Best Hotel and Food in Maui

{Hawaii Recap Part I}

I do realize the title of this post is a bit bold- but I think we hit gold in both areas so I’m excited to share with you all.

My husband and I took a kid-less trip to Maui, Hawaii last week and it was every bit of amazing. You could say it was 7 days of pure paradise. We said the same thing over and over again to each other, day after day… “this is seriously amazing, the best trip ever, I never want to leave…” Something to that effect. It was our fifth trip to Maui (Obviously we have a thing here…) and I can honestly say it was the best trip we’ve had. Maybe it was because we desperately needed it? 🙂 I don’t know- but from start to finish, I can’t rave about it enough.

The timing of it all was actually kind of funny. We left literally the day after Jude turned one. ha! What’s funny about that is I had told Trav all along that when Jude turned 1 AND was sleeping through the night (which was around 5-6 months), we’d take a vacation. Well I kept my word alright! I honestly didn’t plan it that way on purpose, but it just worked out that that was the best timing for us to go. We had our parents take turns in watching the kids (3 nights for one, 3 nights for the other set) and all in all, they were pretty good troopers… the kids and the parents. lol. For reals though! That ain’t no small task!

We originally honeymooned at the Hyatt Regency Maui almost 9 years ago (crazy!) and fell in love with it immediately. We love love love Kaanapali Beach. It’s a long strip of about 8-10 resorts (don’t quote me on that) all ocean front and mostly 5 Star. There’s a walkway along the water that connects all of the hotels and takes you into a shopping center called Whaler’s Village. There you’ll find a few of our favorite restaurants- The Hula Grill, and my personal fav- Leilanis (best fish tacos, ever!). They also have a few ice-cream/gelato shops, abc store (little market), and retail shopping. We always end up walking to Whaler’s Village (about a 10-ish min walk from the Hyatt) at least a few times as it’s one of our favorite past times while we’re there. One of our traditions is to relax in one of the hammocks (hung all along the walk way) on our way home from dinner and enjoy the hot breeze while listening to Hawaiian music play in the background. Bliss!

While there’s so many things we love about the Hyatt, a few of my favorites are: Open lobby with incredible views (pictured below is my favorite look out spot), Swan Court for breakfast (a must, even if you aren’t staying there), mini penguins & birds (for my animal loving self), kids pool area (we took our kids with us last time and they LOVED the play area), & last but not least, they serve the best shave ice on the island. Everybody knows Ululani’s is one of the best, if not the best.

Favorite places to eat:

  • Swan Court for Breakfast- ambiance is incredible! Plus an awesome buffet
  • The Gazebo (skip the long line and order take-out. Sit on the beach and enjoy!) for Breakfast
  • Choice Health Bar for Breakfast- Best Acai bowl I’ve ever had! (pictured below)
  • Aloha Mixed Plate for Dinner- FAV! best local food. Great prices, too!
  • Leilani’s for Dinner- Remember, fish tacos!
  • Hula Grill for Dinner- Burgers are our go-to here!
  • Mama’s Fish House- I think everyone who’s been can testify it’s the BEST!!! Little bit pricier FYI
  • Merriman’s – The wait was too long so we opted out but I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about this place. Try and get there before sunset because it’s a gorgeous spot to grab some drinks/apps (or dinner) and watch the sunset!
  • A few other recommendations from some of you guys (thank you!!!) that we didn’t have time to visit are: 808 Deli, Sloppy Cakes (breakfast), Koas, Fridas


So- we’re kind of boring when it comes to activities 😉 We have such busy lives at home that when we go on vacation, we vacation. Like lay out, veg, maybe swim a little, lay out some more. We don’t like having a schedule and roll by the seat of our pants. However, there is tons to do if you’re the activity/do-er type! You can rent paddle boards and head out into the ocean, snorkel (just don’t touch the turtles!!! I may or may not have), go whale watching (right now is actually the best time to go! We saw a few whales when we were there and we weren’t even “whale watching”). We did get a couples massage while we were there and it was freaking unbelievable! It was at Serenity spa Maui. Soooooo good (I’m a massage snob) and the people were so sweet, too. And bonus, right next door is a really good coffee shop (I forget the name) and it’s a cute shopping center/street to walk around and take pictures (first picture below is one of the cafe’s). It’s totally that Island feel that you want to to experience while you’re there. This is all around Lahaiana BTW 🙂

The picture above was taken at a super cute fruit stand on the side of the road, about 5 miles from the Hyatt (headed towards the airport- don’t ask me anything else, I’m horrible with directions…)

I got a few questions from you guys so I wanted to make sure I answered them all- here ya go…

Q: What’s the coolest it gets? Like, are hoodies good to bring?

A: I’d say bring a hoodie or two. Most likely you’ll throw it on at least once or twice if not more. The mornings and night can get a little chilly, however it just depends on your weather. This time round was probably the hottest it’s been for us (which is weird because we went in March and all of our other trips were in August/September). So yes- bring one or two but you’ll be stripping them off mid morning 🙂

Q: How did our kids do without mom & dad while we were gone?

A: They did better than we expected 🙂 Our kids are highly sensitive (both my husband and I are so go figure!) so sometimes things that kids can brush off effect ours. However, they handled it pretty well! They didn’t miss us too much (we didn’t FaceTime as we learned that was actually harder on them last time we left) but were definitely excited to see us when we got home! I shared a little bit on Snapchat (mamamelly5 over there) – but it was SO cute when I saw Jude for the first time when we got home. I picked him up from our friends house and as soon as he saw me, he lit up. I picked him up and he would not stop staring at me. Every time I glanced down at him, he’d give me this huuuuuge smile like he couldn’t believe it was actually me 🙂 It was such a sweet moment- made my day!

Q: Did we see any kid friendly activities while we were there/ Is the resort kid-friendly?

A: Like I mentioned previously, we took our kids last time we visited the Hyatt in Maui (Ella was 4 and Brooklyn had just turned 2). They were completely infatuated with all of the animals at the resort and the kiddie pool area that we didn’t venture off to do anything else with them. Honestly, it’s a lot to take in for little ones so hanging out by the pool & beach all day will probably be like Heaven for them! Wish I had more advice for you guys here, but again, we stayed back at the hotel a ton because it’s so nice and it’s what we love to do. I did share some snaps of the kid area while we were there and I’m hoping some of you mama’s got to see it! This resort is 100% kid friendly, from the kiddie pool area that includes a mini water slide and a beach entry, to the animals galore featured on site (mini penguins, birds, flamingos, swans), to the beach… our kids loved it. Another thing I talked about in my snap story is how we took our kids to both the Hyatt and Grand Wailea (two amazing resorts). They preferred the Hyatt over the Grand Wailea. While the Grand Wailea is an extremely nice resort, it’s more secluded and a different feel all around. Kaanapali beach gives a more laid back, family friendly vibe where Wailea (where Grand Wailea is) is a little bit more uppity. Totally depends on the vibe you’re looking for, but we prefer Kaanapali.

Q: How would you “Maui” on a budget?

A: See this post for more details on a previous trip we took to Maui.

Q: Must have pieces to bring to Maui?

A: Fedora!!! and/or a trucker hat, a few bathing suits, shorts, sundress, flip flops, beach bag, and a flowy dress! Those are my must haves (PS- doing a recap of all of my outfits next… stay tuned)

Q: What was the best meal we had there?

A: Honestly, Aloha Mixed Plate. Good portion, good price, and SUCH good food.

Q: Is it necessary to rent a car or is there enough to keep you busy at the resort?

A: I’m sure you guys can guess my answer on this, but IMO, no you do not need to rent a car. If you are a foodie and have to try out all of these places I suggested above, then yes, rent a car 🙂 Otherwise, save the money! The Hyatt also has 3-4 restaurants on site that are super yummy. One of them offers delicious Sushi too- MY FAV!

Q: When traveling to Hawaii with kids, how do you handle the time difference?

A: Good question. Trav and I always talk about this dilemma 😉 I mean- it is what it is. For us, we live in CA so it’s a three hour time difference at most (two if we’re going in the off season). The first morning with our kids was a little rough- we got up at 5:oo am. On the bright side? We got to the sun rise 🙂 From  there on out, they slowly adjusted. Your kids will be SO exhausted from the non-stop-ness and sun that they’ll crash and just go with the flow. I’m actually a pretty scheduled person when it comes to my kids daily schedules (naps etc.) but I’ve learned you have to just let it go while on vacation. We did do early nights and early mornings, but we’d prefer it that way. There’s something about a long morning in Hawaii- I love that time of the day there!

I think that about sums it up 😉 And I’m pretty sure I just wrote my longest blog post ever- ha!

Until next time Maui (which hopefully will be late this Summer/Fall with our kids- ahh!)










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  • Julie
    April 5, 2017

    I’ve been waiting for this! Just made notes of all these restaurants, so thank you for taking the time to write out the longest post ever! (I love detail, so long is perfection in my book!) 🙂

  • KayVonne
    April 10, 2017

    Great post! Thank you.

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