A flight cancellation and the subsequent almost 24 hour delay for our return was amazingly a blessing. When this occurs and your automatic rebooking by the airline (in this case AA) is truly awful, then you need to take action, and quickly. AA had rescheduled us for an almost 48 hour delay and of course this was unacceptable. The trick is to act immediately and I called AA while still searching online for alternative options that were possible some 24 hours earlier than what was being offered. The first agent I spoke to insisted there were no options for us to improve on what was already rebooked. I pushed back, insisting I could see options on the AA website and asked to speak to someone who could double check.
Bingo! I connected with someone who was sharp, immediately pulled up alternatives, and when I slyly asked the question if any of the options had a complimentary upgrade possibility as part of my Executive Platinum status, I was told yes, and that 3 seats for Honolulu to Dallas were available in lie-flat business class. Yes, please and thank you!
I realize this was a personal booking, but it is akin to what we can do for our clients when things go wrong. Use your travel advisor!
Combined with the team returning to the Lodge at Kukui'ula for the extra night for gratis, this was the best delay ever! A big thank you to Davide at The Lodge, who we'd toured the property with that morning, for extending us that generous courtesy. Meanwhile here's the Top 5 from Maui and Kauai this week.
Top 5 - Maui to Kauai
1. Maui Upcountry (above)
Towards the end of our Maui stay, we took a drive to Maui's upcountry which we consider a prerequisite for a trip here. Along with the stunning coastal views from the elevation you will enjoy organic produce at farmstands , a winery and even a distillery. Maui Wine was great, Ocean Vodka was interesting and had an excellent cafe, but the highlight for me was Surfing Goat Dairy where we tasted just 6 of their 18 award winning goat cheeses plus the winning bonus of some delicious chocolate and goat cheese truffles (below).
2. Sunsets (above and below)
I've been lucky enough to see some beautiful sunsets in the last few months. In Thailand, my home town of Mooresville, and now on the Hawaiian islands where it is pretty much guaranteed on a daily basis. On the west coast of Maui, the Pacific sunsets are incredible.
3. The Lodge at Kukui'ula - a Hyatt Destination (2 above and 2 below)
I only have all the superlatives you can muster for this property. A 5-star resort that combines with a membership club might have you thinking it would be crowded, but no. One to four bedroom bungalows and villas are dotted around the huge site, leaving the main clubhouse as an oasis of calm. The 2 restauarants are wonderful. Our "grill night" experience as the sun went down was delicious.
Best amenity that we all agreed upon?
There is a 10 acre organic farm onsite and each morning the farmstand just across from the main lobby is laden with the fresh picked crops. You simply help yourself to what you want (fully complimentary), head back to your bungalow and its full kitchen, and cook it up for breakfast or make your salad for lunch etc. Among our pickings were micro greens, varieties of lettuce, Japanese eggplant, mint, thyme, tangelos, limes and fresh flowers for display.
4. Kanapali Coast (cover photo and below)
I should mention that Kauai is lusher and even more scenic than Maui and perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in the outdoors. It's often we need to explain to clients just how different the Hawaiian islands are and now I've seen it with my own eyes, I understand even more how important this is. Kauai has absolutely blown me away. It is my perfect island. Supremely chill vibe, lush and green, quiet yet with adventures galore to enjoy.
If you're not afraid of helicopters then I'd urge you to fly a tour that covers the Kanapali Coast. It is unbelievably beautiful.
5. Hanalei (above and below)
We'd checked out, and were on a mini day-trip here before heading to the airport early evening when the notification of our cancelled flight came through. Once we had that sorted, we relaxed even more to enjoy the chillest coastal town you are ever likely to encounter, from the best poke bowl to the bar that Pierce Brosnan is always at (except he wasn't), to the amazing crescent beach. We were due to inspect the new One Hotel Hanalei Bay on a hard hat tour, but that was cancelled unfortunately at the last minute. It is situated on the far end of the beach below and will likely be Kauai's best property (rivalled by Lodge at Kukui'ula).
Hawaii is another beautiful destination that we clearly couldn't get enough of. If you're ready to have your own Hawaiian getaway let us know by clicking the button below.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
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