56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2005
I found this guide useful for planning my trip before I left home, mostly because it includes several pictures and fairly good maps. I used it to make a prioritized itinerary for the road to Hana---which stops to make, which hikes to go on, etc. We only had one day for the road to Hana, so we could not make every stop. I thought the guide did a pretty decent job of sorting out the mundane sites from the must see. The maps for the road to Hana are also very useful. We returned from Hana via the South road at night. It was no problem at all. It was certainly more fun than turning around and going back the way we came. The road is a lot less winding, which was nice. It does go up and down a lot, though. There was nothing wrong with the road at all, but you do need to watch out for the cows. There are signs warning you when you get to cattle country. The cow crossings are kind of a give away too. FYI, we made the trip in an economy car.
I am in debt to Maui Revealed for its recommendation to see Warren & Annabelle's, which was great. I would recommend, however, that anyone going to see this hilarious show should go late. An hour and a half killing time and eating snacks before the show was a drag. I suppose the wait might be more entertaining if you plan to get drunk.
When we actually got to Maui, we used Lonely Planet's guide almost exclusively. We started with Maui Revealed, but then we found that Lonely Planet's instructions were considerably more useful than those in Maui Revealed. In fact, with the exception of the road to Hana, the Lonely Planet guide was far superior for everything.
I would recommend getting both guides if you have never been to Maui before. If this is not your first trip and you do not plan to go to Hana, skip Maui Revealed entirely. It simply does not have enough substance to be worth the time reading it. The "revelations" in the book are all regular tourist destinations that appear to have been visited for at least a hundres years. You will never be alone. Everyone has Maui Revealed on their back seat or in their hand. The recommended restaurants are over priced. I had to laugh when I saw long lines of people waiting to get into a hamburger joint or a local dive for lunch. I would suggest trying the restaurants NOT listed in Maui Revealed. I think you will get food that is just as good and avoid rediculous lines. Best meal we had on Maui? Maui Tacos on our Lanai at sunset. Cheap, great food, and our lanai had a better view than any restaurant we saw! Perhaps Maui Revealed mentions Maui Tacos. I wouldn't know. I got the tip from Lonely Planet.
About the 3rd edition of Maui Revealed, I checked out the 2nd edition from the library and read it cover to cover. I then ordered the 3rd edition online from Amazon. After a page-by-page comparison, I was shocked to find that the only difference seems to be that a couple of pictures were changed. This is the saddest "update" I have ever seen in a travel guide. Buy the 2nd edition if you can get it cheap.
Lastly, we saw several signs with messages like, "Contrary to Maui Revealed,please respect our rights. This is private property."
147 of 163 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2011
I've been reading Maui Revealed since the 2nd edition. There are plenty of useful maps, it's well organized and easy to browse and read, colorful with pleasing typography and many photos, and the author's writing style is informal. There's typically little difference between editions, so no need to upgrade if you're only 1 edition out of date. I don't rely on this book for restaurant, activity or hotel advice. In the age of online reviews it really doesn't make sense to listen to a single opinion in that regard. We often travel with kids and grandparents and I need those perspectives too, especially for activities. Instead I rely on urbanspoon for restaurant advice, and tripadvisor for activity and hotel information.
I recommend this book to friends but nowadays tell them to read with caution. The author does well to build your trust in the book. He explains how well he knows the island, how hard he works on the book, and how residents and businesses are at odds with him for "revealing" what he does. The tendency is to trust him implicitly with everything he says because you feel like he's trying to help you have a great vacation. The danger here is that you defer to his guidance on activities that require caution, and there are many cases where he has a somewhat cavalier attitude.
For example, he highly recommends ultra light flights and goes on about how safe they are. If you're in the industry you know that they're actually quite dangerous. He talks about several sites that require going over private property, which I think readers interpret as "the land owner doesn't care that's why he's telling us."
One example that really stands out is his description of the Nakalele blowhole. He has a full page picture of a couple embracing 20 ft from the blowhole as water jets over them. It looks amazing and so exciting. His only warning: "there's no guardrail to stop you from shrinking the gene pool should you use bad judgment and fall into the hole....get as close as common sense dictates." If you look up this attraction on Youtube you'll see why this place can be so dangerous although it's not entirely obvious, especially if you don't understand the ocean. That's where the Guide book author should step in. The blowhole is given the "real gem" stamp and listed as "the best place to see the ocean explode" and "the best hike" in West Maui, so I'm sure it gets plenty of tourists.
So that's the whole point of my review. It's important to use your personal judgment and take responsibility for the safety of your family, and do some extra research about an attraction when needed. We used an iphone app (Maui gps tour guide) on our last trip that did a good job of providing warnings. Perhaps the best thing you can do is talk to island residents at every opportunity.
Speaking of apps, you may be wondering what the difference is between the book and the Maui revealed App. It appears to mirror the book exactly, and add hotel information from the book's website. There are additional photos too but they're small for some reason. If you've never been to Maui the book is the better choice. It's much easier to read and browse through to find information. The App allows you to search for things, but it's out of context, in that it only shows the specific thing you looked for - you can't see the "pages" before or after the excerpt, and in the book those pages often give information relating to what you're looking for. For seasoned Maui travelers, the App is probably all you need, to look up odds and ends.
I haven't tried the Kindle version but this is an example of a book that you need in paper form so that you can page through quickly, and cross reference with maps. Not to mention the photos...
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2010
This book was excellent. We loved exploring some of the hidden sights, such as the olivine pools and secluded waterfalls. Based on information from this book and my recent vacation in Maui, here are some of my personal recommendations:
-Definitely do a loop when driving to Hana. Take the regular "road to Hana" to get there and take the back road along the south part of Maui for the drive back. The back road is not bad at all. It has very few unpaved sections and they are well groomed. A 2WD car can easily do it. The back road will offer different views including tons of lava rock. It is important to note that the "road to Hana" is about the journey not the destination. Stop at waterfalls along the way and scenic overlooks. We left at 6am and didn't get back until after 7pm. There is so much to do along the way.
-On the road to Hana, take a short detour down Nahiku Road as suggested in the book. Keep driving until you get to the end, which is when you reach the ocean. The view is amazing.
-Do not miss the 400ft Waimoku waterfall at Oheo Gulch. The 2 mile hike each way is well worth it.
-Haleakala at sunset is awesome, especially if you do not want to wake up at 3am and deal with the crowds for sunrise. There were very few people at the summit for sunset and we watched the sun set over clouds which was awesome (a ring of clouds almost always forms partway up the mountain, but the summit is usually clear). We stayed to look at the stars once it got dark... we saw a ton of stars!
-Kula Lodge restaurant on the way to Haleakala has great views, but go for lunch because dinner is very expensive.
-The redwood forest hike in Polipoli state park was awesome, however the drive was terrible. 4 miles of bumpy, unkept dirt road. I would recommend an SUV for driving this road.
-Definitely stop at Julia's, as listed in the book, when driving around the west/north side of Maui. The banana bread is awesome but so are the coconut candies, dried mango and taro chips.
-The book lists a hiking/snorkeling adventure at La Perouse in south Maui, however when we attempted to do this we saw lots of off-limits signs posted by the government, saying you can't walk in that entire area until July 2010. So instead we snorkeled at the nearby "Dumps," which was awesome.
-Food recommendations... Ululani's Shaved Ice in Lahaina and Flatbread Company in Paia.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2008
This was the first of the Revealed guidebooks that we've owned back in 2002. And from that first usage of the book, we were blown away by how candid its reviews were and how it seemed to present every nook and cranny of the island.
We consulted it for local restaurants, dinner splurges, and most (if not all) of Maui's reasonably accessible waterfalls (including the Blue Pool, Waihe'e Valley, 'Ohe'o Gulch, etc).
We liked this book so much that we bought all the other Revealed guidebooks for each of the other main Hawaiian Islands.
Fast forward 5 years (and several trips to all the Hawaiian Islands)...
The Blue Pool - closed due to unhappy residents lamenting the traffic; Upper Puohokamoa Falls - access closed due owner's fear of slip-and-fall lawsuit; Venus Pool - kapu due to trespassing; Waihe'e Valley - closed to public except for Eco-Maui tours; Proliferation of No Trespassing signs everywhere...
That's when we realized that while this book tells you everything you want to hear with the attitude and spunk that we can appreciate, it's problematic in that it has resulted in (thanks to its popularity) increased cases of trespassing, closures from frivolous slip-and-fall lawsuits, deaths from following their "Adventures", a tourism economy dependent on reviews from this book (e.g. you can expect higher prices if they got an Ono rating and closures if they got bad reviews), and overexposure/high impacts to fragile and endangered habitats.
I think it's sad that more and more parts of Maui (as well as other islands) have lost their spirit of Aloha, and I suspect this book's well-deserved popularity has something to do with it.
But even with all that said, my wife and I still consult this book because we feel we're getting good advice from a kama'aina (long time resident). It just shows how useful this book is despite the problems it's causing. But I sense it's starting to become a victim of its own success and the island is becoming a far different place than the paradise that was originally envisioned and communicated by the book when we first used it.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2010
Just returned from a seven day trip to Maui. Loved it. The "blue book" was our hilarious companion the entire time. If you are a fan of learning the history of places, this is the book for you. It truly speaks from a local perspective and provides loads of historical context about each location.
A few comments/suggestions:
-Be forewarned, every "secret" hike and snorkel spot in this book will be packed full of tourists. I guess that's what happens when you publish the #1 guidebook for a top vacation destination. It's been revealed already!
-The author is an adventuresome person! His hikes were way out of our league in the scary/difficult department (I'm an in-shape 28 year old). I would go elsewhere to find hike suggestions, especially along Hana Highway.
-His restaurant recommendations were solid picks. Some of our favorite places included: Bubba Gump's, Cool Cat Cafe, Da Kitchen, Paia Fish Market.
-His beach suggestions were solid picks. Big Beach, Black Sand Beach, and Kama'ole beaches were some of our favs.
-Choose your own adventures! Some of my favorite moments of the trip is when we were looking for one of his recommendations, yet stumbled upon a different (often less crowded) beach, etc.
Enjoy Maui, it's a gem!
28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2011
I have been buying these guide books since they first were published. They are, by far, the very best. More authors of travel guides should take this approach when reviewing tourist spots. The turn by turn travel directions, along with witty commentary - well, you can't go wrong. Maps are detailed and accurate. Both places that are must-do's, as well as probably-not-worth-it, are covered. Any activity you could ever want to try is reviewed. Food recommendations are spot-on. I have these guide books for several of the islands, and I always buy a new edition before I go since things can change quickly in Hawaii. Don't go to Hawaii without one!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2006
We just went on a trip to Maui and used this guidebook as our reference. It's the best thing you can use for your planning, and in our eyes it gives you sites that no one else unless you know some informative locals will give you. Our friends who are out there frequently were amazed at the things we saw through this book that they never heard off.
Just to start off though take their advice on stopping at Costco. It will save you quite a bit of your hard earned money to spend somewhere else on Maui and trust us. You will spend it. In fact, one local told us they pay more for things grown and made on the island than when they visit the mainland US. That tells me this place is definitely for the tourist but it's a great vacation destination expensive and well worth it.
Now back to the book, The Road to Hana is a good trip but if you get seasick or even get a touch of motion sickness don't go unless you take something. I don't get any of the aforemention afflictions but my future wife was literally wilting in the seat next to me from all the winding turns and narrow bridges. We also suggest a packed lunch and plenty of drinks for the ride. There's a neat eclectic grocery store in Pa'ia right off the main street with good sandwiches. Grab your food and drinks to picnic at one of the secluded waterfalls and enjoy. Finishing up on the Hana trip, you can definitely take your rental vehicle all the way through Hana and back down and around again. The road is bumpy but we didn't find it a problem. Just don't go crashing off the side of the road into a ditch!
As for accomodations, we suggest if you like to eat at the restaurants and want a little something less than quiet stay somewhere near Lahaina or Ka'anapali (Definitely grab a burger at Cheeseburger in Paradise in Lahaina). There's a ton to do around there whereas other more secluded parts of the island do not offer you the same choices in entertainment and dining. Last but not least, take in a nice sunset at a beachside restaurant. We recommend Leilani's On The Beach. It's at Whalers Village in Ka'anapali. The food is good and the view is better! Have fun!!
PS... Try a surfing lesson. We had a blast, and Goofy Foot Surf School had some really good teachers. They guarantee you'll stand up at least once or you will not get out of the water. We're not kidding.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2006
We spent one month in Maui this summer. It was a dream come true. This book is, hands down, the best guide to Maui. We had many guidebooks and none of them even came close. You will never see a comment like "this place is a dump" or "the locals like to send the tourists to this murky beach" in a Fodor's guidebook. These guys shoot straight and give you all of the little details (like turn right at the giant bell-shaped rock) about the places that tourists would normally not see. The locals feel that this book has done more bad than good for Maui, as the tourists armed with this book now visit many of the places that were traditionally kept secret. I'm not saying that I agree with commercializing all of the natural beauty of Maui, but the people with this book are given detailed descriptions of how to see things that the average tourist will not hear about in their Fodor's or Dummies guide book.
If you are only buying one book, buy this one.
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2007
Just returned from Maui. Many items are accurate but the book has some major misses as far as restaurant and entertainment recommendations. Use care.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2007
Just returned from a week on Maui and 5 days on Kauai - used these books for both islands. We enjoyed several restaurants on both islands that the authors panned; found several of their "real gems" to be unpleasant experiences; snorkeled on beaches they didn't like and just loved them!; and in general found the books to be useful but not the final word.