Thursday, November 26, 2015         


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Maui resort is runner-up in list of best U.S. hotels

By Erika Engle


The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the second-best hotel in the U.S. after the Elysian Hotel Chicago, according to analysis by U.S. News Media Group. The company used to publish U.S. News & World Report magazine, now an online-only publication, as well as other titles.

On the Net:

» travel.usnews
Its list is based on an analysis of recommendations from published travel experts and consumer reviews in guidebooks and magazines, and from websites. U.S. News analyzed 852 hotels, from which 86 were deemed the best in the U.S.

The site lists 12 pages of Oahu hotels.

Its list of the best hotels in Hawaii County contains nine pages of properties from the ultraluxe to the not-so-much, while there are six pages of Kauai hotels and 10 pages of Maui hotels.

The niggling problem with the overall list of the U.S. News Best Hotels by Destination page is that it offers links to the “Best hotels in Kauai,” the “Best hotels in Maui,” and the “Best hotels in South Padre Island,” alongside the best hotels in various cities. Perhaps they don’t realize that Kauai, Maui and South Padre Island are, well, islands. So, a hotel, resort, home, parked car or feral cat would be located on it, not in it. Star-Advertiser copy editor Seth Markow approved this message.

Travelers omit Hawaiian

Amazingly, a list of airline industry awards was published without Hawaiian Airlines among the winners. Readers of Executive Travel magazine did not single it out as Best Domestic Airline, for Best Customer Service or in any category.

Any sting of omission may have been assuaged by an “Editor’s Pick” award. Hawaiian “demonstrated an inspiring combination of growth, profitability (see and service,” the magazine wrote, citing the airline’s expansion of Japan routes and noting that “Hawaiian’s in-flight service has a reputation for warm island hospitality.”

When 1 store closes …

The former general manager of Pet’s Discount, Ricky Baker, will open a new pet store with wife Debbie. The Pet Hale, already active on Facebook, will open Friday in the former Pet’s Discount space at Waikele Center and will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays.

» Recorded greeting (.mp3)
The last combination Pet’s Discount and Pet’s Central in Salt Lake closed last week, and the owners of parent company M&B Pets Inc. plan to file for bankruptcy, Baker said. The recording greeting callers thanks customers “for 17 great years” and invites them to shop at the Pet Hale.

The store will sell “all the animals that are approved for Hawaii,” including rabbits, guinea pigs, chameleons, fish, birds, mice and puppies. “We buy locally bred puppies. … All of them are not from farms,” he said. Suppliers will include families whose dogs have had litters “and don’t know what to do with them,” he said, adding, “I’ll often buy from 100 different people over the course of a year,” not strictly from breeders.

Baker was with Pet’s Discount for 14 years, and its closing was “bittersweet,” he said. Three or four of the 15 former employees will work at the Pet Hale. Nevertheless, “it is very important to me … that everyone’s clear” that despite his previous employment and the new store’s similar merchandise, “we’re not Pet’s Discount.”

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by email at

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