Our gift guide features glorious local gift ideas for your family and friends, and exclusive offers for our readers only. But first, we offer a few gift-giving guidelines:
1. Never give practical items as gifts. Classic items are universally coveted. Everyone loves food, so you really can’t go wrong with a box of chocolates, basket of fruit, or bottle of wine. Buy local, because it benefits every one of us one way or another.
2. Shopping local supports Maui businesses, thus your friends can stay in business so you’ll have somewhere cool to shop again next year. So much Aloha.
3. Just about everyone who loves food also loves pampering. So WCM expanded our gift suggestions beyond Maui food and wine to include locally available spa indulgences.
So without further ado, enjoy these Valley Isle gift suggestions for every Maui lover on your list.
Maui Prime – Lahaina
Suggestion: Gourmet pantry items, caviar, wines, hostess gifts
Deal: 15% Off Non-Perishables to WCM Readers
Maui Prime offers a plethora of foodie pleasing fare which puts them on top of WCM’s holiday gift giving list. Karin Buttons has been bragging for months about new items in this year’s holiday line-up including the Graviti Pepper Mill. If you haven’t tried this little culinary miracle you owe it to yourself to get one. Simply turn the stylishly designed mill upside down and gravity sends a signal to grind da peppah – automatically! No elbow grease necessary! Like having a remote for your TV; once you own one you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Through December 25th, Maui Prime is offering WCM readers 15% off all non-perishables in the store, (just mention you saw it here) including great hostess gifts such as little rubbah slippah coasters for stem wine glasses (for those loveable but ring-leaving friends), premium Laguiole corkscrews for only $15.95 (perfect for sending a double entendre to your boss or delighting the oenophiles on your list), delectable pantry items and spices (have you tried the Bacon Salt yet?) and all sort of sensational sundry items superbly suited to stuffing stockings. (So we can with you mewwy cwithmuth.)
Let Karin, Will, or Cary help you put together a Gift Basket filled with gourmet items including Raincoast Crisps, Pumpkin Ravioli, Ciopino Sauce (just add fresh seafood!), Trampetti Olive Oil, Kula Lavender Seasonings and Jams … you get the idea.
Who Cut The Cheese – Kihei
Suggestion: Gourmet Food and Great Wines, Serveware, Hostess Gifts
Deal: 10% discount on 3 bottles of any bubbles! 4 truffle cheeses for a party of 6 with Aussie waterwheels only $34.99.
Way down on the south side of the island in Kihei, Anne Tuomela, owner and Big Cheese at Who Cut the Cheese also stocks a plethora of gift items perfect for the foodies on your list. WCM loves (and would LOVE to receive) the wooden canapé trays that hold both food and a wine glass for $16.95. There is simply no other way to schmooze and booze at the same time, if you ask us.
Another great item at Who Cut The Cheese is the beautiful parquet style cutting board emblazoned with Who Cut the Cheese’s logo in the center for $27.99 and a Cheese Slicer for $25.99, that every respectable hostess would cherish owning.
Then there is wine! Say “Hello” to the holidays with Halo! WCTC’s November newsletter touts this wonderful Tete Cuvee from Trefethen as “a real block buster Cabernet Sauvignon named after their two children Haley and Lauren. The grapes are hand selected from their reserve vineyards to master a very approachable and quite a delectable wine. Only 400, 3-pack cases were produced. A superb gift for your wine-loving friend – $174.99 per bottle.” Or why not sign up a friend or family member in the Wine Club for Cheesemongers. Your friends or family will receive a red and a white global wine selection for 3 months for only $130 plus tax.
Maui Brewing Company – Kahana and Lahaina
Suggestion: Logo Wear, Mini-kegs
Deal: 10% off website orders with special code WCM09
Whether it’s a refillable mini-Keg for your lager lovin’ friend, or a darling fitted T for your favorite gal, Maui Brewing is the local place to nab an exclusive to Maui gift item. Get this – through Christmas What’s Cooking Maui readers net a 10% discount on all orders by entering the special code WCM09.
Maui Grown Coffee – Kaanapali
Suggestion: Coffee, Mugs
Deal: Website items currently 10-20% discount
Maui Grown Coffee, which purportedly originated in Ethiopia and now grows only in Kaanapali, makes a fantastic holiday gift for everyone on your list! Currently they are running some value priced specials including a Gift Pack of Yule Fuel and Maui Christmas blends for only $18.95. All coffee and gift items including this adorable mug are specially priced and available at their retail store located next to the smokestack in downtown Lahaina, or through their online marketplace.
Ali`I Lavender Farm – Kula
Suggestion: Lavender Scented Gifts and Culinary Items, The World’s Best Doggie Shampoo!
Deal: All sorts of specials, gift with purchase and for WCM Readers, 20% off Teas!
Maui’s beloved Ali`I Lavender Farm products are perennial gift basket and spa favorites. So popular are they, that in this sole instance WCM recommends a gift card, for ‘tis likely everyone on your list has a stash of Lavender products in their cupboard and/or would appreciate the occasion to start one.
Whether or not there is a baby in your life or your gift list, nurture your own inner child with Lavender Baby Powder or bliss in a bottle, Lavender Spritzer. For your peep with furry friends, the Lavender Pet Shampoo is a must-have item! I could even start to like dogs if they all smelled like Lavender.
Besides the array of soothing spa products, Ali`I Lavender also produces the crème de la crème of culinary lavender products including spices, teas, dressing, tea, cookies and even lavender popcorn!
As for specials, when you buy a box of Lavender Chocolate Truffles ($25.00) add a box of Lavender Shortbread Cookies for only $4 more! (Normally an $8 value.) Plus, WCM readers can click this link for a coupon redeemable for 20% off boxes of tea (for use in the gift shop only.) Bring in your own teacup and get a cup of tea for free! Wednesday, December 16, 2009 shoppers save 10% on all home accents, Lavender Deco Pillow, Lavender Closet Sachet, Lavender Squeeze Bag, Lavender Dryer Bag, Lavender Pillow Insert, Eye Pillow, Citrus Cleaner and both Soy and/or Flame less Candles, while supplies last. This just in – all sorts of deals now offered on Lavender Gift Shop items!!
Maui Culinary Academy – Kahului
Suggestion: Rubs and Jams
Deal: Help Support the Education of Your Future Favorite Chef
Give a little to the community, stuff a few stockings, put one treat aside for yourself – ah, it’s the magic of Christmas!
One of the wonders of life in Maui is the presence of the Maui Culinary Academy. Besides preparing aspiring chefs and managers for competencies in three specialties areas: Culinary Arts, Baking, and Restaurant Supervision, MCA students also staff a food court, run the Class Act Restaurant, host community events and produce gourmet products in-house. Purchase Raspberry Wine Jelly and Roasted Pineapple Jam for $10 at this website and help promote the careers of Maui’s future chefs.
Jeff’s Jams and Jellies – Kula
Suggestion: James, Jellies, Butters and Condiments
Deal: Well priced, all locally grown and hand crafted
Speaking of the MCA as a training ground for chefs, Jeffrey Gomes, owner of Jeff’s Jams & Jellies, is an American Culinary Federation Certified Chef who was born and raised on Maui and earned his degree in Food Services at Maui Community College in 1989. During the next decade, he was the Sous Chef and the Chef in four different hotels and restaurants on Maui until he opened Jeff’s Jams & Jellies, creating recipes for unique jams, jellies, butters and other condiments made from the tropical fruits of Maui.
All of the products from Jeff’s Jams & Jellies are produced in a certified kitchen. Jeff’s products are available in various retail stores on Maui and other neighbor islands. You can also buy them directly from Jeff at the Maui Swap Meet on Saturdays and at Maui’s Own Craft Fair. Now you can purchase these fine tropical jams, jellies and seasonings right from this web site. Locally born, raised and educated, doing business on Maui with products grown in Maui – you can’t beat that for buying local!
Pineapple Grill –Kapalua
Suggestion: Signature Dressing, Coffees, Logo Wear, Aprons
Deal: 15% from PG’s Online Shop for WCM Readers
Pineapple Grill is indisputably one of What’s Cooking Maui’s favorite dining spots and we aren’t alone. The restaurant and Chef Ryan Luckey have racked up a wall full of awards in the past few years. Guests can enjoy the taste of Pineapple Grill at home, too, with a bottle of their luscious Pineapple Vinaigrette – the secret ingredient that makes the award winning restaurant’s salads so popular.
They also sell Hawaiian Alae (red) Sea Salt Shakers, beautiful for hostess gifts or your own table, for only $15.00. Any of the three styles of chef’s aprons adorned with the Pineapple Grill logo would be welcomed in any chef’s stocking. Prices range from $15-$18 – that’s before the special discount being extended to What’s Cooking Maui readers through Christmas. Order anything from their online store, mention the Code WCM09 and you’ll take it all home for 15% less that everyone else!
Restaurant Gift Cards – Island Wide
Suggestion: Ruth’s Chris, Lahaina Grill
Deal: Buy a $250 gift card, get $25 back for later from Ruth’s Chris
With the holiday season just around the corner, Ruth’s Chris makes gift giving even more rewarding. For a limited time, you’ll receive 10% back in bonus cards* for every gift purchase of $250 or more. An unforgettable dining experience is the perfect gift for friends, family, and colleagues. Card is accepted at Ruth’s Chris restaurants throughout the United States and Canada but best used on Maui at the Wailea or Lahaina locations
Nothin’ much I’d rather find in my Christmas stocking than a Gift Certificate from Lahaina Grill! If I were to receive one on Christmas morning, I’d snuggle up to the bar on December 26th, order a glass of wine from Mary, follow that with the Ahi and Foie Gras Appetizer, feast on Lion Paw Scallops for my entrée, and for dessert, Triple Berry Pie, of course. (See our article on Local Maui Food Favorites! TBP is on everyone’s list!)
Maggie Coulombe – Lahaina
Suggestion: Anything Maggie creates and sells!
Deal: In-Store Special – mention WCM
This doesn’t happen often. Maybe once in a blue moon does Maui’s famed designer, Maggie Coulombe, offer special prices for her fabulous designer clothing. With the likes of Terri Hatcher, Halle Berry, and Jennifer Love Hewitt snapping up Maggie’s clothes then trotting all over the globe and being snapped by paparazzi while wearing them, you’d think such high fashion items would be off limits for us mere mortals.
However, this is Christmas and dreams can come true, dear WCM reader. So make haste to Maggie’s 505 Front Street atelier and cause your own traffic jam when you strut your stuff like the bad girls of tinsel town wearing Maggie’s figure flattering creations. Just tell Arid you read about it in What’s Cooking Maui and he’ll take care of everything.
Westin Heavenly Spa – Kaanapali
Suggestion: Yoga Wear, Spa Potions, Skin Care
Deal: Spa Wear 25% off, Kama`aina Discounts, Savings on Spa Treatments
The Westin Kaanapali was the first Heavenly Spa in the country and the second spa in the world to receive SpaExcellenceSM certification. Since opening 5 years ago the 15,000 square foot facility has won numerous awards including SPA Magazine’s Annual Silver Sage Award, and Readers’ Choice Named Heavenly Spa the Favorite Resort/Hotel Spa in Hawaii & the South Pacific.
Why not book an early holiday gift for yourself or a loved one? Revitalize and save before the holidays with a “Visons of” Sugar Plum Facial to pamper your skin with a delicious sugar plum treat. A refreshing and revitalizing cleanse, toner and masque infuse your skin with essential nutrients, iron and vitamins while plum and green tea extracts help reduce the signs of aging and normalize uneven skin tones leaving your skin with a healthy heavenly glow.
Isn’t that what every woman wants for Christmas? Through December get 50 minutes of beauty bliss and pay only $120 (Regular price – $140). Kama`aina discounts are always available at the Westin Spa, so check out their extensive line of beauty and skin care products such as Pevonia Botanica and Éminence Organic Skin Care. Selected items from the spa shop’s Zensei and Green Dragon clothing lines are now 35% off.
Lei Spa – Lahaina, 505 Front Street
Suggestion: Facial Spritzer, Honey and Almond Scrub, Gift Baskets, Oceanfront Massage
Deal: 25% off for WCM Readers, Free Gift Wrap!
Lei Spa is one of the few independent spas in Maui to be mentioned in Fodor’s guide for good reason! The customer service is over the top, and the spa practitioners rank among the top in Maui. During this holiday season Lei Spa is extending WCM readers a fabulous stress-busting deal – a 50min Massage with FREE Foot Scrub and Reflexology for $85!!
Celebrities flock to Lei Spa when on Maui to hoard many of the spa’s famous natural, locally produced producing including LEI SPA Energizing Water, available to WCM readers for 25% off as is the LEI SPA Honey and Almond Scrub (which received great reviews in Hawaii Women Magazine last year.) The scrub has triple benefits- it is an excellent everyday facial scrub or use it on your feet in the shower! The third benefit? Ask your partner…
Lei Spa also offers FREE gift wrap plus they will include a custom Spa Basket for FREE for WCM readers (up to $5 value alone!) For a truly top-notch gift, give one of Lei Spa’s best kept secrets to a loved one or friend – the beach massage. Set up on the beach/luau grounds next to Tiki sculptures and the rest is sand, breeze, ocean and bliss! (60min $125)
For more super Deals, check out this week’s Dining Deals Feature!