Maui planning, tips, and trip reports

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Hi all! I know it’s not specifically Aulani, but lots of us do a combo with another island. Plus I just find I get the most descriptive reviews from DIS’ers!! So starting a Maui planning thread!! We’ll be there summer 2022. Would love to hear others’ plans and also learn from those going between now and then. Maui no ka oi!
 

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Oh yes, I’ve spent many hours on there plus every travel guide known to man! We’ve been to Maui once, but only for two days—Haleakala/upcountry and to Hana and back. I just like to get all the first-person feedback I can!
 

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
I’m just shamelessly bumping this up….

My #1 must-do for our return trip to Maui was snorkeling Molokini; have always heard fabulous stories. However, from reading current reviews, and a firsthand account from a friend who goes most every year, it sounds like it’s so crowded now that it really doesn’t outweigh all the great free from-shore snorkeling spots.

Anybody with recent experience or friends who’ve been lately with thoughts on this? It really looks to me like plenty of great free places in south Maui alone (like Malauka and Ulua).
 

abdgeek

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
I’m just shamelessly bumping this up….

My #1 must-do for our return trip to Maui was snorkeling Molokini; have always heard fabulous stories. However, from reading current reviews, and a firsthand account from a friend who goes most every year, it sounds like it’s so crowded now that it really doesn’t outweigh all the great free from-shore snorkeling spots.

Anybody with recent experience or friends who’ve been lately with thoughts on this? It really looks to me like plenty of great free places in south Maui alone (like Malauka and Ulua).
Snorkeling Molokini was on my bucket list the last time I was in Maui. I went in December, so was able to do whale watching too. I did Molokini snorkeling with Sail Trilogy and really loved them. I actually did two snorkeling trips with them, Molokini and Kaanapali, and did snuba at Molokini. Sail Trilogy leaves about 7am for Molokini, so we were the 2nd boat there. It wasn’t that crowded and we snorkeled about 45 minutes before going to a 2nd snorkel spot. I did whale watching with PacWhale, but they also do snorkeling. I plan to use Sail Trilogy again this year when I go to Maui to snorkel Lanai and whale watch.
 

abdgeek

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Oh yes, I’ve spent many hours on there plus every travel guide known to man! We’ve been to Maui once, but only for two days—Haleakala/upcountry and to Hana and back. I just like to get all the first-person feedback I can!
So far, I’ve been to Maui two times and I’m headed back for a third later this year. I always island hop when I go to Hawaii and combine a week on Oahu with a week on another island. The first visit, I stayed on the Kihei side and did things mainly on that side. Since I travel solo, I usually book tours to visit anywhere I don’t want to drive to or want to see the scenery (Mt. Haleakala, Road to Hana). I also did Iao Valley, Wailea, Lahaina, Maui Tropical Plantation, Old Lahaina Luau, Drums of the Pacific Luau, Kepaniwai Park, etc. on my own. For my last and upcoming visit I’ve stayed on Kaanapali side, which I think I prefer just for proximity to everything on that side without having to drive one hour to get to it. So far, Maui is my favorite island; however, I do plan to return to the Big Island and visit Kaui and Lanai.
 

corgi_monster

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 10, 2007
If you like scenic drives, check out the road that goes up north by Kapalua and back down the east side of the island to Wailuku. It's literally the road less traveled. There aren't a lot of tourists (or even locals) who take this route so you're not stuck in that awful road-to-Hana traffic. There are a couple of little local shops (don't miss the banana bread stand) and areas to pull off and enjoy hiking/beach/nature. You can "drive" the entire route on Google maps to see if it's something that interests you.
 
  • Anna Chassereau

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    Following! Spending 10 nights at Aulani in July 2022...then heading to Maui for 4 or 5 nights. The only thing I’ve figured out so far for our Maui portion of the trip is I definitely want to book the Hyatt on Kanaapali when our dates become available. Looking for advice on the best things to do with a 10 year old in tow!
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    Following! Spending 10 nights at Aulani in July 2022...then heading to Maui for 4 or 5 nights. The only thing I’ve figured out so far for our Maui portion of the trip is I definitely want to book the Hyatt on Kanaapali when our dates become available. Looking for advice on the best things to do with a 10 year old in tow!
    Well idk if a 10YO would be interested, but there is a guy In Ka’anapali who does glass-blowing sessions and I’m SO tempted to go do it!! I feel like we need to at least spend one day there anyway.
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    If you like scenic drives, check out the road that goes up north by Kapalua and back down the east side of the island to Wailuku. It's literally the road less traveled. There aren't a lot of tourists (or even locals) who take this route so you're not stuck in that awful road-to-Hana traffic. There are a couple of little local shops (don't miss the banana bread stand) and areas to pull off and enjoy hiking/beach/nature. You can "drive" the entire route on Google maps to see if it's something that interests you.
    Well…we’ve already decided to do the awful road to Hana traffic again 🤣 We’re going to stay there a couple of nights, though, so we can spend more time doing some favorites over there (Wai’anapanapa, Hamoa beaches) plus the things we missed (Pipiwai trails and pools at O’heo). The bamboo forest sounds soooo cool but man it’s gonna be tough to convince DH to hike that far. Why can’t there be a taco truck AT the falls as a reward??!? LOl
     

    alohamom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 31, 2003
    Following! Spending 10 nights at Aulani in July 2022...then heading to Maui for 4 or 5 nights. The only thing I’ve figured out so far for our Maui portion of the trip is I definitely want to book the Hyatt on Kanaapali when our dates become available. Looking for advice on the best things to do with a 10 year old in tow!
    We stayed there about 12 years ago and my kids still talk about the pool. We have been to many resorts throughout the islands, the most with great pools including Aulani a few times but that one Hyatt pool is the one they talk about. There is a "secret" second cave by the grotto pool bar. You can swim up and under into it, it is so cool!
     
  • Anna Chassereau

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    We stayed there about 12 years ago and my kids still talk about the pool. We have been to many resorts throughout the islands, the most with great pools including Aulani a few times but that one Hyatt pool is the one they talk about. There is a "secret" second cave by the grotto pool bar. You can swim up and under into it, it is so cool!
    Oh wow that’s awesome!!! Funny the pool is actually one of the major selling points for us! It looks amazing and I love the swim up bar in the cave/grotto!! That’s so great glad to hear your kids loved it so much and I hope my son will feel the same! It’s pricey but looks worth it:)
     

    Anna Chassereau

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 9, 2016
    Well idk if a 10YO would be interested, but there is a guy In Ka’anapali who does glass-blowing sessions and I’m SO tempted to go do it!! I feel like we need to at least spend one day there anyway.
    Oh that sounds neat!!! I will definitely check that out thank you for the suggestion!:)
     

    jerseygal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2008
    We stayed there about 12 years ago and my kids still talk about the pool. We have been to many resorts throughout the islands, the most with great pools including Aulani a few times but that one Hyatt pool is the one they talk about. There is a "secret" second cave by the grotto pool bar. You can swim up and under into it, it is so cool!
    We will be doing Aulani for 7 nights, awhile from now, hopefully May of 2023😊Followed by Maui fir about 3 or 4 nights..That Hyatt sounds amazing! 👍😊
     

    RamblingMad

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 29, 2019
    The temperatures vary a lot across this island.

    What I do recommend is the food trucks. Lots of good food trucks on this island. It’s also a more high end island. I’d take a boat to the Oracle guy’s island while here. It’s a great little trip. Staying there, however, is not cheap.
     

    FoodieFriend

    DisneyFan
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2015
    As you can tell from my user name, I'm all about the food so any info I have about Maui is mostly food advice. I'm an Oahu resident that visits Maui every so many years, but my mom & sister go annually. PP mentioned food trucks so here's a few that we visit: Ogo, Thai Mee Up, Maui Fresh Streatery, Peace Love Shave Ice, Gus Hawaiian Shave Ice. Restaurants: Pita Paradise, 808 Deli, Humble Market Kitchin, Poi By the Pound, Tin Roof Maui, Paia Fish Market, Cafe O'Lei, Leoda's, Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill. Favorite snacks/take home goodies: Tasaka Guri Guri, Stillwell's Bakery (cream horns!!), Hula Cookies & Ice Cream, Maui Pie, Maui Bread, Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui Specialty Chocolates, Sweet Paradise Chocolatier.
    I also feel that Maui Ocean Center is the best aquarium in the state.
    We also enjoy the Maui Swap Meet on Saturdays that is scheduled to restart on June 12, per their FB page. Lots of vendors featuring locally made products.
    We'll be there in July & hopefully have more info.
     

    cgattis

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2009
    As you can tell from my user name, I'm all about the food so any info I have about Maui is mostly food advice. I'm an Oahu resident that visits Maui every so many years, but my mom & sister go annually. PP mentioned food trucks so here's a few that we visit: Ogo, Thai Mee Up, Maui Fresh Streatery, Peace Love Shave Ice, Gus Hawaiian Shave Ice. Restaurants: Pita Paradise, 808 Deli, Humble Market Kitchin, Poi By the Pound, Tin Roof Maui, Paia Fish Market, Cafe O'Lei, Leoda's, Ulupalakua Ranch Store & Grill. Favorite snacks/take home goodies: Tasaka Guri Guri, Stillwell's Bakery (cream horns!!), Hula Cookies & Ice Cream, Maui Pie, Maui Bread, Surfing Goat Dairy, Maui Specialty Chocolates, Sweet Paradise Chocolatier.
    I also feel that Maui Ocean Center is the best aquarium in the state.
    We also enjoy the Maui Swap Meet on Saturdays that is scheduled to restart on June 12, per their FB page. Lots of vendors featuring locally made products.
    We'll be there in July & hopefully have more info.
    Annnnd now I’m starving!! 🤣

    Has Tin Roof made it through covid?? I found their website when thinking about plans for our arrival night and it sounded awesome!! But for some reason I thought I’d read they closed? Hopefully that was temporary? We did Ukupalakua Ranch last time because DH is a cattle farmer too; acid deer burger was superb. Kind of thought about just swinging by the store this time but maybe eating at Bullys Burgers instead. Should we rethink that? Glad to hear Humble Market Kitchin made the list; it’s in the plan too! I’ve also heard great things about 808 deli.

    What do you think about any of these: Pint and Cork, Maui Brewing (although it won’t be my beloved Kona Brewing, I know 😕), Miso Phat Sushi? What’s your fave in Paia (casual—not Mama’s)? And what about Hana?

    Thanks for the info!! We love to eat too!!
     

    kungaloosh22

    "It all feels real because it is."
    Joined
    May 25, 2008
    Well…we’ve already decided to do the awful road to Hana traffic again 🤣 We’re going to stay there a couple of nights, though, so we can spend more time doing some favorites over there (Wai’anapanapa, Hamoa beaches) plus the things we missed (Pipiwai trails and pools at O’heo). The bamboo forest sounds soooo cool but man it’s gonna be tough to convince DH to hike that far. Why can’t there be a taco truck AT the falls as a reward??!? LOl
    Definitely no taco truck. :rotfl2:

    I hope you can convince him to go. Pipiwai is my favorite hike anywhere!
     

    jerseygal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 1, 2008
    After reading these threads, getting the “bug” to return to Aulani after 7 years.. will celebrate our “40th” in ‘23! 🥰it’s in July but will travel in mid May, hopefully less crowded before kiddies get out of school! Looking at combining with Maui Sheraton Kaanapoli Beach, looks really nice😎
     

    BigTex71

    DIS Dad #536...... Fort Worth, Texas
    Joined
    Jun 16, 2009
    We did an Aulani/Oahu and Maui trip in 2019 (Trip Report in my signature.) I did TONS of research before we went and it turned out to be our best family vacation yet! SO we are planning on going back in the summer of 2022 (like you.)
    This time we will fly to Maui first, so we can do the sunrise from Haleakala (our first full day) without too much strain because of the time difference. Makena Beach down in South Maui (Wailea area) is awesome, as is the Wailea Beach Resort by Marriott - that is where we will be staying (already booked our room.) The Wailea area is VERY similar to the Ko Olina area on Oahu where Aulani is. Upscale and beautifully manicured areas.
    I am starting up my further research for that trip - so I will be following this thread for ideas.
     


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