Makena Beach and Golf Resort – Maui

Makena Beach and Golf Resort by Rochelle Carr

Makena Beach and Golf Resort

This year we decided to plan a family trip to Maui with our  five adult children for my husbands 50th at Makena Beach and Golf Resort. In the past we have stayed and paid big $$$$ at Wailea’s Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, Fairmont Kea Lani (still an old favorite) and even tried a windy condo one year up in Kapalua and one year down in Kihei on previous Maui vacations.

We decided we are barely in our rooms during the week, so why not splurge on the food and adventure and stay at a lower star hotel experience with seven people?

We have been back to Makena Beach and Golf Resort four times. Once as the Maui Prince, (a disaster) and three times as the Makena Beach and Golf Resort (fabulous). The renovation is great, the new hotel name (for marketing purposes and remembering) is not so great, however, grounds are better kept, prices fantastic, and the staff is now happy (I have asked them) and sits just about a four star quality! The staff makes this hotel shine. Pay for the ocean front rooms or suites on the upper floors – you will not be sorry. Be careful of the doors to the hotel rooms as they are extremely heavy, loud, and may squish you. 🙂

The beach is wonderful and quiet, snorkeling rental and turtle sightings every day, umbrella rental on the beach for $25.00 per day plus a million bucks in local taxes and vacation fees – just kidding. Workout room a SO GO. Gift stores and a Starbucks with added snack shack in lobby. Spa on the beach is not so great. A not so great massage in a see through cabana on the beach. There was talk the last time I was there about a brand new spa someday?

Go to the Grand Wailea for spa services or better yet, I found a fabulous massage therapist who will teach yoga and set up a massage table in the room on your own lanai! AMAZING! Laura Cavanaugh Mobile Massage is a deep tissue therapist that you must experience at least once on your trip. I indulged twice after the hotel massage three days before. Get the 1.5 or 2 hour. Spoil yourself on vacation. If you are running or biking or hiking (or just sore from sunning all day) call Laura!

Breakfast buffet is the best restaurant experience on property for hungry families. Fantastic start to the day! Your kids will LOVE this “food extravaganza” at any age. If you don’t have it packaged with your room, you will pay about ($50.00 plus) for two people for breakfast and coffee. The pool bar food is one star, upstairs restaurant needs a definite change, and sits at maybe at the two stars mark. We ate in the hotel for convenience, yet definitely not worth it. The Safeway in Wailea is fabulous for water and room snacks.

Maui – Restaurants & Things to Do

New trendy cool hip restaurant we found this trip “Monkeypod Kitchen” in Wailea is perfect for couples, singles and families. Get the calamari with tiny chunks of pineapple! Truffle fries a must. Incredible choices, great bar, fab drinks and sustainable food. We hit Cafe O Lei for lunch one day and it’s gone downhill in quality over the years, but for a quick bite it’s perfect and the prices are great.

Up North Kapalua is the Plantation House Restaurant. Food is ok at best. The Ma Chong (sp) fish they described at each table as (soft and buttery like red snapper melt in your mouth) made me giggle when served overcooked and the kalua pork hash under the fish was too difficult and overcooked to chew. Good wine list. Sunset views ten stars. Expensive, yet go for the appetizers and drinks with the ten star view to die for. Do not forget the camera.

In Paia go to my favorite Mama’s Fish House one of the best restaurants on the island. NEVER disappointed on food and drink and the sunset view here. My son climbed a coconut tree at Mama’s to win a bet. We eat at Mama’s at least once each trip, and then for that double special occasion dinner, we head down the road from Makena to Ferraro’s Italian Restaurant Four Seasons.

A few things to do for day outings: Go to the darling darling town of Makawao. The rodeo in July is good yeehaw fun, and while your having a rodeo day, just go visit the art galleries. Don’t forget to watch the glassblowers it’s fascinating. Chris and Chris from Germany are fabulous glass artists. Haleakala Crater is a must do to watch the sun come up. Hike the Bamboo Forest take a dip in the the seven sacred pools and the road to Hana a must do……. Bike Rentals are in Kihei, and they are just the nicest guys!

Enjoy every day of your trip, adventure, and EAT WELL!


Bamboo Forest Maui by Rochelle Carr




Definition of Urban Backpacker:

1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.

2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.

3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.