Sands of Kahana Hale Honu
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!
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 (gorentacarmaui.com) . 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.
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!
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.