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Archive for the Category "The Best of Maui"

Fairmont Resorts in Hawai’i Jan 03


The Fairmont Orchid – located on Hawai’i Island (The Big Island) is a AAA Four Diamond resort located on the sunny Kohala Coast. A 32-acre oceanfront luxury paradise the Fairmont Orchid offers guests access to golf, tennis,six restaurants, year round children’s facilities and a white sand lagoon.

Home to the famous  Spa Without Walls,which features massage hales(huts), indoor treatment rooms,a steam room,dry sauna, oceanfront massage options as well as a boutique with spa products. The Fitness Center features all the latest in fitness equipment, daily seaside yoga, pool aerobics and a world-class tennis pavilion.

Complimentary Daily activities include Hawaii Arts & Crafts and cultural hikes around the resort exploring ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and lava shelter caves.

A golfer’s paradise The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Golf Courses  provides a challenge for pros and amateurs alike with two award winning- Par 72-  18 hold courses the North and the South, which are consistently listed as one of the world’s top golf resorts by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine – amazing scenery featuring dramatic ocean views, lush tropical greenery with black lava as a backdrop.

Six Restaurants and Lounges can be found on property including Brown’s Beach House Restaurant(order the fresh ginger ale) ,Norio’s Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Hale Kai Restaurant, Brown’s Deli, The Orchid Court, In room dining, Kahakai Bar and Luana Lounge.  In addition several other great local restaurants within the Mauna Lani Resort Complex are available as well.

Weddings are available with many romantic locations throughout the resort available to choose from , the wedding and event staff can hand every small detail to make your special day perfect, whether you want a formal backdrop, barefoot with toes in the sand, waterfalls and lush foliage, a coconut palm grove or incorporate a Hawaii Outrigger Canoe.

It is said a little slice of Heaven waits for you at The Fairmont Orchid , visitors will not be disappointed.

White sand beach lagoon

White sand beach lagoon

Massage Hale at Spa Falls

Massage Hale at Spa Falls

Oceanfront pool area

Oceanfront pool area

Fairmont Kea Lani located on Wailea’s Polo Beach, Maui is Hawaii’s one of a kind villa luxury oceanfront resort. Offering spacious (860 square feet of living space)one bedroom suites and two story villas that are just teps from the ocean and include a private courtyard with plunge pool, fully equipped kitchen and barbecue grill – perfect for a family home away from home or for two couples traveling together on vacation. In addition to 24 hour in suite dining, Caffe Ciao Bakery & Deli( I suggest you grab a picnic basket to go when driving the Road to Hana or exploring the island), Polo Beach Grille and Bar, Kea Lani Restaurant or award winning fine dining fine options are available at Nick’s Fishmarket Maui offering the freshest in sea food and Ko which features plantation era cuisine influences by Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portugese, Korean and Japanese cultures. After dinner I suggest you watch the sunset from the open-air Luana Lounge – serving some of the world’s finest rums, extensive wine list, all your tropical Hawaiian favorites, Pupus and specialty martinis all while enjoying live entertainment.The Fairmont Kea Lani offers something for every traveler from the 140-foot water slide, toddler pool,free laundry facilities and sandy-bottom swimming beach. For couples on their honeymoon or anniversary trip they have an adults-only pool,two whirlpools and a swim-up bar. For those that are on a fitness regiment  they have a 24 hour fitness center, nearby tennis and adjacent to championship Wailea golf courses, a beauty salon and the new Willow Stream Spa. Fairmont Kea Lani also offers an award-winning Hawaiian Cultural Program. In addition to all the wonderful amenities on property so much is located nearby , world class shopping at the Shops at Wailea and other local restaurants.

But most importantly the most important amenity found at the Fairmont Kea Lani is the gracious aloha spirit from the resort staff add all this together and it is no wonder that year after year Fairmont Kea Lani wins so many awards and is the perfect vacation destination regardless of the reason for your trip to Hawaii.

To book your Hawaii Vacation at either Fairmont resort  Contact: Linda Dancer 

Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888ext 331  Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Email:


Luana Lounge

Luana Lounge

Main pool area

Kea Lani-Main Pool

Kea Lani-Main Lobby

Kea Lani-Main Lobby

Helpful Travel Tips for Hawai’i Nov 08

Aloha Bus

Welcome to Hawaii


There are direct flights to Maui, Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island from many west coast cities, but many visitors  to Hawai’i arrive through Honolulu International Airport and then a short flight over to the outer islands. Currently all major domestic air carriers and 14 international carriers fly into Honolulu, O’ahu.

Once you have arrived to your island of choice, many ground transportation options are available for you but by far, rental cars are the most popular option because you will want to explore the island you are visiting and a rental car gives you the most freedom to do so. Lock your doors and don’t leave any personal belongings in your unattended vehicle.

In addition to rental cars, round trip airport transfers, local buses such as the Aloha Bus, motorcycles, rental bikes and mopeds are available. Depending upon the resort destination you have confirmed your hotel in, there are also shuttles that run between shopping and dining options such as within Wailea and Kaanapali Beach Resort areas on Maui.

Some other helpful tips:

Time Zone : Hawai’i Standard Time  is the time zone for the Hawai’i Islands. ** Hawai’i doesn’t observe daylight savings time, so remember to add one hour to the time difference when visiting during (March to early November)

Area Code:  The area code for the entire state is 808– Hawai’i has very strict cell phone laws requiring the use of a hands-free device while driving.

Ocean Safety: You are on vacation, and although the ocean is Hawai’i’s playground to ensure a safe time while on vacation heed the warning signs posted about dangerous currents and offshore winds found in certain areas.Don’t stray far from shore and do not ignore warning signs when swimming,kayaking,stand up paddle boarding or windsurfing. For extra safety try to visit beaches that provide a lifeguard. For information about beach safety  Hawaii Ocean Safety.

Island Dress Code: You are on vacation no need to bring a suit and tie. “Resort Wear”  is appropriate even at the most luxurious of resorts throughout the islands which is considered shorts,polo shirts,sundresses, T-Shirts  and Aloha Shirts, jeans – but do check the restaurant dress codes as some will require long pants and collared shirt for gentleman.

***** It is a custom in Hawai’i to slip off your shoes when entering a home. 

USDA Inspections: The USDA enforces strict rules regarding the importation and exportation of uninspected plants and animals. Before landing in Hawai’i you will fill out a form to declare such items that you are bringing to the island/ likewise / When departing your luggage must pass through a pre-flight check and a sticker placed on your bag as proof it has been inspected for fresh flowers or fruits that visitors might try to sneak home. You can purchase fresh pineapples and flower leis  that have been inspected once you clear security to take home with you. For more information check out the USDA website

Other Helpful Hawaii Tips can be found at Travel Smart Hawaii

Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Five of my favorite Luaus Oct 25

Smith's Family Luau

For over fifty years the Smith Family Garden Luau as been hosting visitors on the island of Kaua’i, celebrating the spirit of Aloha.
Located within the Smith’s Tropical Paradise in the Wailua Marina State Park on the east side of the island, on grounds once reserved for Hawaiian royalty. Your evening begins as you receive your shell lei and you either take a narrated tram tour or a leisurely stroll around the 30-acre garden, but be advised the last tram tour departs at 530pm.
As with all luaus the main part of a luau for most is the feast, and you will not be disappointed, but for those that can’t wait for the music and tradidtional show they are in for a treat as well with Hawaiian hula, Tahitian drum dances and popular Samoan fire knife dance.
** Great location for destination weddings

Drums of the Pacific

Drums of the Pacific Luau at the Hyatt Regency Maui, sunset terrace on Ka’anapali Beach,Maui. Drums of the Pacific Polynesian Spectacular (a Tihati Production) offers takes guests on a visit throughout the Islands of Polynesia, beginning with the traditional imu ceremony, featuring dances from old Hawaii,Samoa,Fiji,New Zealand,Tahiti,Tonga and Rarotonga.
Guest are greated with a shell lei and mai tai or fruit punch, traditional arts and crafts demonstrations, torch lighting ceremony, all you can eat buffet with dessert bar,  and open bar –  general  and preferred seating available.

Old Lahaina Luau

Old Lahaina Luau – a Traditional Hula and feast – winner year after year for many awards including Best Luau and Best of Maui.
Located oceanfront at 1251 Front Street, Lahaina, Maui the location and layout of the traditional luau grounds  around a circular performance platform affords everyone a great view. This Luau  sells out nightly, so reservations in advance are a must. Also a great location for destination weddings 
Guest are greated with a flower lei greeting, tropical drink and personalized souvenir program, then escorted to your table and familiarized with the Luau grounds. The feast a wonderful buffet  and  premium open bar, at sunset the entertainment begins, the Hula is performed with respect and honor to ancient Hawaii – telling the story from Polynesian migration, the relationship of the Missionaries and the Merry Monarch (King Kalakaua) up to the more contemporty Hula.

Feast of Lele

Feast of LeLe is not your average luau, as the sun begins to set over the romantic, intimate oceanfront setting –The perfect luau for foodies.
Excellent  food is served plated  and served as courses, as opposed to buffet style of most other luaus throughout the islands. Another feature that I like is the layout of the tables  as opposed to long tables that are found at many luaus. Attention paid to every detail of  the evening.
I strongly suggest you book far in advance because it is likely to be sold out if you wait till you arrive on island.


‘AHA’AINA  – A Royal Celebration-held oceanfront  at the Royal Hawaiian Resort on O’ahu– pays homage to Helumoa , the legendary playground of Hawaiian Royalty.
Waikiki’s only oceanfront sit-down vignette dinner show is a culinary journey through history -before there was a luau, there was Aha’Aina-(translates to gathering for a meal) a feast of food, mele(song)and hula.
Sit-down dinner service, open bar and spectacular entertainment ( the royal family costumes are gorgeous, loved the inclusion of the United States military in the timeline of the history of O’ahu as well)
Another great luau for foodies-  Held on Monday night only, so suggest you book before arriving to the island.
Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Five of my favorite Spas of Hawai’i Oct 11

One of the hardest parts of my job is being able to answer What is your favorite? (pick a category) in Hawai’i, that is always such a hard question to answer, or to narrow down because there are so many wonderful candidates for every category whether that be spa,restaurant,luau,activity or island. Everyone has a different hot button that they really need to include on their vacation to have a wonderful time, for me  including a visit to the spa is always at the top of my list. Hawai’i has so many wonderful spas it was hard to narrow down to a short list of five of my favorites, but here goes:

Number 1

Kapalua Spa

Kapalua Spa -Located at The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, on the shores of Kapalua Bay-(Maui) is truly a seaside sanctuary. From the moment you enter the bamboo garden, the sound of water helps to transfer you to a place of serenity and calm. Embracing the healing properties of water and natural minerals from the islands with signature treatments such as Journey through the Ocean and ‘Awa & Cacao Lomi Wrap. Body and skin therapies are available such as Ali’i Kula Lavender Scrub and Organic Ocean Facials, a full menu of massages including Lomi Lomi(A healing art form from old Hawai’i meaning to rub) which can be preformed in 19 single and couples treatment rooms including 10 outdoor private bungalows that are truly amazing. Follow up your treatment in the tranquil relaxation rooms with sauna,steam,or cold rain showers.
Other Spa amenities include: A full service beauty salon,fitness facility with state-of-the-art Kinesis Circuit System, Yoga studio overlooking Kapalua Bay, Saline Lap Pool and sunning deck, a juice bar and retail boutique. For more information contact them (808) 665-8282
Number 2

Mauna Lani Spa

Mauna Lani Spa Located at the Mauna Lani Hotel and Bungalows, Hawai’i Island, is a past recipient of the prestigious honor of being rated #1 spa in Hawai’i by Islands and Hawaii Magazines (2009)
Each Hawaiian experience at Mauna Lani’s luxury day spa begins with a rejuvenating foot soak and signature “fire and ice” tea service. Hawaiian experiences such as LomiLomi Massage, LomiLomi Hula Massage(great for couples) Opu Huli Massage, Pohaku Pa’a(Hawaiian Hot Stone) or choose one of their signatures  Fire and Ice Pa’akai therapy.
Lava Sauna Experience: Open air sauna, warm llilli stones under your feet, a mixture of black volcanic clay is given to you so you can smooth it on your skin-when the mud dries-your stress dries too and is rinced away under a private outdoor rain shower, followed by re-moisture to your skin with signature oils.
Lava Watsu Experience: built amongst ancient lava tubes,this unique pool harnesses the energy of the land, features soothing skin temperature salt water, underwater acoustics, tranquil lighting and a waterfall- all the while the therapist supports you, stretches and massages you as you lie passively in warm salt water, bringing you to a state of total tranquility (great for expectant mothers).
Located in the Mauna Lani Sports Club: 68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Kohala Coast, Hawaii 96743   Phone  (808) 881-7922  Email
Number 3

Spa Falls

Spa Without Walls at the Fairmont Orchid,Hawaii Island listen closely and you can hear the water rushing through Spa Falls.Whether you choose to have your spa experience in one of eight private outdoor waterfall hale(huts) perfectly situated within Spa Falls,one of the six amazing oceanfront hale or one of four indoor treatment rooms a day spent at the Spa Without Walls will most certainly leave you feeling completely relaxed and refreshed.
As if you need another reason to love Kona Coffee, one of their signature treatments is the Signature Big Island Kona Coffee Exfoliation Treatment which will enliven your senses and renew your skin in a way you have never experienced. A mini massage and misting with luscious vanilla cream and spritz tops off this aromatic renewing experience (done indoors only).  HIWAHIWA – with infusions of Big Island Wild Orchids and Gardenias is another of my favorites at this spa.
Customized Massages  include LomiLomi, Sports,Deep Tissue and Pohaku-Wela (hot stone) massage therapy just to name a few
Full service salon  and  spa boutique to take home some of the signature spa products used during your service is available .
Fairmont Orchid is located 1 North Kaniku Drive, Kohala Coast, Hawaii  96743  Phone (808) 885-2000
Number 4

lap pool

Anara Spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai’ Resort and Spa – Honoring a culture rooted in the balance between wisdom and nature, Anara Spa weaves traditional healing customs into treatments to inspire lokahi- unity,harmony and balance.
Hawaiian Escapes-inspired by traditional healers who practice herbal medicine,massage and spiritual healing are provided in your private garden hale and begin with a tropical foot bath (great for couples as well).  My favorite is Kaua’i Clay – brings elements from local rainforest together to connect you to the healing energy of Kaua’i – beginning with local ‘awa root (used to ease anxiety and insomnia) is polished over your body with coconut oil and warm stones. Followed by a nutrient rich mask of volcanic clay to detoxify and balance your system, followed by a soothing massage with botanical lotion – amazing!
This  award-winning 45,000 square foot spa is the largest in Kaua’i  and includes a 24-hour StayFit gym, open air yoga and fitness classes – A full menue of massages, body treatments and facials are available as well as a full service salon and spa boutique.
Located: Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort and Spa, 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa,Hawaii 96756  Phone (808) 742-1234  Email:
Number 5

Kahala Spa

KahalaSpa located at the Kahala Hotel & Resort , Honolulu,Oahu(named one of the Top 20 Resort Spas-Hawaii  2012 by Conde Nast Traveler Readers). 
 If you are seeking an overall feeling of complete relaxation and rejuvenation you will find it at the Kahala Spa-they put a special emphasis on Hawaiian healing techniques and cultural practices,you can just feel the spiritual energy or “mana” here. A visit to the Kahala Spa is a luxurious experience-they had me hooked forever after the Ho’omaka(a cleaning and detoxifying sea salt foot scrub)
Signature treatments such as Lovely Hula Hands -a four handed dancing of hands you experience during this version of the traditional Hawaiian LomiLomi massage.
Kahala Spa has nine spacious treatment rooms-each appointed with its own relaxation area,glass enclosed shower and deep soaking tub. Spa therapists are experienced in a wide variety of blobal healing techniques and therapies, respecting ancient traditions as practiced by Hawaiian and other Asian cultures.
Kahala Hotel & Resort , 5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816   For more information contact the resort (808) 739-8888.
Did you know there are many benefits from getting massages?
1. Massage dilates the blood vessels and improves circulation, relieving congestion throughout the body.
2. Massage relaxes muscle spasm and relieves tension.
3. Massage acts as a mechanical cleanser,stimulating lymph circulation and hastening the elimination of toxic debris.
4. Massage encourages the retention of nitrogen,phosphorus and sulfur that are necessary for tissue repair.
5. Massage simply makes you feel good.
So next time you wonder if spending that extra money on spa treatments when you are on vacation is worth the investment, just know you are really doing something beneficial.
For more information on these  resorts and spa  Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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Whaler’s Village (Maui) offers so much! Sep 27

Whaler's Village

Whaler’s Village Shopping Center located on Ka’anapali Beach, Maui offers visitors over 90 shops, beachfront dining at several restaurants, historical displays at the Whalers Village Museum and so much more. An eclectic mix of art galleries (, clothing shops for all ages such as Blue Ginger, Pacific Treasures Boutique, BillaBong(Love the Sanuk Get Leid Loafers), Honolua Surf Co., Honolua Wahine and Tori Richard, Fine jewelry such as Baron & Leeds, Brighton(ask about their Hawai’i charm bracelet), Maui Divers, Na Hoku and Pandora. Have a long list of folks back home that you need to buy some special souvenir for? Not to worry you can find it at Whaler’s Village at stores such  ABC Stores, Honolulu Cookie Company,Martin & MacArthur, Totally Hawaiian Gift Gallery, Maui Toy Works, SWAROVSKI or something totally unique Lahaina Scrimshaw.
If during your shop till you drop outing at Whaler’s Village you should get hungry or thirsty  that is covered at the Food Court as well with everything from  Nikki’s Pizza, Subway,McDonald’s Express, Dragon Wall Express followed by something to cool you off at Haagen-Dazs or Yogurtland. Check out what is happening on Centerstage as well during your visit Lei-Making Classes, Hula Lessons and more.
But then there are those those romantic evenings on Maui, where you look  for the perfect mix  of sunsets  and fine dining-Whaler’s Village has that covered too!

Lei Lani's

Oceanfront dining at Leilani’s on the Beach offers the finest steaks,chops,ribs and the best of Hawaii’s fresh local fish and seafood, and the team at Leilani’s do an amazing job with intimate birthday parties, engagement dinners or rehearsal dinners (reservations accepted and suggested).Hula Grill offers live entertainment daily combined with wonderful island flavors, or Maui Fish & Pasta offers farm to table menu just steps from the beach, open air atmosphere overlooking the ocean,what better way to spend Happy Hour – Early Bird Specials –
The Star of the Show!


And then there are the Whales!

If you are lucky enough to visit Maui or her sister islands of Molokai or Lanai  during whale season, the star of the show will be the whales, and this one decided to visit while we were dining at Maui Fish & Pasta, so just another reason to visit Whaler’s Village. You just can’t plan these magical experiences so always have your camera handy so you do not miss the opportunity to catch them.

Whaler’s Village is Located on beautiful  Ka’anapali Beach:
2435 Ka’anapali Parkway – Lahaina, Maui  Hawai’i 96761 / Hours Daily: 930am-1000pm 
PARKING: Available in the multilevel parking garage adjacent to Whaler’s Village.
SHUTTLE SERVICE – Catch the free Ka’anapali Resort Shuttle from your hotel /the trolley picks up various times of the day  from 1000am to 1000pm from several hotels and resorts throughout the Ka’anapali Resort   OR the Lahaina Shuttle  is also an option for a nominal fee- Check with your hotel concierge for pick-up times and locations  depending upon your dates of travel.
Ka’anapali Beachwalk  if you are staying  at resorts  such as the Hyatt Regency Maui, Westin Maui, Ka’anapali Alii  a short walk from your resort along the ocean is another option for you.
Contact: Linda Dancer Direct Line: 828-256-1520 /Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
Exploring Maui’s Hana Coast Aug 30

Road to Hana

The beautiful Maui town of Hana is isolated from the rest of Maui by geography and can only be accessed by a short flight into the small airport or most often  by driving the “Road to Hana”, the destination is lovely, but the journey along the Road to Hana is such an experience one should not miss when you visit Maui.  Few drives throughout the Hawaiian islands are as beautiful as the Road to Hana, complete with black sand beach,waterfalls,cliffs,rainforest and incredible ocean views.
To get to Hana, one must travel  Highway 36/ which turns into Highway 360(Hana Highway) which is a 52-mile two-lane road with over 200 hairpin turns and cross over about 50 bridges-expect the trip to take about three hours from Kahului so allow a full day for this adventure. One of the first stops along the Road to Hana is Paia, a former mill town that is today a surfer spot with several restaurants,galleries and shops
At Mile Marker 2, a great stop is  Twin Falls  (Twin Falls Fruit Stand is your landmark)

Waianapanapa Beach

I suggest you take a picnic lunch if you are driving  the Road to Hana and stop at Mile Marker 32 at Waianapanapa State Park and Beach -A beautiful black lava-sand beach, a great contrast  to the surrounding ocean and lush rainforest. Here visitors will find picnic pavillions, restrooms, walking trails and a fruit stand. Careful-this beach is more for photo opportunities than swimming, the surf on the east side is rough and can be unforgiving. Spend some extra time after lunch and walk down to the Waianapanape Caves and learn about the tragic end of Princess Popoalaea’s life as she hid in the cave. Just past the town of Hana you will find Hamoa Beach, one of the best beaches on Maui.

Oheo Gulch

 Continue on for about 10 miles further to Kipahulu area where you will find Oheo Gulch, home to the Seven Sacred Pools a series of cascading waterfalls that make for an incredible swimming hole( the water temperature is normally a little chilly). Please be advised that the pools can change with the weather as they are filled by rainwater from the mountain above. Sometimes placid fed by graceful waterfalls, but with heavy rains on the mountain the gorge can turn into a dangerous muddy torrent and should be avoided. If you have allowed enough time (about 2-2.5 hours) before you leave the park, a beautiful hike along the Pipiwai Trail through a bamboo forest up to the Waimoku Waterfall is so worth the effort.
 Although Kipahulu  is actually part of the Haleakala National Park and may not look like that big of a distance on the map, the summit of Haleakala and Kipahula area  are not near each other and it is not a good idea to try to visit both on the same day.
** Just beyond this point  you will find the grave site of Charles Lindbergh at the Kipahulu Point Light Station.

Regardless of whether you choose to drive the Road to Hana yourself, or let someone else do the driving such as the tour that I took with Valley Isle Exursions so you can enjoy the amazing scenery along the way, just do it. Having done it both ways, I must say I enjoyed the day I spent with Valley Isle Excursions much more, I was able to relax and just take in the scenery that I missed before driving and trying to keep up with mile markers and landmarks.

Some pointers for driving the Road to Hana :     
* Be sure and take something if you get car sick
* Remember if you want to swim in the Seven Sacred Pools or visit any of the beaches to bring your swimsuit, a change of clothes and beach towels.
* I suggest maybe taking an old pair of sneakers that you do not mind getting dirty so you can hike to the waterfalls and other sites along the way
* Don’t forget  sunscreen, mosquito repellent and I normally take a small cooler of bottled water
* Very few options for getting gasoline in your car  so make sure you start out with a full tank of gas-Fill up in Hana before heading on to Oheo Gulch – the gas station closes early
* Get an early start, you won’t be as rushed, I always leave my resort by around 6:00am or so to try to beat the traffic as much as possible
* There are some road side stands to purchase fresh fruits and local crafts but vendors rarely have change for large bills or operate on the honor system so I try to take one dollar bills for this reason
* Start  your trip back to your resort before dark, I really would not suggest you drive the Road to Hana at night
With a little pre planning your trip on the Road to Hana will be something you remember forever. The Road to Hana is all about what lies just beyond the next curve in the road!
Contact: Linda Dancer   Email: Direct Line:828-256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
Mendes Ranch – See Maui on Horseback! Jul 26

Breathtaking views

Family owned and operated  the Mendes Ranch offers visitors to Maui an opportunity to see Maui on horseback (they also offer ATV tours) while getting to know this wonderful family. The original Mendes arrived in Maui from the Azores Island,Portugal in 1866. The ranch is located on land homesteaded in the 1940’s by Manuel Mendes “Red” and his son Ernest Mendes, hard to say how they survived those early years of roughing it out on the ranch with no electricity, no running water,dirt roads over rocky terrain but somehow they managed. Now the ranch is ran by Ernest son Allan J Mendes, the ranch has grown to 3000 acres, 300 head of cattle and 80 horses.
The journey begins at the corral where you are greeted by real Paniolo’s(cowboys) you are introduced to your horse. Trail rides  take you across an actual working cattle ranch past breathtaking views such as the one featured here, through rolling pastures into lush rain forest and gaze down into Eki Crater to view some of Maui’s largest waterfalls. Narrated tours continue down the mountain where you will see Hawaiian taro patches and plantation homes, continue along Waihe’e Valley to the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean with amazing photo opportunities such  the one shown here of Pete & Terrie(two of my favorite clients) during their recent visit.

Pete & Terrie

In addition to horseback tours the ranch is now offering ATV rides  combined with a short walking tour with their guide as they share Maui history and the rich heritage of the Mendes Ranch.  ATV tours are 1 hour long and come with refreshments, various times are available,  long pants and closed toe shoes are required, helmets and eye protection are required and provided.
Looking for a unique wedding location?  A wedding gazebo situated on the top of a bluff provides unobstructed coastal views, imagine this setting as the sun begins to set over the mountain.
For more information on horseback or ATV tours  or Wedding information their email is
Location:  3530 Kahekili Hwy. , Kahakuloa, Maui, Hawaii 96793
Ranch Office: (808) 244-7320   Reservations: (808) 871-5222
Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line (828) 256-1520  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331
Celebrating the Red, White and Blue of Hawai’i Jul 04

No better time than the Fourth of July to celebrate the Red, White and Blue of Hawai’i

Red Hibiscus Flowers, beautiful white sand beaches , and  the  Blue of the Pacific Ocean , with Blue Sky Above !

Wishing you and yours a Safe and Happy 4th July

Linda Dancer   Contact:  Direct Line  828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email :


Some of my favorite Hawai’i Restaurants Jun 21

  Located on the island of Maui, Stella Blues Cafe  is home to Stella’s Club, where a 4 course dinner is paired with amazing music,  so be sure and check who might be playing during your visit to the island.   Serving breakfast,  lunch and dinner  and  Happy Hour. Featuring  fresh local fish, Vegetarian Selections, locally raised grass fed beef and  Kiawe fired pizzas.

Breakfast  served 7:30a-11am —  Saturday and Sunday till 2pm

Lunch 10am – 4pm  //  Dinner 5pm-10pm // Happy Hour 4pm – 6pm

Azeka Mauka on Pi’ikea Rd , Kihei     Phone (808)874-3779

Beach House

Beach House Restaurant  Kauai– is known as one of the most romantic restaurants in the world, with views like this  plus amazing food  no wonder this resort has won so many prestigious awards with Travel & Leisure magazine and Zagat.

Open nightly for dinner – Reservations are strongly recommended–  sunsets here are AMAZING   (808) 742-1424   Dinner served  530pm – 900pm

Located  5022 Lawai Road , Poipu,  Kauai   —– on the way  to Spouting Horn

** Do yourself a favor and place your order for the Molten Chocolate Desire with your dinner request, so it bakes while you enjoy your dinner.


Ola – at Turtle Bay Resort , Oahu   

What can be better than  sand between your toes  while you are enjoying the fresh island seafood – The only restaurant on OAHU directly on the beach, a treat for all  your senses – Ola  – a fitting name for this experience means “life, living healthy and alive ”  Chef Fred DeAngelo  features an eclectic blend of  Hawaiian cuisine with flavors from around the world.

Featuring fresh produce grown on the North Shore within miles of Turtle Bay Resort and fresh fish from Hawaiian waters the menu is amazing.

Open for lunch 11a – 3p // Dinner 5:30p – 10p // Beach Bar 3p – 10p   contact them for special occasions

Phone (808)293-0801  Located: 57-091 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, HI 96731

Leilani’s on the Beach , MAUI , located  along  the Ka’anapali BeachWalk at  Whaler’s Village – food and service are both amazing and from personal experience Kako and her staff do a wonderful job with large party arrangements such as wedding rehearsal dinners.  Dinner menu featuring fresh fish, steaks, ribs   and  for dessert   Kimo’s original hula pie.

Oceanfront  romantic dining / great place to watch the sunset.

Located 2435 Ka’anapali Pkwy,building J1,Lahaina, HI 96761

Reservations suggested (808) 661-4495

Tidepoolslocated at the Grand Hyatt Kauai – is so romantic  – Hawaiian thatched roof huts seem to float above the koi pond, surround by waterfalls, and enchanted  as you watch the swans swim by while you wait for your dinner to be served.

Offering the finest in Pacific Rim and island style cuisine, fresh island fish and mouth-watering prime rib. I personally ordered the signature macadamia-nut encrusted mahi-mahi, and it literally melted in my mouth.

Make reservations but come early, a full bar is separate from the main restaurant and a great place for pupus and drinks before dinner.

Reservations suggested  (808) 240-6456    Dinner served 5:30p – 10p     Grand Hyatt Kauai

Located  1571 Poipi Road, Koloa , HI 96756

Hawai’i  is  a foodie’s dream destination each island has so many wonderful restaurants to choose from, I will have to continue my favorites in future blog post for sure.

Contact: Linda Dancer
Email  Direct Line 828-256-1520 Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Tedeschi Vineyards – Maui’s Winery Jun 07

Most everyone wants to visit Maui for golden beaches, fabulous resorts along the coast, and to play in the beautiful blue of the Pacific ocean, but personally I also love to go Upcountry, taking the scenic drive along Hwy 37, just past the tiny town of Keokea, this is where you will find Tedeschi Vineyards – Maui’s Winery.

   Maui’s Winery is situated on the historic grounds of what was once known as Rose Ranch where King Kalakaua came to relax, the cottage housing the tasting room was built for King Kalakaua, as you stroll throughout the original gardens, under 100 year old trees you know you have arrived at a very special place.  Literally as you tour the grounds with the winery staff, you are walking the same pathways once taken by ali’i(royalty). Throughout the tour you will learn how many of the historic lava rock buildings are now used in the wine making process, as well as the steps necessary to produce wine.

So how did Maui’s only commercial winery come to be in the middle of Ulupalakua Ranch?  In 1974 the winery  in collaboration with the ranch  began to grow grapes in keeping with the agricultural heritage of the area,  while the grapes were growing and maturing  the winery began to experiment with  pineapples that were already plentiful on the island and produced a sparkling wine that was very well received by the public, but hard to produce they had to come up with other options a little easier to produce, after three years of experimenting  Tedeschi Vineyards released a Maui Blanc pineapple wine from local fruit. Finally in 1984 the first grape product was released in the form of :Maui Brut Sparkling, and today they have a wide variety of wines to offer.

 When you enter the tasting room, you are welcome to sample both grape and pineapple wines all made on Maui-

The tasting room is open daily  9:00am – 5:00pm

Free guided tours of the winery are offered at 10:30am and 1:30pm – no reservations are required  ( but they do make reservations for small private winery tours and tastings – and groups of 10 or more guests – contact them via email ).

If you go during lunch time, I suggest you go just across the  street to the Ulupalakua Ranch Store, get lunch to go and have a picnic under the majestic old trees that stand guard over the winery. If you are brave enough try the famous Ulupalakua elk burgers, but as for me still working up my courage to try that, I prefer something from the grill from Maui Cattle Company Beef, and then spend time in the winery gift shop and history room after lunch.

So how do you go Upcountry to find the Ulupalakua Ranch and Maui’s Winery ?   Located about 1 hour ‘s drive from the resort areas of Wailea and Ka’anapali.

From Central Maui, take Hana Highway (Hwy 36)  to Haleakala Highway (Hwy 37)  – at the town of Keokea, stay to the right and continue another 5.1 miles to Ulupalakua.

Maui’s Winery – P O BOX 953, Ulupalakua, Hawai’i 96790 – Toll Free 1-877-878-6058

Contact: Linda Dancer / Email / Direct Line 828-256-1520/ Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331


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