Top Secret Insider’s Guide to Maui

March 16, 2017

Have you ever traveled to Maui and wished you knew more about local spots versus the same ol’ tourist attractions? Worry not! We polled some of our Starwood Hawaii resort team members to find out some of their favorite places to hang out.

Here are some unique Maui experiences a short distance from Ka’anapali Beach!


Komoda Bakery – This homespun bakery, legendary for its mouth-watering cream puffs and guava-filled malasadas (Portuguese donut), is a must-stop. It’s been a Makawao landmark since Tazeko Komoda first stoked up the oven in 1916 and his offspring, using the same time-honored recipes, have been at it ever since. Best believe they’ve got it down pat! Do arrive early though – it often sells out by noon.

Kula – In the Upcountry region of Maui, nestled on the slopes of Haleakala (House of the Sun), is the mystical Ali`i Kula Lavender farm. The 13.5-acre farm resides at an elevation of roughly 4000 feet and is home to approximately 55,000 lavender plants as well as 45 different varieties of lavender. Olive trees, hydrangea, Protea, succulents and an exceptional variety of other plants can be found on the farm, which offers the first and only Lavender Lifestyle experience on Maui.

Ka’anapali Coffee Farms – Ka‘anapali Coffee Farms is a private agricultural community that weaves contemporary island living into the rich farming culture of West Maui. In keeping with the district’s agricultural intent, each lot is a part of a working coffee farm. A veteran team of local farmers grows, harvests and markets the coffee crop on your estate, leaving you and your family the time to enjoy life in this remarkable corner of Paradise.

Maui Outlet Mall – The Outlets of Maui is located at the former Lahaina Center on Front Street in the heart of historic Lahaina Town. A leisurely stroll throughout the center with a village style circulation plan with teak furniture, large café umbrellas, easy to navigate directional signage and the iconic clock tower, all fully integrated as part of the overall design, guarantee The Outlets of Maui will be a key Maui destination for years to come.

Ocean Vodka Distillery – Situated on a breathtaking 80 acres on the slopes of Mount Haleakala, the home of Ocean Vodka captures panoramic views of both the north and south shores of Maui. True to their organic and sustainable commitment, the Ocean Vodka Organic Farm and Distillery educates guests on the importance of organic farming for the conservation of land and ocean, sustainable manufacturing and the production of spirits.

Ulupalakua Winery – Maui’s Winery is the Valley Isle’s sole commercial winery boasting a varied selection of wines including sparkling, pineapple, grape and the coveted raspberry dessert wine. With hard work, attention to detail and the pursuit of excellence, Maui’s Winery continues to be a successful and thriving agricultural business and popular visitor destination.

Sam Sato – Sam Sato is an inexpensive noodles and plate lunches restaurant very popular with people who live on Maui. Few tourists find it in the town where many Maui residents live. The restaurant is famous for its famous dry mein—a bowl of seasoned saimin-like noodles that, for more decades than many residents can remember, has been a Maui comfort-food favorite.

Tasaka Guri Guri – Tasaka Guri-Guri is a small, family-owned shop located in Kahuluii. They specialize in a very special treat that is popular among Hawaiians, known as guri-guri. Guri-guri is a frozen dessert which is a cross between sherbet and ice cream. It is typically made with a mixture of guava juice, any type of lime soda and condensed milk. Tasaka Guri-Guri is very protective of the recipe and has managed to keep it a family secret for decades.

Which top secret Maui stop are you most looking forward to trying?

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