Maui – Where to Stay

where to stay on maui

On Maui, the major beach resorts are on West and South Maui where you’ll beautiful beaches almost anywhere you look. In those resort areas, you’ll find a range of accommodations from budget hotels and condos to 5-star hotels. To get an idea of how the two major resort areas compare, use this Maui virtual tour article to help you select the region you want to visit and where to stay.

Maui isn’t quite as rainy as Kauai, but during the winter months (November through March), the island is blessed with a bit more rain and rainbows. Be sure and read my article, Where to Stay on Maui for the Best Weather to maximize your sunshine experience.

Maui’s road to Hana, that hugs the East Maui coastline, is one of Hawaii’s most scenic drives. You can drive this road beyond Hana and back from the West and South Maui resorts in a day. Ideally, this drive is best enjoyed if you can take it at a slow pace so that you can stop off at more points, take short hikes to waterfalls, etc. So, if your vacation time and budget allows, plan to stay a night or two in Hana. There is only one hotel in Hana, Traavasa Hana, but you can find vacation rentals and B&Bs in the Hana area as well.


You really can’t make a bad choice of where to stay on Maui if you choose a West or South Maui accommodation. The main difference between the two is that West Maui tends to be slightly more green and tropical, while South Maui is a bit drier/sunnier.

These links lead to a brief overview of West Maui’s main resort areas:

These links lead to brief overviews of South Maui‘s main resort areas:

As for East Maui, see our review of Travaasa Hana which is an upscale, but rustic resort. In addition to Traavasa Hana, you can also find vacation rentals.

As frequent Hawaii visitors, you might be interested in knowing where we have stayed. Here’s our growing list with reviews attached:

>> Go back to the main page of the Maui Vacation Guide


Ohana Beach Rentals


  1. Happy New Year! I would like your advice on where to stay on Maui. We have been trying to narrow down our choices, but it has been difficult. I love the area of Hanna, but the thought of extensive driving to sight see is not on my list. Any advice on this topic would be great, thank you so much. Then I was thinking finding somewhere in the middle of the island to stay, I’m not really sure where to look.

    • Staying in Hana for your entire Maui trip might be best saved for a return visit to Maui. Hana is beautiful and there’s so much to explore along the road to Hana and beyond, but the curvy road is not conducive to exploring other parts of the island.

      Consider one of the West or South Maui resort areas for most of your stay combined with a night or more in Hana.

  2. Hi there,

    I am really having a tough time trying to decide where to stay….Napili Surf or Aston Mahana at Kaanapali. We want ocean front which I think both resorts offer. We tentatively are booked in at Outriffer Kapalua but I don’t want to pay the resort/cleaning fees. Can anyone offer me some advise please. Thank you, Jackie

    • Jackie – we haven’t stayed in either of those hotels, so we don’t have any experience to share. Our advice would be to read TripAdvisor reviews for both of them. Also, explore both with satellite views on Google Maps to get a better feel for the way the resorts look and the surrounding areas.

  3. Hello! I was hoping to go diving at the Molokini crater, and was wondering if dive companies organise pick ups from west maui or if I would have to stay down south?

    • Most Molokini snorkel, snuba and dive tours leave from Maalaea Harbor. There may be some that leave from Lahaina, but the trip from Maalaea is shorter, which usually allows for more time at the crater. I don’t know of any Molokini tour company that picks folks up from their accommodation.

      • Just wanted to let you all know that the Alii Nui has resort pick up and drop off from West and South Maui, and they sail out of Ma’alaea Harbor.I highly recommend these folks for snorkel and/or whale watching excursions. They are the best!! We go back to them every year!

  4. Would love some advice! We just want a place with a full kitchen, clean and safe four our two little kids (age 2 and 6) and a calm beach to walk down to from our room. We can all be in a studio, but a one bedroom is ideal so if one kid wakes up the other one can keep sleeping. As cheap as manageable. We will mostly eat in. We do not need any daycare. Would love to not have to rent a car even and just stay there – snorkel one day, play in the pool the next, make leis one day. Learn how to hula dance. For about a week stay. Where would You suggest?

    • Jen – that’s really a tall order. For a resort with activities like hula dance lessons, lei making, etc. that also has a kitchen – the prices are generally expensive.

  5. Hi there! Any thoughts on the northern area near the airport? We were looking in Kahalui. We’re interested in hitting up local eateries, farmer’s markets and just enjoying the atmosphere. At this point, the beach may actually be optional, however, I can’t imagine going to a locale such as this without spending some time at the beach. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • Kahului and nearby Wailuku aren’t ideal Maui vacation bases in our opinion. Search TripAdvisor for hotels in Kahului and also Wailuku. Read reviews for insight.

    • Hi there, I agree with Sheila. Definitely research the area first. If you stay in Kihei, you will still have quick access to Kahalui, the swap meet (held on Saturdays in Kahalui), and lots of different restaurants. Plus beaches are close, and you can walk S. Kihei quite easily, although it stretches quite a ways. I highly recommend Paia, as well, if you’re already up in the Kahalui area. Easy to walk around that area. Personally, we always stay in Ka’anapali, and love it there!

  6. Hi there! My husband and I spent a few days in Maui in 2012. We are going to Maui for 7 days and really want to make the most of our stay. We don’t SCUBA dive, but we do enjoy the ocean, paddle boarding, and maybe snorkeling. We really want to explore the island and everything it has to offer. We would like to spend a couple of days in one area, then move to a different location for a couple of days, and again go to a third area of Maui and stay there for a few days. We know we want to spend a couple of days in Hana. I am not sure how to determine the two other locations/general areas of the island, for us to spend time. We would like to stay in one area for a couple of days and explore everything around us….then move on to the next. Any recommendations on the two other general areas to spend a couple of nights? We would like to spend time, in the three areas of Maui, that would allow us the best opportunity to see the most of Maui in 7 days.

    • Missy – you might want to choose between West Maui and South Maui as indicated on the above map.

      Getting to Hana is a long, winding, but beautiful trip. So, it makes sense to be staying overnight for one or two or more nights — you probably won’t get to see/do everything there is to do in the area, but you’ll get to see and do some amazing things.

      So, with the exception of Hana, you can get to most of the top scenic spots from a base either in West Maui or South Maui. Ocean conditions permitting, you can enjoy ocean activities from either area.

  7. My soon to be wife and I are planning a honeymoon to west maui and are not sure where to stay we are interested in snorkeling,skuba diving, outdoor activities any beach front properties that you can recommend?

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