!
Aloha and Mahalo for reading!