The Inside Scoop: Maui
There is no better perspective than that of a resident and LGBT community member to get the real scoop on a city and what it offer the community. Recently we had the opportunity to speak with the owners of the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort and here is what they had to tell us...
Can you tell us about Maui?
When people think of Hawaii, they have the image of Honolulu and Waikiki on the island of Oahu because that is the image portrayed by television and most media outlets. Unfortunately, that is not representative of our island, Maui and our city of Kihei. The population numbers tell all with the comparison. Oahu has 1.3 million residents living on the island full time and is 597 square miles in size. Maui on the other hand only has 110,000 residents and is 738 square miles in size. So you can imagine the massive amount of untouched beauty that Maui beholds.
Kihei in Hawaiian translates to mean a woman’s shawl. The native Hawaiians named this city so to mean it is cloaked or protected because the city is in a bay formed by the West Maui Mountains to the Northwest and the Haleakala crater to the Southeast. Additionally, the islands of Lanai, Molokini and Kahoolawe sit just off the coast and protect the bay from large waves. As a result, this is the ideal location for the latest rage of stand-up paddle board in the morning when the waters are calm. It's then transforms to be the ideal location for windsurfers in the afternoon when the trade winds pick up.
Kihei is on the leeward side of the island, meaning it's much more sunny than the other side. In fact, it only rains in Kihei about 4 days out of the year and most times it's in short periods, not for the entire day. So our resort is ideally located where our LGBT tourists can get everything they want. There’s enough natural beauty to soak in but enough shops, restaurants and nightlife nearby to make it not feel totally isolated. Kihei is also just a 15 minute drive to ‘Little Beach’ at Makena, Maui’s clothing optional beach that has its own section for LGBT visitors and residents. And did we mention it's paradise here? So you can surely expect Little Beach to be breathtakingly beautiful as well as the view from your room.
What does Maui have to offer the LGBT traveler?
Most resort destinations really have two gay communities and Maui is no different. The local community tends to socialize in their own 'family' in private homes, informal groups or an excursion to the beach, most likely being Little Beach in Makena. Little Beach, a 10 minute drive from the Sunseeeker, is Maui’s clothing optional beach with a gay/lesbian section. Although the local LGBT community is typically low-key, there are frequent social events and fundraisers that Sunseeker guests are welcome to attend, such as the Gay Whale Watch Tour. The other gay group on Maui is made up of vacationing singles or couples, many of whom return to the island every year. The scene on Maui isn't focused so much on high energy or heavy cruising but more on enjoying the incredible beauty found here while meeting new friends that sometimes last a lifetime.
Whichever group you identify with, you'll find lots of opportunities to have fun, participate in activities and mix with the locals. Information on current local gay activities can be found online at mauigayinfo.com. There currently is no full-time gay bar, but all establishments are gay friendly, and a several have regular gay/lesbian nights. The LGBT population is second in size to that on Oahu. The biggest concentration of the LGBT community is in the Kihei area of South Maui, although we are everywhere on the island!
In your opinion what are the top 5 reasons to visit your city?
1. The breathtaking beauty of Maui "The native Hawaiians have a phrase to describe the island of Maui. It is said ‘Maui No Ka Oi’ meaning Maui is the Best! That long held view by the natives is shared by almost all of the tourists and visitors that have traveled through the other beautiful islands that make up the state of Hawaii."
2. Top world travelers rank this as the number one island destination in the world. "For 17 of the past 24 years, the readers of Conde Naste magazine, a well traveled group, have ranked Maui as the number one island in the world. Not just the US but the entire world! It's an amazing reputation that all Maui residents work very hard to achieve year after year."
3. It is an amazing place to have fun in paradise. "Where else can you go on seasonal whale watch boat rides with amazing snorkel adventures, the best water sports and just the awesome natural beauty that surrounds you?"
4. While it is paradise, you are not on a desert island. "The best part of Maui is that you can enjoy the beauty and the peace of the island while still having the best that civilization has to offer. From Ruth Chris’ to Longhi’s to Spago’s to Mama’s Fish House, some of the world’s finest restaurants are right here. If a cocktail on a lanai watching the sunset is your thing, there are dozens of places to take that in too. Or if you want to have a hike to a remote waterfall that is all to yourself, we can arrange that. It's the best of all worlds."
5. The people of Maui "Because you’ve heard it so many times, you may think it's a marketing gimmick, but the Aloha spirit is alive and extremely strong on Maui. It means all the native Hawaiians and the other Maui residents love their lives here so much, they enjoy sharing their beautiful paradise with visitors. This place just has an amazing spirituality about it that just rings sincere. All of our guests just feel so special by just being here."
Can you tell our readers why they should visit your property?
"The Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort is the place where you can feel free to be yourself. We work very hard to assure that our guests have pristine clean rooms with top amenities for the best vacation value you can imagine. That’s why we have an unprecedented 40% repeat guest ratio and have been awarded the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.com."
"We want to be sure our guests don’t just come here for a tan, but instead experience the island and all she has to offer from recreation to the amazing beauty that surrounds us. Through our complimentary concierge service, sunseekeractivities.com we provide the best activities from providers that are either gay owned, operated or friendly. We make sure they live up to the same standard we provide from the hotel so our guests feel just as comfortable experiencing Maui with them as they do being loved and accepted in the comfort of the resort. It's a major objective we constantly strive for."
"Additionally, we can make any travel budget work at various price points that our guests consistently return to us for. With an Average Daily Room Rate of about $150/night and most of our rooms well appointed with full kitchens, it's a bargain that they rave about. In fact, one reporter from another magazine/website raved that ‘the Maui Sunseeker provides Four Seasons quality of stay for budget prices’. We are proud of our reputation and work hard to be sure every detail is attended to for our guests. We will never disappoint our guests. We promise."
E komo mai (welcome) to the Maui Sunseeker LGBT Resort
Please enjoy this brief video about the Sunseeker
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