Where to Stay


Where to stay on Maui? That's a good question if you're planning a visit to The Valley Isle. Maui is divided into a number of areas where the major resorts are located.  

The island offers a large range of accommodations, from budget hotels and condominiums to 5-star hotels and bed & breakfasts. Many of the Maui Luxury Hotels and resorts are along the west coast near Kaanapali. A few major resorts also exist in South Maui, especially in Wailea. In either of these locations, you're bound to find beautiful beaches and good weather no matter where you look. In South Maui, Kihei is also a popular place to stay, boasting a wide assortment of condominiums and resorts in the area. Inns and B&Bs also offer privacy and seclusion and can be found in many of the main accommodation areas.

Other Factors to Consider

Weather is a factor to consider when deciding where to stay, though, for the most part, the major accommodation areas of Maui are fairly dry since they exist on the leeward side of the island. West Maui, around Lahaina and Ka`anapali, is slightly more lush than South Maui, near Kihei. During the onset of the winter months (late November - early March), Maui experiences more clouds and rain across the island. For more information about Maui's weather, be sure to check out our Maui Weather article.

If you're planning to drive the majestic Hana Highway or visit the summit of Haleakala, both of these attractions can be visited by travelers staying in West and South Maui in a single (but long) day. When it comes to the Hana Highway (or Road to Hana) we personally recommend spending at least one night in Hana town, if possible.​

Let's take a look at the pros (Highlights) and cons (Detraction) of each of the areas we've briefly discussed above. These are in order of popularity, by our account.

West Maui (including Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua)

Highlights Great weather throughout the year
Highlights Great selection of beaches available
Highlights Great variety of stores and shops
Detraction Can be quite touristy in most locations
Detraction Can be very crowded, especially during the holidays
Detraction Can be rather far from the Hana Highway and Haleakala

South Maui (including Kihei and Wailea)

Highlights Great weather year round
Highlights A lot of cheaper accommodation rentals
Highlights Decent selection of beaches over much of the coastline
Detraction Not as much shopping available, just small stores
Detraction Not as many upscale restaurant options available
Detraction Can be rather far from the Hana Highway and Haleakala

Road to Hana (including Paia)

Highlights Great proximity to the sights of the Hana Highway and Oheo Gulch
Highlights Small, but beautiful, variety of beaches
Detraction Can be very wet, especially during the winter
Detraction Is geographically very isolated, a great distance from all other attractions

Central Maui (including Kahului)

Highlights Decent variety of shops available
Highlights Great proximity to most of the island, including the Hana Highway
Detraction Limited accommodations are present in these areas
Detraction Paia can experience a good bit of rain
Detraction Not very scenic in most of central Maui
Detraction Limited selection of beaches

Upcountry Maui (including Haleakala)

Highlights Great scenery and proximity to Haleakala
Detraction Lack of accommodation options
Detraction Very limited variety of stores or restaurants
Detraction No beaches

Choosing a fabulous accommodation option on Maui is easy. You have an incredible selection available - perhaps the best in Hawaii. Stick to the western and southern coastlines if you want to stay where most other visitors are staying. Or explore the other regions of Maui to find a small B&B or inn that suites your tastes - it's up to you. Whether you stay on the drier leeward side (south and west), or prefer the lusher windward side (north and east) - it's hard to go wrong picking a location to stay on Maui.

Be sure to check out our When to Visit Maui article as well for additional information on what time of year is best to visit the island.

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Article Edited/Contributed by: Riley Branham & Michele Lopez

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