Wondering where to stay in Maui? We’ve composed this guide on how to choose the best hotels in each of the top destinations in Maui.
The second largest Hawaiian island, Maui is a tropical paradise with something for everyone. Not only does the island have many beautiful resorts, it’s home to quaint villages, lush nature, great restaurants and shopping, and lots of Hawaiian culture. Nicknamed “the valley isle,” the island is also home to the Iao Valley, a 4,000 acre park known for the iconic 1,200-foot tall Iao Needle.
Choosing accommodations on an island as diverse as Maui can be intimidating, but rest assured that no matter your tastes, there’s a perfect place on Maui for you. Here are my recommendations for where to go and stay in Maui!
Where to Stay in Maui
Resting on Maui’s north shore, Paia is a quaint little town with a bohemian vibe and an eclectic local population. This colorful town is full of art galleries, mom and pop shops, and healthy eateries, although it’s most famous for its big north shore waves.
During the winter, these waves attract pro windsurfers and kitesurfers, making this a great place to hang out and people watch.
Where to Stay in Paia
Paia Inn is a great mid-budget condo-style hotel. This boutique property is right near the beach, and is located within shops and restaurants. They even provide boogie boards and snorkel equipment!
For a peaceful, mostly untouched scenic spot that features botanical gardens, black sand beaches, great snorkeling, tranquil pools, and rolling pastures, head to Hana, an East Maui town that can’t be missed.
To get to Hana from Paia, you’ll have to take the Hana Highway — a famous route with over 620 curves and 59 bridges that’s an attraction in itself. The highway will take you through dramatic scenery such as waterfalls, rainforests, and beautiful views of the sea. While definitely a road to take slow and steady, it’s one of the best drives Maui has to offer.
Where to Stay in Hana
For a luxury stay in Hana, check out either the suites at Travaasa Hana, a gorgeous property surrounded by 70 acres of tropical gardens with a ton of activities offered.
Also a luxury property in Hana is the Heavenly Hana Paradise. The studio features all the amenities, a plush wicker dining area, and is within a 20 minute drive of the Hana waterfalls.
Located in West Maui, Lahaina is a historical town known for its fabulous beaches, great art galleries, and top restaurants. The main drag in Lahaina, Lahaina’s Front Street, has been named one of America’s best streets by the American Planning Association, and I definitely recommend getting out and taking a stroll along the waterfront.
In Lahaina, check out the history of Maui on the Lahaina Historic Trail, go for a hike, and catch a Luau. Additionally, if you head to Maui during the winter months, be sure to book yourself on a whale watching tour. The channel just outside the harbor is one of the best places to spot humpback whales in the region.
Where to Stay in Lahaina
Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Maui on a Budget
While technically part of Lahaina, Kaanapali is just far enough away from Lahaina proper to be designated its own area. Kaanapali is the original resort location for the island of Maui, and such there are many resorts and hotels to choose from.
While in Kaanapali, go snorkeling off Black Rock at North Kaanapali Beach (known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world), zip line through the mountains, and attend a luau at one of the many resorts.
Where to Stay in Kaanapali
Kaanapali Ocean Inn is a great budget option in Kaanapali. This property is located at the foot of the West Maui Mountains, faces Kaanapali Beach, and has the cutest tropical decor.
For something more mid-range, check out Kaanapali Beach Hotel. The hotel is located among tropical gardens, and has tons of activities for guests to try.
For a luxury stay, I personally recommend the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa. The property is right at the foot of Black Rock, has the cutest rooms, and features an area shuttle service.
Just a couple miles North of Kaanapali is the adjacent town of Napili-Honokowai. Much like Kaanapali, Napili is chalk full of resorts, and has a ton of activities to do. In Napili, go snorkeling off Napili Bay, visit Kahekili Beach Park, browse the farmer’s markets, and check out the Nakalele Blowhole.
Where to Stay in Napili
Napili Sunset Beach Front Resort is a great mid-range apart-hotel. The property is located right on the beach, and features full kitchens, free WiFi, and BBQ facilities.
The Mauian Hotel is another mid-range option with beautiful hotel rooms and studios. The hotel is home to a swimming pool and BBQ’s.
A town set in the sunny southwest of Maui, Kihei is six miles of beautiful beaches, awesome surfing, snorkeling, and kayaking spots, beach volleyball courts, nightlife, and awesome whale watching.
Kihei is also known as a prime nature conservation district, so if you’re interested in bird watching this is the place to come.
Where to Stay in Kihei
Kohea Kai Maui is a great mid-range option in Kihei featuring a free breakfast, swimming pool, and rooftop deck.
The Maui Coast Hotel is another great mid-range option that sits directly across from Kamaole Beach Park, and is home to nightly entertainment, tennis courts, and a free shuttle service around Kihei and Wailea.
A resort community in South Maui, Wailea is known for its five gorgeous beaches, golf courses, and luxury properties. That said, the area is as well known for its luxury as its adventure, as the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve is just six miles away.
The reserve has a great snorkeling area, lava field, and hiking trails. I’d recommend jumping on the 2.5 mile Hoapili Trail, which snakes along the coast until you get to the lava fields at Kanaio Beach.
Where to Stay in Wailea
Aston at the Maui Banyan is a great mid-range apart-hotel. All the suits are decorated in a tropical beach style, and the property features a swimming pool, hot tub, and tennis court.
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa is my preferred luxury accommodation in Wailea. The property is located across 40 acres of lush greenery, and is home to 5 restaurants, a spa, water park, and 3 golf courses.
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is another beautiful luxury property in Wailea. The Andaz Maui features outdoor infinity pools, a spa, and top restaurants.
If you’re looking for a more city-like Maui stay with a ton of history and nature spots nearby, then I’d recommend staying in Wailuku. Wailuku is a central Maui town that is full of historical buildings and theaters, one-of-a-kind stores, awesome restaurants, and museums.
That said, what surrounds Wailuku is just as spectacular as the town itself. While there, I’d definitely recommend heading out to Iao Valley State Park, which has some seriously dramatic scenery and great trails.
Where to Stay in Wailuku
Iao Valley Inn is a budget-friendly option in Wailuku. Not only is it only a couple miles out of Iao Valley State Park, the Inn features a continental breakfast and cozy rooms.
Right next to Wailuku in central Maui is Kahului, the central hub of the island where you’ll find the airport and the island’s largest harbor. If you’re looking for a city in which to get the local Maui experience and get off the tourist trail, then Kahului is awesome, as this generally non-touristy city has tons of authentic Hawaiian things to see and do.
In Kahului, visit the Alexander & Baldwin Sugar Museum, check out the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, and visit the Kanaha Beach Park where you’ll find awesome swimming and windsurfing areas.
Where to Stay in Kahului
Maui Seaside Hotel is a great budget option in Kahului. The hotel is just 5 miles from Kihei Beach, and features a restaurant and outdoor pool.
Maui Beach Hotel is another great budget option that features an airport shuttle, pool, and the awesome Rainbow Terrace Dining Room.
Maui Packing Essentials
Swim Gear: No trip to Hawaii would be complete without a hop in the ocean. For trips like these I always pack my long-sleeve rash guard, water shoes, snorkeling equipment, a quick-dry towel, a few bathing suits, and a cover-up.
Photo Equipment: Maui (and Hawaii in general) is such a photogenic spot, you definitely don’t want to forget your camera gear. I recommend bringing along a GoPro for underwater shots, a selfie stick for snaps of yourself on the go, and a nice camera for land use.