Honeymoon Discussions

Honeymoon in Maui review

My mom sent us to Maui as her wedding present, awesome!!!  So here's my review.  First, if you're used to the Caribbean/Florida with white beaches, warm water, drinks, and sunbathing, this is very different.  I'm throwing this out there for people who might not know, the water is cold, the sand ranges from gritty to straight up rocks, and the beaches in front of the resorts say no alcohol!!!  Of course that didn't stop us...Also there are tons of kids.  That being said it is absolutely beautiful, most beautiful I've ever seen, with tons to do, but I wish I had packed a little differently.  All I brought was bikinis, sundresses and nighties:)  

So we stayed at Sheraton Black Rock based on many recommendations.  The view was incredible.  That being said, we hardly spent more than a few hours there all week other than sleeping, so definitely staying at a resort isn't necessary IMO.  Anywhere you go in Maui practically, even driving to and from, you have a view.  The food is so crazy expensive at the resorts but the local spots aren't too bad.  Also, every beach in Hawaii is public, it's a law, as I found out the one day we tried to lay out at resort but there were tons of locals, ESPECIALLY teenagers.  So the resort just gets you a view from bed and a pool.

Activities: if you don't like dinner theater, museums, tourist traps etc at home you won't like them here either, and there is soooo much to do, so don't feel like you have to do the touristy stuff.  Honestly, the luau thing is lame, food not good, long, and cheesy.  My hubby leaned over about halfway through to whisper in my ear, romantic right?  He said is this almost over because if not I'll shoot myself.  This is just my opinion of course, so I mean no offense to anyone.  They have full houses every night and charge a pretty penny, so obviously people out there like it.  I'm just saying, if you're like us you might prefer to do something else instead.  The submarine rides are cool but you can see all the same stuff snorkeling, so if you snorkel skip the sub ride.  The road to hana is touted as a tourist must do, but it takes a full day of your vacation and we didn't think it was worth it.  It's an all day drive to see waterfalls and views.  Skip the drive, get awesome waterfall views and then some from a short helicopter ride (we even saw whales!), and spend the day doing other stuff.  Again just our opinion;)  Top two activities were dinner at Mama's Fish House - reserve ahead to get a table with a view - and horseback riding at the Mendes Ranch.  One last heads up, lots of activities revolve around sunset and you only have one per day so choose wisely.  An activity listed as sunset such and such doesn't necessarily mean you get a view of the sunset...it can be difficult to see, hidden behind other islands, etc...we skipped the sunset cruise because Lahaina town near the resorts has tons of sunset view and waterfront restaurants so we pretty much hung out there everyday. 

My biggest tip I wish I got, among many other tourists I overheard, is to have proper footwear.  We were all out there in flip flops and you really need rafting sandals or at the very least water shoes for a lot of the areas.  I had sneakers but wearing them into the waterfalls sucked lol!  But it was better than when I tried to brave it barefoot. 

There's so much to say so if there are any questions feel free, I've already posted too long for now! 

Re: Honeymoon in Maui review

  • Thanks so much for your review!  We're spending half our honeymoon in Maui and staying at the Sheraton also.  I feel like my FI would say the same thing about the luau. Wink

    Who did you do the helicopter tour through?  I'm never sure if I should book these things online or wait until we get there.
    Yorkie Jenga

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • I did research on the Maui forum on tripadvisor a few months in advance, told my mom what we wanted, and she prebooked everything.  It made it easy to have the itinerary with maps and all in advance of trip and she got a AAA discount.  There's a travel agent Pleasant Holidays with a counter in the Royal Lahaina hotel next to the Sheraton.  It looks like AAA brokered most of their stuff through them, we had to go there to pick our tickets up.  So you can skip middleman and go through them, plus conveniently located near hotel.  Also did you get breakfast included in your hotel package?  If not good!  There's a place called CJs close to hotel with yummy and cheap food, it's open for breakfast and lunch.  The lady working desk at Sheraton gave us coupons, I'm sure if you ask you can get some.  We ate portuguese sausage, eggs and pancakes for breakfast almost every day.  Way better and cheaper than resort breakfast.  For the helicopter ride we did Sunshine Helicopters.  If you want to zipline, you can get a combo package, and since you have to drive away from resort to airport for both of those activities it saves you travel time.  Most water-related stuff leaves out of the wharf in Lahaina town, which is down the beach from Sheraton and where we spent most of our time.  So if you want to do anything like whale watching, dinner cruise, snorkeling, fishing etc you can probably just wait until you get there.  We had a couple of free days on our itinerary and we had breakfast, hit Lahaina, compared boats and prices for different excursions and picked like that, it was easier than picking online.  You just go right out to dock and everybody is lined up with boats and ticket booths.  Then lunch in Lahaina at someplace fun with a beautiful view!  Lots of choices but we liked Lahaina Fish Company, it has $2.50 Mai Tais during day.  I'd skip the luau honestly.  My hubby was disappointed because it wasn't like the luau in Revenge of the Nerds:)  No drunks and debauchery at all!  More like Brady Bunch.  As far as booking ahead, besides the helicopter ride one thing to definitely book ahead is if you want dinner here, http://www.mamasfishhouse.com/...it came very highly reviewed on the Hawaii forum.  Book in advance to get table with a view around sunset.  It's beautiful (can't technically see sun it's behind mountain but the view and the changing sky is still gorgeous).  The food is so fresh the menu changes everyday based on the catch, and it actually list the name of boat and fisherman on menu.  So yummy!!!  Expensive but it was a highlight of our trip.  And if there is a sporting event during honeymoon that yall want to watch, Moose McGillicuddy's is where to go.  It has great bar food, good happy hour prices, and it's a haven for vacationers looking for the game.  One more thing I swear!  Stinger Ray's at Maui airport has a drink called Macadamia Mania, it's pina colada but with a twist.  If you're into that we thought it was our best drink of the whole trip.  Oh I lied, one more, bring your own snorkel gear if you can, it's cheaper online for better quality than stuff you rent there, and you can snorkel right at hotel at the black rock. 

  • I agree about the luau.  We did the Sheraton one and it was very disappointing.  The one called the Old Lahaina is supposed to be much better.  We loved the Road to Hana but to each his own I guess.  Wish we had known about Mama's Fish House--that definitely sounds great!
  • We did the Old Lahaina one!  We really just didn't get it I guess.  And the Road to Hana was pretty but we drove up the Northwest coast the day before which only takes a few hours total and it was so gorgeous!  Maybe I was expecting too much from Hana from the movies and since it is a full day out of the vacation.  We enjoyed each other's company but we could have used the day for something else. He wanted to fish which is a whole day and I wanted to do the Kanaio Coast raft ride, http://www.golf-maui.com/Activities/BlueWaterRafting.htm, looks so awesome!  But just not enough time:)
  • Thanks for the reviews. Your comments about the Sheraton are one of the many reasons I never stay in Ka'anapali when I'm on Maui. Way too crowded with tourists. I don't begrudge the locals at all - we are on their turf after all, but I definitely like to be away from the crowd.

    I loved the OLL, as did our wedding guests, but you definitely need to be into dancing! It's not about fire dancers, but more about celebrating a cultural heritage. To each their own though!

    I completely agree with the Northwest coast drive! It's spectacular, and there's great places to stop off along the way, and lots of great hiking areas.
  • The locals were so awesome!  We loved it there.  I didn't really word that right, I definitely just meant the crowds in general.  But a big part of the crowd was definitely teenagers jumping off the rock and I guess I'm more used to a couples only type place, as far as paying for a resort goes.  I'd rather stay at a rental in Lahaina!  I was so surprised at how many kids were staying at Sheraton, even toddlers!  Lucky kids lol, it only took me 34 years to get to Maui:P  I think had we been seated at a table of friends or couples at the OLL we would have enjoyed it more.  Plus for some reason it was really chilly that night and all the hot waiter dudes put shirts on.  Going back I would definitely not stay at a resort.  We had fun seeking out local places and local stuff to do, it was a big part of our trip.  It's just way too beautiful, interesting and with such great people and sights to stay at the resort at all!!!!  We definitely got great tips from locals - and ignored concierge and hotel staff - as far as great eats and hangouts.  I'd love to spend more time there and skip the attractions!
  • I already told DH I want to go back for our fifth wedding anniversary.  We just had such a wonderful time.  I agree about the Sheraton--I think it would be great for a family vacation but not for a honeymoon.  We stayed in Kapalua which was secluded and had way less kids.  You definitely need a car though since there is nothing much to do up there!  I would love to take that drive up the northern coast--that is the one little part of the island besides Wailea we didn't see but DH was too afraid to drive it.  Next time maybe!
  • 5 years, I told him that too!  We rented a Jeep Wrangler and cruised the coast all day every day.  The drive up the North is safe up to a certain point, it's a two lane paved road with stops, a trail or so, and really the prettiest views we saw, hands down.  But it turns into a one lane dirt road suddenly and with no warning!  You're not supposed to go there in a rental but we didn't know how to turn.  It was scary, but luckily no other cars were there so we went as slow and careful as we needed to and drove around these three bays which was so phenominal!  It's about 13 miles you're not supposed to be on of incredible coastal views, unobstructed, undeveloped, then you get to a town where you can take short safe way back.  So PharmJen if you try this drive the tip is when the solid yellow line turns into a dashed yellow line it's your last chance before single dirt lane on a cliff!  But definitely check it out at least up to that point.  It's truly beautiful.
  • Thanks so much for the tips about the road!  FI would probably have a heart attack = ) 

    The package I'm looking at I can upgrade for it to include breakfast but might not now that you mentioned CJ's.  It's not inlcuded when we're in Oahu either, but I find it hard to believe that I need to spend $50/day to have breakfast included in our rate!  FI will LOVE Mama's Fish House so thanks for the tips!   I absolutely cannot wait to go!
    Yorkie Jenga

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Any food at your hotel is expensive, even breakfast.  And 2 drinks at the pool or beach cost us $30 with tip--every.single.time.

    I would suggest splurging and having breakfast in your room just once.  We ate ours on our terrace outside and listened to the ocean.  It was wonderful!
  • @Stephie - I meant I could probably find breakfast outside the resort for less = )  Hotels are always killer when it comes to food and drinks.  We saw the same thing in Puerto Rico when we were there in 2008.  It's a crime what they charge!  

    For a normal vacation, I'd rather do an all-inclusive but for the HM, splurging + Hawaii are perfectly acceptable!
    Yorkie Jenga

    Daisypath Anniversary tickers
  • Thanks for the review! We'll be spending 5 days in Maui as part of our hm and right now we're trying to decide on the hotel. For our price range, it's between the Hyatt, Westin, Sheraton, or Marriot. Based on your review, I think we'll knock off the Sheraton. Sounds too crowded!
  • @chicago...I wouldn't cross Sheraton off the list.  All those resorts you are looking at share the same beach.  If you google map Kaanapali Beach and map the hotels, you'll see there's a strip of beach starting at Black Rock.  The Sheraton is on Black Rock which is basically a free snorkeling spot...Go down the beach and there is Kaanapali Beach Hotel and Whaler Kaanapali...these two look a little smaller than the basic resort but again they all share the same strip of beach.  Next is a beachfront shopping mall with restaurants called Whaler's Village which is central to the strip.   On the other side of that is Westin, Marriott and Hyatt plus a smaller place Kaanapali Alii.  So actually of the bigname resorts the Sheraton is most "secluded" because it's only big name on it's side of the mall and it's the end resort on a rock.  Basically it's all the same beach so I'd narrow by price and I guess the pool if you care.  All these places I mention are on like a mile stretch of beach.  So if you're going for seclusion you might want to check out Kapalua like stephiehall did...I think the only brand name there is the Ritz, so might be pricey.  It looks like there are a few boutique hotels that might be worth checking out.  I was also told Wailea, but it's a more pricey area, too.  Wailea and Kapalua are further from Lahaina, an area where we spent most of our time.  Kaanapali is adjacent to Lahaina.  Hope this isn't TMI!!  Oh if you go on other side of Black Rock up the beach there's a strip of beach with some more local or boutique type hotels.  The Royal Lahaina was my second choice of where to stay.  We had to go there to get tickets from the travel broker (Pleasant Holidays is in lobby and can book stuff for you).  It's advertised as the most Hawaiian Hotel and it looks super cute. 
  • Julianna is right although I think the Westin was the furthest one down on the strip.  This area reminded me of when I go to South Padre every year--it's one long strip of beach with the hotels all in a line.  It's a cool area but you will sharing it with kids and families. 

    We stayed at the Ritz in Kapalua.  Very few kids (although there were a few) and the beach is "private" in that it is only accessible through the Ritz-Carlton grounds.  It is much smaller than the Kaanapali resort strip but it is also almost like having your own private beach.  I much preferred this type of location for our HM.  If there is any way you can fit it in your budget, it is so worth every penny. 
  • Thanks for the review! We are going to Maui for HM in 3 weeks! So excited!
    We even already have reservations at Mamas Fish House.

    I was wondering about what to pack. You mentioned that you wished you packed differently. I figure we will have about the same weather in 3 weeks as you just did.
    Would you suggest jeans? Shorts? Sweaters at night? Any help would be great!
    I also plan to get water shoes!

    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • Just to clarify a little, the Sheraton itself isn't the problem as far as privacy goes, it has very big grounds, it's just sharing the beach with the other resorts.  If you get a room in building 6 (pay attention to what building you're booked in, some don't even really have a view), you'll have a private balcony.  The building is on a cliff, without a beach view (unless you lean out), but oceanview and you can see two islands across the way, the only people who can see you would need to be on a boat and trying:)  We watched whales and turtles from our balcony (room 6513), pretty awesome...http://www.sheraton-maui.com/acc.htm# shows the overview map of the property.  Building 6 is on cliff where the camera says Moana Lounge (left of map)...so all those buildings are part of resort and front the "end" of the beach which is a rock.  Check your building if you're booked here, it makes a difference as per privacy and view!  Oh it's close, building 6 has a breezeway to the next building, then you elevator down to beach pool restaurants.  It also has it's own parking separate from resort parking which made getting in and out a breeze.

  • @hbear...if you're going to do horsebackriding or ziplining, etc you'll want jeans and tennis for sure.  The weather could be a little chilly at night so I had the hoodie I wore at airport over and over:)  If you don't mind repeats one jacket should be cool.  It was so cold on the luau night I would have worn jeans and a sweater.  But I'm from New Orleans so I'm not used to breezy tropical nights, if you're from New Jersey you might think I'm a wuss for being cold at night:)  Also you might not think the ocean water is as cold as we thought it was, but we only went in for all of about three hours all week (not counting boat rides)!  Icy!  If you are easily chilled maybe bring a water shirt.  And definitely a hat or hoodie for driving the beach highway with the top down.  Otherwise shorts and sundresses should work, and definitely water shoes!  And since you'll be there during whalewatching season, if you have a view like we did you'll want to pack binoculars (2 pair if you have them).  We could see whales jumping out of water while we drank our morning coffee, it was sweet!
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