Maui: Mahalo for the MemoriesWords by Stacey Marcus
My husband and I began our vow renewal celebration on the island of Maui riding to The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua in a convertible in the dark of night and under a canopy of luminous stars. The air was delicious and the trees welcoming. Aromatic leis, lush flora and a warm “aloha” greeting welcomed us to the resort.
Life at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua feels like a gentle Hawaiian breeze. If you are lucky enough to stay at one of the gracious 463 guestrooms or suites, you will enjoy access to a variety of signature restaurants, the secluded D.T. Fleming Beach, an expansive three-tiered pool and the inviting 17,500 square-foot spa.
Highlights of our stay included swimming with sea turtles and seeing a kaleidoscope of colors during Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Cities Under the Sea program, and hitting the links amidst a 22,000-acre historic pineapple plantation on Kapalua’s Plantation and Bay courses. A favorite spot to renew vows at sunset is Lava Point, a sea-bearing cliff with spectacular views.
Next we drove to Wailea, the island’s sunny southwest shore, and a giant rainbow streamed across the sky. We arrived at the Fairmont Kea Lani, Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa oceanfront resort featuring 413 one-bedroom spacious suites and 37 luxurious two and three-bedroom villas. We learned the art of paddling and the significance of the blowing of the Pū (conch shell) on an outrigger canoe trip. The resort’s cultural ambassador led an ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i Session teaching the basics of the Hawaiian language (who knew there are only 13 letters?).
The resort offers formal spaces to renew your vows under a gazebo or in front of illuminated fountains. There are also many spots for renewal including the 9,000 square-foot Willow Stream Spa and three 24-hour swimming pools. Foodies will adore the myriad of dining selections including Kō, featuring Hawaii’s plantation era-inspired cuisine, and Nick’s Fishmarket Maui – serving up delectable fish selections paired with a 2,000-bottle wine cellar.
Our last stop was Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, a sophisticated oasis on the white sands of Mokapu Beach. Each of the 297 guestrooms and seven villas are brilliantly outfitted to feng shui your soul.
I enjoyed soaking up the sun at the three-tired infinity pool, dining al fresco at Ka’ana Kitchen and creating a custom oil blend at the ‘Āwili Spa. The resort also offers an over-the-top private cabana dining experience for couples who wish to celebrate in high style.
Whether you are planning your wedding, dreaming about your honeymoon or renewing your vows, you will discover the essence of aloha perfuming the air in Maui. Mahalo for the memories!
- Gaze at a waterfall on the winding, three-hour Road to Hana
- See the sun rise at Haleakalā National Park
- Kiss under the banyan tree in the historic whaling town of Lahaina
- Enjoy the catch of the hour at Mama’s Fish House
Photo Credit: Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort (1st, 5th), Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (2nd, 3rd, 4th), The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua (6th)
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