Maui
Overview

Where can you have a Tesla chauffeur you from the airport to the Four Seasons and ride horseback through pineapple fields, all in the same day? Where can you dine on an exotic breakfast of sushi (#sushiwithmygirls!) in the morning and quote every line from Forgetting Sarah Marshall (“Oh the weather outside is weather”) at a luau dinner? You guessed it – Maui!  Everyone loves Maui. Blondes love it (Kate Bosworth, Britney Spears), and brunettes do too (Megan Fox, Jessica Biel). Travel junkies love Maui - it has been voted number one reader’s choice on Conde Nast Traveler’s ‘Top Islands of the World’ – for the last twenty years. So chances are, you’ll love Maui too. Places like this just do not get old, and that’s why devotees return year after year. If you’ve even dreamed about the exoticism of Oceania, the 50th State will not disappoint - and you don’t even need a passport to get there. Its right in your American backyard, but it feels like a different planet - kind of like Avatar, with less aliens and more tanning. Crystal clear waterfalls, rainbow colored eucalyptus trees, bamboo forests, black sand beaches and plenty of rainbows – Maui is a playground of mystical nature, from the tranquil pools of Oheo to the idyllic lavender fields of Kula to the powerful Nakalele blowhole.

Maui particularly excels at offering access to these unique and rare natural elements while maintaining close proximity to personal luxury. The spirit of the locals is friendly and fearless - ancient Hawaii is where the surfboard was invented, after all. The Andaz provides urban delights, such as Morimoto restaurant, while the Four Season’s 22 Knots shop stocks runway favorites like Oscar de la Renta, Stella McCartney and Jimmy Choo, to quell your shopaholic urges. The spas are outrageously decadent, including the ‘omakase’ style, apothecary driven, awili spa. You can even rent a reproduction of a 1950s Porsche Speedster (leave the minivans to the retirees) to drive the road to Hana, stopping off at galleries and gourmet specialty shops along the way, or, take the high road on a private helicopter tour. You don’t have to stay on land for memorable merriment; this is island life at its best. Charter a boat for whale watching or snorkeling amongst sea turtles and be back in time for an evening massage and a Mai Tai. After all that, you may just want to relax. If you’re a married lady, send your hubby for 18 holes and make some ‘me’ time with a few gossip mags to catch up on which stars are dating, feuding or ‘just like us’. For single gals, you might want to pick a beach where the surf conditions are good, because the men - and we mean men - will come flocking.

VacationStyle on Maui consists of head-to-toe florals or sporty separates. Suit up in a neoprene Lisa Marie Fernandez one piece with a Vix cover-up for a sailing trip, or try a bikini from surferette favorite Mikoh while laying out on the beach. If you’re going to get into the action, dress the part in a Duskii and classic Oakley sunglasses. For a day of exploring the island, wear a chambray shirt or James Perse tee with printed Orlebar Brown boardshorts. For an evening luau, slip into a colorful Joie maxi - the only accessory you’ll need is a traditional lei or a bloom of frangipani tucked behind your ear.

On Maui, the possibilities are endless. You could be hanging ten, or hanging out at happy hour, collecting tiny umbrellas from drained tropical drinks (please just don’t end up with a mysterious tribal tattoo after one too many). Either way, you’ll be greeting people with aloha in no time at all, and voting Maui ‘Top Island in the World’ yourself next year.

Stay

Where to stay

Indulge

Indulge

Far in the middle of the Pacific, fresh seafood should not be hard to come by on Maui. At Mama’s Fish House, Polynesian inspired preparations with locally focused ingredients link up with island classics like sashimi, rolls and ceviche. Each ‘wild fish’ dish lists the species, sides and sauces, as well as the exact location in which it was caught. Creativity here yields some unexpectedly delicious combinations - lobster guacamole? - um, yes! Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto brings Japanese subtlety to the island with his repertoire of well-known classics - tartare, miso, udon, wagyu, maki and the like. You really can’t go wrong at Morimoto. What better place to have trendy and healthy farm-to-table cuisine than in Hawaii? At Merriman’s Kapalua, 90% of ingredients are local and sustainable. Ortrder a selection of pupu (appetizers) followed by a regional dish such as keahole lobster. DUO Steak & Seafood, poolside at the Four Seasons, takes surf ‘n’turf to another level. Debate between red meat (New York strip, Nebraska corn-fed skirt or Washimi‐hawaiian Origin - American Kobe Style Flat Iron?), which can be ‘enhanced’ by a half lobster tail or jumbo tiger prawn. If you prefer to watch your cholesterol, a chop salad and seared ahi will be your order. Either way, DUO is a class act. Snack food is also widely available for your vacationing pleasure. If you prefer not to have your pizza defiled with pineapple and pork, nibble on super fresh fish (not more than fives hours out of the sea!) tacos at Coconut's Fish Cafe, where 17 ingredients go into making that one perfect bite. 

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Try Sam Sato’s cult ramen-like dish, ‘dry-mein’, with noodles sourced from Iwamoto Natto Noodle Factory in nearby Paia. Cool off with Hawaii’s favorite dessert, shave (not shaved, don’t ask us why) ice, from Matsumoto, Ululani’s or Maui Espresso & Shave Ice, and continue to satisfy that sweet tooth at Ono Gelato, where scoops feature rich island flavors like guava and Macadamia nut. Lastly, pick up some organic groceries and gourmet hippie haven Mana Foods, which supplies shoppers over 200 kinds of cheese and has an entire wall of artisan chocolate.

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Explore

Explore

The historic road to Hana is an experience unique to Maui. Driving through almost 60 miles of lush, verdant landscapes, you will be tempted by all manner of explorations and indulgences along the way. Stop to hike the Pipiwai all the way to the bamboo forest, where you will be dwarfed by the dense stalks, or follow the trail to Kaihulu’s red sand beach. The road to Hana also leads you by most of the waterfalls on Maui, including Nemo, Na’ili’ili Haele, and Twin falls, among many more. Make a pit stop at Keanae Landing Fruit Stand to taste the to-die-for Aunty Sandy’s banana bread, and then go on to Wai’anapanapa State Park to investigate the primordial lava tubes and caves. A trip to Molokini Crater is a must for snorkel, scuba and swim enthusiasts, as it possesses ridiculously clear waters, prime for catching a view of the vibrant coral reefs and sea turtles. The occasional whale shark is also known to visit. Go by Maalaea Bay to catch a glimpse of endangered humpback whales, from December through May. You can reach it by boat, which you should retain for the evening hours as not to miss the magnificent sunset. A helicopter tour of Haleakala Crater gives you an aerial perspective of the volcanoes that made the island. Photography buffs will go gaga over the dramatic terrain. No trip to Hawaii is complete without a luau. Beginning just before sunset, The Feast at Lele offers five courses and four music and dances shows from the Polynesian societies of Aotearoa (that’s New Zealand to you), Tahiti, Samoa, and Hawaii. Located on Laihaina beach, where historically the royal family of Maui would throw their parties, the Feast is perfect for a celebration, or just a evening on the town. There’s not much nightlife to speak of in Maui, so you may as well try a selection of their cocktails - perhaps a Lava Flow, a Banana Madness or an Island Ice Tea? They all sound like both a good time and a hangover. If you’ve been to Hawaii before or you’ve got family to entertain, Warren & Annabelle’s and Cirque Polynesia are good luau alternatives.

SHOP

Where to Shop

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22 Knots at the Four Seasons stocks everything from Tory Burch tunics to Irene Neuwirth and Kimberly McDonald baubles, keeping top designers within reach of your tropical surroundings. The Shops at Wailea is chock full of big name boutiques, second only to Honolulu in luxury retail. Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, the gang’s all here. Occupy your dads, brothers or BFs at the Sunglasses Hut and Tommy Bahama while you do some serious damage.  Front Street, in Lahaina, is lined with dozen of shops, offering an assortment of native goods (pearls, bikinis, ice cream, timeshares) and imported swag (surf gear, jewelry), and just as many art galleries, from the quotidian to the inspiring.

Shop the Destination

Sensi Studio Leather-trimmed toquilla-straw basket bag $255.00
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Zimmermann Kali daisy-embroidered wide-leg cotton playsuit
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Vanda Jacintho Sphere-drop earrings $456.00
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Tabula Rasa Toque off-the-shoulder ribbed stretch-knit bikini $395.00
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Marysia Antibes scalloped bikini briefs $140.00
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Marysia Antibes scalloped bikini top $140.00
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Illesteva Dorchester aviator-style gold-tone sunglasses $190.00
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Rebecca de Ravenel Claudia hoop-drop earrings $295.00
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Solid & Striped The Nina belted ribbed stretch-knit swimsuit $180.00
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Caroline Constas Margaret off-the-shoulder cotton-blend poplin blouse $460.00
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Norma Kamali Empire Jose Mio off-the-shoulder polka-dot swimsuit $185.00
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Wai Wai Petite Balaio woven-rattan bag
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Alighieri No Lie gold-plated earrings
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Prada Bi-colour double-strap velvet flatform sandals
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Miguelina Emy broderie anglaise-trimmed polka-dot cotton mini skirt $295.00
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Miguelina Renee Broderie Anglaise-trimmed Polka-dot Cotton Top $350.00
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Tabitha Simmons Cleo bow-embellished polka-dot twill slides $575.00
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Lisa Marie Fernandez Selena smocked polka-dot cotton top $295.00
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Lisa Marie Fernandez Polka-dot cotton maxi skirt $545.00
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Saint Laurent Zero aviator sunglasses $400.00
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Rosantica Havana Tasseled Beaded Gold-tone Necklace $310.00
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Gianvito Rossi Versilia block-heel leather sandals
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Kalita Brigitte silk-habotai maxi dress $578.00
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Elina Linardaki Flamingo Leather Slides $300.56
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Yosuzi Serpent Diety Striped Pom-Pom Hat $269.00
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Giuseppe Zanotti Strappy Crystal-Embellished Slide Sandals $695.00
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Rag & Bone Undone Hem Cutoff Shorts $185.00
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Hat Attack Interchangeable Trims Straw Hat $125.00
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Adriana Degreas Striped crepe de chine maxi dress $855.00
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Solid & Striped Brigitte Lemons Bikini Bottom $90.00
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Solid & Striped Brigitte Lemons Bikini Top $90.00
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Melissa Odabash Pippa embroidered cotton wrap dress $257.00
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