The Love Shack
1913 S Kihei Rd # L
Lila Sherman, shop proprietor says, “Love is play and play is love!” Get playful the adult way with the props and gadgets here at the Love Shack. Holding a bachelorette party? Don’t do it without the Love Shack. These girls are prepared to bring the party favors to you. It’s all good clean fun. Here’s a hot tip: their Facebook page posts weekly sales, too.
23 Baldwin Ave., Paia
1913-B S. Kihei Rd.
335 Keawe St. #208, Lahaina
@Mahina_Hawaii on Twitter
When a clothing company is so chic you want to buy their stuff just to scoop one of the shops’ cool reusable shopping bags, you know you’ve found good thing. When you can actually buy said chic-store stuff at prices that won’t have creditors calling, you know you’ve found a really good thing. Because Mauians know said good-things when they spock ‘um–MauiTime readers voted Mahina BOM 2011’s Best Local Boutique. (And thanks to Mahina, you can easily spock said MT readers–they’re the good-looking, well-dressed ones.) With three locales on Maui, whenever you’ve got a hankering for a hot-off-the-runway look–or even just a sweet reusable bag–look no further than Mahina.
Plush Beauty Lounge
Lahaina Gateway 335 keawe st. suite # B 118
Lahaina, HI 96761
Maui’s beauty elite have voted Plush Beauty Lounge all the way to the top. It’s where the ladies of Maui primp, with their specialties in hair and skincare. The new location is as plush as its name. Check it out at the new Lahaina Gateway, near Outback and Genki Sushi. Catch them on Facebook, too where you can get the latest updates and reminders.
334 Alamaha Street,
840 Wainee St # 101
55 Pukalani St # 3
Interesting choice–Ace is hardly your corner hardware store, but it’s also not a giant big box like Home Depot. They’ve pretty much got all your home improvement needs. And they have four locations to serve you in Kahului, Kihei, Makawao and Lahaina. For MauiTime readers, Ace would seem to be the place.
Paia Tattoo Parlor
120 Hana Hwy, upstairs
Paia, HI 96779
Paia Tattoo Parlor is more than just tattoos. They have proven to be a gathering place for artists of many mediums and musicians. It’s a creative hub in Paia. Monthly art shows, music and tattoo supplies are all part of their deal, but even those pale in comparison to the skin art they produce. The artists are professional and inspired, the ink is precise and the needles are at the ready to decorate your body canvas.
310 Alamaha St., Kahului
840 Wainee St., Lahaina
@eliseclothingco on Twitter
Sorry, Kermit. It is easy being green. Just head to either of Elise!’s secondhand shops and find out how easy it is to buy, sell and/or trade trendy threads — and get other gals green with envy. More than cute, Elise! is cost-and Earth-conscious (read: you get bang for your buck while keeping you bootie looking bangin’). But wait, dear readers. Elise! ain’t exactly a consignment shop. Rather, they buy all their inventory upfront–which keeps everything easy peasy lemon squeezy for clientele. No wonder Mauians know that when they have “nothing to wear,” they ought to hop on over to Elise!.
Barnes & Noble
325 Keawe St., Lahaina
@BNBuzz on Twitter
We’re assuming that the MauiTime readers who picked Barnes & Noble as best bookshop either voted from their smart phones (and are still happily lost in the stitch-and-spine sprawl), or they Hansel & Greteled their trip by leaving a cafe croissant crumb trail so they could manage to escape. Yes, B&N is that big. We suppose this is a good thing, seeing as on-isle bookshops are disappearing faster than youths’ innocence, and you can’t munch a sandwich or pay for keeps at the library. Even in the expanse, whiffs of corporate coffee and fresh ink are intoxicating, and the fluorescent mood lighting casts everything in a subtle-ish glow; shelves’ shadows carefully masking overwhelmed bibliomaniacs who are passed-out and convulsing. (Stumble upon one of the afflicted? Be a good Samaritan and smack them with your Nook. You may have to endure a regained-consciousness rant about how the printed page will never fade, but the cleanup shift will thank you.)
Soleil Luna Salon
242 Lahainaluna Rd., Lahaina
@soleillunasalon on Twitter
Look, it doesn’t matter what kind of kinky stuff you’re into–no one lets just anyone pour hot wax on their flesh and rip out every bitty bit of fuzz from the follicles’ roots. With regards to waxing’s aesthetic application, MauiTime readers are a most discerning bunch and so they’ve selected Lahaina’s Soliel Luna as the best place to get waxed. Sure, the old adage goes “no pain, no gain”–but everything about this sunny salon helps mitigate the former. Their licensed estheticians are highly experienced, ultra-sanitary and all too happy to help “you on your way to a hair free body.”
425 Koloa St # 107
Oh, Hi-Tech, shall we compare thee to a summer’s day? Thy high ceilings and blessed air-conditioning are more temperate. Your ample supply of sunscreens so that golden complexions are not dimm’d to red. Thy eternal summer shall not fade (until the winter swell). Thou art an oasis in the desert, somewhere longboarders, shortboarders, spunjahs, skimmers, beach bum wannabes and whoever else can come together in a communal love for the ocean. At least until the parking lot.
Maui Girl & Co.
12 Baldwin Ave., Paia
Babes with booties conducive to Brazilian cuts know that Maui Girl & Co. has been the best place for bikinis since the ’80s. Shop owner and designer Debbie Kowalski Wilson has been outfitting bodacious bods–from laissez-faire locals to shopaholic celebs–for more than 30 years, and her unique designs grace the pages of pubs the likes of MauiTime and Sports Illustrated. The Maui Girl storefront is a Paia mainstay, and it’s easy to find near the corner of Hana Hwy. and Baldwin Ave., in the heart of a town known for sun, sand, surf and sexy swimsuits.
Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport
415 Dairy Road
Kahului, Maui, HI 96732
Everybody knows it’s all about the size. You want something with girth, something that comes with a long, thick pole… we’re talking about stand-up paddleboards, of course. And the people at Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport can help you with all your SUP needs. Whether it’s the gentle, morning motion of the ocean, a pounding session of late afternoon big wave riding, or whatever kinky, esoteric SUP you’re into, Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport delivers.
Maui Dive Shop
There are a lot of dive shops on the island, and we’re thinking here that quantity wins out. Maui Dive Shop seems to have locations everywhere. There are eight shops spread between Kahana and Wailea for all your dive and snorkel needs. Those little mesh fin-carrying bags are pretty cool, too. Anyway, they also offer dive certification courses, equipment rentals and snorkel trip packages. Which are great, unless you know how to get that to that one killer secret spot, in which case you don’t need an special guided tour. But we’re just saying.
41 East Lipoa Street Ste 21
140 Hoohana Street #301
It’s not easy being hairy in a society that equates hairless with beautiful. Modern laser hair removal can take hairy to hairless on any quadrant on your body with any skin type. MauiTime readers apparently like MediSpa Maui with their convenient locations in Kihei and Kahului for their clean sweeps. Medispa also has all the latest technology in skin care, anti aging and skin rejuvenation.
1750 Kaahumanu Ave., Wailuku
The cutest chordophone on Earth heralds Hawaiian heritage (thanks first to da Portuguese cavaquinho et alia), so when Mauians select who’s got the best ukulele shop on-isle, they know what they’re talking about. For 20 years, Mele Ukulele–under the direction of world-renowned luthier Michael Rock–has been a haven for four (or more) stringers. Their Wailuku store carries all things uke, and it’s not uncommon to see a local celebrity stopping in for anything from a pack of strings to a new, entirely handmade ukulele (from their Waiehu factory), known for their pristine playability. They’re made with tropical hardwoods like koa (a flamed-grain favorite) and sometimes Western red cedar (which “imparts a warm, mellow, rich tone”) or Sitka spruce (which adds “volume, punch and brilliance”); like fine cigars, these ukes are best stored in humidors (fo’ realz).
1087 Limahana Pl., Lahaina
@westsidevibes on Twitter
Maui’s got a large crop of head shops to choose from, but in this year’s BOM contest, the win for who’s da bomb went to da biggest–Westside Vibes. These pipe purveyors are (appropriately) laid back–but ultra helpful–and their emporium’s inventory packs such a punch it leaves you spoilt for choice (as if decision making isn’t already hard enough). From smoking implements and accessories to clothing and home decor, this hookah hub is your one-stop shop for your every red, gold and green need.
Kihei, Maui, HI 96753
Ideally Maui County will someday develop curbside recycling in which all of our glass, paper, plastic, green waste and garbage gets picked up at the house or apartment, but until that happens, we’re on our own as we try to keep the recyclables out of the landfill. And the county’s Kihei recycling center, located in the center of South Maui, is your favorite, quite possibly because it’s open A LOT. Like 7am to 6pm every day, and they do HI 5 redemptions daily from 8:30am to 5pm (they are, however, closed from 1-2 every day for lunch). Anyway, the guys who take your old bottles, cans, plastic and papers are capable and courteous. As they should be, since we’re going out of our way to see that our trash goes where it should.
Shelton’s Auto Masters
355 Alamaha St., Kahului
When asked why he thinks MauiTime readers voted him as the best mechanic on Maui, Brian Shelton says, “I am the best on island and I’d put that as a challenge to any mechanic.” Shelton’s the proprietor of Shelton’s Auto Masters and has been in the business for 35 years (17 of those years with Mercedes Benz). He began tinkering under the hood when he was just 11-years-old, apprenticing for his stepfather, and his automotive studies have taken him as far away as Germany. He moved to Maui in 1992 and began his own business, and ever since he’s been the man to see to keep your pistons pumping — and in style. His shop does “everything”– from auto repair to custom painting (he says more than 40 vehicles on-isle are his canvasses on wheels). “I just love cars–they’re amazing,” Shelton says. “[What’s] lacking in today’s businesses–especially in the automotive industry–is because people seem to just go to work for the money. I don’t go to work for the money. I just love cars and the money happens. Well, sometimes it doesn’t–and that’s a challenge–but I’m honest and hardworking and people like me. Honesty and integrity is a hard thing to find in the car business, and I think I have both of those things.” MauiTime readers resoundingly agree.
The Westin Maui
2365 Kaanapali Parkway
Lahaina, Hawaii 96761
Both Westin Maui and Westin Kaanapali Ocean Villas are impressive when marking their commitment the environment. Their housekeeping departments recycle plastic bottles, recovering well over six tons a year. They participate in Earth Hour, a day observed in March where we power down as a planet. The Westin shuts off their signage, pool lights and use candles in the restaurants, thereby saving tons of energy as well as demonstrating the importance of our limited resources to their guests. Recycling in their resorts is made easy and guests can get involved, too.
7 North Market St., Wailuku
Maui Thing is the real thing. Another year older and wiser and we celebrate them with the Best Local Designer. The small retail shop located on Market Street in Wailuku is known for its organic feel-good designs done locally and its iconic octopus logo. Saedene Ota from Sae Design decided to to open the business, believing her Maui Thing brand would transcend the beach culture island wear with positive, environmentally friendly, earth-conscious designs. Their graphics driven silk-screened knits are sized for men, women and children and display messages like “stuck on good” in tanks, tees, dresses and hoodies.
The Pet Shop
70 E Kaahumanu Ave # C12
Kahului, HI 96732-2109
Centrally located in The Maui Mall and open since 1973, it’s no wonder readers voted this place the best place to find pets and pet-related items on the island. They have all your dog, cat, bird, fish, reptile, rabbit, guinea pig, mouse, rat and chinchilla food, supplies and habitats ready to go, and lots of great pet care information, too.
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr.
The Grand Wailea property is ginormous, so there is more to love here. Getting married? They have their own chapel. Want fresh seafood? Their restaurant Humuhumu holds about a million gallons of saltwater and you fish your own lobster from the lagoon. Want a water park for the kids? They have you covered with their pool and its bells and whistles. The hard part is having to leave when your stay is over. They have kamaaina deals, too.
BJ Furniture Mart
374 Hanakai St., Kahului
Leave it to MauiTime readers to pick BJ Furniture Mart as Maui’s best furniture store. We can only assume it’s because “BJ” (ahem) heads its name. Very mature, guys. Then again, if you’re buying your brand new beds, chaises and recliners at a place called BJ, that’s gotta bode well for the way you use it. At least, we hope it does. (Bonus: Though quality service is always the name of the game, at furniture stores you need not worry about the tip.) This Kahului hub of home decor sells status quo stuff at premium prices, so their BOM win proves it is all in a name.
Vakker Blomst Accessories
3626 L. Honoapiilani Rd., Lahaina
The words “beautiful flower” manage to roll off even our cumbersome American tongues with grace, so naturally the Norwegians say it better with “vakker blomst.” The blooming doodads of Vakker Blomst Accessories–handmade by hair stylist April Page–are as elegant as the business name behind them, and have been wowing wahine of the isle for the last two years. With a style that harkens to the glamor of the silent movie era–touched with tropical, nautical, fluttering flair–Page creates everything from everyday hair accessories to wedding veils, to feather extensions, to jewelry and more. “My son is the reason I strive to be better everyday though,” says Page. “I want him to see that dreams can come true if you work hard.” Whether augmenting local ladies’ allure for a night on the town to their big day, it’s no wonder Vakker Blomst’s been voted-in this year’s BOM.
Watching Borders’ liquidation was like watching the carcass of a fallen beast being picked clean by vultures. Even if you’re King of the Kindle, if the sight didn’t incite a twinge of sadness, you’ve got a hardcover heart. A la Ambrose Bierce, Mauians have eulogized Borders with “doleful voice(s), mingled with the sobbing which it was its purpose to stimulate and sustain, r(ising) and f(alling) … like the sound of the sullen sea.” On Twitter, @mauilibrarian2 said “[It’s] sad because [we’ve lost] a vibrant PLACE that serves as a barometer of who we are and what we value.” Too true. Because Borders was more than just a place for book-buying (or not, as the company’s bankruptcy bespeaks) — it was a place to congregate and commiserate, to explore and expend. As this BOM award demonstrates, Maui misses dear ol’ Dairy Rd. Borders — maybe even more than it misses us.
Montessori School of Maui
2933 Baldwin Avenue
Makawao, HI 96768-9640
Maria Montessori was a revolutionary in childhood education and she would be very proud of the Montessori School of Maui. They have build an amazing green campus with gardens, art programs and libraries. The toddler program starts at around 18 months and teaches our children how to be contributing members of their community.
Elly’s Formal Wear & Bridal
Sugar Beach Resort
145 North Kihei Rd
Say yes to the dress and so much more at Elly’s in Sugar Beach, Kihei. The largest formal wear and bridal store on Maui has prom dresses, tuxedos, rentals, bridesmaids gowns, and an onsite seamstress and presser. Elly’s professional services can tame any Bridezilla challenge, with a Maui Touch. Elly’s Formal Wear and Bridal has been serving the Maui community since 1994 and continues to love serving couples on that special day.
West Maui Cycles
1087 Limahana Pl # 6
Lahaina, HI 96761
Whether you’re a local who needs a cruiser for Front Street or South Kihei Road or a visitor looking to rent bikes for the day, West Maui Cycles is a great bike shop. They do sales, rentals and service.