Maui is a very beautiful island and there’s one adventure anyone who goes there has either done or heard of, the road to Hana. The entire road to Hana is only 52 miles, but the drive can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to do. This is because the road has 620 curves, 59 bridges (most are one lane) and is all over the place in elevation.
Driving just about anywhere on the road to Hana over 20 mph is rare. When taking into account stops made to take hikes to beautiful waterfalls, or just stopping on the side of the road to check out the view or get some banana bread, a trip to Hana and back will most likely take all day. The only true way to fully enjoy this majestic side of the island is to stay somewhere in Hana so you save yourself the drive out there and can take your time exploring. Hana is a small town with a population not more than 1,000 and is fairly isolated, so your options for finding somewhere to stay are far and few between. The main and only resort on this side of Maui is Travaasa Hana and their prices reflect the lack of competition. Other options include AirBnb/VRBO and the place we called home for a few days, the Bamboo Inn, a bed and breakfast that much more than we ever expected.
The Bamboo Inn is run by it’s owner, John, who stays out of site, but lives on sight with his dog. This bed and breakfast only has 3 suites from the 2 story Nai’a Suite to the smaller ‘Iwa Suite and Honu Suite, which we stayed in. Each suite has it’s own benefits, but we absolutely loved the quaint feel of the Honu. Bamboo is everywhere here and covered the entire inn. The doors to each of the suites are custom made and carved with different designs. Our room had a queen size bed, kitchenette and an awesome 2-person Jacuzzi on the balcony facing out to the east with a view found only in story books. Adding to the romance, our shower was actually located outside, under the stars, a feature we love but have only enjoyed once before, on our honeymoon. The kitchenette had everything we could ask for including a toaster oven, small fridge, blender and basic kitchen utensils.
Check-in couldn’t have been easier as our key was info was left in an easy to find location and we just checked ourselves in when we arrived. Checking out was similar with us just leaving our key in the room when we left. Of our entire trip to Maui, we had the most amazing breakfast while at the Bamboo Inn. Each morning breakfast is set out for each of the guests to grab and take and includes fresh bread, croissants, fruits and fruit juice. This, plus a cup of coffee we made in the room, was a great way to start off each day.
One of the best things about the Bamboo Inn though is that you have a direct view of a beautiful black beach and unimpeded view of the sun rising in the morning. The black beach is more of a black rock beach like nothing we’ve seen before. The “sand” is all black rocks, ranging in size from nearly the size of sand to the size of a basketball. The sound the ocean makes when waves move the rocks back and forth was really different and something I’ll never forget. This isn’t your normal type of beach you want to lay out on or go swimming in, but those are within walking distance. The water here is a little rough and you won’t want to even be barefoot as the rock can be a little tough on your feet.
Within walking distance is the Hana Bay Beach Park and a little beyond that is the hidden Kaihalulu beach, also known as the red sand beach. The red sand is created from Ka’uiki Head a cinder cone hill on the north side of it. Getting to Kaihalulu is a little bit of a hike, crossing private land, but is done regularly and is fairly well marked.
Staying at the Bamboo Inn puts you at just 30 minutes from Kipahulul, where the Pools of ‘Ohe’o (marketed as the Seven Sacred Pools) and Bamboo Forrest are. Just north of the Bamboo Inn is the state park, Waianapanapa, which has a beautiful black sand beach, long hiking trails and caves to explore. You’re also not too far from the lava tubes you can walk through as well. All of things, which you shouldn’t miss, would take hours to drive to each day if staying on the west coast. This is why we highly recommend staying here at least a night or two.