Hollywood-based Aussie celebrity Sophie Monk took a 25-minute flight from Honolulu to Maui for a bit of celebrity spotting.
Maui is Hawaii's second-largest island and has 193km of shoreline. Unsurprisingly it has stunning white beaches, clear water, romantic sunsets and soft, flower-scented breezes. There's never a bad time to visit as the weather is mostly mild and pleasant with the odd sprinkle.
It's a favourite spot for celebrities with five-star accommodation, excellent restaurants and good places to hide from paparazzi. Celebrities like to be seen when it suits them, but without the help of make-up, wardrobe and lighting they tend to react angrily!
Maui is a favourite destination for the likes of Anthony Hopkins, Paris Hilton, Eddie Murphy, Pierce Brosnan, Zac Efron, Hilary Duff, Britney Spears, Chris Noth, Owen Wilson and Lindsay Lohan. The Maui Film Festival in June this year attracted Mike Myers, Owen Wilson, Willy Nelson and Clint Eastwood.
Many of the rich and famous have second homes on Maui. Oprah Winfrey, who never does anything by half, is building a massive getaway there on a spot with some of the best views to be had.
Shopping opportunities are endless. From international designers to outlet malls there are temptations galore. One of the things most American mainland visitors take home are Maui onions. They thrive in the volcanic soil and are sweet enough to eat raw. Many people take them home to friends as a souvenir.
Four Seasons Resort
To escape media glare, celebrities and their families head to the 75-suite Four Seasons Resort Wailea. The exclusive resort is paradise where guests slip into European luxury bedding and bathe in marble baths. Furnishings are in the reds, blues and greens of the Hawaiian landscape. Eighty percent of the rooms have beach views.
There are three restaurants, bars and enormous suites and a games room. Cocktails and Four Seasons cuisine are served at free-standing and swim-up bars. Add to that tennis courts, putting green, croquet lawn and the Kids for All Seasons facility, what more could you ask for?
Choose from three pools. A heated saline pool with central fountain and a free-form lagoon pool with waterfall and slide and shallow end for children. They have first-in first-served cabanas.
The show-stopper for adults only is a 36m-long infinity Serenity pool with four bubble loungers, underwater music system and shimmering glass mosaic tiles. It has six luxury cabanas which can be reserved for around $370 a day! They have flat-screen televisions, ceiling fans, mini-refrigerators stocked with water, laptop safes, magazines, comfortable couches and oversized lounge chairs.
Spago is one of the three restaurants. It's as popular as its sister in Hollywood and has won every possible Hawaiian award. The flagship of masterchef Wolfgang Puck's dining empire, its Asian-inspired design uses wood, stone, sea anemone murals and lots of glass. So, there's not just fabulous food but extraordinary surroundings.
Mala Wailea Restaurant
For those who venture from the hotel, a visit to Mala Wailea Restaurant is high on the list. It overlooks the Pacific Ocean and has views from every table. The owners include Clint Eastwood and Alice Cooper.
A tradition of organic, healthy, fresh and delicious food is followed. They start the day with set menu and à la carte breakfasts, right through to lingering dinners. Pizza, burgers, sandwiches, soups, local fish and they even have a vegan chocolate mousse on the menu!
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The Hawaiian island of Maui.
Four Seasons Resort Maui has rooms starting at $470 a night.
Mala Wailea Restaurant is open between 6.30am and 9.30pm every day.
Hertz has a great range of vehicles and rates. Visit their website for full details:
Hawaiian Airlines has special Aloha fares to Maui from:
- Sydney $1265
- Melbourne and Brisbane $1445
- Adelaide $1605
- Perth $1765
Valid for travel between November 1 and December 9, 2010 and February 1 and March 31, 2011. Conditions apply.
Prices correct at September 30, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 1300 669 106
Four Seasons Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui
Maui HI 96753
Ph: +1 808 874 8000
Fax: +1 808 874 2244
Mala Wailea Restaurant
3700 Wailea Alanui Drive
Kihei HI 96753-8347
Ph: +1 808 875 9394
Hertz Car Hire
Visas: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine-readable passport with at least six months' validity after the departure day, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.
Electricity: 110V to 115V at 60Hz. Outlets take two parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.
Time zone: Hawaii is GMT -10.
Currency: The American dollar.
International dialling code: +1.