Meet Eddie Mahoney, Director of Astronomy in Maui
Eddie Mahoney’s fascination with the sky began at seven years old when he witnessed the first manmade satellite to orbit the earth. After more than 15 years of professional astronomy experience plus two master’s degrees, he’s turned that fascination into a successful hospitality career. One you might not have thought of before.
Eddie has been with Hyatt showing the stars since 1988, and today he serves as Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa’s Director of Astronomy. Each night – at three different times – Eddie leads small groups of guests and travelers on an hour-long exploration of the atmosphere. With the help of the hotel’s ninth-floor observatory, two large reflector-type telescopes, and a large pair of astronomical binoculars, he delights families and duos by revealing everything from Saturn’s rings and an 800-times-magnified moon to photography tips.
On the special “couples only” tour, Eddie sets the mood with the beautiful binary star system known as “The Diamond and the Sapphire” and tells tales of romantic mythology behind specific constellations. The tour’s chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne certainly help, too. As you can imagine, he’s aided in numerous romantic proposals.
Eddie is also passionate about inspiring and educating youngsters. In addition to going the extra mile for children on his tours, he was nominated for Solar System Ambassador in 2005 and has hosted astronomy outreach events for organizations including the Boy Scouts and local schools.
“My hope is that our Tour of the Stars experience will inspire a youngster to pursue a career in science or perhaps the hospitality industry,” he said. “My fantasy dream is the day the first human returns from Mars and is asked what inspired him or her to become an astronaut, he or she will respond, ‘When I was a child my parents took me to the Tour of the Stars at the Hyatt Regency Maui and…'”
From his then tree-house observatory to today’s hotel observatory, there’s little about the galaxy that Eddie can’t tell you. Our astrology expert has been featured in popular travel outlets such as Hotel Chatter and Shermans Travel, and Eddie was the lucky recipient of a Sharky Award last year, which honors unexpected and unique discoveries in travel.
After all this time, he still loves giving stargazing tours, particularly to those from large cities where the opportunities aren’t anything like Maui’s view. “Our location 20 degrees north of the equator allows us to view 80 of the 88 constellations throughout the year,” Eddie said. “To experience their awe at viewing the vast expanse of our Milky Way Galaxy for the first time in their lives is truly exhilarating.”