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July 24, 2015
Cocktail Contest in West Maui
Last week, we talked about Maui's Award of Excellence winners in Wine Spectator magazine. This week, we have an event for Maui vacationers who prefer indulging in the colorful art of mixed drinks. The Rum Scrum Cocktail Contest will be held tomorrow, July 25th, at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, which is conveniently near our oceanfront Kaanapali condos, so if you're staying with us, you won't have far to go. Proceeds from this event will go to the Maui Culinary Academy.
The contest will feature Deep Island Hawaiian Rum, and competitors will mix their creations before the audience in an effort to win the prize for the best quintessential Hawaiian rum cocktail. From the recipes submitted last month, four finalists have been selected to compete. They are Jacob Caracheo of Kihei with his Maui-Melon-Jito, Ka'ai Fong of Kihei with his Sokyrka, Gabe Harvey of Kihei with his Maika’i, and James Shoemaker of Paia with his Flower of the Cane.
The winners will be decided by the attendees and a panel of judges, who will sample and vote for their favorite cocktail. The winner's creation will be available at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas where the competition is taking place. The winner will also be treated to a three-night stay at the resort, and will earn a $500 cash prize.
After the contest, the festivities will continue as three of Maui's celebrity chefs work with teams of students from the Maui Culinary Academy to design a dish that features Deep Island Hawaiian Rum. The chefs are Greg Gaspar of Black Rock Kitchen, Lyndon Honda of Laulima Events, and Robert Barrera of Pineapple Grill.
The event starts at 5pm for VIP ticket holders and 6pm for general admission, which cost $65 and $50, respectively if you buy tickets at deepislandrum.com. If you get tickets at the door, general admission will cost $65.
We hope you enjoy this exciting event, and all the colorful local flavors of Maui that it will bring you. As always, if you need assistance with your Maui accommodations, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!
July 17, 2015
Most of Hawaii Wine Award Winners Located on Maui
Maui has distinguished itself on the international scene once again. This time, with its wine selections. Surprised? Wine Spectator magazine recently released their annual wine list awards analysis, and 30 Hawaii restaurants won the "Award of Excellence" among a total of 2,563 winners all around the world. Eighteen of them were located on Maui, while the remaining twelve were scattered between Oahu, the Big Island, and Kauai. That's right, Maui had more winners than all the neighboring islands put together. In addition, three Hawaii restaurants earned the "Best of Award of Excellence Winners" out of 973 total winners worldwide. Two of these were on Maui, with only one on Oahu.
For reference, the Award of Excellence went to restaurants with a well-chosen selection of wines from quality producers in a way that paired well with the cuisine on the menu based on both price and style. The most outstanding of these were the ones that earned the Best of Award of Excellence. According to the magazine, the winners had around 350 selections or more with superior vintage depth, presentation, display, vertical offerings of top wines, and an excellent breadth of choices coming from several wine regions. This information was gathered by judges who conducted on-site inspections, focusing on the wine program, service and cellar, along with the ambiance and cuisine of the restaurant.
If you're a wine lover who hasn't tried a Maui vacation yet, perhaps this report will serve as an inspiration to you. It's natural to expect a better selection from Oahu, which is home to the state capital, Honolulu. It has the largest population and the most cosmopolitan lifestyle, by far. Yet Maui blew Oahu out of the water in these wine awards. In total, Oahu had only seven winners, while Maui had twenty. Hopefully, these lists will help you plan your dining experience while you're visiting Maui.
Best of Award of Excellence Winners:
- La Mer at the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki on Oahu
- Longhi's Wailea on Maui
- Nick's Fishmarket in Wailea on Maui
Award of Excellence Winners:
- The Banyan Tree at The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
- Capische? at the Hotel Wailea
- Castaway Cafe at the Maui Kaanapali Villa Resort
- Fleetwood's on Front St. in Lahaina
- Gerard's at The Plantation Inn in Lahaina
- Haliimaile General Store in Makawao
- Honu Seafood & Pizza in Lahaina
- Kana Kitchen in the Andaz Maui at Wailea
- Ko at The Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea
- Lahaina Grill
- Longhi's Lahaina
- Mala Ocean Tavern in Lahaina
- Merriman's Kapalua on Maui
- Molokini Bar & Grille at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort
- Morimoto Maui at the Andaz Maui at Wailea
- Pacific'o in Lahaina on Maui
- Pulehu, An Italian Grill at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
- Sarento's on the Beach in Kihei
- Alan Wong's Honolulu
- Beachhouse at the Moana in Waikiki
- BLT Steak at the Trump International Hotel in Waikiki
- Chart House Waikiki
- Il Lupino Trattoria & Wine Bar in Waikiki
- Morimoto Waikiki at The Modern Honolulu Hotel
- Jackie Rey's Ohana Grill in Kailua-Kona
- Manta & Pavilion Wine Bar at The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
- Merman's Restaurant in Kamuela
- Beach House Restaurant in Koloa
- Gaylord's in Lihue
- Merriman's Fish House in Koloa
If you'd like to take a look at the report yourself, it will appear in the August 31 print issue of Wine Spectator Magazine. As for your Maui trip, if you need assistance with your accommodations, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. Mahalo!
Photo provided by Fleetwood's
July 10, 2015
Oceanfront Rentals at Kaanapali Shores
Looking for affordable Maui vacation accommodations with all the amenities? Kaanapali Shores is the perfect combination of both. You'll find rare opportunities to get the best value for your dollar among these vacation condos. Picture this!
When you arrive, you'll discover a vision of Hawaiian elegance in the luxurious open air lobby, before a backdrop of lush, tropical gardens and their soothing water features. The grounds are vibrant and green, speckled with fragrant plumeria trees, stately palms and a rainbow of cheerfully colored shrubs.
Cradled by the protective wings of the resort, you'll find a relaxing swimming pool and jacuzzi nestled into the garden interior, and another pool and jacuzzi situated along the beach for those who enjoy exhilarating views of the ocean. Meander to the tennis courts if you're in the mood for a game. You can also skip the restaurant dining and make use of the BBQ area to boost your energy for more swimming, exploring and adventuring. Designed with all your needs in mind, Kaanapali Shores also features a game room, work out room, and general store.
Feel like venturing out? Step onto the powdery white sand to explore charming little beaches that stretch along the coast to the south. The ocean is like glass on calm mornings, and you can while away the hours swimming and relaxing in the sun. If you enjoy playing golf, there are some stunning courses here in West Maui. Kaanapali Shores is also located near some fun places to shop and dine out. If you feel like cooking in, your unit has a full kitchen.
Finally, one of the great things about Kaanapali Shores is how many floor plans you have to choose from. Each unit has its own unique charm, comfort, and convenience. Let's not forget the views. Some units are just a stone's throw from the glittering blue Pacific Ocean.
If you have any more questions about Kaanapali Shore accommodations, you'll find our contact information at the bottom of the page. We look forward to helping you find the right one! Mahalo!
July 03, 2015
Top 10 Restaurants near Honua Kai Resort Maui
Looking for some delicious food while you're visiting Maui? If you're staying at Honua Kai Resort in West Maui, we'd like to share some excellent nearby dining options with you. Great food should be a part of every vacation, and with that in mind, we hope we can point you in the right direction. Of course, there is always Duke's, which is located at Honua Kai. They serve Hawaiian influenced fare with an emphasis on fresh seafood and steaks. But if you want to try something else in the area, here is a list of the top ten restaurants near the resort.
1. Hula Grill Kaanapali - Conveniently located on Kaanapali Beach, this lively restaurant serves seafood and Hawaiian regional cuisine. It's ideal for those who want to sample the colorful flavors of Hawaii, along with a mix of familiar ingredients. Price range is about $11-30.
2. Roy's, Kaanapali - Located on Kaanapali Parkway, this popular restaurant serves unique, internationally influenced cuisine, with a splash of Hawaiian flavors. The atmosphere is laid back, with a view of the golf course and the ocean beyond. A meal here costs between $30-60 per person, so is best reserved if you're looking for an upscale dining experience.
3. Leilani's On the Beach - This laid back restaurant can be found just off Kaanapali Beach in Whalers Village, with beautiful ocean views. The menu features a mix of popular fare like seafood, ribs and steak, along with a fun selection of mixed drinks. Prices range from $11-30.
4. Paradise Grill - Nestled beside the golf course on Kaanapali Parkway, this restaurant features American favorites. Here, you'll find the game on TV, salsa dancing on Fridays, live entertainment during dinner hours, and even karaoke on Sunday nights. Prices range from $11-30.
5. Japengo - Located at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, this restaurant is one of the best nearby options for Japanese food and Asian fusion. The menu provides a lot of choices, so if you enjoy Asian food in general, you're sure to find something that you'll like. Prices range from $31-60
6. Nikki's Pizza - Looking for a place to grab a slice near Kaanapali Beach? Located in Whaler's Village, Nikki's is a great option for a quick, cheap bite, which is why it's a favorite among families, as well as visitors and residents on the go. You can eat here for $10 and under.
7. Sangrita Grill and Cantina - For tasty Mexican food nearby, this is a great choice. Situated near Kaanapali Beach on Kekaa Drive, this restaurant features the island's largest selection of artisanal tequila and mezcal, along with a colorful array of fresh Mexican flavors. Prices range from $11-30.
8. Son'z Steakhouse - As the name implies, this restaurant serves high quality steaks and chops along with fresh seafood. The ambiance is tranquil and the view features a waterfall pond with swans. Like Japengo, it is located at the Hyatt Regency. The price range is $31-60.
9. Joey's Kitchen - For a super casual dining experience featuring Hawaiian food and Asian fusion, this is the place that visitors and residents are crazy about. If you want to experience popular local style food, this is the place. You'll find it in Whaler's Village on Kaanapali Beach. Prices range from $11-30.
10. Kupanaha Magic Show Dinner Theater - Last, but not least, we thought we'd add a splash of fun if you're looking for a night of entertainment with your dinner. There will be illusions and comedy, but the food quality has not been neglected. The menu has a surprising number of choices, considering. There are meat, seafood and vegetarian options. Most of the food is a mix of Hawaiian and Asian flavors. Prices range from $31-60.
Enjoy your food! Mahalo!
June 26, 2015
New Mask for Maui Snorkelers
Snorkeling is one of Maui's most popular, enjoyable activities. For those of you vacationers who love to swim and want to explore the ocean, there's an innovative new snorkel mask design that you might want to invest in, especially if you visit Maui and snorkel frequently. Designed by Tribord, it's called the Easybreath Snorkeling Mask.
Normally, we don't blog about products, but this one is generating so much buzz, the primary complaint among customers is lack of availability because they are selling so fast. Reviews on this product are also very high, even though it's a new design. So what makes this mask so special?
The Easybreath covers your whole face. The snorkel itself is built into the top of the mask, so you never have to worry about positioning it, or dealing with the awkwardness of having a snorkel on one side of your face. You also don't have the snorkel in your mouth. You just breathe as you normally would. That alone is enough to excite most snorkelers, but the innovation doesn't stop there. The part of the mask that you breathe through is separated from the rest of the mask, meaning that humidity from your mouth and nose can't fog up your view. Yes, there's no longer a need for those chemical defoggers, repeated rinsing during your excursion, or even spit, which some people swear is the best defogger. Ew, right?
So to sum up, your whole face is covered, you don't have a snorkel in your mouth, you can breathe through your nose like you normally would, and your breathing isn't fogging up your view. We've looked at some of the reviews from regular snorkelers, who are describing it as "revolutionary," "brilliant product," and "excellent design." One review even cited a two-year wait that was completely worth it. Don't worry, that was two years ago. Production has stepped up since then, and they are filling orders more and more quickly.
If this is something that interests you, we recommend that you look into this product yourself and see if it's something that would work for you. Here's a link to the main page for Easybreath, if you want more information. Based on all the rave reviews, a mask like this is well worth the space in your suitcase on your future Maui vacations. Mahalo!
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