While Hawaii has no shortage of acclaimed, well-known resorts with convention-size meeting facilities, there are also under-the-radar island properties geared for the small or midsize group looking for a retreat atmosphere or sense of owning the place. Here are a few options in a diversity of locations.
Affiliated with Healing Hotels of the World, Lumeria Maui bills itself as a luxury retreat and wellness destination. The new 24-room property in upcountry Maui near Makawao features cuisine from organic and locally sourced ingredients, gardens, a yoga studio and indoor and outdoor event space.
Lumeria is the creation of Los Angeles interior designer Xorin Balbes, who restored and repurposed the property’s 1911 Craftsman-style buildings that once housed plantation workers. Along with instruction in yoga and meditation, Lumeria offers customized programs related to health and personal well-being, Hawaiian culture and sustainable agriculture.
“We’ve had corporate groups who are here for retreats and team building, as well as executives here for a board meeting,” Balbes says. “We’re secluded and offer a sense of connectedness, which can create a real bonding experience.”
Formerly the Hotel Hana-Maui, Travaasa Hana offers one of Hawaii’s most remote and magical settings amid the rainforest at the end of Maui’s legendary Road to Hana. It’s a bit less remote these days with the new addition of twice daily service into Hana Airport from Kahalui on Mokulele Airlines.
Accommodations at the luxury property include 23 junior suites in the main building and 47 plantation-style Sea Ranch Cottages with high wood-beamed ceilings and private lanais, many with hot tubs. The property offers an award-winning spa, a Hawaiian cultural program and 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including the freestanding Plantation Guest House.
“We do a lot of incentive business and executive retreats, with some groups taking over all of the cottages or the entire property,” says Hubert Aaron, events manager at Travaasa Hana. “Team-building exercises are big here, including some out-of-the-ordinary options like archery and the traditional island practice of throw net fishing.”
Horseback riding along the beach is another option, with Hana the only place in Maui where this is allowed, according to Aaron.