I am very excited to report back on the wonderful vacation I took with my family to Maui this October 2006.
We arrived at the Hyatt Hotel in Maui and were met with a traditional Lei Greeting. Amber and Jasmine were very excited. As we entered the hotel, we were transported into a beautiful atrium complete with lush flowers and tropical plants, parrots and even penguins. Definitely not your ordinary hotel lobby! We were then escorted to our quarters, where we had the most breathtaking ocean view. My husband and I had a suite, and the girls had an adjoining room with a king bed and a fold out couch. It was great to be able to get up in the morning and not worry about waking them. The room was quite pleasant, and they even included current magazines from golf to traveling, as well as cuisine magazines. I thought that was a nice touch. Even their bathroom bar soap has little balls on it for a massage feel.
They also have an excellent fitness room, open 24 hours, with TV's on all the cardiovascular machines. When you are on LA time, it was nice to be able to go workout at 5:00 in the morning!
Once we settled in, we quickly changed into our bathing suits and went down to an incredible swimming pool with waterfalls, caves to swim through, as well as a "swim-up" bar. At the other end of the cave is their children's pool area, complete with a little sand box, small water slide, water fountains spurting water out, and a shallow water area for little ones. There is also a wonderful, large slide that Amber loved going down, which I would not attempt! The pool staff was very friendly, and they will even inflate your own rafts for free which I thought was an excellent touch. (We went to the local ABC store and bought 2 rafts for $10.00 each which lasted us for the entire trip. )
The kids did Camp Hyatt one day and absolutely loved it. Since it was a small group, they fed the kids first, and then took them to the pool to play. They ended the day at camp with ice cream.
The food at the pool was very good and they even have a children's menu so the kids could get nuggets, hot dogs, and more at reasonable prices.
The Hyatt also has their own Luau called "Drums of the Pacific", and it's extraordinary. They start out by unearthing the freshly roasted pig from the imu. Next, they present an amazing show which tells a story using hula dancers and incorporates a fire exhibition. It was mesmerizing. There is an all-you-can eat buffet and an open bar included in your admission.
The lobby bar is actually an outdoor bar and they had a great guitarist performing that we really enjoyed.
I also had an amazing massage at the spa at the Hyatt. It was called the Lomi Lomi, which is a traditional Hawaiian massage using long, rhythmic, connected strokes. It was so amazing I was tempted to go back the next day but unfortunately did not have the time.
The hotel also has a laundry room so you can pack less and bring home more souvenirs.
While there are a lot of fun things to do on the Island (check out the files section under Hawaii and Maui), we were more into relaxing at the pool and taking it easy. We did, however, take the girls snorkeling at a place called "The Black Rock" which is in front of the Sheraton Hotel. The beach there was truly amazing and the snorkeling was unbelievable. The girls just wore their goggles and fins (as opposed to the snorkel gear) and really enjoyed seeing all the fish. I was surprised by how much we saw there.
This was one of the rare trips where I can say every night we had an amazing dinner. The first night we went to Leilani's which is located at Whalers Village. 808-661-4495. They start out by serving warm bread that was delicious. We also had an unusual appetizer that the waiter recommended which was artichoke heart fritters that was so light and tasty. The waiters were all very friendly and they have a kids menu.
The next night we went to David Paul's which is known as one of the best restaurants on the Island and was recommended to me by a number of Peachheaders. They are located in Lahina. 808-667-5117. http://www.lahainagrill.com/ They also have a kid's menu, with crayons so the kids were instantly entertained. The kid's menu has everything from hamburgers to corn dogs to pasta and meatballs, to mahi and shrimp. The kid's menu ranges from $8 - $15. I started out my meal with an amazing chocolate raspberry martini (you all know how much I love this drink). They brought warm bread with flavored butter (garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper) that was amazing. I had the sweet soy marinated seared ahi sashimi appetizer that was so light and tasty. Michael had the caesar salad which he really enjoyed. For my main course the waiter suggested the Hawaiian Keahole Lobster which was unbelievable. Michael, being the meat eater that he is, had the New York Steak which was cooked to perfection. The herbed gratin potatoes were truly amazing also. For desert we got the Sampler which had a variety of deserts to try. My favorite was the Vanilla Bean Créme Brulee. The restaurant is located in Lahina where all of the shops and art galleries are so we were able to walk around after our dinner which was very nice.
The next night we went to Roys Kahana Bar and Grill 808-669-6999 www.roysrestaurant.com . I loved this restaurant. First of all they have a pre-fix kids menu that was under $15.00 and started with a quesadilla, then carrots and celery, then the main course and then desert. They also have a coloring menu for the kids. The food was fantastic and I was very excited to learn they have restaurants all over. In fact, I am going to Las Vegas next week and am having dinner there! They start out with warm bread and soft butter, what a great combination. I then had the combination appetizer which was amazing. Tuna, filet mignon potstickers, and ribs. It was absolutely delicious. For dinner I couldn't choose between the salmon or the butterfish so I got a combo of both and they were both amazing. The butterfish was velvety and flavorful. And then, of course, for desert their world famous chocolate souflee that was unbelievable. The service was amazing. They were constantly filling the water glasses and they brought out a special desert for Amber and Jasmine's birthday.
The last night we went to Ruth Chris Steak House which is our favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. We got a table outside and everything was as great, however, I have to say the steaks are better in Los Angeles (they didn't come sizzling on the plates in Hawaii like they do in Los Angeles). The warm bread, the Caesar salad (with a great anchovy bite), the filet mignon always cooked to perfection, and of course their amazing potato dishes. We had the potatoes au gratin.
All in all, it was truly a wonderful vacation -- and I can't wait to return!