It’s the beginning of a new school year and Kamalii Elementary School has issued their new Pueo Premier Card for the year. We have one of these at each of our four condos, so please do use the card to get discounts (similar or better to kama’aina) at local restaurants and stores. If you are not staying at our condos, swing by the school office at Kamalii Elementary School. They sell them as a school fundraiser for $10 cash. Mahalo for supporting local schools.
What’s on this year’s cards? Here are some of the restaurants/stores represented. Check out the picture of the cards to see them all.
5 Palms Restaurant
Cold Stone Creamery
Cow Pig Bun
Dina’s Sandwitch (sandwich store at Sugar Beach Resort)
Duo Steak & Seafood
Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse
Hawaiian Moons Natural Foods
Maui Brick Oven
Round Table Pizza
Three’s Bar & Grill
Cards are good for 1 use per day per offer and must be presented at time of purchase/order. Only 1 free item (unless specified) may be received on each visit. 2 for 1s are for equal or lesser value. Offers cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Discounts at participating locations only.
Speaking of discounts – what does ‘kama’aina’ discount mean? Kama’aina is the Hawaiian word for native born or ‘child of the land’. Here is an article about the meaning of kama’aina. Businesses in Hawaii are much more liberal with the application of the term when they offer kama’aina discounts to residents. Typically you need to show your Hawaii State ID or driver’s license to get the discount.
Note that though I have lived on Maui for 8+ years now, I am not considered a local. To be local, I would need to have lived here much longer.
The specials offered on this Pueo Premier Card are similar to these stores’ kama’aina discounts. In some cases these are instead of kama’aina discounts.
It’s February and that means it’s time for the free self-guided tour of some of Maui’s artists’ studios. This annual event is called Maui Open Studios. If you enjoy exploring and art – check this out. I promise you, you will find places on Maui you have never been before and meet some interesting people along the way.
Grab a copy of the print guide or browse the online PDF edition. Then each weekend check out some new favorite artists, watch them in action, talk to them about their art and maybe buy a very unique souvenir of your Maui trip!
Last weekend was their opening gala. Here is the upcoming schedule (weekends, from 11AM-6PM)
1st weekend: February 10-11 Upcountry
2nd weekend: February 17-18 West, Central, North Shore and Hana
3rd weekend: February 24-25 Kihei and Wailea
Did I mention the event is free?
One of my favorites
One of my personal favorites, Beth Cooper, is participating in the 3rd weekend event here in Kihei. Over the years I’ve bought a few of her paintings for our condos and many of our cards (prints of our paintings).
You can also find Beth’s paintings in our Sugar Beach condo (her Tahiti scene in our living room) and at our Palms at Wailea condo (a small beach scene in the hallway). Here is another picture of one of Beth’s cards.
This past week has been crazy. In the past nine days six tourists have died in the ocean with another near-fatality this morning. No, the sharks are not to blame – these men in their 50s and 60s died while snorkeling/scuba diving. I’ve linked these short articles so you can read a few of the details.
My condolences to their loved ones. This is a tragedy. When we go on vacation, we plan for things such as bad weather, sickness, even poor accommodations. But certainly not death.
How common are water-related deaths?
While this string of deaths from the past week is unheard of, water-related deaths are unfortunately more common than most think. According to statistics compiled by MauiNow we average between 12-25 deaths/year by drowning on Maui, the majority of them tourists. For much more information, please check out this article filled with statistics from MauiNow.
What should you do?
Should you avoid the ocean altogether? No. I am not trying to scare you. But, it is important to understand that while Maui is paradise, it’s not Disney. Bad stuff can and does happen, you need to understand risks and take action accordingly. Consider these suggestions:
If you can’t swim, you should not go snorkeling. As an alternative, check out all the local fish at the Maui Ocean Center. It really is well done.
Never snorkel (or dive) alone. Always use the buddy system and keep an eye on your buddy.
Be aware of water and wave conditions. The waves pick up at a certain time in the morning – snorkel early in the morning (before 9) for best conditions.
There is some discussion online about full-face masks possibly trapping CO2 in the mask. While this is an unproven theory, ask the pros and be sure you know how to properly use your equipment, making sure it is working correctly.
Remember – yes, some people die in drowning related accidents. However, consider that in 2016 we had 2.6 million visitors come to the island of Maui. According to the graph above, thirteen of them drowned. While that in itself is awful, the odds are you will be just fine. However do use common sense and be careful.
What to do if you see someone not moving in the water?
Call for help (9-1-1), try to get help to move them out of the water as soon as possible and start CPR.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since we dove head-first into the vacation rental business, buying four condos in five months. At the time we knew rather little about what we were doing. Sure we had been long-term rental landlords for years, so we knew about property management. But vacation rentals are a completely different ball game. There are many lessons learned in the past seven years.
We were fortunate to have several people guide us as we entered the world of vacation rentals. The owners of Kihei Surfside and Sugar Beach each gave me an information download over lunch of what they had learned in years of vacation renting. The first year we worked closely with a vacation rental company at Kihei Surfside – they were a great resource. Very importantly we were fortunate to retain a fantastic cleaning lady from day one who has brought her expertise and knowledge to our business.
Four things will make or break your vacation rental business
Cleanliness and Maintenance
Guests want the condo to be clean and they want it to be well-maintained. This is really a no-brainer. But did you know the majority of condo owners live off-island? Both cleanliness and maintenance slip big-time when you don’t have a hands-on on-island owner to check and stay on top of things. As on-island owners we walk into our condos between all bookings. Our wonderful cleaner Cindy has been cleaning our condos for seven years now. She is a perfectionist and together with Beth (an amazing artist – we have a number of her paintings hanging in our condos) does her best to keep our condos in top shape given the time constraints she works within. Sig (my husband) is our maintenance man – also a perfectionist he enjoys going into the condos and making little (or big) improvements, tinkering with things to get them ‘just right’ for the next guest. If you stay at one of our condos and something needs fixing, please call him and if urgent, he will take care of it within the day, or add it to his ‘to-do list’ for the next check-out.
In today’s online world we expect quick and good communication. I try – I really do try to respond to your inquiries as quickly as possible. Sometimes life happens, but do know that I am on it.
Isn’t this key with everything in life? Please read our reviews (on this website, our web listings and our guestbook entries). They speak for themselves.
Do we have it all together? Does anyone ever? We do try our best with our vacation rental business and hope that you have a wonderful vacation when you stay at one of our condos!
Do you enjoy an outdoor movie? I love the ambiance of sitting outside – watching the movie, checking out the stars and enjoying the cooler evening temperatures.
Gannon’s, the clubhouse restaurant at the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Courses, is hosting another Movie under the Stars event on Saturday August 19th at 8PM. It’s a James Bond event – they will be showing Skyfall. Movie night takes place on their lower lawn. Tickets are $7/person and can be purchased at the door. Tickets include a chair (usually you have to bring your own low-back chair to these sorts of events).
Do bring a light sweater or a beach towel to wrap up in, just in case you get a little chilly.
It sounds like this is a different location than the Maui Film Festival movies which are shown on the golf course’s driving range. This outdoor movie is said to be shown on the ‘lower lawn’ at Gannons. Come early and I’m sure they will point you in the right direction.
They will be serving $5 Bond Martinis at Gannon’s Red Bar beforehand. If you haven’t checked out Gannon’s Red Bar, do have a look at their happy hour menu which has been expanded in the past year or two.
Gannon’s Red Bar
We just had dinner at the Red Bar last week. While Gannon’s dinner menu is quite pricey (for that matter, most dinner menus on Maui are pricey), the Red Bar happy hour menu (3-8pm) is quite reasonable ($6-$14 range). Do tell the seating hostess that you are here for happy hour and (as of the writing of this blog post) they will seat you at a table with a red/orange candle (as opposed to the white candles).
My favorites on the happy hour menu? The volcano fries are amazing!
This was my first time at the Maui Film Festival. I’ve been meaning to go ever since we moved to Maui seven years ago. I enjoy watching movies under the stars. But you know how it goes – there are family commitments, it’s late in the evening (once it’s dark enough to watch an outdoor movie), I’ve been unsure about parking etc…. so I’ve never gone.
Last night I joined neighbors in going. Tickets can be bought online – mine was $25. Of course, had I pre-planned and bought these a few weeks ago, it would have been cheaper, but in retrospect $25 isn’t a bad deal. It covered my parking, the shuttle bus and two movies under the stars.
I grabbed one of my low beach chairs, a jacket with hoodie (and at last minute a towel), drove to Wailea and parked on the lawn with the streetlights. I’m sure you’ve seen it, across the street from the new Wailea Marriott, kitty corner from the Monkeypod Restaurant. I’ve always wondered why it had a driveway and street lights in the middle of a nicely manicured lawn. Well, turns out it’s an overflow parking lot for Wailea events. From there I caught a shuttle bus to the Wailea Gold and Emerald Golf Course’s driving range (this is next to Gannon’s). There set out on the lawn was a large screen and hundreds of movie goers in their chairs.
Turns out, last night was the first time in their 18 year history that it rained during a movie. It wasn’t too bad, and eventually stopped. I was thankful for my jacket and towel to keep the worst of the rain off.
The movies we saw were Dean (with Kevin Kline) and Class Rank. I enjoyed them both and would see them again.
Note: not all Maui Film Festival movies are shown at the Celestial Cinema (aka the driving range). A number of them are also shown at the Castle Theater (Maui Arts and Cultural Center) and one (free) evening takes place on Wailea Beach (between the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea).
Would I go again? Yes – it was a fun evening! Would I bring the kids? It depends on the movie – I would check the trailers. Last night was definitely an adult crowd.
Coming to Maui this summer and looking for something for the kids to do? How about enrolling them in kids golf lessons? Our friends Renee and Eddie Lee run the golf lessons at the Wailea Golf Academy, located at the Wailea Emerald and Gold golf course. While you can definitely book private lessons for the kids (they can also set you up with adult lessons, by the way), they are running six summer camps this summer (in June, July and August) – for beginner and more advanced students.
Our kids have taken many lessons from Renee. She is great with kids of all ages, patient and in control.
Their lessons are in a private setting at the top of the Emerald & Gold Course’s driving range. For us parents, it has the most beautiful view of the ocean.
The beginner camps are held from 9am-12noon daily on
June 14, 15 & 16
July 12, 13 & 14
August 16, 17 & 18
The intermediate camps are also from 9am-12noon daily
June 21, 22 & 23
July 5, 6 & 7
August 9, 10 & 11
Not here for all three dates in a set – no problem, you can also sign up just for one day of the camp. For more information about the camps check out their website or call them at 808-875-7450. Prices are posted with a discounted rate for residents (parents must hold a valid Hawaii driver’s license).
Additional kids golf lessons
The (cheaper) Maui Nui Golf Course in Kihei also offers kids lessons from time to time and I believe is offering summer camps also. Please inquire directly with them for further information.
After yesterday’s Junior PGA golf game, we decided we needed to reward ourselves with Gannon’s Happy Hour.
Gannon’s is one of our favorite lunch spots in Wailea. It is located on the beautiful Wailea Emerald and Gold golf courses with a stunning view of the ocean and Molokini.
On Maui lunch is typically the more reasonable time to eat out and that definitely applies at Gannon’s – lunch is significantly cheaper than dinner. However, Gannon’s Happy Hour is even more reasonable than lunch. The caveat is that you need to sit in their Red Bar area.
They have significantly increased the Gannon’s Happy Hour menu since the last time I went. There were 8 makai (to the sea) and 10 mauka (to the mountain) choices.
I ordered the poke bowl. This is a bowl of raw marinated chunks of ahi (tuna), onions and avocado on a bed of rice. It is honestly delicious.
My son claimed the burger (naturally). He said it was great – though the double kobe burger on the lunch menu is a bit better (the Gannon’s Happy Hour burger is cheaper).
Before seeing the size of our pupu (appetizers), we also ordered the volcano fries. These are amazing – roasted garlic and seaweed crumbles topped with sriracha mayo.
While the volcano fries were delicious, the size of our poke bowl and burger would have filled us just fine. The cookies and ice cream desert was definitely over the top. But the cookies were delicious.
It’s spring and the Wailea Community Association has sent out their latest newsletter concerning spring activities in Wailea!
Here are some highlights!
Restaurant Week Wailea is next week! Twice a year a number of restaurants offer a 3 course prix-fixe menu (prices vary between $29-$59/person plus drinks, tax and tip). It’s a great way to try out a new restaurant at a reasonable price. This year there are 21 restaurants participating. Check here for the list of restaurants and menus! You do NOT need a ticket or coupon, but reservations are recommended!
The Wailea Film Festival is coming! This year it takes place June 21-25, 2017. This is theater under the stars! What a great place to watch a movie, mingle with some stars and take in some special events. For more information, check out their website. Films have not yet been announced, so do check back on their website for more info!
A new farmer’s market at the Shops at Wailea! It will take place every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, starting June 28th 4-6pm. Look for ‘The Market’ on the main floor in the courtyard at the Shops. Remember, the first hour of parking is free at the Shops, after that make sure you pick up a parking validation from one of the many shops and restaurants.
Currently there’s an interesting discussion thread on Tripadvisor’s Maui forum that I thought I’d expand on. When you book a vacation rental condo on Maui, what can you expect to find and what should you bring from home? What should be on your Maui packing list?
Vacation rentals and what is provided can vary greatly across the US and Canada. On Maui you can generally expect to find the following in a fully furnished vacation rental condo:
a starter pack of paper towel, toilet paper, trash bags and soap
dishes, pots and pans, small kitchen appliances
Beyond that it really depends on the owner, management company and cleaner. Some have a bare cupboard policy, others allow certain things to be left behind by guests. It’s a good idea to ask the owner/management company.
beach chairs, boogie boards, cooler (no umbrella unless left by a guest)
laundry soap/fabric softener
dish washer pods
tin foil, plastic wrap
fully stocked spice rack, salt & pepper
small DVD library (and a dedicated condo netflix account)
small book library
Maui guide book
power bar (to charge electronics)
laundry drying rack
basic cleaning supplies
Our policy is to evaluate things left behind by guests – we will leave some cooking oil and condiments if they look to be in good shape. If you are a guest and think something is questionable, please throw it out.
Your Maui packing list
Things you may consider bringing if you have room in your luggage:
a few ziploc baggies (for leftovers, snacks, your cell phone at the beach, to pack that wet swim suit on your last day)
extra trash bags (we provide 3-4)
your favorite bar of soap, shampoo/conditioner
sunscreen and after-sun care product
your favorite spices (a couple spoonfuls in a ziploc bag in checked luggage)
a few extra rolls of toilet paper (we supply 2 rolls/toilet)
a swim suit or two and a favorite beach cover-up if desired
casual clothing and shoes (even at the fancy restaurants all you need is a pair of khakis and Hawaiian-style top or a cute sundress).
But guess what? If you forget anything, we have stores here! You can just easily run out and buy it!