Hale Pau Hana is all about family, so it’s no surprise that recent guest Katie M’s visit this year felt like coming home. We asked her to share a little bit about her experience — from her favorite way to spend a day to recommended island activities. Read on to get some inspiration for your next trip to Maui!
Those first steps felt like coming home. I hadn't been back to Hale Pau Hana in about 12 years (since my high school graduation). Stepping on to the beach and breathing in the salty air, I instantly felt like I was "home" again. Even though I've never actually lived at Hale Pau Hana, I've spent many weeks of my life there visiting my grandparents (Melba and Harold M.) who did. I always loved getting to visit with them there because of how independent they were, even as they grew older.
They had their routines of early morning snorkeling out front, pancakes and coffee for breakfast on the lanai, playing bocci ball on the beach, and enjoying wine and fresh grilled fish on the lawn for sunset dinners. My grandpa passed away 11 years ago and this trip actually marked exactly one year since Mema passed away. It was very special, and for me very healing, to get to be in the place they loved most for that difficult anniversary. It was a sweet way to feel close to them both and remember and honor them in a way they would love by being at HPH.
“Every step from our condo down to the lawn and on to the beach and into the ocean was like putting down my stresses and worries one at a time and letting go.
— Katie M.
While some of our family members slept in, others would be up early for a walk on the beach and then maybe across the street to grab a cinnamon roll. Then, as everyone woke up, we'd all trickle out to the beach or lawn. The kids love playing in the sand and building sandcastles and having us "bury" them. And for anyone who is a little less fond of laying in the sand (me! haha), the lawn is the perfect spot to get to see the beach without being... in the beach. Haha!
My personal favorite part of the day though is wading out into the ocean to snorkel. Snorkeling is what I love most about Hawaii and it's incredible to have such a great spot right off of the HPH beach. I can snorkel any time I want without ever having to leave! After a day of fun, we'd get cleaned up and usually come down to the lawn to grill fish and veggies for dinner and sip wine while watching the gorgeous sunsets.
I love all the plants at HPH! Everywhere you turn there's ginger and banana trees and birds of paradise and plumerias and I love the sign and smell of them.
Our family always really enjoys heading out to Molokini for a snorkel. It's fun to spend some time on the boat and see the island from a new perspective. This time we did it through the Pacific Whale Foundation and I really enjoyed the crew. I'm also a big fan of the shaved ice and pie from Leoda's (in Lahaina). Oh! And driving up to see the Ioa Valley is definitely worth the trip — it's stunning!
I felt great about it! Everyone was clearly very careful and I felt safe the entire trip!
Absolutely. With a little bit of prep on the front end, the travel portion was pretty seamless. I did have to wait in line for about an hour and a half to verify my vaccine card and health documents, but everyone at the airport was friendly and helpful and it was well worth it to be able to spend time on Maui.
I think often when people think of vacationing in Hawaii, they think of resorts and Mai Tais and coconuts and having 4 different pools and massages on the beach. Don't get me wrong — all of those things are great, lol. But when I think of Hawaii (and Maui especially), I think of slowing down, keeping things simple, going with the flow and I think HPH really embodies that. When I stay at HPH I truly feel like I'm living in Maui for the duration of my trip vs just "vacationing." And that might sound silly, but I think there's a distinction.
I think it's why when we come back it really does feel like coming home. Because we set up camp and we live at HPH. It’s about simplifying and really understanding that when you're in paradise, sometimes less is so much more. Every step from our condo down to the lawn and on to the beach and into the ocean was like putting down my stresses and worries one at a time and letting go.
Mahalo for sharing, Katie! Anyone else ready to slow down and keep it simple? Click here for all the details.