Aloha! On October 15, 2020 Hawaii reopened without quarantine to Americans who meet the pre-travel requirements including a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to travel. American Airlines now offers an option for a preflight rapid test administered by CareNow at Dallas/Fort Worth-DFW airport before your flight to Hawaii, and surely more advances in rapid testing are in the works. To celebrate this progress, the next few weeks I'll be highlighting the beautiful islands of our most exotic state!
We begin with the neighboring islands of Maui and Lanai because they pair so perfectly; they're only separated by a quick hour-long ferry ride or by speed boat, without any airport security to slow down your island-hopping exploration. The photo above is Lanai as seen from Maui - so close! These also make a great combination because Maui is a more developed island with a range of accommodations, dining, and touring, whereas Lanai is more remote and even more relaxed (which is saying a lot because Maui is super chill). Lanai is the state's smallest inhabited island, and Maui is quite a large island that takes some time and planning to drive around.
Maui is more than just blissful, relaxing beaches and offers great options for adventure and ecological tourism too. One of my favorite discoveries when I was on Maui three years ago was the incredibly rare Haleakala Silversword plant. The journey to the top of Haleakala, a massive and dormant shield volcano comprising more than 75% of Maui, is a jaw-dropping spectacle itself, and here you'll find the only Silverswords in the world! Maui also has many, active farming communities, and you can visit coffee, dairy, fruit, and lavender farms or go full Maui cowboy at one of the island's ranches.
Another iconic Maui journey is the Road to Hana, and we can customize this so you get the most out of it. A family-friendly version would include the highlights before turning back around halfway. More intrepid travelers can go all the way to Hana on this exceptional drive and then meet with local community members and Hana-based guides for unforgettable hiking, swimming, and waterfalls.
Lanai is just west of Maui, and they share the same waters, a channel that's world famous for whale watching between December and April when you're practically guaranteed to see whales who come to these warm waters to give birth. It's also the smallest inhabited Hawaiian island and used to be a state-managed pineapple plantation before billionaire tech mogul Larry Ellison bought 98% of the island in 2012 for $300 million. The island is sparsely populated and has only three hotels, a few restaurants and businesses, and no stop lights. Lanai's natural, unspoiled beauty is the fantasy Hawaii of vintage postcards.
Enjoy this taste of Maui and Lanai to start our journey through the Hawaiian islands!
Hotels & Resorts - Maui
Stay at Montage Kapalua Bay by Lahaina for a very family and groups friendly, condo style resort, situated on a legendary oceanfront location. The property feels relatively private but with all the amenities of a resort. At only 62 suites, it's small compared to other resorts around Hawaii. Kapalua Bay on the northwest coast of Maui can have a little more cloud cover, but the beautiful beach is only a five minute walk away. While no beach in Hawaii is technically private, because of this resort's unique geography, it's rare to see anyone outside the Kapalua community on this beach.
I adore the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea and stayed here with Dad three years ago. It's 22 acres of tropical Hawaiian landscapes and Hawaii's only all suite and villa luxury oceanfront resort. The Wailea coast in the southwest offers larger, more economic options right on Wailea Beach, and it's a lot more central for touring around the island.
Hotels & Resorts - Lanai
Four Seasons Resort Lana'i overlooks Hulopo'e Bay, where spinner dolphins outnumber the snorkelers. Perched atop a rugged, red lava cliff above a white sand beach, this oceanside resort has a spectacular golf course with three cliffside fairways. With excellent dining and gorgeous rooms, this is one of the top luxury resorts in all of Hawaii.
Sensei Lana'i, a Four Seasons Resort is a secluded wellness enclave only for guests age 16 and older. It has more of a mountain lodge vibe and is about 20 minutes from the beach. With its temperate climate and higher altitude, it feels a bit like northern California. The focus here is on spa and wellness with exquisite cuisine. You can choose to book only a room, or opt for one of their signature wellness packages. What a phenomenal place to unwind before returning home!
Maui Marine Experiences
Private surfing lessons on west coast
Private catamaran / sailboat charter for swimming and snorkeling
Sailing and snorkel day trip to Lanai
Private submarine expedition
Deep-sea fishing charter
Molokini Crater kayak experience
Makena kayak and snorkel experience in the Wailea area
Whale watching adventure by kayak, outrigger, catamaran, or motor yacht
Maui Land Experiences
Road to Hana adventure and cultural immersion
Private or group luau
Private upcountry food and culture tour
Upcountry coffee and farm tour
Ultimate Maui helicopter tour
Maui dining food tour
Haleakala hiking and driving tour
Private horseback excursion on working ranch
Private horseback trail ride
Private surfing lesson with a pro
Speed boat charter to Maui day trip
Sunset boat charter
Sail, swim, and snorkel adventure
Lanai Island helicopter tour
Lanai Island tour: Garden of the Gods, Sweetheart Rock, and Shipwreck Beach
Hawaii Itinerary Suggestions:
Hawaii Island Hopping (10 Days, 9 Nights): Maui, Big Island, Oahu
Romantic Luxury Adventure to Hawaii (10 Days, 9 Nights): Maui, Big Island, Lanai
Intrepid Hawaii by Private Jet (10 Days, 9 Nights): Maui, Big Island, Lanai
Nine Muses Travel works with exceptional tour operators who add unparalleled value for my clients.
Expert guides for private tours: historians, naturalists, artists, unique locals
Comfortable, sanitized, and luxurious vehicles
24/7 real-time support
Competitive rates at four and five star properties with strict health and safety protocols
Deep destination knowledge
Flexible and worry-free cancellation policies, including 100% refunds until shortly before travel
Contact Nine Muses Travel when you're ready for an Aloha State of mind
I design journeys that inspire by highlighting local arts and culture, history, and cuisine for intellectually curious clients longing to feel deeply inspired by exciting destinations, culinary delights, and authentic cultural experiences on a life-changing, joyful journey of discovery.
Founder & President