Tag Archives: hawaii

Hale Ulu Lulu Guest House

The warm summer-like breeze tangled my hair and weaved itself through the knitted holes of my bright pink sweater. Our topless Jeep hugged the final hairpins along the Road to Hana and finally turned down the lawn to our little home for the weekend: the Hale Ulu Lulu cottage.

Hale Ulu Lulu Maui Guesthouse

“Hale Ulu Lulu,” in the lovely Hawaiian language, means “house sheltered by the breadfruit trees. The exotic fronds of the namesake trees surround the little blue cottage.

The Guest Houses at Malanai

It was a lovely site after a long, sunny day filled with rock-hopping to hidden waterfalls, slurping fresh pineapple, and hugging rainbow eucalyptus trees. Coconut sunscreen on our shoulders and black beach sand between our toes, we unlocked the door to our island getaway: the loveliest little Hawaiian cottage we could have imagined.

The little blue cottage bore a striking resemblance to the summer cottage in northern Wisconsin where my family spent the June, July and August weekends of my childhood. It was the perfect setting for a Hawaiian vacation with my sister.

Soft Hawaiian music drifted through the windows, and I collapsed on the chaise to sip my pineapple Maui Wine to relax and wonder about the history of this pretty little place.

Bed and Breakfast Road to Hana

The first sugarcane plantation in Hawaii was established in 1835, and by the 1840s, the sugarcane export business was booming. Hale Ulu Lulu was built around 1900. By then, the town of Hana was abuzz with movie theaters, shops and restaurants, despite its remote location. The town had a population of 3,500 and could be reached by the gravel Hana Highway (completed in 1926).

Maui Hana Sugarcane Plantation
1885 | Hana Sugar Plantation, Maui | From Hawaii State Archives Digital Collection via Hawaii Picture of the Day

The land surrounding Hale Ulu Lulu was once covered in sugarcane — part of the Hana Sugar Plantation. The cottage was built to house the plantation manager and is one of the few surviving authentic plantation houses in Hana. It was also once home to the legendary Eddie Pu, subject of the book “Voices of Wisdom-Hawaiian Elders Speak.”

Inn on Road to Hana, Maui

By the turn of the 21st century, the population of Hana would dwindle to around 700 and the little blue plantation house fell into ruin. The current owners purchased the cottage, along with a few others nearby, and began a year-long restoration.

Island Getaway Maui

They paid great attention to detail when preserving the historical integrity of the house while adding all of the modern amenities you might need. The bead board, crown molding and claw-foot tub add charm and authenticity to the beautiful plantation home.

Hawaiian vacation homes - Hana, Maui

They restored as many original windows as they could while adding new and beautiful Brazilian Mahogany floors, a Koa wood bar counter and granite kitchen countertops. The 900-square-foot, one-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage is the perfect, charming getaway for a couple or pair to rest after the long journey along the winding Road to Hana. Local artwork, Hawaiian antiques, and views of the ocean are the sugarcane on top.

Vacation Rental - Road to Hana, Maui

We spent each morning enjoying stunning sunrises from the front porch, and just a short drive away, Hamoa Beach provided the ideal setting to watch surfers at sunset. Our stay at Hale Ulu Lulu in Hana was a dream come true, from sunrise to sunset. I can’t wait to go back.

Sunset from Hale Ulu Lulu - Vacation rental Hana, Maui

Suggestions for more hipstorical places on Maui? Email me and help me build my archives!

Hali’imaile General Store, Maui

After a day spent in Haleakala National Park hiking through bamboo forests, picnicking at the foot of Waimoku Falls, and swimming in Ohe’o Gulch, we drove on the windy road back from Hana. We stopped at Ulupalakua Ranch for a bison burger, sipped pineapple wine at MauiWine, checked into Lumeria Spa + Yoga Retreat, and took a quick nap in the hammock garden.

Waimoku Falls

As you can imagine, by this time, we were hungry. We showered up and headed to Hali’imaile General Store in Makawao for a Hipstorical dinner.

Tucked away in the pineapple fields on the lower slopes of Haleakala, Hali’imaile General Store is not what you might think upon hearing the name. Let me explain.

Haliimaile General Store 5 WEB

The pineapple boom of the 1920s bought thousands of immigrants to Maui. Camp houses were built across the Upcountry of the island for plantation workers, and Hali’imaile General Store came next.

Haliimaile General Store 6 WEB

The store was opened in 1925 as a grocery, butcher shop, fish market, and post office, and it has operated continuously in similar forms. That is until 1988 when the building was leased by Bev Gannon, chef and owner of a local catering business, and her husband Joe.

Haliimaile General Store 4 WEB

Bev and Joe transformed the General Store into a gourmet take-out deli and general store. Today it is an award-winning restaurant serving American cuisine with an Asian flair. Its island-inspired dishes are made with fresh, local ingredients—something that Chef Gannon is passionate about.

The General Store, just like any perfect Hipstorical, has kept the original façade and even the name! Curious about the name? Hali’i means “a covering or blanket,” and Maile is the name for the native, fragrant plant that once covered the area.

Haliimaile General Store 3 WEB

The restaurant still evokes the original feel of an old general store, with shelves of plates, bowls, and other commodities on display beckoning for you to purchase them from the general store owner, watch him package them  up in brown paper and tie the package up with string, and take it home to your pineapple plantation home to use lovingly for years to come. The General Store does it right—down to details like the Ball jar water glasses.

Haliimaile General Store 2v WEB

And the food, oh—the food. Bev’s “Famous” Crab Pizza: Handmade six-inch pizza crust with the “I’ll never tell” crab topping. The Yuzu-Kabayaki Glazed Grilled Salmon with coconut red Thai sticky rice and baby bok choy. The salmon nearly melted in my mouth, and the coconut red Thai sticky rice was like nothing I’ve tasted before and simply delicious. My mouth is watering as I think back to it now.

Haliimaile General Store 1 WEB

Chef Gannon—well done. You’ve created a unique and inventive space that preserves the integrity and honors the history of the place’s original purpose. It was a pleasure to visit the General Store, and a “must” for anyone passing through on the way back from Hana.

Thanks so much to Charlene from Kauhane Inc for the recommendation!

Suggestions for more hipstorical places in Hawaii? Email me and help me build my archives!

Lahaina, Maui

The sundrenched beachside town of Lahaina, Hawaii is the largest town in West Maui and a hipstorian’s paradise. It was once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii and was crisscrossed by freshwater canals, earning it the nickname the “Venice of the Pacific,” until the water was diverted to the sugar and pineapple plantations in the mountains in the mid-nineteenth century. (Oh how I wish I could have seen the town when it was covered in canals). The town was a bustling seaport for whaling ships, missionaries, and immigrants arriving to work the nearby plantations. Today it is a tourism hub– home to flip flop shops, restaurants with ocean views, and historical sites.

Front Street Lahaina Maui

Front Street

Lahaina’s main street, Front Street, is lined with buildings dating back to the 1820s that are now home to shops and restaurants. Almost every shop on this street is repurposed in some way. Stop into Tilly Timms for the best souvenir t-shirts in Maui, or grab some cookies from the Honolulu Cookie Company for an afternoon snack or a take-home for your sweet-toothed sweetheart. Grab lunch at Koa’s Grill upstairs or Kimo’s next door for a great ocean view, and make a reservation ahead of time at Fleetwood’s. On the second floor. At sunset. (More on that later).

Pioneer Inn Lahaina Maui

The Pioneer Inn + Theater

The Pioneer Inn is the oldest hotel in Lahaina, built in 1901. It is still a hotel today, but the shops along the side of the building were once home to the Pioneer Theater, where workers came to see Hollywood films in the early twentieth century.

Blue Max Lahaina Maui

The Blue Max | Lahaina Pizza Co.

In the 1970s, the plantation era was ending, and Lahaina was making its mark as a tourist destination. Many celebrities discovered the sleepy town, and The Blue Max hosted musicians like Elton John, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, Crosby, Stills + Nash, Eagles, Rolling Stones, etc. It’s now Lahaina Pizza Co. Stop in for a tropical drink and a “Sweet Pig” pizza with pineapple and ham.

Lahaina Courthouse Maui

Old Lahaina Courthouse

Built in 1859 as a courthouse, jail, and customs house for the whaling and trade ships, the Old Lahaina Courthouse was redone in the Greek Revival Style in 1925. Today it houses the visitor center, a free museum, and art galleries, including a display of community art in the old basement jail cells.

Lahaina Courthouse Jail Maui

The courthouse is lovely, and a nice stop for some free art and history displays. But probably the best part of the courthouse is out the back door.

Banyan Tree Park Lahaina Maui

Banyan Tree Park

Banyan Tree Park is home to the largest banyan tree in Hawaii. The enormous banyan has been lovingly shading the courthouse courtyard since 1873, when it was planted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Protestant mission in Lahaina. The tree has 16 trunks that were once branches that touched the ground and took root. It is 60 feet tall and covers a 200-foot area. There is something very magical and comforting about sitting in the shade of the motherly banyan tree. Grab a Dole Whip at Lappert’s Ice Cream next door and spend some time in the shade of Banyan Tree Park.

Cookhouse Theater Lahaina Maui

Cookhouse Theater

Chinese immigrants arrived in the nineteenth century on trading and whaling ships and to work on sugar plantations. They helped build the tunnels and irrigation systems seen from the famous Road to Hana. In the early 1900s, they formed the Wo Hing Society and built a meeting hall on Front Street that still stands and is now a museum. The Cookhouse Theater in the backyard was built for cooking large meals for society functions and now shows films of the island made by Thomas Edison at the turn of the century.

Lahina Store Maui

Old Lahaina Store | Fleetwood’s on Front Street

Built in 1916 as a company store and butcher shop selling groceries and goods to Lahaina locals, The Old Lahaina Store was once known as the finest building in Lahaina. It is now home to Fleetwood’s on Front Street (owned by Mick Fleet of Fleetwood Mac fame) and other shops.

Fleetwoods on Front Street Rooftop

If you’re visiting Lahaina, a visit to Fleetwood’s is a must. Call ahead and make a reservation for the second-floor deck at sunset. With the incredibly beautiful West Maui Mountains to your back and the ocean and setting sun in front of you, you’ll have an memorable meal with unique entertainment, including a bagpiper, traditional Hawaiian conch shell blower, and a variety of live bands. Get the pink salted fries and scallop with risotto as an app and choose from their hearty menu like Australian Rack of Lamb or Beef Wellington.

Fleetwoods on Front Street Scallops

We were lucky enough to get to hear Joe Bachman + The Tailgaters on our last night in Hawaii. (Never thought we’d find a country band in Maui!) You may even be lucky enough to get a performance by Mick Fleetwood himself if he’s in town!

Fleetwoods on Front Street Rooftop

Explore these hipstoricals and 65 historical and cultural sites through the self-guided Ala Hele Mo‘olelo O Lahaina / Lahaina Historic Trail! A trail map can be downloaded at  http://lahainarestoration.org/lahaina-historic-trail

Suggestions for more hipstorical places in Maui? Email me and help me build my archives!