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Fijian Dancers at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort Fiji: A Photo Essay with GIFs

A group of school aged children performing at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Fiji Resort

One of the things I liked most about my recent glamping trip to the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji was that it felt authentically Fijian. There was no chain hotel vibe and Fijian culture was front and center.

A group of dancers from Nukubalavu Village

Two nights a week the property has groups of Fijian dancers perform. One dance troupe is from Nukubalavu village, which is the village where most of the hotel’s staff reside. Many of the dancers are related to the hotel workers which made the performance extra special.

Fijian dancers twirling GIF

Busting a move, Fijian style

The dancers perform a meke– a traditional Fijian dance performance– that is usually done at celebrations and festivals.

Fiji’s answer to Twerking GIF

I liked that the dancers were various age groups and performed in a variety of styles.

I adored this dancer’s traditional outfit and sweet smile

Hips Don’t Lie: Fiji Edition

There are no televisions at the Jean-Michel Resort, but with entertainment like this you definitely do not miss them.

Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort

Lesiaceva Point, Savusavu, Vanua Levu, Fiji

+679 885 0188

info@fijiresort.com

You can read more about my stay at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji on the Glamping.com blog.

 

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Bula from Fiji!

The view flying to Savusavu in Fiji

I’m thrilled to be on assignment for Glamping.com here at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort.

I haven’t been in Fiji since my honeymoon many years ago so It’s a pleasure returning to this South Pacific island country of which I have fond memories.

My daily posts will be running on the Glamping.com blog so be sure to check it out if you want to learn what it’s like staying in thatched roof hut at one of the world’s first eco-luxury resorts.

– Jen

The musical greeting by the staff at the Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Poolside at the resort

The interior of Garden Bure 18

Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort – Fiji Day 1st

Day 2 at Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort in Fiji

Day 3 at Jean-Michele Cousteau Resort in Fiji

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A Stay at the Andaz Maui at Wailea

The adults-only pool at the Andaz Maui lit up at night

I recently visited the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort in Hawaii for the first time. The Andaz definitely caters to a younger/hipper crowd than some of the other high end hotels in the area. If you’re looking for in-your-face Hawaiiana, look elsewhere. The Andaz Maui has warm, zen minimalist vibe.

The Modern Facade of the Andaz Maui

My husband and I arrived before check in time, and our room (we booked a suite) was not yet ready. The Andaz host suggested we head the Bumbye Beach Bar to wait until she came to escort us to the room. The bar had wifi access (no password required), great views of the lagoon pool and Mokapu Beach, and particularly delicious Mai Tais. After two rounds, our host showed us to our suite, room 640.

The resort’s open and airy entry

The staff at the Andaz was friendly and top notch. I was particularly impressed with the concierge. She remembered my food allergies and made sure they were passed on to restaurants, even when we changed restaurant picks or re-scheduled reservations.

The seating area in living room of suite 640

Suite 640 was spacious, well laid out, and technology friendly– great for a modern day couple who both work remotely. 

Left: the work desk in room 640 Right: The dining room table in 640

There were several pools, including an adult/no kids one and several cabanas for hire, which was nice. Loved the wifi access (even at the beach) and I always appreciate the no password required. Every hotel should be this tech friendly.

The welcome amenity and lei

If I had to nitpick, I thought the ukelele player in the Lehua Lounge could have bothered to wear an aloha shirt. I also noticed a few room service trays lingered in the hallways a bit longer than the should have. Minor complaints for an otherwise fabulous stay.

The patio was filled with modern furniture and comfortable

One of the Andaz’s most amazing features is Morimoto Maui restaurant, which is FANTASTIC. My husband and I almost always get tired of every hotel’s restaurants after three days. Not so with Morimoto. We dined there four times during our stay and I’ve been missing it since I got back. Even if you choose to stay somewhere else in Wailea, don’t miss heading to the Andaz Maui for dinner at Morimoto Maui.

Left: the window seat in room 640 Right: a reading nook in the bedroom

The room’s king sized bed has sliding doors that can open to the shower windows

The walk-thru shower and soaker tub in Suite 640

My husband thought the furniture in our suite could have been more comfortable, however I had no issues with it. I LOVED the bathroom’s huge shower and soaker tub. The room was quiet and I slept well in the king bed.

The hanging chair on the patio was a great place to watch the Wailea sunset

The Lagoon Pool at the Andaz Maui

How fun is this indoor sandbox in the reception area of the Andaz Maui?

Yogurt with granola on the breakfast buffet at Ka’ana Kitchen

The breakfast spread served at Ka’ana Kitchen was amazing. Since my husband is a Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond Member member, our breakfast was included. The staff went out of there way to clarify which menu items were not included so there were no surprises on the bill. (Note: The Breakfast Amenity for Diamond Gold Passport members was recently downgraded.) The mimosa made with passionfruit and guava is not to be missed.

Delicious Mai Tai served at Lehua Lounge

The view from Bumbye Beach Bar

Obligatory selfie in sunglasses of the Andaz Beach Crew

The Andaz Beach Crew was very helpful and also has a great instagram account @andazbeachcrew.

Gorgeous sunset as seen from room 640 at Andaz Maui

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

3550 Wailea Alanui Drive

Wailea, Hawaii, USA, 96753

Tel: +1 808 573 1234

Rates start at $423.00

Andaz Maui on Twitter

Andaz Maui on Instagram

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Milo, the Paddle Boarding Dog of Maui: A Photo Essay

Milo pulling in his paddle board on Wailea Beach

On my trip to Maui earlier this month I was playing in the waves of the Pacific when I spotted a chocolate lab astride a paddle board with his owner. I swam a bit closer and chatted with the dog’s owner and was introduced to Milo, the paddle boarding dog of Maui.

Milo even brings in his paddle board to shore. Check it out in this short video clip I shot on my iPhone 5s:

Milo in action

Milo shakes it off

Like most labs, Milo works for tennis balls

Milo’s owner keeps two tennis balls tucked into her bikini bottoms for times when Milo falls off the board and decides to swim off. Labs are genetically engineers to retrieve tennis balls.

Milo’s face in action is one of fierce determination

Milo at work

Milo probably needs a Go Pro camera to capture his true awesomeness, but I thought I’d share these images with my blog readers just for fun.

Another day at the office for Milo

I met Milo on beach at the Andaz Maui. He made a lot of friends that day.

The Andaz Maui Beach Crew has paddle boards for humans too

Paddle boarding is good fun and a great core workout. Fortunately the beach crew at the Andaz Maui has paddle boards for human guests and stand up paddle board lessons along with other fun beach activities.

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Is it Worth It To Go Watch the Sunrise at Haleakala on Maui?

First glimpse of the sun at Haleakala

If you’re visiting Maui for the first or 15th time and looking for things to do, someone is going to suggest going to see the sun rise at Haleakala. The concierge at the Andaz Maui suggested I leave at 2:30 am and “bundle up” because temperatures (and wind) up at the 10.000 foot crater summit can be very chilly before dawn.

Crater Coffee: your last chance for a cuppa before Haleakala

The drive from Wailea was 90 minutes and pretty easy. The road to Haleakala is not as well paved as the more heavily traffic tourist roads on the island, but the winding part (full of hairpin turns) was only after I entered the park.

Plan a pit stop at Crater Coffee (open from 3-7 am ) for your last chance for caffeine fix, pastries and bathrooms. The coffee is good and service friendly and convince you it was worth it to get up so early.

Clouds before sunrise

I arrived at the parking lot at the summit an hour before sunrise. The stargazing was incredibly. Watching the clouds shift before dawn was mesmerizing. I headed to the far side of glass visitor hut at the summit, so that the hut would buffer me from the wind. I shot this time lapse video of the sunrise on my iPhone 5s using the Sunrise and Sunset preset on the TimeLapse App.

Is it worth it go see the sunrise at Haleakala? Totally.

The changing colors and shifting clouds are all part of the Haleakala sunrise show

If getting up early doesn’t work for you, some people prefer to come to watch the sunset. You can check sunrise and sunset time for Haleakala here.

The parking lot at the summit after sunrise

There are also several tour companies that offer bikes for you to bike down the crater after sunrise.

I loved how this guy’s blanket makes him look like a superhero

My advice- don’t miss the sunrise. It’s unforgettable. It was well worth the effort. NOTE: mobile phone service is spotty once you enter the park.

The glass shelter at the summit of Haleakala

Haleakalā National Park

Address: Kula, HI, United States (Directions)

Open 24 hours

Phone: (808) 572-4400

You can check out the weather forecast for the crater summit here.

Daily passes are non-transferable and are valid for 3 days including the date of purchase:

Private Vehicle: $10.

Motorcycle: $5.

Per Person: $5.

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