Maui 2014

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My family and I returned from a trip to Maui, last week. We chose to stay at The Fairmont Kea Lani again, because Costco Travel was offering an amazing price. I love Costco Travel!

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The Fairmont Kea Lani is a beautiful hotel in the Wailea area of Maui. It is next door to The Grand Wailea and The Four Seasons. For us, it is perfect. The hotel is all suites so the kids have their own room to sleep in at night (my daughter slept on the pullout couch and we paid for a rollaway bed for my son each night). Each room has a huge veranda so we could choose to eat inside or out.

We reserved a deluxe ocean front room with a beautiful view. The room came with a Keurig coffee maker and pods, a small refrigerator and a microwave. This was convenient for our small snacks and food items.

The hotel is not crazy busy like The Grand Wailea nor uncomfortably demure like The Four Seasons. It is, in the words of a famous little blond thief, “just right.”

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At the hotel’s restaurant, Ko, we all had amazing dinners of fish. And whilst the ambience and meal were not as good as Mama’s (but honestly, it is on a level all by itself), the ease and convenience of it being just steps from our room, make it a restaurant we would absolutely eat at again.

And we all scraped our plates clean. It was very good. This is the third time we have eaten here and the flavors are always yummy.

I do recommend sticking to wine or beer if you indulge in alcoholic beverages after having tried four different cocktails on my visits here.

One of my favorite things served here was the edamame dip that is served with the bread. And those rice cakes? Swoon.

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We reserved pool cabanas two of the days and we really enjoyed this on one of the days. We had a problem with the air conditioning in the room (the picture below is me sweating and drinking wine (gotta make the best of it) whilst waiting for engineering) and so the manager very, very generously took the two cabana charges off of our bill. He really did not have to do that, but it definitely was appreciated. This made the situation much better and allowed us to continue to think of the Kea Lani with fond memories.

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We would absolutely return. The Kea Lani continues to be one of my favorite hotels. The staff is so friendly. On certain days (depending upon which woman they have hired to make leis that day), they even have free flowers for guest’s hair, complete with a long stick so it would stay behind your ear. My daughter and I loved this small little gesture and I hope they continue to hire the woman that provides that small detail. She was lovely. And it was such a little thing, but it remains in my memory as a wonderful detail about the hotel.

Another small detail is the containers of water and iced tea in the lobby, so there are always refreshments at your leisure.

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There is a man that lights the torches around the hotel at night and blows a conch at certain points on his journey. It is quite magical. They encourage little kids to follow him and it is cute to watch his little entourage trailing behind. One night I spotted a little boy and his brother gleefully filling up waterguns and trying to put the fires out. I have no idea where their parents were, but they were quite intent on their task.

And, no, I would absolutely not allow my kids to do this. But drinking wine on my balcony watching someone else’s kids do it? Entertaining.

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My favorite part of The Kea Lani is definitely the beach.

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They have free umbrellas and lounge chairs for guests that they will set up for you when you come down from your room. It is so relaxing and at all points around the hotel, they have stacks of white fluffy towels for you to just grab as you make your way to the beach or the pool.

I love that.

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We were down at the beach almost every single evening watching the sun set and our kids playing in the surf.

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I took many memories away that I will treasure.

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During the evening, we discovered the cutest little crabs flitting along the sand and ducking into little holes.

We learned that they are called Ghost Crabs. It was a perfect name for them, because you almost did not believe that you saw them, they were so quick.

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Of course, the sunsets were incredible. We tried not to miss a single one.

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My son’s favorite aspect of the hotel was the water slide. He was up and down that thing for many hours during our stay. The picture above is him waiting for his dad at the bottom. I love that adults can use the slide, too.

One of the other things I love at Kea Lani is the ability for night swimming. Several of the hotels nearby close their pools very early, but The Kea Lani keeps theirs open. I have fond memories of night swimming as a child and I really appreciate this aspect of the hotel. We only swam at night twice, but I enjoyed having a glass of wine and watching other families enjoy the pool and making memories at night, from our balcony.

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However, one night I was drinking wine and my husband took my son night swimming. This was what I got to look down on from my balcony. I had a moment of panic. But then he swam and did it again. So, I took some pictures, because I like to remember what his idea of fun was at age ten. My son loves to lay like this in the pool. But I have to wonder what other vacationers thought when they looked down at him.

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One evening, we were strolling back from the beach and we spotted a sign to star gaze with a woman with a large telescope. It was an amazing spontaneous adventure. I appreciated that The Kea Lani allowed this to take place and we got to see the rings of Saturn and even one of its moons. It was really neat.

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Was our vacation perfect? I guess it depends on how you view that word. For us, yes. But I view the imperfections as stepping stones to happiness, too.

I truly believe that life is what you make of it.

And vacations are no exception.

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My husband and I had a tiff on one of the nights we were on vacation. It happens. It was easily communicated after a night of sleep (I am not a believer in the adage: do not go to bed angry) and now I think it is funny. And the tagline that infuriated me and started the fight might be my new favorite thing to bring laughing tears to my eyes, “Settle down.”

If I never had a bad meal, then I would not know what a good one is. Even our bad meal was served with the best coffee I have ever had. Do you know what we took away from our one bad meal on Maui? Questions like this:

“Honey, where can we find coffee like that?”

And the bad meal also taught me: please don’t. Please don’t ever. Ever. Ever. Serve colored rock salt in butter with the bread basket. It is beautiful. And guess what? Salty. Crunchy. Salt. Salty.

No. Don’t do it.

Instead, we think of the yummy coffee. We forget about colored rock salt. And we dream of that coffee.

Of waves upon a shore.

Splashing.

Laughing.

Ghost crabs.

Rings of Saturn.

Flowers in our hair.

Sunscreen mixed with sun.

Blissful sleep.

Sunset waters.

Sandy toes.

“Settle down.”

Perfection.

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14 thoughts on “Maui 2014

  1. We haven’t been to Maui yet but after reading this I really think I need to consider putting that back on my list of places to travel to.

    It looks quite wonderful and much more relaxed than the main Island. I have always heard that Maui was more expensive. Probably why we have never gone.

    You took some great photos.

    I too love swimming at night. It is quite mysterious and exciting. They never seem to allow it where we go.

    Thanks for sharing.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    • Thank you Suzanne. Yes, you should definitely try Maui. We love it. It is pricey, but we eat small meals and one big meal a day. With Costco, I save almost 50%. But I do have to book very far in advance.

      We love to night swim. I especially like it in the privacy of our backyard. But the bugs can sometimes freak me out.

      Have a terrific Tuesday!

      Jenni

  2. What a beautiful recap. It sounded like a wonderful vacation full of memories and time together. I am so glad that you guys were able to get away and enjoy your time. It makes me miss the ocean!

    • Thank you Alicia! I miss the ocean, too. We live about forty five minutes from the beach, but we never seem to make it enough. I would love to go more this summer.

      Sweet dreams!

      Jenni

    • Thank you Kara. I wish we were back there. It is back to laundry and dishes and maintenance.

      Have a beautiful week!

      Jenni

  3. Amazingly beautiful beach pics, LUV them all! And of course you look lovely in them all!

    Glad to know costco travel is so great! We actually looked at their brochure after we took our 10th anniversary trip to Nora bora (prob a once in a lifetime, perfect trip that we saved for years to take) & they offered great similar trips. I’ll have to keep them in mind for further trips. I’ve found that suites are so nice for families w/ kiddos, esp as they get older. Your hotel looked super nice!

    Happy day to you!
    🙂 rebecca

    • Thank you Rebecca. I use them online. Their prices are always changing. And if you book a vacation and the price becomes lower you have to pay a $75 change fee. So, you really have to be careful when looking at prices. And a lot of the time there are strict cancellation policies. But we usually save almost 50% with them. We have also used them for Disney Cruises because you can transfer credits and they give you a percentage of the cruise back in the form of a Costco gift card when you return. That is always the best deal for that vacation.

      I have to do suites with older kids. Or book two rooms. Kids are expensive!

      Have a lovely Tuesday!

      Jenni

  4. So lovely! Thank you for sharing your vacation with us. Maui is definitely on Kyle’s and my bucket list, but picking where to stay and what to do is so overwhelming. It’s great to read your reviews and that you found a place close to the fun but where you could also cook for yourself. It looks like a magical trip, and I love the Hawaiian rituals that the staff shared with the guests. I value those special touches, too.

    That photo of you on the beach, with the sun streaming against your back, in your blue and white skirt? Ab so lute ly beautiful. So dreamy. So lovely. Just like I imagine a Hawaiin vacation might be.

    <3 Liz
    http://www.withwonderandwhimsy.com

    • Thank you Liz. It was magical. With the day I had today, I would give anything to be back there right now! I hope you get to check it off. I think we are heading somewhere else next year. Gotta keep it interesting. : )

      Have a marvelous Saturday!

      Jenni

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