Planning the ultimate trip to Maui? The second-largest Hawaiian island, Maui is home to golden sand beaches, lava-burnt coasts, and soaring mountains. With the island’s popularity with travelers though, one of the biggest challenges comes with choosing where to stay in Maui.
The most popular areas in Maui showcase the island’s natural beauty. Whether it’s a luxury resort or mountainside bed and breakfast, the best hotels in Maui will let you experience vibrant snorkeling, whale watching, and sunrise hikes. (Topped up by licking back and taking in yet another magical sunset, of course!)
Ready to begin your Maui accommodations search? Get a head start with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Maui, Hawaii.
Best places to stay in Maui, HI
Split by dormant volcanoes and the imposing West Maui Mountains, each area and region in Maui is distinct. As you travel around the island, you’ll stumble upon everything from upscale resort areas to charming towns and remote villages.
Maui has been shaped by two things: volcanic eruptions and the development of tourism. The island is partially a tamed paradise; the other half replete with rugged and thrilling natural beauty, including Haleakala National Park.
What’ll make your Maui experience perfect is deciding exactly what you want to see and do. You’ll have ample opportunities to sit by the pool and sip cocktails or snorkel along world-famous beaches in places like Ka’anapali and Wailea.
Around Paia on the North Shore and Hana on the east coast, beautiful beaches lay in wait along with soaring mountains and volcanic craters. Here, resorts are sparse and the towns quiet. And that might be exactly what you’re after.
The best areas to stay in Maui are:
✓ Best area to stay in Maui for sightseeing and shopping
Located along the west coast, the historic whaling village of Lahaina combines tourist culture and beautiful scenery like a fine sunset cocktail. The charming seaside town has grown alongside Hawaii’s ascension to tourist mecca, offering an array of oceanfront restaurants and bars along with streets lined with boutique shops. The stretch includes Front Street, home to the oldest banyan tree on Maui.
For many visitors to West Maui, Lahaina is the perfect spot to embark on a whale-watching experience. Whaling ships have made way for touring boats. From December to April, guests can head out into the channels in search of the majestic humpback whale.
Elsewhere, West Maui is packed with exotic beaches, flooded with soft white sand, and protected by offshore reefs. As Lahaina is an old port town, you won’t be able to walk out of your hotel onto the best beaches on Maui, but they’ll be a scenic stroll away.
Lahaina has a lovely mix of hotels and a few oceanfront resorts. It’s a place to experience island culture and heritage while being close to some of the top tourist attractions in Maui.
Located in the center of town, the Tiki Beach Hostel is one of the best budget accommodation options in Maui. Enjoy an exclusive beachfront, with free hiking, snorkeling, and complimentary kayaks. Cool down with air-conditioning in your dorm room and cook a delicious meal with new friends in the spacious kitchen. You’ll also be just a short walk away from the shops and restaurants in Lahaina.
Be just minutes away from downtown Lahaina and the beautiful coastline at Old Lahaina House. Each guest room features island-inspired decor with some including access to a beautiful patio or private balcony. When the beach is too far, dive into the pool or cook up a feast on the hotel’s BBQs.
The Best Western Pioneer Inn showcases Lahaina’s charm and history while offering a prime location. Each room comes with cable TV, A/C, a coffee machine, and a private balcony. The inn also has an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site bar, and a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch. From the hotel, enjoy a short stroll to the marina and Front Street.
As beautiful on the outside as the inside, guests will love the appealing Plantation Inn. Enjoy a complimentary morning breakfast along with the on-site restaurant. Dive into the pool or laze in the hot tub. Each cozy room has an art deco vibe with natural light shining through.
At this prime location on historic Front Street, enjoy the resort life while having all local attractions within an arm’s reach. The waterfront accommodation comes with a full kitchen, daily maid service, and either Pacific Ocean or mountain views. Relax in the outdoor pool and hot tub or take a short stroll to the old banyan tree.
✓ Best area to stay in Maui for beaches and snorkeling
Just north of Lahaina, Ka’anapali is one of the top places to stay on Maui. Home to the famous Ka’anapali Beach and some of the top-rated resorts on the island, Ka’anapali is the perfect spot for extravagant island bliss.
The majority of development, whether beachfront resorts or restaurants and bars for sunset, is found in West Maui. In fact, Ka’anapali is home to the first planned resort in Hawaii. Bask in three miles of stunning coastline where the sand is as golden as the water is blue.
From the many accommodations in Ka’anapali, you’ll be able to take but a few steps down to your local white sand beach. You’ll also be in a great position to take exciting day trips along the coast of West Maui and the North Shore. These include a short drive north to Kapalua Bay and one of the most beautiful shorelines on the island, Kapalua Beach.
Perhaps the highlight of Ka’anapali, however, is the 16-foot-tall Black Rock. From the volcanic formation, you can dive into the glistening turquoise water for excellent snorkeling.
Ka’anapali Beach Hotel combines modern luxury with an abundance of cultural experiences. Wake up with joie de vivre as the turquoise Pacific Ocean streams through your floor-to-ceiling windows. Explore the lush gardens, swim in the outdoor pool, embark on a cultural experience or enjoy the dinner theater performance.
Aston Maui is a four-star resort sitting on 11 pristine acres. Embark on a brief walk to Ka’anapali Beach, swim in the two pools, work out at the fitness center, or relax at the day spa. Book a room with a private balcony or one of the suites offering a full kitchen. At night, dine poolside at Castaway Cafe.
From this prime location on the famous Ka’anapali Beach, you’ll want for nothing at Kaanapali Alii. Book yourself into the condo-style accommodation, with full kitchens and stunning ocean views. Enjoy the beachfront pool and multiple tennis courts with the local golf course within reach. You’ll also be within a brief walk from downtown Lahaina.
Perched on an expansive property, the Hyatt Regency is packed with cultural experiences, ocean views, five on-site restaurants, and the Kamaha Spa. Each room at the Hyatt features bright decor with plenty of natural light plus amazing views from your private balcony. Dine by the pool and ocean or explore the resort’s own water park.
✓ Recommended area to stay in Maui for luxury travelers
One of the finest areas in Maui, Wailea presents world-class resorts and glistening beaches without the popularity of the west coast. Wailea is a town for those seeking a high-end experience. Lay your head down at one of the luxury hotels, offering exclusive access to the stunning natural world.
Located in South Maui, Wailea is tucked away from other major hubs such as Lahaina and Ka’anapali. While the price point deters some, those who choose to stay here will enjoy serenity and peace.
The local Wailea Beach is rated as one of the most beautiful on the island. Just south of town is the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve, another amazing snorkeling spot. Arrive in the morning for the clearest conditions to see the vibrant life beneath the surface.
The extravagant resort experience in Wailea will tick all the boxes, but the lack of local culture will mean visitors will have to venture away from Wailea to see the “real Maui.” It is, however, a relatively quick drive to more rugged locations, including Upcountry Maui.
Just back from the beautiful Wailea Beach, enjoy the expansive views from your private balcony. Wake up to a scrumptious breakfast buffet, before lazing by the pool or in the hot tub. Have your pick of multiple south coast beaches and later enjoy sunset cocktails and the poolside bar.
As you wander between Wailea Beach and Ulua Beach, you’ll thank your lucky stars for the incredible beachfront location of this resort. Away from it all, bask in the tranquility, from your balcony or patio. Walk through the towering palms to either beach or dive into the swimming pools. At this accommodation option, you’ll have your choice of restaurants and bars to welcome the golden hour.
One of the best Maui hotels, the stunning beachfront architecture of Andaz Maui is everything you’d want from an island resort. Modern and upscale, this luxurious resort lets you take your pick of four infinity pools, Japanese/American fusion cuisine, and multiple on-site activities. Each morning wake up on your private balcony with your suite offering a separate living room, plunge pool, or hot tub.
Sitting in front of the beautiful Polo Beach, the Fairmont Kea Lani offers both a romantic and family-friendly experience. In each spacious suite, you’ll find separate living areas, a soaking tub, a private balcony, and a full kitchen. Dive into one of three outdoor pools, one with a 138-foot waterslide, before choosing between two on-site restaurants.
At this luxury resort overlooking Wailea Beach, guests can relax in their large guest rooms, complete with a private bar. The ocean views burst through the floor-to-ceiling windows and can also be enjoyed from your own balcony. Aside from the beach access, you’ll have three swimming pools along with three restaurants at your disposal.
✓ Best neighborhood to stay in for surfing and history
The charming town of Paia, on Maui’s North Shore, marks the beginning of the incredible Road to Hana. With limited accommodation options, boutique hotels and vacation rental properties reign supreme in a town that hasn’t lost its bohemian vibe.
In the historic town in North Maui, you’ll find farmers markets selling local wares and produce, eclectic art galleries, unpretentious eateries, and surf shops. Behind all this, you can hike into the West Maui Mountains, through dense rainforests to find waterfalls and jaw-dropping views.
In the other direction, you’ll stumble upon beaches where the barrelling waves surge towards the beach. Paia offers some of the best breaks on the island, not to mention Ho’okipa Beach Park, featuring world-class windsurfing. While the wind carries windsurfers on their merry way, sea turtles laze on the beach.
From Paia, you can drive the famed Hana Highway, an important part of any Maui itinerary.
Escape the resorts for the bohemian north coast at the Paia Inn. The bamboo hardwood floors and ocean decor put you in the right mood, as you’re just steps away from the beach. With the central location, you can walk into the charming Paia town or dine on-site at Vana Sushi Bar.
Find your zen at Lumeria Maui. Tucked away in a lush 7-acre property, you can take part in yoga and meditation classes before roaming the beautiful grounds. Relax by the saltwater pool on the sun terrace or make use of your daybed within your spacious suite.
✓ Best area to stay in Maui for nature and quiet
After completing 600 hairpin turns, and crossing 50 single land bridges, you’ll find yourself in the lush but remote town of Hana in East Maui, a place that makes Paia seem like a resort haven. Hana has few accommodation and restaurant options. In fact, you’ll have a harder time deciding which one of the gorgeous beaches you’ll want to spend your day on.
Hana is for the adventurous traveler who wants to earn their views. The island’s east coast is rugged, with bamboo forests and black sand beaches burnt by tides of lava. The best black sand beach in Maui is Waianapanapa Beach, where you’ll find lava caves, sea arches, and sparkling blue water.
Behind Hana lies Haleakala National Park, one of the best places to go hiking in Maui. Aside from enjoying another beach day, strap on your hiking boots for an unforgettable East Maui sunrise. Hike up to the Haleakala Crater, which is larger than Manhattan, before waiting patiently for the sun light up the horizon.
At Heavenly Hana, you can experience a remote paradise on East Maui’s coast. The hotel is surrounded by thick tropical jungle, with fruit trees growing in abundance. In your room, you’ll have an en-suite bathroom and some offer a full kitchen. From there, you’re minutes from Wainapanapa’s black sand beach.
Soak in the rugged mountain and ocean views from your private balcony, a world away from the action on Maui’s west coast. Take the time to relax and slow down while enjoying the tropical decor and taking advantage of the full kitchen. From your room, you’ll be less than 700 feet from Hana Beach Park.
A rare resort on Maui’s east coast, Hana-Maui Hyatt Residence is surrounded by 70 acres of private beachfront grounds, overlooking Hana Bay. You won’t ever have to leave, with your bungalow boasting exceptional views and the suites offering a full kitchen. You’ll also enjoy on-site restaurants and endless activities, from kayaking to horseback riding.
Kahului / Wailuku
✓ Best area to stay in Maui for families and central location
Straddled between Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains, the Central Maui region will be where you start your island experience. After departing the island’s main airport, you’ll quickly discover how Maui received its nickname, the “Valley Isle”.
Kahului and Wailuku strike a balance between the amenities of the west coast and the remoteness of Hana in East Maui. Visitors can bask in the scenic landscape while being close to shopping, restaurants, and a great concentration of lodgings.
Still, you’ll be a short drive from the famed beaches in Ka’anapali in West Maui and moments away from the Road to Hana. Wailuku is the gateway to the Iao Valley State Park, a sacred and mesmerizing part of Maui. Explore the towering peaks, including the Iao Needle, standing at 1,200 feet.
Just two miles from the exceptional Iao Valley State Park, enjoy the crisp mountain air from your private patio. Each room comes with A/C and cable TV, while the B&B provides a delicious complimentary breakfast. When you aren’t exploring, make use of the BBQ facilities or relax on the sun lounges.
The Old Wailuku Inn is as beautiful as it is cozy. A classic bed and breakfast, enjoy a wonderful morning spread before venturing to the many nearby attractions, including the Iao Needle. Some rooms come with private balconies or patios, while A/C, TV, and WiFi are standard throughout.
After landing in Maui, you’ll be just five minutes away from your home away from home. Within your suite, you’ll find an iPod docking station to get the tunes rolling along with the cable TV. After you’re settled, dive into the outdoor swimming pool or kick back in the hot tub.