Costco Field Trip: Maui

April 28th, 2015 · 11 Comments

We decided to take a trip to Maui for a spot of relaxation and laziness.  And naturally that meant we had to check out the Costco there as well.  We were fortunate too in that our hotel had a bit of a kitchenette in our suite so we could get some snacks and things for dinner and not just sightsee.   Plus, we did buy a couple of things that we can’t get here in the UK, like the Eos lip balm, but mostly we bought things to eat while we were in Maui.

Costco Maui

Costco Maui

At first blush the Costco in Maui is pretty much like any other Costco location around the world, but if you look a little closer you’ll realize there are definitely some products there that you are not going to see at other locations.  For instance, you can get fresh flower leis, poke, smoked marlin spread, and poi.  Overall, the prices were probably a bit higher than at other Costco locations in the US, though I am only guessing on that one.  However, they are so much more reasonably priced than all of the other supermarkets that going here seems like the only sensible option to me.

We decided to go late afternoon on a Monday because I wanted to avoid any potential crowds by going on the weekend and I also just wanted some time to recuperate from all the flying and time change.  Getting up at 2 am makes me tired it seems, especially after 20+ hours of flying.  Anyway, the Maui Costco was lightly busy when we were there but the store was nice and cool and there was lots to look at so we just took our time browsing through everything.

Speedo swim trunks

Speedo swim trunks

Clearly if you are in Maui you are probably going to be spending some time in a pool or at the beach, so naturally Costco has lots of swimsuit options for both men and women.  They had the Kirkland Signature MiracleSuit for women for just $29.99 because they were $5.00 off.  But they had some Speedo suits for a bit less too.  For men they had a bunch of different swim trunk options priced between $15.99 and $19.99.  Dave decided to get a new pair of Speedo trunks.  They are really soft feeling, so not that stiff uncomfortable material that you find on so many swim trunks, plus they have a handy pocket where you can keep your room key safe.  And they were just $15.99, which is definitely less than we would have paid in London to get these.  They also had other beach items, like towels and sunscreen (of course) but I seem to have forgotten to snap a photo of those things and don’t recall the pricing.

Ahi sashimi

Ahi sashimi

I think the food is always where you can really see the differences in the locations though, and this Costco was no exception to that rule.  One of the things that we were definitely hoping to find was some good sashimi and sushi.  While the selection is not as wide as you will find in Japan, they had some really fresh and absolutely gorgeous ahi sashimi at an excellent price.  We picked up two of these to eat for dinner and we were definitely not disappointed.  The ahi was so fresh and had that perfect soft texture that you only get when it is a good quality, plus I liked that they included enough wasabi and Yamasa soy sauce as well as two sets of chop sticks.  Our tray of ahi weighed 1.49 pounds for $20.85 (that’s $13.99 per pound) and that amounted to about 40 pieces of sashimi.  This was so much better than what we had found at any of the local supermarkets and at a better price too, so you can’t beat that.

Lobster roll

Lobster roll

Costco also had a couple of different rolls that we tried too.  We got a spicy ahi roll and a lobster roll, both are $11.99 for two eight piece rolls (16 pieces in total with a weight of 1 pound).   Both of the rolls were delicious and I’m not sure I could pick a favourite.  The spicy ahi roll was way better than I usually get, espeically at supermarkets but even from some sushi places.  I think the spicy mayo they use is the distinguishing factor and definitely had a good flavour with the right amount of spicy.  That said the lobster roll was also delicious!  What really impressed us though was that neither of these suffered from that overly crunchy, dry rice that you usually find in supermarket sushi, and while that means they are tasty it also means that they won’t fall apart when you’re trying to eat them.  This might be because of the way Costco makes their rice or just that they have fresher rolls.  In any case, we were really pleased to find such nice stuff at Costco.

Fresh Poke station

Fresh Poke station

One of the unique things that you will find in the Maui Costco, and I’m guessing all of the Hawaii Costco locations, is Poke.  Poke is basically a salad made with cubes of ahi, though they also have a version that is made with seaweed.  They might have the seaweed version at Costco, but mostly what they have is poke made with ahi and various flavourings.  We decided to try the wasabi flavour which is made up of fresh ahi, wasabi, tobbiko, Hawaiian salt, green onion, Kukui nut, and sesame seeds.  I think it was all about the same price of $17.99 as the one we chose.  If you like sushi, you really have to try this and I’m pretty sure there’s no way you won’t like it.  The wasabi version was delicious and we really wish we had gotten more.  It was a great blend of flavours and tasted to fresh and yummy, and was definitely a perfect end to a hard day of laying by the pool.  Also, if you’re looking for the poi, you’ll find it right over by the fresh poke station.

Real Tim Tams from Australia

Real Tim Tams from Australia

Other tasty treats that we found:  Tim Tams!  And these aren’t the fake ones, these are the genuine, Australian version.  Naturally, we had to get some.  There are five packs in the box at Costco: two milk chocolate, two dark chocolate, and one chewy caramel.  So you get all of those for $13.99 or $2.80 per pack which I think is a really good deal.  I like the milk chocolate version best.  What can I say, I’m a purist.  But the chewy caramel is pretty good too.  I’m not a big dark chocolate fan so it is a good thing that Dave likes it.  These are definitely one of the things that we can’t get in the UK so these were a great surprise and a tasty treat.  I want to know why they can have these in Hawaii but we can’t get them here in the UK.

Costco Hawaii reusable bags

Costco Hawaii reusable bags

If you’re a Costco tourist like I am, you might want to consider getting the set of special Hawaii reusable bags.  They are so cute with a map of all of the islands and a Hawaii specific wave and flower motif.  We needed to get bags to carry all of our purchases back to the hotel, so that is why we even spotted these and I’m glad that we did.  Aside from the cute design of them, I like that there are two big bags that are 20″x14″ and then two that are smaller at 16″x16″.  Plus, they have a sleeve inside where you can stand up bottles to keep them from crushing everything else in the bag and of course they have shoulder straps and short handles too.  The set of four bags was $6.69 and is a perfect souvenir for those of us that are Costco Crazy.  They were kind of hidden away next to the door into one of the cold rooms, the one where juice and dairy products reside, I believe.  So if you’re looking for them, you’ll have to do a bit of search.

Hawaiian Host Alohamacs

Hawaiian Host Alohamacs

If you’re looking to get the traditional gift of chocolate covered macadamia nuts to bring home for all of your unlucky friends and family that didn’t get to go to Maui, you definitely want to pop into Costco.  We ended up getting a pack of six boxes of Hawaiian Host AlohaMacs (that’s milk chocolate covered macadamia nuts) for $18.99 at Costco.  They had a number of different varieties of the chocolate covered ones, but also plain macadamia nuts and other Hawaii treats like that.  Thankfully the pack that I got came with a pop up carrying handle so they were easy to get home.  Though, beware, because everyone in the airports (except the one in Maui) will try to talk you out of your macadamia nuts!  I told the nice TSA team in New York that I was pretty sure that they hadn’t melted and thus were not subject to the 3 ounce liquid restriction.  But really, Costco is the place to buy these treats to take home with you because at other places a single box of these same candies was someplace between $6.00 and $13.00!  They had a nice twelve pack of four different varieties too that was around $30.00.  The nice thing is that these are right at the front of the store so you can just pop in on your way to the airport and get in and out pretty quickly.

This Costco location is really conveniently located for the airport which makes it the perfect place to fill up your rental car as you are getting ready to return it.  And if you’ve got a weirdly timed flight, ours was departing at 9:30 pm, Costco is also a nice place to stop for a quick snack before you get on your flight.  We got a hot dog and soda, but were kind to all of the people on our flight and skipped the onions.  They have a nice covered area for their food court that is big and has plenty of seating space too.  We were amazed at the bustling business that they were doing in the early evening but there were still plenty of places to sit.

Obviously, Maui is gorgeous and a perfect place to relax, so there’s really nothing to not enjoy.  Since we’ve been to Maui a few times before we didn’t feel pressure to do anything touristy, except visit Costco, which made this probably the most relaxing holiday I’ve had in a long, long time.  I caught up on reading all of the books that I’ve been collecting on my Kindle for the last year too.  I even almost have a bit of a tan on my normally Casper-like skin.  I’m sure no one else would notice but me though.


Tags: Food · General · Locations Share

11 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Mahalia // 2016.06.07 at 12:53 pm

    The accident of finding this post has briehtgned my day

  2. 2 Sharon // 2015.05.13 at 1:36 pm

    Love, Love your comments and info!!!!
    When you were in Costco, Maui did you happen to try”Skinny Nite Out”?
    It is a Lemon Drop Martini Mix ( no liquor) that is new to Costco. Only 15 calories!!
    I mixed mine with Kirkland Vodka and OMG!!!!!
    Hope you get to try it soon…. ; )

  3. 3 Nan // 2015.04.29 at 3:34 pm

    This was very interesting, thanks for the report. What fun that you have been able to visit Costco in so many different places and countries.

  4. 4 Therese Monahan // 2015.04.28 at 12:46 pm

    Tim Tams. Yum!

  5. 5 Justin Liu // 2015.04.28 at 11:34 am

    Some mainland Costcos (at least our Santa Clara, CA warehouse) have been carrying poke for at least several months. Also, my favorite gift to bring back from the Maui Costco is the big bag of mac nut Hershey’s Kisses. While I have seen versions of the Hawaiian Host chocolates in California, I don’t recall seeing the Kisses outside of Hawaii, which makes them an extra special treat for me.

    • 6 Kimberly // 2015.04.28 at 11:30 pm

      @Justin – I can see poke being available in California, probably anywhere that Costco can get really fresh ahi. I did not see the Hershey’s Kisses with macadamia nuts but wish I would have – Yum!

  6. 7 Snoskred // 2015.04.28 at 8:33 am

    There are a couple of great Hawaii Costco posts – specifically for Oahu – on a blog called The Tasty Island for anyone who might be travelling there. 🙂 If you’d be ok with me posting links to them let me know and I’ll hunt them down for you.

  7. 10 Beverly Y Carney // 2015.04.28 at 5:50 am

    We sure appreciate the sacrifices you make on behalf of your blog. Shopping in Maui! Wow.

    • 11 Kimberly // 2015.04.28 at 11:34 pm

      @Beverly – It’s hard to be the sacrificial shopper! LOL

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