With its picturesque secluded coves, fiery sunsets and beachfront lavish resorts and restaurants, romance is easily kindled in Maui and Lana’i; and it’s no surprise that thousands of couples tie the knot and honeymoon in Hawaii each year. These small islands also provide would-be grooms with a readymade romantic backdrop for popping the question. Whether your style is DIY or luxury turnkey, your soon-to-be blushing bride will be swept off her feet with these intimate proposal ideas.
Maui’s relaxed island vibe, soft brown sugar sand and salty sweet scent of plumeria, pineapple and coconut oil mixed with the ocean breeze lure lovebirds from around the globe. Waterfall hikes, snorkelling, golfing, kayaking, windsurfing and beachcombing are plentiful in Maui, as are the more indulgent pastimes of shopping, dining and day spas.
Dining Under the Stars
The Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea offers a private oceanfront dinner experience with its Hoku Lani ‘Dining Under the Stars’. Ocean views with the islands of Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini in the background, tiki torches and the soft glow of candlelight dancing on the table create the perfect setting for an engagement. The chef’s four-course menu is inspired by the Hawaiian, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese cultures from Hawaii’s sugarcane plantation era. Highlights of the fusion fare include Kalua Pig Pot Stickers and Crispy Calamari with a Trio of Dipping Sauces; Grilled Lamb Chops with Mango‐Mint Salsa, Marinated in Coconut Milk Soy Sauce; and Banana Lumpia served with a Dark Salted Butter Caramel Sauce. Customized menus as well as live entertainment are also available to personalize the evening.
Sunrise Renewal Champagne Breakfast
If you’re more of a morning person book a champagne breakfast poolside at the Westin Maui Resort on Maui’s west shore. From the seclusion of a private cabana overlooking Ka’anapali Beach you can toast to the future while watching the sunrise. The two-course champagne breakfast features a choice of four starters and seven main course items including Lobster Benedict and Macadamia Nut Sticky Bun French Toast with pineapple sausage, accompanied by tropical fruit and a freshly baked pastry basket of cinnamon buns, butter croissants and pineapple bran muffins. For a small additional cost you can prolong the celebration and take full advantage of the beachfront setting by extending the cabana reservation for the rest of the day.
In the House of the Sun
Standing 10,000 feet above sea level, the formidable Haliakala in Southeast Maui can be seen from almost anywhere on the island. The sunrise viewed from the summit is legendary and continues to entice visitors out of their beds as early as 3:00 a.m. to experience one of Mother Nature’s great masterpieces. Haliakala means House of the Sun, and as you watch the dark starlit sky turn to fire from the top of the mountain, high above the clouds, you’ll understand why. The air is very cold at the summit so bring a warm blanket, thermos of hot chocolate and snuggle up for the show. After the sunrise, stop at the Kula Lodge for a hot breakfast of fluffy pancakes, eggs, fresh fruit and Kona coffee.
A short one-hour passenger ferry ride from Maui and 30-minute flight from Honolulu, Lāna’i is an exclusive paradise that can be visited as a day trip from Maui or as longer stay. Formerly Dole’s largest pineapple plantation, the tiny island is now home to only one stop sign and three hotels, two of which are Four Season Resorts; the oceanfront Manele Bay in South Lanai and The Lodge at Koele in Central Lanai.
A Private Garden
The Lodge at Koele, surrounded by Cook pine trees and immaculate gardens in Lāna’i’s cooler misty highlands, offers the unique experience of staying in a grand country manor. Wandering the expansive grounds, curling up with a book on your private veranda, or having a nightcap by the stone hearth in the Great Hall are just some of the ways to spend your time at Koele. The lodge also offers a private 5-course candlelit dinner in the breathtaking Enchanting Orchid House; a fragrant greenhouse filled with orchids and tropical flowers. Your own private server, fine champagne and a seasonal chef’s tasting menu that draws from the land and sea complete the intimate affair.
Secluded Beach Picnic
For the more adventurous rent a 4-wheel drive, pick up a picnic from Pele’s Other Garden café and go off the beaten path to explore the island’s stunning and diverse scenery. Sixty miles North of Lana’i City, you’ll find a two-mile stretch of golden sand beach. Always quiet, and often deserted, Polihua is a secluded, picturesque paradise requiring little more than a blanket and well-thought out question for the big moment. Another beautiful and quiet spot is found a few miles East on Shipwreck Beach where an oil tanker from the 1940’s remains stranded on the coral reef. Although these beaches can experience high winds and the current makes them unsafe for swimming, they are spectacular, secluded and well worth the drive.
Quiet Countryside Horseback Ride
A peaceful ride through the Lana’i countryside is a lovely way to explore the island and find a special place for your proposal. The Stables at Koele, beside the Four Seasons Resort, offers private guided trail rides through the unspoiled wooded highlands, where roaming sheep, turkeys and wild deer are often spotted. A special picnic or hearty sunrise cowboy breakfast can be arranged and enjoyed while taking in the sweeping views of Molokai, Maui, Koho’olawe and on exceptionally clear days, the Big Island of Hawaii. The Stables’ horse-drawn carriage rides are a nice alternative for less experienced riders, or those who prefer a more relaxing journey.