Aloha! After three days in Oahu and three days in Maui with Pleasant Holidays, I’m already counting the days until I can visit again! I went with a group of 47 fellow travel agents and saw as much as I possibly could.
On Oahu, I got to experience the fun elegance that is The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort. Right on the beach in Waikiki, I could enjoy the soft sandy beach just steps from my room in the Malani Tower.
It was wonderful to be able to grab a quick breakfast, with Mimosas, each morning and snacks each night in the Malani Lounge.
On Friday, we visited Kualoa Ranch, located about 45 minutes from Honolulu in good traffic. There we took the Movie Site Tour which highlighted all the movies from Jurassic Park to George of the Jungle which have been filmed there. Then a quick boat ride out to Secret Island for a relaxing afternoon spent swimming, lounging and giving paddle boarding a try!
If you happen to be in Waikiki on a Thursday night make sure to take a stroll through Hyatt’s Farmers Market. The market runs through the atrium and has vendors from all over the island. It’s a great chance to sample local dishes and do a bit of shopping.
We headed to Maui bright and early Saturday morning, and spent the day visiting resorts in Waimea and Kaanapali ending with our hotel the Sheraton Kaanapali.
It was our longest day, and I was so tired by the end of it I just curled up in my bed and went to sleep. In the morning, I took the time to appreciate the beautiful view of the pool, ocean and beach from my balcony on the 6th floor.
On Sunday, our group visited the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, Montage Kapalua Bay, Royal Lahaina and Honua Kai Resort & Spa. Then we spent time back at the Sheraton in the afternoon. The beach at the Sheraton had wonderfully soft sand and clear waters that were a bit chilly but felt great after a day of sightseeing.
While in Maui we also had the chance to visit Maui Ocean Vodka, Surfing Goat Dairy and Maui Tropical Plantation. I thoroughly enjoyed each, but my favorite had to be Surfing Goat Dairy. We got to tour their facilities, meet a few of the cheese makers, feed a few goats and taste six different types of goat cheese! As a girl who could live off bread and cheese, I was a very happy camper. If you do decide to visit Surfing Goat Dairy, I highly recommend also making a stop at Maui Ocean Vodka. They are only about 10 minutes away from each other and make for a great afternoon.
Our last night was spent experiencing Halloween in Lahaina! Before we arrived folks on the island had told us they were expecting 40,000 people to attend. They did not lie. The streets were packed with people in costumes ranging from the Solar System to Prince (complete with backup band and inflatable guitars). There were music venues all along Front Street that had been set up and activities going on throughout the night. If you are thinking about attending this event, I would suggest making a full evening of it. I was a bit burnt out by the time we arrived, and feel that some time to rest in the afternoon would have been greatly helpful for appreciating Halloween in Lahaina for all it is.
On the flight, back home, I slept! For the first time, I had no trouble falling fast asleep on an airplane. I can’t thank Pleasant Holidays, Hawaiian Airlines and the Hawaii Convention & Visitors Bureau enough for all the work they put into this trip from arranging everything to being our fearless leaders throughout. The experience is not something I will forget quickly, and now I just need to find the time to go back! Aloha and mahalo.
Catherine Moore | Carefree Vacations ADMIN SPECIALIST
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