Can a holiday change one’s destiny? It certainly can. We find out firsthand how a fateful trip to Maui inspired Yale graduate Anne Pawsat to give up her high-flying career in London to launch her successful company Hawaii Hideaways and in the process revolutionalize both her own life and the vacation rental business on the archipelago.

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I was living in London in 2003 when my sister asked me to visit Maui. I pictured Hawaii like parts of Florida – highrise condos, overcrowded, and more kitsch than charm. My sister convinced me to come and visit nonetheless. Everything was the opposite. Leaving the dreary weather and poor diet of the UK, I arrived in Maui to find a true paradise of healthy people, spectacular surroundings and business opportunities.

Hawaii is so physically beautiful. Every island is different and each offers a remarkable landscape and sense of place. The culture is inviting – the aloha spirit truly gives a warm embrace. The people are very physically active, healthy and happy! Maui was a total counterpoint to my life in London. So, I returned to the UK to pack my bags and move out to Maui for good. My move was whimsical, but it did not take long before business opportunities revealed themselves.

The vacation rental business was just getting underway. Vacationers were already coming to Hawaii and spending $100K to rent a luxury home for one week. The service, however, was not of the same caliber. No one had yet fully embraced the high-end hospitality aspect of the vacation rental business and that was my opportunity. I created Hawaii Hideaways to not only offer luxury vacation rental homes throughout the islands of Hawaii, but to also offer a comparable service.

Very quickly our customers appreciated what we had to offer: the basic concierge services that were oftentimes lacking with the other services with the added advantage of meeting the personal and complicated requests that come with this business. For instance, importing a client’s bed from Hong Kong, custom making screens to fit a wraparound lanai, arranging a home to placate family squabbles and of course the 24-hour service and availability that this business requires.

When I started Hawaii Hideaways, other companies were waiting days to fix air conditioning, if it ever got fixed at all. I introduced a model that said we will get everything right and if there is a hiccup, every avenue will be exhausted to rectify the situation. Soon, everyone on the island wanted to work with us. Hawaii Hideaways became a well-oiled machine and synonymous with the best service on the islands.

Our clients are happy. This makes working with Hawaii Hideaways a pleasure for everyone. For us, nothing is more enjoyable than showing our clients the natural beauty of Hawaii. The fun part is cultivating the various different vacations – active, sporty, relaxing, spa, golf, – whatever is requested, we create it. The common denominator is always luxury accommodations and first-class service. We were the first to introduce full-service vacations on all the islands of Hawaii and we have been delivering that service for over 10 years, with the spirit of Aloha.

Hawaii Hideaways includes over 60 top-echelon, exclusive rental properties, furnished to Architectural Digest-level standards. To learn more about their fabulous repertoire of Hawaii luxury rentals or request a booking, visit their profile here.