For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to visit Hawaii. Over the years, I’ve been to many beach resorts, but Hawaii, with its volcanoes, hula skirts, and luaus, remained a dream. There were many excuses – the distance, the cost, never enough vacation days. But last year, I finally decided that it was time, and so le bf and I packed our suitcases and set off on a Hawaiian adventure.
After doing a bit of research, we decided on Maui’s Kaanapali Beach – a beautiful stretch of waterfront a stone’s throw away from Lahaina Town, Whalers Village, and Black Rock. After reading reviews for several properties, we decided on Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, and what an awesome choice it was!
We arrived at our hotel at night, jet-lagged and sleep-deprived, but from the moment we stepped inside, we knew we were going to have a great stay. Check-in was a breeze, and once we got our keys, we took a stroll through the beautiful open-air courtyard, with twinkly lights everywhere, and headed to our room. The room itself was well-appointed and very spacious. But we didn’t really appreciate its awesomeness until the next morning, when I opened the blinds and was greeted with a spectacular view of the ocean, palm trees, and the resort. The view did not get old the entire stay – each and every morning and evening I walked out on our balcony feeling grateful and in awe of the beauty we were surrounded by.
More after the jump!
Truth be told, we didn’t spend that much time in our room, but we definitely hung out at the resort a lot. The beautiful Lahaina Pool was one of the main attractions and it did not disappoint. Technically, there were two pools (the one for the kiddos is separated by a waterfall), but we stayed at the main one, observing the morning Aqua-Fit practice, floating around on our inflatable (TIP: if you have your own float, bring it, otherwise you can buy one at the pool desk – they are actually affordable!), playing ball, and just lounging around. Umalu – the poolside restaurant has a yummy selection of food and drinks, and wait-staff is very attentive, so if you’d like to stay by the pool without ever leaving, it’s totally doable. Various water activities can be booked at the pool desk for those seeking a more adventurous vacation – from snorkeling, to scuba, to SUP.
If you prefer swimming in the ocean instead of the pool, Hyatt Regency Maui is a beachfront property, and white sandy beach is just steps away. A cup of shave ice and beach towels in hand, le bf and I would rotate between pool and beach, experiencing the best of both worlds throughout our stay, and it was wonderfully relaxing.
Food is a huge part of every vacation we take, and we were quite happy with our options at Hyatt. Japengo restaurant topped our list with delectable seafood and sushi offerings, and an amazing happy hour. We loved stopping by at 5pm for a couple of drinks and some nibbles, listening to live music, and relaxing under the stars. The views from the main restaurant are spectacular, and make for a very romantic dinner setting.
During our stay we also had brunch and buffet brunch at Swan Court. And while buffet brunch offered great value and an extensive selection of menu items, I preferred the a la carte brunch, as some of the items on the menu were not part of the buffet. At Umalu, we tried several blended drinks (delish!), and really enjoyed the sandwiches and flat breads – it’s a great place for a low-key lunch and there’s a happy hour too! On days when we didn’t feel like having a big breakfast, Honolulu Coffee came to the rescue – everything we’ve tried from their refreshing acai bowls to the Nutty Hawaiian Lattes was really good, but definitely pricey. With the plummeting Canadian dollar, we felt the sting each time we spent USD30 on two coffees and two pastries, which translated to over CAD40 for one quick coffee run. Luckily, the convenience store next to Honolulu Coffee has everything from fruit to drinks to souvenirs at affordable prices in case your wallet needs a break. Every day le bf and I would stop by for fresh papaya (for me) and Hawaiian beers (for him).
A lu’au visit is a must when in Hawaii – and our experience at Drums of the Pacific Lu’au was nothing short of excellent. Thanks to the beautiful flower leis, fiery performances, and the abundance of food and drinks, we felt like Hawaiian royalty. The all-you-can-eat buffet included Kalua Pork, Huli Huli Chicken, Grilled Fish, Polynesian Rice, Vegetables Makamaka, Tropical Fruits Anuenue, Soba Noodles, Lomi Lomi Salmon, Pacific Ahi Poke, Tossed Green Salad, Poi, and a selection of desserts. We watched the traditional imu ceremony, the dramatic dances from Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti, Rarotonga, Samoa, Fiji, and New Zealand. The highlight of the night was the dangerous-looking Multi Man Fireknife Dance…that’s right, a dance with knives on fire! It was spectacular. There are several seating options, and the VIP one is well worth it, as you get front row seating, fresh flower leis, and priority at the buffet. (TIP: VIP seating includes the first row of tables, but some seats are farther from the stage than others. Line up early for best views.)
For those who love to squeeze in a spa visit while on vacation, the Marilyn Monroe Spa is a welcoming oasis with the most incredible views. I stopped in for a blow-out during our stay, and was very happy with the results.
When it was time to go home, we really did not want to leave Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. We loved our stay there! The grounds are stunning, with adorable penguins, flamingoes, swans, Koi fish all over the place, private cabanas and Ocean Hale rentals available, hammocks, a water slide, great restaurants, even Macy’s on the property for any last-minute purchases – all the essentials and more at your fingertips. We really could not have asked for more. If you’re looking to book a Maui getaway, I highly recommend Hyatt Regency Maui – you won’t be disappointed.
Let me know if you have any questions about our stay in the comments!