I highly recommend the Westin Maui Resort! The resort is gorgeous and conveniently located.The adults-only pool really is adults-only. There are five pools, so plenty of family-friendly pools too. I loved that we could rent snorkel gear and walk down the beach to amazing snorkeling at Black Rock. I loved that Westin Maui offers onsite restaurants, is a five-minute walk to Whalers Village restaurants and offers the free shuttle to Lahaina attractions.
I'm glad we didn't rent a car on Maui. Between the Westin shuttle bus, Lyft and guided tour pickups, we didn't need our own car. Consider when renting a car not just the car rental cost, but also the $30 per night parking cost at most resorts on Maui. Gasoline also costs a lot more on Maui.
I kind of wish we'd done Hike Maui's Hana Hiking Trip instead of the Road to Hana van tour. I'd love to see even more bamboo forests and even more waterfalls close-up, but we really enjoyed the Road to Hana van tour with all of its stops. Above all, I'm really glad we didn't try to drive the Road to Hana ourselves.
I wish I'd made reservations ahead of time for restaurants at Whalers Village (especially Monkeypod), instead of being surprised by the long lines & waits at dinner time. The outrageously long lines at dinner time meant that we ended up eating from the burrito stand one night. The food was fine, but scurrying back to our hotel room to sit on the floor and eat was not glamorous. We do that (eat takeout on the floor) at home. I want a little more from vacation.
Chad took a surfing lesson that he enjoyed. I wish I'd gone to watch (and take video).
AdventureMaui.com made planning and booking our tours, hikes and surf lessons so easy. I highly recommend AdventureMaui.com !
I'm sorry that the United States of America basically subjugated Hawaii into statehood which many Hawaiian people didn't want. If you go to any Hawaiian island, be prepared to be reminded of this history. It's uncomfortable, but deal.
Like many popular tourist destinations, I sensed an undercurrent of resentment towards tourists from some locals. I'm sure it's rough to depend on tourism for the economy, but also to be real tired of tourists. I get cranky about the crowds in Austin during the numerous festivals such as Austin City Limits Music Fest, South By Southwest (SXSW) eighteen-day everything festival and Bozo Fest*.
Maui feels a lot like an idyllic paradise, and is priced accordingly. Be prepared. Everything (food, hotels, tours, activities, clothing) is much more expensive than on the mainland.
I'm so thankful for our Maui experiences. That said, the air travel time of eight hours in cramped economy class and the financial costs of a Maui vacation make this a once-in-a-lifetime trip for us. There are so many other places on this glorious planet that Chad and I want to see!