Hi, well first decide which part of Maui to stay on. I am linking you a site which is MauiHawaii.org
It will help you choose the area. The areas are different. We stayed at the Grand Wailea and the Hyatt and a condo. You might want to try the South and also he West. This site doesn't suggests staying in Kapalua where the Ritz is, Maui revealed also doesn't suggest it because it is always raining and was built on a Hawaiian buriul ground. People in general don't like the Grand Wailea on these boards for honeymoon because it is crowded. And it is crowded but we are used to it being from NYC. Not sure how someone from the mid west will feel about it.But we didn't have a problem with it.
It depends on what you are looking for in a resort. The Sheraton and Grand Wailea have a great beach. The Fairmont does too. IT is sunnier where the Grand Wailea is and the Fairmont. People seem to love the Sheraton and it is on Black rock. Here is the link.
Which Part of Maui to Stay On
West Side Versus South Side
There are two major areas of Maui for you to pick from – West and South. And each of those two sides has two sections, one with mostly luxury hotels and the other with mostly less expensive condos.
I prefer the west (Kaanapali) side because it is more beautiful (lush green mountains), and is very close to Lahaina (fun historic tourist town with shopping, restaurants and boat harbor). In addition, the condo section of the west side (Kahana and Napili) has much less traffic than the condo section of the south side (Kihei), and most west side condos are right on the ocean while most south side condos are across the street from the ocean. However, the south side has the advantage of slightly less rain in the winter. And Wailea (the luxury area of the south side) is a quieter area than Kaanapali. A disadvantage of the west side is that it is only connected to the central part of Maui by a single main highway, which sometimes has very heavy traffic and occasionally is blocked by an accident.
The west side of Maui includes Kaanapali, Honokowai, Kahana, Napili, Kapalua and Lahaina.
Kaanapali Beach is my favorite area of Maui to stay on. This is the luxury part of the west side of Maui. There are several large hotels with elaborate pools, grounds and lobbies, plus a couple large luxury condos. All of these hotels and condos in Kaanapali are within walking distance of each other, and of restaurants, all beach activities, snorkeling, and the Whalers Village shopping center.
Honokowai, Kahana, and Napili are just north of Kaanapali Beach. They contain numerous large and small condo complexes that are less expensive than staying right on Kaanapali Beach, but they are not within walking distance of the big resort hotels and shopping and restaurants, and some of them do not have air conditioning or daily maid service. Most of these condo buildings are right on the beach.
Kapalua is at the far north end of West Maui. It has a few luxury condos and one hotel. But Kapalua gets more rain and wind than any other part of West or South Maui, so I would not recommend this area.
Lahaina is a small tourist town with lots of shops, restaurants, and history. If you stay in town, you will feel like you are spending your Maui vacation in the city, not on a beach in a resort area. So Lahaina is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there. But don’t be confused by the mailing address of a hotel or condo. All of the hotels and condos on the west side of Maui have Lahaina mailing addresses, but almost none of them are in Lahaina. That’s just the closest post office. Traffic through Lahaina is often very congested, especially at rush hour.
The south side of Maui includes Wailea and Kihei.
Wailea has luxury hotels and condos. They are spread out a little more than the luxury hotels and condos on Kaanapali Beach, so some people like the slightly quieter atmosphere, but others don’t like the fact that you can’t easily walk to all the big hotels and restaurants and shopping center like you can in Kaanapali.
Kihei is north of Wailea. It has numerous large and small condo complexes that are less expensive than staying in Wailea. Many of these do not have air conditioning or daily maid service. And most Kihei condos (unlike most west side condos) are across the street from the beach, rather than right on the beach. Kihei tends to be congested with heavy traffic. Kihei does have many family restaurants.
Other parts of Maui:
Haiku, Kula and Upcountry are other parts of Maui you could stay in. They don’t have major hotels or condos, but they do have some B&B’s and other smaller places to stay. They are a long drive from the tourist areas that contain most beaches, restaurants and shopping.
Kahului is Maui’s big city and is the location of the airport where you will arrive on Maui. Kahului does have a couple small old hotels, but they are mostly for business travelers and are not well suited for vacationers who want to be on the beach in a resort atmosphere.
I forgot to add that the Grand Wailea has the best pools but I am sure you knew that. We stayed there for the pools. It is more like a water park.
We loved the Sheraton for its relaxed feel with the lazy lagoon pool and oceanfront pool bar.
the grounds are beautiful. It is on the best part of Kanapali beach and on the path that fronts all of the resorts and Whaler's Village on Kaanapali beach. The provide a shuttle to Lahaina for additional entertainment choices. We found that West Maui is greener with more scenery. While the Ritz has just been rehabbed, it is the farthest north. The hotel is set way back from the ocean and the beach. The weather is most likely to be rainy there. The Grand Wailea and Fairmont both attract lots of kids because of their pools. The Wailea area is very upscale (stuffy to us). Most of the surrounding area is brown and desert-like.
I'd try the Ritz in November. It will be hot on Maui then and the Ritz is in Kapalua, up at the northern end of Maui. Only drawback for you may be that it is a bit isolated from the rest of West Maui -- and West Maui is already farther from the *rest* of Maui (if you want to do a lot of sightseeing). The Sheraton would be more in the midst of things, and I know a lot of Chicagoans think "Maui" means only Kaanapali!
Of the Wailea group, I'd pick the Fairmont. Wailea has the superior beaches and has many different hotels plus Shops At Wailea -- choices of restaurants. Also more casual choices in neighboring S. Kihei.
Thanks everyone for the great posts! Much deciding to do...but all your posts are very helpful! Thanks again!
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