Making a decision on where to stay on Maui can be a challenge. So many locations and so many choices, but there is certainly something for everyone. Maui has more than one resort area, and each has it’s own personality.
There are five distinct resort areas on Maui. From West to East there is Kapalua, Kaanapali, Kihei, Wailea and Hana. For first time visitors, the West Maui area is best. Located about an hour drive from the Kahului Airport the West Maui area has something for everyone even though it is a bit removed from other parts of the island. West Maui and the Kaanapali Resort is the home several fine upscale hotels including Westin Maui, Sheraton Maui and the Hyatt Maui. All offer great beachfront locations and beautiful views of the ocean and sunset, Molokai and Lanai. Today Maui has a charm that catapulted the island into a very popular light, but the magical island of Maui truly had its start here along Kaanapali Beach.
Further along the West Maui coastline is Kapalua. The upscale resort area offers two world class golf courses, a slew of luxury vacation villas and the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Somewhat more private than most resort areas, Kapalua is a quiet enclave that bursts at the seams during golf tournaments and the annual Kapalua Wine Festival. Activities and attractions abound for those staying in West Maui. There is something for everyone including luaus to Lahaina town, from shopping to Sugar Cane train rides. West Maui has enough to keep anyone going for at least a week or more.
It’s not difficult to get from resort area to resort area on Maui, but for those who want extra assistance in navigating the island, it is recommended to download an iPhone travel app or an Android travel app. they are free and very useful for those who want to get the most out of their Maui visit.
Wailea is another collection of world-class resorts, golf courses, vacation villas all located along some of the best beaches on Maui. Mega resorts like the Grand Wailea, the Four Seasons Maui and the Fairmont Kealani sit side by side linked by walking path that weaves through the resort along the ocean’s edge. It is definitely more centrally located than West Maui but the Wailea experience is more resort focused. Perfect for honeymooners and those wanting nothing more than to be pampered while soaking up the sparking sun and warm surf that can be found on any number of white sand beaches.
Kihei is unique in that is one of the very few areas on Maui where residents and visitors co-mingle regularly. The area is larger and busier than other Maui resorts stretching along the South Maui coast from central Maui to Wailea. There is a trifecta of beautiful sandy beaches called Kamaole on one side of the road and a vast collection of timeshares, vacation condos and budget hotels on the other. Those planning a more simple Maui trip that is more of a brood on a budget than all out luxury will find Kihei reasonably priced. There are an abundance of spacious multi-bedroom vacation condos to make everyone contented. Rumpled and raw, Kihei is a snapshot of beach town excitement where strip malls and movie theatres sit side by side margarita bars and SCUBA and snorkel tour stands. The roadway is lined with pick-ups and cars on weekends when locals from upcountry and central Maui flock with boogie boards, barbecues and family in tow.
Maui has something for everyone. Familys to honeymooners. It’s a beautiful place that can be enjoyed by many in many way.
Lottie Tagupa is a native Hawaiian, born and raised on the island of Oahu. She has been writing about Hawaii for over 10 years and currently lives in Waimea on the Big Island
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