The Best List: Hidden Hawaii - What's New and Off the Tourist Trail
Wanderlust With Us - Issue XXXV
April 8, 2021
The way we see it you either already have a trip to Hawaii on the schedule, we are planning a trip to Hawai for you, or you're thinking about going to Hawaii. Many of you have visited the islands multiple times, so we felt it important to highlight experiences and places that may refresh your view of Hawaii. Plus, there are some new hotel debuts worth mentioning in case you want to discover a new locale. Imagine a mai tai colored sunset, a gentle pacific breeze, and plenty of activities to keep your family engaged. And, oh by the way the beaches aren't bad either.
Take a Photo Tour of Oahu
Not only will you go to the most "instagramable" spots only the locals know of, they will teach you how to grab the perfect shot with your camera phone, a professional camera, and even a drone. It's the perfect chance to explore some of the most stunning natural sites but also those less visited by the throngs of people heading for their snorkel tour or luau. You can also turn this into a family portrait opportunity to commemorate a special moment together in Hawaii.
You may be familiar with the scenic coastal hugging highways, and if Hawaii is new to you, exploring on your own is a must do as you wind around one bend and discover an awe-inspiring site before the next. But how about instead of a stodgy rental car, you trade in your keys for the afternoon and take a spin in a vintage Porsche Roadster. Maui Roadsters offers reproductions of the 1957 Porsche 356 Speedster Convertible, one of automotive history’s most iconic sports cars. Best for couples since this is a two seater, manual transmission convertible. They deliver to your hotel and offer route suggestions for the perfect top down day.
Down the Hatch & Mala Ocean Tavern - Maui
Probably not on the concierge list and that's because Down The Hatch - A Place to East Fish is more of a Diners, Drive-In's & Dives place (and actually featured on the show). Nothing fancy here, just fresh locally sourced seafood, live music, and a kitchen that stays open later than other on Front Street. If you're looking for something a bit more upscale, their ocean front sister restaurant Mala Ocean Tavern has been a mainstay just off the main heart of Lahaina. If for nothing else, it's worth a visit since it is ocean front and popular with local turtle population so make sure you have a window table.
Manta Ray Night Swim - Big Island
Enter the ocean from a white sandy beach under the moon and stars where the manta rays are feeding. These gentle giants are the largest rays in the ocean. Thanks to the Manta Ray Advocates, they guide this experience so it's safe for the mantas and respectful of their environment. Children welcome 12 years and older. In Hawaiian waters, you may encounter manta ray “pups” with a wingspan of 2-3 feet and reef manta adults up to 12-14 feet.
Commission Some Really Cool Art for Your Home - Maui
Visit the eclectic and unique Welzie Art Studio or the gallery at the Andaz Maui and explore the quintessentially Hawaii Art, or better yet commission your own piece. A perfect gift or commission a family portrait (where you may be abstractly portrayed as a fish family!). Our favorite Welzie Art original are the price he creates on a surfboard.
Pearl Harbor Memorial, Behind the Scenes - Oahu
This privately guided experience curated just for you, takes you not only to the memorial, museum, and battleships, but also to some of the restricted areas with the option to explore a submarine with a former Commanding Officer of a U.S. Naval Submarine. We can work with you to design the sites, pace, and depth of history to get the most of this special visit. Skip the lines, skip the headsets, skip the crowds and walk away with a whole new vision and respect of one of the darkest days in our history.
Zip Line - Maui & Lahaina
There are a number of places you can zipline in Hawaii, but we prefer Kapalua Zip Lines because they have the largest network of lines (over 2 miles of cables!) in Maui and they offer the only all dual zip line experience on the island, so you can zoom through the air enjoying panoramic views with a buddy. Enjoy hiking, taking in the expansive views, and heart-pumping action on this half day experience. Or, if you want to venture to an even lesser visited island check out the Lanai Adventure Park.
Mauna Lani - Big Island
Mauna Lani quietly opened in January 2020, and, well, we know what happened shortly thereafter. What should have been one of the most anticipated hotel debuts, has now become one of the best kept secrets on the Big Island of Hawaii. Part of the Auberge Hotel collection, if you're familiar with their other properties such as the Lodge at Blue Sky in Utah and Auberge du Soleil in Napa, we think you will find that this is much more than a hotel. Its a wildlife sanctuary with the Malama Honu Turtle Program and a family oasis with enrichment adventures and swimmable beaches.
Mauna Lani is a place that understands catering to families - underwater rock climbing for the adventurer, Holoholo Kids Crew for children ages 5-12. It's also the only property on the island that can deliver a specialty cocktail to you on the sand. Paradise!" - Louise Dunn, Private Client Group, visited in December 2020
Sensei by Four Seasons - Lanai
Welcome to the un-beach, not so sunny, completely zen, adults only (ages 16+) all-inclusive wellness experience. You may remember this is the previous Four Seasons Lodge at Koele atop Lanai. Completely new and completely reimagined Sensei is truly an off-the-grid experience. "Embark upon the Sensei Way, where you’ll maintain a conversation with your body and mind through three synergistic paths that will equip you with beneficial, lifelong habits." From locally grown produce to sustainable practices, Sensei is passionate about food and its impact on our bodies. Want to get off the grid? This is your place. They'll even throw in the roundtrip flights from Honolulu on Lanai Air's cushy planes.
DuVine Bike Trip - Maui
Enjoy Maui from a different perspective, far away from the bustling resorts, discovering nature as you bike through the natural beauty you may have missed from the pool cabana at Wailea. It's an exhilarating way to experience the island. This seven day experience will take you to all corners of the island with options to spice it up with a more intense ride, or divert from the bike for some wind surfing and hiking, or just spend a last afternoon on the beach.
Next on the Hawaii Horizon
Exciting new openings are slated after some massive renovations. The much awaited iconic Kona Village is now a Rosewood property and will be reborn in classic Rosewood style with a truly authentic Polynesian experience expected 2023. Kona Village, a Rosewood Property
What many of you knew as the St. Regis Princeville, then the Princeville Resort is now closed. It will reemerge as the 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay so of you may be familiar with from Miami, West Hollywood, and New York. It's a wellness lifestyle brand that we think will be the perfect breath of fresh air to give this Kauai property new life, opening early 2022.