‘ Aloha spirit’ thrives on friendly Maui
Beachfront project has 628 luxury units across two U-shaped buildings on oceanfront
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.
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.