What a breath of fresh air you are, Maui. I could dive right into waxing poetic on the views alone– enchanting sums them up in one word. As a first-timer, I stepped off the plane, eyes wide with wonder (looking for someone to lei me– that’s what’s supposed to happen right?). We didn’t have much planned past the part where we drop our bags down and pick up a piña colada for the beach. So once we met that moment, it was all an adventure from there.
Matt and I have never really gone on a beach vacation together. We were in Europe two years ago and spent a few days in San Sebastian but rain changed our plans, so this was something we were really looking forward to. Speaking of rain, we got really lucky with the weather. It only sprinkled on two of the last few days we were there, but it’s not so bad when it’s still warm and beautiful. Plus, the aforementioned enchanting sunsets made up for it.
We stayed at Matt’s parent’s spot at the Aston Kaanapali Resort, in west Maui. The quintessential view of pool and palms overlooking the ocean was such a treat to wake up to each morning and sip coffee while we read. No one told me about the bird mayhem that happens each day when the sunset strikes. Anyone else creeped out by this? I really don’t like birds, however, I did find myself talking to them/trying to feed them french fries after a few days in– practicing aloha, I guess.
It was such a relaxing, well-rounded week. R&R, sun, amazing food and drinks (I did end up having to tap out of tropical cocktails quite early on, but hey! They were great while they lasted.), and views– oh, the views! I’m no expert (I’ll need a few more trips, cc: Matt), but I do have to share a handful of things we did that I will need in my life again at some point.
The first full day was the most action packed. We grabbed a quick breakfast from The Beach Club (on the property) and packed up our bags for the day. We decided to walk to Black Rock Beach in Lahaina, which took us about 35 minutes. It was lovely to walk along the coast and check out the landscape and views of each hotel and little bars along the water. We staked claim in the sand, popped open our Corksicle of rosé (my girlfriend is a genius and told me to bring mine for the beach… thank you, Mady!), and slowly watched our coloring go from SF paste to beachside bronze(ish). The agenda of the day.
Our highlights of the trip were…
Jumping off Black Rock together / I’m afraid of the ocean, so this was a big deal! A little video below.
Frida’s Beach House / Cutest spot (palm leaf wallpaper, hello), best salsa, food was great, drinks follow suit
Merriman’s / This came highly recommended by many. THAT setting did not disappoint! We were pleased to see a couple of our favorite wine labels on the menu, Peju and Banshee. The food was amazing (I got the scallops, delicious). The sunset that night was unreal, and we actually watched a wedding unfold while we ate. This was the most romantic dinner atmosphere and more formal than any other spot we went to on the trip. Dress up when you go!
Miso Phat / Such fresh fish! The humor (see name.) behind the menu and the people who worked there was so enjoyable. It’s a little hole in the wall spot and the food was fantastic, caught fresh every morning. Also good to know– you can bring your own wine/$5 corkage fee. We got the “TNT Roll (MISO the bomb)”, and the Ahi Sashimi. Yum. Ahi was definitely the theme of many meals.
Sunset Cruise / This was such a lovely evening out on the water (who can complain when on a boat sailing into the sunset?), but it was the most touristy thing we did. It took awhile to wait/load/etc., but the views and sipping wine with Matt in the most beautiful setting was so worth it in the end. I would definitely recommend getting on a boat at some point on your next trip!
Sansei Seafood and Sushi / Oh man. I LOVED every second of Merriman’s, but this food was by far the best we had on our trip. We almost even went back for more the next day but decided to try something new instead. SO, thanks to our very helpful waiter (the menu has a lot of options), we loved every single dish. We got the Fresh Hawaiian Ahi Carpaccio, Matsuhisa Style Miso Butter Fish, Hamachi Sashimi, Crispy Butterfish Tempura Roll (this was on special). Must go here.
Ritz Carlton Brunch / After posting this over the weekend and reading a few comments, I realized this is a very popular and well-known brunch in Maui, so I will keep it simple. Don’t miss the mini Belgian waffles, they are to die for!
Shaved Ice from Barefruit Bar / BUBBLEGUM flavor, emoji in the wild and the best treat I’ve ever tasted. That is all.
Plantation House / On our last night, we decided to try this spot and it was so beautiful! We saved the best view for last and pretty much had front row seats to sunset. The restaurant overlooks a golf course and the ocean and had a coastal charm I loved. The food was wonderful and again, that setting really can’t be beat.
We were going to go to Mama’s Fish House, a favorite’s of Matt’s, but ended up not making the trek. Next time!
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