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Hawaii Diary 2002

Part 9: February 4, 2002 - Outrigger Wailea Resort and Luau

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Hawaii Diary 2002

The Island of Lanai As Seen from the Lobby of the Outrigger Wailea Resort

Photo by John Fischer

We have heard a lot about the renovations done at the Outrigger Wailea Resort and also about their luau.

The resort won a 2001 Kahili Award in architecture for the renovations. As written by the HVCB, "After Outrigger Hotels & Resorts purchased the first hotel built in this area of Maui and renamed it the Outrigger Wailea Resort, it invested $25 million in renovation. Structural work opened and extended ceilings rooflines, lanais and windows, so visitors now have an unhindered view of the ocean from the moment they arrive and tradewinds and sunlight fill public spaces. Guest rooms were redesigned around a silversword theme. Hula Moons, the new signature restaurant, and the Mele Mele Lounge were named and decorated in honor of composer and author Don Blanding."

Today we were lucky to have a personal tour of the resort with General Manager Dorsey Brady. I can't say enough about the friendliness and hospitality shown by Mr. Brady for taking the time to show us personally around the resort.

The resort itself is amazing. I am someone who hates hotels that come across as big boxes. Too many hotels, even in Hawaii, are guilty of this. The Outrigger Wailea is designed to be one with the air, the land and the sea.

The open spaces and the feeling of freedom to soak in the beauty of Hawaii are breathtaking. I took lots of photos and will be doing an in depth feature on the resort when we return home.

The Outrigger Wailea Resort's Luau was also very well done indeed. It also has won a Kahili award for "perpetuating the essence of Hawaii."

It's rare, even in Hawaii, to find a luau which has both good food and a good show. Usually you find that a luau has sacrificed one for the other. That is not the case here. The food (and drinks) are exceptional. It's by far the best luau food I have experienced. Even the poi is fresh and delicious - not that sour stuff that you so often get. We loved the kalua pig, the mahi-mahi and the deserts....wow!

The show was also, and I have to admit it, surprisingly good. I have always been very impressed by what the "Old Lahaina Luau" does in their show. They stay away from the crazy stuff that you find at most of the luaus on O`ahu.

The Outrigger Wailea Luau has found a perfect mix. Their band, Paradyse, is one of the best. The show is about 80% Hawaiian with some Tahitian dances at the beginning and a fantastic fire-knife dancer at the end - a three time world champion. The hostess was great and really connected with the audience. I think that the show itself stands up very well in comparison to the much more well known Lahaina Luau, and is by far better than most others in the islands.

One of the best things about the Outrigger Wailea Resort Luau - and you can't underestimate this - is the setting itself. The sunset was just amazing with Lanai, Kaho'olawe and Molokini in the background. The tables were nice and big, and the show easy to see from all areas. Again, we'll be posting some photos and doing a more in-depth story when we return home.

So, if you're looking for a great resort or a great luau on Maui, consider the Outrigger Wailea Resort. It certainly gets a big thumbs up from us.

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