The island of Maui is the perfect blend of Hawaiian beauty. For those who find the Big Island too large and Lanai too tiny, Maui is a perfect fit—big enough to hold a full vacation’s worth of fun and adventure, but small enough to capture the intended intimacy of your well-deserved getaway. Some may feel Oahu is too busy to offer the desired serenity that a proper recess requires, and Kauai may be too reticent a resort. Whereas Maui, on the other hand, delivers enough opportunity for adventure while still affording significant solitude. It is the balance that makes this Polynesian paradise so desirable.
That same balance is also manifested in Maui’s landscape. You can divide your time equally between the dark, ashen lava soils that surround the dormant Haleakala, the lush, green forests and canyons which separate the Upcounty from the coast, and the golden sands along Maui’s sun-kissed shoreline. To further punctuate the point, Maui was dubbed the Valley Isle because of its topography, with highlands on the east and west rising above the comparatively flat terrain of the middle of the island.
Where are the Best Places to Stay in Maui?
When you are trying to determine where to stay in Maui, one important factor to consider is what you want to do with the majority of your time there. While the island is relatively small—you can drive across it in about three hours—you might prefer to stay closer to the activities you most wish to experience.
Many of the hotels near Maui’s most popular beach destinations are found on the northwestern coast of the island. Hawaiian royalty made western Maui their home for a reason. With beautiful, soft sandy beaches, golden mesmerizing sunsets, and turquoise tranquil waters, the shore-towns along the Honopilani Highway are a wonderland by the sea befitting any king or queen. Here are some of our favorite hotels in these coastal cities:
- Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa in Lahaina: Perhaps the most famous town on the sparsely populated island, Lahaina is a historic fishing village that is now home to oceanfront eateries, contemporary art galleries, and unique, independently owned shops. Visitors to Lahaina tend to opt for relaxing accommodations like the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa and Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa where guests can enjoy a rejuvenating massage after a tough day of counting clouds as they float above in the blue Hawaiian skies.
- The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua: With championship golf courses, award-winning restaurants, and a more leisurely pace, the area delivers a relaxing and elegant opportunity to soothe away the stresses of life back on the mainland. The name Kapalua means “arms embracing the sea” and resorts like the Ritz-Carlton embrace their guests with impeccably refined Hawaiian hospitality.
- The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapali: High above the 3 miles of white sand, at the northern end of the beach, stands PuuKekaa—home of the famous Black Rock ceremony where the torches along the cliff are lit by a diver before he springs into the Pacific below. Hotels like the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka'anapali are a perfect place to stay to experience this and the rest of the natural wonder, recreational activities, and exquisite cuisine of Maui’s signature beach.
East Maui and Upcountry:
On the easternmost tip of the island lies the terminus of the famous Road to Hana. The restaurants and shops in the quiet village offer the opportunity to stretch your legs and refuel before the return 52-mile trip past seemingly countless waterfalls, panoramic views, and colorful rainforests. Maui hotels on this end of the island are also close to the Upcounty, where the stark, barren peaks of Haleakala National Park give way to botanical gardens, taro farms, and paniolo ranches. The crisp smell of eucalyptus permeates the refreshing breeze as it tumbles down the rolling hillsides, through the rural artistic communities, and into the beach towns on the central coast.
Central and South Maui:
As most visitors to the Valley Isle fly in, Central Maui lodging is a popular option given its proximity to Kahului Airport and short drive to all other points on the island. Kahului is more than just a commerce center, though. Nearby, you’ll find Iao Valley State Park, home to one of the island’s most distinguishing natural features, the 1,200-foot tall Iao Needle—a velvety green, mantle-rock monolith that towers above the lush canyon below. South of Kahului, you’ll find Maui’s southern coast, home to manicured golf courses in Wailea, the wide, welcoming waterfront of Big Beach in Mekena Beach State Park, and expansive views of Lanai and Molokini.
When you use Travelocity to help you book your vacation to the Valley Isle, you’ll find a wide selection of cheap Maui hotels, luxury accommodations, and everything in between. Just like the other characteristics of the island, there is a perfect fit to be had, whether it be a quaint room at the end of the Road to Hana where you can greet the morning sun or an upscale resort on the west side so you can bid Aloha to the sun as it sets into the Pacific.