A reader-who-shall-remain-nameless wrote to me yesterday with the following query: “My girlfriend and I are both huge foodies, so we’re reading your book before we come to Maui. But I have a hidden agenda: I’m going to propose to her on our vacation. Do you have any creative ideas for me?”
Anyone who has read the Introduction to our restaurant guide knows that my husband and I are romantics. (If you don’t know our story you can read the Introduction for free on this page). So, yes, I have LOTS of ideas for how foodies should propose to their honeys on Maui.
Depending upon your sweetheart’s disposition and your budget, I suggest one of the following:
Spa It Up
Even if you’re not staying at the over-the-top Grand Wailea Resort, you can have an over-the-top experience at their Spa Grande. Wandering through their Terme – a series of baths and pools – is hydrotherapy at its best. I like their Luxurious Lavender For Two package, which includes a 60 minute Terme, lavender body treatments, and side by side lavender butter massage, along with meal vouchers for Bistro Molokini (which is expensive, but good). You should also check out the Romantic Interlude for Two, which includes a Hawaiian Specialty bath in their ultra-luxe bathtub. I’m sure the staff will let you hide the ring in amongst the plumeria petals and provide you with a bottle of champagne. Sneak in some chocolate – Mana Foods has the best selection – and you’re all set.
Mango Champagne at Sunset
Champagne pairs deliciously with fresh, ripe mangos – and both are plentiful on Maui. Pick up the heaviest, smoothest mango you can find at the market – if you can’t make the Kahului Swap Meet on Saturdays, check out Whole Foods in Kahului or Mana Foods in Paia or Lahaina Farms in Lahaina for the best selection. Our favorite inexpensive champagne these days is Domaine Ste. Michelle – about $10 at Safeway. Get a couple of champagne glasses from the hotel and find a lovely beach for sunset. Wear clothes you don’t care about, or as little as possible – it’s best to eat mangoes in your skin, as they say. Take a knife and slit the mango skin so that it slides right off. Eat with your hands and taste the fruit and champagne as they play on your tongues. Rinse off the sugar and sand with a quick dip in the ocean.
If she’s cursing you for getting her up in the middle of the night to see sunrise at Haleakala, she’ll feel better when she sees the first rays of morning sun dancing off the diamond on her finger. Bring a thermos of hot chocolate or coffee and spike it with a little brandy to celebrate at the top of the mountain, and follow up pastries at La Provence in Kula. Later, have a celebratory lunch at Mama’s Fish House.
I personally feel that chocolate goes with every special occasion. Mana Foods has an amazing variety of bars to choose from – take her for a tour and then casually hand her the ring when she asks for the chocolate while hiking.
If you want to go with the romantic dinner option, James and I always recommend Capische? in Wailea. Truly romantic setting, excellent service, delicious food … and if you tell them what you’re up to when you call for reservations, I’m sure they can find a clever way to work your proposal into service.
Have you gotten engaged on Maui? How romantic! Tell me how it all went down.