Everyone wants their honeymoon to be perfect – rain-free, delay-free and fight-free. But not everyone gets what they want.
Renee and Lucian Capellaro’s Maui honeymoon had plenty of bright spots, but it was also filled with minor missteps that caused some less-than-stellar days. The biggest mistake: attempting a sea kayaking excursion on the windy side of the island.
“If you want a divorce quickly after getting married, go to the east side of Maui and go sea kayaking with your husband, because he will throw you into the ocean,” Renee said.
While they may have fought at the time, at least they can agree it was a tough experience.
“Kayaking was horrible, it was a visual expression of our inability to be teammates, also on that side of the island we didn’t realize how windy and cold it would be,” Lucian said. “So being out there and having boats come by and splash you, it’s not relaxing.”
The other element that made for a not-so perfect Maui honeymoon was the adults’ only pool at The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, one of the three hotels the couple stayed at.
“The hotel was nice but there were a lot of kids,” Renee said. “And the entrance to the water slide for the kids’ pool was right by the adult pool.”
“It was just bad planning by the pool,” Lucian added. “The service wasn’t the best, either.”
And the last dark spot in their Maui trip involved a poorly chosen boat trip.
“We did a booze cruise and signed up for unlimited alcohol and food, and we went out to this crater in the ocean and went snorkeling,” Lucian said. “But all these boats have oil that’s trickling out into the ocean and if you swallow the water you get violently ill, which we did. Plus, it’s choppy sea so you probably won’t use the unlimited alcohol anyway. They have another option where you can take a private boat ride; I think that would be better.”
Not exactly a great start, but their time on the east side of Maui wasn’t all bad.
“We did a submarine tour with Atlantis Submarines, which I think was awesome, but they don’t tell you it’s for children,” Lucian said. “The captain was in a costume and everyone was looking at us like ‘where are your kids?’ But I stand by it and say it was a cool experience, I’d do it again.”
Renee also loved the luau they had at the Westin, especially the fire dancers and the kitschy vibe.
And after a few somewhat bumpy days at the Westin, Renee and Lucian headed to the Travaasa Experiential Resorts in Hana, Maui.
“We got to the resort and it was just total peace, it was raining but still beautiful out and they had a cement spa bathtub outside our room with an ocean view, Lucian said. “The whole thing was just killer.”
The Travaasa is much smaller than the Westin, with huts on the ocean that are luxurious and practically force you to relax (technology-addicts beware: Some of the rooms don’t have TVs). The main activity is partaking in the myriad spa treatments available. However, it’s crucial you book your treatments ahead of time, Renee said, or you may not be able to indulge.
While the Travaasa was incredibly relaxing, the journey there offered a little more excitement.
“We did the Road to Hana backwards,” Renee said. “Technically if you’re in a rental car it voids your warranty, and some of the roads kind of disappear, but we saw parts of the island that I think a lot of people don’t get to see. You get really nice, not-touristy views.”
Whether you go the traditional route or backwards, the Road to Hana is a must. Running along the northeastern shore of Maui, it takes three hours to drive, but you could spend all day or even multiple days at all the stops along the way, like Hookipa Beach Park (one of the world’s greatest windsurfing spots), Twin Falls (where you can swim under a waterfall) and Keanae Arboretum (a botanical garden).
After leaving the Travaasa, the couple made time for a detour to the Haeakala volcano, which they say was fantastic, even though they had to battle the cold and hoards of tour groups.
“We were told to go at four in the morning to see the sunrise, but we didn’t put two and two together and realize it would be cold that early and at that elevation,” Lucian said. “But the sunrise was beautiful and it was totally worth it to be there and see the slow motion of the sun coming up. The only downside was the amount of people that showed up — there were hundreds of tourists there. You had to stake your claim. I had Renee in front of me, giving her a bear hug and elbowing people out of the way.”
For the final leg of their Maui honeymoon, Renee and Lucian took Haleakala Highway to The Inn at Mama’s Fish House, a famous restaurant that also has eight rooms available for rent. This turned out to be a trip highlight for them both.
“The room we stayed at had its own courtyard, its own kitchen, bathroom, huge bedroom and living space. It was really nice,” Renee said. “And obviously when you’re there you eat at The Inn at Mama’s Fish House, and the food was to die for. The fish is caught that day and they tell you the fisherman’s name and where he caught it – it’s the freshest fish you’ll ever have.”
The couple also enjoyed the shopping around town and walking to the many beaches in the area. In fact, their biggest piece of advice is to seek out small hotels like The Inn at Mama’s Fish House.
“Stick to boutique hotels if you can find them, the service is better and it’s more romantic, and the price compared with the chain hotels wasn’t that different,” Lucian said.
And while Renee and Lucian’s honeymoon may not have been 100-percent perfect, they did learn a lot along the way. Some of their top takeaways:
“Definitely get a rental car,” Renee said. “We had a Mustang and had the top down the whole time. I also would have reserved packages at the Travaasa ahead of time and researched the Westin more and not just chosen the cheapest package deal.”
Good lessons for anyone planning a honeymoon on Maui.
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