Hautels: New experiential hotel in Hana promises ‘magic’

Twenty years ago Joy Berry traveled to the secluded town of Hana on Maui to heal from her mother’s sudden death.

After the all-day drive along the scenic and winding Hana Highway, she found a place “very magical, very healing.”

“You will never find a more magical, special place and people on earth,” Berry said.

This May — 20 years after her mother’s death — the longtime hotel veteran bought the old Hotel Hana-Maui and, along with partner Chris Manning, has transformed it into a brand like no other.

Now called Travaasa Hana, this hotel, managed by Green Tea LLC, is an experiential hotel, where guests pay an all-inclusive rate for accommodations, meals, spa treatments and activities. It officially opens on June 30.

Upon arrival, guests receive a backpack — an indication that this is not your ordinary hotel. You get a eco-friendly water bottle, CD of local music, Hana blend coffee, a flashlight and a journal to jot down notes and memories. The idea, Berry said, is to bring back the magic to traveling.

“We’ve become an industry that commoditizes sleep,” she said. “But the magic of travel, to me, is having those stories to tell.”

Travaasa Hana features 70 cottages and suites — none of which have radios, clocks or televisions — a wellness spa, locally sourced dining and an extensive programming highlighting Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage.

The list of things to do seem endless: historic tours of Hana town, guided coastal hikes, throw net fishing demonstrations, stand-up paddle boarding, outrigger canoe paddling, digital photography classes, ukulele lessons, coconut husking, bicycle tours and more.

The Spa at Travaasa Hana infuses therapeutic native Hawaiian treatments with exercise as part of a holistic approach to relaxation and wellness. And the dining room showcases ocean-to-table cuisine and fresh organic fare with most of the produce, fish and beef on the menu sourced from Hana and the island of Maui.

All-inclusive rates at the Sea Ranch Cottages start at $499 per person, per night. Rates at the Garden View Suites start at $400 per night, per person; these can be paired with a package or charged as just hotel rooms with activities and meals being booked a la carte.

For more information call (855) 868-7282, follow Travaasa Hana on Twitter (@Travaasa_Hana) or visit www.travaasa.com.

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