The Road to Hana is one of the most famous drives in the world. The windy yet spectacular drive takes you through rainforest and along the coast, past waterfalls and over 60 one way bridges in Maui’s north east. What many travellers don’t realise is that at the end of the road, once you reach Hana, lies a real gem.
Travaasa Hana is not your average resort. Perched on the dramatic clifftops just past Hana town, its bungalows are worlds away from the multi-story mega hotels of Maui’s more popular resort regions. Here, there is a strict no tipping policy, a very refreshing rule for Australians travelling in the United States, and a real commitment to the local community. Like most Hawaiian resorts, Travaasa Hana has a daily activity schedule. You can learn to play the ukulele, head out on an outrigger canoe, learn to make a lei, try your hand at bamboo pole fishing or even go horse riding. The activities are open to seniors in the community, which offers great opportunities to get the insider knowledge on the area. During an aqua aerobics class I learnt about the best spot for a BBQ lunch, the food trucks that are open late for dinner and where to go for a swim. The class is interrupted a few times when we spot whales breaching just off the shore – the pool looks down the manicured lawn, past the ocean bungalows straight to the ocean.
It’s these ocean bungalows where I’m lucky enough to spend two nights with the doors wide open, the sound of the waves crashing into shore reverberating through the room. We spend our evenings out on the balcony, lazing in the day bed, not even moving for dinner – room service arrives swiftly and straight from the resort’s Preserve Kitchen + Bar. We wake with the sun, to watch the light change, before heading out for a walk along the coast, and guided meditation.
We discover the resort has a cult-like following, with people travelling from all over the world for a few days of absolute bliss, and a lot of pampering. The spa is a haven where one can indulge in everything from body wraps and traditional lomilomi massages to Malie calm water therapy, which takes place in a private pool.
Preserve Kitchen + Bar, the resort’s signature restaurant, has attracted a lot of buzz for its delicate dishes that showcase seasonal, local dishes. There’s also the off-property Hana Ranch. Serving local classics and a mean burger, it’s a short walk from the resort, or a quick golf cart ride across the road.
Hana is one of those destinations that feels like the locals have a world to themselves – and the lucky guests at Travaasa Hana get to experience a little bit of that paradise too.
Lisa was the guest of Travaasa Hana