This past weekend felt like one of those moments you dream about.  I was invited to Maui to attend the Maui Film Festival and Taste of Wailea and the whole experience was so incredible.  The day started early, with a quick flight on Hawaiian Airlines.  As soon as my friend and I got to the Valley Isle, we went to breakfast at Longhi’s for a “filmmaker’s brunch” with bottomless Bloody Mary’s and Martinis.

The food was so ono!

After that, we headed over to our hotel – the Andaz Maui in Wailea.  I am speechless!

The resort was so luxurious and we were immediately welcomed with a lei, a lavender lemonade and an oshibori towel.

Our room wasn’t ready so we went to one of the many infinity pools that overlook West Maui and the island of Lanai.

The Taste of Wailea was held at the Wailea Golf Club.  The event featured tastings from some of the best restaurants in Wailea and a spectacular drink selection.  The coconut martinis were made with Organic Ocean Vodka and poured down an ice luge.

The venue was so perfect because we got to see Kahoolawe and Molokini Crater in the distance.

After the culinary art experience we took our seats and got ready for the movie, which was played on a big screen in the middle of the golf course, following the colorful sunset.

Ready for the Taste of Wailea

The Andaz Maui has plenty of activities you can do for free, from outrigger canoe paddling, yoga, and a mixology class.  I had never paddled on an outrigger so we went a short cruise over some of the prettiest water I have seen.

We saw plenty of Honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) swimming in the crystal clear ocean.

The instructor was very helpful and made the experience so much fun.  Our friends joined us at the pool and we went to the mixology class at 3 pm.  The bartenders were so great about explaining the differences in Tequila and Mezcal from different regions in Mexico.  We tried a few varieties and 2 different margaritas made with fresh squeezed lime juice.

Before sunset, we went back in the water in Wailea for a nice swim, and ended the night with a delicious Thai dinner at Nutcharee’s Authentic Thai Food in Kihei.

I had originally only planned to stay 2 days in Maui, but ended up winning a raffle for 2 free tickets to see Oprah Winfrey speak at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.  The event was sponsored by HMSA and approximately 5,000 people showed up to hear Oprah talk about “Living your Best Life.”  The experience was so surreal.  It was uplifting to hear her stories.

“The practice of gratitude immediately changes your life.” – Oprah

(Her advice: Write 5 things that your are grateful for in a journal each night.)


We left the venue a little early, and ordered lunch online at Tin Roof in Kahului.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the food, because it was so good.  I was hungry and ate the Mochiko Chicken animal style faster than you can imagine.  Since we only had a few hours before our flight, we drove through the historic town of Paia to Hookipa.

This beach is magic.  It’s a resting place for turtles, and we hung out by the tidepools and talked about when we can come visit Maui again.

How about you?  Do you have any favorite Maui experiences?  Have you been to the Maui Film Festival?  Do you have any plans on visiting the islands soon?  Check out my post about watching the sunrise in Haleakala.  Trust me, this experience is a must!

With Aloha,


About Author

Alejandra Cerball is a journalist, writer, and travel+ lifestyle blogger. Alex enjoys writing about travel, empowering women in business, wellness, and sustainable fashion. Follow on Instagram @alexcerball.

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