Things To See And Do In Lahaina
Visit Lahaina Banyan Court Park and see the oldest Banyan tree in Maui.
Unleash your inner adventurer by canoeing, hiking, or kayaking.
Explore the historic US Seamens Hospital.
Step back in time at the Hale Paahao Old Lahaina Prison.
Delve deep into history on the Lahaina Historic Trail.
Enjoy a night of traditional food, drinks and dancing at Old Lahaina Luau.
See giant sea creatures up-close on a whale-watching cruise.
Feast on local delicacies at Lahaina Grill voted Lahainas best restaurant more than 20 years in a row.
Sip a cold one at Fleetwoods On Front Street.
Where To Stay On Maui: Best Areas Hotels & Resorts
Choosing where to stay on Maui can be the most difficult and important decision you will make while planning your Hawaiian vacation. Trying to balance budget, climate, and preferred amenities is a lot to think about, especially when you are unfamiliar with the island!
This guide has been created to break the decision down into manageable parts and to provide insight on the best places to stay in Maui for your particular needs.
You will learn all about the best areas to stay in Maui, as well as the most popular hotels, resorts, and accommodation options in those areas. This is not a one-size-fits all situation, so we have provided the pros and cons to each.
Before you begin, you may want to load some of our other popular Maui travel guides to help with planning the rest of your Hawaiian vacation:
Faq About Staying In Maui
You may have questions about the best areas to stay in Maui. Here are the most common questions so you can make the best choices for your family vacation.
When is the best time of year to visit Maui?
It depends on what you want to do! Come during the dry season if you plan to be on the beaches. November through March is the best time to go whale watching. If you plan on visiting the mountains in the winter, it can get pretty cold. Make sure to bring a jacket and long pants!
Whats the best time to see whales in Maui?
You may see whales as early as October, but the peak whale sighting season is January through March. They love the shallow Auau Channel and can be seen at all times of the day.
Are there any all-inclusive resorts on Maui?
Theres only one all-inclusive resort on the island. Youll find the Hana-Maui Hyatt Resort at the end of the Road to Hana in East Maui. Be aware that its an over 2-hour drive from the airport on a good day! The best area in Maui to stay at resorts is the West Coast.
What about areas to stay on Lanai and Molokai?
While theyre technically part of Maui County, the islands of Lanai and Molokai are more geared towards residents and there arent many hotels or resorts there. However, these smaller islands are a great option if you want to take a day trip to explore them.
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West Maui Vs South Maui
When asking the question Where is the best place to stay in Maui? the Wailea vs Kaanapali debate pops up frequently.
You should know both are great areas. We love both, each for different reasons.
Heres our take, and then you can decide for yourself!
First, Wailea in South Maui.
Wailea is chic and deluxe. In the winter months, Wailea has calmer water compared to Kaanapali and Kapalua in the west, making it a better choice for ocean activities.
Theres less nightlife in Wailea than Kaanapali, which can either be a pro or con, depending on the type of vacation youre looking for.
Its also more spread out than Kaanapali, so it feels less crowded. While you could get by without a car, youd really want one in Wailea .
Next, Kaanapali in West Maui. A pro is its proximity to Lahaina for shopping and restaurants.
As for the weather, Kaanapali and Kapalua are better in the summer months.
Also, Kaanapali is less of a splurge than uber-luxe Wailea.
Where To Stay In West Maui
This is the area of luxury resorts , golf and other beautiful beaches. The downside is that its less central to other areas on the island.
West Maui is home to some stunning resorts, making it one of the best places to stay in Maui for couples. Dont miss Lahaina! While it can be brimming with tourists in the shops on Front Street, its also a historic whaling village that was once the capital of the Hawaiin kingdom.
Past Lahaina is Kaanapali and its master-planned Kaanapali Beach Resort. Take time to hit the beach here and walk the boardwalk to admire the dramatic coastline as waves crash onto the volcanic rock here.
Keep heading up Mauis north shore and arrive at exclusive Kapalua for more beautiful luxury resorts, including The Ritz-Carlton and Kapalua Resorts. The Kapalua Wine & Food Festival happens here.
Pros and cons: In West Maui, youre inevitably close to great restaurants, the most beautiful beaches, great shopping, groceries, and things to do after dark. Plus, plenty of day tours leave out of Lahaina.
The only real downside to staying in West Maui are the potential traffic jams due to the only north-south highway here. Its just a two lane artery.
Be aware that its an hours drive between Kapalua at the northern tip of the island down to Kihei near the northern part of South Maui. And its going to be a bit of a schlep to the Road to Hana from here.
Here are my picks for West Maui:
1. Beachfront Luxury Oceanfront Home
2. Luxury Resort in Kapalua
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Our Money Saving Tips For Maui
We all know that Hawaii isnt exactly a haven for budget travelers. But there are ways for you to save money without sacrificing your experience in paradise.
One of the best ways to save money in Maui is to stay in a condo. Many condos are a part of local resorts granting access to surrounding restaurants, pools, and beaches. They are cheaper than hotel rooms and come with full kitchens so you can save on eating out.
Off-season travel comes with lower room rates and cheaper flights. Arrive between February and May for solid weather and whale watching season without the crowds and peak prices.
What Are The Best Places To Eat In Maui
- Star Noodle is located in the spot that used to be Aloha Mixed Plate, one of the most popular budget restaurants on the island, its sister Star Noodle serves up fresh noodle bowls, sake cocktails, and Asian-inspired apps. Its no wonder this place has won multiple awards, including Mauis Best Asian Cuisine.
- Da Fish Shack is a good truck that serves up arguably one of the best poké bowls in the world. The family-owned business also serves fresh fish dishes like fish tacos, coconut shrimp, and fish and chips. Stop by and you will see just how popular it is with the locals. And with everything below $20, its rare to find something this good for this low of a price tag.
- Hula Grill with local, line-caught fresh fish, Maui-grown produce, and all-natural meats, Hula Grill is one of our go-tos when were on the island. Two words: hula pie. Not sure what that is? Just trust me when I say its incredible. But they also have delicious crab wontons, macadamia-crusted mahi-mahi, and ribeye.
- Kula Bistro is a well-known restaurant in the island and has been known to have lines out the door at all times of the day. Even during the week, youll find waits for dinner. Is it worth waiting for? 100%. With pizza, pasta, burger, fish, and other entrees, theres something for everyones food palettes.
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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.
Lahaina Shores Beach Resort
Lahaina Shores Beach Resort is a particularly unique place to stay in Maui. In fact, it is the only beachfront vacation condo resort located right in Lahaina Town, and thats pretty cool! Just within a short walk away, Lahaina Shores guests can peruse restaurants, shops, cafes, and art galleries on the Lahainas Historic Front Street. This Maui condo resort is also super close to Lahainas wharf area where visitors can find snorkel tours, sport fishing charters, whale watching tours, and Maui sunset cruise charters.
There are many accommodation options to choose from at Lahaina Shores Beach Resort studios with mountain views, premier studios with mountain views, oceanfront studios, premier oceanfront studios, one-bedrooms with mountain views or an ocean view, mountain view penthouses, and finally the tour de force, the oceanfront penthouse.
This remarkable oceanfront Maui condo complex offers an abundance of vacation conveniences and amenities. Condos include fully equipped kitchens, central AC, private lanais, 27 TVs, and more pending your accommodation choice. Additional services include a concierge team, a 24-hour front desk, daily maid service, complimentary continental breakfast on the morning after your arrival, free WIFI, laundry facilities, dry cleaning, and on-site parking.
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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 Airbnb In Wailuku: Renovated Plantation Home
Yeah, so its not exactly cheap but it is cheap for Maui plus youre getting a lot of bang for your buck! A small cottage housing up to three peeps, it still holds on to its historic fel but the amenities have been updated theres even A/C! The owners also run a business right next door so anything you need help with theyre right there.
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The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
Sitting upon approximately 26 acres of Kaanapali, the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas is the place to be. In line with the exceptional reputation of Westin vacation properties international, this is one of the very best places to stay in all the Hawaiian Islands.
Guests will surely enjoy sleeping in the Heavenly Beds and awakening to the smooth rolling sounds of gentle Pacific Ocean waves tempting the shoreline. Whale watch from your own private lanai during the Winter months and enjoy all the wonderful advantages of oceanfront Maui luxury living. The Villas, are a mastermind of comfort. They are impeccably designed, and beautifully furnished with a long list of vacation amenities. Spa Helani at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas is one of the overall best spas in the Hawaiian Islands. Guests will surely feel revitalized and at ease while they enjoy their customized treatments. Plush accommodations most definitely surround you while enjoying all the superior spa services, with a multitude of massage and aesthetic offerings.
Guest will enjoy the amenities here with six heated lagoon pools surrounded with cabanas, four hot tubs, tennis courts, a 24-hour fitness workout studio, outdoor BBQ grill stations, three restaurants, and two markets, all in arms-reach.
Things To See And Do In South Kihei
- Grab your boogie boards and beach essentials for a safe and fun day at Kamaole Beach III where a lifeguard is stationed every day.
- For something a little different with the kids, head over to Hawaii Mermaid Adventures to learn how to swim with a mermaid tail!
- Kihei is famous for being one of the best places to learn to surf, so organise yourself some lessons at any of the South Kihei beaches.
- Kihei is extremely sunny and can get very hot, so cool down with a classic Hawaii treat of shaved ice.
- Try your luck at seasonal whale-watching with tours departing December through April from Kihei Boat Ramp.
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Where To Stay On East Maui
When people talk about staying in East Maui, theyre really talking about staying in one area: Hana. While many visitors take the Road to Hana and dont spend the night, Hana is the right place to stay for a few visitors.
If youre looking for a remote experience and you want the feeling of staying off the beaten path in a lush environment, Hana is your spot. Its quiet , has few accommodation options, and offers plenty of opportunities to explore the outdoors. You can hike to waterfalls, swim on black sand beaches, and have a vacation truly away from it all.
But be prepared for rain. East Maui is on the windward side of the island. Its green and lush but rains often.
While there arent many places to stay, there are a few options that stand out:
Looking to stay just one night in Hana? Read more about picking the right Hana accommodations.
Jordan and Henry at our Waianapanapa cabin in August.
Kaanapali Best Area To Stay In Maui With A Family
Kaanapali is one of the most famous places in Hawaii. It boasts almost five kilometres of pristine white sand and crystal clear turquoise waters and was once considered the best beach in the United States.
Today, Kaanapali is home to a number of world-class resorts and luxurious condos. It offers a variety of activities and attractions, perfect for visitors looking for an idyllic vacation in paradise. Here you can swim and splash in the waves or build sandcastles on the beach which is why Kaanapali is our top choice for where to stay in Maui for families.
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Andaz Maui At Wailea Resort:
Where to stay on Maui thats modern, trendy, deluxe and on a spectacular beach? Meet the 5-star Andaz in Wailea!
Though kids are welcome, this resort caters more to adult tastes and romance, making it one of the best hotels in Maui for couples.
Its access to Mokapu Beach multi-tiered infinity pools with ocean views cocktail service at the poolside Bumbye Beach Bar and posh Lehua Lounge delicious Japanese food at the Morimoto restaurant and luxury treatment at the wili Spa and Salon draw couples and honeymooners from far and wide.
Rooms are minimalist in décor with private balconies and minibars, while villas offer a kitchen and option for a private plunge pool or hot tub.
Which Area To Stay
In Hind site, I should of first asked the question of recommendation to which area to stay, We are a couple in our 50’s ish lol, Planning or hoping for 1st week of Oct or so, we are planning on doing road to Hana and Haleakala sunrise, we enjoy beaches and love to snorkel. Which area would be best? I received great ideas of places to stay, but they are all over west/south ect. decided to first lock down area then ask the question of best condo type for around $175-$200 a night price range in that area, we will have a car. Thanks in advance
For a central location in your budget you could check out
The main areas for tourists are west Maui and south Maui. South Maui will put you 20-45 minutes closer to the road to Hana and Haleakala. Kihei and Maalaea will give you the more budget friendly choices.
It really doesn’t matter–both West and south have their goods and bads, LOL. Some people prefer one or the other, some people like both, some people like neither!
Pick a place based on your budget, likes, dislikes, amenities, etc. You WILL drive around on Maui–to go to different beaches, sights and sites.
Simply based on your budget, the Maalea or Kihei area is in your price range. In all honesty, these aren’t necessarily the most popular area’s but many people do enjoy them.
No right or wrong answer.
Aruba- I gave you some help on your other thread……
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