When you hear that Hawaii is paradise, it isn’t an oversell. It truly is heaven. And within the islands of Hawaii, there is Maui. And within Maui is a small area called Wailea, which instantly feels like home.
There are only a few resorts to choose from in Wailea. The beautiful Residence Inn by Marriott is the newest (and possibly most affordable) option. The rooms are simple, but pretty, and come with a full kitchen. But if you aren’t in the mood for cooking, the restaurants in the area are all excellent and mere minutes away by hotel shuttle (which is free!).
Monkeypod Kitchen is a casual but refined dining experience within walking distance from the Residence Inn. Beer lovers will rejoice in the selection and the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi is to die for.
There are more dining options at the nearby Shops at Wailea – a gorgeous “outdoor” shopping centre. Find souvenirs, partake in a shaved ice or browse at upscale stores like Prada, Gucci and Tiffany.
The beaches in Wailea provide clear, warm water, spectacular views and decent snorkeling mere feet from the water’s edge. Snorkeling gear is available for rent (for about 20 bucks); you just have to ask/look around for (legit) beach vendors.
If you’re going to do one excursion while you are there, make it this: The Road to Hana. Yes, you can do this very winding road trip through Maui on your own in a rental car, but consider an organized tour through Valley Isle Excursions. The all-day trip in a comfy, air-conditioned mini-bus is full of breathtaking views and experiences. The guides are knowledgeable and will point out things you might not notice on your own. You’ll see gorgeous waterfalls and panoramic ocean views, set foot on the most unbelievable black sand beach, eat guava right off the tree, enjoy rainbows that stretch across the land, and smell the air – it literally smells sweet like fruit. It’s truly a can’t-miss experience.
5 Things To Know About Wailea
1. The pineapple is beyond delicious. Order it whenever you get the chance.
2. There are three gorgeous golf courses in the area – pack your clubs.
3. It is located about 35 minutes from the Kahului airport (but you’ll enjoy the drive).
4. For a beautiful sunset, try dinner at Gannon’s – romantic and delicious!
5. Mai Tais. Order one. Or two. Enough said.
Originally published in Today’s Bride Magazine, Spring/Summer 2017.