The 8th Annual Na Pali Race - A Successful Day!

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After a rainy summer, Kauai’s glorious Na Pali Coast stood out in lush green tones in stark contrast to the red jerseys, neon gear, hats and sunglasses worn by the competitors of The 8th Annual Na Pali Race. 

The energy buzzed as a multitude of paddlers paced around Ha’ena Beach Park getting ready to “Paddle for the Pali”. A seventeen mile downwind elite paddle race that journeys along the cliffs of the amazing Na Pali Coastline traveling from Pu’kas all the way to Polihale State Park. 

The focus of the race is to raise funds to support the Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana; a grassroots non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Nāpali Coast State Park. 

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Na Pali race

As if on cue, the auspicious trade winds began to blow, right after a beautiful Hawaiian Blessing was sent from a praying circle were more than 200 people held hands under the scorching sun.

The slight breeze quickly built into a consistent 25-30 NE wind while competitors from all over the world prepared to start the race; among them were familiar watermen faces, like Lifeguard Bruce Stein, Firefighter Marc Beeby and courageous local surfer Bryce Baker, who decided to enter the race on a whim and without any prior training.

To participate in the event is a testament of audacity as pro surfer and event organizer Evan Valiere concedes,“The Na Pali Coast is known to have strong currents, strong winds, and dangerous ocean conditions.The coastline is only accessible by boat or helicopter for a rescue, there is no cell phone service along the coastline. Paddlers must have both ocean and paddleboard experience to participate in the Na Pali Race.”

Uncle Barca and the water patrol lifeguards expertly maneuvered around the swell ferrying the photographers and their cameras unto the boats while dozens of chase boats, lifeguards, jet skis, canoes and paddle boards crowded the beach in an organized commotion.

As soon as the race started, Kiwi Hydro-foiler Armie Armstrong took the lead. He was the sole competitor on the Foil Fun Run, pioneering this category using a 6ft 8’ board with a hydrofoil. He swiftly lifted off with the wind and nearly disappeared ahead of everyone, except for the Holopuni Sailing Canoe teams that blazed along the coast reaching speeds of more than 15 mph.

By Hanakapi’a Beach, Tahitian SUP competitor Puyo Titouan held a steady pace leading the way by a few minutes, with Travis Grant trailing close behind. Both racers implemented various techniques, paddling up towards the peak of the waves and surfing or gliding the waves down wind. 

Armstrong comfortably continued to lead the way until about a mile past Milioli’i where the wind direction switched into a strong head wind. That put an end to the lift of his foil and he had to paddle his board on his stomach all the way to the finish line where a few competitors began to pass him.

Puyo Titouan won the race being the first competitor to cross the finish line with a time of 01:56:03.56 Travis Grant place second 02:03:03.18 and 17 year old competitor Alexandre Bicrel crossed the line in third place with a time of 02:11:13.32 .Vincent Verhoeven got in fourth 02:15:32.18 and Nico Schenk in fifth 02:19:41.23. 

Armie Armstrong followed crossing the line in sixth place with a time of 02:24:52.73 winning his division.

A few minutes behind, Mariko Strickland Lum was the first female competitor to cross the line in a SUP Stock finishing with a time of 02:30:42.55. Jaecey Suda finished second in her division with a time of 03:08:17.77

Paddling prone, Kanesa Duncan Seraphin from Hanalei won her division with an impressive time of 02:42:07.45.  In second place DJ O’Brien arrived with a time of 03:00:59.25. 

In the Three Person Team Stand Up Paddleboard division, Kanai Sharsh, Paul Zacharias and Jane McKee won first place with a time of 02:42:17.60

At the finish line at Polihale, there was plenty of shade, water coolers, Purps Hydration, fuel drinks, fresh fruit and snacks for everyone. Local surfer Bryce Baker was the last one to cross the finish line with a time of 04:21:48.07 paddling prone on his board. 

During sunset at the Awards Ceremony in the Kekaha Neighborhood Center a delicious pot luck preceded some great looking awards and amazing raffle prizes kept everyone drawing tickets late into the full moon night!

This years sponsors were Hanalei Surf School, Capt Andy’s Sailing Adventures, Kuhio Auto Group, Kuhio Kustoms, Kalapaki Joe’s, Oliver Design Studios, Reside Kauai Real Estate Sales, Kauai Islands of Discovery and Riviera Paddlesurf.

A big shout out to Evan Valiere and his beautiful wife Brittney, and to all the volunteers and organizers who helped put together this great event.

For results go to www.napalirace.com 

Maui’s Heavenly Film Fest

PC: Randy Jay Braun

PC: Randy Jay Braun

“The Celestial Cinema is mind-blowing! And also one of the best places anywhere in the world to launch a movie” —Trevor Groth, Director of Programming, Sundance Film Festival

 A bit of Hollywood meets a lot of Polynesia at the 2017 Maui Film Festival, running today through Sunday, June 25. With stars like Pierce Brosnan and Freida Pinto among this year’s festival honorees, and film screenings that range from dramedy “Grand Unified Theory” to “Take Every Wave, director Rory Kennedy’s biopic on surf legend Laird Hamilton, the festival is a sensational five-day orgy of non-stop foodie events, movie watching, filmmaker talks, live concerts and Hawaiian entertainment.

 Perhaps the most magical, crowd-pleasing feature is the nightly outdoor viewing of new films and island-themed movies in the festival’s “Celestial Cinema” set on the grassy grounds of the Wailea Golf Academy, where most patrons view films from beach mats or lawn chairs.

 Hollywood honorees include four-time Emmy nominee Connie Britton, will be awarded with the Navigator Award for carving a path of distinction in the entertainment industry, including standout roles in “Friday Night Lights,” “This Is Where I Leave You,” “24,” “The West Wing,” and “Nashville.” The award will be presented on June 21st before a screening of “Beatriz at Dinner,” in which Connie stars at the Celestial Cinema at 8PM, Wednesday, June 21.

 On June 22, Freida Pinto (“Slumdog Millionaire”) will receive the Shining Star Award at 8PM, Thursday, June 22 at the Celestial Cinema.

 A two-time Golden Globe Award nominee, producer, environmentalist, philanthropist, and artist, Pierce Brosnan will receive the Pathfinder Award for his eclectic choices and charismatic performances. The award will be presented at 8PM Friday, June 23, the same night as a screening of “Poisoning Paradise,” of which Pierce is the Executive Producer and his wife Keely directed. At the Celestial Cinema.

 The festival’s upscale foodie events include the Taste of Wailea, Taste of Summer and Taste of Chocolate—all providing palate-pleasing sampler plates crafted by top local chefs. There’s plenty to drink too, from bottomless chalices of Stella Artois to ice bars featuring Maui-made Pau Vodka and island-style rum drinks.

PC: Ben Davidson
PC: Ben Davidson

 

 Passes range from $48 (a multi-user pass for four admissions to films at the Maui Art & Cultural Center/MACC), $80 for a multi-user Celestial Cinema Pass (4 admissions, including film premieres, tributes and live music), $140 for the Taste of Summer opening party on June 21 from 5PM-7PM at the Grand Wailea Resort (includes admission to Wednesday’s Celestial Cinema double feature and festivities), Taste of Chocolate on June 23 from 10PM to midnight at the Fours Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (including admission to Friday’s Celestial Cinema), and $140 for Taste of Wailea (the festival’s over-the-top culinary arts celebration) on June 24 from 4:30PM to 7PM at the Wailea Golf Academy (includes admission to the Saturday’s Celestial Cinema double feature and festivities).

 A “Shooting Star” pass ($200) includes priority admission to all films and festivities at the Celestial Cinema and the MACC’s Castle and McCoy Theatres plus all filmmaker panels at the Wailea Beach Marriott. The Twilight, Comet and Stardust passes ($335 each) have all the benefits of the Shooting Star pass plus respective admissions to Taste of Summer, Taste of Chocolate and Taste of Wailea. A $650 Cosmos ticket gets you everything under the stars. 

 Screening calendars and honorees for this year’s festival will be posted on the festival website in early June. Check the Maui Film Festivals website www.mauifilmfestival.com for the latest information.

Ben Davidson

 

Fred Torres, Cultural Advisor and Kaanapali Alii General Manager

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Kaanapali Alii Hotel Manager Fred Torres is also the resort’s Hawaiian Cultural Advisor. He offers a popular Ukulele Class for adults which often include storytelling. Classes are free for guests of Kaanapali Alii and are offered every Aloha Friday from 10-11 a.m. No experience is necessary. Group size is limited.

Fred comments: “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 guests.

Fred has been both a student and a teacher of Hawaiian cultural practices for over a decade. He was instrumental in the development of a “Hawaiian Sense of Place” program in continuing education & training at the Maui Community College.  Also he has applied his knowledge of Hawaiian values and practices in a variety of important corporate positions within Hawaii’s visitor industry. He studied chant and Hawaiian culture with some of Hawaii’s leading kumu (teachers) and is always ready to share his knowledge when guests of Kaanapali Alii who show an interest.

 

Lanai Four Seasons Resort: Breakfast Buffet

I hesitate to say ‘best’ because there are at least a dozen other really, really good breakfast buffets I can think of on all of the islands, but this one, at least when I was there in the spring of 2016 stands out. Why? At the resort’s open air One Forty restaurant, it’s a trifecta of interesting, healthy and unique menu items, an amazing setting and it’s never overcrowded. Even when the hotel is at full capacity you won’t be waiting in line, fighting for that last piece of papaya.

Vibe: Laid back Lanai – unless you have an early morning spa appointment or activity – this island in particular has a laid back vibe that starts at breakfast.

MenuWhile guests can order traditional omelettes and egg dishes and pastries, the stand out dishes include items like an array of dim sum, Chinese congee, miso soup (with all the fixings), black miso cod, ahi and salmon sashimi, slices of tamago (sweet omelet) and sushi.

Not to miss: The dim sum, just-blended juices and the fresh baked bran muffins from the local bakery.

Located at 1 Manele Bay Road, Four Seasons Lanai
Reservations: 808-565-2000
Open Daily: 6:00 am – 10:30 am

Gluten-Free Friendly Restaurants in Waikiki and Honolulu

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Looking for Gluten-Free dining options in Waikiki and Honolulu?  Sure there's the Cheesecake Factory with a gluten-free menu on Kalakaua  Avenue,  but those lines can be brutal and did you really come to Oahu to go to a Cheesecake Factory (hugs CF, but we'll save you for an non -island destination). While we have included a couple chains, for the most part these will be unique GF friendly options.

  • Yard House, Waikiki - American, Asian, Burgers 226 Lewers St  808-923-9273
  • Surf N Turf Tacos, Waikiki - Breakfast/Brunch, Mexican, Tacos 2310 Kuhio Avenue
  • Tucker and Bevvy, Waikiki - Breakfast/Brunch, Sandwiches/Subs, Smoothies 2586 Kalakaua Avenue
  • Orchids, Waikiki - Hawaiian, Seafood 2199 Kalia Rd
  • Down to Earth Organic & Natural, Mano
  • Hula Grill Waikiki, Waikiki - Breakfast/Brunch, Hawaiian, Seafood 2335 Kalakaua Ave House Without a Key, Waikiki - Breakfast/Brunch, Buffet, Diner 2199 Kalia Rd
  • Greens & Vines Raw Vegan Gourmet, Kakaako/Ward Avenue - Vegetarian 909 Kapiolani Blvd
  • To Thai For, Kaimuki - Seafood, Thai, Vegetarian 3571 Waialae Ave Ste 101
  • Down to Earth Organic & Natural, Manoa-Makiki/University District - Bakery, Smoothies, Vegetarian 2525 S King St
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* Thanks Urban Spoon, Gluten-Free registry

-By Leigh Walker

Ritz-Carlton's Kapalua's New App Makes Life Easy

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To make staying at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua even easier and more pleasant, the company has just launched  In keeping with the digital needs of their guests, the new Ritz-Carlton App offers the ability to check-in and check-out, get immediate service requests (room service, spa appointment), review billing and as of October 1, curate retro-style photo keepsakes. “The Ritz-Carlton is known for one-to-one personalized service, and the development of our App enables us to deliver that service efficiently, and also dedicate additional time to anticipate guest needs that are often unexpressed and attend to the all-important details,” shared Ed French, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for The Ritz-Carlton. “We also placed great importance on extending our travel knowledge and expertise to users to ensure we are launching an App they will find worth keeping on their device beyond a stay at one of our hotels. An abundance of travel tips and recommendations are also available for each destination where we have a hotel.”

The app is availabe to all Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Marriot Rewards members, and are being used nationwide. “We are already piloting the next phase of App service features at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, with pool-side food and beverage orders available at the Florida resort. Now, instead of calling over a Ritz-Carlton Lady or Gentleman to take your order, you can simply tap in your request, and we’ll start making your drink and head your way. Reducing three trips between you and the bar to execute that order to a single trip both gets your order to you faster, and leaves us more time to engage and focus on your total experience” added French.

On the topic for Ritz-Carlton, they have added a seventh hotel to their California portfolio – Rancho Mirage in the Palm Springs Valley. The other six locations are Los Angeles, Laguna Niguel, Marina Del Rey, Lake Tahoe, Half Moon Bay and San Francisco.

Hawi, great day trip on the Big Island.

One of my favorite things to do in Hawi is eat. Appropriately, this former sugar plantation town, has a variety of sweet treats to offer visitors wanting to sample the local flavor such as the award-winning Bamboo Restaurant's signature Lilikoi Margarita, homemade fudge upstairs at The Mill or a refreshing shave ice.  Browse the local shops to see the local's artistic talents or pick up a gift to bring home. It takes about 15 minutes to drive from Kawaihae Harbor to Hawi along a very scenic road. The town is also known as the turn around for the bike portion of the Ironman. For the most part, as a visitor you'll be coming from or going to the Kohala Zipline, or just seeing what's at the end of the road. If your adventure is timed around a mealtime, these two spots won't disappoint. Call ahead to be sure you can get a table. Drive just a bit further  to the town of Kapa'au to see the King Kamehameha statue, which on its way to Honolulu back in 1880 from Florence Italy, sunk to the bottom of the sea. Since Honolulu, got a replacement, when the statue was recovered it was brought to Kapa'au, near his birthplace in 1912.

Paddling for the Pali - Persevere and Preserve!

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Amidst challenging weather conditions, last August, a mighty group of enthusiastic contestants participated with the noble intention to raise funds and awareness to preserve the majestic Na Pali Coast of Kauai. The Event: The Seventh Annual Na Pali Race, presented by Hanalei Surf School

“Paddling for the Pali” is a 17 mile race that starts at Ha’ena Beach Park and ends in Polihale State Park. The racers competed in six different modalities paddling for the fastest time in their category. For the past seven years, Kauai’s native pro surfer Evan Valiere has been organizing the Na Pali Race as a fun event as well as a fundraiser to support the Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana; a grassroots non-profit foundation dedicated to the preservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Nāpali Coast State Park in Kauaʻi.

The Ohana’s main focus is on Nu’alolo Kai, one of the best preserved ancient Polynesian settlements and once a sacred Hawaiian village. Its ruins make up an extensive complex of archaelogical elements, house sites, ceremonial platforms, agricultural features and walled enclosures dating back to 1200 AD. Unfortunately Nu’alolo was overgrown with years of vegetation and the cultural sites were being degraded until 1995 when the Na Pali Coast Ohana was established by a group of Hawaiians who tracked their ancestors back to the Na Pali Coast.

During the event, Evan and his team of organizers overcame many unpredictable hurdles due to Hurricane Howard’s remnants and stormy conditions, including the closure of the Hanalei Bridge because of a landslide on the North Shore. But despite the obstacles that they faced, the race organizers pulled it together and did a fantastic job.

“The swell was 4 to 6 feet, it was a very technical race.” Said Ele Jones who competed in the OC2 division with teammate Sara Waterman. “It was pretty big out there. You really had to know what you were doing. We had to drop into some ‘screamers’ and ended up flipping over 6 times!”

Thanks to the expert safety crew, even with strong winds, currents and grueling ocean conditions, everybody was safe. Paka Chandler was quite the athlete and gave everyone a scare when he went missing for a few hours. His paddle broke and he got sucked out to sea and had to paddle back with his hands. Finally he reached shore by the Navy Base and was able to hitchhike a ride back to Polihale before dark. Also, in the sailing canoe division Kawila “Scooter” Sagum broke a mast and had to get towed in to Kalalau Beach.

For more information about how to contribute to the Na Pali Coast Ohana please go to www.napali.org. And for a fun six minute overview - check out this video by Thor Seraphin.

Photos by: Na Pali Race/ Thor Seraphin, Kauai Sound & Cinema

Results from the 2016 race:

Solo SUP / Paddle board 1st Andrew Logreco 2:07 2nd Terrene Black 2:20 3rd Kevin Coffman 2:21 Three Person Team Mixed SUP 1st Kainoa Nakazawa, Kainoa Nakazawa, Darrin Cummings 2:53 2nd Paul Pacuilla, Derek Moore, Mona Yardberry 3:10 3rd Holly Amodio, Sue Cooper, Sandy Rodriguez 3:21 OC-2 Mixed Team 1st Brad Rambo, Tom Gallagher 2:05 2nd Sarah Waterman, Ele Jones 2:08 3rd Cheree Rapozo, Junior Hoopii 2:19 Fun Run Solo 1st Robert Beatty !:32 Solo OC-1 / Surfski 1st Manny Kulukulualani 1:38 2nd Christian Marston 1:42 3rd Maui Kjeldsen 1:44 Holopuni Sailing Canoe 1st Team Holopuni Nick Beck 2:04 2nd Lo'ihi Holopuni 2:05 3rd Manura Holopuni 2:06

By Andrea Gaytan

Anini Beach on Kauai

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The tranquil Anini beach on Kauai’s north shore is protected by a two mile reef, the longest fringing reef in the state of Hawaii. While Anini is known as a very safe beach, there is no lifeguard on duty and sadly visitors have gotten into trouble. The lake like water is easy to cruise in and maneuver your way around inside the reef, once you get outside of the reef, the currents can get strong so always swim with caution. If you are not a strong swimmer, consider bringing a boogie board or some type of flotation device to allow you to rest. It is an ideal beach to walk/swog (swim jog) spot with the long shallow sandy beach stretch. Anini is also a great spot to picnic and watch the sunset. Water sports: Perfect conditions for paddle boarding and kayaking. There are boat tours that come in and out along with jet skies and sail boats. When the wind picks up, it is a popular wind and kite surfing area. A few companies offer windsurfing lessons as well. Anini beach is a great snorkeling spot and turtles are often seen passing through and all different fish species. It is an especially good for beginners, due to the waveless secluded 2 mile long reef.

Parking: Parking here is easy. The parking lot is very close to the beach, and rarely crowded.

Shade: Shade can be found under trees and in the picnic area.

Food: No restaurants on this beach, but the occasional food truck. That is why this is a very ideal spot for picnicking.

Dangers: If you stay inside the protected reef, the water is basically motionless. However once you travel beyond the currents are known to be on the stronger side. There is no lifeguard on duty, so be sure to swim with a buddy.

Know before you go: While the visitor bureau here does not recommend this beach for visitors because there is no lifeguard, if you do go, here are some tips on protecting the reef. Also please watch this video on water safety on the island - notice they don't mention Anini. Mostly, they stress to be aware of seasonal surf (ask locals).  It's difficult to see the rip currents, but they are there and if you get caught in one, RELAX don't try to fight it. Use the buddy system when you are swimming and NEVER turn your back to the waves.

Natalie Towle

The Best Sweet Treats on Maui

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Whether you enjoy hot and messy chocolate drenched fudge brownies, refreshing sorbet, strawberry cheesecake, or a classic vanilla ice cream cone, dessert is always the best part of any meal. I asked a few of my Maui foodie friends for their favorite sweet-tooth quenching treats to share with readers. You are going to want to save room for dessert! The list starts off with the flight over if you are lucky enough to be in first class on Hawaiian Airlines. Don’t miss the Lilikoi Crunch Cake which is part of their Featured Chef Series, Chef Lee Anne Wong of Koko Head Cafe and Hale Ohuna has created this dessert that is a perfect complement to the local cuisine she features - including Okinawa Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Ravioli and Guava Shoyu Kalbi Short Ribs. I’ll be adding to this list but as of now, these are the not-to-miss desserts on Maui. Did we miss your favorite dessert? Let us know and email mimi@HawaiiIslander.com.

Wailea:

Ko at Fairmont Kea Lani has their Wailea Estate chocolate custard. You can also opt to get the custard served over some of their other desserts, such as the organic coconut gelato, or their lime pie for a chocolaty finish. And then at the same property, Nick's Fishmarket is known for their strawberries panzini, Kula strawberries with caramel and brown sugar and creme.

Make Your Own Sundae On Market Night at Duo at the Four Seasons Maui. Start by choosing from two freshly-churned ice cream flavors, generously served up in a homey mason jar. The toppings include favorites such as, coconut shavings, warmed hot fudge, freshly whipped cream, minced macadamia nuts and cherries.

Bistro Molokini at the Grand Wailea, has scrumptious ono gelato in vanilla bean or chocolate. Their banana splits are huge, and are served in half a pineapple.

Humu Pie at Humunukuapua at the Grand Wailea, takes the traditional mud pie to another level. Perfect for a pair to split, especially as the sun fades into Wailea Bay. The Humu Pie is layered with Lappert’s Macadamia Nut and Kona Coffee ice cream on a bed of crushed Oreo cookies and topped with a chocolate tiki.

Strawberry Cream Pie at Monkeypod Kitchen, filled with fresh berries and rich cream, this is an instant classic. They also have chocolate, banana and coconut cream pie.

Best dessert (and most popular) at Sarento's on the Beach are their profiteroles (3 pastries with ice cream in the middle). The delicate and flaky pastry combined with the rich and decadent cream is a yummy and quick dessert for being on the go.

Malasadas at Ka'ana Kitchen made by Chef Isaac. These traditional Portuguese pastries are made out of yeast dough and deep fried to a golden brown and coated in sugar.

Manoli's Pizza Company has their signature Holy Manoli. This is a huge chocolate chip cookie served in a skillet with vanilla ice cream and cookie crumbles on top.

Shave Ice. There are so many options on Maui, but Shave Ice tastes the best after a hot day at the beach. For Makena Beach goers, try the Jawz Fish Tacos food truck, with two convenient roadside locations near Big Beach. Choose up to 3 flavors and don’t forget a scoop of vanilla ice cream at the bottom.

Coconut Cake at Tommy Bahama’s. Comes topped with diced pineapple and Meyer’s dark rum drizzle with a white chocolate mousse filling. They also have Pina Colada Cake topped with the same additions.

Paia:

Ono Gelato. This gelato is made in the traditional Italian style but features fresh local ingredients and island-inspired flavors to put a new twist in frozen treats. Local favorites include: the Ono Sandy Beach with peanut butter gelato layered with graham cracker crumble and Maui-made coconut candy, the Hawaiian Hottie with chocolate gelato infused with cinnamon and spicy Hawaiian chilies, and the Surfing Goat Quark with quark cheese gelato and fresh fruit. Want a non-dairy option? Try one of their homemade sorbets such as Island Passion with passion fruit, orange and guava sorbetto or Kiui Sunset with kula strawberry, blueberry and orange creamsicle sorbettos swirled together.

Cafe Des Amis on Baldwin Ave, serves up Chocolate Banana and Lemon Sugar Crepes. These french inspired crepes are stuffed with bananas, chocolate, toffee sauce and cream. The lemon and sugar crepe is a lighter option, but still retains its sweet and sugary flavor with fresh lemon or lime and Maui cane sugar sprinkled on top.

Mama’s Fish HouseFor a decadant dessert opt for the Polynesian Black Pearl at this oceanfront eatery.  It comes with lilikoi'i mousse in a chocolate pastry seashell, or you can get liliko'i creme brûlée. The Kuau Chocolate Pie is a great chocolate fix and is baked in a caramel cookie crust.

Hana:

A passionfruit that is endemic to Hawaii, Lilikoi can often be found as a main ingredient in many Hawaiian summer cocktails. In this case, the fruit not only flavors the cream on on the cake, but also colors is a brilliant purple hue as well. If you are on the road and want to bring a yummy snack for the trip, try banana bread. Hana Farms is known for their hand-crafted banana bread, with fresh hand picked ingredients. The moist bread is filled with chunks of banana and berries and is topped with tropical fruit jam and a crunchy raw sugar cane crust.

Mana Foods. The coconut Kiefer with vanilla ice cream made by Maka. All of their baked goods Pono Pies at Mana are made by John Cadman. Filled to the brim (or in this case crust)  with breadfruit or taro the pies are a good gluten-free or vegan option. Pono Pies are becoming a big craze on Maui.

Glossary of Desserts:

Here are popular Hawaiian desserts to look for on menus - they can originate from all over the Pacific, however have found a home here in the islands.

Malasada: Originally made in Portugal, this egg shaped confection is traditional eaten on Terca-feira Gorda, also know as "Fat Tuesday" or Mardi Gras. The pastries are deep fried in oil and then coated in sugar. Malasada's made their way to Hawaii through the "Shove Tuesday" (Malasada Day) tradition, which dates back to the 19th century when sugar cane plantains thrived and were used to make this age old dessert, that was to be eaten before Lent.

Mochi: A traditional Japanese dessert, Mochi is a round sticky rice cake with ice cream filling. Mochi can come in many different flavors, however the most popular flavors include green tea, kona coffee and plum wine.

Passion Fruit aka lilikoi: Passion fruit is grown mostly in tropical areas such as Brazil and Hawaii. It has a fleshy purple skin and has a soft and sweet interior. Often used in other desserts or with other fruits to provide more flavor.

Guava: This is yet another common tropical fruit, and has a lemon looking rind, but with a sweet and juicy taste. 

Haupia: This is a traditional Hawaiian dessert and has a coconut-milk base. It is usually served in squares, similar to gelatin. However, it also served on the top of cakes for a sweet bonus of flavor.

Kulolo: Probably one of the least recognized luau dishes, but for me, one of the most prized and favorite dishes. You don’t find kulolo very often and definitely not at your typical tourist type luaus. Kulolo is a traditional Hawaiian pudding made from taro, coconut milk and brown sugar. It is cooked/steamed for hours traditionally in the imu or underground oven, but modern day versions use steaming or baking.

 

 

Sea House Restaurant

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Chef Alex Stanislaw
Chef Alex Stanislaw

Happy people are in abundance at Sea House Restaurant. The onsite eatery for the Napili Kai Resort seems to brim with visitors excited to be back in Maui along with a few locals coming in for the view and pupus. These days, the kitchen is headed up by executive chef, Alex Stanislaw, a much respected chef on the island. After graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Chef Alex began his career at Kapalua Bay Hotel, followed by seven years at Erik's Seafood Grotto in Kahana, then 21 years as Executive Chef at The Plantation House Restaurant in Kapalua. The restaurant has earned a few awards including, OpenTable's 2016 Diners' Choice, Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine's 2014 'Aipono Gold Awards for Best Bar and Most Maui-est Restaurant. Speaking of pupus, MauiTime awarded them Best Pupus on Maui in its Best of Maui 2014. And Zagat gives Sea House a rating of Excellent. Chef Alex has received numerous accolades and recognition including "Best Chef on Maui," has been featured in multiple cookbooks including "Great Chefs of Hawaii," and has appeared on culinary and travel programs such as the Rachael Ray Show and Discovery Channel's Great Chefs Series.

"Being at the Sea House, I feel like I've come full circle," says Chef Alex, who started his career at adjacent Kapalua Bay.

Vibe: Casual, low key resort. Some people are dressed up for a special occasion; others are barely covering their bikinis. Staff is friendly. Hawaiian music featured nightly from 7-9 pm.

Menu: Seafood, typical Hawaiian fare, fish, steak and the basics. Don't miss the Poke tacos, diced sashimi, red onion, tomato, limu, wonton, wasabi aioli, sweet soy and sriracha cream, $14. 808-669-1500

Located at Napili Kai Beach Resort 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Road Lahaina, HI 96761 Reservations: 808-669-1500 Open Daily: 7:00 am - 9:00 pm Breakfast: 7:00 am - 11:00 am Lunch: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Pupus: 2:00 pm - 9:00 pm Dinner: 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm Enjoy a tropical drink, beer, wine, or an appetizer at the full service bar. Happy Hour: 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm (no happy hour on Thanksgiving and Christmas) Cocktails: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm Hawaiian Entertainment is featured nightly from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Thanksgiving and Christmas limited pupus and special Dinner menu

Beaches of Wailea Resort

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Wailea offers a bevy of beautiful beaches. This entire coastline is known for calm waters, making it an excellent place to snorkel, SUP and swim. There are various rental companies along the beach offering snorkels, boards, kayaks and chairs. And lunch can be found at various food stands along the path. Starting from north to south here are the most popular choices. Keawakapu Beach: This beach is less commercial and more quiet than the other three, more accessible beaches, in Wailea. There are some resorts nearby, however, development is limited resulting in this beach being less visited and touristy. This 0.7-mile-long beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding. An artificial reef made out of 150 antique car bodies lies 400 yards offshore and creates a unique snorkeling experience. The cars were dumped from a barge in 1962. Snorkel, boogie boards, and other water activity rental gear is available through the Mana Kai Hotel, at the north end of the beach. Click here for more water gear rental information.

o Rental Address: 2960 S. Kihei Rd., Kihei, HI 96753. o Beach Parking: Free public parking. o Beach Facilities: Showers, bathrooms, convenience store, hotel and restaurant. *There are no lifeguards on duty.

Mokapu/Ulua Beach Parks: Fronting the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort and Wailea Elua Village, adjacent Mokapu and Ulua beach parks are each about a quarter mile long and separated by a rocky outcrop. The small rocky outcrop is perfect for snorkeling and makes this area popular with dive instructors and Andaz Maui guests. As a result, both the Mokapu and Ulua parking lots  fill up quickly. Getting to the beach before early afternoon is a good idea in order to grab parking and a spot or chaise on the white sand. These beaches are good for boogie boarding and whale watching, during the season.  Snorkel, boogie boards and other water activity rental gear is available through nearby Snorkel Bob’s.

o Rental Address: 100 Wailea Ike Dr., Kihei, HI 96753. o Beach Parking: Free public parking. o Beach Facilities: Bathrooms and showers. *There are no lifeguards on duty.

Wailea Beach: Consistently rated one of the world’s best beaches, this half-mile long white sand beach fronts several resorts, such as the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons Maui and Wailea Beach Villas. It gets quite busy with resort guests, so it’s a good idea to arrive early in the morning to grab a spot with an umbrella or beach cabana. When whales are nearby during whale season, snorkelers and divers can often times hear them singing when underwater. The small waves of Wailea Beach make it a good place to boogie board and body surf. Snorkel, boogie boards and other water activity rental gear is available through the nearby Snorkel Bob’s.

o Rental Address: 100 Wailea Ike Dr., Kihei, HI 96753. o Beach Parking: Free public parking. o Beach Facilities: Bathrooms and showers. *There are no lifeguards on duty.

Polo Beach: This half-mile long, crescent shaped beach fronts the Polo Beach Club and the north side of the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel. The beach, with its gradual underwater slope, is ideal for families with younger children. The lush gardens of the Fairmont Kea Lani front the beach and are open to all beach goers. The south end of the beach is less crowded. Water activity rental gear is available along the beach path

o Rental Address: 1215 S Kihei Rd., Kihei, HI 96753. o Beach Parking: Free public parking. o Beach Facilities: Showers, bathrooms, picnic tables, and barbecues. *There are no lifeguards on duty.

Katherine Minkiewicz

Hydra Facial at Westin Maui Resort and Spa

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On my latest visit to Maui, I was surprised to see the Hollywood-hyped Hydrafacial being offered at the Westin Maui Resort and Spa in Ka'anapali. Using a patented Vortex-Fusion® serum delivery system (marketing talk for infusing antioxidants, peptides and hyaluraonic acid into your skin, and I wasn’t sure how to say it better). I have heard about it as the next best thing for getting rid of fine lines and was psyched to see it offered. Despite the ‘med spa’ aspect of the treatment, it was still relaxing and felt like treat. The aesthetician starts off by cleansing, exfoliating and extractions followed by the actual Hydra facial machine, which pulses the plumping products into your skin. Spa director, Shawn Hallum decided to bring Hydrafacial to Heavenly Spa immediately following a treatment he received last year. "My results were profound," he says, "unlike any other facial I’ve received in my 20 years in the business. I felt confident that our guests would appreciate access to this unparalleled technology so we made the investment." According to a quick google search, the cost of the machine is about $30K, hence not an investment to take lightly. A 90-minute HydraFacial treatment costs, $295, just $100 more than a basic facial, and as Hallum says, "goes far beyond the basic spa facial." Besides the treatment, a deeply moisturizing Hualani Pineapple and Passion Fruit Crème Lotion is rubbed into your arms, shoulders and hands. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, which makes it very calming and clarifying, while locally harvested macadamia and kukui nut oils infused with a healing blend of organic and wild crafted Hawaiian botanicals repair and replenish the skin and then your hands are put into a mittens with warm lavender paraffin.

Spa treatments can be booked from 8am to 7pm. Call 808-661-2588

 

Toddler Friendly Activities in Poipu

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Hawaii is one of the most popular family vacation destinations in the US. Which is why we talked to Poipu local and expert, Jody Kjeldsen, to get the inside scoop on the best kid friendly spots on the Southside of Kauai. Whether checking out a secluded beach or visiting the local farmers market, here are some of the top things you and your little ones (keikis)  can enjoy together. Keiki Lagoon at Poipu Beach Park This is a MUST says Kjeldsen. “There’s great swimming and wading for the little ones, and good snorkeling for the adults.  There’s also a good chance you’ll spot some sea turtles or monk seals who visit the beach frequently.”  Brennecke’s Beach Deli is located across the street and offers take out lunch, snacks and shave ice. Forgot your sand castle kit? Nukumoi Surf Company across the street provides any beach rental gear one may need, including beach chairs, umbrellas, snorkels, boards, etc.  They even do surf lessons! Lifeguards on duty from 9 a.m -5p.m.

Baby Beach Baby beach with shallow calm waters and protection from high surf. Although there are no comfort stations or lifeguards, it allows for a quiet beach day away from the bustling crowd. Finding the beach can be a little tricky. (From the Lawai Road, make a left on Ho’ona Road and look for a yellow pipe that marks the beach access.)

Poipu Beach Athletic Club poipu club to those staying at various Poipu properties. Not a member? No problem. The club offers a $100 week pass for up to 6 guests. Make sure to stop by Whalers Cove Resort to purchase. There is a great pool for toddlers and a slide for kids 5 and up.  The pool also boasts a café, bar service, and live music on the weekends. Kid friendly concerts take place every month. 2290 Poipu Road, Koloa, 808-742-2111

Uncle’s Shave Ice Located in the Shops at Kukuiula this shave ice shop has an extensive menu and a photo booth to boot! Sample one of their popular island flavors like guava or passion fruit topped with macadamia nut ice cream. 2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka St, Koloa, uncleskauai.com 808-742-2364

Kauai Culinary Market This weekly market located at the Shops at Kukuiula is held Wednesday from 3:30pm -6pm.  With over 20 local farmers and vendors coming out to sell and sample fresh fruits, vegetables and locally made products this is a great event to check out with the family. There’s also live music, chef demonstration, and happy hour drink specials for the adults.  2829 Ala Kalanikaumaka St, Poipu, theshopsatkukuiula.com 855-742-0234

By Leela Lindner

Luau Deconstrution: A Brief History

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When we hear the word luau [loo-ou], most often images of fire dancers, colorful floral t-shirts, and sweet, lip-puckering mai tais come to mind. Though entertaining and fun, these modern festivals bear little resemblance to the traditional celebrations of the native Hawaiians. Originally knows as aha ‘aina (aha meaning gather and ‘aina meaning meal), these feasts were rich with symbolism, kapus (taboos) and the spirit of Aloha. A time of great celebration and feasting, royal aha ‘aina’s might accommodate up to 10,000 guests and a menu including: 271 hogs, 482 gourds of poi, 602 chickens, and 2,245 coconuts. It was at one of these royal aha ‘aina’s in the 1800’s where King Kamehameha II (aka Liholiho) and his step mother Queen Ka’ahumanu lifted the kapu of men and women eating together, that the term luau came to be. Though much has changed since these ancient days, you can find hints of the traditional aha ‘aina dishes on modern day luau menus. Look past the pasta salad, linen napkins and fruit cocktail to better understand this ancient celebration that has lived on long after the kings and queens of Hawaii.

  • Poi [poh-ee]- a root from the taro plant that is cooked and pounded to create a gooey bland paste. This was the starch staple of the native Hawaiian diet.
  • Kalua – pig rubbed with sea salt and cooked in an imu (an underground oven heated with rocks and kindling). Pig was forbidden to all but the Alii (native Hawaiian chiefs).
  • Squid Luau [loo-ou] – A mixture of squid, coconut milk and taro leaves that is baked or steamed.
  • Poke [po-kee] - fresh raw fish marinated in sea salt, seaweed and kukui nut oil.
  • Lau-lau [lou lou] - tender young taro leaf tips and meat wrapped and cooked in ti leaves inside the imu [ee-moo].
  • Limu [lee-moo] - fresh seaweed. Often ground into a relish and served as a side dish.
  • Opihi [opi-hi]- small sea snails that cling to the reef. The Hawaiian version of the oyster, they are eaten raw with a touch of sea salt.
  • Haupia [how-pee-ah] - a coconut dessert pudding made with coconut milk and arrowroot.

Want to check it out for yourself? Go to the Book Now tab, find your island, and choose for the various options.

by Leela Lindner

St. Regis Princeville Resort

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Overlooking Hanalei Bay, famously the set of Bali Hai, the resort was built in 1985 and renovated in 2009, the St. Regis Princeville Resort sits on Kauai’s northern shore, approximately 30 miles north of the Lihue airport. Located in the 9,000 acre resort community of Princeville at Hanalei, this ocean side getaway is offers 252 renovated guest rooms, including 51 premium ocean view suites.