There are a couple of things that recommend Kula Lodge. One is its close proximity to Haleakala National Park. We stayed two nights just to be able to get up and see the sunrise and to recover from having gotten up to see the sunrise! It was convenient—we were probably the fourth or fifth car at the summit—and an easy drive (probably about 50 minutes). On that subject, you really want to get up there as early as you can make it. We left Kula Lodge about 3:15-3:30 a.m., and were in the parking lot at the summit by 4:30. Sunrise was at 5:38. The upper lot RAPIDLY filled up behind us, and the next closest lot is a pretty good hike in the dark up to the summit at 10,000 feet. Not something I’d want to do with kids. When you go, wear PANTS and a sweatshirt/jacket, a hat if you have one, and tennis shoes, not flip flops. Take a flashlight. And breakfast—there is NO food to be had anywhere near the national park. (Supposedly there’s a guy selling coffee and doughnuts next door to Kula Lodge in the florist’s parking lot, but we left before he arrived—if he actually did.) It’s not as cold as Pikes Peak, but it’s definitely cold and WINDY, even in June. Many people were wrapped in blankets, too. The sunrise will either be fabulous or “we got up early for THAT?”, but either way, it’s worth the effort.
The other thing that recommends Kula Lodge is the view. We stayed in Ekahi Chalet and looked over the sweeping vista all the way down to the ocean. The sunsets from our lanai made the sunrise on Haleakala pale in comparison. Sitting there was a tranquil respite and a marked contrast to the busy-ness of west Maui (Lahaina) that we experienced the week before. Upcountry Maui is tranquil and lovely and well worth leaving the beach to see. The grounds of Kula Lodge are beautiful—incredible, lush tropical flowers and trees (check out the blue eucalyptus tree in front of the Kula Marketplace)—and you feel like you are in a rainforest garden. We dined at the restaurant twice: outside for lunch in a hillside table (great wood-oven pizza) and breakfast inside (decent but expensive, with indifferent service—popular with the tour bus crowd). Jamie (concierge? Main desk? Restaurant manager? All of the above?) was friendly, helpful and gave us directions/advice. Across the parking lot, the Kula Marketplace has a small but varied food section and lots of different souvenirs/crafts/clothing/art—some reasonable, some very expensive.
Having said all that, though, our room was somewhat rustic. It reminded us of cabins we’ve rented in Colorado. The room/carpet/paneling/and especially the bathroom could use some updating. Our son liked the loft beds (they were comfy twin beds, not futons or cots) upstairs, and our bed was comfortable. We also heard the constant sound of plumbing—washing machine? Dishwasher? Showers? We couldn’t figure out what it was. A cozy and efficient electric stove is in one corner to fight the chill (which must be necessary for some months), but I would suggest a ceiling fan for better circulation. With 3 people in the room, our rate was $215/night, which seems fairly typical for Maui but definitely pricey.
It was a nice place for a day or so, but I might consider another upcountry B&B next time—IF we can find one with a view as spectacular as the one at Kula Lodge!
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- Also Known As:
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