Maui becomes paradise for a price, patience and prudence

A first hand look at  Valley Island’s changing landscape

By Patti Pietschmann, Travel Diva

We’ve been in Maui two weeks now and it’s as wonderful as ever but more expensive. Seems the verdant Valley Island is inching its way to being as pricey as Tahiti or St. Barths.

Hotel rates are off the charts with condo rentals for two bedrooms and two baths starting at about $500 and hotel rates that much and higher. And, when you can score a reservation (which is difficult) the tab for fine dining can  run as high as $150 without appetizer or dessert.   What’s more  a -a decent wine at some establishments such as Ka-ana Kitchen at the Andazis well above $80.

MauiCar rental rates rev up

If you can snag a rental car, expect to pay a stiff fee. Our economy car costs us nearly $2,000 for the month.

Maui is seeing a surge in tourism. This is a good news and bad.  The latter is because the island is undergoing a loss of people who want to work. It’s so bad some employers are offering signing bonuses and high salaries.

Dining out takes time and money

The island is so popular that there are long  lines and trouble getting into many restaurants. For instance there was a line down the sidewalk for Taco Tuesday at Fred’s Mexican Restaurant.

What’s more, many restaurants aren’t taking reservations. We couldn’t reserve at table in advance for Morimoto or at Monkey Pod where diners must wait in the parking lot for their name to be called. Our favorite 5

The fine restaurant at the Hotel Wailea so expensive one diner, lucky enough to get in, said he’d never to back.

Rooms at the top hotels (and some condos) are now going to way upwards  of$500 with stiff resort ($48 at Andaz). However condo complexes such as Mana Kai Maui do not charge resort fees.

MauiMore lenient Covid rules

The government is relaxingrules for restaurants. Currently  groups of 10 can  dine together.  And. for the first time in two years restaurants don’t have to close at 10 p.m..

But you must show ID and vax cards to enter restaurants, sometimes enforced, sometimes not. And masks are required to get in (but not always) but don’t forget the vax card and ID.

Maui is still magical with awesome sunrises, sunsets, rainbows. Swaying palms and  balmy weather. And along with a warm and inviting ocean it’s all free for the taking. And Hawaiian has been selling coach seats for as low as $90 one-way (if you catch it on the right day).




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