Perfect Getaway: Kā‘anapali, Maui

One of the most beloved coastlines in the world beckons this summer.
Snorkeling at Black Rock will uncover marine treasures, just off Kā‘anapali. Photo courtesy of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.

A mainstay on various best beach lists, Kā‘anapali was named best in the country and 10th best in the world by Tripadvisor this spring. Whale season just ended (Dec. 15 through April 15), but there’s still plenty of marine life to take in, such as dolphins and sea turtles. Nearby hikes to Honolua Bay or the blowhole lure active travelers, and Whaler’s Village is within walking distance for local shopping. Reservations for dinner are a must, especially at sunset. Stay as busy or relaxed as you like at these resorts, some of which are celebrating big anniversaries.


Family owned and celebrating 50 years sailing out of Maui, Trilogy offers two catamaran tours this time of year that launch directly from Kā‘anapali beach, making it easy to wander down the sand and climb aboard. Discover Kā‘anapali is a five-hour adventure that includes two stops for snorkeling and starts with a hot breakfast ($165). For a relaxing ride, the Deluxe Sunset Sail capitalizes on the beauty of golden hour and includes gourmet appetizers and unlimited premium cocktails over the two-hour sail ($109). Friendly and informed crew members share knowledge of marine life.


Every Sunday, local artisans set up booths at Maui Gift and Craft Fair at Gateway Center. Head there for intriguing souvenirs, art, jewelry, crafts, and more, much of it made on the island. Vendors eagerly discuss their wares and share island lore. Find thoughtful gifts including locally produced candles, pantry items, and island maps—plus the story behind them. Admission is free, parking is plentiful, and it’s an easy shuttle or bus ride from the resorts in Kā‘anapali.

The nightly cliff dive ceremony at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa is legendary. Photo courtesy of Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.


At the base of Black Rock, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa ($547 and up) provides the perfect launch point for snorkeling or cliff diving at the famous spot. Celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, the plush resort welcomes guests with a lovely open-air lobby perfect for catching glimpses of rainbows. Don’t miss the sunset cliff diving ceremony and nightly live music at Cliff Dive Grill. There’s no need to leave the property given the stellar snorkeling, large meandering pool, shave ice stand, and lu‘au offered three times a week. A new Ohana Package features a suite with four or five beds, an enormous bathroom and large lanai, breakfast and shave ice for four, s’mores, and treats for kids ($1,400 per night through Aug. 31). Wake up to the sounds of trade winds, singing birds, and lapping waves as most of the rooms face the ocean. The expansive property sits on 23 acres and values protection of the land: Reef-safe sunscreen and drinking water stations are plentiful.

The cottages and bungalows at Royal Lahaina Resort provide a serene feel. Photo courtesy of Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows.


Originally built in 1962, the Royal Lahaina Resort & Bungalows retains a sense of classic island flavor with plenty of lush green space to unwind ($473 and up). Renovation on the cottages begins this month, which will add modern and elegant finishes to complement the historic settings on land where royalty once stayed. Open the door to the lanai and invite the trade winds through your spacious room or relax on patio daybeds to luxuriate in the sound and sight of the ocean. The nightly Myths of Maui lu‘au features local food such as kalua pig and haupia in addition to traditional dances of Polynesia ($185). Spend your days on the water with rental kayaks, snorkel gear, and stand-up paddleboards. Land-based guests can dive into a book or picnic with family on the generous oceanfront lawn. Slowing down is the priority here; with fewer people on this side of Black Rock, you’ll find plenty of space to indulge in the laid-back atmosphere.

South African penguins have a home at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.


For groups of multigenerational travelers or those with varying interests, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is the ideal spot ($696 and up). Fitness and cultural classes are abundant, and many are complimentary: star gazing, yoga, lei making, hula, ’ukulele lessons, and more. Meander through the Japanese garden and meet swans, flamingos, ducks, and cranes. There are also cockatoos, parrots, and penguins (!!) who make their home in the lobby and are stars of a feeding session every morning. Cabanas or daybeds provide a good landing spot for the huge pool and waterslide, or head to the sand with complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas for the day. There’s even a complimentary 20-minute photo session and 5-by-7 print with Grins2Go, so you can capture vacation memories with stunning portraits. Delight in fresh sushi and other Asian fare at Japengo for dinner, particularly at sunset. The nightly Drums of the Pacific Luau stuns with thrilling performances and delicious food and drinks beachside ($210).


“A hidden gem near here is Macadangdang. The chef-owner worked with Roy’s for 20 years. Definitely have the mushrooms!” —Stephen Hinck, general manager of the Royal Lahaina Resort