I am back in LA and on set right now as I begin typing this up…but my mind keeps drifting on back to Maui…sigh. I was there for 5 nights a week ago, starting with Labor Day Weekend and it was just perfect.
If you have been following me or my blog for a while, then you probably know how much I LOVE Hawaii…I basically go once a year. Maui is the island I go to when I want a luxurious, relaxing and slightly adventurous trip. The island is less adventure driven than others we visit, but it still remains one of my favorites to visit. The main reason for that is WHERE we stay: The Four Seasons Maui in Wailea. It is one of my favorite hotels I have ever stayed at for so many reasons. It is a resort that pays such close attention to detail across the board, and every staff member makes sure that EVERYTHING is perfect for you at all times. They really go above and beyond at every turn.
The location is perfection and the grounds are amazing. It is on an incredible beach in Wailea…the best beach I have been to on the island. It is a public beach, as are most in Hawaii, but the FS staff take such good care of their beachfront and set you up so well if laying by the ocean is your thing (in a place like this, trust me…it will be your thing).
In fact, Ben and I only stay at the Four Seasons whenever we come to Maui (this was our 5th stay) and it all started when we spent the second half of our honeymoon here 6 years ago. We fell in love. With each other obviously, but also with the resort. And even though we have so many other places we want to go to and explore in the world, we keep finding ourselves back at the Four Seasons Maui because something about it feels like a lux home away from home.
The rooms are modern, cozy and luxurious all at once. They are all super spacious too- you get a lot here. AND whenever you walk into your room at the end of a fun day, there is Hawaiian music playing. ALL about the details, like I said. One of my favorite things to do at this hotel in the evening is to go to the lobby, set up with a cocktail and bar snacks while we watch the sunset and listen to live music accompanied by Hawaiian dancers. UGH SWOON.
Now, I will say….this hotel is not a budget hotel. It is high end. It is “special occasion”, a “splurge” type of place for sure…especially if you are like me and…well, a little bit cheap. That being said, the one thing I don’t mind splurging on is TRAVEL. I love traveling and splurging on vacations that build ever lasting memories, deepen my love for the world and teach me about things I wouldn’t know if I just stayed home and never ventured outside of what I know. To me, that is what life is all about and if I am working hard all year, you better believe that I am going to take some of that money I make and do something I LOVE in a place I LOVE with it.
The good news is, right now is Couples Season at FS Maui. It is the best time to go to the Four Seasons Maui and it goes from September- end of November. Why is it the best time to go? Well, because the kids are back in school, the hotel is less crowded and the rates for the rooms are lower. ALL of my favorite reasons to chose a time to go to a hotel…anyone else??? I have actually never been to this resort NOT during Couples Season because in my opinion, it is the absolute only time to go….unless you have kids. But actually…still, maybe just pull them out of school and still go during this time, LOL. I doubt your kids will mind, right?
If you are a couple vacationing during this Couples Season, the hotel also has SO many fun, romantic activities going on that make your stay that much more exciting and enjoyable. One night we sat under the stars and and heard stories about the ancient Polynesians’ journey to the islands, using only the stars as their maps. So cool and romantic. We also indulged in a couples massage in one of their private oceanside huts, which was exactly as incredible as it sounds.
Another tip: go to the serenity pool if you don’t have kids. It is off to the side of the main pool and isolated so it is quiet and overlooks the whole property. Tip on top of a tip: go down in the morning to claim your spot here if you plan on hanging at the pool all day…then go workout or have breakfast etc. If the resort is at all crowded, these spots will fill up and you don’t want to miss out!
As for food, the options here are amazing. We opted for a Couples Season dinner tasting one evening and did a tour of all the restaurants, one meal at each with wine and cocktail pairings. This was SO fun because we got a little taste of everything, which I am all about. We also got to meet some other couples in the process which was fun.
Our favorite meals at the FS Maui though are the breakfast buffet and sunset dinner at Ferraro’s. This breakfast buffet- OMG- is like the king of all breakfast buffets. Everything about it is PERFECT. They have healthy options, not so healthy options and everything in between. Hands down the best I have ever had. And dinner at Ferarro’s is also NOT to be missed. Try to get a reservation at sunset- check your phone apps to see what time the sun sets and plan to have dinner then, you will NOT regret it. Ben and I also love to sit at the bar there, if we have dinner plans elsewhere, and sip a cocktail and watch the sunset. They have the best little bar snacks ever- ask for the Maui chips and the trail mix, trust me.
The reason we love going to Maui so much is mostly because this resort to be honest. We actually like other islands more because we are super adventurous and love to be out adventuring all day…but as far as resorts go on the islands, this is our favorite all the way. Maui is more built up than Kauai. Less built up than Oahu. I always say that Maui feels more like the cool coastal beach town than other islands- that whole surfer dude vibe is alive and well once you get away from the lush golf courses and pristine resorts. Expect barefoot surfers walking around the local supermarket to get their poke bowl lunch (best place to get poke- MAJOR local tip coming at you!)
That being said, we do venture out on Maui and get as much adventure in as possible too. It is a pretty big island and you will have to rent a car to get around if you are going to see all the cool stuff. TRUST ME. RENT THE DAMN CAR YOU GUYS. We always drive around when we stay on Maui because unlike Kauai and Oahu, the adventure and fun times aren’t really at your doorstep. You will have to travel. Not far, but travel you will: like 15 min-5 hours type of thing (5 hours being is you’re wild and decide to do the road to Hana). A wide range for sure haha, but I would highly recommend deciding what you are going to do before you even start your trip.
This time, we went on three brand new adventures in Maui.
I LOVE TO HIKE!!! So obviously finding a new hike was something at the top of my to-do list. We decided to venture into Haleakala crater (the dormant volcano on the island). We drove to the summit (about 10k feet!), parked and made our way to the Sliding Sands Trail. If you followed my stories etc from the trip, this was the epic hike we did this time around! This trail is an out and back at high elevation, so keep that in mind when deciding what to tackle. You start at the top and make your way down into the crater and can turn around and go back up whenever you want. But if you want to do what we did….travel down 4 miles to the bottom of the crater for some insane views of what looks like another planet, and then start your ascent back up. This trail is tricky because it feels easy at first- because you are going down. BUT the way back up gets a little difficult because, well you are climbing, and you are also GAINING that elevation back and that gets difficult especially as your legs get tired. The terrain doesn’t change much and it is pretty sandy, some parts felt like we were walking on the beach. The views are amazing the whole way, but unless you go the extra 2 miles at the end that we didn’t have time for, there is no grand pay off vista. We also only saw one other person go as far down as we did, so the further you go the more desolate it gets. I would recommend this hike to anyone who LOVES seeing something different and doesn’t mind tackling an adventure that doesn’t end at a vista. OH, and anyone who wants to say they hiked inside of a volcano!! I mean, how cool is that?
Another hike we love and have done a few times already is called the Waihee Ridge Trail. We love it every time. You can look up best times to go on the AllTrails app- for any hikers out there, this app is a must. And of course, always be mindful of rain. It is not safe to do steep hikes immediately after rainfall- so refer to the site and ask the local hotel concierge for their opinions on the trails to make sure you’ll be safe once you start. This hike is about 2-2.5 miles up (and the same amount back down) through a jungle like terrain where you will see STUNNING views of the island, waterfalls in the distance and lush greenery at every turn. As you make your way up, you will find yourself at cloud level! Walking through the clouds is insanely cool. Hopefully it will be a semi-clear day up there so that you can see the views from the tippy top. The last time we went had the BEST views up top, but sometimes you’ll just be standing inside of a cloud, unable to see anything other than what is 7 feet in front of you- either way its awesome. There’s a picnic bench up top too, so bring a snack or lunch.
At The Four Seasons we took a stand up paddling boarding yoga class one morning: SUP YOGA. I had tried this once before in LA, but at a marina where the water was super tame. Doing it in the ocean was a little different! It wasn’t rough but we just moved around more and it made holding poses more difficult. I ended up off my board and in the water many times haha! Our instructor was super informative and made the whole experience very fun. She taught us how to do burpees and around-the-world jump squats on the board (which I was better at that the yoga part). There’s also something amazing about waking up and going into the water for a workout that just feels right to me. Definitely try this!!
Another new adventure we went on this time was a trip to the other side of the island to Ka’apali. We didn’t really have any plan in mind, we just wanted to explore. We ended up at Black Rock Beach, which is a VERY popular snorkeling location. I don’t like snorkeling at all so that wasn’t something we did, but as we were walking past the main area, we heard some music bumping. We rounded a corner and in the distance saw a huge group of teenagers cliff jumping into the ocean.
*I would like to take a moment to inform you all that I am a massive scaredy-cat. I am afraid of heights. One year for my birthday Ben surprised me with trapeze lessons on the Hudson River in NYC (where I lived for 9 years) and I got to the top and was so terrified that I started crying and climbed back down. I was fully harnessed in and there was ZERO chance of me falling anywhere other than a net while harnessed, and even that was too much for me. Just for reference here.*
I immediately wanted to cliff jump. I have been pretty introspective the past year and I spend a lot of time thinking about who I am, what I want and what truly makes me happy. I came to the realization that challenges make me happy and so does adventure, SO I vowed to try new things and break free of some of my fears that have always held me back. Cliff jumping was an opportunity staring me right in the face. If those teenagers could do it, so could I.
We walked around and figured out how to get to the cliff. When we got there it was literally ALL local teenagers who were SO cool. Nothing is cooler than a Hawaiian teenager…nothing. Ben didn’t think I was going to be able to jump….remember that trapeze experience? Yea. BUT to our surprise I jumped and I only stalled for like a grand total of 60 seconds before doing it. IT WAS SO MUCH FREAKING FUN OMG. I loved it!!! The cliff we jumped from was about 20-25 feet high. Not the highest of the bunch there but it was a big deal for me. I posted a video of the jump in my IG feed if you want to see the whole thing. If this is something that sounds fun to you, DO IT!!! Go and find that cliff and local teens and jump right in.
Aside from these adventures, we pretty much hung at the Four Seasons pool and beach…a little adventure followed by some lux R&R is 100% my vacation style. If you are looking to go to Maui, I couldn’t recommend the Four Seasons Maui more. It is a place we keep coming back to because its always a trip we never forget.
For other Maui adventures we have done on previous trips, please check out my previous Maui Travel Guide!
So that about rounds it out! I still have a lot of Maui I want to explore so if you have any favorite places you love to go, drop them here or on my Instagram- I love getting your tips for my next trips!
Don’t forget, I also have my Kauai + Oahu Travel Guide here! Just in case you want to island hop- I highly suggest it.
*All outfits are tagging in my instagram posts.