Maui for 9 days

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Aug 15th, 2009, 01:18 PM
  #1
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Maui for 9 days

Hi All,

We are planning a trip to Maui from 8/30-9/7. We're horrible at planning and have yet to buy tickets. I'm naively hoping the travel gods will smile upon us. On our honeymoon we went to the big Island and stayed at the hapuna Prince on the Kohala coast. As it was beautiful and serene it was too quiet. We ended up spending most of the time in the car towards Kona and the resort became a glorified resting spot.

My question is where can I have my cake and eat it too? We want the beauty of Maui's natural surroundings, the fun of a great bar and the food that will make you forget about calories. We're told to stay on the west side but I fear the person giving advice can financially afford it. Would you recommend Wailea or Kaanapali?

To complicate matters I found interesting reviews about Paia. They say it's a must visit and it's close to the start of the road to Hana.

Would it be feasible to go to all 3? or would you reccommend 1 or 2 over the others?

Thanks
realdowner is offline  
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Aug 15th, 2009, 02:03 PM
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The driving distances are not as great on Maui as they are on the Big Island. Paia is a nice day trip from either Wailea or Kaanapali...a bit closer to Wailea, I believe. It sounds as if you might like Kaanapali and it's close proximity to Lahaina. Lahaina has lots of good restaurants and drinking spots. I prefer Wailea for beauty of the surroundings. Somehow the hotels there seem to embrace and enhance nature more. It feels more open, with not as much high-rise concrete as Kaanapali.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 02:53 PM
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I personally preferred Wailea, as it's more tropical and laid back. It sounds to me like you would be happier staying by Kaanapali. There is a long row of hotels there, a walk along the water [concrete sidwalk] and a small village with restaurants and shops [Whalers Village I think] and Lahaina is just a few minutes away by car. All else that I mentioned is walking distance from anywhere on this strip.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 03:13 PM
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Look at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel for an affordable nice location in Kaanapali that is on a great beach, a short walk to Whaler's Village, and a relaxing resort. Last time I checked, they had some really good internet specials. www.kbhmaui.com

While the Wailea area is beautiful, it is quite expensive and more upscale and manicured than I care for.

You can reach the entire island from KBH...If you do the road to Hana, that might be a long day if you don't stop somewhere else for the night...But other than that, everything else was driveable...and that really is, too, if you get an early start and just plan a relaxing day the next day knowing that you'll be getting back late.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 03:49 PM
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There aren't any natural surroundings in Wailea, it is all an artificial purpose built area with rows of hotels one after the other. It is certainly a lovely area with beautiful hotels but natural it is not. Same with Kaanapali except the hotels there are more high rise than Wailea. A few minutes further north from Kaanapali is Napili which is beautiful and less developed. Somewhere like Napili Kai perhaps with it's own restaurant, near to Kapalua for restaurants such as Sansei and not too far from Lahaina & Kaanapali for more dining/drinking options.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 04:08 PM
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Paia is fun to visit but there are no resort hotels there. If you want maximum night life and restaurants and lively beach scenes, I recommend Kaanapali. Wailea is beautiful but might be too quiet for you. Everything on Maui is an easy drive so you only need to stay in one place.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 04:35 PM
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We loved Wailea, but it sounds like it wouldn't be your style; it's mostly serene, beautiful, quiet, and romantic. It's a really upscale manicured area with gorgeous beaches, but not a lot of rockin' nightlife. Maui has tons of great activities. We did the sunrise at Haleakala, road to Hana, went whale watching (seasonal), did the Old Lahaina Luau, went to the beaches in Wailea, and went snorkeling at Molokini. Just in case you haven't planned any activities.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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I don't know what your budget is, but I would also recommend The Sheraton Maui, which is next door to the Kaanapali Beach Hotel. You can often find great deals online for the Sheraton, and it's a very nice ( though LARGE) property. The beach in front of the Sheraton and the Kaanapali Beach Hotel is excellent for snorkeling, and usually pretty calm. Both places are close to Whaler's Village.
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Aug 15th, 2009, 08:45 PM
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Thank you all. Your comments have been most helpful.

We're usually homebodies, so on vacation no holds barred [within legal reason of course ]

It sounds like Kaanapali is our best bet. We are on a modest budget. We'd like to spend a maximum of $150/night but could probably do $200.

We love food and I love to try new things. I have no qualms about going to the market and eating at the deli. On the big island we discovered poke. yum yum. Is there a must place to go and eat?

We'd love to do some snorkeling and fishing. Where would you recommend?

I like to walk when I'm on vacation because you get to see more. Are there any good hikes or walks?

Thanks


Thanks
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Aug 16th, 2009, 10:37 AM
  #10
 
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Your budget is do=able tho' most hotels are higher than that; however this year is different so check around !

On the condo side, we've stayed at Noelani, The Mahana, Maui Kai and Polynesian Shores, all just fine, all north of Kaanapali. Note that most around there do not have a/c (Mahana, Maui Kai & Poly Shores do). You might check flights, could be filling up by now.

You can see aerial views at:
http://www.wizardpub.com/maui/mauwestmap.html
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Aug 16th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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You should enjoy eating at the Hula Grill in Whaler's Village, particularly at the bar, which has a sand floor, overlooks the beach, and has live music. And the food is okay, though not "special". The nice thing about Kaanapali Beach is that there's "activity" at night - people walking in both directions to and from Whaler's Village and all the hotels (which starts at one end with the Hyatt and ends at the other end with the Sheraton --- if you want to be ON the beach walk (which I think you do), be careful that you are not staying NORTH of Black Rock, which is still called Kaanapali Beach (lots of people love that area, but it's not walkable to Whaler's Village. Also, the town of Lahaina (very touristy, but very fun), is only about 3 miles from Kaanapali.
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Aug 16th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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There are many good snorkeling places, but depending on the wave action, some will be better than others on any given week. When you get there call or visit Maui Dive Shop and the staff will tell you which spots are best at the time.
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Aug 16th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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If you like sushi, try Sansei in Kapalua. For great Hawaiian atmosphere and local seafood try Leilani's, Hula Grill, Kimos, Pacific O. For extremely creative island foods and great entertainment try the Feast at Lele (private table service luau). For the big splurge on perhaps the best food and hawaiian atmosphere on the entire island, try Mama's Fish House (at the beginning of the road to Hana.)
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Aug 16th, 2009, 11:21 PM
  #14
 
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Wait...you mean THIS 8/30, in two weeks? or next year? Just checking.

Paia is a nice place to hang out for a day, if that....it's not that big with a lot to see, but you're on vacation and nine days is a long time. I also second eating at Sansei!
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Aug 17th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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Kaanapali Beach Hotel is having a $143/night special!
For THIS year...
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Aug 18th, 2009, 04:31 PM
  #16
 
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Noelani for a condo is our favorite, but you are on your own. no swim-up bar. But on the ocean, quiet & everything we love about the island.
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Aug 20th, 2009, 05:03 AM
  #17
 
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I agree what others such as pspercy have said; this is a great year if you're looking for values. There are many rooms and condos (good way to save if you want to cook a bit) And you will want to explore different areas. My sister stayed in Paia because she has no interest in resort areas such as Kaanapali or Wailea, and less in places like busy Lahaina (which I took for what it was and enjoyed!). But she's an exception. Don't pass up Makena (Big Beach) south of Wailea when you are really ready to relax. I bought a fish taco from a truck there and had a lunch that felt as good as some of my fancier meals. Leave plenty of time for that trip to Hana, and on a practical note take Dramamine if you have any issues with carsickness. That's true for snorkel boats and seasickness too, as I witnessed from some unhappy folks. Have a great trip!
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Aug 20th, 2009, 08:09 AM
  #18
 
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Hi -- This may be too late to help you, but right in the heart of the Kaanapali beach area, the Whaler at Kaanapali has reasonably priced condos. It is on a great beach with a decent but not fancy pool, and they were just finishing up a garden project when we were there in May. With a condo, you are in charge of your food and budget and there are some terrific markets where you can get fresh fruit and produce -- we really liked Lahaina Farms on the outskirts of Lahaina -- you could get fancy cheese, wine and pasta and anything else you wanted -- also, the Whaler has barbeques, so you can grill fish or meat and eat whatever meal you want outdoors !!! Check out Pleasant Holidays or other big travel agents for deals...ours came with a car rental -- something you will want on Maui....Our favorite restaurant was Mala -- and Ocean Tavern, right out the edge of the main ocean street in Lahaina -- it is tiny and a bit of a splurge but has lovely gourmet food and if your get a table by the water's edge, you can sip cocktails while you watch the turtles come up for air at sunset...Have a great time....Zephyr
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Aug 20th, 2009, 08:32 AM
  #19
 
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Just a head's up on the Whaler -- the condos are all owned and decorated individually, so some are very nice, and some not so great. Also, if the pool is of interest to you, the pool at the Whaler is warm, but that's pretty much the only good thing I can say about it -- it's very small. Obviously, many many people like the Whaler, but I'm not one of them!
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Aug 20th, 2009, 01:32 PM
  #20
 
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With 9 days, I would spend time in a couple of places. Explore the creek and falls near Wailuku. Stay at the west side for several days and then drive to Hana. You might think about spending a night or two past Lahaina on the way to Hana - Mama's past Kahalui has great fish. Then one night at a B&B in Hana. Or spend 5 days in West Maui and then 4 days in Kauai. The side of Kauai we like is over by Kapaa. Kee beach and the Blue Dolphin restaurant in Hanalei on that side of Kauai are real nice. Its been so long that we've been there, now I want to go back! There's only one thing better than a round trip flight to Maui - and thats a one way ticket!! Mahalo goes a long ways. Aloha nui loa!!
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