We had the pleasure of experiencing some very unique hotels in Maui during our stay on Hawaii’s best island. Maui is loved so much by visitors, that the readers of Conde Nast Traveler have voted it number 1 for the past 17 years! If you are staying on the island for a week or more you can easily check out a few different areas and resorts and we highly recommend that you do. From the chilled out surfer vibe of the Paia Inn in Paia, to the traditional Hawaiian family run feel of Napili Kai to the full on beach resort of Wailea here is something different for everyone.
Best Hotels In Maui
There are four main beaches that we stayed at in Maui, Kapalua, Lahaina, Wailea and Paia. And when choosing where to stay in Maui, you will want to break it down by West Maui, South Maui or East Maui. Each of these places to stay have their own charm depending on what you are looking for when traveling to Maui. Let’s break them down and see what suits you best.
We went Kiteboarding near Paia, went paddle boarding at Napili Kai and enjoyed our very own outrigger canoe and snorkelling experience near Wailea. With a perfect blend of adventure travel, fine cuisine and entertainment, a proud and strong culture and scenery to die for, a person could get lost in the Hawaiian hospitality of Maui forever. Ah Maui, we’ll be back my friend. Check out all the great things to do in Maui at our breakdown here.
Getting Around Maui
We recommend renting a car in Maui we have had the freedom to drive each time we’ve been to Maui and it made for an excellent vacation to be able to go where the wind takes us. Each hotel has parking. You can compare rental prices at Car Rentals.com
Maui is a small island at only 26 miles wide and 48 miles long making it easy to get around. But believe it or not, it takes a long time to get from one side of the island to another. We picked up our car at Kahului Airport which is close to all the regular shopping centers (Whole Foods/ Costco/Walmart) you’d find in every city so if you want to stock up, this is a great place to start your trip.
This stretch of West Maui runs from Lahaina to Kapalua with plenty of options for boutique hotels and resorts along the shore. We suggest staying near Kaanapali Beach, it’s one of the best beaches on Maui.
Check out this VRBO apartment rental in West Maui, Oceanfront from $189 USD per night.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
Located on Napili Bay’s sandy shore, it’s got an old school Hawaiian charm. Only two stories high and a staff that is like family, you’ll feel at home as you relax by the pool or enjoy your condo style room. Put your feet up, open the door and listen to the waves splash against the shore. Enjoy a torchlight dinner at the Sea House Restaurant or make your own in your modern kitchen and enjoy on your balcony while you watch the spectacular Hawaiian Sunset. At night listen to an authentic Slack Key performance by Grammy Award winning artists or take a sunset walk on the horseshoe bay.
There’s plenty of activities to do as well. From surfing and paddle boarding to snorkelling and swimming, Napili Bay is as smooth as glass with just enough of a break to the far left to be able to catch a wave. It is one of the best swimming and snorkelling beaches in Maui and we can attest to that. We actually looked forward to falling in the water while taking our paddle boarding course at the resort.
There’s plenty to do between their four swimming pools and gymnasium and they even have an 18 hole putting green! But it’s the little things that make a difference and the Napili Kai Beach Resort offers free in room wireless Internet access, free laundry detergent at the laundry, fresh morning coffee, afternoon tea and free parking. A great family resort, you will feel welcome and at home during your stay at Napili Kai.
You can never go wrong with a Ritz Carlton and this one at Kapalua offers seclusion and luxury. With six sandy beaches and hiking trails this is the ultimate escape. Plus, it is located on the top golf course on Maui. This Five Star resort overlooks the Pacific Ocean on a sprawling 54 acre piece of land. Book a couples massage at the luxury spa in a tranquil setting embracing local customs using indigenous plants and treatments. Check out rates and availability here.
East Maui is where you feel the more traditional island life from Paia to Hana. This is home to the legendary Hana Highway, the sleepy surfing town of Pai and the secluded village of Hana. Located 2.5 hours from the airport, we suggest staying on this side of Maui if you are a returning visitor. Pai is a big surfing community if you are into surfing, kite boarding or wind surfing and it has a gorgeous stretch of sandy beaches.
- There isn’t a lot of accommodation on this side of Maui as it is more of the rugged and remote, but you can check VRBO for vacation rentals in the area like this lovely stay in Hana.
Located on the North Shore in the sleepy surfer town of Paia, this boutique hotel is a breath of fresh air. It’s a place where you run into the likes of Luke Wilson (we did and it was so cool!) eating some fish at the Paia Fish Market along side locals, tourists and surfer dudes. The Paia Inn is a lot of fun and cool fact, it was voted to have the The World’s Sexiest Staff by Travel and Leisure.(But I think that they could easily be included in the world’s friendliest staff as well)
It is surprising how modern the Paia Inn is inside. From the outside it looks like a charming little B&B from a bygone era, but enter the grounds and you experience a hip urban feel. Our two-room suite was cozy and inviting with fluffy duvets and two (count them) two flat screen TV’s. The separate sitting room was a bonus to be able to sip coffee, while watching the morning news.
Paia Town may not be directly on the beach, but the property of the Paia Inn is. The grounds stretch back to a gorgeous long beach where all customers have access. There’s a tranquil enclosed lawn where you can bask in sun while sipping fresh lemon or cucumber infused water on plush lounge chairs, enjoy one of their yoga classes overlooking the ocean, or you can go out it’s secure door to lay on the beach for the day. It’s up to you.
Paia Inn was definitely more in tune with our style of travel than other hotels in Maui. We love a small establishment where one can chill out in the common areas, read a book and let all the stress of life melt away in a tranquil environment. Of all the hotels in Maui, this was the place we spent the least amount of time and I wish it was the opposite.
- Located on Maui’s North Shore towards the east of Maui, Paia Inn is a places you can chill out, enjoy yoga classes on the beach and chic boutique hotel rooms located directly on the beach. Check out this hip boutique hotel
Hana Maui Resort
This resort is an upscale choice of accommodation on Maui’s Eastern Coast at the end of the Hana Highway in Hana. Immerse in Hawaiian culture and make your own lei or head outdoors for some horseback riding. Now that’s definitely a unique experience on the islands. It offers ocean view rooms and bungalows a restaurant and pool bar. If you are looking for a couple of days of seclusion and relaxation, this is a great choice. Check rates and availability
South Maui Wailea
This stretch of places to stay in Maui is the best for luxury hotels lining the waterfront of the Pacific Ocean. We had the chance to experience three of the top hotels here and each one is a great choice for Maui hotels. The area is a little far away from a lot of the top attractions on Maui, but if you have a car, you can easily drive to do some outrigger canoeing, snorkeling or to take a helicopter tour. Other than the Hana Highway, it’s easy to make anything a day trip or excursion.
Plus the beach and ammenities are so good at each resort, you may not want to leave. Browse VRBO for apartment rentals and deals in Wailea like this waterfront property.
The Fairmont Kea Lani
The Fairmont Kea Lani at Wailea is outstanding. We stayed in a deluxe ocean front suite and it was stunning. With a separating living area, king size beds and view of the pool and ocean, we couldn’t ask for more.
Located directly on the beach, you have direct access to a 2.5 mile walkway along the waterfront where you can visit the other nearby resorts. The Willow Stream Spa gave us one of the best massages we’ve ever had but there are plenty of other things to keep you busy here. There are three swimming pools, two are large lagoon size pools snaking through the property, and Polo Beach is a 600 foot wide sand beach that is the perfect place to hang out, do some stand up paddle boarding, sun tanning or simply go for a walk and take in the beautiful sunset. See more of the Fairmont for rates and availability.
Four Seasons Resort Wailea
Located directly beside the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort in Wailea, Four Seasons is our favourite hotel brand. it ups the luxury factor to 11 with an adults only infinity pool and beautiful seaside views. Friends of ours stayed here during our stay at the Fairmont and we had dinner, took a tour of her room and strolled around the property with I must admit a bit of envy.
You can’t go wrong staying at Wailea Beach with access to a beautiful sandy beach and the 2.1 mile walkway. Plus there is morning yoga, SUP and a luxury spa offering open-air hale (thatched treatment huts) couples massages. This is a popular stop for golfers as its minutes away from Maui’s top three golf courses, Gold, Blue and Emerald Golf courses. Plus, you can walk to the restaurants and boutiques at the Shops at Wailea to do some shopping. Check Rates and Availability at the Four Seasons Here.
Grand Wailea Maui
We also had the chance to stay at the Grand Wailea and it is on par with the Four Seasons and Fairmont for an ultra luxury experience. This hotel is perfect for families with waterslides and activities.
The dining was outstanding and we even had a Hawiian Poke lesson where we made our own traditional Hawaiian Dish of spicy raw fish. It’s located on the same stretch of sand at Wailea Beach and is close to shopping, golf and dining. See more rates and availability
Maui has something for everyone. It’s an island filled with adventure. By staying at different hotels in very different locations, we had the chance to experience and do very different activities on the island.
Watch our Video: The Best Things to do in Maui
And these are some of the best places to stay in Maui (that we’ve been). There are plenty of boutique hotels and apartment rentals on Maui, so don’t let the luxury stop you from checking it out. There are ways to travel Hawaii on a budget.