The Ices of Maui: Cold Island Treats

Being in Maui, the surroundings don’t exactly scream cold and ice. The weather is warm and mild, the setting is Caribbean and tropical, and it’s far from ice and snow. The thing about Maui is that the people love ice and they know what they are doing with it. Icy cold treats are locally famous desserts that locals and tourists alike enjoy daily, sometimes hourly- they’re really just that good!


Shaved ice is a Hawaiian trademark. So if you’re on Maui, be sure to try some of these authentic frozen desserts. Ululani’s Shaved Ice on the Maui island features esteemed shaved ice treats that are notorious for their taste and refreshment on a hot Maui day. Their syrups are made from pure cane sugar giving them that authentic and fresh taste.


Another Hawaiian trademark dessert is Shaka Pops. These handmade popsicles can be purchased from local vendors or stores. Some argue that these are better than the local shaved ice. These popsicles are made from fresh fruits and than frozen into different layers that create a unique presentation and taste experience. Organic flavors, fresh frozen fruit- it’s the perfect dessert for the island life.


Gelato is also a big hit on the island. Ono Gelato Company on the Maui Island boasts it is “the best gelato on the island”. It features authentic Italian, slow-churned gelato covering a wide array of fresh flavors. From chocolate to fruit, the flavors are fresh, bold, and delicious. Gelato is not only healthier than ice cream it is tastier too. Less calories, more flavor, Maui made- it’s a win, win situation all around.


Maui is notorious for the cold sweet treats it makes. Local, fresh, and delicious, these treats have to be tried. There are plenty more options to choose from when it comes to delicious desserts on the island, though these are a few standouts. Brain-freeze? Worth it.


Enjoy friends.


Windsurfing Maui

Maui offers one of the widest range of recreational activities for tourists and residents. With its’ pristine beaches, mild weather, and fun loving culture, it’s the birth haven for fun in the sun. One of the most sought out after activities to do in Maui is windsurf. For those who don’t know what this is, essentially it is the use of a wind sail attached to a surfboard that propels a surfer across the surface of the water. Your feet slip into a binding, your hands grasp onto the shaft of the sail, and the sail catches onto the wind and guides you along the water.

There are numerous beaches in Maui that offer this recreational activity. The majority of windsurfing takes place on the North shore. The North shore is known for powerful north east trade winds that bring perfect waves sailing up and down the center of Maui’s shore. The beaches on the north side include Hookipa, Camp One, Sprecks, Sugar Cove, and Kanaha. On the south shore of the island, the beach Kihei offers windsurfing areas as well. At these beaches, one can find ideal places that allow for windsurfers to fully enjoy the sport.

If you don’t have the gear for windsurfing or are only going to be in Maui for a short amount of time, renting is a clear choice. There are multiple locations and shops that offer rental equipment. One can easily find options for windsurfing lessons as well, if one is needing a little extra help getting started. There are multiple websites of shops that offer rentals, pricing, and locations to best suite your needs if one is wanting to research that before arriving to the island.

Whether you’re a pro or a beginner windsurfing in Maui is a purely fun option.  Ideal beaches and locations, numerous options for rentals, and offered lessons make it an easy and fun way to spend the day out on the water and in the Hawaiian sun. Catch some rays, catch some waves, and catch some wind, adventurers!


Beaches for everyone in Maui!

Okay, so you’re in Hawaii. The last thing anyone should really be worried about is finding a decent beach. Maui offers some of the most pristine, beautiful, and fun beaches on the globe. Whether you’re wanting to surf, hang out, or see a gorgeous view, Maui has you covered. There are numerous beaches to choose from. From the north, south, east, or west, there are a plethora of beaches to suit your every need. There are a few notable beaches of course, focusing in on the south side, three particular beaches stand out.

The first one is Makena Beach. Dramatic cliffs, fine and rich orange/white sand, and swells strong enough to satisfy the surfers, this beach has it all. Great surfing conditions, beautiful scenery, and clear blue/green water, this beach is an all-around competitor. Note: this beach is known for stronger and unpredictable swells, be cautious with the younger kids and the water currents.

Next to Makena Beach is the notable Maluaka Beach. The beach is a pristine stretch of white sand colliding against the crystal blue/green water shared with the Makena Beach. This beach offers surrounding picnic areas, restrooms, and showers. Another great activity one can enjoy at this beach is the snorkeling. This beach offers perfect snorkeling areas so one can see not only the beauty above the water but also under it. Don’t know what Ariel was complaining about, life under the sea is pretty awesome!

Another beach fit for the whole family, is the Charley Young Beach. On the north end of the Kamaole 1 Beach, is a large stretch of fine sand, complete with amazing views of the island. This is a swimming beach. The ideal place for a picnic with the whole family or just a fun time at the shore. The parking for the beach is said to be on the side of South Kihei road.

Whatever kind of beach experience you’re looking for, Maui’s diverse selection of beaches will be sure to attract your attention and tastes. Maui beaches are a trademark of the Hawaiian experience. Choose some beaches you want to visit, try something different, and have fun!

Weekend events in Maui to benefit Will Smith charities and metaphysics

The tourism season in Hawaii is most active not when the weather is the best there, but when it’s the worst everywhere else. Hence, as the continental US stands of the precipice of a full-scale temperature turn-down, Maui and the islands are poised to start hiking up hotel rates, airfare, and car rental to accommodate the influx of traffic. However, the worst of the influx isn’t reported to begin until the months of December-January, leaving the fall travelers with quite the advantage. Fortunately, Hawaii’s seasons range from wet for their winter months to a dry and hot summer, with ground temperature basically maintaining between 70-80 degrees.

That’s great news for all the fall travelers interested in taking the journey to our shores, because this weekend has planned a few very special treats for tourists and locals alike. This weekend, Sunday, October the 19th, join Buddha Maitreya the Christ for his OM Group Pyramid Meditation and Dharma Teaching. The cost of entry is $15 and includes a free meditation CD. The study itself focuses on the inner-self interacting with the world around you, and learning how to become complete in the midst of the 90-mile-an-hour days we are prone to customizing ourselves to.

If the teachings of metaphysics and Zen aren’t your cup of afternoon tea, than the presentation by international stylist Billy Yamaguchi presented by the Will Smith Foundation may be an applicable alternative. As a benefit to the Will Smith Foundation, this event will feature cocktails and a presentation by the internationally-renewed stylist and master of Feng Shui. The cost of the event is $175 per person and the proceeds will go toward ensuring that the charities sponsored by the Will Smith Foundation function nominally.  MAuiFall

HI 020113-244Molokini Island,  MauiJanuary 13, 2002

Maui Activities and Adventure: A Myriad of Paradise

You’ve always considered going on a vacation to Hawaii: the lure of the islands, the mystique of the ocean, and the hospitality of the locals are unrivaled for a relaxing –or exciting – vacation destination. But how would one possibly make the most of this tropical destination? The answer is as follows; after strenuous research the top most alluring sites in Maui have been compiled so that you may maximize your vacation time and experience the full breadth of what this amazing island has to offer.

First and foremost, the natural landscape is second to none if you’re in pursuit of a beautiful island destination. There is no better way to experience the natural island beauty than to ride off into the sunset –literally. Horseback riding into the foothills has attracted everyone from newlywed couples to island explorers. And if horses aren’t your cup of tea, than why not a 50 mile drive complete with over 600 tight turns down the Hana Highway? Offering the full breadth of Maui’s landscape, this drive has been renowned by tourists the world over for its exquisite scenery.

Considering that destinations one and two were all about the journey, number three is definitely about the destination: Lahaina. Home to some of Maui’s best and most famous surf spots, Lahaina has beach spots to accommodate every skill set from beginners to your most radical shredder, and also boasts a beautifully rustic ocean-side town. After you catch a few waves in Lahaina’s beautiful beach, it’s time to head into town to check out the famous Banyan tree. Not only is this tree Lahaina’s oldest living resident, the surrounding park regularly hosts town-wide events and is an essential part of any tour. In fact, the town itself hosts many historical sites such as a 19th century courthouse, the Pioneer Inn which served as the only hotel in Maui until the 1950s, and a 19th century Fort complete with 20-foot-high walls –all within the town of Lahaina.

Once you’ve taken a day or two to explore the town and all its man-made night-life, tours, and cuisine, it’s time to take in more of Maui’s breathtaking scenery. The historic Iao Valley State Park hosts a range of different hiking trails, spanning from a mild Sunday walk to a rugged excursion to the highest peak in Maui, Haleakala. And, as an essential component for any traveler, the lush fields of exotic plants and land species offer great photo opportunities. For those who wish to pursue the artistic side of nature with a camera, the town of Lahaina not only grants opportunities for breathtaking photographs but rewards the best photos on a monthly basis. Prizes typically include Hawaii-themed nick-knacks but the grand prize has been as unique as a Pacific Whale Foundation Dinner Cruise for two.

Whether your preferred vacation speed is Nascar fast or Segway slow, Maui is ripe with destinations that have earned the island itself a world-renowned reputation for being an excellent spot to for adventure or relaxation

KA Fred Torres portrait

Ukulele Classes and Storytelling: Free For Guests!

I am the Kaanapali Alii Hotel Manager and also the Hawaiian Cultural Advisor. This Summer I will again offer my popular Ukulele Classes for keiki which often include storytelling. Classes are free for guests of Kaanapali Alii and will be offered for children ages 6-12, from June 16-August 8, 2014, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-10 a.m. No experience is necessary. Lessons are limited to 6 guests each day.

I have been both a student and a teacher of Hawaiian cultural practices for over a decade. I was part of the development of a “Hawaiian Sense of Place” program in continuing education & training at the Maui Community College.  I’ve also applied my knowledge of Hawaiian values and practices in a variety of corporate positions within Hawaii’s visitor industry. I was honored to study chant and Hawaiian culture with some of Hawaii’s leading kumu (teachers) and am always ready to share my knowledge when guests of Kaanapali Alii who show an interest.

As I’m teaching ukulele I often have an opportunity to talk about Hawaiian values such as kuleana (personal responsibility), kokua (care), laulima (working together), and aloha (unconditional love). I enjoy sharing music and stories with the kids. They especially like to learn ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow.’ When space allows the parents can join in. Return guests look forward to showing me their progress!

Coming to Visit? Check out these Maui travel tips!

Getting Here:

Kahului Airport (OGG) is Maui’s main airport. There are also two smaller airports (Kapalua Airport and Hana Airport) on the east and west sides of the island. Most flights will be flying into OGG, but some may fly into Honolulu International Airport before a short (30 minute) flight to one of the other neighbor islands.  The flight from the mainland United States to Hawaii is considered a domestic flight, so don’t over-pack. (U.S. weight restrictions when flying domestically is 50 pounds).

Maui Travel:

You can get around the island by bus, shuttle, taxi, or other forms of public transit. That being said, Maui is much bigger than it looks on a map. There is tons to do here, and much to explore. Leave some money in the budget for a rental car. This way you can take a day and go to Hana, or visit other remote parts of the island that aren’t possible without a private vehicle. Your foreign driver’s license (if valid) works here. But you may not use a cell phone while driving!

What To Bring?

It’s always warm in Maui, so bring your summer clothes! A light jacket or sweater is a good thing to bring for the evenings. Suits and ties are almost never worn here, so bring your casual or resort clothes.  And of course, bring swimsuits! (We suggest more than one).

Tipping and Customs:

The U.S. standards on tipping apply here as well. Generally speaking, 15-25% at a bar/restaurant/cab/room service.

Get-A-Way to Maui for Romance and Adventure

Maui sunset

Have a magical romantic getaway in our luxury condos on Maui!

As the wet season sets its sun on our beautiful island, we are getting ready to enjoy warm tropical evenings brought by the long summer – which we islanders call the dry season. Most travelers don’t realize that one of the best times to visit Maui is actually right now. During this time of year, the weather is reliable, rates are lowest, and the island vegetation is lush. It’s the perfect time for a romantic spring getaway in one of our luxury condos on Maui. To celebrate this special time of year, we’ve made a list of romantic Maui activities that you and your significant other can enjoy while visiting us.


Haleakala Crater Sunset

There is really nothing like seeing a Maui sunset from the top of Haleakala Crater. The sky lights up with a medley of bountiful colors that are sure to reflect the feelings you hold for your significant other. Curl up under a blanket and watch the night hoku (stars) come out. The view of the Milky Way is absolutely alluring when watched from the protection of the crater.

Snorkeling and Scuba

The island of Maui has plenty of hidden treasures, especially underwater. There are plenty of amazing areas to snorkel, or even scuba around the island if you are so inclined. See colorful marine life up close, and at the same time, have an unforgettable experience.

Take a Trip to East Maui

Taking the Road to Hana is one of the most unique and rewarding experiences on Maui. Frolic in the abundant waterfalls while navigating rich bamboo forests. This part of the island is old and ancient, peppered with black, red, and gold sand beaches throughout tropical rainforests. Nothing will take your breath away like this untamed part of Maui. Take a full day and enjoy one of the most untouched tropical paradises that the island has to offer.




Spot a Humpback on Your Maui Getaway


What Are Humpback Whales (Kohola)?

Kohola (Hawaiian for humpback whale) is a large species of baleen whale. Males usually range between 40 and 50 feet long, and weigh around 90,000 pounds! Their immense size makes their graceful movements even more impressive, as it’s not uncommon to see these beautiful creatures “breach.” Breaching (also known as “cresting”) occurs when a humpback propels at least 40% of its massive body out of the water. No one knows why Kohola breach, some scientists think it may help them “scratch” itchy skin, while others believe that Kohola breach for fun. Either way, seeing a Kohola breach is one of the most fantastic things to experience when visiting Maui.


Why Do the Whales Visit Hawaii?

We don’t actually consider the humpbacks as visitors, but “kamaaina.” This means native born. North Pacific humpback whales are born in Hawaiian waters. The vast majority of them come to our beautiful paradise to breed, calve, and nurse their young. It’s a long, dangerous journey that is over 3,000 miles and two months in length. But when they visit, the Kohola stay for an extended vacation. They usually stay from December to May. Some Native Hawaiians believe the Kohola are “aumakua,” or family guardians. They bring warm tides, and are treated with honor and respect.


How Can I See a Whale?

Humpbacks can be seen across all of the Hawaiian Islands, but the best viewing spot is in the Aua Channel, a shallow length of water between West Maui (Lahaina and Kaanapali), Lanai, and Molokai. People travel from across the entire globe to see the Kohola frolic and play in our warm waters. If you want to see the whales up close, there are several whale-watching tours that guarantee a humpback sighting. For safety of the Kohola (and the sightseers!), all watercraft must stay at least 100 yards from any whale. But even at that distance, the power and grace of these gentle giants is incredibly impressive. If boats are not for you, their breaches can be seen from land. Bring a pair of binoculars with you when you visit, if you get lucky you may even get to see one spout!


Save Our Whales

Although the Kohola once roamed the seas in high number, decades of whaling and fishing has depleted their population. Now, the Endangered Species Act protect whales from hunting, harm, or disturbance. In the early 90s, the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary was established to help protect these beautiful creatures and their habitat. This sanctuary extends from the shoreline to a depth of 600 feet. If you come visit, please treat the Islands and oceans with the same respect that you would treat your own home. Mahalo.





Photo courtesy of Ronald Lundberg