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Recent news

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October 2022

John Alpine,  

Back for a whole month. We try to time our long visits with "low season" if there is such a thing today for Maui. It is also that time of year were we take stock of the unit and replace everything that needs to be replaced: starting with the washer and dryer.  It is so important for our guests to have working everything, and this means replacing appliances as soon as they show signs of trouble.  Our trusty Maytag washer gave out so we bought a completely new  pair extra large capacity.  We also replaced ALL the pots and pans as they were getting scratched up, with high end Calphalon set. The kitchen knife set, a new toaster, all new plates and dinnerware.  We upgraded the internet router and upgraded our service to 500 m/s, as we have all grown so dependent on fast internet.  Every visit I also replace all our water and air conditioning filters. Maui water is excellent but we want to take that extra step for our guests with a 3 stage filter and reverse osmosis system so that no one needs to buy bottled water when here.  Even the ice maker filter as what good is filtered water if you add unfiltered ice!  
August 2022

John Alpine,  

Well Maui is definitely back in business.  Nearly all Covid restrictions have been lifted, restaurants are serving at full capacity and tours and events are all back in full swing. Like the mainland there are still issues with supply shortages of some items and labor shortages that restrict hours, but otherwise its pretty much business as usual. It is also very busy. There are long lines at the airport so if you don't have TSA-PreCheck then plan on going very early on your return, especially if it's in the afternoon. 

We try to get back to Maui at least 4 times a year. Often in the "off season" (though it's debatable that there is an off season anymore in Hawaii). Some of our time is just to enjoy Maui, join our friends there, while other times it's projects. With every visit we try to take in one or more activities, trips or restaurants that we never tried before.  This trip was short (9 days) but we did manage to pack a few things in.  I am a private pilot so some of my time is spent flying around the Islands. This trip I flew into Molokai's main airport, and took a longer trip over to the big Island to land at Hilo. Compared to mainland flying it is very light traffic can be mind boggling beautiful. If you're not a pilot, Island hoping is still a lot of fun and super easy from the condo. Right down the road is Kapalua airport where you can catch a short flight to any neighbor Island on Hawaii's own Mokulele airlines.   For restaurants we had dinner at a new Kaanapali restaurant called HuiHui. This is a beautiful open air restaurant right on the beach (behind the Kaanapali Beach Hotel), parking is at the hotel and free in the self parking garage with validation. It has live music, every seat has a ocean view, and the food, while a bit exotic, is delicious.

Outside of gaining weight we also did our usual deep clean - new mattress covers, new rugs and bath mats, some new kitchen gadgets (like a copper grill). We also replaced and dressed up the second lanai with new furniture. For the first time we also tried renting our car from a local small car company, Go Rent A Car Maui  ( . They rent gently used or older cars at a significantly lower rate than the major companies and give discounts for longer stays. We loved it. You do everything on line and pickup/drop off the car right at the airport general parking. 
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May 2021

John Alpine,  back on the Island
So much has changed in one year. From total shutdown to absolutely booming Island. Nearly every business that survived (unfortunately not all did)  is back open. In May restaurants and events were still seating restricted, so book as early as possible, they fill up fast.  Also the Island went from 18,000 rental cars in dirt lots to a massive shortage. Just checking Budget and Hertz the other day, only a few expensive cars available this December!  And all cars are much more expensive this year.  You may want to check out the new shuttle service from Kahului to Kaanapali, then try HoloHolo the local rideshare company to get to the Sands and skip this expensive extra.  There are guided tours everywhere, and as places like Hana are crazy busy, taking a small tour bus with a local (many are native Hawaiian) driver is by far the best way to go. If you do need to rent, take a look at the local Kimo's. Both late model and some older cars (discounted) at half the cost of the chains. Recently they added things like pre-stocking your car (which is left for you in the parking garage) with rental chairs, umbrellas, all sorts of cool stuff.   We do have a few week left this year, so check out the availability calendar (link on the home page) but most openings are going to be in 2022.  
As for the Condo, this trip was mostly touch up and restock. Of course we did the usual super cleaning but also restocked paper goods, laundry supplies, all the stuff you would have at your home.  And if your wondering what the beautiful building on the right is, its called Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center near Makawao. A fantastic example of architecture during the plantation era in Maui, once home to the famous Baldwin family.   Hoping to see you soon!
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November 2020
John Alpine,  Maui Reopening, condo updates

Starting October, Maui lifted a mandatory 14 day quarantine for travelers that have a COVID-19 negative test result 72 hours prior to departure. 

I just returned from the Island last week and saw many businesses and restaurants reopen, especially on the west side. Hula Grill, Lelani's, Pacific O's, Fleetwoods, Kimo's, Monkeypod... with NO CROWDS even with the half the tables!  More opening daily, even Luaus are restarting.  Now is a unique time to come to the Island.

In the meantime we have used this time for another set of extensive upgrades, new ceiling, painting, bar area, in addition to the new AC and extensive renovations from last year.

Note we will be providing the highest standard of cleanliness, spacing between guests, and our exceptional responsiveness. Our property is on Island managed by Whaler's Property Management that is now fully versed in the most recent advances in property safety and sanitation. 

May 2020
John Alpine,  what a Pandemic can do to a short trip!
Well, that was unexpected...   We thought we would do a short trip to take advantage of Spring break and get some work done starting in late Feb before any crazy hit. We had heard rumors of a virus overseas but thought, hey we will be in then right out again. Wrong!   We did get a completely new high efficiency A/C installed, but by that time, the epidemic in Italy and China was now in the US and flights were being canceled to/from Hawaii, including ours. Then the stay at home order came and since I can work remotely from anywhere, we decided to ride it out.  50 days later we found a flight out (via Honolulu, San Francisco then Denver).  What did we do for 50 days with everything closed and a stay at home order (pool and restaurant closed)? Well I paddle board, we all would snorkel, surfing was allowed so was swimming in the ocean. We have great tans.  But we also spent the time cleaning about everything (even the tile grout). The place has never been so clean.  We also restocked everything just in case the next guest came before all stores reopened. There is toilet paper, detergent, paper towels, etc.  We also laundried everything, brought in new towels, had the carpets and couch steamed. 
As we left, Maui reported its first consecutive days with no new cases of COVID. It had reopened beaches for exercise, the golf and tennis courts, some retail. We don't know when it will lift the 14 day quarantine still and the prohibition on short term rentals, but will post as soon as we know. What we do know is that if you are one of the early visitors, you will see a transformed Maui. Fewer people at first, low cost flights and empty airports, pristine beaches, no traffic or crowds. You will also be greatly appreciated as this pandemic has hit Hawaii economically harder than other states.   Oh - also - as flight instruction was still approved, I took advantage of a nearly empty airspace and no traffic at OGG and did my first private pilot solo with Fly Maui!  That's me smiling in the cockpit.  Aloha for now, hope to to hear from you when you and Maui are ready to meet again!  
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September 2019
John Alpine, Another day in Paradise
Spent a wonderful week back on the Island. Had a chance to meet our new cleaning crew. What a great team. The unit was so immaculate I could spend my cleaning time on the real obscure areas, under things, over things, inside things... 
Had enough time for visit the Baldwin House in Lahaina. Ever since we started visiting Maui we recognized the importance Lahaina had in Hawaii's history and the role the early missionaries played, so are members of the Lahaina Restoration Foundation to help preserve this history.  If you have a chance make sure to visit the museum and grounds. On Friday nights they hold candlelight tours, where you have a feeling of evening life before electricity.  For someone that has been on the Island as long as we have, finally took my snorkeling gear to nearby Honolua Bay.  If you haven't been, it's worth the 10 minute drive from the Condo. There is a very pretty walk through a beautiful canopied park (sacred to native Hawaiians) that opens to small calm bay.  A bit rocky shore, so bring water shoes, then swim out a hundred yards or so to the right of the bay for beautiful reef with incredible variety of reef species.  Rated as one of the top snorkeling spots on Maui (parking limited, go early, no facilities at the beach but port-a-potty and a great food truck when you park.)
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February 2019
John Alpine, Winter in Hawaii
I read Hawaii news everyday, even when on the mainland. One source of constant amusement is when the weather forcast calls for "Wintery conditions" - which in Hawaii means 70 degrees... burr as I sit in my hotel in Chicago at -20F.  Say, all new appliances have come in!  Only took 4 months from the time we ordered them, but now your home in the Islands has all new top of the line Samsung, oven, microwave, fridge, and dishwasher. Combined with the new washer and dryer, the unit is way over the top in the appliances department.  Its been some wild weather on the Island but compared to Chicago... Well book now, the whales (there here!) cant be wrong on where to spend the winter.
November 2018
John Alpine, Fall in Hawaii
Incredible rainbow right out the window.  The brief mauka showers in the Fall create incredible rainbows. This one seem to start just feet in front of us. Kīlauea has gone quite, in fact its gone so quite that there is no smoke coming out of any vent, which means no more vog. Combined with no more sugar cane burns, the air is at its best.  Enjoying the beach and upcountry and mild fall weather (high 70's low 80s). But also doing the big annual upgrades. This time, all new top of the line stainless steel appliances, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, and stove/range.  New music CD stereo, new rugs, all new pillows and sheets, more towels and  beach chairs.  Mahalo to all our past and future guests for their patronage. For those looking at 2019 - book soon - the whales are coming! 
May 2018
John Alpine, Getting to be summer
Unless you live beyond the Internet, everyone has heard of the eruptions on the Big Island. This is truly a once in a thousand year event. Eruption of the magnitude we see at Kilauea are very rare and for at least multiple thousands of years only on the Big Island.  Though distant enough to pose no danger anywhere other than right in the small Pahoa area on windward side of Hawaii, the "vog", a combination of fog and volcanic gas can be seen on Maui.  Not considered dangerous except right at the source, it can nevertheless cause some eye irritation. It's very rare that you can even see vog from Kahana. In other words there is no reason to worry about the volcano for anyone wanting to  visit the Islands.  The fact that some vacationers have been scare off only means less crowds and better deals for those still traveling. 
February 2018
John Alpine,  Winter
Well its been one raining storming season.  Record rainfall around all the Islands, though if you had a chance to stay dry on the Island at all it was West Maui.  Luckily its predicted to start drying up and return to a more normal pattern.  We did get some shore erosion (an issue for all Hawaii) on the North side of the beach, however due to some southernly swells the beach grew a bit on the South side beaches.  The condo associations in Kahana bay have formed a beach erosion amelioration group and is working on a long term beach protection and replenishment plan with the state and county. We support them in any way we can.   
Oct-Dec 2017
John Alpine,  Winter
My sister and I found a  rare open week in October so grabbed some tickets and headed out.  October and September then right after November are the famous "low seasons" for Hawaii.  You get cheaper everything if you can find travel time during these periods, airfares, restaurants, luaus, excursions.  We got a great deal on a kayak guided snorkeling trip down in Wailea where you can kayak out to a reef area only accessible by kayak - incredible turtles and reef life.  Of course also did our usual "to do" upgrades. This time, new high efficiency fans, more makeover of the second lanai, deep cleaning the carpets, all the appliances. I also took my very first professional golf lesson. Again low season is a deal - joined a "group" lesson in Kapalua but was the only person in the group so got a half a day personal lesson for the price of a group one. 
June 1 2017
John Alpine,  spring to summer
This last year saw record numbers for Maui visitors and the first time significant numbers of visitors from Japan and China. Hale Honu has been booked almost continuously this year, and we are so happy so many guests are returning quests! We love you guys!  We continue to add improvements to the unit, this time, brand new extra large capacity washer and dryer. The washer is the largest on the market 5.1 cf - as we often host large groups and families.  
We were also happy to see the owners of the RCI timeshare units at the Sands start to upgrade all their units. Occasionally our guests need more than one unit so book ours and one of the RCIs. Before, they were often disappointed with the state of the timeshare units, but the models we saw were just fantastic, tastefully updated and super comfortable. 
Nov 25 2016
John Alpine,  Thanksgiving in Maui - a rare treat for us
While we usually leave Thanksgiving open for guests, this year we decided to spend two weeks here ourselves. 
While certainly warmer than anywhere else in mainland, its cooler than the summer with more regular trade winds that also lower humidity.  While the Thanksgiving week itself is high season, the weeks following up to December are usually the least crowded of the year. We often have specials in these months so if you have the time off you will find flights cheaper, local discounts, cooler weather and less crowds.  If you have little one's don't forget the Ambassadors of the Pacific programs at the Ritz Carlton just up the road in Kapalua. These kids programs open to everyone and are so fun and surprisingly not too expensive.  At the same time my sister who is a life long golf nut signed up for morning tune up lesson at the Kapalua plantation course.  She claims that this is one of the most beautiful courses she ever played but also one of the most challenging (and expensive), however as she is the lone golfer in the crowd she has learned to look for someone selling their spot last minute on craigslist Maui and usually finds a great deal.   Tomorrow we are off to Pa'ia and upcountry just to see the beautiful and differently different side of the island.  One more update - we've just replaced our non functioning reverse osmosis multi stage water filter with the best in class unit - no more bottled water needed, purest water possible and no plastic used. 
April 2016
We finally found a week to get back to the Island. While the visit was short we managed to get a lot done. We had a super deep cleaning done, did extensive updating of our second lanai (new chair pads, removed some old plants, cleaned to the hilt!)  Updated second bath shower with spa shower heads, and replaced both the aging toilets with modern top of the line ADA hight ones.  We e-cyled the last of the older CRT type TVs and added the final and fourth HD LED/wireless units. This one I hooked into an Apple TV so if you bring your iPad you can now watch it on the new 40". I also replaced all the cordless phones and fixed a bunch of what evers including our wireless...   
We spotted a few of the departing whales, saw dozens of turtles, paddled boarded and had some fun up up country. 
If you're thinking of booking in Winter, do it way in advance if possible. The large units like ours go fast as this is the time of year families like to get together. 
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