I have been searching for 28 years for the perfect place to stay on Maui. We have stayed in two hotels and four condominium complexes. Each one has its pros and cons. Frankly I would gratefully return to any of them because I just love going to Maui.
First let me explain why they all are on what is known as West Maui. I feel that tourist life on Maui is centered in Lahaina, so you might as well start out from there. The scenery is terrific on this part of the island with views of the West Maui Mountains and the channel with Lanai and Molokai providing great effects for those spectacular sunsets. Ma’alaea and Kihei have a lot to offer with condos, shopping and restaurants but it has some drawbacks, too. Primarily the wind. There is a reason they moved the airport from that area to the Kahului site. Wind. Wailea is lovely but quite expensive. Hana is lovely and remote…too, remote. Wailuku and Kahului would be great towns to live in with the bustle of a small city and the big name department and discount stores that make living easier. They also have a wider range of worship facilities. However, they don’t have the pizzazz of a vacation spot. Kapalua and Napili have wonderful condos and beaches, but it rains here more that neighboring Ka’anapali and Lahaina. Would we consider a cruise vacation where we dock at various ports? Never…we like being the captain of our own destiny.
The six places we have stayed, in chronological order are: Royal Lahaina, Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, Ka’anapali Alibi, Kaleialoha, Lahaina Roads, and The Whaler. If you are familiar with Maui you realize there is quite a range of price there. What is surprising is that the least expensive ranks as my favorite due to view, location, and parking. My husband ranks the most expensive as his favorite due to comfort, screened-in lanai, and reliable air-conditioning. Both of our rankings are based on our needs…we don’t golf, play tennis, enjoy strenuous water sports…we don’t demand five star meals, or organized entertainment.