lodging rentals by owner on Maui?

Old Aug 7th, 2021, 09:00 AM
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lodging rentals by owner on Maui?

Although I like and use AirBnB and VRBO, the added fees are astounding! Are there any individuals or independents who rent?

I'm specifically looking in Kihei for a 2 bedroom on the beach.

Thanks all!
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 03:47 PM
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Have you searched for apartments on booking.com? There will still be taxes, fees and cleaning charge on top of the rental... plus you may find most are nonrefundable.
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Old Aug 7th, 2021, 08:12 PM
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There is also a big problem with illegal rentals in Hawaii. If you are going owner-direct do make sure you have a legal one.

I don't know if this compares, but hotels in Hawaii do have several layers of taxes and fees from the price you first see advertised.

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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 09:14 AM
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Your thinking isn't really fruitful. All websites have expenses and are businesses. So they aren't going to have listings on them for free, they aren't charities. I don't think the fees are "astounding", I think Airbnb and VRBO end up charging about 10-15 pct, don't they? If you are referring to the other fees, some are just taxes and things like "cleaning fees" are set by the owner, so you can blame the owners.

If it makes you feel better not to see the add-on, sure, you can use booking.com or tripadvisor, but of course they charge fees to the owners who list there. Booking.com also charges about 15 pct, I know that. But the "host" pays them directly so the price you see will not have a line item marked "service fee". If that makes you feel better.

Nobody could run a business very well without using a major international booking website like that for the internet presence, marketing, website maintenance, services provied in terms of collecting payments, etc. The advertising and exposure alone are tremendous. So what you are thinking is you'd find some owner who decides not to use them and thinks they make more money just by maintaining and running their own website and billing/collection service? And somehow people would just find them? good luck with finding that It is true web hosting alone isn't all that expensive, but then you have to design etc the website. Occasionally in resort areas you do find local property mgt websites or real estate companies that have listings but they aren't going to work for free, either. And they often don't disclose the fees are clearly as VRBO/Airbnb and they can be even higher.

I don't think you are going to find any company that does not charge fees to the users if they are a for-profit business. And I also would not presume that even if they didn't pay a fee to a company like VRBO (which it isn't clear how they could run their business), that they would thus price the property much cheaper than the end result is when website fees are added. If they think they can get $200 a night by the market, that may be what they charge, one way or another.

Here's a private website for example.
https://www.mauibeachfront.com They advertise on the front page "no hidden fees", yet they aren't as clear as VRBO. BUt when you ask for fee breakdown they have both a "service fee" and a "processing fee" that add up to about 10 pct. ON top of that, there can be large "cleaning fees", of course.

I think it would be most fruitful for you just to focus on finding a property in the location you want, with the size etc you want at the price you want, and not focus on the breakdown and whether something is called a fee or not, just care about the bottom line cost.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 10:09 AM
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I agree. It just isn't like the old days before people, companies and municipalities realized they could monetize everything. You pay taxes, fees, etc., whether they are clearly stated or not, so it doesn't mean much to know how much those add-ons contribute to the bottom line.

I set a budget and make a choice.
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Old Aug 8th, 2021, 10:18 PM
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I agree with everyone above about bottomline being the only number I look at. Especially for Hawaii. I know for hotels you have to take it as if you were doing a booking to see how much that $150/night actually costs. Likely about $180-200. I just need to know that number. I don't really care if it gets there by taxes, add ons, resort fee, whatever. At least at hotels you don't pay a separate security deposit or cleaning fee like you do on private rentals.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 06:52 AM
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Cleaning fees are becoming another hidden/not hidden hotel/resort charge. You might book a hotel at a particular rate and assume daily housekeeping is included, but arrive to find that's not the case.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/hidden...ees-at-hotels/
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 12:25 PM
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Thanks for the warning. I have never experienced or heard of that. Appreciate the heads up.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 03:04 PM
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We are just back from a weekend trip to a major US city and stayed at a up scale hotel -- 200+ night. Informed at check-in that daily room prep was only done every three nights and since we were only staying three nights -- no bed made, no fresh towels, or general clean up. Of course, it was done for our safety concerns. I am guessing this could be the new normal.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 03:38 PM
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fmpden, I'd love to think they care about us that much, but I think in most cases it's a property charging the same amount as before and providing less service. I'd rather be asked my preference regarding housekeeping. And, if I knew the room rate was unchanged since 2019 (or higher!), I would have asked for a partial refund.

As an aside, I worry about the employment security of hospitality workers if daily housekeeping is reduced. I would leave a tip for housekeeping that covers every day whether the room is cleaned/tidied or not.
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Old Aug 9th, 2021, 09:39 PM
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I'm fine without housekeeping. As long as I know what to expect.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 10:06 AM
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Hotels have, in many cases, not hired back all the people they laid off, especially the older, more senior people. They are instead hiring, if they can find them, younger, cheaper help. As a result, they don't have enough help and much of what they have is inexperienced.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 02:30 PM
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I agree with Jean, and as far back as 10-12 years ago or more, Marriott in Kauai was asking us to hang our towels up if we wanted to reuse them, otherwise throw them on the floor if we wanted new towels. This was touted as an environmental measure and I always thought it was a way for them to cut down on their laundry bill by trying to guilt out their guests. I did get a midweek "tidy" service but if I wanted daily or every other day maid service it was available for a charge.
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Old Aug 10th, 2021, 05:04 PM
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To be fair, in some locations, cutting down on laundry is an important way to reduce water usage. But I wish properties would just acknowledge what they're doing and adjust rates accordingly rather than emulate the airlines and charge fees for everything.
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Old Aug 13th, 2021, 04:17 AM
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I stayed at a motel in Texas that had reduced cleaning to scheduled days, about 3 days apart. But you could always bring your towels to the front desk for an exchange. Also if you planned on breakfast more than some packaged thingy, a piece of fruit and coffee/tea, think again! In-room coffee, micro and and mini-frig more important than included breakfast, restaurants are hit also with understaffing. I did 100% takeout or grab n go.

In Alaska we would plan on at least an hour for a sit-down meal, sometimes add on an hour wait for a table! I guess former employees have had a year to think about what other jobs might be more fulfilling or less hassle than hospitality. Add into that the now high cost of temporary housing in seasonal places. And now, even with vaccination available there is still a risk from all of the customers.


I have run into some oddball charges like $2 for a key. So far no cleaning fee.

Last edited by mlgb; Aug 13th, 2021 at 04:20 AM.
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Old Aug 13th, 2021, 10:55 AM
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We are just back from a weekend trip to a major US city and stayed at a up scale hotel -- 200+ night. Informed at check-in that daily room prep was only done every three nights and since we were only staying three nights -- no bed made, no fresh towels, or general clean up. Of course, it was done for our safety concerns. I am guessing this could be the new normal.

That was the case for our four night stay in Denver a few weeks back too. No service until the third day. Like you, I suspect it's one of those COVID things that will long outlast COVID and staffing shortages. .
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Old Aug 13th, 2021, 11:46 AM
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I understand what you're saying and am not opposed to the face that they need to make money to stay in business but as you said "All websites have expenses and are businesses. So they aren't going to have listings on them for free". So yes, I would like to avoid websites altogether and deal directly with an owner if at all possible. The owner has to also pay fees for such services and, I'm sure, would prefer not to do that if possible.
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Old Aug 13th, 2021, 12:09 PM
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So yes, I would like to avoid websites altogether and deal directly with an owner if at all possible. The owner has to also pay fees for such services and, I'm sure, would prefer not to do that if possible.

I don't think that is necessarily correct. There are reasons owners use a middle-man to rent out private properties when they are dealing with strangers...

That said, I have in fact rented directly from an owner but it is in a location in Mexico where I have been vacationing for 20+ years so I have gotten to know people there. My owner-direct arrangements are someone I've met in person several times so more of a casual friendship, than finding someone willing to do this from the internet.
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Old Aug 13th, 2021, 01:02 PM
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My husband and I rented a condo in Maui twice directly from an owner but we knew them casually (we both belonged to the same club) and this was back in 1994 or so when Internet usage was not so widespread. Unless you know someone or are referred by a friend or relative, hard to see how to rent directly from an owner without using a realtor o site like VRBO in this day.
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Old Aug 13th, 2021, 01:59 PM
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Also know it can count against you... cancellation policy or lack thereof... if you have booked direct and can't go, what happens?

I was kindly refunded in full a prepaid 2-wk condo stay booked person to person with the owner in Mexico for March 2020 (when it all hit the fan). They most definitely were not required to refund anything by the rental agreement I'd gladly signed with them. So just a kindness they did.
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