It is our last night in Hawaii and Mary just suggested that I write a blog post about the condo and she pack. What a grand deal, eh?

So let me begin by saying that I am the travel planner/researcher in our family and I do the job very thoroughly. Once I had established that we should stay in Kihei and that we wanted a condo, I began researching condo complexes. I quickly established that Maui Kamaole was the place for us. This description, which I stole from a VRBO advertisement, is a very accurate one: “Maui Kamaole is known for its stately tropical grounds, low density, and serene atmosphere respecting adult needs and privacy.”

The complex is beautifully landscaped and very quiet. The units are low rise. There are 4 units in each little area. The upstairs units are 2 bedrooms and the downstairs units are 1 bedroom. We found our unit F-102 on vrbo.com. The owners are Laura and Steve Streihlau, who happen to be from Whidbey Island – sort of our neck of woods. We actually met Laura and Steve in August during a trip to Whidbey Island and they are LOVELY people.

The unit is set up a bit like a railroad flat. When you open the front door you are in a hallway. A short distance to the right is the bedroom and further down to the left is the kitchen and the living room. There is a very private, walled patio off the bedroom with a sliding glass door and a lanai off the living room with a sliding glass door. If you open both doors, you can get a tiny bit of a cross breeze going. Maybe normally you can get more of a breeze. I’m told it was unseasonably hot this week. Some of my happiest times were spent on the lanai watching and listening to the birds and the swaying palm trees. Way off in the distance is the ocean.

The unit is very nicely decorated. I’m very picky and I had to rule out a lot of units because of what I considered to be tacky Hawaiian décor. This unit is decorated with some beautiful Asian art – see the photos Mary took of the unit and its artwork. The living room and the bedroom are carpeted in a very soft carpet that I like the feeling of on my bare feet.

There is a wall air conditioner in the living room and one in the bedroom, as well as ceiling fans in both rooms. There is a washer and a dryer, and a safe, and in the hallway closets there is everything you could want: snorkels, boogie boards, beach chairs, beach towels, umbrella, cooler, first aid kit, books. The books include Maui travel guides, bird guides, fish identification guides (some of which I only just discovered and will have to look at tonight) as well as a variety of popular fiction. There are TV’s in both the living room and bedroom, a DVD player in the living room, and a selection of CDs, DVDs, and games. As you may have noted, we particularly enjoyed “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” since we are planning to audition for that show and finance some fantastic vacation with our winnings. There is also free broadband internet, through a CAT cable in the bedroom.

The kitchen is very well-stocked. There are two bathrooms – the one off the bedroom has a tub shower and the one off the kitchen has a shower stall. Both are fitted with double shower heads which I found to be more of a pain than a luxury because it felt like I was getting less water than if there was just a single shower head. The main bathroom has two sinks, which is always nice. We found it really nice to have two bathrooms so that when we came home exhausted from snorkeling we could both shower at the same time. Also a lot of room to spread out things to dry.

The complex itself has tennis courts and two pools. We spent a couple of evenings at the upper “tropical” pool which has a waterfall above it and a sand-bottom Jacuzzi. I loved digging my feet into the sandy bottom of the Jacuzzi. There are also barbecues all over the place which we were too lazy to ever use. The complex is right across the street from Kamaole Beach Park III as well as the Kihei Boat ramp which is where we left for our Molokini snorkel trip. Both are walking distance from the condo.

There are signs put up by the condominium rental agency saying to close and lock all windows at night. We like to sleep with our windows open and found that very difficult. After the first night we decided to break that rule, deciding it was a CYA type of rule. However, the one problem we ran into with this unit is that we are on the edge of the complex, across the street from another complex called Maui Hills, one that does not cater to a quiet, adult clientele. Almost our entire stay there were people in the other complex who sat out on their balcony and talked quite loudly, or, one time, blared their TV so loudly we could hear it in our unit. I found this rather appalling. I was awakened more than once by very loud talking at midnight or later. Early on I went over to Maui Hills and complained and got the unit numbers so I could call at night and complain about noise. However, Mary and I both thought it seemed like when I complained, the people just got louder so I gave up on that. Once the windows were closed and the air conditioner on I couldn’t hear them – we both just really missed the fresh air.

This whole trip came to be because I found an incredibly inexpensive flight to Maui. We booked the flight and then went about finding the most inexpensive (yet really nice) lodging we could find, since we had no money saved for this vacation. This condo was an amazing find. Still, I am a girl who loves her luxury hotels when we can afford them (which we couldn’t this trip.) We visited the Four Seasons three times this vacation and it started my luxury hotel longing. Ah, the huge King bed that would get made for us every day. The L’Occitane toiletries. The clean fresh towels every day. I even asked to see a room last night, and it was really, really great. But Mary and I both agreed we wouldn’t want to spend an entire Maui vacation at the Four Seasons. This condo has been so roomy, and so much quieter than a resort would be (other than the losers at the Maui Hills) and it has everything we need. It has really felt like home, and we can’t wait to come back!