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.

Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

Utah
Level Contributor
66 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

Many of you know we are planning on staying at honua Kai this December for Christmas. I'm starting to wonder if we should stay in Wailea instead? Just thinking about the weather, the wind, etc. I have read that the south side has calmer water in the winter.

What should I do? I looked on VRBO and have found a couple places at the Mana Kai resort and the wailea beach villas which all look comparable to honua Kia. I'm so torn.

We have a few things booked in Leihana (a luau and horse riding) would that be far to drive too?

Any advice would be appreciated!

San Diego...
Level Contributor
2,484 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

We prefer south as it is drier particulary in the winter than the westside from Kaanapali north.

Niether of those properties are like the Honua Kai.

It is a high right complex with 2 towers more like a resort.

The Mana Kai was built in the 1970s. Older but remodeled. The Honua Kai has large modern upgraded condos with big lanais. Mana Kai has a 1970s look to the units. That said we love the MK. All units are 100% oceanview on the best beach on Maui.

Wailea Villas is a 2 story smaller, new complex.

If you decide to go south you can check with

Destination Resorts Maui for Wailea condos

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
24,140 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

It isn't that far to drive at all, but I think you would be quite happy staying at the Honua Kai. Much nicer condo (newer), and a great location, close to lots of great beaches, and the town of Lahaina. But if you move south, you will be marginally closer to Haleakala, and the start of the Road to Hana. That is, if you are even going to enjoy those adventures.

I would not try to second guess what the weather might or might not do. You may get rain, but if a system comes through, there will be rain everywhere.

Would you have to pay a cancellation fee to move now?

Utah
Level Contributor
66 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

No right now it's 100% refundable if I cancel

We are not going to go to Hana or do the Road to Hana

I just keep second guessing my choice to be on the west side, but I guess that where all our activities are going to be

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
51,321 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

There's very little difference in average rainfall between Wailea and Kaanapali/North Kaanapali (where Honua Kai is). They are both leeward coasts, and will have similar weather all year round.

Often, our winter storms come up from the south--in which case they will actually arrive in Wailea and Kihei before making their way to the West side. Sometimes the storms don't even get to the West side until after dark, and yet folks down south end up with crap weather during the day. One never knows, but I'd caution against believing naysayers who may have personal agendas here.

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
20,654 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

Weather should be OK from Kahana on south on Maui in winter. (I'd just skip Napili and Kapalua then.) The ocean will have turned from calmer north to calmer south, but December can fool us all!

I'm no fan of any tall elevator building, preferring low-rise, low-density, but of the three place you list, I would prefer Wailea Beach Villas. It's new-ish and is on a wonderful beach. It's walking distance to Shops At Wailea and to the top-notch hotels of Wailea. If you plan to tour to the opposite side of Maui, it's more convenient than staying in West Maui.

Mana Kai is older, with smaller units. The best thing about it is the beach, Keawakapu, which it shares with the complex next door, Kihei Surfside. I has outside-access walkways. (Unless your unit is at the end of the walkway, people are walking by all the time. The ground floor restaurant, Five Palms, serves B, L, D..

Honua Kai is huge. It has more condo units than most Maui hotels have *rooms*. It is built in a "U" shape; many lanai are in full view of every other lanai. It's newer, with nicely appointed, large units. The beach is mediocre and the area catches the wind. It's not on the Kaanapali shuttle and quite a walk to anything.

You can see aerials and read reviews on www.hawaiirevealed.com

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
22,278 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

The other two can not compare to what you are getting at the Honua Kai...there is a reason that accommodations are filling fast all up and down Kaanapali, it's a great area to stay. We stay every winter just south of the HK and my crew swims, snorkels and SUPs nearly every day in front of the Westin Villas.

There is no way to guarantee the weather, just go and enjoy your time in paradise.

Minnesota
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
12,120 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

If most of your activities are on the west, I would stay where you are closest. That is why I switched from staying at the Fairmont for several years to Kapalua because I was constantly driving up from the south. We stayed in Kapalua last Christmas and we had perfect weather..in fact we were wanting wind because it was so still. Weather can never be guaranteed, but the west has just as many nice days as the south.

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
24,140 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

I would just stay west, and enjoy less driving. You will still want to take a day and explore south Maui at some point. You can go right to the end of the road and see the last lava flow at La Perouse Bay. And check out Big Beach. And even stop in at the Mana Kai! 5 Palms is there, and they have a great happy hour.

And then the NEXT trip to Maui, you can try out somewhere in south Maui and then you will know if you have a preference. I've stayed west twice, and south twice. Love them both for different reasons.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
45,010 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

I wouldn't change lodgings at this point because I will travel all over the island. However, if snorkeling is a priority then yes, the best, most consistent ocean conditions will be found in south Maui during the winter months.

Iowa
Level Contributor
10,251 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Maui in December....should we be on the south side??

Joan has some great words of wisdom for you!

I've stayed in West Maui during December or early January 4 times, and we've booked this Christmas there again. We love it and keep coming back.

In early January 2013 we split our stay between Lahaina and Makena in South Maui. We did enjoy the split, but west Maui is still our first choice.

During that trip we did have one rainy day on the west side when we had planned to go to Kapalua. So we drove south where that day it was sunny and the ocean was calm.

When we moved south we watched the weather and spent a gorgeous day in sunny Kapalua. While eating dinner and gazing out at Molokai, we saw that it was clear and not shrouded in clouds. Our on-island friend (the unimpeachable SW) explained that that was a sign of a storm coming. And what do you know- a huge swell came in from the south, canceling our booked outrigger canoe trip abd any thought of snorkeling in the south, as well as carrying away almost all of Malu'aka beach sand.

You can talk about general weather patterns, but Mother nature will often surprise you. And the island is so drivable. You can often drive to another beach, not far away for better conditions if the one you're at isn't to your liking.

When we stayed at Honua Kai in early January, I walked a few minutes down the beach and snorkeled every morning. Loved it!

Edited: 05 June 2014, 23:54