Another Week in Paradise

Linda and I just returned from a week-long trip to Hawaii – for business. Of course, a week in Hawaii is a week in paradise no matter how you look at it or what you do.

We were guests of Apple Vacations at their annual Apple Vacations Hawaii MVP (Most Valuable Partner) Advisory Retreat at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. Fifteen travel agents from Maryland to California were invited as one of several benefits awarded to MVP agencies selling Apple Vacations to Hawaii. Highlights of the third annual, 4-day event included a welcome reception hosted by the Sheraton Kauai Resort, hotel site inspections in Kauai, a round-table forum with Apple Vacations’ executives, a destination presentation by the Kauai Visitors Bureau, and a tour and dinner sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Familiarization trips like these are among the many reasons to use a travel agent. We know the destinations we sell.

Enough about business

We flew into Maui two days before the meeting, picked up the rental car, and drove an hour to Kaanapali Beach in west Maui. We stayed at the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, located where the legendary Black Rock of Kaanapali meets the Pacific Ocean. Top-notch resort. We snorkeled at Black Rock and saw five eagle rays, but did not see any turtles this trip. We visited Lahaina a few miles south, where we dined at Cheesburger in Paradise while enjoying the sunset over Lanai and shopping.

Sunset in Lahaina

Sunset in Lahaina, Maui, with Lanai in the distance

We flew to Lihue in Kauai, drove the rental car to Poipu Beach a half-hour away, and checked in at the Sheraton Kauai Resort & Spa. Ocean front room. Beautiful view of the Pacific.

Hotel site inspections were the next day. A site inspection includes seeing various room categories and public spaces, e.g. restaurants, fitness facilities, pools and spa. We had breakfast at the Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach; then visited the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort, the Kauai Beach Resort (where we had lunch), the Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach Wyndham Grand Resort, and the Castle Kiahuna Plantation & The Beach Bungalows. Photos can be found on the ATS Facebook page.

Hotel site inspections set travel agents apart from online travel agencies. A great travel agent visits the destination he/she sells. She sees the properties and surroundings. She experiences the destination – one of the best reasons among many to use a travel agent.

After our morning Advisory Board Meeting with Apple Vacations staff, we enjoyed lunch and a presentation sponsored by Starwood Resorts Hawaii. A short break was followed by a bus ride to Kauai’s north shore for appetizers at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas and dinner at The St. Regis Princeville Resort, and, of course, inspections of those properties.

Sunset at Hanalei Bay

Sunset at Hanalei Bay from The St. Regis Princeville Resort

The final day began with our morning Advisory Board Meeting, followed by lunch and presentation sponsored by the Kauai Visitors Bureau. Then a free afternoon. We enjoyed a visit to Poipu Beach Park, where we took the kids way back in 1986, and lounging by the pool.

The final evening featured a hotel inspection and Farewell Dinner sponsored by the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. What a stunning resort!

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

View of the grounds at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

We urge you to visit the Islands of Aloha. The Hawaiian Islands – rich in history, diverse in culture, and stunningly beautiful – are waiting to say “e komo mai.”

Just another week in paradise…

My wife Linda manages Antietam Travel Service in Frederick, Maryland, and I maintain the website http://www.antietamtravel.com and our Wordpress blog.

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Posted in Apple Vacations, ATS, Hawaii, Kauai, Maui, Travel Agent, Vacation

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