Maui News

Maui Reflects on Being “Nō Ka ʻOi” for 19th Time

October 17, 2012, 12:17 PM HST
* Updated October 17, 1:20 PM
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‘Iao Valley on Maui is one of the island’s most visited destinations. Photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

For an unprecedented 19th time, Maui captured “Best US Island,” formerly “Best Pacific Island” in the 25th Annual Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.

With a score of 92.1, Maui topped all other island and city destinations named to the poll with the publication recognizing Maui as best in the world.

Conde Nast Traveler Annual Readers’ Poll also scored “The Magic Isle” Best Destination Overall.

“This award belongs to all the people of Maui and especially the residents of our visitor industry,” said Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa.  “Maui nō ka ʻoi, or Maui is the best, is a common Hawaiian refrain. Today, we can hold our heads high as we all celebrate this wonderful honor together.”


In the Best US Island category, sister island Kauai placed­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ 2nd (89.3) and Kiawah, SC (88.8) came in third. Oahu was 4th (87), St. Simons, GA placed 5th (85.7), and Lana’i and Hawai’i Island tied for 6th (85.1).


“While the natural beauty and gracious aloha of our people make this possible, our individual scores reveal our guests appreciate Maui’s varied offerings – fantastic hotels and resorts, incredible dining experiences and myriad activities, both on land and ocean,” said Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau executive director Terryl Vencl in a statement.

“While there are abundant adventures at hand, we know our guests relish the freedom to be as active or relaxed as they choose. I believe this coveted award speaks to that. We are truly honored,” she said.

Other top island destinations worldwide were published earlier and included winners in the following geographical categories: Caribbean/Atlantic (Bermuda, 87.2), Australia & The Pacific (Bora Bora, 86.7), Canada (Vancouver Island, 82), Asia (Bali, 81.8) and Europe (Bozcaada and The Turkish Aegean Islands, 80.8).


Maui’s score once again surpassed all other top destinations globally, beating out every “Best City” category winner including US (Charleston, SC, 86.7), Africa (Capetown, 84.8), Europe (Florence, 83.3), Asia (Bangkok, 83), Canada (Vancouver, 81.9), Australia & the Pacific (Sydney, 81.7), Central & South America (Buenos Aires, 76.1), Caribbean & The Atlantic (Gustavia, St. Barts, 71.1) and Mexico (San Miguel De Allende, 71.1).

In the “Top 25 Hawaii Resorts” category, Maui County dominated with 11 properties honored; four of the top five are Lana’i and Maui resorts.

Topping the list was the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele (96.2); followed by Hawai’i Island’s Four Seasons Resort Hualalai which placed second (95.2); #3 is Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay (94.7); #4 is the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea (93.9); and #5 is Wailea Beach Villas (93.7).

Other Maui resorts honored include: #9 Fairmont Kea Lani (89.8), #11 Honua Kai Resort & Spa (87.5), #15 Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (87.1), #16 Travaasa Hana (86.5) and #17 Grand Wailea (86.4). The 23rd ranking went to Westin Maui Resort & Spa (82.1) and Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa (82) placed 24th.

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