Best of Maui 2014…Part 2

Aloha!
The Maui News (www.MauiNews.com) runs a contest every year for the “Best of Maui.” The results for 2014 are in. Last time I covered restaurants, and this time we will look at other activities. (In the interest of time, I will simply list them, and you can Google their addresses, phone numbers etc.)

Best Spa:
Grand Wailea Spa Grande
http://www.grandwailea.com

Best Golf Courses:
Kapalua Plantation Course
http://www.kapalua.com

The King Kamehameha Golf Club
www. kamehamehagolf.com

Wailea Gold Course
http://www.Waileagolf.com

Best Agri-Tourism:
Al’i Kula Lavender Farm
http://www.aliikulalavender.com
(love this place, but be forewarned, they now charge just to get on the grounds.)

Best Air Activity:
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
http://www.blueHawaiian.com

Best Sea Activity:
Trilogy Excursions
http://www.sailtrilogy.com
(I’m biased…Mike is a captain for the Scotch Mist out of Lahaina. If you love to SAIL, check them out at :

http://www.scotchmistsailingcharters.com/
Scotch Mist Sailing Charters is the premier sailing charter on Maui. Enjoy stunning scenic views as you glide silently along the sparkling blue waters off Maui’s …‎Reservations – ‎Sunset Cruise – ‎Snorkeling

Best Luau:
Old Lahaina Luau
http://www.oldLahainaluau.com
(my own favorite, The Feast at Lele, came in third:
http://www.feastatlele.com)

Best Resort/accommodations:
Grand Wailea
http://www.grandwailea.com
(nice if you can afford it!)

Best Local Coffee Shop:
Maui Coffee Roasters in Kahului
http://www.mauicoffeeroasters.com

Best Boutique:
Mahina
http://www.shopmahina.com for locations

Best sports store/surf shop:
Hi – Tech Surf Sports
Www.surfMaui.com

Second-place:
Hawaiian Island Surf and Sport
http://www.Hawaiianisland.com

Third-place:
Maui Dreams Dive Company
Www.Mauidreamsdiveco.com

That’s it for this year….enjoy them during your time on Maui, and remember, it’s always best to check back as hours and information can change….and places go out of business. As we all say here, “It’s Maui”!!

A hui hou. if you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.Mahalo!

Aloha, Jamaica

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“The Best of Maui” 2014

Aloha!

Every year, the Maui News (www. mauinews.com) runs the “Best of Maui”, billed as “Your guide to Maui’s premier restaurants, activities, and more…” and voted on by Maui’s own residents and visitors alike.

The 2014 Results are In!

Restaurants:

Best Overall Restaurant:

Mama’s Fish House (also voted #1 for Service!)
799 Poho Pl.
Kuau… 579–8488. (Paia, really)
http://www.mamasfishhouse.com

Honorable Mentions:

Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Rd.
Lahaina… 667–5117
http://www.lahainagrill.com

Honu
1295 Front St.
Lahaina… 667–9390
http://www.honumaui.com

Best New Restaurant:
Ka’ana Kitchen
Andaz Maui at Wailea
3550 Wailea Alanui Drive
Wailea. 573-1234
http://www.andaz.hyatt.com

Honorable Mentions:
Migrant
Wailea Beach Marriott
3700 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Wailea. 875-9384

Morimoto Maui
(same info as Ka’ana Kitchen above)

A side note: We tried a new restaurant in Paia called “Jazoo”. Their ad states, “Evolving Pacific flavors with a little Seoul.”
We were meeting friends there, and found it exceedingly noisy because there is no acoustic control with the tile floor, or on the ceiling. Also, their small plates were good but seemed overpriced for what we got. We had a big steak eater in the group and he was not happy. None of us were happy because we had to SHOUT to hear ourselves talk! I like to “dine,” I really hate the open kitchen concept. Which leads us to…

Best Ambience…
#1….
5 Palms
2960 S. Kihei Rd.
Kihei 879-2607
http://www.5Palmsrestaurant.com
(This is one of my very favorites during whale season, because the whales hang out right out front. Plus it’s got old-school half -round booths, which I love for their comfort factor.)

Honorable Mentions:

Merriman’s Kapalua
1 Bay Club Place
Kapalua. 669–6400
http://www.merrimanshawaii.com

Mama’s Fish House
799 Poho Pl.
Kuau… 579–8488. (Paia, really)
http://www.mamasfishhouse.com

Best Appertizer:

Hali’imaile General Store (yes, it’s a restaurant. What won? The sashimi napoleon. Yum!)
900 Hali’imaile Rd.
Makawao… 572–2666
http://www.bevgannonnrestaurants.com

Honorable Mentions:

Ko
The Fairmont Kealani
4100 Wailea Alanui…875–2210
http://www.korestaurant.com

Lahaina Grill
127 Lahainaluna Rd.
Lahaina… 667–5117
http://www.LahainaGrill.com

We have eaten everywhere but Ko, Migrant (don’t care for Filipino food) and the two new ones at (the also new) Andaz Maui Hotel. We hear they are very expensive. Hands-down, our ultimate favorite is always Mamas Fish House. If you’re planning a vacation here, make that restaurant reservation plenty early! Just be prepared for the prices.

More next time…

A hui hou. Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

Job Postings on Maui

Aloha!
So you think you can dance? Parade magazine recently reported that the job of “dancer” has the highest relative concentration in the state of Hawaii as compared to other states.

We are back on Maui, and I’ve been plowing through a month’s worth of mail and backlogged newspapers. Readers constantly write to me about moving to Maui, and inquire about jobs. So here, from August 10, were some job postings in the Maui News. (Alison, some of these are for you…)

At the Kaanapali Beach Club…
Director of Food and Beverage
Server
Host/hostess
Sales manager
Vacation counselor
Activity concierge
Hospitality agent

For Valley Isle Excursions…
Hana Tour Drivers.
They make 38,000+ per year with paid time off, paid medical, and paid training. Sounds good, right? Here’s the caveat: “Must have lived in Hawaii for five years, prefer Maui restaurant residents. Must be able to work weekends and holidays!

For the Hawaii State Judiciary…
Court reporter II
Forensic Interview Specialist
Social worker I, II, III and IV

For Child and Family Services…
Case Management Specialist II. B.A. or Masters in Human Services or related field required.

Hawaii Health Systems Corporation…
Chief Executive Officer. Graduate-level education or equivalent and at least 15 years of progressive senior-level hospital executive, administrative, and leadership experience required.

Enterprise Rental Car Company…
Management Trainees/ Bachelor’s degree required.
Customer Assistance Representative, part time.

So, we know some people who moved to Maui and the husband got a job on Haleakala with the Pony Express. How? Because he had a clean abstract, a heavy equipment operator’s permit, and was a horse wrangler. How’s that for specialized?

A hui hou! Mahalo for reading along. If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.

Aloha, Jamaica

Are Hawaiians Happier?

Aloha!
Hawaiians earned the title of “The Happiest State in America” with the highest rate of well-being of any state for the 4th year in a row, according to the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The index looks at six categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, healthy behaviors, and physical health. According to a Huffington Post blog post entitled “What Hawaii Can Teach the Rest of America About Living Better” by Carolyn Gregoire, Hawaii locals not only live longer, they’re less stressed and happier than any other state. Other states in the top ten were:
10) Massachusetts
09) Iowa
08) New Hampshire
07) Nebraska
06) Montana
05) Vermont
04) Utah
03) Minnesota
02) Colorado
01) HAWAII

Folks in the top 10 states tend to have lower rates of obesity, and fewer medical problems, such as Type 2 Diabetes, heart disease, and chronic pain. They also report enjoying their jobs more. They have lower rates of smoking, and exercise more than those who live in the lower -ranked states.

These five states have been in the lowest rankings every year from 2008 through 2012: West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Almost 60% of those in Hawaii say they are “thriving,” versus about 45% in West Virginia. Hawaiians live longer, according to recent data from the Center for Disease Control.

So what are the secrets to the Aloha state’s longevity and happiness?

A Slowed down lifestyle.

A sense of family and strong community

Sunshine and exercise: more than 60% of Hawaiians exercise, according to Dr. Bradley Willcox, a longevity expert and professor at the John A. Burns school of medicine at the University of Hawaii.

20130908-103019.jpg
Courtesy freedigitalphotos.net arztsamui
“You get vitamin D from the sun when you’re out, it’s easier to be physically active here –you’re not dealing with 2 feet of snow for a good chunk of the year.”

Okay, let’s talk about these things. If you live in Hawaii, I’d love to hear from you. Please weigh in on:
What you think your state of happiness is, on a 1-10 scale, ten being the happiest.
Has your family had longevity?
Are you really healthy?
Do you exercise and get outside regularly?
Do you feel stressed?
Do you lead a slowed-down lifestyle?
Do you have strong family/community ties?

I will publish the results from the feedback I receive.

On another note, living in Hawaii is always interesting, and does pose its challenges. Last evening while we were in our Jacuzzi down in the yard, we had a visitor:

20130908-104934.jpg

I felt something brush my ear, and thought a mango tree leaf had dropped into the spa. I reached for it and it moved. I flung it, screeching, and Mike said it began swimming fast across the Jacuzzi. Well, you’ve never seen two adults in relaxation mode move so fast (or sound like 6 year-old girls).
It was about the size of the span of my hand when open, from pinky to thumb, say 6-7 inches. This is our second centipede in a week. I was headed down the hall the other evening at bedtime and just happened to glance down and saw one on the floor. I could easily have stepped on it and been stung, being that I’m always barefoot. Our chosen mode of removal is a giant pair of cooking tongs, at which point they get very angry… And then they are tossed in the toilet and flushed. A friend lays a flat box down and waits for them to crawl in. (What was that ad on TV? Cockroaches crawl in, but they don’t crawl out?)

Anyway, never a dull moment. And how was YOUR Saturday evening?

If you live in Hawaii, please take a moment to respond to the above questions, if you would. Many mahalos!

A hui ho!! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “follow” button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Maui News Launches All-Digital Access

Aloha!

For those of you who don’t live here, but just can’t get enough of Maui, The Maui News has now launched an all-digital version.
Readers can now enjoy every article of The Maui News, every day, everywhere. You can now stay informed about Maui, anyplace you can grab a Wi-Fi or cellular signal.

The new service gives readers an exact digital copy of the current edition of the newspaper. Readers of The Maui News who do not have a print subscription can call The Maui News office to subscribe for both print and digital access, or sign up for digital access only, through The Maui News website (mauinews.com)

And because it’s Labor Day, that’s all I’m going to labor here. We took a great hike at the top of Olinda road, and saw a group of birds I have never seen, anywhere before! (Where’s that field guide book when you really need it?) Hope you had a great barbecue today…

A hui ho! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the “Follow” button on the homepage.

Aloha, Jamaica

Time to Shape Up

Time to Shape Up

Aloha!
In the Opinion section of the Maui News on Sunday, September 2, 2012
Kenneth Block of Kamuela, Hawaii wrote: “Now that Hawaiian Airlines is using
Maui as a hub, I find myself switching planes on Maui on my way to Seattle. I am amazed at the deplorable condition of the Kahului airport. All of the moving
sidewalks are out of service. Doesn’t anyone ever fix anything at the airport?
On the long walk from gate 12 to gate 39 I noticed that all the windows in the
airport are filthy. Is this the image we want to set for Kahului airport?”

I had to laugh, because I used to ask this question every time I went to the airport… then finally gave up, because nothing ever changed. There were a few years there when every time I got to the airport and went to the restroom, the lock on the same restroom door was broken. This probably went on for four years. Finally one time there was a group of what appeared to be politicians touring the Kahului airport. They had out notepads and were notating everything wrong or broken in the airport. This was about five or six years ago. I got excited because on my way back through from California, I figured that door would be fixed.

But no, there was a note on the door saying “lock needs fixed.” Guess how long that note stayed on the door? You guessed it–it was still there on my next trip! On the way back through from California, however, the note was gone. And the door was still not fixed! By contrast when I would get to my destination airport, either San Francisco or Oakland in California, everything was fixed, working, and gleaming bright.

Within my interior design business, I staged homes to get them ready to put on the real estate market. Time after time I would walk into people’s homes which would be so cluttered, and things would be broken– just shabby in general. Unfortunately, because they owners had lived there for so long, they just couldn’t see it. I would have to break the news to them that a major overhaul was going to be needed if this house was going to sell.

Is this the problem with the Kahului airport–they just can’t see the problems? I
doubt it, or that note would not have been on the door for so long. It’s just a
general lassez-faire attitude that because Maui is so beautiful, people will
come here, regardless. Perhaps Maui takes its tourists for granted.
This writer, Kenneth Block, is a Hawaii resident, and even he is disgusted.

The same problems hold true for our Maui County Park system. Each
restroom is dirty, there is no soap, there are no towels. I watched a county
worker stop with his truck, go into the restroom and supposedly clean it – and
when I used it afterwards, it looked no better than before he got there. When
tourists are only visiting, perhaps they can overlook this because they see it
as a one-time occurrence. But when you live here, you know it never changes.
Ma’alaea, Kanaha, Airport Beach…all the park restrooms are the same.

A few years ago we drove from San Francisco to LA. On the highway were a number of roadside rest parks with restrooms. When I stopped at the first one, I braced myself because I was used to Maui restrooms. Surprise! Gleaming white, smelled great, towels, soap. What a shock.

Maui can do better. It seems they just don’t care.

What is your opinion of the condition of the Kahului airport? Of the Maui parks system? What has your experience been? Please share.

A hui hou! If you would like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home page. Mahalo for stopping by!

Aloha, Jamaica

Your Opinion, Please

Maui Weather Today: High of 84, Low of 72

Your Opinion, Please

Aloha!

Sociologists tell us that the reason we are never quite satisfied is in our hunting and gathering DNA. If our ancestors had been satisfied after finding those first berries, they would not have kept looking for more, and would have starved to death.

So here in Paradise, the something more that many of us wish for is 1) A Target store (it’s in talks) 2) a Trader Joe’s (will never happen) and 3) lower prices (ain’t never gonna happen.) Or is it?

There is something all over the Maui news sources now that I wanted to get your opinion on. A developer from the Mainland is trying to build a huge Outlet Mall in Kihei. Many locals don’t want it, they say it will just cause traffic and congestion.  One of our biggest concerns here on Maui is that we don’t want to become Oahu. If we wanted to live on Oahu, we’d move there. The developers maintain that it will be good for the economy here and create jobs.

The people on both sides of the argument seem to be missing the bigger picture:

1) how are they going to keep prices low, at Outlet Store prices, when they have paid to ship this merchandise across the ocean? and

2) Who is really going to shop there?

Your opinion please: Would you spend your time shopping at an Outlet Mall on Maui?

What do you mainly come to Maui to do? Relax? Swim/go to the beach? Boating/Diving/Water activities? Hiking? Driving around to see the scenery?

Shopping on Maui? And if so, what do you buy? Souveniers? Clothing?

My experience with Outlet Malls is limited, though I do know people who are addicted to them and basically plan their trips to the East coast around them. It seems these malls are always full of merchandise that didn’t sell well otherwise. And here’s something I’ve always wondered about chain stores in Maui in general: how do they move the Winter merchandise? If you walk into the Gap or Banana Republic in the Shops at Wailea and see boots and hats in there, are you moved to buy them and take them home? Because I know the Mauians aren’t buying them. Unless of course someone is making a trip to cold country, but my experience has been that when I really needed something like that, it wasn’t in the stores right then anyway.

So let’s say the Outlet Mall goes in. Who is really going to buy those winter goods and haul them home, when they can get them back in Milwaukee just fine? Also, and this is the biggee for me–airlines now charge good money for bags that used to be free.

So are you really going to come to Maui and fill up a suitcase at an Outlet Mall and pay to haul the stuff home? Are you going to spend your time on Maui shopping at an Outlet Mall, or will you think “I could do this back home”? I will tally the responses I get and submit them as a Letter to the Editor of both The Maui News http://mauinews.com/ and The Maui Weekly http://mauiweekly.com/ Your opinion, please…

And if you are local, are you in favor of the Outlet Mall?

A hui hou (til next time). If you’d like to subscribe to this blog, please click the Follow button on the Home Page.

Aloha, Jamaica