Pages Navigation Menu

Newly weds Alison and Jonathan Beattie visit the ‘Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea’ and discover a world of chocolate, blissful spa relaxation and the ultimate road trip.

An Aloha Honeymoon

Newly weds Alison and Jonathan Beattie visit the ‘Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea’ and discover a world of chocolate, blissful spa relaxation and the ultimate road trip.

 

Wailea Beach, Maui at Four Seasons Resort

Wailea Beach, Maui at Four Seasons Resort

 

Maui is one of the gloriously remote Hawaiian Islands – a tiny dot in the Pacific Ocean, some 2,500 miles from the Californian coast and about 4,000 miles from Japan. It is an idyllic honeymoon destination because of its romantic isolation, year-round sunshine, natural beauty, wide choice of activities and quality accommodation.

 

Many of Maui’s beaches are long stretches of golden sand, but there are also black sand and red sand beaches, some of which require an adventure to reach. At particular times of the year, the high waves create perfect conditions for water sports like surfing and wind surfing. There is good scuba diving as well as places to snorkel and see colourful fish and sea turtles. From late December to early May, humpback whales can be seen cavorting off Maui’s shores during their breeding season.

 

Maui is known as the ‘Valley Isle’ because of the deep valley between two dormant volcanoes and other smaller valleys created by volcanic activity. The island also has a fascinating and diverse climate due to its various microclimates, two of which are among the wettest places on earth. The southwestern coast is the sunniest and driest region of the island; this is the area around Wailea and the location of the Four Seasons Resort.

4seasons front view

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

 

Surrounded by tropical gardens with pools, waterfalls and paths meandering down to a soft sandy beach, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (its official name) enjoys spectacular views of nearby islands and the west Maui coast overlooking the Pacific.

 

Arriving after an awesome but tiring trip to the eastern side of the island (more of which later) we drove into the resort’s impressive palm-lined entrance. Our weariness melted away as car and luggage were taken care of and we were welcomed with beautiful Hawaiian leis (flower garlands) – an orchid lei for Alison and one made from tiger kukui nuts for me. After a friendly check-in, we found champagne, a dish of locally grown papaya and pineapple and a congratulations card awaiting us in our beautiful room. And what a room – an ocean view suite with lounge and dining areas, a king-sized bed, huge all-marble bathroom with a deep bath, individual shower and double washbasins. There was also a private lanai (veranda) with magnificent views of the ocean and scenic west coast.

Roomwith a view

Room with a View

 

Our visit to the Four Seasons coincided with the annual Maui Film Festival in Wailea and its unique ‘Taste of Chocolate’ event taking place at the resort that very evening. The five-day festival hosts film premieres, special outdoor screenings, tributes and award ceremonies and is renowned for its casual understated elegance. A-list celebrities mingle with film buffs and festival evenings feature numerous culinary arts celebrations and galas with world-renowned chefs, delectable desserts, and sophisticated Maui farm-to-table presentations.

Taste of choc event 14Oceanfrontlawn

The ‘Taste of Chocolate’ extravaganza was spread over eight serving stations on the beautiful ocean lawn beside the beach. Candles, flares and live Hawaiian music added to the unique ambience. The menu had been planned months ahead by executive pastry chef Rhonda Ashton and her team and had taken 160 hours to create. It included exotic cocktails, cacao-themed savouries and a vast array of delectable chocolate desserts, fresh fruits and non-chocolate dishes. It was a thoroughly indulgent and fun evening.  Despite consuming an abundance of chocolate, the following morning we enjoyed a healthy breakfast in the open air Duo restaurant. Then it was time for some spa relaxation and our couples’ treatment.

 

We started with a 25-minute ‘Water Ritual’ experience in a warm whirlpool followed by an invigorating rain steam shower. This acted as a refreshing warm-up before our ultimate indulgence, a couple’s  50-minute signature ‘Lomi Mohala’ massage, carried out in one of the three oceanfront open-air hale hau – traditional Hawaiian thatched huts made from native palms and ohia wood. The hale hau are surrounded by the native naupaka shrub with its pleasant white flower fragrance and the tranquil and natural environment offers glorious views of Wailea beach and the soothing sound of ocean waves.

 

couples tratment

 

Inside the hale hau, the ‘feel good’ experience was enhanced by thoughtful gestures like bowls of Hawaiian flowers placed under the tables for us to see when lying facedown and organic ginger tea served afterwards. Lomi Mohala massage is a traditional Hawaiian massage in which the therapist uses their hands and forearms to make long powerful strokes down the length of the body strokes to melt away tension and boost energy flow. The special muscle-relaxing oil used in the massage is blended exclusively for Lomi Mohala massages and creates a warm and deep feeling of relaxation, both during and after a treatment. We felt as though we were floating on air at the end of our  heavenly 50 minutes.

 

While our massage at the water’s edge was the most relaxing highlight of our Hawaiian honeymoon, we also enjoyed more challenging activities. We drove to the summit of the ancient Haleakala volcano to catch the sunrise. Having flown to Maui from Florida, our body clocks were still on Eastern-time, so getting up in the wee hours of the morning for the two-hour drive was easy. It was still dark, windy and freezing cold when we arrived at the 10,000ft foot summit, so we were glad of our warm jackets.

slopes of HaleakalaSunrise

 

Watching the clear night sky and stars fade away as the new day dawned was an awesome and unforgettable sight. As the earth slowly awakened and the light intensified, the colours on the horizon turned from pale pink to bright orange and red. Watching the sun come up from above the clouds, the mountain peaks of the Big Island were clearly visible.

 

rareplantLater, as we descended the summit in the early morning sunshine, we noticed a silversword plant growing beside the road. This rare and endangered species only grows on the volcanoes of Maui and the Big Island where it can live for up to 50 years, blooming only once in its lifetime and dying after scattering its seeds.

 

Exploring Maui made us appreciate its amazingly diverse nature and breathtaking beauty. We visited Kapalua in the island’s northwest, famous for its white sand beaches and manicured golf courses. We also drove the scenic west coast road to bustling Lahaina. With its many shops, trendy boutiques, art galleries and restaurants, the historic former whaling town is a magnet for artists and tourists. Lahaina is also home to the largest banyan tree in the US – planted by the old courthouse in 1873, it now stands 60ft high and covers nearly an acre.

 

Of all our travels on the island, driving the ‘Road to Hana’ was undoubtedly the most exciting – it was so fantastic we made the trip twice. The coastal highway runs some 60 miles down Maui’s east coast, from busy Kahului on the north coast (site of the island’s airport and several shopping malls) to the isolated village of Hana in the east. The journey involves over 600 zigzag turns and more than 50 bridges. We saw rainbows (warm rain falls regularly in this part of Maui), lush terrain, waterfalls, volcanic black beaches and glorious views of the Pacific.

RoadtoHanarainbow

On our first visit, we drove the slow and winding road as far as Hana and back. We were more adventurous the second time, travelling ten miles further on from Hana to visit Ohe’o Gulch (once known as the Seven Sacred Pools), part of the Haleakala National Park. The visitor centre and car park is the starting point for the Pipiwai Trail, a dramatic two-mile hike alongside 24 (not seven) beautiful freshwater pools and waterfalls, framed by lush tropical rainforest.

 

The first half-mile of the trail is uphill and we were soon rewarded by the sight of the thundering Makahiku Falls plunging 200ft over a verdant cliff covered with ferns, trailing vines and bamboo. The trek continued past a gigantic banyan tree and then meandered through a vast bamboo forest eventually finishing under the spectacular 400ft Waimoku Falls. Water from the falls feeds the freshwater pools with each pool flowing into the next via waterfalls until the Pacific is reached. You can swim the entire series, or (like us) just take refreshing dips in the odd pool or waterfall.

Waimoku Fallswaterfall W

 

 

Some day we’ll return to Maui and make this journey again, but instead of returning through Hana, we’ll take the Pi’ilani Highway, the narrow bumpy back road to west Maui that hugs the rocky southern coast. Although out of bounds for rental cars, it’s another of Maui’s thrilling challenges that make the island such a joy to explore and why, for us, will always be a magical  honeymoon destination.

 


Alison and Jonathan flew to Maui with American Airlines

www.aa.com

 Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea, Maui
Hawaii 96753 Tel.

Tel: +1 (808) 874-8000

25-minute Water Ritual $50 per person

50-minute Lomi Mohala Hawaiian Oceanside Massage in Hale Hau $195 per person

Visit http://www.fourseasons.com/maui/ for latest prices and offers.

Entry passes to Haleakala National Park are valid for 7 days and cost $10 per car or $5 per person on foot, bicycle or motorbike

Maui guideRecommended reading:

Maui published by Lonely Planet  RRP £15.99

Photo credits: Four Seasons, Natalie Brown, Eric Chann.

 

Pin It

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *