We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

South side vs. West side

Kokomo, Indiana
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Topic
South side vs. West side

OK, I tried and tried to research the various beaches, cities, areas, etc. of Maui before deciding what area to stay in. For some reason,I read some reviews that said the Maalaea (or whatever) was not that great, Kihea was a perfect example of tourist area gone bad...not sure what that meant, didn't see too much on the Makena,Wailea area, but lots of good reviews on the west side (Kaanapali, Kapulua) side. What is anyone else's opinion. By the way, the reviews were not on these forums. I discovered these forums just recently. Sorry so long.

Alma, AR
Level Contributor
84 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: South side vs. West side

I have only stayed in Kaanapli, and loved it. We felt that we could easily drive to all sides of the island from there. It is also very close to Lahaina, which is the fun place to be at night.

We didn't spend any of the evenings on the south side, but we did spend a day at the beaches there. Palauea Beach, is beautiful! Its hard to find from the road because it is hidden by a thicket of trees, but it is also very uncrowded.

orange county
Level Contributor
699 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: South side vs. West side

On the south side, wailea is considered the ritzy area. However, it is small and if you stray to kihei or the surrounding area, it is drastically different.

I personally like the west side better for the same reasons the above-poster mentioned. More stuff to do, area is very nice and everything is close by. Kapalua is nice, but its further north and kind of isolated. still, its only a short 15 minute drive to kaanapali and lahaina.

Spokane, WA
Level Contributor
1,416 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: South side vs. West side

I personally like the West side better. I like Kaanapali, Kapulua and Napili areas as they have great beaches and short drive to Lahaina for shopping and lots of restaurants. Kihei area in my opinion is not that nice and most condos etc are not right on a beach but accross the street etc. Wailea is very nive, but to upscale and expensive for my budget. It really depends on what you like. Maui is beautiful and no matter where you stay you will enjoy it.

Kokomo, Indiana
Level Contributor
24 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: South side vs. West side

Well I will trust all of your opinions. Since we have never been to any of the islands, it is very overwhelming. Not only do I have no idea of distances from place to place, I don't know if one place is more fun than the other. Also, not knowing how big Maui really is (geographically speaking) trying to get in a location that is close to where we would like to spend time (even though we are doing things all over...i.e. road to hana and haleakala trek) I still felt that being close to some fun, restaurants, nightlife, and SHOPPING would be beneficialand handy. I thank you for your input. I feel we have made the right choice by going with the west side. thanks

Edina, Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Lanai
Level Contributor
4,080 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: South side vs. West side

I have to vote for the Wailea area. It is quieter, less people, better planned development, and still plenty to do. I still don't understand people's desire "to do something" all the time on vacation. What ever happened to relaxing.

But with the hotel renovations coming to Wailea (Renaissance and Four Seasons), one will have to watch those developments before making final decisions.

Alma, AR
Level Contributor
84 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: South side vs. West side

Some people...like me, get plenty of relaxing at home and go on vacation for adventure and excitement. When you live somewhere like Arkansas, where things aren't that busy, and there aren't alot of exciting things going on...you want to stay busy on vacations.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: South side vs. West side

my vote goes for the west side as well. Nicer beaches, and peace and quiet. If you want noise..just go to Whalers Village.

Princeville, Hawaii
Level Contributor
7,034 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: South side vs. West side

Not sure about the "nicer beaches on the west" talk. There are more nicer beaches on the south. We have stayed on the west side until this year when we are staying in a condo on the south side. Basically because its closer to things and because if we ever want to live in Maui, it would not be on the west side; we couldn't afford it.

Toledo, Ohio
Level Contributor
280 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: South side vs. West side

We have stayed in South Maui the times we have been there and it is much cheaper there. I liked paying less so I had more money to spend doing an awesome boat tour. Plus, why pay more to be on Kaanapali beach when you want to stay so busy going all over and doing a lot of things? In addition, if you love to snorkel there are more snorkeling sites in South Maui and many of them like Aquarium near La Perouse have to be done really early, a benefit staying in South Maui. Just my humble opinion!

Virginia Beach, VA
Level Contributor
446 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: South side vs. West side

We just got back a month ago and found the west side to be perfect for us. Like you, we wanted to be within close proximity to restuarants, shopping, etc and we found the best place for that is the town of Lahaina. We stayed at the Hyatt on Kaanapali Beach and Lahaina was only about a mlie away (if that). You also were within walking distance of the Whalers Village, which we didn't enjoy as much as Lahaina, but still had a variety of shops/restaurants. We had driven down to the Wailea one afternoon/evening and found that it would have taken us about 45 minutes (give or take) to get from there into Lahaina. Since we ended up enjoying the marjority of our evenings in Lahaina, we found that staying on the west side was the best choice for us.