Where to stay in Maui

Deciding where to stay in Maui is the hardest part in planning this trip because there are so many options to choose from. To simplify the process I’ve broken this up into 4 parts:

  1. What area in Maui to stay at
  2. Types of Maui Accommodations I need
  3. Best Maui Hotels, Condos and Resorts
  4. Best Rates on Maui Hotels, Condos and Resorts

 

Maui consists of 6 major areas and here’s a break down of each.

Where to stay in Maui

 

East Side

hana - 8

It’s a remote area of Maui but it has lots to offer such as the Road to Hana.  It’s very lush and green filled with unique beaches and water falls. Since this is a remote area, no major hotels.  Mostly bed and breakfasts and small Inns.   Hana can be budget friendly as well as pricey, especially properties with an ocean view.  There’s the popular Travaasa Resort and Spa and the Hana Kai Maui for the more affordable option.  You can also try AirBnb or VRBO for private rentals.

Who is it for?

  • Couples & Honeymooners
  • Travelers who wants some R&R and have low key a vacation
  • Travelers who wants to spend more than 1 day exploring the Road to Hana
  • Solo Travelers
  • Nature Lovers
  • Adventurers and thrill seekers who want to explore Maui’s natural beauty

What is it good for?

  • Road to Hana
  • outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, surfing, camping and swimming
  • Seeing Maui’s natural and untouched beauty

What’s not so good?

  • The drive has 52 miles of twisty and winding roads
  • No night life
  • Very few selection of restaurants and shops.

 

West Side

Where to stay in Maui - West Maui

It’s home to the Kaanapali, Lahaina, Kapalua and Napili areas and to many beautiful beaches. It has a mixture of luxury hotels and condos. Some hotels and condos are right on the beach with a nice paved walkaway along the beach.  Beach access, restaurants, shops and ocean activities are either within walking distance or a short drive away.  Lahaina, the most visited spot in Maui is a very touristy area with a wide variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment and bars on Front Street that is right across from the beach.  The West side is very welcoming but It just comes with a hefty price tag!  Kaanapali Beach Hotel is on the “affordable” side or try The Ilikahi a small boutique or if you want to spend the big cheese stay at the Kapalua Bay Resort

Who is it for?

  • Couples & Honeymooners
  • Families with children
  • Travelers who want to relax and frolic on the many beaches on the west side
  • Travelers who want to shop and do main tourist attractions

What is it good for?

  • Shopping – Whaler’s Village & Lahaina Front Street
  • Sunset View
  • Outdoor activities – snorkeling, golfing and sunbathing
  • Great night life at Lahaina Front Street
  • Awesome eats such as Lahaina Grill and Star Noodles
  • Beaches: Kaanapali, Kapalau Bay, Napili Bay, D.T. Fleming Beach, Oneloa Beach, Honolua Bay, and Mokule’ia Bay

What’s not so good?

  • Far from airport, Haleakala and Hana
  • Pricey accommodations
  • Can get congested during rush hours

 

South Side

It’s the sunnier side of Maui that has many great beaches, restaurants, shopping and activities. It’s home to the Kihei, Wailea and Makena areas.  It has a mixture of super luxury resorts and hotels where the rich and famous come to get pampered to the affordable hotels, condos and vacation rentals in South Kihei.  Kihei has a beach town atmosphere, not a resort town like the West Side. Wailae is the super posh and luxurious resort community area with stunning golf courses.  Borrow against your 401k to stay at the Grand Wailea Resort or try the Maui Coast Hotel.

Who is it for?

  • Couples & Honeymooners
  • Families with children
  • Travelers who want to relax and frolic on the many beaches on the south side
  • Travelers who want a small beach town feel to their vacation
  • Wealthy or Famous Travelers
  • Travelers on a budget

What is it good for?

  • Shopping – The super posh outdoor The Shops at Wailea
  • Sunset View
  • Outdoor activities – snorkeling, golfing and sunbathing
  • Awesome eats such as Ka‘ana Kitchen
  • Beaches: Wailea Beach, Makena Beach and Kama’ole Beach (I, II, III)
  • Closer to Kahului airport, Hana and Haleakala

What’s not so good?

  • Driest area in Maui
  • Can get congested during rush hours

 

North Shore

Where to stay in Maui - North Shore

Definitely the quieter side of Maui and isn’t a developed resort area.  This area is geared towards the adventurers and solo travelers that are looking for a thrill, be on the unbeaten path, get away from the tourists and be one with nature.  It’s towards the beginning of the Road to Hana journey and there’s beaches for surfing, windsurfing and kite-boarding.  Mostly residential areas and homes to the super rich.  You will not find your big fancy resorts here but mostly low key and down to earth accommodations for people who just need a place to sleep from private rentals on AirBnB / VRBO to small boutiques like Lumeria Mau or Nalu Kai Lodge.

Who is it for?

  • Solo Travelers
  • Nature Lovers
  • Adventurers and thrill seekers

What is it good for?

  • Outdoor activities – surfing, windsurfing and kite-boarding
  • Awesome eats such as Mama’s Fish House
  • Beaches: Hookipa Beach
  • Closer to Kahului airport and Hana

What’s not so good?

  • No night life
  • Very few selection of accommodations, restaurants and shops

 

Upcountry

Where to stay in Maui - Up Country

This area is mostly rural, residential, agricultural and part of the back side of Haleakala National Park.  Not much tourism here except for the Tedeschi Winery.  You’ll mostly find bed and breakfasts here. Your best bet is AirBnb or VRBO for private rentals.

Who is it for?

  • Solo Travelers
  • Nature Lovers
  • Travelers who wants R&R and get away from the hustle and bustle

What is it good for?

  • gorgeous and beautiful views of Maui’s back country landscapes
  • Temperature is cooler here if that’s what you’re looking for

What’s not so good?

  • No night life
  • No Beaches
  • Very few selection of accommodations, restaurants and shops

 

Central Side

This is where Maui’s main Kahului airport is located.  It’s more of industrial and commercial area.  I wouldn’t recommend staying in this area for your Hawaiian paradise dream vacation. However it has many shops like QueenmKaahumanu Center, Maui Mall, and Maui Marketplace. There’s also Iao Needle to visit in this area.  And right after you land in Maui, you can stock up on groceries and other supplies at Target and Costco in this area before heading out.  But if you need to stay in this area there’s Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono.

Who is it for?

  • Business Travalers
  • Solo Travelers
  • Travelers who need a centralized location to sleep it to visit North, South and East Maui

What is it good for?

  • Shopping

What’s not so good?

  • No night life
  • Beaches are not swimmable
  • Very few selection of accommodations, restaurants and shops

 

Next … What type of Maui accommodations do you need?

 

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