Valerie Wilson Travel


This past October, my husband I celebrated our tenth anniversary with a week-long trip to the always warm and beautiful Hawaii. We spent three nights at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and four nights at Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection. October was a wonderful time to visit Hawaii, as the temperatures stay in the mid to high eighties range without the sticky dampness of the summer months. With one resort being on Maui and the other on the Big Island, each offered its own set of landscape, amenities, and style that made them each unique and equally celebrated.  

Hawaii is a perfect destination for multigenerational families as there are different amenities for everyone, all pointing back to a family-style culture to recenter and connect at the end of each day. I also saw a lot of couples like ourselves. The big island did not feel too busy, and there were few lines to my surprise. I do, however, recommend booking a car and all your dining and experiences as far ahead as possible! 

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort 

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is a five-star hotel on fifteen beachfront acres directly accessible to the beautiful Mokapu Beach. If you opt-out of lounging on the beach, five different Maui Pools are offered, including infinity pools, three ocean-facing pools, a lagoon pool, and an adult tranquility pool for guests eighteen plus. The pools had comfortable chairs with great food and service. The hotel offers 321 rooms, thirty-five suites, and eleven villas, each with tropical island views and modern, neutral-colored designs. A complimentary fitness center and the `Āwili Spa and Salon in Wailea are available for guests to enjoy during their stay.

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection 

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection sits on the Big Island along the iconic Kohala coast, just twenty-five minutes from the Kona International Airport. Each guestroom offered on the property comes with a fully furnished balcony overlooking the mountains and shore of the island. The hotel’s suites offer more spacious accommodations with two and three-bedroom options available. Private residences and Serenity Suites provide services ranging from personal pools, open-air designs, and beachfront access to the thirty acres of oceanfront property offered at this stunning hotel. All rooms and suites are fitted with natural decor that represents the Hawaiian landscape and culture with ease. The hotel features a farm-to-spa Auberge Spa, newly resurfaced tennis courts, and a fitness center including beachfront yoga to top off your stay at this slice of paradise. The service here is unmatched! 

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort 

Four restaurants and a variety of cafes and bars are available onsite at Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, including the Bumbye Beach Bar, the twenty-four-hour Mokapu Market, the Ka’ana Kitchen, the traditional Hawaiian Feast at Mokapu Luau, and more. One of my dining highlights while in Maui was visiting The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, off-site. The restaurant is a Relais & Châteaux property, and besides the stunning views of the island and property, the food was incredible! Before dinner, we visited the stunning Birdcage Bar in the lobby, which was a perfect prerequisite to the dinner – I highly recommend this duo! 

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection 

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection offers several one-of-a-kind dining experiences that will transcend normalcy and immerse you in the culture and cuisine of Hawaii. One notable culinary highlight includes the CanoeHouse oceanfront restaurant, a place known by locals that offers a five-course tasting menu encapsulating both land and sea. A traditional holiday-style Hawaiian Luau is additionally offered for guests to experience the Hawaiian culture of community and celebration during the holiday seasons. Guests can find the HāLani open-air eatery, Hā Bar and Grill, and The Market coffee shop on the grounds. The options are endless! You will need to plan your dining experiences far in advance at both locations as it was hard to get reservations, and hotels are not taking outside guests at this time.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort 

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is ideally located on the south shore of the island, a perfect spot for off- and on-shore adventures. We went on the Sailtrilogy Molokini Snorkle Cruise off of Maui’s southern coast and even got to explore Turtle Town. Lunch and drinks were served on the sail boat and it was a lovely day out on the water. An awesome feature of this hotel was an onsite photography team that captured all of our experiences, leaving us with some beautiful memories to look back on. 

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection 

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection provides guests with an abundance of options for adventure, including culture and heritage-focused activities, water sports and snorkeling, and culinary experiences taken straight out of a movie. One of my favorite activities was a helicopter tour through Sunshine Helicopters over the Big Island that felt like we were in Jurassic Park! The helicopter tour gave us a view of the island we would’ve never been able to see before. We had a front-row seat to the still-active Kilauea volcano as well as an abundance of waterfalls and the lush rainforest that covers the island. Another highlight was going on a hiking adventure to Kohalas hidden waterfalls with an expert naturalist who answered any questions we had along the way and provided us opportunities to eat the local produce along the hike. 

October 2021 by Ashley Lancer