Posts Tagged ‘Maui’

Things to See and Do in Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Friday March 29, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 5 Comments

"Hana waterfalls"

Look for waterfalls in Hana, Maui.

Are you visiting Hāna for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Hāna on Maui, Hawaii’s eastern shore.


Visitors from out of town want to see Maui’s Seven Sacred Pools, but a hike through the bamboo forest is a more local, authentic experience. Afterall, Hāna is best known for its Black Sand Beach and bamboo forests.

If this is a romantic trip to Hawaii, I recommend staying in a Sea Ranch Cottage at Travaasa Hāna for kissing with an ocean view.


Are you traveling to Hāna with a pet?  The best place to walk the dog is Hāna Bay or Koki Beach. For those who don’t have the time to drive the road to Hana, why not fly to Hana in 20 minutes. Mokulele Airlines will take you from Kahului Airport to Hana for $59 one way. Check the website for details.


Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids to Maui, you’ll want to visit The Underground Lava Tubes.



"Macadamia Nut Pancakes"

Macadamia Nut Pancakes with bananas and bacon at Travaasa Hana Maui

Hawaiian food in Hāna, Maui


If you are looking for typical Hāna cuisine, I recommend visiting the local food stands outside of Hāna Town. Some of the fruit stands have honor boxes where you take what you like and leave the money in the box. Have you tried the apple bananas?


The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is The Ka`uiki Dining Room at Travaasa Hāna.


Looking for cheap food in Hāna? Go to the Hāna Fresh Market. For the best Thai restaurant, all the Hāna locals eat at Prawnee’s.


The Hāna Ranch Restaurant at Travaasa Hāna is the spot for late night dining on this part of the island. I recommend the bbq ribs and Macadamia Nut pie.


"Hana Hawaiian dancer"

Watch Hawaiian dancing in Hana, Maui

For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to the Ka`uiki Dining Room at Travaasa Hāna. Order a Mai Tai cocktail; it comes with a chunk of pineapple,  the little umbrella and plenty of rum. Every Sunday, Monday and Thursday night there is live Hawaiian music and hula dancing.


When you come to Hāna, get your picture taken at Waimoku Falls.  It’s a 2.5 mile hike through  the bamboo forest to Waimoku Falls.  Another great outdoor activity is going horseback riding along Hāna’s pristine coastline.

For the water lovers, take an ocean kayak and snorkel reef watch with Hana Bay Kayaks. Owner Kevin Coates takes out beginning paddlers, as well as non-swimmers (with flotation devices.)

I brought my underwater camera, but my camera skills don’t do this legendary cove justice.


Hana, Maui views

Travaasa Hāna offers great views and Fagan’s Cross (you can walk to the top) is the best place to watch or experience the sunrise.


If you are a museum lover, Hāna’s best historical museum is the Hāna Cultural Center.


The Hāna News will keep you posted on what’s happening in Hāna.


You can tell a lot about Hāna from visiting the Hāna Cultural Center.


In the spring you should attend The East Maui Taro Festival.  In the summer you should attend the Hāna Film Festival.


Did you know that Hāna is known for Cultural Events? Plan a visit to Hāna in the fall during the Aloha Week Festival.


"Hana horseback riding"

Go horseback riding on the coast with Travaasa Hana Riding Stables in Maui, Hawaii.

Come to Hāna for the Christmas Fun Fair in the winter or celebrate New Year’s Eve with fireworks that light up the Hawaiian sky.


Insider Tip: Check out Prawnee’s for Thai food. This is where local Hāna folks go for lunch.


Just outside of Hāna Town you can visit The Hāna Health Center and have lunch at Hāna Fresh Market.

What are your favorite things to do in Hāna ?

Photos and YouTube video by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau and Travaasa Hāna.

Related Post:

Things to See and Do in Maui, Hawaii

Things to See and Do in Paia and Makawao, Hawaii

Things to See and Do in Paia, Maui, Hawaii’s North Shore

Friday March 22, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 0 Comments

"Holy Rosary Church" Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Holy Rosary Roman Catholic Church, Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Are you visiting Maui for the first time? Below is a list of “Insider Tips” for things to see and do in Paia on Maui’s North Shore. Paia is a historic plantation town, best known for great food and boutique shopping in Maui’s upcountry.


It’s a sure bet that visitors to Maui, Hawaii want to see Haleakala, but I also recommend the Road to Hana for a more off the beaten path and authentic experience.


Take a yoga class in Makawao

"Lumeria Maui yoga"

Lumeria Maui, a wellness retreat in Makawao, offers drop in yoga classes.

When I want to escape the tourists, my favorite place to visit are the North shore beaches or take a yoga class at Lumeria in Makawao, Maui.


If this is a romantic trip, I recommend Haleakala at sunrise or sunset for kissing with a view.


If you happen to be traveling with four-legged friends, the best place to walk the dog is Keawekapu Beach.


Museums are wonderful, but if you are traveling with kids, you’ll want to visit The Maui Ocean Center.



"Cafe Des Amis crepe"

Cafe Des Amis crepes in Paia, Maui, Hawaii

Local food in Paia, Maui


If you are looking for local, up country Maui cuisine, I recommend Paia Fish Market or Flatbread Pizza. If you are looking for good quality, yet affordable food, I suggest you visit  Café Des Amis. My ham and Gruyere cheese crepe with a green salad was perfect for a light lunch.  Across the street from Cafe Des Amis is Mana Market; perfect for picnic items, soups, salads and home baked items like Macadamia Nut pie. Yum!


The best place to go for coffee & a breakfast treat is Grandma’s Coffee House for Hawaiian coffee, breakfast & pastries.  For an expensive, yet quality meal, go to Mama’s Fish House. While Charley’s is the spot for late night dining and live music in Paia, Maui.


"Mana Market Macadamia Nut Pie"

Insider Tip: Visit Mana Market in Paia, Maui for picnic supplies and Macadamia Nut pie.

Looking for a little exercise? Walk along the Waihe’e Ridge Trail or Olinda Forest Waihe’e Ridge has great views!


Looking for exciting night life? Go dancing at Casanova’s or Charley’s for live music.


The Maui Time will keep you posted on what’s happening in Maui.


If you are visiting Maui n the springtime you should attend Whale Day.  In the summer you’ll want to check out the Maui Film Festival.  Come to Wailea or Lahaina for whale watching in the winter.

"Aloha Cowboy"

Visit the cowboy town of Makawao in upcountry Maui.

Makawao, Maui’s cowboy town

Just outside of Paia you can visit the cowboy town of Makawao. Have lunch at the Market Fresh Bistro or go horseback riding at Thompson Ranch.  Makawao is the place to be during Fourth of July for horses and Paniolo (cowboy) rodeo events.


What are your favorite things to do in Paia or Makawao on the Hawaiian island of Maui?

Mahalo to Lumeria Maui for assistance with this post.  Photos and article by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.

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Travaasa Hana Resort Hotel Review, Maui, Hawaii

Friday March 15, 2013 at 5:05 AM | 4 Comments

Travaasa Hana sunrise

Sunrise over the Pacific Ocean at Travaasa Hana, Maui, Hawaii

Located at the end of the Road to Hāna, on Maui’s secluded eastern shore, Travaaasa Hāna was formerly the Hotel Hāna-Maui, originally opened in 1946 and a favorite of multiple generations. Blending nature with modern amenities, the four diamond, luxury property is divided into two sections, Garden Suites and Sea Ranch Cottages. Only the Sea Ranch side of the resort, including the infinity pool, is adults-only, requiring a key card entrance. The Garden side of the property is family friendly, with the activities center, pool, spa, and dining at this main part of the sprawling 66 acre Hawaiian resort.

Kōkua Travaasa Hāna

The Hawaiian word kōkua means giving to others for their benefit. During my visit to Travaasa Hāna I was surrounded by Hawaiian culture, from the local art displayed at the resort, to the hula dancers, ukulele players, paniola cowgirl and throw net fishermen.  Even the Hana residents driving me around in the golf cart introduced me to Hawaiian words and talked story during my stay. All of my employee encounters exemplified my understanding of kōkua – of giving to others.

Travaasa Hāna all inclusive or a la carte lodging options


"Travaasa Hana Infinity Pool"

Travaasa Hana Infinity pool in Maui, Hawaii

While the town of Hāna is small and relaxed, there is plenty of adventure to be experienced at Travaasa Hāna. From culinary, culture, fitness and spa/wellness options, all inclusive guests are offered yoga, Pilates, bicycles, lei making, hula lessons and horseback riding along Hāna’s coastal bluffs, as well as shuttle service to nearby Hāmoa Beach for ocean kayaking and snorkeling.


Travaasa Hāna, Maui features 70 cottages and suites, a wellness spa, locally-sourced dining and activities highlighting Hawaii’s culture. The property offers 47 plantation-style Sea Ranch Cottages and 23 low-rise bungalow Garden View Suites. All guestrooms feature organic linens and Hawaiian art.


"Travaasa Hana Sea Ranch Cottage"

Travaasa Hana Sea Ranch Cottage, Maui, Hawaii

Honua Travaasa Hāna

If you are looking to re-connect with nature during your stay in Maui, Travaasa Hāna is the ideal place between heaven and earth – don’t except to find radios, clocks or televisions in resort rooms. However, there is a big screen tv in the library, along with a computer, printer and strong wifi for those hoping to stay plugged in on vacation.

Sea Ranch Cottages feature high wood-beamed ceilings, but spotty internet access. At Travaasa Hāna, it’s all about the ocean views. All cottages include private lanais, many with private hot tubs.  Fyi, the minimum age requirement for Sea Ranch Cottage guests is 16-years-old.

My Sea Ranch Cottage, 409, had a fantastic ocean view and view of Alau Island. While the Sea Ranch Cottages are adult-only, two weeks out of the year in winter, spring and summer, Travaasa Hāna Sea Ranch Cottages turn family-friendly. While I was solo this trip, I would certainly return here with my family!

Travaasa Hana Macadamia Nut Pancakes"

Travaasa Hana Maui Macadamia Nut Pancakes w bananas & bacon

Travaasa Hāna dining

Needless to say, you will not go hungry while on vacation at Travaasa Hāna. One of the highlights for me; the Total Travaasa Package means that I don’t have to shop for food, cook or calculate tips when I am on vacation! Everything is included in the package, from spa treatments, to daily activities, to meals and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages.


The Ka‘uiki dining room is expensive, offering ocean-to-table cuisine and organic food, with the majority of the produce, fish and beef coming from Hāna and Maui. I was delighted to see that Executive Chef Barry Villiarimo, a Hāna native, uses local ingredients like taro, breadfruit, sweet potatoes and coconut milk in his cooking.


Hāna Ranch Restaurant, located across the street from Travaasa Hāna, offers fresh seafood, excellent ribs and killer Macadamia Nut Pie, among other items, at affordable prices. During my Tuesday night dinner it was “open mic” at Hāna Ranch – a wonderful experience with talented local musicians.


Travaasa Jacuzzi Kapueokahi Bay

Travassa Hana Maui lava rock Jacuzzi overlooking Kapueokahi Bay

Spa at Travaasa Hāna

The Spa at Travaasa Hāna, overlooking Hāna Bay and Ka‘uiki Hill, is an indoor/outdoor wellness center. With nine treatment rooms, the spa includes an outdoor lava rock whirlpool (with ocean view), indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, a private garden, steam room and cold plunge pool. I highly recommend the Lomi lomi massage!

Check in: 4:00 p.m. (Greeting includes a hot towel, fresh fruit juice and Kukui Nut lei) The Hawaiian Kukui tree has a spiritual meaning of hope, light and renewal; all qualities that I experienced during my Travaasa Hāna stay.

Check out: 12:00 p.m.

"Mokulele Airlines"

Mokulele Airlines Kahului Airport to Hāna, Maui, Hawaii

Insider tip

If you don’t have time to drive the scenic road from Kahului Airport (OGG) to Hāna, consider twice-daily flight service from Mokulele Airlines. The nine-seat Cessna Grand Caravan 208B offers spectacular views of Maui during the 20-minute flight. Ticket prices start at $59 each way or check with Travaasa Hāna for package deals.

For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow Travaasa Hāna on Twitter. Travaasa Hāna is a Preferred Boutique member hotel and AAA Four Diamond-awarded hotel.

If You Go:

Travaasa Hana (855)868-7282

5031 Hāna Highway
Hāna, Maui, HI 96713


Article written by, video and photos courtesy of  Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. I was a guest of Travaasa Hāna and Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.

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