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One of the trickiest parts of planning a trip for me is finding just the right place to stay. My trips to Hawaii are pretty active and include plenty of exploring so I don’t want to pay a bundle on a fancy beach resort when I’ll be off trekking to the summit of Haleakala for sunrise or hiking through the bamboo forests of Hana, however sometimes a budget hotel can leave a little to be desired when I’m in the mood to lounge at the beach or poolside.
So I’ve got the perfect solution for you…you can save a bundle and still get amazing amenities by staying in an Airbnb on Maui! And yippee for you…I’ve got a $35 credit for you to use towards your stay! You can grab that right here.
But before I let you in on some of my favorite Maui Airbnbs, you probably have a few questions…
What is Airbnb? Airbnb is an online booking platform that connects people who are looking to rent out their home (or condo, guest cottage, garage apartment, etc.) with people who are looking for that type of accommodation. Operating in over 200 countries and 35,000 cities, Airbnb has over 10,000 listings in Hawaii alone!
How does it work? By doing a simple search by island, you’ll be able to find a wide (price and type) range of accommodation. Some Airbnb listings are for a shared or private room in the “host’s” house and some are for an entire apartment, condo, or house. You can refine your search to fit certain criteria (part of the island, price, style, etc.) before you start weeding through specific properties. Once you settle on a property, you’ll work out the details with the host and submit your payment through Airbnb’s online booking system, which mediates the transaction.
Why Airbnb in Hawaii? Airbnb is a popular accommodation source all over the world, but Hawaii is an Airbnber’s dream. Hawaii has a great variety of accommodation options, which makes it the perfect place to try out Airbnb. Since Hawaii is a major vacation destination, there are of course MANY condos to choose form but besides condos, Hawaii has a ton of “ohanas.” Ohana means family (any Lilo and Stitch fans out there???) and in Hawaii the term is applied to separate living units located on the same property as the main house. Many homes in Hawaii are divided up into multiple spaces (each with its own private entrance, bathroom, kitchenette, etc.) while some have a guest cottage on the property. Because so many homes are configured this way, it’s easy to find a private apartment or cottage on the same property with a local host.
How does it save me money? There are several ways you’ll save money on a trip to Hawaii by staying in an Airbnb. The biggest way you’ll save money is that it’s soooo much cheaper than staying at a resort or hotel. On many islands you can find condos or ohanas either right on or just a block or two from the beach. Plus, resorts can get expensive really fast if you have more than two adults staying in a room. Airbnbs are perfect for larger parties who can rent an entire house or multi bedroom condo and split the cost. Another big benefit that Airbnbs offer is the full kitchen (or kitchenette depending on what you book). Having a place to cook some meals and a fridge to store snacks and drinks can really save you a lot. Another big plus to staying in a hosted Airbnb is that they often provide gear for you to use. If you’re staying at a beach resort, they’ll only provide chairs and umbrellas for you at their beach, but an Airbnb or condo will often have chairs, umbrellas, beach towels, coolers, and snorkeling gear for you to use during your stay. This is a pretty big bonus if you’re the adventuresome type who likes to check out different beaches and do day trips to explore the island.
Before I let you in on some of my favorite Airbnb’s, if you’re not very familiar with Maui, you should read this post to get the lay of the is(land) and decide which area you’d most like to stay.
25 Awesome Maui Airbnbs
Maui’s west side is the island’s largest resort area (home to Lahaina, Ka’anapali, Napili, and Kapalua) and has sooo many condos and Airbnbs to choose from.
Beachfront condo at Napili Bay: This one bedroom unit in the Napili Shores complex starts at $198/night.
Old Hawaii condo with a private beach: This one bedroom unit (with a shared pool and beautiful grounds) has an almost private beach where sea turtles are commonly spotted and starts at just $149/night!
Napili Hale Plantation House: This beach chic two bedroom/two bathroom home is within easy walking distance to Napili Bay and starts at $195/night.
The Whaler at Ka’anapali Beach: This oceanfront condo complex is a great way to stay on bustling Ka’anapali Beach (with excellent access to snorkeling at Black Rock) at a fraction of the price of the major resorts. This one bedroom condo (sleeps six) starts at $180/night.
Studio with private beach cabana: This $135/night studio at the Maui El Dorado Resort is a quick walk to Ka’anapali Beach. The resort has a private cabana with attendant on the beach for your use.
Kulakane oceanfront condo: There’s no beach access, but this colorful little condo has amazing ocean views and a pool too. It starts at $159/night.
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Maui’s south side is the driest and sunniest part of the island, so it’s no surprise that it’s home to so many condos and resorts.
Ma’alaea chic oceanfront condo: This super cute one bedroom oceanfront condo at the Ma’alaea Kai has access to an oceanfront pool and it’s only a short walk to nearby Sugar Beach. The condo starts at $195/night.
Sugar Beach condo: Located on the quiet side of Kihei, this traditional oceanfront condo starts at $179/night.
Kihei tiki style condo: This one bedroom condo located at Maui Vista is just steps from the beach and a real bargain at $109/night.
Ocean view Kihei condo: This ocean view Kihei condo is right across the street from Kamaole Beach Park II and starts at $139/night.
Quiet aloha studio: This darling little studio is close to the beach but feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of town. It start at $95/night.
Wailea ocean views: This two bedroom/two bathroom Wailea condo with ocean views starts at $195/night.
Wailea intimate couple’s studio: This luxury studio is just a short walk from the beach and has all the resort amenities you’d want starting at just $160/night.
Wailea beachfront luxury: This one bedroom condo at the Wailea Ekahi Resort has amazing pools as well as golf and tennis facilities. This condo starts at $192/night.
One bedroom Wailea condo: This one bedroom condo in the Grand Champion Villas is right in the middle of Wailea, within walking distance of gorgeous beaches and plenty of shopping and dining. The condo starts at $165/night.
Wailea Ekahi Resort: This stylish one bedroom condo in Wailea Ekahi has all of the resort amenities you’re looking for and is super close to the beach. The upper lanai offers great sunset views and the condo starts at $300/night.
Makena oceanfront private home: If you’re traveling with a big crew (or you just want to splurge on nice digs), this 3-bedroom oceanfront home is the way to go. It starts at $750/night.
Private Wailea residence: This one bedroom unit is the entire bottom floor of a home in a residential area of Wailea. It has a great ocean view and starts at $100/night.
Cozy Wailea studio: This upscale Wailea studio has great resort amenities and starts at $130/night.
Upcountry & North Shore
If you want to experience the “real” Maui, head to the north shore or upcountry (Makawao & Kula) for a more local experience.
Upcountry private oasis: This dreamy little getaway in Makawao is perfect if you want to stay a little “off the grid” but still have a little luxury. It’s 2 bedroom/2 bathroom and starts at $200/night.
Upcountry ocean view cottage: For a true taste of local Maui living, head upcountry to Kula for epic island views at this quaint little cottage. It starts at $159/night.
Mango tree house: If you’ve always dreamed of staying in a tree house on a tropical island, your dreams can come true here! This tree house on the north shore starts at $250/night.
Maui surf cottage: This little cottage on the north shore is about as close as you can get to the beach! It’s super close to Paia town and starts at $255/night.
Most people drive to Hana and back in one day (an epic day trip called the “road to Hana”), but if you really want to explore the eastern part of the island, staying overnight in Hana is a must.
Hana Bay house: This bright and airy one bedroom rental is the upper half of the house (the bottom can be added to the rental for an additional fee), and the perfect home base for exploring this side of the island. The upper part of the house starts at $175/night.
Hana beach studio: This cheerful studio is located in the “heart of Hana” and starts at $135/night.
Are you all ready to book an Airbnb for your trip to Maui? Not so fast…read through these tips before you book!
RELATED: 15 Things to Do on Maui
What should I know before I book an Airbnb?
Here are some tips for booking for Airbnb:
- Consider what you need. What’s important to you? Are you looking for a specific location near a certain beach or resort area? Do you need a full kitchen? Reliable Wi-Fi? A full house or just a room? Be clear about what you want before you start searching.
- Read reviews. Reviews are the lifeblood of Airbnb. Before you even consider staying at a property, you should read up on what people who have stayed there have to say. Remember, you’ll only hear the good points from the host but reviews usually give a much more honest story.
- Read all of the property rules. Different hosts have different rules for their property so be sure to read up on them and make sure that they’ll work for you.
- Ask plenty of questions. When you’re seriously considering staying at a specific property, you should correspond with the host and ask them any questions you may have. There are some Airbnb properties that you can book without approval from the host (a pretty high percentage of the ones in Hawaii), but many require approval from the host before you can book. If you’re a good communicator and you ask thoughtful questions, it will go a long way to showing that you’re a serious guest who will treat their property with respect.
- Count the extra costs. Be sure to factor in any security deposits and cleaning fees.
- Know the cancellation policy. Each property and host will have different terms so know what they are before you commit.
- Contact Airbnb within 24 hours of checking in if you have problems. When you submit your payment to Airbnb, they actually withhold it from the host until 24 hours after you check in. So if you have any issues with your host or your property not meeting your expectations, report it to Airbnb within 24 and they’ll sort out your refund. Once the payment is released to the host, you’ll have much less room to negotiate.
Are you ready to book yet?? If you’re thinking about trying out Airbnb on your trip to Maui, use this link to get $35 off your stay!
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