Am I dreaming? “An Evening with Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars” said the top of the menu card perfectly positioned over my place setting on an endlessly long farm table adorned with glittering candles and gorgeous Hawaiian flowers. It got even dreamier: “Fire & Ice Smoked Ahi, Big Island Chili-Glazed Pork Belly and Ulupalakua Beef Tenderloin & Kauai Prawn.” These were just a few of the delicacies in store for our six-course evening—the grand reopening dinner of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s newly designed meeting space.
The feast, complete with a “performance” by the property’s Executive Chef Gregory Grohowski and staff crafting the artistic plates on stage as the servers whisked them away, was sublime, including the presentation of each paired vintage by Marcus Notaro of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars.
The intricately planned and executed evening in the Monarchy Ballroom was a testament to the resort’s ability to pull off events with some of the most innovative elements, including cuisine. It certainly wowed the crowd, as did the stylish, inventive and sustainably designed new meeting spaces.
Highlights include the 18,000-square-foot Monarchy Ballroom, transformed with warm neutral hues and bold splashes of orange in the flooring pattern, designed after the bamboo beater sticks used to color and imprint the patterns on Hawaiian tapa cloths.
Meanwhile, the lighting design is super dramatic, including two long sputnik-like fixtures in the Grand Promenade that call to mind the paddles on either side of a rowing outrigger canoe.
Other meeting rooms were just as intriguing design-wise, with natural stonework, rich woods and decor reflective of Maui’s landscape and culture.
The property also opened the new Halona Kai event lawn overlooking Ka’anapali Beach. The lushly landscaped, 9,500-square-foot space is ideal for outdoor receptions and seated events and features high-tech acoustic and audiovisual systems.
Meanwhile, the resort’s Regency Club was relocated to the lobby level and completely redesigned. The welcoming, 3,333-square-foot space has a fresh contemporary design, and an outdoor terrace overlooks the property’s magnificent gardens.
Groups meeting at the Hyatt Regency Maui will find a lengthy lineup of diversions and amenities. Standouts include the excellent, award-winning Japengo restaurant, Drums of the Pacific Luau, a fascinating astronomy program on the rooftop and exotic wildlife that roams the grounds of the 40-acre resort. Penguin feedings are a treat, as is spying swans, flamingoes and cranes on strolls throughout the property.
Kamaha’o Marilyn Monroe Spa is an inviting sanctuary featuring heavenly massages as well as an oceanfront salon for hair treatments, manicures and pedicures. The venue also doubles as a unique spot for small events. Our group enjoyed a dessert reception complete with tastings of Maui Shrub Farm cocktail and soda elixers.
For the adventurous, Hyatt Regency Maui sports a full collection of waterborne pursuits. Aside from snorkeling, I found stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking were among the awesome ways to see giant sea turtles—of course, the high-tech lenses in the Maui Jim sunglasses our group was gifted probably helped a bit.