Magnificent Maui and Its Kids Sister Islands

Physician's Money Digest September 2005
Volume 12
Issue 13

Maui has everything.There are secludedbeaches to the south infashionable Waileawith gorgeously designed and landscapeddestination resorts such as theKea Lani, now a member of theFairmont group (800-257-7544; Guests stayingin the recently upgraded villas havea private pool and patio and the optionof the executive chef preparing dinneron their private barbecue.

Maui also has the less chic town ofLahaina, where high-rise condos likethe Kaanapali Alii offer easy parking, ahuge pool, and individually owned anddecorated suites that, like the Kea Lani'svillas, have a full kitchen (800-642-6284; The Westin Maui Resort& Spa (866-500-8313; lies on one side of the condocomplex and the Hyatt Regency Mauiand Spa Moana (888-591-1234; on the other, so touristsstaying in the condos can stroll ineither direction for an upscale meal,Pohaku hot stone spa treatment, orlomi lomi massage.

Maui also has Wailuku, the realHawaii where sugar barons andbankers built their mansions, some ofwhich were converted to cozy bed andbreakfasts, such as the 10-room OldWailuku Inn (800-305-4899; The inn owners spoilvisitors with big quilted beds, full breakfasts,and a pantry that guests can raidany time their stomachs feel empty.

Island Delights

Maui's attractions are as scattered asits lodgings. Lahaina is home to thelong-established Old Lahaina Luau(800-248-5828;, which offers the island's history insong and dance, a native feast, and anopen bar where contented visitors lineup frequently for their Mai Tai, LavaFlow, and ChiChi drinks. OtherLahaina tourist attractions include theAtlantis submarine dive that goes downto 150 feet (800-548-6262; and the multipleaquariums at Maalaea of the MauiOcean Center (808-270-7000; The OceanCenter opened in 1998, and has beennamed "Hawaii's Top-Rated Family Attraction"by Zagat survey.


Unexpected pleasures in Maui arethe little towns upcountry, where cattleand Hawaiian paniolos (America's originalcowboys) roam. Paia, 9 miles eastof the main airport, is like a Texas townof the 1930s, and Makawao, 10 milesto the south, is a similar small-townjewel. Randy Groden, an artist standingin his gallery before diverse portraitshe's painted, says, "Makawao has beencalled the Sedona of the Pacific. Visitorscoming this far into the interior are discriminatingabout art, have done theirresearch, and are great customers."Groden is passionate about his island,as are other locals. Dave Kodama,another Maui fanatic, opened his Sanseiseafood restaurant (808-669-6286; in 1996, andhis classic Japanese cuisine has alreadywon more than two dozen nationalhonors, the last being magazine's 2005 Gold Award.

Remote but Wonderful

Declared the "world's most visitedisland," in its success it has sought tohelp tourism for the two little islandsnearby, Lanai and Molokai. They formerlygrew sugar cane and pineappleuntil companies found the crops wereless expensive to grow elsewhere. Lanaiis easier to get to know; the two luxuryresorts have shuttles, and Lanai City (avillage really) is a fun walk. Beach loverswill want to stay at the luxury ManeleBay Hotel (800-450-3704; but those craving solitudemight choose the similarly upscaleLodge at Koele (800-450-3704;

Molokai is more remote and simple.It has accommodations at the Lodge atMolokai Ranch (888-627-8082; andyou'll be glad to find a claw-foot tub inyour room for a relaxing soak. Take thefamous mule ride down from the cliffsto Father Damien's former leper colonyand experience a tribute to the Belgianpriest who did so much for this groupso sadly ostracized.

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