It doesn’t look like Paris Hilton let the destruction of the historic town of Lahaina and the deaths of upwards of 96 people spoil her vacation in Maui. It also looks like she didn’t heed the request of Hawaiian tourism officials, who asked tourists and other non-essential travelers to leave the island to free up hotel rooms for residents left homeless by the catastrophe.
On Saturday, Hilton was pictured smiling on the beach at a resort in Wailea, with her husband and son, reported the Daily Mail, which published photos of the family.
Paris Hilton is seen in Hawaii. pic.twitter.com/tqwHLHtngi
— @21metgala (@21metgala) August 14, 2023
Wailea is only 30 miles southeast of Lahaina, which last week suffered the worst wildfire in the United States in the past 100 years. As Hilton reportedly continued to enjoy her vacation, a smaller wildfire was burning Sunday in south Maui’s Kihei area, just five miles from her resort, the Daily Mail also said.
Hilton, her husband Carter Reum and eight-month-old son Phoenix arrived on the island Tuesday — the same day that wildfires swept down out of the mountains, ravaging Lahaina and forcing some residents to flee for safety by jumping into the Pacific Ocean.
But Hilton stayed, which has sparked a massive social media backlash, the Daily Beast reported.
“Paris Hilton is vacationing in Maui at a resort 30 min from Lahaina,” one person tweeted on Sunday. “Imagine watching thousands of ppl lose their homes, loved ones, families etc and then expecting them to SERVE YOU DRINKS WHILE U FROLIC ON THE BEACH IN FRONT OF THEM.”
Another person remarked on her apparent insensitivity by tweeting, “Tone, meet my friend deaf.”
Yet another person quipped, “Paris Hilton heard about the Maui wildfire devastation and said ‘That’s hot.’”
Paris Hilton heard about the Maui wildfire devastation and said
“That’s hot” pic.twitter.com/XfSt8lyjaZ
— America Unmasked (@AmericaUnmaskd) August 14, 2023
A source close to Hilton insisted to the Daily Mail that Hilton has “been absolutely helping” the fire survivors. The source said she had been “gathering supplies and taking them to shelters” and explained that Maui always has “had a special place in her heart.”
It’s true that Hilton has been a regular visitor to Hawaii. She told People as recently as July 23 that she was planning another trip — her first with her son Phoenix who was born via surrogate in January.
“I just can’t wait for Hawaii, because I can’t wait to have him be with all of his cousins,” Hilton said. She also said that she and her sister, Nicky Hilton, had been staying at a certain hotel for many years. The resort has water slides. “It’ll be be really a fun experience to now experience that with our own children.”
On Saturday, the Hawaii tourism board urged travelers to stay away from Maui as the island recovers from the devastating blaze, especially as officials were going to use hotel rooms to house residents who lost their homes, the Daily Beast reported. As many as 4,500 people are currently in need of shelter, West Maui county officials said.
That same day, when Hilton and her family were frolicking on the beach, Hawaiian native Jason Momoa also used his Instagram to urge people not to vacation in Maui amid the ongoing devastation.
“Maui is not the place to have your vacation right now,” the Aquaman star wrote on Instagram before pleading in all-caps, “DO NOT TRAVEL TO MAUI.”