‘ Aloha spirit’ thrives on friendly Maui

Beach­front project has 628 lux­ury units across two U-shaped build­ings on ocean­front

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - JOSH SKAPIN

Be­yond the weather, wa­ter and golf cour­ses that orig­i­nally brought a Cal­gary cou­ple to Maui, they say there’s a qual­ity that sets the big is­land apart from other sun-soaked get­aways.

Les Gom­bik and his wife Cathy Choo have a sec­ond home at Honua Kai Re­sort and Spa in Ka’ana­pali Beach, Maui. This project con­sists of 628 lux­ury units across two U-shaped build­ings on an ocean­front lo­ca­tion. It’s on a 15-hectare stretch of land along Ka’ana­pali Beach, which is about a five-minute drive from Ka­palua com­muter air­port and 50 min­utes away from Maui’s main air­port.

“My wife calls it the ‘Aloha spirit,’ ” says Gom­bik.

“I would say when you come to Maui, every­body is happy, it’s not just the lo­cals, it’s not just the tourists. Wher­ever you go, peo­ple are just much more laid-back and friendly and happy be­cause they’re ei­ther on va­ca­tion or on their hon­ey­moons.

They’re just much more re­laxed.”

That suits Gom­bik and Choo just fine. He’s a cor­po­rate re­cruiter and she’s a pipe­line cor­ro­sion spe­cial­ist. Gom­bik makes it out to Maui three or four times a year, while Choo’s work sched­ule lets her get away more of­ten.

“I have been vis­it­ing Hawaii for prob­a­bly the last 15 to 20 years. It’s just a beau­ti­ful place,” says Gom­bik.

While the cou­ple em­braces the op­por­tu­nity to unwind at their sec­ond home, stay­ing still for too long isn’t their style. They both golf and surf.

“There is a lot of surf­ing and golf­ing, but there’s also a lot of go­ing for hikes, to snorkellin­g, and go­ing on the cata­ma­ran tours,” says Gom­bik.

“It’s just an out­door par­adise.”

There are a num­ber of golf cour­ses well within reach of the project, in­clud­ing Ka’ana­pali Golf Cour­ses and Ka­palua Golf Re­sort. Gom­bik calls both cour­ses world-class.

Com­ing from land­locked Cal­gary, surf­ing didn’t come nat­u­rally for Gom­bik. With that said, he found skills from a pop­u­lar lo­cal sport trans­fer­able when he hit the waves off Maui.

“Surf­ing is some­what sim­i­lar to snow­board­ing and of course when you live in Cal­gary, you’re close to the moun­tains, so it’s just a great sport that gives you a lot of ex­er­cise and it’s a heck of a lot of fun,” he adds.

Other favourite pas­times for visi­tors to Maui in­clude zip-lin­ing, fish­ing and sail­ing tours, din­ner cruises, lo­cal fes- tivals and soak­ing up the area’s rich cul­tural arts and the­atre scenes.

“The snorkellin­g is some of the best I’ve seen, right in front of the re­sort,” says Erika Alm of PowerPlay Desti­na­tion Prop­er­ties, the com­pany that mar­kets and sells the project.

“Peo­ple spend a lot of time in the wa­ter.”

There’s also a lot of ad­mir­ing the wa­ter, which is made easy with the views from the lanais at the de­vel­op­ment, which can be as large as 3,200 square feet. Alm says res­i­dents of­ten use the lanai to re­lax with a good book or fire up the bar­be­cue.

Each tower has roughly 300 homes that in­clude stu­dios that are about 560 square feet, onebed­room units that are about 700 square feet or so, one-bed­room-plus-den plans that reach about 900 square feet, two bed­rooms that are about 1,200 square feet and three-bed­room plans, res­i­dences that go any­where from 1,600 square feet to 3,000 square feet.

Since open­ing in 2009, the de­vel­op­ment is now about 80 per cent sold out.

Units range from $700,000 to $3.8 mil­lion US. All the homes come fur­nished.

“It cer­tainly feels like a very well-made, well-done prop­erty,” says Gom­bik.

When he and his wife aren’t us­ing their place, they rent it out and get strong oc­cu­pancy rates, he adds.

“It com­pletely off­sets the costs, even af­ter the amount of time we spend there,” says Gom­bik.

Honua Kai Re­sort

Palm trees and a man-made wa­ter fea­ture add to the scenery at Honua Kai Re­sort and Spa in Ka’ana­pali Beach, Maui. The lo­ca­tion is close to sev­eral golf cour­ses.

Cal­gary cou­ple Les Gom­bik and Cathy Choo at Honua Kai.

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