The Valley Isle offers attendees and top performers an enchanting mix of stunning volcano vistas at Haleakala National Park; gorgeous, breeze-cooled beaches; outstanding golf courses, and rich historic sites that recall Hawaii's royal history and former role as a whaling center.
In Lahaina, once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and a busy whaling port, visitors can explore National Historic Landmarks such as the Baldwin Home, the Hale Paahao jail, Hing Temple and the Lahaina Jodo Mission, all via the Lahaina Historic Trail.
Flocking to Paradise
• Due to the overwhelming popularity of its sunrise views, visitors to Haleakala National Park now need to a reserve a space in advance to take in the early morning spectacle; the park charges $1.50 per vehicle, in addition to entry fees.
• Maui set an all-time record in 2016, when the island welcomed 2.6 million visitors. Tourism spending also increased, to $4.5 billion.
Tears of Joy
Maui onions are famed for their sweet and juicy properties, thanks to the island's rich volcanic soil and warm weather. Island diners can savor the succulent bulbs in salads, soups and main dishes.
Whale of a Time
The waters off Maui are ideal for viewing humpback whales from December through May. Among the best spots to watch the mighty mammals are McGregor Point, west of Maalaea, and the beaches of Kaanapali, Kihei and Wailea.
• Making its debut this month is the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas. The property, on North Ka'anapali Beach, has 390 villas, a lagoon-style pool, a fitness center, the Mauka Makai restaurant and a pool bar. The resort has one boardroom to accommodate small groups, a business center and several outdoor event spaces.
• The Wailea Beach Resort-Marriott, Maui, unveiled the results of a $100 million renovation last December. The project included upgrades to all 547 guest rooms, including 56 suites, a revamp of the property's spa and Grand Lanai entry area, and a refurbishment of all indoor and outdoor event spaces. Also unveiled were several new dining outlets, including the resort's signature Humble Market Kitchin by Roy Yamaguchi, which includes three private dining rooms. A new two-acre pool complex rounds out the improvements.
• The 200-room Residence Inn Maui Wailea, the first of the extended-stay brand in the state, debuted last fall. The all-suite property features 1,760 square feet of indoor meeting space, including a 410-square-foot boardroom. Complimentary hot breakfast, WiFi and airport shuttles are offered.
• The 1,021-condo Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas has debuted its new restaurant, Auntie's Kitchen, which replaces the Ocean Pool Bar and Grill.
• The 806-room Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa sports a new outdoor space, the Halona Kai event lawn. The property also has redesigned its Regency Club, now on the lobby level, and remodeled the 18,000-square-foot Monarchy Ballroom.
• The 310-room Makena Beach and Golf Resort, formerly the Maui Prince Hotel, closed last summer. The property will be converted into private residential units but retain a touch of hospitality: A new 76-room hotel is slated to be built on the grounds.
• The Wailea Golf Club has introduced the Wailea Golf Academy, which offers an array of personalized group services ranging from small clinics for VIPs to programs for up to 60 golfers at a time. Also coming soon to the academy is a
revamped tournament-management system.
• The upscale, 70-room Travaasa Hana resort has completed a $12 million renovation. The project included a restoration of the property's Plantation Guest House, a historic residence that hosted many of the island's kings and queens until 1850; the venue is now available for private events. The resort also unveiled a new signature restaurant, the Preserve Kitchen + Bar, and launched a new team-building activity, "Fire by Friction," in which participants learn the ancient art of fire-starting.
Meeting Hotels: Properties include the 806-room Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa; 780-room Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort; 759-room Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapali; 547-room Wailea Beach Resort-Marriott, Maui; 508-room Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa; 463-room Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua; 450-room Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui; 383-room Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, and 297-room Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort.
To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.
Airport Transit: Kahului Airport, about 33 miles from Kapalua. Transfer cost by taxi, $100; by shuttle, $79
Wailea, 20 miles from Kapalua. Transfer cost by taxi, $51; by shuttle, $43
Taxes: Room tax, 9.25%; sales tax, 4.16%; total tax on hotel rooms, 13.416%
Group Venue:Tommy Bahama may be best-known for its laid-back swim and sportswear, but a number of its stores, including the location at the Shops at Wailea, have charming restaurants that can hold private events. Groups of up to 80 are accommodated. The store also can host private shopping hours before, during or after events. (808) 875-9983
Contact: Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, (808) 923-1811