Hana Highlights

Where to stay and what to do in the eastern Maui town

By: By Liz Brown

Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa hotel staff // © 2010 Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa

Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa hotel staff // © 2010 Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa

For clients ready to branch out beyond the popular resort areas of Maui, the remote and rural eastern town of Hana offers a low-key lush contrast. Driving the legendary, winding Road to Hana is a popular day trip and worthwhile adventure in itself, but the friendly, authentic Hawaiian town at the end of the road warrants at least a couple of days on a well-rounded Maui itinerary.

In and around Hana, clients can surf, lounge on beautiful beaches, hike through rainforests to waterfalls, kayak and snorkel, or soothe the inner sybarite with traditional Hawaiian spa treatments. Since many families have remained here for generations, opportunities abound for exploring the historic town’s rich culture through song, dance and craft.

Here is a sampling of the options for clients ready to discover Hana.

Hotel Hana-Maui and Honua Spa
The property’s spacious Sea Ranch Cottages feature tasteful plantation-inspired decor and Pacific views. Most also boast lanais with hot tubs, among other amenities, making this an idyllic spot to start and end the day, gazing out to sea or up at the stars. The hotel invites guests to take part in free activities — lei-making, hula and ukulele lessons and more — taught by friendly locals happy to share a taste of their cultural heritage through song, dance and craft. Ukuleles are also available to borrow for those who want to hone their skills or serenade a hula-dancing partner. Clients seeking additional inspiration and entertainment will find it, along with incomparable mai tais, at the hotel’s open-air Paniolo Lounge, where talented local musicians and hula dancers regularly perform. A decadent spa adds to the allure. Horseback riding and other off-site activities can be arranged by the hotel’s gracious staff.
Commission: 10 percent

Luana Spa Retreat
This unique and tiny spa in the heart of Hana offers top-notch services, including traditional Hawaiian lomilomi massage and an impressive array of body and skin-care treatments in a secluded, intimate setting on a hill overlooking Hana Bay. Guests can opt to receive treatments in a cozy rainforest yurt or a traditional thatch-roofed outdoor hale (hut) overlooking the bay, an idyllic setting for a couples’ massage. A second charming yurt on the property is available to book for overnight stays.

Hana Bay Kayaks
Hana Bay Kayaks offers three-hour Kayak and Snorkel Reef Watches suitable for even first-time paddlers or snorkelers. Participants paddle easy-to-use kayaks to a legendary cove, then snorkel over a reef with abundant coral and tropical fish.
Commission: 5 percent

Hike Maui
This award-winning company offers hiking tours with knowledgeable, naturalist guides throughout Maui, including private coastal-hike tours in Hana. Clients explore lava tubes, beaches and more while taking in dramatic scenery and learning about the region’s fascinating flora and fauna. The full-day Hana Waterfall and Rainforest hike is a great day trip for guests staying on Maui’s west side.
Commission: 20 percent

Hana Cultural Center and Museum
Clients can explore the history of Hawaii’s most isolated and traditional town through ancient artifacts, photos, the old Hana courthouse and more at this small museum.

Budget Rent a Car
Clients should allow a few hours to drive from Kahului to Hana along the famously scenic Road to Hana, taking time to stop at colorful fruit and snack stands, waterfalls, scenic viewpoints and other noteworthy sites that most area maps highlight. The many hairpin turns and single-lane bridges require plenty of time, a sense of adventure and a trusty vehicle.
Commission: 20 percent

Maui Visitors Bureau