Hawaii’s Other Islands – Part Two
Out of the nineteen islands that make up the Hawaiian archipelago, it is Oahu that tourists will spend most of their time.
The home of the capital Honolulu and the famous Waikiki beach, Oahu is a popular holiday destination and home to over 85% of the state’s population. But there are other islands in the chain that deserve to seen as well. Following on from our earlier post about The Big Island and Molokai, this looks to show off the best the other islands have to offer.
Chances are that if you are going to venture of Oahu, then Maui is probably the first other island you would have a look at; and for good reason. The island has been turning to tourism to help plug the loss of income it used to receive from agriculture. Maui is one of the more popular destinations with visitors from the United States and Canada, with those two countries contributing around 85% of Maui’s 2.5 million annual visitors.
The island sports a number of tourist areas along the western and southern coast lines, from the beaches of Kaanapali and Kihei to the night life of Lahaina. There are also the black sand beaches and waterfalls visible from the road on the Hana Highway which snakes around the east coast of the island. Big wave surfers and windsurfer are commonly seen around the old plantation town of Haiku, where 18 metre waves are regularly seen.
The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the place to stay if you have the cash, with the hotel being recently voted as the best on the island as well as thousands of glowing reviews on Tripadvisor and hotel booking sites. Opened in 1990 the resort features three onsite pools with poolside spa treatments and four restaurant with the option of dessert on a private beach under the stars. If that’s not enough guests can take an outrigger canoe and watch the whales swim by during January to April.
If you are travelling with a large group or family the Maile Suite, located on the top floor of the resort offers space for up to eight guests in three bedrooms spread across 256 square metres. The Maile Suite, which is named after a local plant that is used for leis for Hawaiian royalty has a full sized dry sauna off the master bedroom as well as 6 connecting balconies offer views of the Pacific Ocean.
An Xbox and iPad are also provided as well as your own onsite personal assistant, and the suite also comes with complementary car hire during your stay as well as pre-reserved cabanas by the fountain pool.
Although the interior of the Mountainside rooms look amazing, the view may not be what your looking for, the Four Seasons website suggests to its guests that the the view is of the covered resort parking area. This maybe the time to see about cashing in those frequent flyer points for an upgrade to at least a partial ocean view room. Prices start from around US$500 per night. You can check out their website here.
Another crowd favourite, as well as being a bit more affordable is the Paia Inn, a boutique hotel just outside Kahului. With rooms starting from US$189 per night and $599 per night for 3 bedroom suites, the Paia Inn is a combination of European intimacy, Asian aesthetics and local Hawaiian warmth. The hotel is located just a few steps from a beautiful private white sand beach where the hotel conducts ocean front yoga classes.
The best room on the property is the stunning 3 bedroom Beach house, featuring amazing views across the ocean as well as your own private garden lanai and BBQ area as well as a spa. If the promotional video is anything to go by I can see this being the room of choice at the hotel. You can check out the video here.
The township of Paia, where the hotel is located is known as one of the ‘Windsurfing Capitals of the World’ and attracts a number of enthusiasts to its beaches, the township also has a number of boutique stores selling unique ethnic souvenirs and crafts and is known as Maui’s coolest little town. Check out the hotel here.
Lanai Island is the smallest publicly accessible island in the Hawaiian Island chain, and has a population of only around 3,000 people living on it on a permanent basis. There’s not a single shopping mall or traffic light on the island and everyone seems encouraged to live the laid back lifestyle. There are a few shops on the island although Richard’s market is the place to go for your artisan crafts and trinkets. Don’t expect to be out and about too much on the island as the most popular tourist attraction according to Tripadvisor is the Lanai Animal Rescue Centre which houses a vast number of formerly feral cats from the island. However the stunning coastlines and amazing scenery more than make up for that.
There are two Four Seasons resort on the island, one The Lodge at Koele in town and the other the Lania at Manele Bay. The Lodge features spacious balconies nestled amongst the tall pine trees that dot the grounds as well as access to world class golfing facilities as well horseback riding and archery facilities. Rooms start from US$320 per night. Have a look for yourself at the website here.
The Four Seasons at Manele Bay has it’s own private 335 metre white sand beach where guests can lounge around or go out snorkelling or kayaking on the calm waters. There’s also tennis courts and a pool as well as the opportunity to do some voluntourism with Lanai Animal Rescue Centre. Rooms at this resort start from US$400 per night. You can have look at the rest of the resort here.
Dreams Come True is a little Bed & Breakfast situated in the township of Lanai. The hosts, Mike and Susan have four rooms available starting from US$129 per night, or you can rent out the entire property for US$516 per night. The plantation style home has whirlpool tubs and is only a few kilometres from the airport and ferry terminal to Maui, the hosts are more than happy to help arrange car rentals and excursions. You can check out the Tripadvisor reviews here or their website here. (It’s in serious need of an update!)