Maui Sun Club
LocationHonokalani Ranch overlooking Keawaiki bay on the road to Wai‘ānapanapa State Park. The property featured groves of wild bananas, guavas, mangoes and papayas, all overgrown with creeping hou vines. Though the club was nine minutes outside the town of Hāna, the mailing address — Post Office Box 286, Pu‘unēnē — led many to believe they were in the old sugar town close to the Kahului Airport.
John and Georgianna Dryer had purchased Honokalani Ranch close to Hāna in 1993. Together, they raised livestock as well as grow fruits and vegetables. In July 1998, after working diligently to ready the property to become the island’s only nude resort, John applied for — and received — state certification for the Maui Sun Club.
Then, at 21:21 on the evening of Monday 9th November 1998, John collided with a teenager standing on the side of the dark road whilst bicycling along Kaumālapa‘u Highway near Miki Basin Road on the Island of Lāna‘i. The Maui County Police reported the boy never saw John before being hit and received minor injuries; however, the impact caused John to sustain a fatal head injury in the crash. He was 52.
Maui Sun Clubaloha attire gathered on Saturday 22nd November for a memorial service at Wai‘ānapanapa State Park with a reception afterwards at the ranch. Along with Georgianna, John was survived by son Joel and daughter Shawn Kaiwi; father Eldon, brothers Don and Doug; four grandchildren; and the ‘ohana of Hāna residence. The temptation to leave behind the new club never crossed Georgianna’s mind. This was their dream and she knew John wanted her to move forward.
Hāna, itself, is one of the most isolated communities in Hawai‘i. It is reached via the famous Hāna Highway — a winding, narrow ribbon of pavement 46 of its 59 bridges are only one-lane wide — or the less travelled Pi‘ilani Highway. Maui Sun Club offered a convenient base for guests to explore the natural wonders of eastern Maui like Wai‘ānapanapa State Park, Red Sand Beach at Kaihalulu, Waioka pond — also known as the Venus Pool — and Makahiku waterfall and the Seven Pools on ‘Ohe‘o gulch stream to name a few.
Georgianna would occasionally take club guests in her “Maui cruiser” truck to the end of ‘Ula‘ino Road where they’d trek through the jungle and along the rugged beach to Helele‘ike‘ōhā — also known as the Blue Pool. The freshwater swimming hole with a waterfall backdrop and cascading impatiens was her favourite place to watch the sunrise. “Floating [nude] in the pool and listening to the waterfall as I watch the waves, I feel blessed with a simple abundance and completely connected to nature. That’s what my lifestyle is all about.”
Accolades and praises abounded for Maui Sun Club for its beauty, and Georgianna was the consummate hostess. Visitors from all points on the globe made this their holiday destination. Yet the emotional and financial strain of operating the retreat took its toll. By mid-2006, the decision was made to close and sell Honokalani Ranch. According to public records, it appears that Georgianna has moved to Utah and apparently remarried. Ironically, the state business registration for Maui Naturist Retreat d/b/a Maui Sun Club remains valid until the 30th September, 2013.