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Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Vancouver, Canada
2 posts
1 review
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Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Hi,

I am booking a short stay (4 days) in Maui in mid June. I am travelling for my 30th birthday, with my 31 year old partner. We like to do a lot of activities, meet people, go to bars etc.

I am having a really hard time deciding between Kihei or Kannapali.

1. Kihei - The Maui Coast Hotel looks great, is great value, and has great reviews. However I have been told I should stay in Kaanapali as it is the main area.

2. Kaanapali - Kaanapali Beach Hotel or Royal Lahaina Resort - more expensive, hotels look dated.

Should I pay more and stay one of in these less appealing hotels just to be in Kaanapali? (Note these are the only ones I have found in the area within my budget) Or is Kihei just as good? I am concerned it will be too quiet, have been reading a lot of mixed reviews.

Any advice is much appreciated.

Thanks!!

Nanaimo, Canada
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24,741 posts
90 reviews
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1. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Stacey, welcome to TA!

First Kihei is not quiet. It is more of a beach town, with strip malls, restaurants galore, and three great beaches, the Kam beaches for short. Most of the condos are across the street from these amazing beaches. Some places are on the ocean side though. Kihei Surfside is one of them, just south of the boat ramp at the south end of Kihei. That is where we have stayed twice.

Ka'anapali is more high rise, resort area. But just north of there is Kahana and Napili. There may be places that fit your budget there, if West Maui is where you want to be.

There is a constant west versus south debate on here, and they both have their pros and cons. We have stayed twice in west, and twice in the South. Hoping to go in September again, and it will be south again.

Use the search engine at the top, and plunk in west Maui or south Maui and you can have a read through some of the other threads about this dilemma....the honest truth though, it won't matter where you stay, as you will be on Maui!

Have you rented the car yet? Do that asap, when you have the dates locked in. Discounthawaiicarrental, or costco if you are a member are two places to get you started.

California
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2,272 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

IMO, Kaanapali Beach Hotel is in a better location than Royal Lahaina. RH feels kind of separated from the main walking area. When I stayed there years ago, I didn't even realize there was stuff we could walk to. KBH, however, makes Kaanapali offerings feel much more accessible.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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45,873 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Kihei is a beach town. Certainly not quiet!! Kaanapali is a planned resort community. Both have fine hotels, restaurants, beaches, shops etc.

I've stayed at the Maui Coast Hotel, it's nice and has been recently renovated. More of a typical mainland type hotel. Love their bar and hot tubs, across the street from the beach.

The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is an icon. Yes, a bit dated but you won't find any better ALOHA anywhere else on Maui.

Kaanapali isn't the "main area", just the one with the most accommodations and visitors!!

D P
New York City, New...
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1,308 posts
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4. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Stayed in Kaanapali last month - as much as I liked it I felt secluded, Was a 45 minute drive to get to anywhere out of West Maui.

Next year I am staying in Kihei instead. I like the central location much better.

dallas
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193 posts
14 reviews
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5. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

we like the kaanapali area, but i am finding some of the activities (like yoga) all seem to be on kihei side. parking seems to be an issue both places...

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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44,036 posts
19 reviews
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6. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

I far prefer Ka'anapali ... and the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel was a great location ... and a HUGE following of loyal patrons.

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440 posts
18 reviews
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7. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Stacey, of the three hotels you mentioned, I would definitely pick one of the Kaanapali hotels to be directly on the beach and for more of a Hawaiian feel. There is something to be said for walking out of the hotel and right onto the sand. If you do choose the Royal Hawaiian, choose a tower room, not a cottage room. Most of the negative reviews pertain to the cottage rooms. I have stayed there, it was lovely, and a great value.

San Carlos...
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1,530 posts
8 reviews
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8. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Try the Makena Beach and Golf resort. The best deal in south maui. Kihei is meh....

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440 posts
18 reviews
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9. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

Correction to post #7, I meant Royal Lahaina, not Royal Hawaiian, of course. :)

Maui, Hawaii
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1,762 posts
9 reviews
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10. Re: Help! Kaanapali or Kihei?

You might want to check out the Napili Bay Resort condos. It is right on a pretty and fairly calm beach ( in June) but no pool. Its tranquil and romantic, but I don't know how many bars they have. I have not stayed in Kaanapali, its too built up for me and not my favorite beach, but I know many people on the forum are Kaanapali boosters, and there are tons of bars there. . I have also stayed at the Makena Bay Resort, very nice but maybe more than you want to spend and you would have to drive to bars,or take their shuttle.. There is also the Kihei Surfside Condo but it has a small pool and you have to walk a second or two to the beach, but its an oceanfront property. I hear the west side will have smaller waves in summer than the Kihei beaches. Maui Coast hotel is not even on the beach. K