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Food Fests and More on MauiAugust 12, 2015 By: Ana Figueroa
The fifth edition of the Hawaii Food & Wine Festival gets underway at the end of this month. The three-island event launches on Hawaii Island August 29, followed by Maui from September 4-6 and Oahu September 9-13.
Maui’s events are centered around the Kaanapali Beach Resort. The lineup includes “Maui on My Mind,” an evening under the stars with nine chefs at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa’s Black Rock lawn. Island farmers will share the spotlight at an open-air market event in Whaler’s Village. A golf classic and mixology seminar are also on tap.
“Kaanapali Beach Resort is honored to serve as the host venue for the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival with an expanded three days in Kaanapali," Shelley Keukuna, executive director of the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association tells Travel Agent.
“The entire Resort, 11 properties, two shopping centers, two golf courses and more, are gearing up to welcome visitors along with internationally-renowned chefs for the premier epicurean event in the heart of the Pacific Region,” said Keukuna.
In October, the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa hosts another culinary event.
The Black Rock Dinner and Farm Series takes place October 23 and 24. Activities include a farm-inspired dinner with wine pairings, private farm tour and luncheon.
On the other side of Maui, there’s news from Travaasa Hana. The 1940’s-era resort at the end of the Road to Hana was known previously as Hotel Hana-Maui. In 2011 it became Travaasa Hana, marketed now as a Travaasa Experiential Resort.
Travel Agent spoke with the resort’s general manager David MacIlwraith about a guest room restoration currently underway. The $12 million project will touch upon all 70 bungalows and suites, as well as outdoor spaces. Among other changes, the Sea Ranch Cottages will be renamed Ocean Bungalows. They’ll sport new custom-made décor and bath amenities. But the resort’s core Old Hawaiian vibe, and the absence of TVs, radios and clocks in rooms won’t change.
Renovations are set for completion by year’s end. The property and its highly-rated wellness spa will remain open.
“We are committed to retaining the authentic sense of place and charm of historic Hana. At the same time, we’re excited to unveil the refreshed rooms to new and returning guests of Travaasa Hana as early as November.” MacIlwraith tells Travel Agent.
Of course, Maui County consists of Maui, Lanai and most of Molokai.
“There are endless ways to discover new and surprising destinations on Maui, Molokai and Lanai. All three islands provide remarkable experiences for both first-time and repeat visitors.” Terryl Vencl, executive director, Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, tells Travel Agent.
Multi-million dollar restorations are still underway at The Lodge at Koele and Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. Both properties are set to re-open in time for the 2015 holiday season.
Early next year, a new tour from operator Backroads is directed at active travelers. The Maui and Lanai Walking and Hiking Tour takes place Feb. 7-12, 2016. Participants will hike the varied terrain of the Hoapili Trail and Waihee Ridge Trail on Maui, and the Koloiki Ridge Trail and Naha Trail on Lanai.
But accommodations don’t fall into the “roughing it” category. Guests will stay at Maui’s Hotel Wailea and the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay.