On our babymoon for baby #2, we went to Hawaii, stopping first in Maui. We flew right into Maui on United, with no issues, getting there around 3pm.
We stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani and were blown away with this resort. From the moment we arrived, the customer service was A++. We were given leis and fresh juice upon arrival. We had the nicest bellman I have ever met take our bags to our room. She offered to take our photo and gave us a GREAT recommendation for a quick, affordable dinner nearby at Coconut’s Fish Cafe. Quick side bar – We both tried their famous fish tacos, and they really did live up to the hype. You got two big tacos for $15 (very reasonable for Hawaii prices), and I honestly couldn’t even eat both of them.
Later that night they brought chocolate and extra pillows to our room. They have a text concierge service and checked in with us throughout our stay to see if we needed anything additionally. This was how we made dinner reservations at the hotel one night.
The hotel was gorgeous! The grounds were beautifully manicured, and the beach was pristine. We also learned while there that they have a kids program you can sign your children up for with activities on site. I’m not sure Adeline and Jacob will ever be invited on a Hawaii vacation (by us at least), but I still wanted to share it!
Haleakala Sunrise Tour
On our first morning in Maui, we woke up at 2:30am to go on a sunrise tour of the Haleakala crater. I’ll be honest in saying that waking up this early is not my normal idea of fun on a vacation, but this excursion was worth it in my opinion. A huge plus was that because of the time change coming from Houston, TX our body clocks were already messed up and waking up that early wasn’t nearly as hard as it normally would have been.
We decided on Skyline Hawaii as our tour company and were very pleased with our experience from start to finish. We were picked up at our hotel around 3am and driven to their offices for a quick briefing of the tour. They gave us a continental breakfast and then we got suited up in the heavy duty coats and pants they provided. Our driver Bruce was very knowledgeable about the island and shared lots of tidbits on the way up to the top.
Tip – Dress warm! Even with long sleeves, my North Face jacket and their additional jacket and pants, I was still definitely cold. I did not have a hat (like a beanie), so that is something I would recommend bringing. You can always take off layers and leave them on the bus, so I suggest planning to be on the safe/warm side.
We drove up to the crater and waited for the sunrise. It was truly stunning watching the sun come up over the crater. We had a pretty clear morning. We went to a few other look out spots before heading down the mountain a bit to Kula Lodge for brunch. Our meal was included in the price of the tour, and the food was very good. I recommend the pancakes! I want to say we were dropped back off at our hotel around 11:30am and immediately crashed for an epic nap!
Note – There are other tours that bike down the mountain, so if you are looking for something a little more active, that is an option too!
Price: Right now $177/person.
Final verdict: This was a well organized guided tour and a really neat thing to get to experience. We got some beautiful photos. We were impressed by the staff, pleased with the food. I recommend doing it, but it’s not something I think you need to do more than once. As in, if we went back I would opt for a different excursion.
Mama’s Fish House
Mama’s Fish House was hands down the most recommended place to eat in Maui by my friends. I feel like the name is a bit misleading. I originally thought it was going to be a very casual restaurant, but that is definitely not the case. It is an incredible restaurant, with prices that reflect that. I recommend coming here for a special occasion, not after being at the beach all day!
First of all, make reservations before you even get to Hawaii. It’s on a small public beach in Maui. I suggest looking up when sunset is, and planning your reservation time based on if you want to be able to enjoy that.
The food was really fresh and had a bit of a local spin to it. The customer service was first class, too. You can tell the servers had been there for a long time and knew the menu front and back. They did bring us out a free mini-appetizer and a dessert since it was my birthday. Be sure to tell them if you are celebrating something! I got the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi (one of their most popular dishes) and recommend at least someone in your group gets it so you can all have a bite!
Expect to spend at least $150 for two people.
Final Verdict: We loved it and would absolutely return!
Spa Day at Grand Waliea
At the recommendation of a friend, we got massages at Spa Grande at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Waliea, just up the road from the Fairmont. I was able to book our appointments online, which I appreciated. This was another hotel that just knocked us off our feet. It had the open air feel, and the grounds were impeccable. We got there early and had brunch at their main dining area, on the patio of course.
This spa was unlike anything I had ever been to. Mostly because they have you come an hour early to participate in their “healing waters of Maui” experience. This is basically an hour of soaking in different hot tubs and cold pools, salted dipping pools, a loofa scrub down, different showers, etc. I will say that being pregnant kept me from having the full experience since I wasn’t able to go in the hot tubs, but it was still really neat. Marcus got the full experience and really enjoyed it. The men’s and women’s areas were separate, which is normal. This is something I wish they could figure out though. I would love to be able to spend time with my hubby at the spa when we go together.
Pro tip – plan your spa day later in the trip if you got a spray tan, because I did kind of feel like the lady was loofa-ing it right off of me!
Then right before our massages we met up on this little balcony overlooking the pool and the ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous. I could have stayed there all day (if they served food, at least). Our massages were great. Only one complaint – Marcus said the razors were TERRIBLE quality, so if you want to shave while there, we recommend bringing your own!
Verdict: Do it!
Kaanapali Beach was a bit of a drive for us from our hotel. However we felt like we needed to explore at least one of the beaches outside of where we were staying. We found a piece of beach that was in front of a condo and posted up there. This was nice because as a pregnant mama, I needed a nearby bathroom and was able to use the one in the lobby a couple times. The beach itself beautiful, clean and not too crowded. We brought a cooler (provided by our hotel) with drinks and snacks for the afternoon.
This was a pretty much free activity. That’s a big win if you are trying to find budget friendly options. The biggest con would be a lack of shade (consider bringing an umbrella or renting one from a nearby hotel).
The Verdict: Nothing against this beach, but as I mentioned in my Hawaii Babymoom Tips blog post, I really recommend checking out the beach at your hotel first. The Fairmont Kea Lani beach was amazing, had free lawn chairs and umbrellas that they would set up for you and you could have cocktails (or mocktails in my case) right there on the beach! Looking back, we would have probably just stayed put at the Fairmont that afternoon.
Maui is 100% worth the visit.
Overall – Maui was just unbelievable. The island, beaches and hotels we visited are breathtaking, and everywhere we went the service was top notch. I always thought it was interesting when people would go to Hawaii every year on their vacation instead of trying new places. Now I see why they keep returning. Hawaii, and Maui specifically, is exactly what I imagine when I think of a vacation. I cannot wait for our chance to return!
Check out more on our Hawaii babymoon here.
Want to read about some of our other travels? You can also read about our family vacay to Seaside, FL and one of my girls trips to Atlanta, GA!