Other Maui Travel Guides
HAWAII PACKING LIST
Planning the perfect Maui vacation requires a lot of effort. Luckily, we have done all the hard work for you!
Before you go, you may want to skim some of the titles for other relevant Maui guides below to ensure you do not miss any epic beaches, sunset destinations, or noteworthy things to do during your visit to the Valley Isle!
- BEST SNORKELING IN MAUI: Best snorkel spots, tips, tours and more.
- MAUI NORTH SHORE: The best beaches and things to do in North Maui.
Things To Do During Your Stay In Maui
The essential areas to explore outside of the resort areas are the historical town of Lahaina, the Road to Hana, the North Shore, and Haleakala National Park. Additionally, you may want to consider a sunset sail or Luau in Maui. During the winter months, keep an eye out for whales off the coast or go on a whale watching tour to see these majestic sea creatures.
Maui is a small island and even with a short stay, you can see most of the main attractions. Browse our Maui itinerary to discover all the incredible things you can do in Maui and how to plan your vacation so you donât miss anything!
The Only Place To Stay In Maui
We decided to splurge and stay here for my wife’s 50th B-day and also her 1 year cancer-free celebration. I had written the hotel to tell them this was the reason for our stay and imagine the surprise when we arrived and received an upgrade in honor of her celebrations! They took great care of us and truly turned this into a vacation to remember. We have never stayed in the Wailea area, previously only Kaanapali area, and I don’t think we would stay anywhere else. The beaches are great and the pool’s are unlike any other. Our 12 year old swam from morning till night. I also want to commend the bar attendant in the Napua Tower She remembered our drinks and made something special for our son every night. She was amazing and an asset to the hotel.More
- Trip type: Travelled with family
- Trip type: Travelled as a couple
We were here for 5 days and it was amazing. Booked a garden room but really had a great view of the ocean. No lines at the pool and no problems finding chairs but we didn’t try to go before noon. Spendy but so is most of Maui. Very friendly staff. ABC store in walking distance. Go there for in room cocktails & snacks & save some cash. We will be back!
- Trip type: Travelled with family
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Inn At Mamas Fish House
Most visitors are well informed about Mamas Fish House Restaurant in Kuau, Maui. It is hands down, the BEST restaurant on Maui. But, most people dont even know that Mamas also offers amazing vacation accommodations.
Located just steps away from one of Mauis most beautiful white sandy beaches, the Inn at Mamas is a dream. It is a perfectly exclusive, and conveniently located private vacation destination.
Just like their restaurant, the Inn is charming and warm all about the guest experience. The Neo-Polynesian decor is inviting, and the accommodations are definitely a casual luxury. Guests have an option to choose from their Deluxe Beachfront Cottages, Garden Cottages, Luxury Junior Suites, and studios. They are all more than reasonably priced, and an excellent value for those that desire a vacation rental style privacy with expert services and a multitude of amenities like daily housekeeping, complimentary WIFI, beach towels, beach chairs and a business center with computers.
The Inn at Mamas Fish House is near Paia, one of Mauis trendiest towns. Visitors love to meander through Paia Town while enjoying its diversity of restaurants, shopping, art galleries, coffee shops, and night-life. Also, wed never forget to tell you about Mana Foods, Mauis most amazing organic grocery store.
Wailea Or Lahaina Faqs
Is it better to stay in Wailea or Lahaina?
Both Wailea and Lahaina are great cities to stay in Maui during your vacation. Wailea is a more luxurious option which means it is usually more expensive. Lahaina is a historic city that has cheaper options.
What side of Maui should I stay on?
This all depends on what you want to do during your stay. Lahaina is on the west side and is a great place to visit. Wailea is more on the south side and also is a very popular city to vacation in.
What is the distance from Wailea to Lahaina?
The distance from Lahaina to Wailea is around 28 miles and will take between 45 minutes to an hour by car.
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Wailea Is For The Top Percenters
Wailea is for the Top Percenters. So if that’s what your looking for Great. Days Inn lies on the boarder of Wailea and Kihei. Kihei is a well balanced “for Locals and Kama hina” town that offers much for the visitor. Shops, Water Sport Rentals, Local Owned Car Rental, Restaurants, Shaved Ice, Trinkets, Groceries – Fun – Very approachable…Many many beaches that allow access to all. Best Sunsets and Sunrises ever.Wailea is more country club and exclusive – not very welcoming on a whole, unless you fit the profile. Days Inn Hotel is nestled in between $31 million homes and large expensive exclusive resorts. It’s the Sweet Spot – Little but fiercely accommodating. A little jewel – a throwback kinda place. Grounds immaculate and well maintained. Beds crisply made!Eat at 5 Palms Restuarant – great service – Happy Hour great choices good wines cocktails – staff amazing great view of Sunset and whale watching.
Summary Map Of All Places Recommended In Our Guide
We list all hotels mentioned in this guide on the map below , as well as some of the highest-rated vacation rentals , on the map below. Fill in your trip date on the map to find which places are available during your stay and at what cost.
Affiliate disclosure: This overview contains affiliate links to accommodation aggregator websites such as Booking.com and VRBO. Clicking on those links may earn us a small commission at no extra cost to you. We only include affiliate links when they offer good value to our readers, read more about the use of those links on the Love Big Island website.
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Wailea: One Of The Best Places To Stay In Maui For Luxury
We love Wailea.
When it comes to having an upscale, immaculate, grand experience in paradise, theres nothing like it.
Wailea is renowned for its luxurious mega-resorts, cool South Maui hotels, first-class condos and celebrity homes.
And the Instagram-perfect ocean views in Wailea are some of the most breathtaking in the world.
It has five crescent-shaped beaches, each one as seductive as the next.
Walk the roughly two-mile-long Wailea Beach Path that winds along the beaches and lava rock shoreline and youll catch sight of snorkelers, outrigger canoes and maybe even a turtle or two.
And if youre in the mood for retail therapy, The Shops at Wailea will happily clean out your credit card.
Wailea is island luxury at its finest.
Where To Stay In Upcountry
This is rural Maui, also in the middle of the island, just south of Central Maui. While its not a typical tourist choice for a base, youll meet more locals than tourists with easy access everywhere.
Upcountry Maui is locals Maui away from the beaches. In fact, Hawaiians have been farming taro and sweet potatoes in this fertile heartland of green rolling hills and drifting fog for generations.
Youll inevitably pass through here on your way to Haleakala even if you dont stay here as you pass rural outposts and goat farms. Upcountry is more than just a place its a way of life.
Pros and cons: Stay in upcountry if youre looking for a peaceful, authentic Maui experience. Skip it if youre interested in nightlife. The weather can also be cooler here .
Here are my picks for Upcountry:
1. Coast to Coast Views in Kula
Nestled on the slopes of Haleakala, the Haleakala Princess Estate is a unique property with sweeping views of both coasts! Its possibly the best view on island. Youll be wandering 3.5 acres of native Hawaiian gardens here and lounging in special outdoor nooks and watching the sunset around the gas fire pit or hot tub. A huge tile deck wraps around the whole house.
Best for: Groups of up to six people as both a main house and cottage are included.
2. Modern Cottage in Historic Wailuku
Best for: A couple or solo traveler on a budget.
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Fairmont Kea Lani Resort
Hands down one of our favorite places to stay on Maui, The Fairmont Kea Lani is Hawaiis only all-suite and villa luxury oceanfront resort. This outstanding resort exemplifies the authentic spirit of aloha. At the Kea Lani, you will find an exceptional Hawaiian cultural program, an award-winning spa, and four amazing restaurants for your dining experience.
Guest will appreciate the luxurious accommodations at the Kea Lani. Relax and enjoy the extra space that these 860-1100 sq ft. all-suite rooms offer. The staff will most definitely comfortably accommodate your familys needs. For larger family needs, the resort offers Luxury Beach Villas, just steps away from Polo Beach. These two and three bedroom villas offer 1800 and 2200 sq. ft. of well-appointed living space. Featuring full entertainment systems complete with multiple flat screen TVs, a full gourmet kitchen with dining area, and a fully furnished private courtyard with a BBQ and plunge pool.
Savor island-inspired cuisine and cocktails at Ko restaurant, voted Best Hawaii Regional Cuisine in Maui No Ka Oi Magazine 2018. The Kea Lani Restaurant serves up a delicious breakfast buffet to start your day, and guest can enjoy lunch and dinner poolside at AMA Bar & Grill. If you are on the go, pick up homemade salads, sandwiches, and treats for your island excursions at Caffe Ciao Bakery.
Best Golf Resort: Four Seasons
The resort backs up against the Wailea Golf Clubs Blue Course with complimentary car service to the nearby Gold and Emerald Courses, making this one of the best-located hotels for golf in the area. On site, guests will find a pro shop. putting green, and a driving range, plus a Topgolf Swing Suite with a virtual simulator for practice. Aerial tours over the golf courses are on offer, along with golf lessons.
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Final Words On Where To Stay On Maui
As you can see, theres no shortage of great places to stay on Maui.
When you ask Where should I stay in Maui? we know theres no easy answer. Weve seen it all and still have a hard time narrowing down our choices every time we plan a trip!
If youre staying for more than a week in Maui, you might want to split your time between two different parts of the island.
Adding two or three nights in Hana to a stay in Wailea is a good mix. So is a combination of Kaanapali and Wailea.
The good news is that no matter where you decide to stay, Maui will wow you.
Every time weve gone, this Hawaiian island has always been worth every penny we spend.
Wed go back tomorrow in a heartbeat if we could
Kaanapali Vs Wailea: Night
While you wont find Vegas-style nightlife on this island, if you want more after-dark options for drinks and dining, Kaapanali will deliver. In the center of Kaanapali sits Whalers Village, a shopping center with restaurants that provides entertainment for your evenings.
While Whalers Village isnt really an exciting destination, Kaanapali has an added benefit with its proximity to Lahaina. Just a few miles down the road sits historic Lahaina, a lively, walkable town full of restaurants and bars. If you prefer not to make the quick drive yourself, there are shuttles running from the Kaanapali resorts to Lahaina.
If you stay in Kaanapali, do yourself a favor and check out our list of 10 Best Happy Hours in Lahaina.
The nightlife in Wailea is quieter and many people choose to stay at their hotel in the evening or drive to another part of the island for a night out. You wont find much activity and most people vacationing in Wailea prefer it that way.
Bottom line: Kaanapali has more to offer if youre looking for nightlife.
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How Many Days To Stay On Maui
If you have not yet booked flights and are wondering how many days to stay in Maui, 5-7 days is typically recommended. Five days is enough time to see all of the highlights of Maui. However, one week is the perfect amount of time for allowing downtime and beach days as well.
As it is a rather small island, most people choose to stay at the same accommodation for the duration of their stay. This increases overall driving distances, but is still better than time lost re-packing and checking into multiple rooms. This is especially true for vacationers who plan on spending all of their time at the resort.
For the adventurous readers determined to see it all, you may want to consider dividing your time between 2-3 different locations. This will help to reduce commutes and allow you to experience more.
Boutique Resorts In Wailea
While Wailea is fine, fine, fineit definitely has a big time resort feel. But if you like a more intimate hotel experience without sacrificing the luxury, you are going to LOVE the Hotel Wailea. Its not right on the beach, but its actually nestled into the foothills of Haleakala so along with a more peaceful respite, you also get VIEWS. Its the only adults only hotel on Maui so if youre honeymooning or just looking for a more intimate getaway, its perfect.
And just because its not on the beach doesnt mean its short on amenities. Hop in a private luxury shuttle and youll be at Wailea Beach where the hotel has chairs and umbrellas setup for guests. The pool area at the hotel is divine and the restaurant is regularly touted as one of the most romantic restaurants on Maui. If you want a more individualized experience at a more design-centric property, this is the spot for you.
Book the Hotel Wailea here.
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We Have Stayed In Other Units At The Polo And The 2nd
We have stayed in other units at the Polo and the 2nd bedroom in those units has small double beds, our guest really like the 2nd bedroom layout, we like the ground floor unit as she was able to open her slider and have her own space. The slider in the master bedroom is really old and heavyas well as the sliders in the mail roomthe blinds were old and one of them fell downGetting around Wailea is very easy, the shops are easy to find, we had several great meals at Tommy Bahama’s and loved Down the Hatch in Lahaina.
Wailea Vacation Rentals & Condos
There are quite a few NICE beachfront condo properties/resorts in Wailea. You can rent individual units directly through Vrbo. Here are a few of my favorites:
Palms at Wailea: Not on the beach, its only a short ways away and this property is new and NICE. Not only are the units quality, but the pool and common areas have a very luxe, resort-like feel. Find specific condo units here.
Polo Beach Club: Sitting beachfront next to the Fairmont Kea Lani, this complex has a great location in the less crowded area of Wailea. Find specific condo units here.
Wailea Beach Villas: These are not your average condos. These are VILLAS. The accommodations are fabulous, the location is fabulous, but theyre not a bargain. The price matches what you get. Find specific condo units here.
Wailea Ekahi: The location here is great. This is probably your best spot for beachfront condos at a bargain in Wailea. Find specific condo units here.
Wailea Grand Champion: Not beachfront, but a short walk to Wailea Beach, the Grand Champion is a large complex with several pools. Find specific condo units here.
Hoolei at the Grand Wailea: Again, these arent exactly condos, but villas situated in a resort community attached to the Grand Wailea. If you have the budget, and youre looking for primo accommodations, youll love it here. Find specific condo units here.
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Where To Stay In Maui In 202: The Best Condos Hotels & Vacation Rentals By Area
Where will you base for your Maui adventure? Its hard to go wrong! While its true that every area has trade-offs, you can still enjoy lush, tropical adventures and turquoise seas within easy striking difference from just about anywhere on island. Here are my best suggestions for where to stay in Maui:
There are five main areas to choose from when deciding on the best part of Maui to stay in: South Maui, West Maui Along the Road to Hana , Central Maui or Upcountry. Where you stay will depend upon your Maui itinerary.
Quick Answer: If youre in a hurry, here are my top recommendations below so you can check prices and availability now.
* For a detailed description of each area on Mauiand more options for hotels, condos and other vacation rentalskeep scrolling.