Luxury Vacations: Visiting Maui with your loved one? Well, you’ve arrived in more ways than one. Maui offers a wealth of romantic options — and just being on the island is romantic in and of itself. However, we, as a happily married couple, have uncovered and discovered some of the most lovely and loving ways to make your time on Maui even more special and memorable. Do the following religiously, and you will create magical memories. After all, Maui is one of The Magic Isles! A trip there – well, it’s what most people pray for.
1). Thou shalt dine a deux. For the ultimate romantic dinner, ask for table #14 at Nick’s Fishmarket, where you will sit outside, by the tiki torches, near the palm trees, with views of the pool, at an elegant table-for-two that is front and center to the stars above. This is one of the loveliest tables in the entire restaurant, and nothing beats it. That is, except the cuisine, which is some of the best we’ve ever eaten on Maui. The opakapaka (snapper) is the signature dish, and save room for the homemade desserts such as bananas Foster and homemade apple pie, which are ideal for sharing.
Nick’s ties with Sarento’s on the Beach; ask for table #22, just steps from the sand, where you can sit front-row-and-center and watch the sunset together as you make a magical memory. Have the delicious gazpacho with a hint of basil oil, and save room for the signature chocolate profiteroles with Tahitian vanilla-bean gelato — it’s a little slice of la dolce vita in Hawaiian paradise. Another romantic-tastic option is to arrange a dinner-for-two at Kea Lani Resort, at their alfresco restaurant Ko that serves island-inspired cuisine. We dined in a private cabana, by the pool, under the stars, at what seemed like a wedding reception for just us two. ($175pp including wine). The chocolate-custard dessert is so decadent, after you eat it you’ll say, “Oh my God, it’s a revelation.”
To not do these three wonderful, romantic things – well, that would be a sin.
2). Thou shalt spa. The Spa Helani at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas offers a couples massage in a special treehouse suite ($130pp for 50 minutes). We rested on heated facial beds, and enjoyed the lomi-lomi strokes, which the masseuse applied using deliciously scented coconut lemongrass oil. But for even more bliss, consider the Kaanapali Couples Ritual, which includes a tandem massage followed by a soothing bath (in tropical smoothie scent or coconut lemongrass); a special scrub or a choice of one of four facials! (Starts at $300 per couple.) You can even upgrade your couples experience with a fresh tropical fruit plate and a split of Veuve Clicquot, for just $50 more.
3). Thou shalt be lazy. All the beaches in Hawaii are open to the public. So, no matter where you are staying, get yourself over to the superior slice of sand fronting the Sheraton Maui. Known locally as “Dig Me” Beach, this is a superb place to hold hands and snorkel together, where you’re sure to see plenty of fish and turtles. Also, nothing beats floating together on inflated tubes in the beautiful blue waters. Make sure to stay right there for sunset, and have a drink at the aptly named Cliff Dive Bar, where you can watch the Sheraton’s famed cliff diver head into the sea.
4). Thou shalt be active. We’ll tell you one thing — nothing’s sexier than riding a jet-ski together in the Pacific Ocean, when you go tandem on the same piece of equipment We felt like Ann-Margret and Elvis, sailing off to the sunset. Jet Ski Hawaii, located on a floating platform off the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa at Kaanapali Beach, offers this fantastic water experience, and we can’t recommend it enough! You’ll don lifevests, and get a quick crash course in operating your jet ski, and you’re off! (It’s probably best to do it in the morning, when the water is at its calmest.) But we did it in the afternoon, and if you can take some exciting motion in the ocean, this is for you. (Yes, we did capsize, but that just added to the fun). The cost is $94pp for the hour, with the second person priced at just $14. Seasonal, May 15-Dec. 15. (808) 667-2001.
5). Thou shalt enjoy your accommodations. The suites at the Fairmont Kea Lani are sensational – and roomy — but nothing beats its villas where scores of celebrities such as Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears have stayed. The one- and two-bedroom duplexes measuring up to 2,000 square feet feature stainless steel kitchen appliances; granite countertops; roomy bedrooms; walk-in-closets; lanais with plunge pool and grill; and all include free rental of a convertible, luxury car, jeep or minivan. The Kea Lani (which means “Heavenly White” in Hawaiian) is also home to a gorgeous beach, and one adult pool where you can soak up the sun in serenity. Holy Moses, they’re fantastic! Ladies, this is the place to wear your sexiest swimsuit. (P.S. The site is to especially beautiful that the Land’s End catalog shoots its photos here every year.)
6). Thou shalt love thy bed. At the Kapalua Villas, in addition to spectacular daytime vistas and over-the-top luxury, you’ll find superb slumber thanks to Simmons Beautyrest World Class Mattresses with Memory Foam Pillowtop. Gold Units have triple sheeted beds. The blankets are polar fleece to add extra warmth. Pillows are from Pacific Coast Feather Co., consisting of a feather/down blend of 75/25. The bed is topped off with a duvet cover and comforter insert, and king-size sham pillows and decorative pillows. (Pardon us, but y-a-w-n, we’re getting sleepy hearing about this).
7). Thou shalt steal stolen moments. We also suggest that you:
Sway together in a hammock in front of the Marriott on Kaanapali Beach
Hold hands and stroll down the Kaanapali Beachwalk
Kiss under the Maui stars at night
Watch for rainbows — Maui is famous for them!
Share a Mai Tai as you watch the sunset
Take plenty of pictures of yourselves, in each other’s arms
Pick plumeria flowers together and inhale their gorgeous fragrance
8). Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s activities. Do yourselves a favor and book two of our favorite fun activities on Maui. The first is the “Tour of the Stars” at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa. You know you’re in for a treat, when an astronomy tour of the stars features, not consolation prizes, but “constellation prizes”: Milky Way chocolate and Starburst candies! It’s that adorable little touch that lets you know you are in for something special. And you are. We have taken the rooftop Tour of the Stars at the Hyatt Regency Maui for many years, and we still learn something new every time we go. The roof is equipped with two Celestron telescopes, including its new $10,000 “The Edge” telescope that enlarges the stars up to 840 times bigger. You will see the universe above — and then thank it — for bringing you both together.
Another special excursion: stealing a kiss from each other as you parasail in the air together. UFO Parasail offers this wonderful excursion in the sky; you get an 800-foot ride for just $75pp, and it’s 12 minutes of unforgettable fun (especially when your legs wind up in the drink).
9). Thou shalt create surprises. Over at the Honua Kai Resort & Spa, concierge Kimmy Carter told us all about the romantic options that she and her staff have performed – everything from setting up proposals, to creating private helicopter rides-for-two, to arranging a private dinner-for-two on the beach. “We can also make arrangements for a massage in your room; rose petals in your guest room; and a special bath,” she said. Let your imagination get creative, and ask Ms. Carter to make your Hawaii dreams come true for you and your honey.
10). Honor thy feelings. Want to be reminded of why you chose – and married — your partner in the first place? Have a vow renewal ceremony. And nothing beats having one on a beautiful beach in Maui, with a minister who will give you blessings of aloha. Talk to the concierges at most any Maui resort, or the wedding coordinator, who can make all the arrangements for a special vow renewal. We actually did this, on Kaanapali Beach in Maui, for our one-year wedding anniversary; it was just as exciting and special as the day we actually got hitched. Our minister compared marriage to the ocean — which can be calm and still, or full of crashing waves. Whatever you do, he said, make sure to ride the storms – and we do — allowing for plenty of visits back to Maui, of course. To us, getting back to Maui is always a delightful miracle that we look forward to.
Which brings us to the 11th, and frequently forgotten commandment: Thou shalt be on your best behavior – before, during and after your next Maui trip together!
Debbi and Bill Kickham married in Hawaii 10 years ago, and have had four vow-renewal ceremonies all over the world.
Full Disclosure: Debbie and Bill Kickham were guests at some of the Maui hotels mentioned above, but all views expressed are entirely their own.