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Hana-Maui Resort – Where to Go to Unplug and Reconnect

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Hana-Maui Resort is not your typical luxury hotel. It’s better. If your life seems overwhelming and you need time to think and stare at the ocean, then Hyatt’s Hana-Maui Resort is for you. Formerly known as Travaasa Hana, this resort in the laid-back town of Hana on the island of Maui is where to go to unplug from technology and stress. Here you will connect instead with people, nature and the spirit of Hawaii.

Welcome to Travaasa Hana!

Mahalo to Hana-Maui Resort! (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Unplug at Hana-Maui Resort

There are no televisions, WiFi, or air conditioning in the rooms at Hana-Maui Resort. When I realized my hotel room had none of these things, a small panic washed over me. But the absence of these modern conveniences forced me to live in the moment and take notice of the beauty of the moon shining in the sky and the smell of fresh, clean air tinted with a hint of tropical blooms.

With the breeze flowing through the screen doors on either side of my Sea Ranch cottage, air conditioning was not necessary. I fell asleep to the sound of waves and felt very much a part of nature and Hana. If you must, there is a television and complimentary guest WiFi in a common room off the lobby.

Sea Ranch cottage at Hana Maui Resort

My Sea Ranch cottage at Hana-Maui Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Guided Meditation

To ease into the slow pace of Hana, I recommend attending a meditation session at Hana-Maui Resort. After a relaxing guided meditation, my auburn-haired youthful instructor, Ruth, told me she wasn’t originally from Hana. I asked Ruth what she does for fun as a single gal in this sleepy town. She said, “I’m from a small town so I knew what I was getting myself into. If I want to have an improv class, I need to organize it. If I want to have smoothies, I need to invite my friends over for smoothies. I can’t expect to find a smoothie bar here. But I chose this place. This is where I want to be.”

Travaasa Hana infinity pool

Sea Ranch Cottages infinity pool at Hana-Maui Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Throw Net Fishing Lesson

I had never considered net fishing in my life so when Hana-Maui Resort’s concierge suggested I attend the complimentary Throw Net Fishing class, I said “Really?!” She assured me this is one of the coolest activities available, so despite my doubts, I signed up.

Later in the day, I met with my throw net fishing guide, Andrew. He has been fishing since he was 8 years old and knows all there is to know about this traditional Hawaiian method of holoholo (fishing).

First of all, you should never eat bananas or whistle when fishing…it’s bad luck. Don’t ask someone with a net or rod if they’re going fishing either, unless you want to spoil their chances of landing a big fish.

Throw net fishing lesson in Hana, Maui

My instructor, Andrew, teaching me the art of throw net fishing (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

You might think net fishing consists of simply throwing a net in the water. You would be wrong, oh so very wrong. It’s a multi-step process of holding the net properly with one hand, looping it over your shoulder, gathering up the filament over your knee, and tossing the net with the right arc over the water at just the right moment for your best chances of snaring a fish or two.

I caught a mullet that Andrew estimated was over a half pound in weight, but it slipped away before my trusty teacher was able to snare it. He also caught a baby kupipi (damsel fish), but let it go because it was too small.

Throw net fishing lesson at Hana Maui Resort

My throw net fishing skills (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

The Spirit of Hana

Andrew is also a Hawaiian culture and nature aficionado. He shared with me with me knowledge that goes way beyond fishing. I loved the tales about his childhood, when he and his friends fashioned mini sail boats and nature-made squirt guns from beautiful orange African tulips. He told stories about Menehune, Hawaiian mythical creatures who like to play tricks. I learned about canoe plants — like the Kukui nut that can burn like a candle, which was brought from Marquesan ancestors in 700 AD.

During my solo fishing lesson, Andrew spotted his aunty and uncle, sitting nearby in their pick-up truck. They brought us two cans of passion fruit juice. (Aunty and uncle are terms of respect and familiarity among Hawaiian friends. These two, however, were actually Andrew’s blood relatives.) I asked Andrew why his family members were at the beach that day. “Oh they just come here to sit and look at the view and talk story and stay away from the TV.” That’s how it is in Hana.

If you’re looking for nightlife and dining options aplenty, then Hana is not for you. Hana is where you come to slow down, way down. There are but a small handful of restaurants in town. One night I had dinner at Ka’Uiki Dining Room at the resort with Hana-Maui Resort’s marketing manager, Hubert. He had recently moved to Hana from fast-paced Atlanta with his wife and children. He said, “I moved to the middle of nowhere, where no one cares about anything but love.”

Horse at Hana Maui Resort

Horse at Hana-Maui Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Horseback Riding

If you’re ever lucky enough to visit Hana-Maui Resort, I hope you will sign up for a horseback trail ride. It is a peaceful, beautiful experience you won’t soon forget. With all the wonderful things I experienced here, my Hana trail ride with my guide, Jolyn, stands out as the most meaningful. There’s something about connecting with an animal, and a horse in particular, that forces me to live in the present moment and connect with my true self. Read more about my memorable experience horseback riding in Hana.

Ice pops for sale in Hana, Maui

Angela, a Hana transplant from Venezuela, manning her Shaka Pops handmade popsicle stand in “downtown” Hana (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Exploring Hana

You’ll find two mini grocery stores in Hana that offer necessities like milk and goodies like banana chocolate bars. There’s also a florist peddling Hawaii’s finest flowers, a post office with very limited hours, and a couple of gift shops.

Be sure to get a homemade popsicle from the bright green Shaka Pops tricycle cart parked outside the Hasegawa General Store. Choose from flavors like Lava Flow, Coconut Lime, Pineapple Ginger, Passion Orange Guava, and Maui Mocha.

To party down like a local, it seems everyone in Hana heads to the high school to watch the big game on Friday nights during football season. It’s the talk of the town.

When venturing into town at night, bring a flash light (supplied by the hotel). Street lights aren’t abundant in Hana and it gets very, very dark.

Breakfast with a view at Hana Maui Resort

Breakfast with a view (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Why Book a Hana-Maui Resort Vacation

I was welcomed with a glass of tropical juice, a kukui nut lei, and a cold cloth for freshening up after a long drive on the Road to Hana. Plus, the infinity pool at Hana-Maui Resort was one of the most beautiful hotel pools I’ve ever seen. I was also wowed by the gorgeous fresh-cut flowers in my room, as well as the private hot tub on my lanai. But Hana is about so much more than luxurious accommodations and fabulous hotel amenities.

On my last night in town, I caught a ride back to my room aboard a Hana-Maui Resort golf cart driven by Hana native, Patrick. He said, “Want to know my philosophy on life? I got three things: love, honesty, and respect. I treat you the same way I want to be treated. I don’t care what color you are or where you come from. I treat everyone with love.” And that’s what Hana-Maui Resort is all about.

Want to bring your kids to Hana-Maui Resort? Although this resort caters mostly to adults, children are welcomed here in summer. The slow pace may be just what your family needs!

Sunset at Hana Maui Resort in Maui, Hawaii

Sunset at Hana-Maui Resort (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Learn More

Read more reviews of Hana-Maui Resort on Expedia and Hotels.com.

Planning a trip to Maui? Be sure to read my about one of my other all-time favorite resorts, in my Hyatt Regency Maui review. If you’re open to visiting other Hawaiian islands, then I highly recommend exploring Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island.

For travel without kids, take a look at another fabulous destination spa with a similar pace and programming to Hana-Maui Resort in my Miraval Arizona review.

Hana Maui Resort Review

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Would you like the slow pace of a stay at Hana-Maui Resort? Let us know in the comments below! 

A Note from The Travel Mama: I received complimentary accommodations at Travaasa Hana Resort for the purpose of this review. All opinions are mine, as always.

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. Thanks, Colleen. This truly “brought me back.” I am visiting Travaasa Hana for a three-night stay next month and am so very excited to return. I cannot wait to see all my friends there. Along with the Island of Molokaʻi, it is where I love to go (and quite frankly need to go as often as possible) to truly unwind, disconnect and reconnect. Mahalo to you!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      Kelii – I am so envious that you can visit Hana and Molokai so easily. I need to figure out how to find that kind of peace somewhere closer to home…if that’s possible! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

  2. Ellen Lanin says

    This story made me feel relaxed. The people of Hana would be the best part of my stay.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

      The people of Hana were the best part of my stay! And that’s saying a lot, given the incredible scenery and accommodations!

  3. Jody A Robbins says

    We stayed at this exact same resort a few years ago. It felt like stepping back in time at Travaasa Hana. We ended up doing throw net fishing which was an absolute blast. Didn’t catch anything though….

    • Colleen Lanin says

      The vibe at Travaasa Hana is so unique, welcoming and peaceful. I think it would be hard to live in Hana due to lack of restaurants and shops, etc. However, I can totally see the appeal of simpler, sweeter life. ❤️

  4. Thank you for making the name change! Though very little has changed in Hana since this unique property was first built in 1946 as the Ka-‘uiki Inn, The Travaasa Hāna Experiential Resort has changed owners and names more than a few times. In fact, since Mani Brothers Real Estate Group obtained ownership in late September of 2019—with management by Hyatt—this secluded 72-acre gem will now be called Hāna-Maui Resort.

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