Welcome back to my blog! 2 weeks ago we were in the middle of a Polar Vortex, last week it snowed 24 hours for us Minnesotans & it’s supposed to snow again throughout this week! Actually… Just checked the weather & we’re under a Winter Storm Warning until 6PM.. Tuesday.
Safe to say, I’m counting down the days until we’re in Maui again, which is 31 days to be exact 😉
Recently, I got texts from a couple friends who are getting married this year (yay), asking for recommendations on which island to stay at & where for their honeymoons. I’m often asked not only about how we travel so often, which you can find all of my tips & advice here, but also what I recommend & why. Since we’re coming up on another vacation, I was looking back at old photos from last year’s trip to Maui & decided it would be fun to go through our vacation, what we did outside of the resort, how I liked the resort & whether or not I would stay there again etc. I decided to start doing this with all vacations, so stay tuned for posts on other resorts & a review on the one we’ll be at in Maui next month!
Now let’s get started!
Both photos courtesy of Mana Kai
Last March of 2018, we decided to stay at Mana Kai Maui to celebrate our 2 year anniversary & to also have a fun getaway. I was so stressed out & busy with work & Brian was ending his first year of medical school aka.. we needed this vacation!
We truly did love staying here. It is a smaller resort located in Kihei so it is close to shops, local restaurants & lots of things to do outside of the resort.
We loved this resort simply because it is very low key, has a “homey” feel, is very affordable & close to anything local. This is a resort I highly recommend staying at if you plan to explore the island! There isn’t TOO much to do at Mana Kai compared to other resorts but there is a nice pool, 1 restaurant & bar, a fitness center, a yoga studio, a convenience store, & a surf shack.
Simple, but it had everything we needed!
The lobby is beautiful with a photo of a sea turtle taken by a local photographer right when you walk in, there is lots of seating & sofas, but it’s very simple & I love that! I love that it’s all open & you can hear the ocean & feel the breeze when in the lobby!
Photos courtesy of Mana Kai
To start, we booked this resort through hotels.com. This made it significantly cheaper for us! We chose to stay in a regular, non ocean view hotel room, with no balcony, BUT we still had an awesome view of the mountains 🙂
At the time, our room was $400 per night (right now it looks like it’s $300 per night), but because we booked through a different website, we got it for $233 per night and we were able to score a free rental car! Our room was simple, had a roomy bathroom, King size bed, free Hawaiian coffee (which is my favorite part tbh). You can absolutely get ocean view rooms, little condos with a kitchenette or a 2 bedroom condo with a full kitchen, you’ll just be paying a bit more! We didn’t spend a lot of time in our room unless we were sleeping or changing for the beach/dinner so we didn’t feel like it was necessary to pay for an ocean view.
Night 1 is always our struggle because of the time change.. it was almost midnight back home when we were going to dinner here!
You can tell how tired I am but also how thankful I am for coffee haha
Photos courtesy of Mana Kai
Located on the property is 5 Palms Restaurant. They serve an amazing breakfast, lunch & dinner with an even more amazing ocean view. Tell me what’s more relaxing than hearing/seeing the ocean as you sip your Rosé with dinner or your guava mimosa?
Oh. That’s right.
You do not have to be staying at the resort to eat here, BUT by staying at Mana Kai, you receive 20% off of all entreés! Because we couldn’t check into our hotel until 4:00 when we arrived in Maui, we made reservations here for our first night staying at the resort. Thanks to the time change, we were STARVING for dinner & were glad to eat here for night 1. Naturally, the first thing I ordered was the fresh lobster tail & veggies 😉
So good! We chose to eat dinner here twice during our stay, but you can be filled in on everywhere else we ate here.
Our first morning waking up in Maui, we went down to 5 Palms for breakfast & OH MY GOSH. Brian decided to be a bit healthier than me & get the Loco Coco, which is a traditional Hawaiian bowl containing rice, steak, eggs & gravy!
I……. didn’t do that & opted for the special of the day:
Lilikoi & Mango French Toast & it did not disappoint at all.
It came with freshly whipped coconut butter & strawberry maple syrup.
We paired our first breakfast with Mango mimosas!
To make it even greater, since it’s whale season in the spring time, we could see whales not too far from the shore! We ate here for breakfast a few times just because it was THAT good! Plus we had to try all of the mimosa options 😉
Guava, Mango, Pineapple, Orange, Guava Orange, Pineapple Mango, Orange Mango & Mango Guava
I really couldn’t stay away from the french toast & got a yummy banana nut flavor another day & again.. alllll the mimosas! We actually never ate lunch here but ate locally all of the other days, which I go over in my Kihei, Maui Travel Guide here 🙂
Located in 5 Palms is a bar that’s open 11AM-1AM. We went here when it opened every morning, NO ONE JUDGE US, WE’RE IN HAWAII OKAY. We got lots of yummy drinks & the bartenders were awesome! The only downside was that drinks were not allowed to leave the bar so we couldn’t go sit by the pool or anything with a drink in our hands, which I personally wasn’t a fan of. They only give you your drinks in glasses so I understand why it’s done that way! I did love sitting & chatting with Brian at the tables & looking out to the ocean. The drinks were typical price: $8 for beer, $11-$16 for mixed drinks.
The beach here was amazing. The beach is a mile long that connects a few resorts like the Palms At Wailea & Andaz Maui & multi million dollar houses that we enjoyed staring at haha. We walked along the beach multiple times during sunset, which was amazing! I loved that there were very few locals around, so the beach was never crowded. The lawn in front our resort leads out to the beach as you can see pictured. It’s a nice grassy area to put down a towel or to sit in a pool chair to look out to the ocean without getting sand in every crevice. Elderly couples watched the sunset every night together in the chairs 🙂 While the beach was amazing, the snorkeling was even better. There is a reef right off the shore so we saw tons of pretty fish & were able to swim with sea turtles bigger than me (aka bigger than 5ft!). They’re amazing, they just kind of sit there under water, look at you & mind their business haha. We saw lots of them just hanging out on the beach as well!
Things to Do at The Resort
The Surf Shack
The Surf Shack is located on the resort & has snorkel gear rental, surf board rental, paddle board & kayak rental! We were able to rent paddle boards for $25 each for 1 hour! After breakfast at 5 Palms one morning, we went out & paddle boarded down the shore & back. Best arm workout you’ll ever have haha.
The Yoga Studio
Maui Yoga Path is the name of the studio located on property. I unfortunately didn’t take any classes, but looking back I wish I would have! You don’t have many opportunities to take a yoga class in an open studio where you can see the ocean, the sunrise & feel the breeze! These are not complimentary so drop in classes are $25 & 5 classes are $100.
This is a deli & convenience store located right on the property. This store has wine (we got some pineapple wine actually to try! Verdict: not good haha), personal care items like shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc, souvenirs, sunscreen, snacks, desserts, fruit & sandwiches! Everything is really cheap so pro tip: pick up a sandwich & some fruit & take it down to the beach! You have a cheap, easy on the go lunch!
The Activities Desk
Located in the lobby, someone at this desk can help you plan out some great things to do on the island: whale watching tours, helicopter tours, sunset dinner cruises etc! You can also reserve dinner at this desk as well!
Other Resort Amenities
Washer/Dryer on every floor (coin operated)
24-hour security (I felt very safe here!)
Pool towel service
Pool AND Beach chairs available
Foodland Supermarket discount card (Perfect if you’re renting a condo with a kitchen)
The staff here were wonderful. It’s a family owned resort so everyone is very friendly, knows each other & is so kind & willing to help you out if you need anything!
I would 110% stay here again & I hope we get that chance sometime soon. We both truly loved it. It was simple, had everything we needed, it was nice, affordable & had the best views from the restaurant, the beach & the lobby!
I hope you enjoyed this travel blog & I’m excited to be posting more of older vacations & our future ones coming!
To read where we ate outside of the resort, where we shopped & what we did, you can read all of that here!