More To Maui Than Meets The Eye

22 January 2015

Maui’s famous for spectacular surf and sun-soaked beaches, but as one of the most under-populated of the Hawaiian islands, it holds true to its identity as an escape in every meaning of the word.

This island is ideal for a romantic getaway or a family holiday, with its unique Hawaiian culture and hospitality, sense of luxury and activities for all tastes, it promises not to disappoint.
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The Islands' Hidden Secret

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Hana is the hidden secret of Hawaii. It’s a true escape for time-pressured, stressed-out, hard-working individuals of the world who know they need to take a break, but don’t know where to go to truly disconnect. If this sounds like you, Hana is the ideal holiday, an untouched town on Maui’s coastline.

Travaasa Hāna Travaasa Hana experiental resort

 

Nestled in the eastern coast of the island of Maui, Travaasa Hana is a retreat like no other. As the first resort on Maui dating back to 1946, it defines itself as an “experiential resort” and it is just that, an experience of all six senses.

Voted Best Boutique Hotel in Hawaii, Hawai'i Magazine Readers’ Choice (2014, 2013) the rooms are huge, luxurious, private villas with no TVs or radios, so you can fully embrace the natural beauty of the region.

Head to Hamoa Beach, a stunning little spot only 4.6 kilometres from the resort which is consistently voted one of Hawaii’s’ best beaches and was adored by Hemingway.

Hamoa Beach Hāna Maui Hamoa Beach a five-minute free shuttle from Travaasa Hana

 

The retreat has a daily schedule of activities that tailors to the can’t-sit-still traveller, and also to those who prefer to relax and revive.

Yoga, glider flights, horseback riding, stand up paddle boarding and ukulele lessons, are a mere sample of the activities that are available inside and outside the resort.

The Travaasa Hana staff are a worthy mention also -  friendly, kind, caring local employees who add that extra touch to this luxurious escape.

Experience horseback riding along the eastern coastline of Maui at Travaasa Hāna See the eastern coastline of Maui at Travaasa Hana on horseback

 

Kauiki Dining Room within the resort has "Hana-style" cuisine, self-defined as a fusion of Asian and Hawaiian flavours with produce sourced from local farms where possible, supporting sustainability and the local economy.

With dishes such as locally foraged pohole fern salad with ginger soy dressing, Maui Cattle Co. striploin tataki with green papaya salad, and ginger steamed Mahi Mahi with local style sauce, it is a culinary experience you won't forget.

Travaasa Hāna dining Try the Ahi tuna poke with pohole fern salad at Travaasa Hana

 

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A Sunrise Cycling Experience

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There are many other fun and fabulous activities to experience throughout Maui. A short drive from Hana is the ONO Organic Farm where you can gorge yourself in exotic organic fruits that you had never dreamed existed.

ONO Organic Farm, Maui A  sample of ONO Organic Farm's produce

 

A must-do on Maui is Haleakala National Park. Mark Twain described sunrise at the summit of Haleakala, "...the sublimest spectacle I ever witnessed".

There are many ways to experience this volcanic landscape. I highly recommend Haleakala Bike Company's "Sunrise Special" trip, an ungodly 2:30am start that arrives at Haleakala's 3,300-metre summit to view the sunrise at the rim of the crater.

It is a sunrise that will take your breath away as you sit above the clouds.

Then you are driven down to the base of Haleakala National Park at 1,981 metres to begin your 37-kilometre downhill bike ride. You only need to be a proficient cyclist to master this bike ride, and with 90 percent of the ride downhill, it is an incredible way to see Maui unfold before your eyes as day breaks.

Haleakalā National Park Sunrise from the summit of Haleakala National Park

 

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A World Away From Stress And Worry

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From the barefoot luxury of Travaasa Hana, to the modern style of the chic Andaz Maui at Wailea, there is beauty everywhere you turn on the island of Maui.

This eco-friendly beachfront resort is bathed in luxury, while simultaneously embracing the Hawaiian culture.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Spa received a spot on the Condé Nast Traveler's 2014 Hot List after opening only in September 2013.

With luxurious modern rooms overlooking the three infinity pools and beachfront, you instantly feel a world away from your stresses and worries.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Spa Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Spa

 

There is a great selection of beach and fitness activities to choose from, including sunset yoga, outrigger canoe paddling, and snorkelling, but an experience not to be missed in the Awili Spa and Salon.

Begin your spa experience in the Apothecary Lounge, where you create your own personalised massage oil at a Blending Bar from a selection of locally grown herbs, plants and fruits.

You then choose your method of escape from the extensive list of massages, body and skin treatments, not to mention the hair and nail bar, to make you look and feel your best.

Complete your experience with a dip in the tranquility pool, plunge pool or the steam room and sauna.

Two hours in the Awili Spa and Salon feels like the equivalent of a two-week holiday, leaving you feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and without a care in the world.

The Apothecary Lounge Blending Bar at the ‘Āwili Spa and Salon, Andaz Maui at Wailea The Apothecary Lounge blending bar at the Awili Spa and Salon, Andaz Maui at Wailea

 

The resorts’ Morimoto Maui Restaurant by acclaimed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, is a sensory explosion of Japanese, Western and Hawaiian flavours that you must try once in your lifetime.

With dishes such as oyster foie gras, spicy king crab, whitefish carpaccio, 16-ounce tajima wagyu ribeye and a gorgeous range of sushi and sashimi to indulge in, it’s a culinary sensation you won’t forget.

Sushi and sashimi selection at Morimoto Restaurant, Andaz Maui at Wailea Sushi and sashimi selection at Morimoto Restaurant, Andaz Maui at Wailea

 

Maui touched my travel senses unlike any other place, and I can only hope you experience this Hawaiian culture, humble hospitality, adventure and romance in your lifetime also.

Joanne Heggie

Social media manager at Flight Centre Australia and lover of travel, fitness, vino and good company. 2014 London Marathon finisher.