The Travaasa Hana, on Maui, is switching to a new pricing structure. // © 2011 Travaasa Hana
Maui Resorts Earn Accolades Aplenty
When it comes to destination resorts, Maui has a split personality. Vacation meccas unto themselves, these master-planned communities greet clients with their own distinctive ambience, activities and amenities, while remaining competitive through renovations and special events. By staying in touch with the unique selling points of each oasis, travel agents can better match their clients to island accommodations.
Here's a heads-up on some of the headlines coming out of Maui's major visitor hubs.
Travaasa Transforms the Hana Experience
One of the biggest news stories comes from Maui's most isolated resort, set on 69 acres on the east coast. Starting in June 2011, the venerable Hotel Hana-Maui -- renamed Travaasa Hana -- is switching to a new pricing concept that includes accommodations, three meals daily, activities and a spa treatment.
Under new ownership and management, the 70-room hotel has upgraded its guestrooms, which include larger Sea Ranch Cottages as well as bungalow-style garden suites. The spa experience has been retooled, and the restaurant menu now focuses on locally sourced organic cuisine. Guests can take up to seven free daily programs, from cooking classes to yoga on the beach.
Nightly rates for Travaasa Hana start at $475 per person.Kapalua Indulges and Educates
Located in northwest Maui, Kapalua provides a taste of luxury amid Cook pines and acres of pineapple. There, Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is launching a new poolside program in June called the Cabana Experience. Clients can rent a private indoor/outdoor hangout from one of three levels of service, each with its own amenities.
Kapalua Villas has introduced a free lecture series where clients learn about Hawaii's marine life. Held on the first Monday of each month, Ke Kani O Ke Kai (Voices of the Sea) is led by local marine biologist Amy Reiri, who shares her vast knowledge and experience on the ocean.
Coming soon to Kapalua is the 30th annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival. Running June 9-12, the festival assembles celebrated winemakers, master sommeliers, chefs and industry insiders for wine tastings, cooking demonstrations and gala functions.Magic and Massage at Kaanapali
Kaanapali Resort, with its white-sand beach and variety of accommodations, is a perennial favorite of visitors. Currently, its golf courses are running new room-and-golf packages, and plans call for a makeover of the resort's teaching center beginning in late 2011.
At Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Kupanaha Magic Show Dinner Theater marked its 2,500th performance with a new production called "Seven Magicians Came to Hawaii and One Stayed." It features illusions from seven of the world's great magicians who visited Hawaii in the last century.
Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort has launched a new treatment menu focusing on core Hawaiian values of unity, peace, strength and purity. Clients can try such options as a volcanic detox wrap -- created with mineral-rich volcanic clay and noni -- and a Maui sugar body polish blending a variety of island ingredients.
Wailea: Films and Wellness
To the south, Wailea Resort makes its own statement with sun-drenched beaches and manicured opulence. It's getting ready to host the Maui Film Festival from June 15-19, now in its 12th year of screenings, celebrity appearances and culinary events.
Grand Wailea recently wrapped up a renovation of its Spa Grande. On the 20th of each month, the resort hosts a free fair in the spa's lobby, with beauty demonstrations, discounted spa products and a chance to win prizes.
Four Seasons Resort Maui is presenting what it calls Unforgettable Events, such as a fantasy tennis camp headlined by three greats -- Tom Gullikson, Lindsay Davenport and Corina Morariu (Nov. 16-20). Its new wellness series features experts in physical and spiritual practices, including Pilates guru Mari Winsor (Aug. 17-19 and Nov. 23-25). Renovations at Makena
Venturing farther south leads to Makena. There, Destination Resorts Hawaii is offering appetizing grocery discounts for guests of its vacation suites and villas.
Makena Beach and Golf Resort has launched a two-year, multimillion-dollar revitalization covering all facilities and amenities. Phase one of its rooms beautification project is already under way, with work scheduled through April 2012.
For active travelers, Makena Golf Course and Makena Tennis Club have been newly restored. Currently under construction is the 2,500-square-foot Makena Fitness Center, which is nearly triple the size of the present facility. It will be completed by fall 2011. Makena guests will soon enjoy a colorful new look at the Makena pool complex and a new beach activity program as well.