The Road to Hana Brings Us Fascinating People with Stories to Share

Black sand on the beach along the road to Hana, Maui Hawai'i.
Black sand beach along the road to Hana, Maui Hawai'i.

The drive to Hana is legendary. We passed the homes of Richard Pryor, and George Harrison, Kris Kristofferson, and the Macademia nut plantation of singer Jim Nabors. After winding our way through puddles of water over tiny bridges, and through dramatically harsh curves, we got to this beach village that’s anchored by a big hotel once known as the Hotel Hana Maui.

Today it’s the Travaasa Hana, and it’s my digs for the next three nights. It’s mighty sweet. The sea cabins are a collection of bungalows overlooking the ocean, steps from an infinity pool, and there are spa treatments and all sorts of ways to spend time here in this paradise, this garden of Eden known as Maui. I will try paddle surfing on Saturday, after a facial.

At dinner tonight I was joined by a man named Johnny, who works with this hotel property helping them build their brand. I asked him for his business card, and he told me that his company has a policy against such things. They also eschew signage on their Denver home office, preferring to let their high profile clients find them. He seemed to be a pretty smart guy, so I guess this policy of not having a business card is well thought out. If you want his contact info, you gotta ask, that way he doesn’t risk being put on mailing lists and getting spammed.

Over steamed clams and ahi tuna, we talked about the hotel and the challenges it faces being here in Hana, so far from the rest of the world. One policy they have that I don’t agree with is to not offer Wi-Fi or even televisions in the sumptuous rooms. To me, and to some other guests I spoke with, this is an unforgivable faux pas. It feels like I’m being told that I can’t have my TV and my Wi-Fi because they know better and need ME to unplug. Bollocks! Well, when I woke up today and walked the serene distance between here and the library Wi-fi, I gave this a second thought…and I guess a little unplugging is fine.

Paddle boarding on the road to Hana.
I want to give this sport a try when I am here.

I met a man at the cocktail party who lives in France, he was very tall and his wife was from Morocco and worked for a high end fashion outfit in Paris. They came here, they said, because they found it on TripAdvisor and liked the description. They also wanted to say in Hana because someone she knew had raved about this little beach town on the far eastern side of Maui. Hey, Oprah lives here so how bad can it be? The all inclusive situation here makes it easier for all, and the food, the view and the accommodations are sumptuous. I think they are happy they came.

The man from Paris writes song lyrics for French songwriters who want to get their songs known by more people. He also once played college basketball. He said that in France, the typical basketball player has none of the heart and drive that makes American players great. They just go through the motions, he said. It’s sad to watch.

I’m off today to find some local people to share their thoughts about living in Hana with me.