Accommodations on Maui
Article by Shannon Wianecki
Dream of sunbathing outside your beachfront villa or counting wild orchids from a rustic tree house? Maui has it all, from A-list resorts to no-fuss condos.
Swim-up bars and water elevators, championship golf courses and seductive spa havens, museum-quality art and 24-hour room service…The extravagance found at the resorts lining Maui’s golden beaches may not reflect authentic Hawaii, but it sure can be fun. The big-name resorts—the Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, Hyatt, Sheraton, and Westin—try mighty hard to improve on paradise In a few lavish acres of Wailea, Kaanapali and Kapalua. The lone resort in rain-forested East Maui, Hotel Hana Maui is a magical, time-forgotten world unto itself. First-time guests worry that there won’t be enough to do; they leave thinking they could’ve spent a week longer just listening to the surf. Budget-minded folk be warned: a glass of milk at any island resort will cost you $8 and up!
Fringing the resort areas, condos are less luxurious but more practical - great for families or those who want a convenient homebase for Maui adventures. Some condominium complexes offer hotel-like amenities and many are oceanfront. The nicest are found in Maalaea, Napili, and at the edge of Wailea. Décor typically dates back to the early 80s (rattan lounge chairs and faded whale paintings) but you’re likely to find useable boogie boards, beach chairs, and Scrabble in the closet. Older units rarely have central air-conditioning, and those glass-slat windows only offer so much breeze.
Private Vacation Rentals with Personality
Vacation rentals are Maui’s biggest cottage industry, so to speak. Private rentals range from humble guest rooms with cozy knickknacks that make you feel right at home, to stunning designer houses with cliff-top views and to-the-minute technology. Tucked into residential island neighborhoods, these unique properties give you sublime privacy and an entry into local life. Often, the owners live next door and are on hand to offer priceless local advice, lend you a surfboard, or point the way to a hidden waterfall. The quality and value of privately-owned vacation rentals varies widely. You may book what seems like an exquisite retreat online, only to arrive at an unplanned experiment in rustic living. Ask plenty of pointed questions before booking.
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