So many visitors to Maui are attracted to the Kihei area because of its central location, sunny weather, beautiful beaches, large number of restaurants, and bargain priced accommodations. It feels more like a “town” than a lot of Maui’s resort areas even though it primarily caters to tourists and there is no end of things to do.
The first decision most visitors to Maui make is between staying on the south side or the west side (read more about that on this post), but once they decide on the south side, budget travelers usually flock to Kihei.
Here’s everything you need to know about where to stay in Kihei:
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Pros and Cons of Staying in Kihei
Pros: Kihei is a sizable beach town with plenty of places to eat and things to do (this is the hub of south Maui activities) and it’s not very expensive. The beaches are beautiful, and the weather is almost always sunny. There are quite a few grocery stores as it’s more of a town than a resort area.
There are a TON of condos so it’s the easiest place to find budget accommodations on the island. Kihei is also a good central location to explore the island from. It’s much closer to sites like Haleakala, the road to Hana, the north shore, and the upcountry than the west side.
Cons: If all of that sounds great to you…you can bet it sounds good to other people as well. So Kihei can get pretty crowded. Crowded beaches, crowded sidewalks, crowded restaurants, crowded streets. Also, since Kihei is not a resort area, but more of a town, there’s no central planning or organization like you see in a lot of more manicured areas.
Basically, Kihei is one big strip mall. Literally, from one end of Kihei to the other (10 miles!) it’s one endless strip mall/shopping center after another. There are good things about this (the large number of restaurants, shops, etc.), but it also creates a certain vibe. Another drawback would be that a number of the condo complexes are a bit outdated so if you find a super steal, it’s probably for a reason.
Where to Stay in Kihei
Most of your accommodation options in Kihei are condos (some not super new). There are quite a few complexes that are beachfront, but the majority are not. However, the steep price break might be worth the quick walk across the street to get to the beach. The beaches in Kihei are beautiful, but they can get crowded given how many condos are in the area. If you’re on a budget, and you’re looking for a good home base to explore the island from, Kihei is hard to beat.
Kihei breaks down into roughly three areas: North Kihei, Central Kihei, and South Kihei. Central Kihei is the hub of all activity and so it tends to be the most crowded, but also has the highest concentration of shops and restaurants. North Kihei is more isolated, it is almost all the way to Ma’alaea and I find the beaches to be pretty windy (it’s a popular windsurfing spot). South Kihei is my favorite part of Kihei. It’s where the best beaches are, it’s a little more quiet, there’s several nice beachfront places, and it’s close to Wailea.
I’ve rounded up some recommendations for condo complexes in each area. If you click the links it will show you options available for individual units during your travel dates.
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North Kihei can be windier and it’s a bit further from the majority of restaurants and shopping in Kihei, but the beaches are less crowded.
The most populated part of Kihei, this is where the bulk of the condos, restaurants, and shops are. Kalama Beach, and Kamaole (Kam) I, II, and III are in this stretch.
The three complexes below are situated on the water in between Kam I and Kam II (two of the most popular beaches in Kihei) and all have nice grounds and pools.
The three condos below are located in the same area, but across the street from the beach. All three have nice grounds and nice pools, but Kamaole Sands has the biggest grounds.
Want more Maui posts? Don’t miss some of my most popular (and favorite) posts about Maui: my Maui favorites, the best Maui itinerary, how many days to spend on Maui, Maui vs Kauai, where to see turtles on Maui, my favorite road to Hana itinerary, guide for sunrise at Haleakala National Park, how to bike down Maui’s volcano, my review of the Maui Pineapple Tour, 20 of the best adventure activities on Maui, 5 Maui day trips, and the best things to do on a Maui honeymoon.
The southside of Kihei where it starts to run into Wailea is one of the best places to stay if you’re looking for uncrowded, beautiful beaches.
Want to read more posts about where to stay on Maui? I’ve written a ton of posts that will help. I’d start with my 15 favorite resorts and hotels on Maui. Also, you’re going to want to decide between staying on the south side or the west side so this post about Wailea vs Ka’anapali is golden. Read about my favorite luxury resorts, boutique hotels, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, and condos (many under $100/night!). If you’ve narrowed down the area of the island you want to stay, but need help picking a specific hotel, read these posts about where to stay in Wailea, Kihei, Ka’anapali, Lahaina and Kapalua, and Hana. And if you just want more details (more! More! more!), read my reviews of staying at the Four Seasons and the Fairmont Kea Lani.