Deciding the best part of Maui to stay on is an important factor when planning your Hawaiian vacation.  There are several different areas on Maui that will provide the ideal location for an unforgettable trip.

Maui is a beautiful paradise and there are a wealth of amazing places to stay.  Whether you are looking for a five-star luxury resort, a cozy beachside cottage or a romantic hideaway, there is an accommodation on Maui for everyone.

Known for its stunning beaches, incredible hiking trails and a variety of ocean activities, the island is a popular destination for tourists from around the world.  Home to a number of luxury resorts and hotels, this guide will make it a breeze to decide where to stay in Maui.

In this article, we’ll go over the best area to stay on Maui, list the pros and cons of each area of Maui and list the best places to stay in Maui with all budgets in mind.  

At the end of the article, I’ll also list some useful tips to know before you travel to this slice of paradise.  I’d like to add, I’ve lived on Maui for 12 years so just know you’re getting the scoop from a local.

Best part of Maui to stay on

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But first, are you in a hurry?  If you are trying to book a room tonight or don’t have time or the patience to read the whole article, below I listed a quick list of where to stay on Maui for easy booking.

Map of Maui

Areas of Maui Map

There are 6 areas of Maui: West Maui, South Maui, Upcountry, Central Maui, North Shore & East Maui. 

West Maui vs South Maui | Where to Stay

Best Part of Maui to Stay on

What is the best area to stay in Maui?  Most travelers stay in the leeward side of the island in West Maui or South Maui.  Both of these areas have luxurious resorts, beautiful beaches, must-try restaurants and are in close proximity to many attractions.

If you want some real seclusion, head to the remote area of East Maui for luxury in jungle.  For a change of pace, stay a night Upcountry on the slopes of Haleakala to be close to Haleakala Summit and dozens of farm tours.

The North Shore is an excellent part of Maui to stay on if you are looking for surf on your Maui vacation.  Central Maui is a nice choice if you are short on time as it’s the most central area for exploring all of Maui.

I always recommend staying a few places in different parts of the island.  For example stay 5 days in South Maui and then 2 days in Hana.  This lets you experience more of Maui and spend less time in the car.

🌴 Read Next:  West Maui vs. South Maui

Best Area to Stay in West Maui

Where to stay in West Maui
Where to Stay in West Maui.  West Maui is a popular part of Maui and one of the most expensive areas.

Pros:  If the main objective of your Maui vacation is to lounge on the beach, snorkel, surf or go on an epic sunset cruise, then West Maui is where you will want to stay.

Lahaina is a charming, historic town full of must eat restaurants, bars and boat excursions.  Stay in Lahaina if you don’t plan on renting a car.  Lahaina and Kaanapali offer many whale watching, snorkeling trips and sunset cruises so West Maui is a great part of Maui to stay on, if you plan on doing a lot of boat excursions.

Kaanapali has a row of top notch resorts situated on a beautiful long, white sand beach.  At the end of Kaanapali Beach is black rock – where you can shimmy up the rocks and dive into the water below.

Napili Bay with a palm tree hanging over the beach
Sunset at Kaanapali Beach Maui with a palm tree
This is also a great place to snorkel and swim with sea turtles.  There are lots of things to do in Kaanapali to keep you entertained and lots of tasty restaurants to dine at.

Continuing up West Maui are Honokowai, Napili, Kahana and Kapalua.  From these areas, the neighboring island of Molokai becomes more dramatic and visible.  There are several beach front resorts and great snorkeling in Napili and Kapalua Bay.  Kapalua is where you can find some of Maui’s top honeymoon resorts.

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 others parts of the island.

Pacific Humpback whale in the ocean in Maui
Things to do in West Maui:

Where to Stay in West Maui

Camp Olowalu cabins with the West Maui Mountains in the background
Palm treason Maui

Aina Nalu

  • Location: Lahaina
  • Highlights: Location, Pool & Walking Distance to the Harbor

Aina Nalu is a beautiful oasis tucked away on a side street in Lahaina.  The resort itself is lovely and staying here you have access to 2 beautiful pools and a jacuzzi.  Aina Nalu has some of the best amenities for vacation rental’s in Lahaina, Maui.

This resort is walking distance to all activities, must eat restaurants, nightlife and shops.  The rooms are modern and a great place to hang your hat at the end of the night after a day of exploring Maui.

Lahaina Shores

  • Location: Lahaina
  • Highlights: Breakwall Surf Break, Location to the Harbor

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.  Most rooms are equipped with a small kitchenette which helps cut down costs if you want to make lunch and breakfast at ‘home’.

This is where to stay in Lahaina if you don’t rent a car as you are walkable to all Lahaina has to offer but still have a beach-ey resort vibe.

THE WESTIN MAUI RESORT & SPA

  • Location: Kaanapali Beach
  • Highlights: Family Friendly Maui Resort, Kaanapali Beach

Located on the beautiful Kaanapali 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.

HYATT REGENCY MAUI

  • Location: Kaanapali Beach
  • Highlights: Great Sushi Restaurant, Beach

On the southern end of Kaanapali Beach, there is a family-friendly West Maui hotel called the Hyatt Regency Maui.  Over 40 acres of lovely gardens, the resort is situated on the west coast of Maui.

This Ka’anapali resort has 5 on-site dining options, a full-service spa, and a water park that both children and adults can enjoy.  A lava tube waterslide and pools with a rope bridge are part of the outdoor water park.

Enjoy an infinity-edge relaxation pool while sipping a pina colada, or spend the day at the family pool.  The Hyatt will not let you down however you decide to spend your Maui vacation.

  • Location: Kapalua
  • Highlights: Beautiful Grounds, Cliff House for Cliff Jumping

Perched above Ironwoods beach you’ll find this picture perfect resort, the Montage.  The grounds are beautiful and well kept. Between the luxurious rooms, relaxing pool area and lush grounds you’ll never want to leave.  Here you can find romance and adventure all wrapped into one.

Stroll along the Kapalua Coastal trail hand in hand with your loved one or if you’re looking for a Maui adventure, 5 minutes away is Cliff House (another excellent place to go cliff diving).  World class golfing is also 5 minutes away.  Paradise is waiting.

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Best Western Pioneer Inn

  • Location: Lahaina
  • Highlights: Location to the Harbor, Papaaina Brunch

The Best Western Pioneer Inn is located in the heart of Lahaina Town and one of the oldest hotels in Lahaina.  This hotel is a stones throw away from the harbor and several surf breaks.

The Papa’aina restaurant below the Best Western Hotel serves awesome breakfast so be sure to grab a bite before you start your days adventure.

Sheraton Maui Resort

  • Location: Kaanapali Beach
  • Highlights: Cliff Diving Ceremony

At the base of the iconic Black Rock, with a view of Ka’anapali Beach and the Pacific Ocean, is where you’ll find the Sheraton Maui Resort.  Black Rock is one of the top cliff jumping locations on Maui and is enjoyable for the whole family.

There are several benefits to staying here on Maui, such as an outdoor pool, 3 tennis courts, a gym, and shuttle service.  Besides, there are 5 restaurants and bars on-site where you can eat.

One of the best things to watch in Kaanapali is the nightly cliff diving ceremony, which is offered at the Cliff Dove Restaurant.  This is where to stay in Maui for location, history and relaxation.

Napili Shores

  • Location: Napili
  • Highlights: Napili Bay, Seahouse Restaurant Happy Hour

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.

Right next door to Napili Shores is the Napili Kai Resort.  Located on the beautiful Napili Bay which has world class snorkeling and the beach is easy to get in and out of.  The Sea House Restaurant has one of the best happy hours on the island and is apart of the Napili Kai Beach Resort.

Royal Lahaina 

  • Location: Kaanapali
  • Highlights: Airport Beach, Myths of Maui Luau

This is where to stay in Kaanapali if you’re ballin on a budget.  I love the stretch of beach that this resort sits on.  The Roayal Lahaina has a small pool and bar on sight but you come here to lounge on the beach which is never busy.

This is one of the oldest resorts on Maui and family friendly.  The Royal Lahaina luau – Myths of Maui is connected to the hotel.

Plantation Inn

  • Location: Lahaina
  • Highlights: Boutique Hotel in Maui

The Plantation Inn is tucked away on a side street in the center of town.  Staying here you’ll be walking distance to everything including surf spots, a swimming beach, historic sights, the harbor, bars and restaurants.  Gerard’s is an excellent French restaurant apart of the Plantation Inn and has been around for over 30 years.

Ritz-Carlton

  • Location: Kapalua
  • Highlights: Romance, Luxury, Dragon’s Teeth

On 54 breathtaking acres, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua offers easy access to D.T. Fleming Beach.  A 3-level outdoor pool, 2 tennis courts, a world-class spa, 2 golf courses, and a 5-star hotel all come with ocean views.

The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua has the best grounds, service, and location, so live it up in luxury.  The Mahana Ridge Trail is also reachable on foot from here.  This is one of the best honeymoon resorts in Maui.

Best Area to Stay in South Maui

Where to stay in South Maui
Where to stay in South Maui.  South Maui has some of the best beaches on the island.  Sunsets hit a little different on this part of Maui as the sun dips below the water compared to West Maui where the sun usually sets over Lanai.

Pros: South Maui has some my favorite beaches including Kamaole Beach Park III, Big Beach, and Secrets Beach.  In Wailea you’ll find a string of high end resorts and if you stay at you’ll never want to leave.

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. ← This is one of the best places to snorkel on Maui.

Kihei is a popular part of Maui where you can always count on it being sunny.   There are lots of things to do in Kihei and Wailea including whale watches, surfing and golf.

Wailea Beach in South Maui
Big Beach places in Maui Hawaii
Prices are slightly less for beach accommodations compared to West Maui.  A bigger selection of cheaper places to stay on Maui can be found here.  Driving time is shorter distance from South Maui to other parts of the island compared to West Maui.

Stay in Ma’alaea for a central location to West and Central Maui.  The Maui Ocean Center is located here but it tends to get windy.  Stay in Kihei for a bigger selection of cheaper vacation rentals.  Close to great swimming beaches, restaurants and activities.

Stay in Wailea for luxury resorts, award winning beaches and high end shopping close by.  Finally, stay in Makena for seclusion, lava fileds to explore and dolphins.

Cons: Less of a small Hawaii town feel.  Kihei gets really hot in the summer and is also very dry.

Molokini in Maui view from above
Things to do in South Maui:

Where to Stay in South Maui

I'm Jess Traveling hiking the Old Kings Highway in La Perouse Maui
Hiking the Hoapili Trail, Maui Hawaii
  • Location: Wailea
  • Highlights: Infinity Pools, Villas

If you want a beach front resort that you’ll never want to leave.  The Andaz has 4 outdoor infinity pools, a couple on-site bars and restaurants, and top notch service.

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 for the infinity pools and luxurious villas.

Maui Coast Hotel

  • Location: Kihei
  • Highlights: Price, Family Friendly Location

The Maui Coast Hotel has been renovated and is in a great location in the middle of Kihei.  Directly across from Kam Beach Park, the property has an outdoor pool and hot tubs.  This is a great part of Maui to stay on for families, as it’s walkable to the beach and is a great value.  This is a budget friendly, resort style place to stay in Maui.

Hotel Wailea, Relais & Chateaux

  • Location: Wailea
  • Highlights: Best place to stay in Maui for your Honeymoon

Going on your honeymoon to Hawaii?  This is the ideal location for where to stay in Maui for couples. An adults-only resort with the best views, amenities, and elegance is the Hotel Wailea Relais & Châteaux.

The Hotel Wailea, Relais & Chateaux – Adults Only is perched on a cliff overlooking Maui’s southern coastline on 15 acres of beautiful grounds. It offers opulent amenities and roomy apartments.  At the Hotel Wailea, every suite has a private deck that is furnished and has a view of the garden or the ocean.

The Restaurants at Hotel Wailea offer more secluded and romantic placse to spend your evening.  The Garden and The Lanai offer romantic outdoor dining within landscaped gardens, respectively, while The Lanai gives views of the ocean at dusk.  The Treehouse offers a one-of-a-kind private dining experience where guests are serviced by a personal chef in an outdoor setting with an ocean view under a canopy of mango and avocado trees.

Four Seasons

  • Location: Wailea
  • Highlights: Spago Restaurant, Grounds

The Four Seasons is one of the best Maui resorts for couples due to its location, service and ambiance.  Located on a beautiful Wailea Beach with access to 3 separate pools, hot tubs, lounges, restaurants and bars, you’ll never want to leave this paradise. 

Enjoy Hawaiian and California culinary fusion with views of the ocean at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Spago, or try Italian food at Ferraro’s Bar e Restaurant.  Come here to relax, rekindle your relationship with a loved one, and let your tension fade.

Fairmont Kea Lani

  • Location: Wailea
  • Highlights: Family Friendly Resort in South Maui

The Fairmont Kea Lani is one of the best family resorts in Maui. The Fairmont, which is situated on Polo Beach, offers on-site dining, bars, hot tubs, and three pools (one for adults and one for children).  At the adult pool, Koa’s boasts a fantastic happy hour.

Each opulent apartment is designed in the form of a cabana and is very roomy with a separate living room.  Both the beach and the shops at Wailea are accessible by foot from this resort.  This is where to stay in Maui if you are traveling with your family.

Grand Wailea

  • Location: Wailea
  • Highlights: Facilites, Amenties and Lobby Bar

On the South Maui coastline, there is a sizable resort called the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa.  You won’t need to leave the resort, making it one of the best resorts in Maui to spend your honeymoon.

It offers everything you could possibly want, including a top-notch spa, yoga on the sand, scuba instruction, boat tours, golf, and more.
Yoga on the beach can help you start your day off right. Spend some time at the spa, then relax by one of the Grand Wailea’s many pools while your problems melt away.

With 7 different dining establishments, you can spend your days discovering everything that Maui has to offer, knowing that there will be plenty of options for dinner when you get back.

Where to stay in Maui - Upcountry
Where to stay in Maui Upcountry.  Upcountry is the best part of Maui to stay on for a night or 2 if you plan on visiting Haleakala Summit for sunrise.

Upcountry consists of the small towns of Pukalani, Makawao, and Kula which are nestled on the slopes of Haleakala.  This area of Maui is considered the agricultural area as it is full of unique farms and ranches. If spending as much time at the beach isn’t your main priority then Upcountry Maui would be a great option.

Hiking Haleakala Crater in the Summit District
Inside Haleakala National Park
Pros:  Spend your days taking unique tours like the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm and Ocean Distillery.  If you’re an avid hiker like me, staying in this area of Maui puts you in close proximity to all the best Haleakala Crater hikes.  You can also find a lot of budget friendly accommodations here.

Cons: You must drive to spend the day at the beach.  Temperatures get cool especially in the winter, it snows on Haleakala several days each winter.

Sunrise atop Haleakala National Park a top thing to do in Maui
Best Things to do Upcountry Maui:

Where to Stay in Maui – Upcountry

I'm Jess Traveling at the Lumeria Pool upcountry Maui<br>
I'm Jess Traveling at the Lumeria pool upcountry Maui
  • Location: Makawao
  • Highlights: Pool, Yoga area, Breakfast

The Lumeria is a healthy oasis tucked in the heart of Paniolo country.  Yoga and meditation classes held daily.  The Lumeria (pictured above) offers a tranquil and peaceful environment perfect if you are traveling to Maui looking to destress and compress.

Rooms are elegantly decorated and come with all the modern amenities you need for a comfortable stay.  The spacious grounds provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities like swimming in the pool, relaxing in the hot tub or strolling around the gardens.

Kula Lodge

  • Location: Kula
  • Highlights: Location, Rustic Feel

A quaint place to stay in Maui upcountry is the Kula Lodge.  Close to the entrance to the summit district of Haleakala, this hotel is rustic and lush. The on-site restaurant is excellent and has beautiful views.  If you are visiting in the winter it gets koola…😉

Best part of Maui to stay on Central Maui
Where to stay in Central Maui.  Stay in Central Maui if you are only visiting Maui for a short period of time.  This will put you in a central location to explore all that Maui has to offer.

Pros: Kahului is the town that you fly into when you are arriving on island – Kahului Airport (OGG) .  This is also where the inner island Norwegian Cruise Line docks.

I’ao Valley is in your back yard and there’s some great hiking trails nearby if you stay on this part of Maui.  Central Maui would be perfect if you won’t be on island for very long or if you are traveling Maui on a budget.

Cons: Industrial region filled with factories and warehouses.  You have to drive if you want to get to a nice beach.  Traffic.

Road to I'ao Valley State Park near Wailuku, HI
Iao Valley State Park, Maui Hawaii
Best Things to do in Central Maui:

Where to Stay in Central Maui

The Ridge Trail with ocean Views

Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono

  • Location: Wailuku
  • Highlights: Quaint Bed & Breakfast
The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono is a delightful bed and breakfast in Wailuku.  This is where to stay on Maui if you want to be close to the airport and a central location to exploring all of the island.

Maui Seaside Hotel 

  • Location: Kahului
  • Highlights: Central Location, Convenience

The Maui Seaside Hotel is where to stay in Maui on a budget if you only have a few days to explore Maui and want to be close to the Kahului Airport.  This hotel is beachfront and close to all Kahului has to offer – grocery stores, shopping mall, cruise port and restaurants.

If you have a red eye flight, they have a designated “hospitality room” which you can use post-checkout to change, freshen up, or even grab a quick shower before you head to the airport.

Where to Stay North Shore Maui
Where to stay on Maui on the North Shore.  The North shore is small time Hawaii feel.
Pros: If you came for the extreme water sports like wind surfing, kite boarding, or surfing then head to the north shore as soon as you land.  Experience small town life as you rove Paia 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 part of Maui if disconnecting and taking life in the slow lane is what you are after.

Cons: There’s less variety of beaches on the north shore compared to its counterparts on the west and south Maui.  Since the north shore is smaller there are less restaurants to choose from.

Charleys Bar in Paia town Maui
Things to do in Paia
Best Things to do on the North shore of Maui:

Where to Stay in Maui – North Shore

The surfboard wall in Paia
  • Location: Paia
  • Highlights: On the Beach, Walkable to Paia Town

The Paia Inn is relaxation without the hustle and bustle.  Nestled right on the beach, this charming boutique hotel is located in the heart of Paia which contains a lot of shops, coffee spots and restaurants.

Each room is beautifully decorated and features comfortable beds and all the amenities you would need for a relaxing stay.  Staying here puts you at the start of the road to Hana and it close proximity to world class, big waves surf spot Jaws.

Best part of Maui to stay on in East Maui
Where to stay in East Maui.  This area of Maui is remote and one of the best parts of Maui.  Expect beautiful, exotic beaches and some jaw dropping hiking.

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.

Honomanu Beach best stops on the Road to Hana
I'm Jess Traveling on a black sand beach in Maui
Most people visit Hana on a day trip but to get a real feel first-hand plan on staying a few nights.  There are plenty of camping, airbnbs,  and jungle bungalows.  Stay in Hana if you’re looking for seclusion, exotic flora, black and red sand beaches, and waterfalls.  This is also a good area to camp and get your nature fix.

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.

Wailua Falls Hana Hi
Best Things to do in East Maui:

Read Next:  Best Places to Stay in Hana

Pipiwai Trail in Hana HI
The Best Road to Hana Stops written by a Resident

Hana-Maui Resort

  • Location: Hana
  • Highlights: Romance, Luxury, Jungle Vibes, Seclusion
Staying at the Hana-Maui Resort is where to stay in Maui if you are looking for seclusion and romance.  This jungle oasis has adventure right outside your doorstep.
 From the moment you arrive, you will be surrounded by the beauty of the island.  Every room offers stunning views of the ocean, as well as modern amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
The world class service is top notch and one of the best places to stay in Maui for your honeymoon.  There is an infinity pool that overlooks the ocean as well as a hot tub.
  • Location: Hana
  • Highlights: Oceanfront, Peaceful

Only 100 feet separate the Hana Kai Maui from the water. The Hana Kai Maui apartment has a king-size bed and two twin daybeds in the living room that are divided by a wall at night for privacy.  This would be the ideal place for you to stay if you are traveling with a small family.

Hana Kai Resort is another one of Hana’s exclusive hotels, so you can use all of the facilities there. The Hana Kai offers several fantastic amenities, including as a beachside barbecue, fully functional kitchens, private lanais, and complimentary wireless internet access.

I hope your questions about the best part of Maui to stay on were answered.  If you have any questions, Let me know in the comments↓

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