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Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

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Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

Sorry, another “where should I stay?” forum post!

We’re husband/wife, 40 yrs old, making our first time to Maui. No kids. We are planning for April 2015, staying for 10-14 days. No plans to split time between locations, although we may do a night or two in Hana. Our budget is ok up to $300 or so per night, although we will probably shoot for the $200 range. We’re hoping for something clean and quiet, and oceanside is preferable. We’re not into resort luxury (or golf), and nightlife isn’t very important. We expect to be out exploring the island most days… hiking, RTH, snorkeling, Haleakala, photography, helicopter trip, boat trip to Lanai, etc... end the day with nice dinners and then back to the condo to chill.

We’ve been to Kauai, stayed in a Princeville VRBO and loved the whole island, but we preferred the north shore to the Poipu area. Now we're giving Maui a shot :)

Based on what I’ve read so far, Kihei appears to be a good fit. Central location for exploring the island, and relatively inexpensive. Am I on the right track? We’re excited to research some VRBO’s and get our lodging locked up!

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

A lot of the condos in Kihei are across the street from the Kam beaches, but there are a few nice ones right on the ocean. Check out Kihei Surfside, right on the border with Wailea, and all units have views. Also, there is the Hale Pau Hana, between Kam 2 and 3 beach. Much nicer I think, and closer to restaurants in central Kihei.

Mana Kai is another option, and it has wonderful views of Keawakapu Beach. But I am not sure how they work the one bedroom, as they shut off part of a condo unit. I can't explain it very well, sorry! Royal Mauian is another option too.

Check the calender for Easter! It may be busier then, and some school districts may choose to add spring break onto the Easter weekend, so there is potential for it to be a bit busier.

Maui, Hawaii
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2. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

Go to Kihei you'll love it, best place on the island you don't even need a rental car, just hike around the Kam beaches.

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3. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

"Central location for exploring the island, and relatively expensive."

Sounds like you have researched your options and know what you are looking for, but what concerns me is your appreciation of the north shore on Kaua'i. I do not think these two areas are at all similar . We have stayed on the north shore now three times, in the past year and a half, and what I am looking for on Kaua'i is different than what I want on Maui. I do not expect oceanfront on Kaua'i because it is more expensive than I am willing to pay and not as available, due to the protectiveness of that island, in regards to development on their beaches. I always go north shore and care more about the lodging.

On Maui, I expect oceanfront, not necessarily swimmable beach, because I can easily drive to the beaches we prefer on the south side. And our money goes much further on Maui. Have you looked at the west because that might be more lush and there are plenty of inexpensive options in Honokowai, Napili and Kahana and it might be more lush like the north shore?

That being said, I am a Kihei person all the way, but it is not for everyone. Much drier, more of a town feel and not at all resort. No fancy manicured lawns, but local folks in a town setting and very casual. We like the vibe there and the inexpensive condo we stay at, with full on ocean views, and huge lawn in front. And it is very convenient for getting around the entire island, because while we stay in Kihei, we explore all of Maui.

And do make sure to reserve a car early and check back for better prices as the trip departure approaches. Please ignore Bazza, as he seems to be very sarcastic and cannot get a grip on that attitude. Much better beaches to be explored on the south side than the Kam beaches, but they have their plusses too. Deb

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4. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

I highly recommend Kahana, it is my second time here and it just suits me. Both studios I have stayed in (at Valley Isle and Royal Kahana) have been under $140 per night including everything and with ocean views. The beach here is narrow, for sure, but it is easy to drive elsewhere or just enjoy the pool. The one here at RK is right next to the ocean.

I have never stayed in Kihei, but it has a lot more you can walk to. The sun seems to be more reliable too. That said, I prefer the quieter atmosphere of Kahana to come "home" to at night and start my morning. Since you have quite a long vacay you may want to split time between South and West to see what suits you. We have fans of both on the forum. :-D

ON, Canada
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5. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

<<"Based on what I’ve read so far, Kihei appears to be a good fit. Central location for exploring the island, and relatively inexpensive. Am I on the right track?">>

Yes - Kihei is good for both of those reasons. We always stay in west Maui, but Kihei is a favourite of many here on the forum. And as Deb mentions, don't pay any attention to Bazza's comments.

Pittsburgh, PA
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6. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

Kihei is a good option, but you may want to reconsider not staying in 2 locations. If I had 2 weeks on Maui, I would definitely spend one week in the Kihei area and one week in West Maui. Unless you really like to drive a lot, it is much easier to explore each part of the island when you start out in that area. I'm certainly not saying that you need to do this, but with so much time on the island, it will definitely save you travel time going back and forth.

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7. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

If you preferred the North Shore to Poipu, I think you might prefer the northern part of Maui too. It's a bit more tropical feeling than Kihei, and as J0an said much of the lodging in Kihei is across the street from the water. I think anywhere in the Honokowai, Kahana, Napili stretch could be a good fit, particularly since there's so much in the way of affordable oceanfront.

You say you like to finish off the day with a nice dinner. This is another reason to stay up in the northwest. Lahaina and Kaanapali are just a few minutes away and offer lots of good restaurants and concentrated areas for after-dinner strolling or shopping. Kihei would be fine if the main thing you wanted was beaches, but if you want a cohesive town too, you're better off closer to Lahaina.

If you had two full weeks, I could see splitting them between the two locations, but we've tried that on a couple recent trips and found we'd rather stay put and really begin to feel at home in one place.


Edited: 30 April 2014, 16:38
San Diego...
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8. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

I agree with Bazza, you can get everything you need within your budget at Kihei

Seattle, Washington
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9. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

I have to agree with Jim M - if you like NS Kauai I think West Maui is a better match than Kihei. But then we are Kapalua and Honokowai frequent renters so I am bias. But we also stay in Princeville when on Kauai as I really do not like Poipu area. I'd rather stay in Kapaa then Poipu.

San Carlos...
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10. Re: Advice on where to stay for first-time visitors

Kihei could not be more opposite to the north shore of Kauai. Some like the vibe, I don't. It is a mess in many areas from poor planning and development. Kapalua, Wailea, Napili would be better options if you want a more serene, laid back experience.