Travaasa Hotel Hana, Hana, Hawaii $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The most Hawaiian town on Maui (both in terms of population of Native Hawaiians and a rural way of life that modern Hawaii abandoned 50 years ago), Hana has been protected from overdevelopment by the daunting two-hour drive on the twisty Hana Highway, and in-the-know travelers swear it's the last authentic place on Maui. This sprawling luxury ranch with an eco-adventurer vibe takes full advantage of the unspoiled setting: The eight one- and two-bedroom Sea Ranch cottages sit out on a seaside bluff where the land suddenly drops into the sea. The pine tree green-color wooden houses have interiors done up in vintage Hawaiian designs, high-beamed ceilings, and enclosed gardens off the modern bathrooms. To sweeten the deal, the Travaasa also offers a smart all-inclusive package that covers three meals plus one activity (i.e., spa treatment or horseback riding) per person daily. What's the catch? There really is none, except that Hana is as quiet as a church mouse at night (so be sure to bring your own entertainment) and there's no beach access from the hotel, although there is a shuttle to the Beach Club at nearby Hamoa Beach. During the day, guests hike or drive to see local attractions like the Seven Sacred Pools or Lindburgh's Grave, or read on their private balcony, swim in the pool that overlooks the ocean, or get rubbed down in a state-of-the-art spa with open-air treatment rooms and an outdoor lava-rock whirlpool. Families are discouraged from staying on the Sea Ranch side of the resort (in part for safety reasons), although four Maui Bay Cottages ideal for people with children sit closer to the main building with views over Hana Bay. For complete privacy, the turn-of-the-century Plantation House has two bedrooms and is a 10-minute walk from the hotel's main building (there's a shuttle service, too).—Cathay Che
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