Hot pink sunsets, hidden cascading waterfalls, blissful beaches for days, and let’s not forget about the lilikoi margaritas—these are a just a few of the reasons Hawaii consistently lands on the shortlist for couples planning their honeymoons.
If you’re thinking about a sojourn to the Pacific islands, why not narrow it down even further (saving both time and cash) by zeroing in on the one isle that perfects the mix of adventure and relaxation: Maui. Here, your modern honeymooner’s guide to the Valley Isle.
Where to Stay
This resort had us at “adults-only,” a.k.a. a honeymooner’s paradise. Situated on a cliff above the pacific, this five-star intimate retreat allows you to be near the action but not in the midst of it. Each of its 72 suites are appointed with wood finishes, soaking tubs, and sleek kitchenettes that are enough to make you never want to leave your room. But if you must, master the art of the Mai Tai together by taking the hotel’s tropical mixology class or lay poolside in the living room-style cabanas. It’s no wonder Hotel Wailea was voted by Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice in 2018 as the number one resort in Hawaii.
Lumeria is the perfect place for wellness-minded couples to bask in wedded bliss and recoup post-ceremony. Perched on the verdant hills of bohemian upcountry Maui, the sanctuary features organic island-to-table fare from their restaurant, The Wooden Crate, as well as amethyst crystal reiki spa treatments, a meditation labyrinth, and daily outdoor yoga in their sunken gardens.
For a next level, off-the-grid experience, take the long, infamous serpentine drive (or 20 minute flight from Kahului) out to Hana and book a few nights at this unplugged oasis. The recently renovated boutique hotel sits on 70 verdant acres and is as close to Old Hawaii as you can get. On the romance agenda: couples massages, swimming in the saltwater pools, horseback riding, waterfall hunting, and watching the moonrise at the nearby Hamoa Beach.
Where to Eat
The Treehouse at Hotel Wailea
What better place to toast your future together than amid a canopy of mango and avocado trees in a jungle treehouse? During this private secluded dinner, ascend the candlelit steps for a sunset Champagne toast followed by a seven-course private chef meal, where many of the ingredients are grown in the hotel’s own seasonal garden.
Mama’s Fish House
Whenever anyone mentions a trip to Maui, the phrase: “You have to go to Mama’s,” is likely to follow. And for good reason: Dishes like lobster and crab-stuffed Mahi Mahi and Hamakua mushroom-sauteed Opah are prepared with fish caught mere hours before. Between the food, the exceptional service, and private coconut tree-laden beach setting, a visit to this North Shore gem is an absolute must. And if you can’t get enough of this heavenly spot, reserve a stay at Mama’s newly renovated 12-suite inn.
Monkeypod Kitchen Ka’anapali
The new Westside outpost of the popular Merriman-owned eatery has all the flavors of the original but with a sweeping ocean backdrop to boot. Nightly live music, over thirty beers on tap, and their famous Mai Tai topped with honey-lilikoi foam—what’s not to love? Make it a fun, casual evening out as you take in the sips and sounds of the islands. Menu must: the fresh ahi poke tacos with avocado cream sauce are truly game changing.
Four Seasons Maui Serenity Pool After Hours
This new offering at the Four Seasons resort allows lovebirds to rent out the hotel’s upper serenity pool from dusk until dawn for an insanely romantic experience of one’s dreams. Savor a custom multi-course meal prepared by the hotel’s executive chef and then let your every whim be accommodated, including massages in a plush cabana to late night/early morning dips under the stars.
A cork’s pop away from bustling Front Street in Lahaina, the Plantation Inn’s restaurant, Gerard’s, feels as though you have stepped into your French relative’s charming second home in Hawaii. Reserve a table on the dimly-lit wraparound porch and order locally-inspired dishes like snapper dumplings and scallops au gratin. Pair that with a Bordeaux from its award-winning wine list for an intimate meal to remember.
What to Do
At this enchanting spa, you’re not only immersing yourselves in total tranquil relaxation but in Hawaiian culture as well. Their signature Lomi Lomi massage is an ancient healing art that realigns the body, improves circulation, and elevates overall wellbeing. It’s a little slice of heaven on earth tucked away in the hills of Makawao that a resort spa just can’t replicate.
There are few things more romantic than taking in a sunrise above the clouds—a Hawaiian sunrise nonetheless. Pack a warm jacket for this not-to-be-missed excursion 10,000 feet above the ocean on a dormant volcano. The 3:00 a.m. wakeup call will be more than worth it when you enjoy witnessing the world together at your feet.
This is the beach that will have you longing for a return to Maui before you’ve even stepped off its soft white sand. Snorkel with turtles in the shoreline, rent stand up paddle boards, or just take a swim in the translucent waters, but be sure to get out there early (just after breakfast) to avoid the later crowd and harsh wind.
Sure, it may seem cliche to sunset cruise, but taking a break from eat, sleep, beach, and repeat for an evening at sea could be just what you need. Plus, during this time of year, nature puts on a spectacular show. Keep a watchful eye on the water for breaching sea creatures since it’s whale watching season December through April.