The cool part about Maui is that there really isn’t a bad time to go. Maui can be more expensive during certain times of the year, but the weather tends to be on the traveler’s side most of the time. We visited in early January, right in the middle of Maui’s winter. We were warned of lower temperatures and rainy days, but during 10 days on the island, we had only one morning with a little rain shower. The rest of our days were filled with sunshine, warm temperatures, fun adventures, and a lot of relaxation.
Sleep in Maui: Andaz Resort
Picking a location in Maui can be difficult, and many people will choose more than one part of the island to stay on during their vacation. We met a couple that spent 5 days of their trip at a Wailea Beach resort and then chose to “go off the grid” at a small hotel located in Hana for a few days. As honeymooners, we wanted to unpack our bags and stay. We narrowed it down to Wailea Beach which led us to book an ocean view room at the Andaz Resort. From my endless hours of research before our honeymoon, you can’t really pick a bad hotel on Wailea Beach. They all seem to be amazing, but the Andaz had great rates for us (I booked 10 months in advance) and was the newest resort on Wailea Beach.
The Andaz’s location is perfect. Imagine yourself arriving at your hotel in Maui, being greeted with a fresh flower lei, and walking into an open-air lobby where you can see the whales breaching in the distance. Sound like a dream? It was our reality when we arrived at Andaz. It is walking distance from shops, restaurants, and of course, right on the beach. The hotel has a free shuttle that will take you to several places within 15 minutes of the resort.
- Four-tiered infinity pools – like WHAT?!
- Beach access with amenities like paddleboarding, snorkeling, and surfing, right on site. (Extra fee)
- Modern, beautiful rooms – wanna see the ocean from your shower? Stay here.
- Boutique feels – compared to other nearby resorts that have 500, 1000, or over 2000 rooms, the Andaz has just over 300. Some people thrive on the huge resorts, but we loved the intimate and personal vibes we received at the Andaz.
- Walking distance to The Shops at Wailea.
- Excellent customer service – from the front desk to the wait staff, everyone was so friendly and genuinely happy. Happiness in contagious.
- Amazing restaurants – which brings me to my next topic…
Eat in Maui
The fresh food, delicious delicacies, tropical drinks, and variety of choices is enough to make me want to move to Maui. We. Love. Food. I wish we had hit all the restaurants, but here are some of our favorites (and no, I don’t have a photo of every meal because I always devour it too quickly, okay) :
Located right at Andaz next to the largest pool with sounds of the ocean, is the best sushi in Wailea. We shared a dinner here with our other honeymoon friends and got to try so many different items because we could share.
Like Morimoto Sushi, visitors staying at other hotels and other areas of the island flock to this restaurant. Featuring breakfast and dinner, they offer a fun, interactive experience with options like the Chef’s Table Tasting. Reservations are highly recommended!
Lehua Lounge: Andaz Pool Bar
The Andaz has several restaurants right on site. When we first arrived, it was right around sunset and we got settled into our room before heading out to grab a bite to eat. We ended up sitting at the pool bar where we ordered poutine (a delicious Canadian dish of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy). This particular poutine had beef on it, too, and totally hit the spot after a day of travel. The bartenders were friendly and genuinely happy to have us there.
A delicious restaurant close to Andaz with handcrafted cocktails, wood-fired pizzas, salads, burgers and more. The casual Hawaiian vibes are perfect for a relaxed dinner. The popular spot may require a reservation!
We were sold on trying this place out when we read, “Cucina Italiana and Wine Bar”. The food was incredible and they had a wonderful wine selection.
The number one restaurant in Maui on TripAdvisor is Mama’s Fish House located in Paia, about a 35 minute drive from the Andaz. It lives up to expectations and is a popular tourist spot, so don’t arrive without reservations. In fact, I recommend making reservations several weeks in advance.
If ya can’t tell, we love pizza. Our round trip drive on Road to Hana ended around sunset, and we were starving. This little pizza joint in Paia was exactly what our bodies needed. We appreciated the casual atmosphere after hiking, sweating, and driving all day long.
Fish taco food trucks
See a food truck? Stop. All food trucks have their own special spin on something, but my favorite is a fresh fish taco. Our first food truck fish taco was at Makena Beach and ridiculously delicious.
Skip this Meal: Andaz Resort room service. I feel bad saying this because everything else about Andaz was perfect, but I got room service, for dinner, on a night that Marc-Andre had food poisoning (from the hotel’s pre-made sandwiches – eeek) and the room service food was terrible. Gross. I even splurged with a steak and could barely get it down. So while Andaz is the host of incredible restaurants and poolside yumminess, don’t waste your money on the pre-made snacks in the shop or the room service!
Play in Maui: Must-Do’s
Maui is an island filled with plenty of beauty, adventures, culture, and things to do. These are highlights and brief descriptions of some of our favorite activities on the island.
The Hana Highway is one of the most popular activities on the island. A two – sometimes one – lane road twists and turns through the mountains of Maui for over 60 miles. Stops along the way could take you to beautiful waterfalls, fresh fruit smoothies, breath-taking overlooks, and more. It’s next to impossible to hit all of the best highlights of Road to Hana in one day, so make sure you plan ahead with selecting your “must-see’s” for the day. Two of our favorite stops included the Black Sand Beach and the Bamboo Forest along the Pipiwai Trail.
In my humble opinion, this is the most authentic and original luau on the island. In true Hawaiian fashion, you feel like family from the moment they wrap a lei around your neck. There’s really not a bad seat in the house, but we chose the traditional seating to take in the whole experience. The whole night was special and became a highlight of the trip. Make a reservation in advance.
November through May is whale watching season in Maui, and this Florida girl loved every minute of it! I will go whale watching every single time I go back to the island during the season. I also highly recommend Pacific Whale Foundation because they’re not just making money off of tourists, they’re working hard to protect the oceans and the beautiful creatures that call it “home”. If you want to see a whale breaching in the ocean, you’ll have to go yourself because I was too busy freaking out with excitement instead of taking photos. Oops. 🙂
Paddleboarding, snorkeling, & water activities
If you’re lucky, you’ll swim alongside a sea turtle or spot a whale gracefully floating past your paddleboard. Hawaii is surrounded by ocean, so take advantage of the salty water, sunshine, and surprises.
We loved packing up our bags and finding this little slice of paradise. We got there before noon, on a Saturday, and had the place to ourselves. Less than an hour later it was filling up with locals and vacationers eager to enjoy the beauty of this scenic beach.
Watching the sunrise from, what felt like, the top of the world, was a mesmerizing experience. A couple notes: It’s cold (I also went in January so maybe that played a part in my numb fingers and toes), so bring layers of clothing, warm socks, and gloves. Get there early and leave plenty of time to drive the dark, windy roads up to the National Park. ($25 for parking a private vehicle). I recently read that the popularity of Maui’s highest peak now requires a reservation.
If you’re not a morning person, I’ve heard the sunset can be just as spectacular!
Spoil yourselves to some of the most beautiful golf courses in the country. Talking to locals will help you decide which course is right for you!
“Of course we’re going to have time to relax.” That’s what I told my new husband as I was going over our nearly three page itinerary with him on the plane. By the time we were finished discussing the minute-by-minute playbook for our honeymoon, I had tossed half of the plans. If I didn’t plan on relaxing, it wouldn’t happen. Our full days of “nothing” on the itinerary were some of our sweetest moments together. And hey, I also consider a couple’s massage part of relaxing! 😉
Maybe you’re extraordinarily good at hiding the selfie stick in a photo, or you don’t mind having the finger of the Dad you stopped to take your photo in the picture, but I wanted our honeymoon to have photos we would cherish forever. Kinda like the wedding, right? I booked an amazing photographer through Flytographer, and as you can tell from the blog, they are some of my most favorite photos of all time.
If you’re booking a Flytographer in Maui, we highly recommend Wendy! She was wonderful and made us feel so comfortable. Get $25 off your session by using my Flytographer code. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
Skip It: While all of the Hawaiian islands have their own special beauty, I took the recommendation of my Maui guidebook to not take an expensive helicopter tour. We decided to save that big splurge for another island, like the Big Island, where they have active volcanoes to view from the helicopter!
The Weekend Fox Tips:
- Dive into the local culture. Whether you’re visiting the island as a honeymooner, on a family vacation, or for a girls trip, don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. Maui was filled with locals that had stories, ideas, and suggestions that only a true Hawaiian may know.
- Be. In. The. Moment. Even though I was mentally capturing all of the honeymoon highlights for a blog post, I made it a point to leave my phone and my camera in the room some days. This was a dream come true trip with the man of my dreams, and I wanted to be 100% present.
Have you been to Maui or are you dying to go?! Leave a comment and let me know!