Topic Wiki

Maui Overview/DansMeals:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39407

Trip Reports:
Dan 1, Dan 2, SpillTheBeans, e-Lawyer, Eli, lfas25, RJ898, gavhaller, daganster, Something Fishy, Yehoshua, Marco Polo, @Yehuda, @Yehuda - Grand Wailea, Wizmanison's Maui TR 2018


Related DDF Threads:
-Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread


Before you go:

How long should I go for?
You could spend 10 years on Maui and not get your fill. That being said, the bare minimum to enjoy your stay is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.

It's possible to do a short trip by leaving early Sunday morning, getting there in the afternoon, and then leaving Thursday night and being back home for shabbos.

Do I need a guide book?
Very definitely. Sure you could find most info online, but nothing compares to a good, written-by-a-local, guide book. Maui Revealed is by far the best option, and will possibly be the best $16 you spent on your trip.

Here it is for FREE.

There is also an app version available for both iOS and Android for $7.99. The app has all the content of the book, plus navigation, offline maps, and links when applicable. You don't really need both, but some people find it useful to have the book while planning (much easier to use) and the app while on the island (for the maps and navigation).

What about Shabbos?
Some authorities hold that there's a dateline issue with Shabbos.
The local communities keep Shabbos on Saturday.
Definitely ask your LOR before you go - some hold simply that Shabbos is on Saturday, some hold that you have to keep Shabbos on both Friday and Saturday, and some hold that you have to keep D'oreisas on Friday and full Shabbos on Saturday.

If you must keep 2 days, remember that there are many questions that could come up (such as when to light Shabbos candles, how to warm up food, etc.), so make sure to discuss it all with your LOR.

There have been books written about the Chabad opinion of keeping Shabbos only on Saturday. Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz gives an absolutely fascinating pilpul on the topic, if you get a chance to attend one please record it (with permission) and upload the video online.

Note that you may run into this issue even if you leave the islands Thursday afternoon, as it may already be considered Shabbos. Ask your LOR.


Getting there and getting around:

Air:
The main airport is in Kahului, and is designated OGG. The are two other small airports - Kapalua (JHM) in the West Maui Mountains and Hana (HNM) in the east.
You could fly directly from the mainland to OGG from (bold is seasonal only):

ANC (AS)
BLI (AS, Allegiant Air)
DEN (UA)
DFW (AA)
LAX (AA, DL, HA, UA)
OAK (AS, HA)
ORD (UA)
PDX (AS)
PHX (US)
SAN (AS, HA)
SEA (AS, HA)
SFO (UA)
SJC (AS)
SMF (AS)
YEG (WestJet)
YVR (AC, WestJet)
YYC (AC, WestJet)

There are no direct flights from the East coast, so you will stop in one of these cities.
Alternately, you could fly directly to Honolulu (HNL) and continue to OGG from there.

Hawaiian and Go fly interisland from HNL, KOA, and LIH, Go, and Island Air flies from HNL. Mokulele flies from HNL and KOA, as well as to Kapalua (JHM), Hana (HNM), Molokai (MKK), Lanai (LNY), and Waimea-Kohala (MUE) on the Big Island.

Alternatively, you can also use 5k AA, 6k UA or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. You can use 15k DL pesos for a RT interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.
HA has several tiers, similar to DL, the lowest tier is the only one that's available using partner miles, but with HA miles you can purchase tickets that are otherwise unavailable for additional miles.

Car:
A car is necessary on Maui. All major companies have branches, mostly at the airport. There are also some local companies.

Hertz has Gold Choice at the airport. According to National's website there is no Executive Aisle/Selection at the airport, but according to reports there is one, albeit sparse to the point of uselessness. Also check out www.discounthawaiicarrental.com - they book from the major brands, and are worth a try. Costco Travel very often has great prices too.

Make sure to check your reservations often, as prices tend to drop a few weeks before pickup. If it does, make a new reservation and only then cancel your original one.

There's nothing like a convertible on Maui (especially on the Road to Hana). A 4WD is not really necessary, however some people feel more comfortable in one on the 'other side' of the Road to Hana and the hairy parts of Kahekill Hwy (east of the blowhole).

Air Maui will mail you a nice free paper map of the island - click here to request it. It usually takes a week or two to arrive.


Where to stay:

The two most popular area to stay are on the West side (Lahaina, Ka'anapali, Kapalua) and the South side (Wailea, Kihei), due to the better weather there. The South side could sometimes get windy in the winter, though. There are also many places to rent Upcountry (Kula, Pukalani), where the air is cooler and the views smashing (but farther from the beach).

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hyatt RegencyWest side (Lahaina) WebsiteHyatt Category 5. The Hyatt advertises having Kosher food. In the past, these meals came from Oahu Kosher (Chabad in Honolulu). However, in Dec 2016 they claimed the meals were prepared by the Chabad of Maui, while in actuality they were prepared by a reform temple (story explained at the bottom of this post), which is still true as of Feb 2017.
AndazSouth side (Wailea)WebsiteHyatt category 6. A favorite among DDFers, although award space isn't easy to come by.
Grand WaileaSouth side (Wailea)WebsiteHilton - 80k-95k depending on season. Reminiscent of the GHK in Kauai with sprawling grounds and more pools than you count, located on the beautiful Wailea Beach.
SheratonWest side (Lahaina)WebsiteSPG category 6.
WestinWest side (Lahaina) WebsiteSPG category 6.
FairmontSouth side (Wailea)WebsiteAll suite hotel.
"Get your own place"AnywhereWebsiteThere are countless condos, timeshares, or villas available to rent on the island. The advantages are that you get more for your money - a couple of bedrooms, living/dining rooms, and a full kitchen. There will usually be a pool, sometimes even a private one. Additionally, they're often cheaper than a hotel. There are many places to find them -
HomeAway Maui
VRBO Maui
Airbnb Maui


What to do:

Beaches:
There are countless beaches on Maui, and all are public. Most offer amazing snorkeling. The East and South side beaches are safe for swimming / snorkeling year round, while some North and West beaches could be deadly in winter. Here are some popular ones, in no particular order:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Beach 1Area 1Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Beach 2Area 2Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Beach 3Area 3Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


Hiking:
There are a tremendous amount of great hikes on Maui. Check the Maui Revealed book for detailed info on all of them, with maps, difficulty ratings, etc. These are just a few which are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Sliding SandsHaleakalaAn amazing hike into the crater from the upper visitors center. Quite challenging due to the constant downhill on a loose cinder trail. Amazing views unlike anything on the island, and no shade. The entire trail takes all day, but most people take it only partway in. Go as far as you like and remember that the way back is a constant uphill and will take twice as long. Bring lots of water.
Pipiwai TrailHanaOne of the nicest trail on Maui. A bit past Hana, just before the Seven Sacred Pools. The hike goes through the jungle, past banyan trees and a 200-foot waterfall, and through a bamboo forest (this is the highlight for most people). The trail ends at the amazing 400-foot Waimoku Falls. Give this hike a couple of hours.
Lava FieldSouth MauiAt the end of the road, past the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. This is an amazing and relatively difficult hike. You will be walking on sharp, loose lava rocks the entire time, but the views are smashing and the terrain interesting. Great views of a particularly wild stretch of ocean, interesting pools (not swimmable), and ends in a glorious (and generally empty) beach if you brave it till the end. Do the loop - hug the coast on the way out, and take the Kings Highway back. See Maui Revealed for all the details.


Other activities:

ActivityComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Helicopter toursA few companies offer this; Blue Hawaiian is generally considered to be the best. There are different routes to choose from - keep in mind that the ones going to Haleakala don't actually go into the crater. This is not as recommended on Maui as it is on other islands, since the entire island is pretty much easily accessible so you won't go anywhere remote or extremely amazing.
Road to HanaAbsolute must-do. Don't get scared off by misinformation and go all the way around - in a way the backside is even more spectacular that the more popular first half. You do NOT need a special car or 4WD; any regular car could do it happily. Best way to do the road is to spend the night in Hana, as that will leave the most time to explore the thousand different things along the road. If you're only going for the day, make sure to be on the road EARLY (7-7:30 the latest).
Haleakala SunriseA spectacular event that is not to be missed. You will wake up at the witching hour, it will be freezing cold, and it will be absolutely worth it. Be there at least 45 minutes before the listed sunrise - the earlier the better; they close the upper parking lot when it fills up and you'll have to park at the lower visitor center lot. Dress warmly and bring lots of jackets and blankets. Take the trail to Pakaoao (White Hill) and you'll have the sunrise to yourself (mostly, at least).
'Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools)Also known as the Seven Sacred Pools, this is in the Hana side of Haleakala National Park. Save your receipt from sunrise; it's valid for three days and will get you in to the pools too. Short hike from the parking lot to the pools, and it's absolutely stunning. Will be absolutely PACKED from around 1PM and on (but still worth it). If you're staying in Hana go early in the morning and it'll be mostly empty.
Snorkling Molokini craterCountless boat companies will take you out to Molokini. It has the best underwater visibility in the state, sometimes over 100 feet. Somewhat overrated and over-touristed, but generally considered to be worth it.
Kayaking
Biking
Horseback riding
Ziplining
Cruises


Shopping:
  • Costco in Kahului has some kosher food, as well as the cheapest gas on the island
  • Lapperts ice cream store

« Last edited by jj1000 on July 23, 2018, 01:43:10 PM »

Author Topic: Maui Master Thread  (Read 497877 times)

Offline elikatz

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4350 on: July 24, 2019, 12:01:30 PM »
Im flying into Maui on Friday and leaving the following Sunday from HNL. How many days do we need in Maui and can we squeeze Kauai as well, or will that be too much?
Dan always writes, don't try to push in 3 islands in a week, rather enjoy 1 or most 2

Offline blue eyes

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4351 on: July 24, 2019, 12:22:14 PM »
Dan always writes, don't try to push in 3 islands in a week, rather enjoy 1 or most 2
Yes I saw that... since I figured I'll fly Friday to Oahu, I thought maybe I can do three days in Maui and three days in Kauai
is that still to much?

Offline Zalc

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4352 on: July 24, 2019, 12:46:16 PM »
Yes I saw that... since I figured I'll fly Friday to Oahu, I thought maybe I can do three days in Maui and three days in Kauai
is that still to much?
Too much?
Depends on your goals. Vacation or adventure?

3 days in Maui is enough to get much of the experience, but depending on your answer to the above question you may want more time...

Offline blue eyes

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4353 on: July 24, 2019, 12:56:28 PM »
Too much?
Depends on your goals. Vacation or adventure?

3 days in Maui is enough to get much of the experience, but depending on your answer to the above question you may want more time...
Too much, as in we wont get to experience either island properly. Goal for the trip is:  hiking, sunrise sunset, viewpoints, national parks photography etc.
I feel like I cant go to Hawaii and miss out on Kauai

Packing up from hotels, airports etc do kill the day sort of...

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4354 on: July 24, 2019, 12:58:01 PM »
Too much, as in we wont get to experience either island properly. Goal for the trip is:  hiking, sunrise sunset, viewpoints, national parks photography etc.
I feel like I cant go to Hawaii and miss out on Kauai

Packing up from hotels, airports etc do kill the day sort of...
I say stay the whole week on Maui.
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline 12HRS

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4355 on: July 24, 2019, 01:41:46 PM »
I say stay the whole week on Maui.

this

Offline puddles

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4356 on: July 24, 2019, 01:54:04 PM »
Here is my short TR. HIt me up with any questions or comments. I hope others find it helpful.

 To Start off- My wife and I had a limited window to travel so no judgement please on the short trip!

Flights- We flew UA from LGA to ORD and ORD direct to OGG. While less than ideal, this was the only available flight in the time we had that got us there early Sunday afternoon and was available with Chase UR Points. I used about 90,000 UR Points for the flight. The flights were originally basic economy but I called and got a nice rep who upgraded all of my flights to Economy Plus (This included extra legroom and seating all the way in the front of the plane). This perk was for all four flights.
The stopover in Chicago was 3 hours so I Purchased 2 UA lounge passes on the DDF.

Sunday Arrival- We arrived at 2PM in OGG quite tired from the flights but excited to be there! Our luggage came quickly and we went straight down to pickup our car from Alamo via Costco Rental. Costco was way cheaper than competitors and the price kept getting lower as arrival date came upon us. I paid $240 for 4 days of rental in a Mustang convertible. The car was in decent condition, nothing special. I would guess that every third car in Maui was a silver Mustang. Seriously.

We were out of the airport by about 330 and went straight to Costco. I had brought Pom meals for dinner but wanted to get cheese for grilled cheese (brought a small sandwich maker with us). We also bought Chobani, nuts, tuna and some other small items. We were in and out and made our way to the Ritz Carlton.

While some dont love the location of the Ritz we only wanted to stay at a hotel within Marriott using my SPG points. After much back and forth we opted for the Ritz. The cost was 70,000 per night. The drive to the hotel was amazing, you are on the coast the entire time. It took about an hour from the airport. We arrived at the hotel and checked in. We also gave them our meals which they put in their freezer. They charged $10 per meal to warm up and bring it up to your room on a nice try with napkins and plastic utensils. With tax a tip and fee it came to around $30 a night for the food delivery. They originally put us on the ground floor but I requested a higher floor and we were moved right away with no issue. The room itself was nice, but nothing special. We had an ocean view which was beautiful. After settling in and eating we walked around on the beach and by the pool. The grounds are beautiful by the Ritz and the wind wasnt noticalble (something negative that people have pointed out about the Ritz).

Monday - We were up early from the jetlag and got an early start. We walked some local beaches and hit the pool. By 11 AM we were out and went to the Maui Tropical Plantation. The tour was nice, relaxing and informative. You are on a tram for about 45 minutes, tickets are cheap and you get to see some different things there. There is also Ziplining available if you would like to do that. I highly recommend the coffee there. They brew it from the beans they grow on the plantation and it was excellent! They also have freshly cut Hawaiian pineapple which is amazing.
We left around 1 and started heading towards the Haleakala National Park. It took about 2 hours to get there from the Plantation. We first got to the visitors center thinking we were there and realized we had another 10 miles to go. While some might enjoy that drive, I found it arduous. There was a lot of cloud/fog and it was drizzling. When we finally got to the summit we parked and walked around. We had brought some sandwiches and drinks with us and ate them there while overlooking the crater. Quite a view. Bring water with you as there is nowhere to really get anything within the park. We hiked about 2 miles down the sliding sands trail (cant miss the signs it is quite easy to find) and I davened Mincha overlooking one of the most amazing views I had ever seen. While everyone warns you that the elevation is harder on the way up and to take it easy I thought I would be fine sprinting up at a point. I was quite wrong. The 2 mniles down took us about 45 minutes or so. The climb back... Took us double. At one point I was out of breath and had a hard time catching it. After sprinting I thought I would faint. While I loved the hike and the view I would recommend not being an idiot and taking it slow. We finished this around 530 and headed to the top parking lot, maybe .5 mile or so from the visitors center parking lot. When we got there the lot was almost full. By 630 it was overflowing. By 7 the National Park Office had closed it down. There were hundreds of people waiting for the sunset. If you can, BRING A CHAIR. We were sitting on rocks on the floor and it was extremely uncomfortable. Also, if you are not driving, bring some wine. You are there for a while and it was special. I know this has been talked about before but words are tough to describe the beauty you see there. I never did sunrise but there were plenty of people at the summit (and others at my hotel) who all said sunset is just as good as Sunrise. I would also recommend sticking around for a bit after and looking at the stars. You have never seen them like that before. Never. We left around 830-9 and started the long drive home. By the time we got back and ate it was close to 12 AM.

Tuesday- my wife did a sunrise class the hotel offered for free. We left the hotel around 10AM to go snorkeling. We booked it through the hotel and it was about $300 for the two of us. We had to drive to a different hotel  about 15 minutes away to meet the boat. We parked in a commercial parking lot (Whalers). I found out after parking can be validated by any store in the outdoor mall which would have saved a couple of bucks. We met the group on the beach and the woman in charge totally lost it on us when we started using spray suntan lotion. Evidently, Hawaii recently passed a law on lotion and only allows barrier and reef safe which basically no one in 49 States sells. She was yelling at us and others and required us to leave our lotion in a box at the beach and use their awful smelling natural Zinc Oxide lotion. My advice; spray before you go. The stuff smells horrible and didnt work well.
The activity was great! We saw beautiful fish, coral, and a bunch of massive sea turtles. We stayed at the spot for about 2 hours and they served lunch (not kosher obviously) and some beers and mixed drinks. The way back was longer as the catamaran boat used sails instead of the engine. It was relaxing and we even saw some dolphins jumping in the water.
We tried to balance the vacation between trips and pool/beach so when we got back to the hotel around 4 we did just that.

Wednesday- RTH day! I am sure @Dan and others are going to kill me but I had no patience to to 6 more hours of driving. I Also felt like I was missing out on the views by being in the drivers seat. A friend of mine had just used a driver he loved so we hired him for Wednesday. Darren (cost was $800 including tax) was awesome. We spoke the day before and reviewed what we wanted and some other suggestions he had for us. Pickup was 630 AM and off we went. No need to describe this day as Hana is insanely amazing. I would not trade that day for anything. I would say if you dont love driving, hire this guy. He had a comfortable clean 2018 Odyssey. He brought us drinks (water, fruit, coffee etc.), snacks, lotions, bug spray, maps, umbrellas, ponchos and more. He stayed away at the right times and helped us avoid things that are a waste. He was extremely knowledgeable and a safe driver. To me this was money well spent. He will also drive you for as long as you want. His Hana day record is 16 hours! We left at 630 and got back at 9PM.

Thursday- We thought about a helicopter trip but there was nothing available closer to our flight so we just drove around a bit and had a relaxing day. Our flight was leaving at 4 so we did have a decent amount of time.

TLDR- Go to Maui. Do not miss RTH or the national park. The Ritz is fine. Not as bad as some make it seem but nothing special. Overall an amazing trip. I will try and post some pictures in a separate post.


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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4357 on: July 24, 2019, 02:03:13 PM »


Too much, as in we wont get to experience either island properly. Goal for the trip is:  hiking, sunrise sunset, viewpoints, national parks photography etc.
I feel like I cant go to Hawaii and miss out on Kauai

Packing up from hotels, airports etc do kill the day sort of...

If you try to fit in Kauai, you almost certainly will have been there physically, but you will almost certainly "miss out" on both islands, and that would be a shame.


Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4358 on: July 24, 2019, 02:35:12 PM »
Here is my short TR. HIt me up with any questions or comments. I hope others find it helpful.

 To Start off- My wife and I had a limited window to travel so no judgement please on the short trip!

Flights- We flew UA from LGA to ORD and ORD direct to OGG. While less than ideal, this was the only available flight in the time we had that got us there early Sunday afternoon and was available with Chase UR Points. I used about 90,000 UR Points for the flight. The flights were originally basic economy but I called and got a nice rep who upgraded all of my flights to Economy Plus (This included extra legroom and seating all the way in the front of the plane). This perk was for all four flights.
The stopover in Chicago was 3 hours so I Purchased 2 UA lounge passes on the DDF.

Sunday Arrival- We arrived at 2PM in OGG quite tired from the flights but excited to be there! Our luggage came quickly and we went straight down to pickup our car from Alamo via Costco Rental. Costco was way cheaper than competitors and the price kept getting lower as arrival date came upon us. I paid $240 for 4 days of rental in a Mustang convertible. The car was in decent condition, nothing special. I would guess that every third car in Maui was a silver Mustang. Seriously.

We were out of the airport by about 330 and went straight to Costco. I had brought Pom meals for dinner but wanted to get cheese for grilled cheese (brought a small sandwich maker with us). We also bought Chobani, nuts, tuna and some other small items. We were in and out and made our way to the Ritz Carlton.

While some dont love the location of the Ritz we only wanted to stay at a hotel within Marriott using my SPG points. After much back and forth we opted for the Ritz. The cost was 70,000 per night. The drive to the hotel was amazing, you are on the coast the entire time. It took about an hour from the airport. We arrived at the hotel and checked in. We also gave them our meals which they put in their freezer. They charged $10 per meal to warm up and bring it up to your room on a nice try with napkins and plastic utensils. With tax a tip and fee it came to around $30 a night for the food delivery. They originally put us on the ground floor but I requested a higher floor and we were moved right away with no issue. The room itself was nice, but nothing special. We had an ocean view which was beautiful. After settling in and eating we walked around on the beach and by the pool. The grounds are beautiful by the Ritz and the wind wasnt noticalble (something negative that people have pointed out about the Ritz).

Monday - We were up early from the jetlag and got an early start. We walked some local beaches and hit the pool. By 11 AM we were out and went to the Maui Tropical Plantation. The tour was nice, relaxing and informative. You are on a tram for about 45 minutes, tickets are cheap and you get to see some different things there. There is also Ziplining available if you would like to do that. I highly recommend the coffee there. They brew it from the beans they grow on the plantation and it was excellent! They also have freshly cut Hawaiian pineapple which is amazing.
We left around 1 and started heading towards the Haleakala National Park. It took about 2 hours to get there from the Plantation. We first got to the visitors center thinking we were there and realized we had another 10 miles to go. While some might enjoy that drive, I found it arduous. There was a lot of cloud/fog and it was drizzling. When we finally got to the summit we parked and walked around. We had brought some sandwiches and drinks with us and ate them there while overlooking the crater. Quite a view. Bring water with you as there is nowhere to really get anything within the park. We hiked about 2 miles down the sliding sands trail (cant miss the signs it is quite easy to find) and I davened Mincha overlooking one of the most amazing views I had ever seen. While everyone warns you that the elevation is harder on the way up and to take it easy I thought I would be fine sprinting up at a point. I was quite wrong. The 2 mniles down took us about 45 minutes or so. The climb back... Took us double. At one point I was out of breath and had a hard time catching it. After sprinting I thought I would faint. While I loved the hike and the view I would recommend not being an idiot and taking it slow. We finished this around 530 and headed to the top parking lot, maybe .5 mile or so from the visitors center parking lot. When we got there the lot was almost full. By 630 it was overflowing. By 7 the National Park Office had closed it down. There were hundreds of people waiting for the sunset. If you can, BRING A CHAIR. We were sitting on rocks on the floor and it was extremely uncomfortable. Also, if you are not driving, bring some wine. You are there for a while and it was special. I know this has been talked about before but words are tough to describe the beauty you see there. I never did sunrise but there were plenty of people at the summit (and others at my hotel) who all said sunset is just as good as Sunrise. I would also recommend sticking around for a bit after and looking at the stars. You have never seen them like that before. Never. We left around 830-9 and started the long drive home. By the time we got back and ate it was close to 12 AM.

Tuesday- my wife did a sunrise class the hotel offered for free. We left the hotel around 10AM to go snorkeling. We booked it through the hotel and it was about $300 for the two of us. We had to drive to a different hotel  about 15 minutes away to meet the boat. We parked in a commercial parking lot (Whalers). I found out after parking can be validated by any store in the outdoor mall which would have saved a couple of bucks. We met the group on the beach and the woman in charge totally lost it on us when we started using spray suntan lotion. Evidently, Hawaii recently passed a law on lotion and only allows barrier and reef safe which basically no one in 49 States sells. She was yelling at us and others and required us to leave our lotion in a box at the beach and use their awful smelling natural Zinc Oxide lotion. My advice; spray before you go. The stuff smells horrible and didnt work well.
The activity was great! We saw beautiful fish, coral, and a bunch of massive sea turtles. We stayed at the spot for about 2 hours and they served lunch (not kosher obviously) and some beers and mixed drinks. The way back was longer as the catamaran boat used sails instead of the engine. It was relaxing and we even saw some dolphins jumping in the water.
We tried to balance the vacation between trips and pool/beach so when we got back to the hotel around 4 we did just that.

Wednesday- RTH day! I am sure @Dan and others are going to kill me but I had no patience to to 6 more hours of driving. I Also felt like I was missing out on the views by being in the drivers seat. A friend of mine had just used a driver he loved so we hired him for Wednesday. Darren (cost was $800 including tax) was awesome. We spoke the day before and reviewed what we wanted and some other suggestions he had for us. Pickup was 630 AM and off we went. No need to describe this day as Hana is insanely amazing. I would not trade that day for anything. I would say if you dont love driving, hire this guy. He had a comfortable clean 2018 Odyssey. He brought us drinks (water, fruit, coffee etc.), snacks, lotions, bug spray, maps, umbrellas, ponchos and more. He stayed away at the right times and helped us avoid things that are a waste. He was extremely knowledgeable and a safe driver. To me this was money well spent. He will also drive you for as long as you want. His Hana day record is 16 hours! We left at 630 and got back at 9PM.

Thursday- We thought about a helicopter trip but there was nothing available closer to our flight so we just drove around a bit and had a relaxing day. Our flight was leaving at 4 so we did have a decent amount of time.

TLDR- Go to Maui. Do not miss RTH or the national park. The Ritz is fine. Not as bad as some make it seem but nothing special. Overall an amazing trip. I will try and post some pictures in a separate post.

Good TR. Why Ritz over Marriott?

Offline puddles

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4359 on: July 24, 2019, 02:36:57 PM »
Good TR. Why Ritz over Marriott?
Thanks!

I think the Marriot I was looking at was 60K a night and I figured for 10 more why not stay at a Ritz.

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4360 on: July 24, 2019, 10:05:22 PM »
When we got there the lot was almost full. By 630 it was overflowing. By 7 the National Park Office had closed it down. There were hundreds of people waiting for the sunset.
If you're going for Sunset, will they not let you in after 7:00 PM?
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Offline Dr Moose

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4361 on: July 24, 2019, 10:06:25 PM »
Has anyone utilized the complimentary photo session with Blinnk Photography at the Marriott? What was it like?
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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4362 on: July 24, 2019, 11:24:06 PM »
Has anyone utilized the complimentary photo session with Blinnk Photography at the Marriott? What was it like?
Waste of time. Hire a real photographer and get all the pics.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4363 on: July 25, 2019, 12:02:53 AM »


Waste of time.
Why so? Do you not get the pictures? They charge you extra for the pictures? I don't know any details about it.
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Re: Maui Master Thread
« Reply #4364 on: July 30, 2019, 03:06:52 PM »
If you're going for Sunset, will they not let you in after 7:00 PM?
I would say they wont let you in once it is overflowing, which it was. Get there by 630 at the latest.