Deciding where to stay in Maui and the best part of Maui to stay on is an important factor when planning your Hawaiian vacation. I’ve lived on Maui for 10 years now and typical Jess, have lived all over the island.
I always recommend staying in all parts of the island throughout your Maui vacation. This lets you experience more of Maui and spend less time in the car.
In this guide I explain the pros and cons of each area of Maui and then list the best places to stay in Maui for that area with all budgets in mind.
*I have sprinkled some affiliate links in this post that gives me a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to make a purchase. All proceeds go to keep Jess traveling and coffee ☕️. I thank you in advance.
Where to stay in Maui
Ka’anapali has a row on top notch resorts situated on a beautiful long white sand beach. At the end of Ka’anapali is black rock where you can shimmy up the rocks and dive off into the water below. This is also a great place to snorkel and see sea turtles.
As you continue up West Maui towards Napili, Kahana, and Kapalua, Moloka’i becomes more dramatic and viewable. There are several on the beach front resorts as well great snorkeling at the bays in this area.
Lahaina and Ka’anapali offer many whale watching, snorkeling trips, and sunset cruises so its a great part of Maui to stay if you plan on doing lots of boat excursions. Lahaina is a charming Maui town and a great place to stay if you don’t rent your own wheels.
Cons: Maui in general has expensive accommodation but West Maui has some higher prices with the exception of staying in Olowalu. In the areas of Kahana, Napili, and Kapalua expect more rain in the winter months. Lahaina gets very hot in the summer!
West Maui is a farther drive when trying to explore other parts of the island. For example it will take you a couple hours to drive to the top of Haleakala Crater compared to one hour from South Maui.
Top activities in West Maui 🐳
Where to stay in West Maui
Best Places to Stay in Lahaina
This Airbnb is walking distance to all activities, must eat restaurants, nightlife and shops. The condo is modern and a great place to hang your hat at the end of the night after a day of exploring Maui.
Old Lahaina House
The Plantation Inn
Gerard’s is an excellent French restaurant apart of the Plantation Inn and has been around for over 30 years.
The Lahaina Inn is in the heart of Lahaina town. This boutique hotel is smaller in size with only having 12 bedrooms. It’s tastefully furnished with modern amenities. Walking distance to all the best restaurants in Lahaina, bars, shops and the harbor.
Lahaina Grill is a staple in Lahaina and worth the splurge, it is located below the Inn.
Lahaina Shores is located on the South end of Front Street on the beach. This property offers great views of the West Maui Mountains and the island of Lana’i. This condo is mountain facing and within a 10 minute walk you’re in the center of Lahaina town.
Located on a beautiful long stretch of beach and by a beginners surf spot called Breakwall. Staying here also gives you access to the swimming pool and hot tub.
Best Places to stay in Kaanapali
The Royal Lahaina
This is one of the oldest resorts on Maui. If you are looking on where to stay in Maui with family this is one of the best places to stay in Ka’anapali, Maui. And it’s budget friendlier.
Staying at this b&b serves fresh breakfast is served daily and you’ll have access to the resorts amenities which include a swimming pool, sauna, hot tub, outdoor kitchen and billiards room.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
Located on a beautiful beach the Westin Resort and Spa have excellent snorkeling and lots of sea turtles. Not in the mood for the beach? No problem lounge at 1 of the 3 pools on property. Plus there’s a hot tub, sauna, fitness center, massages and much more. For added luxury check out the villas.
This is where to stay in Ka’anapali for a world class resort feel and the best area to stay on Maui when you’re traveling with your family.
Best Places to stay in Napili | Kahana
Napili Shores maui by outrigger
The Napili Shores Maui by Outrigger is an excellent family friendly resort located on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Napili Bay. The mid range resort caters to families and the beach and ocean are footsteps away. Amenities include a swimming pool, hot tub and BBQ facilities.
Napili Kai Beach Resort
Condo at Napili Bay
Top Floor Oceanfront Condo
Best Places to stay in Kapalua
Kihei is full of restaurants and bars that will sooth your taste buds. From South Maui you get views of the inhibited island Kahoolawe and the submerged volcanic crater Molokini. The sun sets over the water on this part of the island compared to over Lana’i on West Maui.
Prices are slightly less for beach accommodations compared to the West side. A bigger selection of cheaper places to stay on Maui are here.
Cons: Less of a small Hawaii town feel. Kihei gets hot in the summer and is also very dry.
Top activities in South Maui 🐠
Where to stay in South Maui
Best Places to stay in Ma’alaea
Ocean Front Condo at Ma’alaea
This is a great central location between the west side and the south side of Maui.
Check out more Airbnb’s inside Ma’alaea.
Best Places to stay in Kihei
Kihei Akahi Resort
Condo at the cove
This is a great area to stay in Maui for families. It’s walkable to anything you could need, bars, restaurants, grocery stores, shops, dive operators and more. This condo is an affordable place to stay on Maui.
Condo at Kai Nani
Maui Coast Hotel
Best Places to stay in Wailea | Makena
Spend your days relaxing pool side with a lava flow (a Pina colada with strawberry). Close to the best beaches on Maui and high end shopping. This is where to stay in Wailea.
Fairmont Kea Lani
Koa’s has a great happy hour and is located at the adult pool. Walkable to the beach and a free shuttle to the shops at Wailea.
Four Seasons Resort Maui
Spend your days taking unique tours like the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm and the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. This area is also in close proximity with Haleakala Crater making it easy to hike through the crater and catch an early sunrise.
Budget friendlier accomodations.
Cons: You must drive to spend the day at the beach. Temperatures get cool especially in the winter, it snowed on Haleakala several days last winter.
Top activities Upcountry Maui 🌅
Where to stay Upcountry Maui
Best Places to Stay in Kula
Kula Star Dome
The stay comes with many amenities like breakfast and showers. This place is perfect if you love star gazing and for an easy wake up call for sunrise on top of Haleakala
Best Places to stay in Makawao
Close to the summit of Haleakala and Pai’a town. This is one of the best places to stay on Maui. The picture above is at the pool.
Wailuku town has cheaper accomodations and you’ll experience old Hawaii.
Cons: Industrial region filled with factories and warehouses. You have to drive if you want to get to a nice beach. Traffic.
Top activities in Central Maui 🌺
Where to stay Central Maui
Best Places to stay in Kahului | Wailuku | Waiehu | Waihee
The old Wailuku Inn
The North shore
Pros: If you came for the extreme water sports like wind surfing, kite boarding, or just plain ol’ surfing then head to the north shore as soon as you land. Experience small town life as you rove Pai’a and head to Ho’okipa to get your adrenalin fix.
As you head east on the road to Hana the area will become more green and lush. This is also a great jumping off point for day trips to Hana. Stay on this side if disconnecting and taking life in the slow lane is what you’re after.
Cons: There’s less variety of beaches on the north shore compared to its counterparts on the west and south. Since the north shore is smaller there are less restaurants to choose from. But is this really a con?
Top activities on the North shore Maui 🌊
Where to stay on the North Shore
Best Places to stay in Paia | Haiku
Pros: The Eastern part of the island is filled with roaring waterfalls, exotic flora and plants tucked deep in the lush, wet rainforest. If you’re looking for a Hawaiian vacation based on the film ‘Moana’ then carve out a few days to spend here.
Most people visit Hana on a day trip but to get a real feel firsthand plan on staying a few nights. There are plenty of camping, airbnbs, and jungle bungalows. Beautiful, unique beaches are on this side and some jaw dropping hiking.
Cons: Far away from the rest of the island. The road to Hana is the only road that connects the eastern part of the island with the rest. Restaurants are limited and there’s only a couple stores that sell basics. Stock up and don’t forget anything as you won’t have many options once you’re there.
Top activities in East Maui 🥭
Where to Stay in East Maui
For a longer and more detailed list check out this where to stay in Hana post.
Best Places to stay in Hana
⭐️ Top Pick
The Travaasa is the best hotels in maui for honeymoon. Seclusion in a jungle oasis, adventure right outside your doorstop and world class service at a top notch resort is the perfect honeymoon destination. There is an infinity pool overlooks the ocean along with a hot tub. Plus you’ll enjoy the restaurant on site which is hard to come by in Hana.