By Ela Sathern By Ela Sathern | June 24, 2021 | Lifestyle
For beach lovers and adventure seekers, the Private Label Collection of hotels in Oahu and Maui offers the best of both worlds.
Relax at Hotel Wailea’s serene pool.
From our top-floor balcony suite at the oceanfront Kaimana Beach Hotel, my husband and I are truly amazed. Not only does this historic Waikiki hotel by Private Label Collection sit directly on the sand of Kaimana Beach with jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean, the Honolulu skyline and Diamond Head, but during our stay, all eyes are on the newborn Hawaiian monk seal and its mother, who chose this serene beach location to give birth. With this rare sighting, it is easy for us to immediately embrace the aloha spirit, renewing a lifestyle of love, joy and compassion.
Teak woods and oversize woven basket lighting accent the redesigned lobby at Kaimana Beach Hotel.
Just like those seals, we take full advantage of being located on one of Waikiki’s quietest beaches and best surf breaks. First, we take surf lessons from 2018 ISA World Longboard Surfing champion Kai Sallas, who enlightens us with his love of surfing at a beginner-friendly surf spot steps from the property, right where the sport took shape. Then, we enjoy the beach via Kaimana Beach Club amenities, which include premium Peligo beach chairs, plush beach towels and access to a club concierge, before heading back to our suite.
Taste avocado toast, the housemade pastry tray and papaya on Hau Tree’s new menu.
Earlier this year, the hotel debuted a new modern-boho look designed by Hawaii-based interior design firm Henderson Design Group. Five top-floor suites, boasting oversize balconies ideal for sunset-watching, have been completely reimagined featuring palm print and shibori wallpapers, bright pillows in a rainbow of fabrics and artful interpretations of Hawaii’s history. Eclectic arrangements of vintage and new art also appear on gallery-style walls throughout the lively, newly designed lobby, which leads straight to the lanai of Hau Tree, a two-level dining area with a casual vibe, right on the beach. We’re able to indulge in many savory meals including locally beloved brunch dishes such as the Hau Tree eggs Benedict, ahi burger and lemon ricotta pancakes, but not without a loving toast to the mother and pup to start.
A culinary experience at Hau Tree, based around a dinner menu of shared plates, was introduced this year by the team behind Maui’s premier boutique luxury hotel, Hotel Wailea, led by Honolulu’s own Jonathan McManus, founder of Private Label Collection. We decide to island-hop over to Hotel Wailea, Hawaii’s only Relais & Châteaux property, to see where it all began. The open-air Treehouse with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean is where we enjoy an intimate dining experience with a private chef curating a seven-course tasting menu tableside with wine pairings. Suspended among mango trees, we savor dishes such as a refined version of poke with dragon fruit and scallions, and a daikon and Asian pear “trail mix” with white chocolate and lemon, and the evening is topped off with an alway-senthralling Hawaii sunset.
Enjoy private dining at Treehouse.
This all-suite hotel is an adults-only escape overlooking three Hawaiian islands. In the Celebration Suite, an oversize lanai allows us to enjoy the view over breakfast before we adventure out to greet the sunrise on a 90-minute Hawaiian outrigger canoe paddle along the southern coast of Maui, where we visit a few friendly sea turtles. Back at the hotel pool outfitted with residential-size cabanas, we spend the day feeling fully pampered and nosh on a revamped poolside menu, which includes a fresh spin on fish tacos that can’t be missed.
Tour Maui with a Vintage Cruising experience through Hotel Wailea.
A brand-new adventure offered this year through Hotel Wailea is Vintage Cruising. On our last day, we explore the island in a classic silver “Hoku” ’57 Porsche 356 Speedster reproduction from Maui Roadsters. Although the day was filled with Insta-perfect pictures, the moments shared on this ride will last a lifetime. In the true Hawaiian way, the aloha spirit has been embedded into our lifestyle as we head back to the mainland refreshed. Mahalo, Hawaii! Suites from $699 per night, kaimana.com; and $899 per night, hotelwailea.com
Photography by: FROM TOP: PHOTO BY JOHN RUSSO/COURTESY OF PRIVATE LABEL COLLECTION; PHOTO COURTESY OF PRIVATE LABEL COLLECTION; PHOTO COURTESY OF PRIVATE LABEL COLLECTION; PHOTO BY SHAWN WALTERS; PHOTO BY SHAWN WALTERS