Located in west Maui, with views of Molokai and Lanai islands, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel has recently completed a $75 million property-wide renaissance, or Kealaula. Most remarkable in the makeover is the new beachfront restaurant, Huihui. Other transformations include accommodations in sections of the hotel with a modern Hawaiian-forward design as well as a re-energized courtyard, complete with edible and fragrant plants. The state’s oldest master-planned community has done a remarkable job of making upgrades, without losing the charm and character inspired by the island’s history and traditions.
Affectionately known as “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel”, the award-winning Ka’anapali Beach Hotel offers daily cultural classes, which encourage guests to travel deeper to understand what the aloha spirit is all about. Keep reading to discover the newfangled approach as well as to learn about what there is to do, see, and eat while visiting this enchanted destination.
Responsible Stewardship of Hawaiian Culture
After swimming in the ocean and soaking up the sun on the world famous Kaanapali Beach, a three-mile stretch of pristine sand on the western shores of Maui, treat yourself to an education at the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel’s Hale Ho’okipa in the lobby or at Hale Huaka’i on the beach. These cultural and adventure-centric experiences are designed for everyone in your family to enjoy, from courtyard garden walks to outrigger canoe guided tours to learning about different Hawaiian instruments.
- Hula: If you’ve been to Hawaii before, likely you’ve seen hula, a form of storytelling. Delve deeper and learn how this form of dance preserves the culture, language, and history.
- ‘Olelo: The Hawaiian language is complex and often hard to grasp. Learn the correct pronunciation of the Hawaiian alphabet as well as some common words and sentences.
- Ma’awe: Through weaving, you’ll make something with natural fibers that you can take home.
- Lei: There are multiple ways to make a lei and now you can learn not only how to make one but also, you’ll gain knowledge about the traditional uses and significance of this recognizable flower necklace.
- Mele: Now is your chance to learn about Hawaiian music and ukulele instruments.
- Kilomoana: Learn about the ocean’s resources and importance to Hawaiian culture through a discussion with a surfer, navigator, paddler, or fisherman.
- Kapa: Discover how Hawaiian cloth was created and see the plants that were used.
Modern Accommodations with Unique Touches
Return guests will be pleasantly surprised at the reimagined Papakū South Wing and the Kauhale Southeast Wing, which have both gone through a significant transformation with the help of Philpotts Interiors. Employee-made makamae shadow boxes with mākau (fishhooks), lūhe‘e (octopus lure), upena (fishing nets), and mea kaua (weapons) provide a special sensibility and nod to traditional Hawaiian culture.
A Grand Opening
The property’s new beachfront restaurant, Huihui, capitalizes on the postcard-perfect views that the location affords. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, executive chef Tom Muromoto has created mouth-watering Hawaiian dishes that are colorful and delectable. From a hikina bowl with cocoa chia pudding, granola, and fresh fruit for breakfast to a Moloka’i venison burger for lunch to fish lāwalu, which is wrapped in ti leaves similar to the ones grown on property, you’ll find plenty of satiating dishes to write home about.
Huihui, which means “star constellation” or “to join, intermingle, mix” celebrates ancient Hawaiian navigation. And, to that end, outrigger canoes are stored below the restaurant for future sailing academy lessons on Hawaiian voyaging and wayfinding for locals and guests.
Dinner here goes far beyond the tasty and creative feast and past the spectacular ocean views. You’ll also appreciate the live music and dancing performed by local talent.
Pro Tip: A plethora of dining (and shopping) options may be found nearby, within walking distance from the hotel, at Whalers Village should you want to venture off property.
Island Activities to Explore
Watching the sunrise at the summit of Haleakalā, the “House of the Sun” is a popular activity on the island of Maui. The Summit District at this national park includes the volcanic crater wilderness as well as the shrubland on the mountain’s slants. Exploring the windswept, multi-hued cinder slope by foot is an experience you won’t soon forget. And, with over 30 miles of hiking trails, there’s much to see.
Hiking on the Pā Ka‘oao, Keonehe‘ehe‘e (Sliding Sands), and Keonehe‘ehe‘e (Sliding Sands) trails are a great way to spend time in a diverse Mars-like landscape. For a truly remarkable experience make time for a nature hike at Hosmer Grove, where you’ll wander under fairy rings, full of conifer and eucalyptus trees. See the Leleiwi Overlook, the Kalahaku Overlook, and the Halemau’u Trail. Keep your eyes out for the endangered and rare ‘ahinahina, or Haleakala silversword plant.
Pro Tip: To make the most of your time, join Humble Tours on a small group adventure that includes the 10,023-foot summit of Haleakala National Park as well as two different trails inside the park. You’ll be in good hands with an affable hiking guide as you wander through incredible landscapes and nosh on lunch from a local sandwich shop.
Another great activity to enjoy while on your vacation, is snorkeling at Molokini Crater, a tiny crescent-shaped islet off the southwest shores of Maui. You’ll see coral, algae, diverse species of fish and plenty of nesting birds at this marine preserve and federally owned and protected seabird sanctuary. Practice your pronunciation of Hawaii’s multi-hued state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, also known as the reef trigger fish.
Pro Tip: Meet Red Line Rafting Co. at Kihei Boat Ramp, where you’ll get fitted with snorkel gear before heading out on a 15-minute speed boat ride to the crater. The knowledgeable guides will lead you on a big adventure that will certainly be a highpoint of your trip.