Last updated on April 4, 2024 by Stefano Ferro, founder of MEL365, following extensive travelling in Hawaiian Islands

Where to stay in Maui

Maui is one of the most breathtaking islands in the world. With its crystal clear pacific waters, scenic views and a long list of other natural attractions, it truly belongs on every travel bug’s hit list.

There are a lot of places to choose from when figuring out where to stay in Maui. And each is more beautiful than the last. So how exactly do you choose?

We have your back there. In this exhaustive guide, you will learn all you need to know about the island.

This includes everything from where to stay in Maui with the family to romantic restaurants to hit upon your honeymoon.

Whatever your specific travel needs are the information will definitely come in handy.

You can read also

A beach, a sunset, really all you need in Maui
A beach, a sunset, really all you need in Maui

Before arriving in Maui, I suggest reading the latest news from the local newspaper Maui News, great also for events information. 

Where to stay in Maui for family, honeymoon and couples on a budget – In a nutshell

  • Best areas to stay in Maui: it all depends on the type of holiday you are after. Generally speaking, the island can be divided into 5 areas: South Maui Coast (the sunny area), West Maui Coast (the upscale area), Central Maui and the Kahului (Maui’s largest city), the North and East Coast (isolation and paradise) and the Upcountry (authentic). Read more about the areas below.
  • Where to stay in Maui with family: there are 3 great locations that work great when travelling with kids: Kaanapali Beach on the West Coast, Wailea Beach and Kihei on the South Coast. They offer a different kind of entertainment for either smaller or more grown-up kids. Read more below about a family trip to discover what suits you the best.
  • Best places to stay in Maui for your honeymoon: Maui is world-famous as a destination for honeymoons. It’s such a beautiful paradise. Hana on the East Coast is perfect if you are looking for real seclusion and privacy. The alternatives are Wailea on the South Coast and Kapalua Beach on the West Coast. All 3 locations have a few pros and cons though. Check them out below in the honeymoon section
  • Where to stay in Maui on a budget: although Maui is not famous for being a cheap destination you can still find good deals around. They are mostly in Kihei on the South Coast. Besides good value accommodations, there is also a good choice of cheap eateries Read more below for a trip on a budget, including suggestions on hotels and restaurants
  • Best places to stay in Maui for couples: I mentioned Hana in the honeymoon section as a lovely secluded place. It is also perfect for adventurous couples looking for activities (trekking, beaches etc) besides having a romantic breakaway. However, if you are on a budget, Kihei on the South Coast may be a better alternative. Read more about both areas below, including hotels, restaurant and bars that work great for couples
  • So what are actually the 5 best areas to stay in Maui: South Maui Coast (the sunny area), West Maui Coast (the upscale area), Central Maui and the Kahului (Maui’s largest city), North and East Coast (isolation and paradise), The Upcountry (authentic). You can read more info about all of them below
  • Suggested Hotels in Maui
  • Suggested activities in Maui:
  • Connection within the Hawaiian Islands: Maui is very well connected with all the main Hawaiian Islands as Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island with multiple daily flights at a very good price if booked well in advance. 
Best areas to stay in Maui
Best areas to stay in Maui

Where to stay in Maui with family 

Going to Hawaii as a family is probably on every parent’s bucket list.

Maui, in particular, has a lot to offer everyone in the family in terms of attractions and activities.

Here are 3 of the best places to stay in Maui with family.

The Wailea resorts on the South Coast
The Wailea resorts on the South Coast

Kaanapali Beach (West Coast)

Kaanapali Beach has quite a reputation not just in Maui but in the whole of North America.

It was once crowned the best beach in America and with its beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters it is not difficult to see why.

Located in the West Coast region of the island, Kaanapali Beach is home to numerous family-friendly resorts and hotels.

Unfortunately, Kaanapali Beach does not maintain its picturesque wonder throughout the year.

Between December and March, it tends to get a good amount of rain which could spoil your holiday

The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and the Westin Maui Resort & Spa in particular feature facilities that make traveling with young children very enjoyable.

These include playgrounds, large pools and child-friendly menus.

Another option is the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is as tropical and authentically Hawaiian as they get with the palm trees, beautiful beach and oceanfront views (see photos here).

You and your family will enjoy amenities like the spa, outdoor pool, parking and free Wi-Fi. They also organize fun activities including snorkeling and cultural performances for good old fashioned family fun.

Check availability at Ka’anapali

Wailea Beach (South Coast)

Wailea Beach is one of the South Coast’s most luxurious communities.

The beach is featured on magazine and TV shows on a regular basis, and for a good reason. It’s just spectacular.

Snorkeling on a calm-water day is unique in the rocky formation at both ends of the beach.

Bodysurfing, SUP and bodyboard surfing are instead popular when the gentle small waves form along the coast. Great fun for the grown-up kid (and adults too)

Wailea Beach is home to some pretty ritzy family-friendly resorts. One great option for families is the Fairmont Kea Lani Resort. This is a truly upscale option that will make your trip truly a memorable one.

The kids, in particular, will have the time of their lives with all the fun activities in and around the resorts. This includes things like trips to the Kamaole Beach Parks along the coastline which feature special playground facilities for young kids.

Check availability at the Fairmont

Fairmont Kea Lani Resort
Fairmont Kea Lani Resort

A great alternative is the family-friendly property Days Inn by Wyndham Maui Oceanfront. The beautiful minimalist vibes from the hotel design and décor (see photos here) are just what you need to stay authentic to the laid back vibes of the island.

The property comes with free parking, cable TV in the rooms and a kitchenette. You also have access to an outdoor barbeque space

Check availability at Days Inn

Wailea Beach also offers access to family-friendly restaurants like Te Au Moana. It is located within a similarly named beachfront resort and is best known for the luau shows and great regional cuisine.

The icing on this cake is the fact that with Wailea Beach, the weather is more or less great all year round.

Kihei (South Coast)

Kihei is a nice slice of beach paradise located in the South Coast region of Maui.

It is great for water-related events whether it is swimming, snorkeling or whale watching which everyone in the family will enjoy.

When staying here as a family, your accommodation options will be mostly based on condos and rental homes.

However, if you are looking for a hotel then you should check out the Kohea Kai Maui of the Ascend Collection, which is a great option for small families, especially with younger children.

The air-conditioned family rooms include single extra-large double beds (see photos here) so you can turn your trip into one big slumber party.

Check price at Kohea Kai

The hotel is also close to several parks which the kids will definitely enjoy. As well as many other facilities

First off, you could treat your kids to a fun day at the Kalama Skate Park.

This is great for both older and younger kids.

It also has a playground for the little ones as well as a barbeque spot for a nice family meal out.

You could also go out for some shaved ice which the children will definitely enjoy.

In this case, there are numerous options to consider including Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice.

Another option for the meals would be Wow-Wow Hawaiian Lemonade.

This is a Hawaiian cuisine restaurant best known for its fresh food, salad bowls and vegan options.

The colorful meals and amazing presentation will come in particularly handy with kids, they will love it.

Best places to stay in Maui for honeymoon

Maui is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations on the planet.

There is just something about the beautiful beaches and great weather that appeals to newlyweds.

So where would be the best place to stay in Maui for a honeymoon, for the freshly married love birds?

Watching a lovely sunset from the resort pool
Watching a lovely sunset from the resort pool

Hana (East Coast)

Hana is a town located on Maui’s very beautiful and isolated East coast.

You will get all the peace and solitude that you need to truly immerse yourself in marital bliss.

Should you decide to make an expedition out of your honeymoon, you will need a car to get around.

This will help you get to all those beach destinations, nature trails and souvenir shops on your to-do list.

There are numerous affordable car rental services in this case that you could use.

It works also great because of the many boutique accommodation options available in the area.

Travaasa Hana Resort is the perfect honeymoon getaway. The beautiful secluded property is right on the water offering beautiful views of the ocean on one side and lush vegetation on the other (see photos here).

You have several options for your honeymoon stays in terms of rooms, with each more beautiful and cozy than the last. You also have a lot of activities to look forward to including canoeing, mixology classes and spa treatments.

Check availability at Travaasa

Wailea (South Coast)

Located on the South Coast of Maui, Wailea offers newlyweds the gift of luxury in their exclusive resorts and condos.

The Hotel Wailea, in particular, is a great honeymoon option because it is an adults-only facility. The suites are really spacious, all with a picturesque view to the Ocean or the garden. The service is amazing, leaving you relaxing but always there when needed.

Check availability at the Wailea Hotel

Hotel Wailea, Relaix & Chateaux
Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux

Wailea Elua Village Resort is a great alternative, a place of beauty and tranquillity (see photos here), very popular with couples.

What makes it ideal for honeymoons are the beautiful oceanfront condo properties. These offer privacy, comfort and the convenience of having all that you need from kitchen to laundry in one space.

It is also very close to the beach for those romantic strolls as a newlywed duo.

Check availability at Wailea Elua

Kapalua Beach (West Coast)

In the dry season (between May and October) you may also want to check Kapalua Beach for a romantic stay. 

View to the west coast and Kapalua Beach
View to the west coast and Kapalua Beach

It’s a lovely strand of sand with calm water, just perfect for a swim.

However, you may want to pass on this location if you are traveling during the summer school holiday season.

Between June to mid-August, this beach becomes very popular with kids on vacation and it may not be that easy to have that quiet time you are looking for during a honeymoon.

The Mauian Hotel is perfect for the couple that wants to enjoy a great honeymoon without going broke in the process. You will get great value for your money with amenities like the pool, free breakfast and beach access (see photos here).

The rooms are large and airy with a variety of views from the garden to the ocean.

Check availability at Mauian

Where to stay in Maui on a budget 

Most locations in Maui are tourist-centered and therefore on the higher end of the budget spectrum.

Exploring the waterfalls
Exploring the waterfalls

Kihei (South Coast)

There are a few affordable hubs like Kihei in the South Coast region which offer the same paradise experience at much friendlier prices.

It is, therefore, a great option whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or even as an entire family.

In addition to affordable accommodation, Kihei has numerous low budget eateries for you to try out. One of them is the Nalu’s South Shore Grill which predominantly serves local favorites whether it is breakfast, light snacks or even dinner.

It is also really popular for the airy and calm ambience that is in true fashion of the whole Hawaii experience.

Another great cheap restaurant is 808 Deli. They have some of the most popular sandwiches on the island.

It is a great spot whether you want to takeout for your beach picnic or you want to take a quick snack to keep you going as you explore South Maui.

Speaking of accommodations, Kihei Kai Nani is a beautiful little self-contained and fully furnished apartment (see photos here).

It has a lot to offer despite being a low budget option including free Wi-Fi, free parking and a swimming pool. If you do not feel like being cooped up in the hotel all day, the beach is just 5 minutes away. 

Check availability at Kai Nani

Cheap places to stay in Maui (under $100)

If you are looking for an even better bargain than what Kihei offers then Wailuku is a great town to consider.

Wailuku is located in Central Maui just outside Kahului.

The cheap hostels and proximity to the airport, as well as other attractions, make it a great option for really tight budget trips.

It also has many restaurant and café options for you to have a nice culinary experience without denting your account.

A great option here would be Giannotto’s Pizzeria. They serve amazing pizza, sandwiches and light snacks are really low prices.

The Northshore Hostel Maui is one of the most popular low budget options in Maui with great value for the money.

It is a very simple establishment with a generally homey vibe due to décor design (see photos here).

One of the best things about staying here is the fact that there are so many freebies from free Wi-Fi and shuttle services to free breakfast.

Check price at Northshore

Best places to stay in Maui for couples

Planning your bae-cation to Maui? Here is where are the best places to stay in Maui for couples.

Driving to Hana, on the east coast
Driving to Hana, on the east coast

Hana (East Coast)

This isolated East coast gem is not only great for honeymooners but also perfect for the adventurous couple.

There are numerous isolated beaches for you to have fun waterside picnics on.

You could also plan a romantic nature trek through the likes of Piilani Trail and Hana Forest Reserve.

However, brace yourself as these routes can be challenging albeit very rewarding.

But you know what they say; a couple that sweats together stays together.

If you are looking for seclusion for your couple’s trip then the beautiful Aina Kupuna holiday cabin is the best option for you (see photos here).

Nestled in beautiful lush greenery, this air-conditioned unit comes fully furnished and self-contained to ensure that you have everything you need for a convenient stay.

It also offers amazing ocean views, mountain views and garden views for you to soak up as you enjoy each other’s company.

Check availability at Aina Kupuna

Kihei (South Coast)

This is a great low budget option for the couple looking for affordable thrills.

There are numerous great value accommodation options as well as restaurants and bars.

One of the most popular bars is Kahale’s Maui’s Local Dive Bar.

It is a quaint little spot serving a wide variety of cocktails and beers in a truly authentic Hawaiian setting. It just has a way of making you feel like a local.

For those romantic nights out during your trip, Gannon’s is a great option.

This Hawaiian cuisine spot offers it all from amazing food and great ambience to breathtaking island views.

The views pretty much guarantee that whether you go for a brunch date or dinner, it will be a super romantic experience.

Hale Kai O’Kihei 302 is a great accommodation for couples on a budget trip. The furnished apartment comes with a well-equipped kitchen as well as a TV in the living space for a home away from home feeling (see photos here).

When you are not chilling by the TV or having a cook-off, the apartment offers a convenient vantage point from which you can explore Maui’s South Coast area.

Check availability at Hale Kai

Relaxing in a cafe
Relaxing in a cafe

In addition to Kihei and Hana, there are more pretentious options in the West Coast region.

These will offer you a more luxurious experience as well as access to numerous stores for couples shopping trips.

Best areas to stay in Maui

Maui is a relatively small island and if you are spending a long stay then you may also break your holiday into two locations.

Before talking about the best areas to stay in Maui let me spend a couple of lines talking about the weather.

The average temperatures are year around very mild and warm, with a top of 85F (30C) during the day and 67F (20C) during the night.

The biggest difference is in the seasons: raining, between December and February, and dry, between April and October. Of course, the weather can be unpredictable during the shoulder seasons.

In saying this, the west coast tends to have almost twice as much water as the south coast. In fact, the south coast is actually sunny most of the year.

Here below a map of the island with the best areas to stay.

Best areas to stay in Maui
Best areas to stay in Maui

South Maui Coast (the sunny area)

When you think Hawaii, you think beautiful water, sugar-white sand and an endless supply of beach bumming opportunities.

This is exactly what South Maui has to offer. It also has some of the most gorgeous beaches including Makena Beach and Kihei Beach.

The Southern Coast also happens to have the best weather on the island featuring long and calm sunny days.

No storm clouds or heavy winds will be raining on your parade (pun very much intended).

Exploring the Molokini Crater, off the South Coast
Exploring the Molokini Crater, off the South Coast

When you are done working on your holiday tan and want to explore the area there will be a lot waiting for you.

One of the best of these attractions is the Molokini Islet. This tiny strip of land is just off the shore and is the perfect place to go snorkeling and whale watching.

Another awesome pit-stop on this part of the island is the Maui Ocean Center. This includes a huge aquarium as well as a whale-watching spot which is a great way to truly appreciate the local marine life.

All in all, it is the ideal part of the island if you are looking for a quiet and calm location with plenty of beach access.

West Maui Coast (the upscale area)

West Maui is a hip and swanky community characterized by its abundance of holiday resorts and shops.

It was for a very long time considered the perfect getaway by royalty from all over the world.

And given the numerous luxurious amenities available it is not so hard to see why.

These include things like high-end hotels, individual villas and resorts all over this part of the island.

They might run your tab pretty high but the view and experience are definitely worth it.

There are also 4 world-class golf courses in the area so you know that this community does not play when it comes to upscale fun.

One of the most popular of these is the picturesque Ka’anapali Golf Course.

For some retail therapy, you will want to hit one of the many lively towns in West Maui.

These include Lahaina, Ka’anapali and Kapalua.

They have all sorts of stores here form locally owned vendors to international luxury brands.

That way whether you are looking for a fancy new swimsuit or a souvenir to remember West Maui by, you will have a lot of options of where to go shopping.

Central Maui and the Kahului (Maui’s largest city)

Central Maui is essentially the island’s central business district. It is home to numerous businesses and administrative headquarters.

It is also where you will find Kahului Airport which offers the main port of access to and from the island.

Colours of Maui
Colors of Maui

Despite being such a business-oriented area, Central Maui has a lot of fun attractions for you as a tourist.

The most popular of these is the Iao Valley State Park.

The National Park is not only a breathtakingly beautiful natural attraction but also a place of great historical and cultural significance to the island.

It, therefore, promises to not just be fun but also be a really enlightening experience.

Kahului and the rest of Central Maui are also home to numerous restaurants and shops for you to explore while on your trip.

North and East Coast (isolation and paradise)

If you are looking to truly escape into paradise then this is the part of Maui to visit.

It offers total isolation not just from the noise and stress of livelier parts of the island.

The North and East Coasts are actually so well hidden it is unlike that you will come across many other tourists while on your stay.

So what does one do with all this privacy and peace?

Well, unfortunately, shopping might not be an option as the region does not have the greatest variety of stores.

However, it makes up for this deficiency with the numerous nature trails, rainforests and waterfalls for you to explore.

You could also choose to take a scenic drive along the iconic Hana Highway. There will be plenty of photo-ops all along your route which will make for a really fun day out.

Driving to the Haleakala Observatory
Driving to the Haleakala Observatory in The Upcountry

The Upcountry (authentic)

Upcountry Maui is as culturally authentic as the island gets.

This rural paradise is a predominantly agricultural hub. The locals mainly practice large scale farming with these plantations contributing greatly to the attraction pool that the region has to offer.

You can take a fun hike through a banana plantation, a trip to the Alii Kula lavender farm, or even visit one of their many vineyards for some wine tasting. With the latter, Maui Wine would be a great place to try.

This part of the island also offers access to numerous natural wonders including magnificent waterfalls and trails. One great place to enjoy this is Haleakala National Park.

There are generally few accommodation options in Upcountry Maui so it is best to have it on your itinerary as a day trip destination.

I have not included in the best areas to stay in Maui the islands of Lanai and Molokai, technically part of Mui but really a different experience altogether.

They are both, in my opinion, a possible destination once you have been to Maui already a few times and you want to see something different.

In Lanai and Molokai, you will experience more of the local life. Do not expect big hotels or resorts.

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Photo credits on a few photos in this post

This post was written with the great help of our local expert, Charlie Rice

Stefano Ferro - MEL365.com Founder and Editor

About the Author

Stefano is a seasoned travel expert and the visionary founder of MEL365.com, a leading travel website with traffic across 6 continents. With a rich background in the travel industry, Stefano spent four pivotal years at Amadeus Travel Distribution System, gaining invaluable insights into travel technologies and distribution.

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