Activity Reviews

I'm going to try to list all of the restaurants and activities here with brief reviews so it's easier for any of you planning a trip to Maui or Kauai.

I apologize that it might take me a while to get this done.

Travel and Lodging

American Airlines: B+
I wasn't sure how to rate them.  They had the best price, which is always good. We made it in early or at least on time for all of our flights. The crew seemed nice enough on all of flights. The seats were just standard, definitely not super comfy but adequate. They had movies on the long flights. The thing that really made me mad was that they don't serve snacks anymore. I was not aware of this, so I didn't pack anything for our 8 hour flight to Hawaii. 8 hours is a reeeeaally long time to go without food. They did have food for sale, but we didn't want to pay $13 for a sandwich. I just wish they could have handed out pretzels or something.

Hawaiian Airlines: A
Our flight from Honolulu to Maui was operated by Hawaiian. There wasn't anything special about it, but we got there on time so that gives them the A.

Island Air: A
Our flights between Maui and Kauai were on Island Air. On the way to Kauai, the flight attendant was a lot of fun. He gave us interesting tidbits about the islands and pointed out sights to us. The way back was a standard flight. We were on time both flights.

Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali, Maui: A
I really liked this hotel. We were given a complimentary upgrade from partial ocean to ocean view. There was also a bottle of champagne in our fridge and a congrats note. The room was clean and had nice decorations, a fridge, and flat screen TV, but it was still just a standard hotel room. It was not that much space and definitely not super luxurious, so if you're wanting 5 star accommodations you might want to check out the Westin or resorts down in Wailea. The grounds here were gorgeous though and well maintained. They have a nice beach area, and apparently some of the best snorkeling (we never got a chance to snorkel here). Their pools seemed nice, although we never went in them. I have no real complaints, except maybe the resort charge of about $25 per day for who knows what. We knew about it beforehand though so it wasn't a big deal. I would still highly recommend this hotel, especially if you can get a good deal on a room. We never tried their food so I can't comment on their restaurants.

Waipouli Beach Resort in Kapaa, Kauai: A++
Wow, this place is incredible. We rented a condo through the owner (via and got an excellent deal on a one bedroom, two bath (more like 1.5 bath) condo. The complex is only a few years old, and it looks brand new. There are top notch appliances in every condo, washer/dryer, full kitchen, the whole works. It is pretty big too with a separate bedroom and separate dining/entertainment room. There were flat screen TVs in both rooms with a DVD player in the main room. Pretty much everything was supplied, like extra towels, a cooler, all of the kitchen utensils, bath items, etc. We even were left some extra water from the previous occupants. The bed was super comfy and the linens were high quality. You don't get maid service here, but we didn't care about that. The kitchen was really nice to have. We cooked a few things and were able to re-heat leftovers. The pool here is awesome. It's designed in a lazy river kind of format. There are 3 hot sand bottom whirlpools too for adults, and 2 water slides for the kids, along with a sand bottom pool for kids. They have a beach area that has a cool tidepool part, but the ocean is not swimmable here. The condos are also right across the street from Safeway, which is very convenient. The only drawbacks I can think of are: 1) our particular condo was a first floor with no view, so that wasn't as fun but it also knocked off like $100 per night so we were ok with that, 2) for whatever reason the traffic between our condo and like 5 miles south is AWFUL. It took us forever to go those 5 miles a few days, which is pretty annoying when you're just trying to have a nice vacation. It's not the condo's fault, obviously, but if you stay in this area then be aware of that. Other than those two things, our stay was outstanding. I would definitely recommend it.

Budget Car Rental in OGG airport: A
We rented a Ford Focus from them while we were on Maui. It was part of the package deal with Orbitz, so the price was somewhat reasonable. Still sucked that we had to pay the underage fee (seriously, why is a 25 year old so much better at driving than a 23 year old, or 21 year old? whatever). The check in and pick up of our car was  very fast and easy, and the lady who helped us was really nice. The car itself was brand new, like 200 miles on it, and very clean. The drop off was also very easy and fast.

Thrifty Car Rental in LIH airport/Car Rental Hawaii: A
We actually rented this car through Car Rental Hawaii (google it) for a MUCH better price than through Thrift's site or other travel sites. You just email them and they reserve the car with a discount they have that also waives the underage fee, very nice. We rented an economy size car from them and were given a PT Cruiser by Thrifty, grrr. We pretty much hated this car, a lot, but I guess that's not really the car rental place's fault. The check in was fast and easy, the lady was nice. The drop off was also fast and easy. No real complaints.

Restaurants in Maui

Stinger Ray's in OGG airport (Day1): B+
Food was pretty good, a little overpriced. Service was slow. Overall average.

Cheeseburger in Paradise on Front Street, Lahaina (Day 2): B+

I think it's really famous but there wasn't anything special about it. Burgers were good, not amazing. The food was expensive for what you get ($9-10 burgers, fries are extra). We did have a great view of the ocean though, and service was pretty good.

Old Lahaina Luau in Lahaina (Day 2): A overall, B+ food
I thought the food was pretty decent. I've heard complaints about it before, and no, it's not five star dining, but you get to try a lot of different dishes and most of it had a good flavor. The drinks were pretty yummy, and were average in strength (I didn't find them weak like some people have said). Coupled with the awesome show, this is a great night of entertainment. It is not cheap (around $95 per person) but if you want to do a luau I would highly recommend this one.

Pacific'o in Lahaina (Day 3): A
We made reservations through their website for 5:45pm and put in a patio request. We were able to sit out on the patio, which had an excellent view of Lanai for the sunset.  Our waiter was very attentive and knowledgeable. We started our meal with the Kalua quesadillas, which were very good but I don't know if it was anything outrageously good. We both got different preparations of mahimahi and both of our dishes were very delicious. We also got the homemade sorbet (I can't remember the flavor, maybe guava berry something) which was delicious and also came with fresh fruit. We both ordered one drink, mine was a mixed fruity drink and his was a beer. Our total for 1 app, 2 entrees, 1 dessert and 2 drinks was around $130.

Hana Ranch House in Hana (Day 5): B+/A-
After only finding closed places along out route to Hana, we finally ended up here. It was fairly busy with group tours who stopped here, which seemed to mean less attentive service, but it was still ok. I got a fish sandwich, Tyler ordered a burger. I thought my sandwich was good, nothing special. Tyler said his burger wasn't very good. The beef came from Maui cows, and I guess he thought it just wasn't very good. The price was average. Probably one of your best bets in Hana.

Hard Rock Cafe (Day 5): A-/A
We went here for our Christmas dinner (yea, real traditional, huh?). I hadn't actually been to a Hard Rock before, but it seemed like an average chain restaurant type meal. I got some fancy mac n cheese with chicken, I can't remember what Tyler got. We were so tired and hungry by then that I think anything would have tasted great, so I don't know if I can really judge the meal very well. Our waiter was strangely attentive (he checked in a lot but gave weird looks). Price seemed average for that type of restaurant. I probably wouldn't recommend this restaurant with all of the other local ones you could try, but we didn't have many options that night.

Mama's Fish House in Paia (Day 10): A
Ok. So, this is obviously a very popular and highly recommended restaurant. I would recommend it, but I think there are probably better places in Maui if you can only go to a $150+ restaurant once during your stay. We went during our layover in Maui on our way back to the mainland, which was after sunset so we didn't get to enjoy the view. It's actually a really large restaurant and was pretty fun with it's decorations and layout. The service was really great. Our waitress was very friendly and helpful and attentive.  I ordered the onaga in a white wine sauce, and Tyler got the macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi. I thought my fish was really good, but I think I actually enjoyed my fish at Roy's and Beach House in Kauai more. Still really yummy though. Tyler enjoyed his fish too. I didn't think the presentation was very good, which was kind of weird. We both got our own desserts again. I got another chocolate one, and Tyler got a banana something. We both enjoyed those a lot.  While I would call it a high quality meal with great service, the price tag that comes with this is way too much. We ended up spending around $170 for 2 entrees, 2 desserts and 1 drink. I would still recommend it, but if you hear of other places in Maui that are just as good you might want to try those first.

Restaurants in Kauai

Brick Oven Pizza in Kapaa (Day 6): B+/A-
We went here for lunch on our first day in Kauai because it was close to our condo. It got an ONO in the blue book, but I don't know if it really deserved that. Maybe I'm just spoiled by good pizza places near where I live, but I didn't think there was anything amazing about this pizza. It was definitely yummy, but still fairly average. The waitress was very nice, but didn't check in often enough. It was a little pricey for just pizza. We got I think the large, and it was somewhere around $25-28. Compared to normal restaurants it's not too bad though since we did have enough leftovers for dinner the next night.

The Beach House Restaurant in Poipu (Day 6): A+++
AMAZING!!!!!!! You HAVE to go here. We made reservations for 5:30pm. They won't reserve tables, but they do give priority seating for what time you get there, so if you arrive early then you will probably get their tables closest to the ocean. They had the doors open so we had an amazing view and little ocean breeze. The sunset view here was to die for (Just take a look at Day 6 pictures). Our waiter was outstanding. He knew the menu expertly, and made excellent recommendations for us. He was extremely attentive but not obnoxiously so. The food was superb. Tyler ordered the fire-roasted sashimi-grade ahi cooked medium rare. I got their special, which I think was an opah (white fish).  Both were cooked expertly and had a beautiful presentation.  We both ordered desserts too. I got the Molten Chocolate Desire, and Tyler got a creme brulee (I think it was a special). Yummmmmmm. I also ordered a Raspberry lemon drop martini, which was awesome. For the 2 entrees, 2 desserts and 1 drink we actually came out with a bill just under $100 (like $99, haha) before tip. I actually thought it was a great deal for a super high quality restaurant.

Roy's Poipu Bar & Grill (Day 8): A++++
Another AMAZING meal. I know they are kind of a chain restaurant (they have multiple locations throughout the US) but it doesn't matter at all. The menu was top notch and nothing like a chain restaurant. The service here was even more impressive than the Beach House. There was a girl who walked around just tidying tables all night and asking if we needed anything. If I moved my drink and there was a ring of condensation on the table she would come over and wipe it off. We were first served a bowl of soy-infused edamame. I looove edamame, so this was an excellent start. We ordered an ahi appetizer. This was my first time eating raw fish, and I was very pleasantly surprised in how delicious it was. Tyler got the Hawaiian Style Misoyaki Butterfish for dinner, I got another white fish, I think red snapper that was special to the HI location (I'm so bad, I can't remember what they're called, haha). DELICIOUS!!! Outstanding taste and presentation. I got their chocolate cake dessert and Tyler got a banana macadamia nut thing. Both delicious. I also tried their Swamp Water drink (mojito) which was great. Our bill for 1 app, 2 entrees, 2 desserts, and 1 drink was about $130 with tip.

Scotty's BBQ in Kapaa (Day 9): B+/A-
Maybe I just got spoiled by the other amazing dinners, but I didn't think this place was so amazing. It wasn't bad by any means, just not great. We both ordered off the lunch menu to save some money. I got the roast beef sandwich, Tyler got the pork. Their BBQ sauces are pretty good, and they let you add it yourself which is nice. The view of the ocean is nice, but you don't get the sunset on this side of the island. Our waitress was nice, but not very attentive. We also ordered a dessert, which was good but not as good as Roy's or Beach House. I think our bill was around $45 with tip.

Kountry Kitchen in Kapaa (Day 10): Food A-, Service C
So this is a kind of hard one to review. It got an ONO in the blue book and was close to our condo so we thought we'd try it out. It's a small local place that is pretty popular. We had to wait like 20-30 min for our table. When we got seated, one waitress came by and offered coffee or other drinks. Then we had to sit at the table for another 15-20 min before out actual waitress came by to take our order. Tyler got an omelette meal, I got pancakes and eggs on the side. The food took another 15-20 min to come out. The pancakes were huge and fluffy, which was great. The eggs were pretty bland. Tyler seemed to enjoy his omelette, but I don't know if was outstanding. Took a while to get our check too. They actually offer to-go meals, and I could see it being great if you did that option. If you go to eat there though expect it to take a long time.

TC's in Lihue (Day 10): A-/A
This is located in the Coconut Grove Marketplace off the highway. We were already there so we decided to just eat at a shop there. We split the teriyaki burger and fries. I actually thought it was a pretty good burger, and Tyler agreed. Our cheapest meal at only around $15.