[HANA, MAUI] — I was in Maui in 2015, the week before Thanksgiving scoping out a new project and got a chance to stay at the cool Travaasa experiential resort on the totally chill side of the island, at the receiving end of the Road to Hana.

A lot of people take the white-knuckle drive, turn around and drive back the same day.

But Hana is a world away from the Resort Crazy, white sock/white sneakers and muscle shirts (when did those come back in style? And why?) at the other end of the island.

This is the way to do it. I love me some nice hotels and seek them out all over, but few can compare with the views of these bungalows, smack overlooking the angry waves crushing against the black lava shore.

I was right on the water and slept with the doors wide open each night, listening to the roooaaaarrrr.


“A lot of people take the white-knuckle drive, turn around and drive back the same day. Forget that, stay here.”

The Road to Hana is arduous, traffic can be thick on the thin road that bobs and weaves along the coast, often in single lane. A lot of people leave first thing in the morning, then it is rush hour at the end of the day coming back.  Since you’re staying out in Hana, skip the traffic and take the road mid-day, or even after 3pm.  You might still hit traffic coming back, but at least less in front of you.  What’s great about Travaasa is they have their own airline, so you can skip the whole long drive and fly over it instead, laughing at the waves and the traffic from the window of the small plane.

Hana is on the rainy side of the island, so be prepared for that. Sometimes just a spritz, sometimes a torrential downpour.  “There’s no bad weather, only proper clothing.”  Good time to plan for the spa or yoga. Or nap with the sound of the rain and waves.  Here’s a great recap of my stay that Travaasa put together from my Instagram posts. I’m honored. Here’s their website. A mention in the NYTimes about the flight, a great overview from the LA Times, a winner in Conde Nast Traveler.

The resort has been around forever, in various forms, but new owners took over the place about two years ago and have been really upgrading everything, including the rooms, the restaurants and all the cool experiential activities. So if you read reviews before November 2015, when they were just finishing up the renovations, they’re probably during that awkward growing-into-their-teenage face stage. The room I stayed in was just perfect. Not very fancy, but clean, new, and right on the water.  You can see all about a glider flight I took over the towering volcano nearby in my other post.

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