If you’re planning a trip to Maui and wondering where to stay, this post is for you! If you’ve never been before, you might be overwhelmed…what is the best area to stay in Maui? Are some beaches better than others? Are those fancy resorts really worth the money and which are the best resorts in Maui? Will a condo save you big bucks? I’m going to let you in on everything you need to know!
Where to Stay in Maui
Maui is kind of a big island (we’re talking 10-12 hours of solid driving to go all the way around, which is just a point of reference because NOBODY drives around the entire island in a day) so don’t underestimate its size when you’re planning your trip. It’s divided into four main regions (West Maui, South Maui, East Maui, and the North Shore/Upcountry area) but only has two resort areas (on the west and south shores).
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You’ll fly into Kahului Airport (OGG), which is located on the north side of the island in the valley between the two mountains (Haleakala to the east and the West Maui Mountains to the west). This is where Wal-Mart, Target, Costco, and Whole Foods are located, but you likely won’t spend much time in Kahului once you pick up your rental car and groceries.
Okay…onto the good stuff. In this post, I’m going to do two things: 1) give you the lowdown on each part of the island so you’ll be able to look at a map and figure out the general area where you want to stay (that’s half the battle my friend) and 2) give you specific recommendations on hotels and resorts in those areas. Now here’s the deal…I am not going to recommend every single resort on Maui to you. It won’t be helpful. There are a lot of good places to stay and your budget and circumstances may make you lean in a certain direction. So if you have your eye on a certain place and I don’t recommend it here, it’s not necessarily a bad place to stay. I’m just really picky about where I like to stay and what I recommend. So I’m going to break down the island, make recommendations by area of the island and then I’ll give you a rundown of best suggestions for families, honeymooners, and budget friendly options.
Also, my specific recommendations in this post are for HOTELS AND RESORTS only. If you’re looking for a condo (even a condo-tel/condo resort), you want this post.
Final Note (and a big favor to ask): I ALWAYS recommend booking everything (airfare, hotel, etc.) directly and not through a third party (you have so much more control if something goes wrong). In my recommendations below, I’ll usually give two different links: 1) a link to the property where you can book directly and 2) a link to the TripAdvisor page where you can read reviews (A MUST!) and check out a price calendar to find the best dates (to go back and book directly). If you find my blog and info AT ALL helpful, the absolute best thing you can do to help me out is to click through those links to either book (direct) or do your research (TripAdvisor). I make a small commission on your bookings (and sometimes clicks) and if you’re going to book a hotel anyways, it’s a WIN WIN. Thanks so much!
Now, here’s the info you really want…
Ka’anapali vs Wailea
West Maui (Lahaina, Ka’anapali, & Kapalua)
West Maui was originally developed in the 1960s and remains the most popular place to stay on Maui. The old whaling village of Lahaina anchors this area and the Ka’anapali resort area is home to the majority of dining and accommodation options on this side of the island. Drive time from the Kahului airport (OGG) to the Lahaina area is about 45 minutes.
Most people stay in West Maui, if for no other reason than it’s where the majority of the resorts and condos are. West Maui is home to Maui’s original resort areas, and it’s still where most of the tourists flock today. West Maui is usually sunny and dry, making it perfect beach weather. Also, there’s a wide range of accommodation options so whether you’re looking to splurge on a beachfront resort or save on a condo, you can find it in West Maui.
There’s also a lot development, so if you’re the type that likes to be in the middle of the action, West Maui is where it’s going on. Lahaina (an old whaling village turned tourist hot spot) is where many choose to spend their evenings. Front Street is packed with shops and restaurants (many offering ocean views) and has a nice vibe that makes it a “hang out” spot for people in the evenings. The docks in Lahaina are also where a lot of the water excursions leave from (whale watching, glass bottomed boats, submarines, and ferries to Lanai) so if you’re planning to do much of that, it’s nice to be staying nearby.
Maui’s famous Ka’anapali Beach is also in West Maui (just north of Lahaina) and although it comes nowhere near it in terms of crowds, I would call it the Waikiki of Maui. Fronting it are the Sheraton, Westin, Marriot, and Hyatt to name a few. There’s also an outdoor mall with plenty of shopping and dining right on the beach. The three-mile beachfront promenade makes it easy to get around and it seems like there’s always something to do. Catamarans pull right up to the beach to take passengers out on snorkeling excursions and there’s good snorkeling at the far north end at Black Rock.
If you’re looking for something quieter, Napili Bay and Kapalua Bay to the north might float your boat. Napili Bay (a great beach) is surrounded by older condos and small inns or resorts that although they’re showing their age are still pretty charming (and you can’t beat the location)! For more of a luxury resort feel, try Kapalua (the name of a beach, but also a resort area). It’s centered around golfing, but the Montage and the Ritz Carlton are some of the swankiest places around and although you’re not far from Lahaina and Ka’anapali, you’ll feel a world away. There are also a bunch of fancy-schmancy condos in Kapalua.
West Maui is actually one of the prettiest parts of Maui, with the West Maui Mountains rising up in the background offering some amazing hiking trails, it has some of the best beaches on the island (if you don’t mind the crowds) and you’re close to the famous Honolua Bay and all that’s going on in Lahaina and Ka’anapali.
Alas, even though West Maui is pretty great, it’s not perfect. I hinted before at the crowds, but to me, that’s the biggest downside about the West side. Some of the most popular beaches (AKA the most beautiful) like Ka’anapali, Kapalua, and Napili can be crowded with limited parking. Also, while there’s a lot to do on the West side, that means it’s pretty built up. Which can be good and bad. Unfortunately, the bad can be tacky tourist shops and plenty of strip malls. All of that aside, a major consideration for me is how far the West side is from everything else. Doing Haleakala? It’s a hike. Road to Hana? Same thing. Anything on the north shore or upcountry? You’ll have to drive a ways. The good news…Maui is beautiful, so you may not mind the drive.
Read my complete Ka’anapali guide here.
Best Hotels in Maui (West Side):
Westin Maui Resort & Spa: My #1 pick on Ka’anapali Beach (THE place to stay on the west side). It’s right next to the Whaler’s Village (awesome outdoor shopping/dining complex), has recently been completely renovated (super swanky now!), and the beach isn’t as crowded as closer down towards Black Rock. This place has a great pool complex for kids (five pools and a huge water slide) but it’s very spread out so it doesn’t feel overly crowded. I HIGHLY recommend booking the Hokupaa Tower if it’s in the budget. It’s a separate part of the resort that has exclusive luxury amenities like a private lanai with a covered pool, private bar and lounge, breakfast each morning, and oceanfront rooms with balconies. It’s the first “luxury” property on Ka’anapali (something you previously had to go to Wailea or Kapalua for) and it’s a stunner. Pricing starts at $280/night. Book a room directly with the Westin here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Sheraton Maui: This place feels like old Hawaii to me. The property is pretty large and spacious and it’s right in front of Black Rock (one of Maui’s most popular snorkeling spots). It has a nice pool area and several dining options. You can also walk down the bike path to the Whaler’s Village for shopping and dining. Pricing starts at $240/night. Book a room directly with the Sheraton here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club: You already know and love Marriott, but if you need a little more space (like, maybe thinking a condo), but don’t want to sacrifice the resort amenities, you’ll love the Maui Ocean Club. Pricing starts at $329/night. Book a room directly with the Marriott here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Ritz Carlton Kapalua: The Ritz exudes luxury and a big bonus for this property is how secluded it is. Nestled in the private resort/golf community of Kapalua on west Maui, you’ll feel worlds away from the crowds in nearby Ka’anapali and Lahaina. Kapalua is a golfer’s paradise, but the Ritz also boasts a spa, six restaurants, and a gorgeous pool. Beach access is at D.T. Fleming beach. Pricing starts at $499/night. Book a room directly with the Ritz Carlton here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort: The penguins, the penguins, the penguins! Oh, first…this resort is recently renovated, sits on the more quiet end of Ka’anapali Beach (opposite from Black Rock/the Sheraton), has a great pool, its own popular luau, etc etc. but DID I MENTION THE PENGUINS??? Penguins are great anywhere, but in Hawaii they make me particularly happy. Seven African black-footed penguins have taken up residence in the hotel’s atrium lobby and they’re a sight to see! They have feedings every day. Stop by and check them out if you’re in the Ka’anapali area even if you don’t stay here. Pricing starts at $250/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Ka’anapali Beach Hotel: This is Maui’s favorite budget resort/hotel. The location is PRIMO (right on Ka’anapali Beach close to Whaler’s Village) and it has all of the amenities (pool, restaurant, etc) even if it is a little bare bones. But it’s hard to beat the price for the location! This charming “old Hawaii” hotel starts at $149/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Montage Kapalua: Quite possibly Maui’s most luxurious resort, the Montage is a sprawling property, but it manages to feel quiet and secluded (like, you might feel like you’re the only ones there). This 5-star resort only has about 50 rooms so it never feels crowded and it’s located nearby on one of Maui’s most beautiful beaches. Pricing starts at $750/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Royal Lahaina Resort: This 25-acre resort right on Kahekili beach (north Ka’anapali beach) is hard to beat if you want absolutely all of the resort amenities (three outdoor pools, two hot tubs, tennis courts, a full service restaurant, and even a luau) at a fraction of the cost of other beachfront resorts. There is a walking path that takes your past the golf course and around the Sheraton which makes it walkable to Whaler’s Village for shopping and dining. Pricing starts at $195/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Honua Kai Resort & Spa: If you’re looking for a condo type set up (multiple bedrooms, kitchen, washer and dryer, etc.) but still want the full resort experience, the Honua Kai is where you want to be. It’s in the Ka’anapali area, but slightly removed from the crowds. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
South Maui (Kihei & Waiea)
Well hello, South Maui! While not as popular or well known as the West side, the South shores of Maui are pretty darn great. This side of the island stays even drier and sunnier than the West side (hence why they’ve starting building it up more). The beaches in South Maui are way less crowded and quite a bit more accessible than those on the West side (more parking and better marked). Most of the beaches in Kihei you can see from the road! I think South Maui has it all. Drive time from the Kahului airport (OGG) to the Kihei/Wailea area is about 20-30 minutes.
Kihei is a sizable beach town with plenty of places to eat and things to do (this is the hub of Maui surf lessons) and it’s not very expensive. Most of your accommodation options in Kihei will be condos (some not super new) and while most aren’t right on the beach, the steep price break can be worth a quick walk across the street to get to the beach.
Read my complete Kihei guide here.
If you can swing it, Wailea is THE place to stay. Wailea is a resort community just south of Kihei that includes several mega beachfront resorts, some nice condo complexes, good restaurants, and an upscale outdoor mall. The whole area is super lush and manicured and looks like the Hawaii of your dreams. When I’ve driven people down to Wailea after seeing other parts of the island, they’ve said “now THIS is what I thought Maui would look like.” To me, the epitome of luxury is staying at the Four Seasons in Wailea. In my semi professional opinion, the best resorts in Maui are in Wailea.
Just like the West side, the South side isn’t perfect. Kihei can feel a bit “spring breakish” to me. There are plenty of tacky shops, less than desirable eateries, and the beaches can definitely get crowded (especially Kam I, II, and III). Wailea is picturesque but expensive (unless you’re in a condo off the beach) and there’s honestly not a lot going on. Everything is more upscale but there’s less of it. There are a few companies that offer snorkeling excursions out of Kihei (one out of Makena) but otherwise you’ll have to drive up to Ma’alaea Harbor. And although Haleakala looks super close (you can practically reach out and touch it) there’s no road that connects with the elusive backside of the Road to Hana (it look so close on a map!!) so you still have to drive up through Kahului to get to the North Shore, Upcountry, and Road to Hana.
Read my complete Wailea guide here.
Best Hotels in Maui (South Side):
Wailea Beach Resort: The Wailea Beach Resort is one of the most popular Marriott properties in the WORLD and it’s easy to see why. It’s pretty much an easy recommendation no matter what your travel party looks like (kids? Yes. honeymoon? yes.) especially since it’s often quite a bit cheaper to similar resorts in Wailea. I LOVE the excess of oceanfront infinity pool spots. The lobby/entry is VERY instagram friendly, the Shops of Wailea (including the Island Gourmet Market) are easily walkable, and there’s a huge pool/slide complex for kids. It’s not directly on the beach, but there’s access to two of Maui’s finest beaches (Wailea and Ula) just steps away. I also love its location on the Wailea Beach walk which connects pretty much everything in the Wailea area. Pricing starts at $350/night. Book a room directly with the Wailea Beach Resort here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Four Seasons Maui: The Four Seasons is pretty much unparalleled in my book and definitely my #1 pick for a luxurious Maui vacation. The resort is spectacular and it’s located in Wailea which is much quieter (and more upscale) than the west side. The spa, the pools, the restaurants, and the beach…they’re all phenomenal. The only problem with staying here is you probably won’t ever want to leave the resort. Pricing starts at $450/night. Read my full review of the Four Seasons Maui here. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Andaz Maui: This boutique property by Hyatt is located on one of my favorite beaches on Maui and has a very young, hip vibe. The whole property is very luxe with Asian influences and the pool area especially feels very trendy and posh. If beach and pool time are at the top of your must do list, you’ll love the Andaz. Pricing starts at $450/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Hotel Wailea: Hotel Wailea is the only “adults only” hotel on Maui, so if your honeymoon is during the busy summer or holiday season, this is a great option. It’s nestled in Wailea on the slopes of Haleakala (great views but not beachfront). While there is a luxury shuttle service to take you down to the beach, you may not want to leave the quiet and luxurious pool area. Pricing starts at $320/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Grand Wailea: If you’ve got kids, this is the place to be (I’d probably stay elsewhere in Wailea if it’s an adults only trip though). It’s a world class resort (gorgeous open air lobby, plenty of shops, dynamite spa, amazing dining, and one of the island’s best beaches), and it’s especially great for families. The Grand Wailea has one of the best pool complexes on Maui (probably anywhere really). The nine different pools include tons of water slides (they actually just opened a new “lava slide”, a rope swing area, a rapid river, water elevator, hot tubs, a swim up bar, and an adults only pool. The Grand Wailea also has a kids club, a teen club, a gaming lounge, and a ton of cultural activities to participate in. Pricing starts at $350/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Fairmont Kea Lani: It’s hardly a “secret,” but I feel like the Fairmont gets talked about less than the other Wailea resorts. It’s the only resort on Maui that is exclusively oceanfront suites (!!!). It’s also usually a little lower on the price spectrum than some of the other resorts in the area which means that for less money you’re guaranteed to get 1) an oceanfront room and 2) a separate bedroom/bathroom and a living room with a pullout bed and minibar. Those are big perks for me! Throw in the awesome pool area (including a waterslide) and it’s a serious contender. Read all about my stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani here. Pricing starts at $299/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
AC Hotel Maui Wailea: Opening Spring 2021, Wailea’s newest hotel is an interesting option. Modern and a little luxe, but not on the beach, this is a good spot if you want to be in the Wailea area but can’t swing one of the big oceanfront resorts. Book a room directly with the AC Hotel Maui here and read hundreds of reviews here.
East Maui & Hana
The most remote side of the island, East Maui is mostly referred to as Hana, as in the destination at the end of the Road to Hana. While this is arguably the most beautiful part of Maui, not many people stay here. This could be because it’s super remote (you have to drive the Road to Hana just to get there). As you might expect, there aren’t many places to stay around Hana. There also isn’t much to do. You know, apart from hiking to hidden waterfalls and what not.
I actually don’t recommend staying overnight in Hana to 99% of visitors. For most people, a daytrip is plenty of time to experience this part of the island, but if you’re on the adventurous side (or under the impression that Hawaii is too tourist, developed, and crowded), you might want to consider staying overnight in Hana.
Most people visiting Maui will drive the Road to Hana and spend the day climbing in and out of their jeep to check out whatever roadside attractions they come across before whizzing through Hana town and doing a 180 to make it back to Ka’anapali for dinner. If that doesn’t sound like fun, or you really want to see and experience the jungles of East Maui more thoroughly (hey, who isn’t into waterfalls, bamboo forests, rainbow eucalyptus trees, and black and red sand beaches??) then consider spending the night somewhere near Hana so you’re able to break the trip up over two days. Read more about the road to Hana here.
Best Hotels in Maui (Hana):
Hana Resort: For vacationers wanting to get off the grid and truly escape for a while, you’ll definitely want to check into the only resort in Hana. Located on the secluded Hana side of the island, the rooms here don’t have clocks or televisions, leaving you focused on connecting with each other and Hawaii. The spa is amazing and the resort offers a lot of experiences like guided nature walks and cultural activities. Pricing starts at $350/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and experience a more local/real Hawaii, but Hana seems a little too remote, then you should definitely consider the north shore or upcountry. This is my FAVORITE part of Maui. The north shore has a funky hippy vibe with real community. Paia is a great town (it has a little inn) and the neighborhoods around have some pretty cool beach rentals. The beaches are beautiful on the north shore (really some of the prettiest on Maui) but they can get pretty windy and rough. Actually, Maui’s north shore is famous for kite and wind surfing.
The north shore (Paia & Haiku) and upcountry (Makawao & Kula) have quite a few “retreat” type places to stay so if you’re looking for a yoga retreat on Maui or something like that, this is the area it will be in. Here’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking to rent a house on this part of the island: the farther up the mountain you go the better the views are but the farther you are from the beach! Read more about these areas in my north shore guide and my upcountry guide.
Best Hotels in Maui (North Shore):
Paia Inn: This charming little inn on the north shore of Maui is the perfect location for exploring the whole eastern side of the island. It’s conveniently located right in Paia so you won’t have to worry about parking and you’ll have soooo many restaurant options within walking distance. It also has beach access! Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Side Note: If you’re looking for a rental car for your trip, I LOVE Discount Hawaii Car Rentals. They’re seriously the only company I ever use. They’ll give you the very best prices, you don’t have to reserve with a credit card or pay until you show up, you can cancel and re-book anytime if you find a better rate, and they usually have a special that adds additional drivers for no fee. It’s a no brainer. Click here to check rates for your trip.
Best Maui Resorts for Families
While Maui may be known as the honeymooner’s isle, I think it’s actually the best island for families as well. All of those gorgeous (and safely swimmable) beaches mean plenty of fantastic beach resorts. Maui lacks the hustle and bustle (i.e. one million people crammed onto a tiny island) of Oahu but has PLENTY to keep you and your kiddos busy.
Also, I feel like this list needs a bit of a disclaimer: pretty much anywhere you go in Hawaii (especially Maui) is going to be kid friendly. Maui is not a stuffy destination. The most posh and expensive hotel on the island (hello, Four Seasons) caters to children quite amazingly and unless you’re at the adults only pool (many resorts have them) or at an adults only hotel (Hotel Wailea is the only one that comes to mind), you’ll always find kids boogie boarding in the waves, bobbing around in the pool, and having dinner with their families. That being said, the resorts I’m recommending here may appeal to children especially due to their pools or kids clubs, and parents due to their locations and convenience factors.
Grand Wailea: The Grand Wailea is probably one of the most family friendly resorts in the WORLD, not just Hawaii. It has a huge “wow factor” just because of literally how big and grand it all is, but the pool complexes (it’s practically a waterpark) are pretty hard to beat for kids. It’s also very nice without feeling stuffy and while it has an air of luxury, it’s all still very self service (check in to get a wrist band, grab your towels, and you’re on your own) which is often the best vibe with kids. For me, it’s not comparable to the Four Seasons or Andaz overall (especially for adults), but if you’re traveling with kids, it’s the place to beat. Pricing starts at $350/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Westin Maui Resort & Spa: If the Grand Wailea is out of the budget, or you’re wanting to stay in west Maui, the Westin is very recommendable. I love the location on Ka’anapali Beach (right next door to Whaler’s Village), the pool area is great for kids (multiple pools including a large waterslide) and the property has been recently renovated. Pricing starts at $280/night. Book a room directly with the Westin here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Wailea Beach Marriott: Marriott’s around the world are known for being family friendly, but the one in Wailea (south Maui) is something special. I don’t think this place gets enough attention for the kids pool area. In addition to the swanky infinity pools, there’s a whole complex with four pretty big waterslides as well as a few shorter slides for the keiki. There’s no kids club but there are some specialty designed spaces for parents and kids to hang out together including a family game center, arts and craft area, and game center. Pricing starts at $350/night. Book a room directly with the Wailea Beach Resort here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Fairmont Kea Lani: Here’s another “sleeper” pick for families. The Fairmont Kea Lani is the only resort on Maui that is exclusively suites (all ocean facing too) so you’ll get a separate room (with a pull out bed and mini bar) in addition to the main bedroom and bathroom. To get that at any other major beach resort, you’ll have to upgrade to a suite which can be $$$. The pool area is also great for kids (it has three different pools plus an awesome waterslide). Read all about my stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani here. Pricing starts at $299/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort: It’s recently renovated, it’s at the quiet end of Ka’anapali Beach, it’s got great pools and a kids club, but for me, the real selling point of this resort are the penguins! Seven African black-footed penguins have taken up residence in the hotel’s atrium lobby and they’re a sight to see! Pricing starts at $250/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Best Maui Honeymoon Resorts
Maui is hands down the most popular Hawaiian island with honeymooners. Before I let you in on my favorite Maui honeymoon resorts, here’s my biggest tip for planning the best honeymoon…pick the right time of year to go. Hawaii is an extremely family friendly vacation destination so when kids are out of school, expect even the swankiest resorts to have a pool full of kids. While a lot of places have adults only pools, kids are always around everywhere else you go, so if you’re looking for a quieter time to go, pick spring or fall (or at least avoid the summer and winter holidays). I’m not telling you this to make you think Hawaii isn’t the perfect honeymoon destination (it is), but many people mistakenly believe that by staying at a super expensive beach resort they’ll limit the kids (noise) around, but that’s not necessarily the case. When you go has more to do with it than where you stay.
As far as favorite Maui resorts for honeymooners, my recommendations tend towards luxury. I think overall, the best resorts are in Wailea. There’s more of a cluster of them which means you can take advantage of amenities beyond just your resort (more area dining, shopping, spas, golf, tennis, etc.) plus I find it to be generally sunnier and closer to attractions like Haleakala, the north shore, road to Hana, etc. But there are a couple of resorts in Kapalua that are pretty swanky too.
Before I fill you in on my personal recommendations I’ll just say…there are a LOT of great places to stay on Maui for a honeymoon in every budget and in many different locations. These are just my very tippy top picks:
My Favorite Wailea Honeymoon Resorts
Four Seasons Maui: The Four Seasons is the granddaddy of them all and definitely my #1 pick for a Maui honeymoon. The service alone is just above and beyond anything you can imagine not to mention how luxurious it is. The adults only infinity pool is one of my all time favorite places on Maui. I also love being in the Wailea area in general because you have close access to so many amenities beyond just the resort you’re staying at. Pricing starts at $450/night. Read my full review of the Four Seasons Maui here. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Wailea Beach Marriott: This is the only resort I recommend in both the family AND honeymoon categories and that might seem contradictory, but this place is great for both! This place has some of the best (and most spacious) oceanfront infinity pools in Hawaii and an all around trendy and contemporary vibe! I think it’s the best place to experience luxury at a lower price tag than other comparable spots. Pricing starts at $350/night. Book a room directly with the Wailea Beach Resort here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Andaz Maui: The Andaz is a little more hip and cool than the Four Seasons (but the service isn’t quite as top notch in my opinion) and has a ton of oceanfront infinity pool real estate (which is super important to me). If your vibe is trendy and posh, you’ll love it here. Pricing starts at $450/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Hotel Wailea: If having a quiet, kid-free, romantic hideaway is the top priority for your honeymoon, the Hotel Wailea is easily my #1 recommendation. It’s the only “adults only” hotel in Hawaii and it has a lowkey luxurious vibe. Pricing starts at $320/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
My Favorite Kapalua Honeymoon Resorts
Montage Kapalua: Probably the most lavish and luxurious resort on Maui. It doesn’t have a ton of rooms and the property is so spread out you just might feel like you’re the only ones around. Pricing starts at $750/night. Click here to check pricing/availability during your stay and read hundreds of reviews.
Ritz Carlton Kapalua: The Ritz exudes luxury and a big bonus for this property is how secluded it is. If you never want to leave the resort, you’ll love this place. Pricing starts at $499/night. Book a room directly with the Ritz Carlton here and read hundreds of reviews here.
My Favorite Places to Stay in Maui
Everybody has different opinions and different things work for different people, but here’s what I think (and this is what I tell my friends who are thinking about a trip to Maui):
Most people talk about the west side vs. the south side and which is better, but it’s a bit more nuanced than that. For example, I prefer the south side because I like WAILEA, but if my budget prohibits that then I’d pick Ka’anapali on the west side before I’d stay in Kihei on the south side. So your choice between the south and west side may come down to exactly what place/area you can afford (if you’re looking for a resort, they’ll be cheaper on the west side, but if you’re looking for a condo the deals in Kihei are hard to beat).
As a general rule, I dislike staying in Kihei unless my budget makes it by far the best option. I just find it to be crowded and not the vibe that I’m looking for on vacation, but so many people LOVE it so this really depends what you’re looking for. If I am staying in Kihei, I like the properties on the south side (Kihei Surfside Resort, Mana Kai Maui, and Hale Hui Kai) near Keawakapu Beach.
If you’re looking at resorts and condos in the Ka’anapali Resort area (west Maui), be aware between the difference of the main Ka’anapali Beach (south of Black Rock), and North Ka’anapali Beach (the beach that stretches from Black Rock north to Honokowai Beach Park. Ka’anapali Beach is the main area of beach (about 1.5 miles) that runs from the Sheraton to the Hyatt. There’s a beach walk and a high end outdoor shopping mall with some great restaurants that connects all of the resorts making it feel like more of a community. The properties along North Ka’anapali Beach are mostly condo-tels so there’s generally fewer amenities and less going on. There is a beach walk along north Ka’anapali Beach and once you get to the Royal Lahaina Resort (the resort just north of Black Rock), there is a pathway around to the Sheraton and you then can walk on to Whaler’s Village. But depending on how far north you’re staying, this could be quite a walk.
Manage your expectations if you’re staying in an older condo on the West Side (especially around Honokowai, Kahana, and Napili Bay). They’re a little older and shabbier (not necessarily in a bad way, but they can definitely be worn) than many expect. Also, a lot of complexes in that area on the water don’t have a beach.
Where I Like to Stay on Maui
To Split or Not to Split
I don’t usually recommend splitting your stay among different parts of the island (especially the south side and west side) for the sake of trying to save time driving to do activities. A lot of people ask if I would recommend staying on the west side to do the things over there and then moving to the south side so they’re closer to Haleakala, Hana, and the north shore. But I don’t. These two areas are both touristy, beachy areas so just pick one place and stay there to whole time even if it means an additional 30-minute drive going places. It’ll be less of a hassle than moving. Besides, even if you’re staying on the south side, it’s still not that close to the east side of the island.
Here’s when I do recommend a split stay: if you’re wanting to experience a high-end luxury resort, but you can’t swing the bill for your whole stay. If you have a week, and you want to do a fair bit of exploring the island, but also enjoy a stay at a luxury resort where you never leave the beach/pool, I would suggest splitting your stay 3 nights at affordable/central accommodations and 4 nights at a nice resort.
On my last trip to Maui, I stayed the first three nights at a rental in Paia (you could also stay at the Paia Inn) and did sunrise at Haleakala, toured Maui Wine and the upcountry, hung out on the north shore with some turtles, explored Paia and Makawao, drove to Hana, had dinner at Mama’s Fish House, and swung by the Iao Valley before checking into the Four Seasons in Wailea for 3 nights and doing NOTHING.
Doing your trip this way means you hit the ground running and go, go, go but it also means you don’t have to pay for a full week at a luxury resort when you’ll be out exploring. Something to think about!
Maui Vacation Rentals & Condos
If a resort/hotel isn’t what you’re looking for, you want more amenities, or you’re not finding anything in your price range, YOU MUST READ THIS POST. It is a truly prolific ; ) roundup of the best condo complexes on Maui (seriously…I’ve got details on 50+ complexes) that’s well organized so you can find exactly what you’re looking for.
Maui Hotel Reviews