I think Maui is one of the most beautiful places on earth, let alone the United States. The fact that this island paradise is part of the U.S. with all the conveniences, security and services you find find on the mainland, makes it one of my favorite vacation destinations. There are a lot of hotel options in Maui, and a lot of other accommodations beyond hotels as well, but for me, a full service luxury hotel is a necessity. While I like the full services and amenities of a hotel, I also like my privacy and especially on a romantic getaway, like to be able to swim, eat and enjoy the sun without the pleasure of being surrounded by strangers. The Royal Lahaina Resort (2780 Kekaa Drive in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii), one of the country’s finest luxury resorts, offers a wonderful option that combines the luxury, privacy and sheer bliss of a Maui beachfront home, with the full level of service and amenities of a fine hotel.
The Royal Lahaina Resort
Located on 27 acres of Lahaina beachfront, the resort is a series of villas and cottages, with the newly renovated Lahainakai Tower in the middle. The hotel is right on Kaanapali Beach, one of the most beautiful on the island. So beautiful that it used to be restricted to royal use in the days when Hawaii was ruled by a monarchy. A true destination resort, the Royal Lahaina offers a range of dining, activities, amenities and even a luau. I like how they offer range of accommodations at a range of prices, from $169 per night garden view rooms, full ocean view rooms from around $250 and one-bedroom oceanfront cottages from $475. Those are off-season (summer) rates. They also offer room and car packages, golf packages, kids packages and other specials that bring the rates even lower.
The Royal Beach House
Sitting on the sand, overlooking the blue Pacific, the Royal Beach House is 1,600 square feet of luxury. You get two bedrooms, three bathrooms and your own little private space. Well not little, as you also get a big private backyard, private lanai, your own pool, hot tub and waterfall, not to mention direct, private beach access. The backyard has a BBQ and a bar, perfect for entertaining two or twenty. All this comes with hotel staff to cook private meals and bartend private parties. Inside, it’s fully stocked for a luxury experience, with three 32″ HD TVs a full kitchen and beautiful finishes and furnishings.
One bedroom has a king bed, the other has two double beds, with a maximum occupancy of six guests. But you’re welcome to have a much higher occupancy (up to 40 guests) for parties. (Understandably, the cool party space does come with some specific party rules: a security deposit is required, real parties with more than six guests must be approved in advance and guests not staying over must leave by 10 P.M.) Rates for the Royal Beach House start around $2,500 per night.
More and more carriers are offering direct service to Maui from U.S. cities. I like American Airlines service from LAX and have flown them several times. Flights are direct from Los Angeles (around $700 for summer travel, roundtrip) and online booking with them is easy. I like their Aadvantage online system, it’s quite easy to use my frequent flyer miles to book getaways to Maui.
The hotel is about an hour from the Maui airport. Car rentals are a good option, or I like SpeediShuttle, shared van rates are around $9 per person (two person minimum, plus tax). The service can be booked online and yes, they even offer an airport lei greeting service ($24 plus tax).
Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog travel4people.com. In the past six months, he has visited Turkey, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Canada and Peru. You can follow him on Twitter – @luxuryfred and on Instagram – @luxuryfred
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