Maui Best Areas to Stay

Finding a Place in Maui

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.

Where to Stay on Maui Image

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 located 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 Road to Hana and/or visit Haleakala National Park, 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 ('Road to Hana') we personally recommend spending at least one night in Hana town, or in a B&B near the start of the drive, if possible.​

Maui has lovely accommodations for every vacation budget

Maui has lovely accommodations for every vacation budget

Maui Accommodations by Region

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

Staying in West Maui

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

Staying in South Maui

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

Staying along the Hana Highway

Including Paia & Hana
  • Great proximity to the sights of the Hana Highway and Oheo Gulch
  • Small, but beautiful, variety of beaches
  • Can be very wet, especially during the winter
  • Is geographically very isolated, a great distance from all other attractions
  • Paia can experience a decent amount of rain

Staying in Central Maui

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

Staying Upcountry on Maui

Including Haleakala and Kula
  • Great scenery and proximity to Haleakala
  • Lack of accommodation options
  • Very limited variety of stores or restaurants
  • 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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