LETTER: Maui Lu Remembered as “Living Link” to Old Hawaiʻi
Opinion pieces, analyses and letters are intended to provide a diverse range of views from our community. They are not intended to represent the views of Maui Now.
By Errol Craig Sull
There are joys in life, and then there are joys that bring smiles to one’s face and some tap dancing to one’s mind when that joy is revisited – and such is the Maui Lu for my wife and me.
We stayed here for 18 years, 2-3 weeks at a time, with our last visit earlier this year.
It was old Hawaiʻi, something to be found in smaller and smaller doses, sadly.
The pool shaped like Maui … the many palm trees scattered about the property … the old-style Hawaiian Dickey-styled roofs … the vast expanse of sloping front lawn with its ever-present white cattle cranes … the beautiful long driveway with its cathedral of palms …. the old-fashioned non-neon, nothing-fancy “Maui Lu” sign out front … the wonderful, wonderful staff (at the counter, on the grounds, making the beds, fixing the doors): these could never be translated into one overall description, but rather only experienced and felt – and what a beautiful, serene, enjoyable feeling these gave us each time we stayed at the Maui Lu.
Was the Maui Lu a top-of-the-line hotel? Did it have the expected amenities of quiet and fast elevators, newly appointed rooms, valet parking, no critters in the rooms, wi-fi throughout, and restaurants?
No – its one elevator was old and creaky; its rooms had some plaster peeling and a noisy air conditioning unit; the parking lot was open and at your own risk; a gecko or two could be found running across the walls; wi-fi only made it into each room a couple of years ago; and there was no restaurant (the one that was on the grounds, the ʻUkulele Grill, closed many years ago).
Certainly, some came to the Maui Lu because its lack of modern day features and rooms translated into rates far less expensive than nearly all other resorts and hotels on Maui.
For my wife and me, we were pulled into the Maui Lu each year by that step back into the days of Gordon Gibson when he first built the place: while not offering the accouterments nor the dazzle nor the glitz it did give so much of what Hawaiians call ʻuhane – the Hawaiian spirit. The Maui Lu offered that up in large portions each year, and we were the better for it when we stayed there, and our memories the better that we experienced it.
We shall miss our old friend dearly, and so should all who visited or live on Maui, for the Maui Lu was one of the few living links to old Hawaiʻi, and whenever these disappear a tear or two need be shed, as they can never be replaced.
Thank you, Maui Lu, for making our lives richer simply because you were there.
Errol Craig Sull
(columnist, USA Today)