Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   Is Kihei the "armpit of Maui"? (

Cynthia Jul 6th, 2001 03:21 PM

Is Kihei the "armpit of Maui"?
We are planning a family trip (with our two teenagers - 13 and 15 years old) to Maui for next Christmas. I've never been before and am trying to figure out what part of the Island to stay on. While we are not an an incredibly strict budget, we would prefer to stay in a condo so we can eat the occasional meal in our unit, as we hear that restaurant prices are extremely high there. <BR> <BR>I've done a lot of research, and Kihei condo prices seem to be much better than the rest of the island. We want a fairly nice place within close walking distance to the beach if not directly on it. However, I remember some time back people referring to Kihei as the "armpit of Maui". Is it really much different than the rest of the island?

Gerry Jul 6th, 2001 03:39 PM

Kihei is residential community next door to Wailea. It is as not full of tourists as other areas. It has local facilities like supermarkets and such and also a number of very good restaurants. If someone would think of it as an armpit of anywhere, I would wonder where they were from. The beaches(with public access) are lined with multi-million dollar homes. I'd love to live there but don't know how I could afford it. The location is just as convenient to the sights as anywhere else on the island. I'd stay there again in a minute.

dembody Jul 6th, 2001 03:48 PM

Kihei is not an "armpit" but it is definatly not as nice as the Lahaina-Kannapali-Kapulua area. Its worth the extra money in my opinion to stay on the Lahaina side vs the Kihei side. A condo suggestion: Napili Sunset also heard nice things about Napili Bay.

Kelly Jul 6th, 2001 03:53 PM

I have stayed in both Kihei and Khanapali, I prefer Khanapali. While there isn't anything wrong at all with Kihei, we ended up driving up to Khanapali twice a day; in the morning for diving/beaches, and later for dinner.

Dave Jul 6th, 2001 03:54 PM

Perhaps when you heard Kihei refered to as the "armpit" of maui it only was refering to its location on the island,, <BR> If you look at the map of maui, it looks like the upper torso of a man..and Kihei would be just about in his armpit,,,

AR Jul 6th, 2001 04:06 PM

If you can afford it, the Kaanapali Beach Hotel would be perfect. It is the most affordable place in Kaanapali (which is definitely where you want to be). Refrigerator is empty in room (wow!). Get Partial Ocean View room with King bed and Daybed, then ask for Rollaway--plenty of room. Just did it and my kids (11 and 15) had the best time. Delicious hamburger shack by the pool (no jacuzzi). Best beach and snorkeling on island!!

Barbara Jul 6th, 2001 04:49 PM

I stayed at the very south end of Kihei last year with my two teenagers. They loved it. The beaches are nicer than Kaanapali IMHO, and in December it will be drier and warmer in Kihei than either Kaanapali or Napili. Having said that, we did drive to Lahaina a couple of times for dinner and it is a long drive - about 45mins in good traffic. We decided to try Kaanapali next time, even though it is very touristy and more expensive.

Lani Jul 6th, 2001 04:51 PM

There's absolutely nothing wrong, in MHO, with Kihei. It has gorgeous beaches, great restaurants, shopping, etc. It wasn't planned well though so you have tons of moderately priced condos helter skelter. But it's still a great place, and Wailea, next door is even better. Above Kihei, you have Maalaea Harbor with wonderful restaurants and boats departing for all kinds of activities. People compare it to Wailea or Kaanapali, and it's not as well-planned or resort-like as they are, but still just fine!!! And contrary to what some others may tell you, you don't have to go to Kaanapali - Lahaina to do a thing except to see the historical places in Lahaina. You will find more to do near Kihei than you could do in several trips! One of the best located and priced condos is the Mana Kai Maui Condos on the Kihei-Wailea line on a fabulous beach. Do a search for them on - you won't be disappointed!

Becky Jul 7th, 2001 03:58 PM

We prefer the kihei area, more central to all day trips like Hana, Haleakala, Iao Needle, and boat tours leave out of Maalea Harbor nearby. May I recommend Maui Sunset Condominiums, half off rack rate with (any)Entertainment Book. They waive the 30day prior Entertainment restriction based on projected availability, so don't be afraid to ask. <BR>Even 1 bedroom units have 2 baths.

JW Jul 7th, 2001 04:05 PM

You can get a summary of the Kihei area in the book "Maui Revealed" which was an excellent source on everything in Maui.

Mike Jul 7th, 2001 04:13 PM

Grand Champions in Wailea which is next to Kihei is a great choice. You'd be near enought to Kihei to food shop and to lots of restaurants but in a only slightly more expensive condo without the crowds of Kihei.

x Jul 8th, 2001 12:44 PM


Sue Jul 8th, 2001 01:15 PM

The first time we went to Maui we stayed in Kaanapali. Very nice, but very expensive. The next time we stayed in Kihei. It was so great that we have returned twice. It is a great place for kids. Beaches much calmer than Kaanapali and many more things to do at a much more resonible cost.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:30 AM.