Help a Reader Travel: Maui

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My favorite part of this are the comments that readers get to share with one another. It really is great having everyone become part of the blog. I love hearing from my readers, and many of you have expressed that interest in hearing from others as well. I get emails from blog readers and calls from friends asking me about all sort of travel destinations. Unfortunately, I have not been to every city or beach destination possible and can’t always give my opinion, although I do try as best as I can!

The best thing about the blog is that I can source advice and recommendations from my readers! I am going to try something new and see if it works. Every Monday morning I am going to post a travel destination request from a reader that I have not yet written a trip report on and ask for recommendations. When you email me, feel free to give me some of your travel interests so readers know how to cater their response. Are you trying to travel on a budget or go full out for a once in a lifetime experience? Are you low key or fancy? Are you a beach person or a history buff?

I will include these blog posts in my Trip Reviews page. If you have any recommendations, this can include, hotels, restaurants, things to do, transportation options, really anything that you find valuable, feel free to share in the comments section!

So this weeks travel destination includes Maui. I received the following email from reader Matt:

“I see you’ve gone to Kauai and Oahu, but was wondering if you have any suggestions on Maui. My wife and I will be going for our first year anniversary and have never been to Maui before. We are not sure where to stay, but we want to be in a good area. We love the beach, but also want to explore the island. Any help for a loyal reader would be much appreciated! Thanks.”

If you’ve been to Maui before, let’s help out reader Matt! Thanks a bunch and comment away! On a side note though, I also highly recommend Kauai, I LOVED it!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Kaanapali. I’ve been there five times to five different hotels (Westin and Hyatt were my favorites, duh). Yeah, there’s new stuff at Wailea, but it’s over built. Basically just an opportunity to squeeze more shopping and spa dollars out of you.

  2. I prefer Kaanapali/Kapalua to Wailea. They are building a new Andaz in Wailea.
    Mama’s fish house is pricey, but great. It close to the airport and a good spot for either an arrival lunch or dinner before you late night flight home.
    If you like Sushi, book a table a Koiso in Kihei. It not fancy, but it is the real thing.

  3. We stayed at the Four Seasons in Wailea for a week in November 2008. We really liked the location and loved the beaches there. Unfortunately I have nothing to compare it to though. It was easy to get to the road to hana and the to do the crater bike tour. This was of course before my collecting of points days so may do it differently if we go back.

  4. My suggestion would probably differ from others. I would suggest you stay in the condos around Kihei/Maalea. If you stay in the resorts in Kaanapali/Kapalua/Wailea, you would spend at least 1 hr extra everyday commuting to different parts of the island. For good condos, check out

  5. Ziplining is great in Maui. Would prefer helicopter in Kauai over Maui but if only going to Maui, helicopter should be fun there too. Must do in Maui- Snorkeling, we did the Molekini crater but other areas are great as well.

  6. My husband and I have been to Maui several times. It’s one of our favourite places. We were even married there this past December.

    We love staying in the southern Kihei/Wailea area. I highly recommend checking out Maui Gold Condos. Great properties with beautifully updated and decorated units.

    Condo’s are the way to go in Maui. You can really save money on food this way. Condo’s often come with lawn chairs, beach towels, beach toys, coolers, and included internet.

    Maui is small enough that you can do day trips with a rental car to a different part of the island whenever you want.

    For a fancy meal I recommend (reservations recommended) and for snorkel or whale watching excursions

    The last time we were in Maui we had family members staying in the Kaanapali area in a resort and we hated the way it felt. It made me sad to think that people staying in these resorts in Kaanapali probably never left the resort area to experience the real Maui.

  7. Pick up the tour book Maui Revealed. LOTS of great stuff in there from food to exploring the island. Go on a snorkeling trip to Molokini, Nakalele Blow Hole Maui, Hana Road. The book has great info on all of this. Fish tacos at Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei, sushi at Koiso Sushi Bar.

  8. Kaanapali is great – especially if a “resort feel” is what you’re after. Several great resorts along the main strip there, including Sheraton, Westin, Marriott, etc.

    If you’d like something a little quieter (but still beach front), you can go a little north of Kaanapali to Honokowai. Up there, you’ll find a lot of condos and other similar options. VRBO is a great resource for finding condo rentals.

    In terms of where to eat, I can’t recommend Mama’s Fish House strongly enough! It’s a bit of a trek from West Maui, but well worth it! It’s back by Kahului airport, and is on the way to / from Kona, if you decide to make that trip.

    Enjoy Maui!

  9. The Road to Hana was our favorite experience in Maui. We chose a private tour in an SUV from

    The driver was knowledgeable, stopped when we wanted, and skipped what we didn’t want. He kept the commentary going all day. He even took us to some out of the way spots where we didn’t see other tourists. We had lunch at the Hana-Maui Hotel where the view is spectacular!

  10. We have been going to Maui over Xmas for 30+ years. Kaanapali is the rainy side of the island and most touristy. We stay in Kihei at a condo – Kamaole Sands – which is just across the road from the Kamaole 3 beach. (Stop at Costco by the airport and stock up on reasonabley priced food.) There are lots of very over priced restaurants, Mama’s Fish house being the most well known. The road to Hand and then on to the 7 pools is a great trip. Wailea has lots of fancy hotels to walk aorund and a great walk along the ocean. The Paia Fish House is the best bargain for meals on the island. (Coconut’s Fish Cafe in Kihei is almost as good.) The best Sunday Brunch on the island is at the Makena Resort (was the Maui Price hotel before bankruptcy.) There is a Moose McGillycuddy in Kihei – great for breakfast. Maui Tacos food is cheap and very good. Haliimaile General Store has great food and is reasonable for lunch. For pizza go to Shaka’s. For the best susho go to Sansei in Kihei for the 1/2 price meals at 5 pm – but get there by 4 pm as the lines are long and they take only so many people at 5 pm. And there is Stell a Blues Cafe in Kihei which has very good food and decent prices. A day trip to Lanai is worth it. No traffic lighst at all on Lanai! The goat farm is fun, and go to Iso’s Needle. Sunrise or sunset on Haleakalā is a unique experince – but bring warm clothes and rememebr it is 2+ hours to get up the mountain. TAke a boat ride and snorkel at Molokini. Or there is good snorkeling off the beach at Mile Marker 14. Also Ulua beach is good snorleking right off the beach.

  11. I live in Hawaii and go to maui every couple of years…I personally stay on the super cheap and at the Aston Lu(its about 73$ priceline bid)…but if its a special occassion I would stay elsewhere. Depending on what you want to do you might want to stay in multiple hotels. If you want to go to Haleakala(sunrise) then its better to stay in Kahului…Of course Wailea and Kanapalii is the most expensive but Kihei and Honokowai are alot cheaper(my last stay was at aston papakea right across a supermarket).. Main thing you figure out what you want to see and how much you want to spend.

  12. Tasaka’s Guri Guri Shop.

    70 E Kaahumanu Ave, Kahului, Maui, HI 96732-2176

    Only place in the country you can find this.

    Sort of a cross between sherbert and ice cream.

    2 small scoops for $1

  13. If you’re looking for a low key vacation…I was in Mauai two years ago and we stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui on a Virtuoso rate, which included an upgrade on arrival, subject to availability; Daily Buffet Breakfast, and welcome basket. They upgraded us to a full ocean view suite and we had a great view of Lanai. It’s right next to the Four Seasons in Wailea and a bit removed from the action, but we liked the quiet. They also had a cafe/deli in the hotel with cheeses, meats, gourmet foods and wines not much more expensive than Whole Foods. We sometimes preferred to sit on the balcony at sunset with snacks from there as an alternative to dinner. The beach there wasn’t very impressive though.

    My favorite places to visit were also on that side of the island: Haleakala Crater is well worth the visit, but bring a jacket, it gets cold. Doing flights of goat cheese tastings at Surfing Goat Dairy was great, and the wine tastings at Tedeschi Winery are surprisingly good (not all pineapple).

  14. Hi Matt,

    Kaanapali/Kapalua or Wailea? It really depends on what you’re looking for. Kaanapalli and Kapalua are more active and have more night life. Wailea is more chill and relaxing, think honeymoon. I stayed in Wailea and drove to Kaanapali and it was fine. Either way, you’ll have a great time.

    I recommend the following:

    Road to Hana:

    Start early in the morning to avoid the crowd. Get a Gypsy Guide, it’ll act as you personal tour guide during the Road to Hana and the rest of your trip in Maui.

    Gypsy Guide:

  15. This region is also known for its spectacular landscapes and fine cuisine.

    In all the 5 star hotels, you get secure, hygienic and value for money accommodation with all the basic facilities that
    meets your requirement and keeps you happy with
    its services and hospitality which you will cherish all your life.
    Other all-inclusive packages worth looking up are at Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio ($459, includes 50% off parking), Aston Waikiki Sunset ($465), Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort &
    Spa ($485), Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa ($509), Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel ($545), Hilton Hawaiian
    Village Beach Resort & Spa ($555), Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort
    & Spa ($595), and Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk ($615).

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