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Maui Plan

Old Jul 31st, 2020, 10:38 AM
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Maui Plan

Hello all,

My husband and I are starting to plan a March 2021 trip to Maui. I'm wondering if any of you experts could give me some feedback on this plan:

- West Maui / 5 nights
- Pa'ia / 2 nights
- Hana / 2 nights
- Wailea / 5 nights

I know a lot of people would probably skip the 2 nights in Pa'ia and Hana. Pa'ia got our attention both as a jumping-off point for the RTH, but also as a chance to explore North Shore a bit. The Inn at Mama's Fish house looks amazing - has anyone stayed there? As for Hana, we want to be able to take our time doing the RTH and I hate the idea of a 14-hour long day and driving back in the dark. Stretching it out just sounds like fun and a chance to slow down and explore. Has anyone done this? Recommend? Strong opinions against?

NOTE: Obviously we don't know how things will play out over the next 7 months or so, but we are trying to be optimistic (and realistic) about travel for next year. We are booking everything with complete flexibility and the ability to cancel and will only travel if it's safe and responsible.

Thanks fodorites!
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Old Jul 31st, 2020, 12:35 PM
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Everyone told us not to bother with Pa'ia and it was one of our favorite places. We took a driving/helicopter tour of the Road to Hana. I would definitely go back and stay like you are planning. We stayed in Kapalua and it was really beautiful, but sometimes a bit wet and windy. We walked to Napili Bay and that was amazing. I would stay there next time. My least favorite part was busy Kaanapali. I hope everything works out for your trip.
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Old Jul 31st, 2020, 01:07 PM
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AustinTraveler - excellent, thank you! I think the Pa'ia and Hana portion sounds like so much fun so thanks for the reassurance. Can you elaborate a little on what you didn't like about Kaanapali? We have Hyatt points and were planning on staying at the Hyatt Regency there so just curious. We will have a car though and plan to explore West Maui and do some hiking so we wouldn't be in Kaanapali the whole time. Thanks again!
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Old Jul 31st, 2020, 01:51 PM
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We didn't stay there but did visit one day. Very touristy in my opinion. But, Maui is very touristy so not unexpected. I just prefer more laid back and more nature.
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Old Jul 31st, 2020, 04:52 PM
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Other than all the moving around, I like your plan. As far as Kaanapali (and specifically the Hyatt Regency goes), it depends on your style. Kaanapali is the most touristy hotel area on Maui (Lahaina the town would be more touristy but doesn't have many places to stay). It's a planned development - you enter Kaanapali Resort and there are a number of hotels and condos along the beach and a little away from the beach. There are two parts of Kaanapali, one part is south of Black Rock (where the Sheraton is) and the other part is north of Black Rock. They are not exactly connected - you can walk around, but we always go through the Sheraton to do so. Wailea is also a planned development of hotels and condos, but the hotels are more upscale and more spread apart than those at Kaanapali. Kaanapali's hotels range from fairly simple (the low-key Kaanapali Hotel) to fairly high-end (Hyatt Regency). There really aren't any lower-end hotels on the beach in Wailea.

I am not a fan of the Hyatt Regency Kaanapali, for the simple reason that last time we were there it was well-nigh impossible to find a chaise lounge at the pool at all, let alone one in the shade. You'd have to stand there with your eagle eye scouting and hoping to spot a prime spot someone was leaving before someone else pounced on it. Much too stressful for me. If you can swing it, use the Hyatt points at the Andaz in Wailea instead.
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 07:43 AM
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Thanks, everyone. Not liking the sound of Hyatt Regency Kaanapali. Really appreciate the feedback.

Has anyone here split up their time between West Maui and South Shore like we are planning to do? Our thought behind it is getting to know the island better and the two areas seem to have very different vibes. As someone who has never been to Hawaii before...am I crazy? Do most people pick one base even for a longer 2-week trip?

For South Shore, we are planning on staying at Andaz. Does anyone have a cool place in West Maui that would be a good compliment to this? We are totally open to lots of different types of accommodations and styles. Not looking for a cookie-cutter resort feel. Also, it's just me and my husband so don't need for "family-friendly."

Thanks again for all the help everyone!
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 08:42 AM
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With two weeks, I'd personally go to two islands. Maybe Maui and Kauai or Maui and Oahu.

Do your accommodations have to be a hotel or is a condo okay? If the latter, the Kaanapali Alii condos (next to the Hyatt Regency) are really nice (we haven't stayed there in awhile, but they're upscale and individually owned and decorated -- I imagine they're kept up very nicely. Another very nice upscale condo option would be Honua Kai (north of Black Rock). And if you want something in West Maui that is NOT in the Kaanapali resort, look at Kapalua and Napili (Napili Kai, Napili Shores, many others). Napili in general is very beautiful and very laid back. Not all of the resorts are on a sandy beach, so pay attention if that matters to you.
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 09:11 AM
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I like the idea of two weeks on Maui. I wouldn't be in the add-another-island camp myself. While Lahaina is certainly "touristy" I thought it was a very fun town to spend some time in. I would not want to stay in 4 different places myself, but seems you have your reasons. Hope things are opened up by then (for everyone's sake!!) and you can make this trip. Wishing you well.

edited to add: You asked about West Maui. My family stayed at Lahaina Shores, it's a condo/hotel, walking distance into town. It was perfect for us. Very low-key (not a resort).

Last edited by suze; Aug 1st, 2020 at 09:16 AM.
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 09:53 AM
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@sf7307 - Napili looks like a wonderful area! Will definitely be spending some time there.

@Suze - I really like the Lahaina Shores condos AND I can use my Hyatt points there! Cautiously optimistic about the trip but also VERY impressed with all the flexibility and cancellation policies. I haven't run across any place (yet) where I wouldn't get a full refund up to 1 day before arrival. Definitely adds some peace of mind.

Really appreciate the advice and suggestions, so thank you!
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 11:53 AM
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I would also split between two islands if I had two weeks or more.
One thing with splitting your stay is, normally you have to check out of your hotel room by 11am or noon and usually cannot check in to the next one until 3-4pm (the maids have to clean sometime) leaving you "homeless" for at least 3-4 hours. If you do decide to split, call and make sure your second hotel will store your luggage until check in time to prevent possible theft from your car trunk (yes it happens).
Don't count on being able to get a late checkout, not sure how things are with Covid, but in the past, the best you can do is maybe get an extra couple of hours. For this reason, if you have a late flight like many people, book and pay for an extra night so you have a place to shower and change clothes before heading to the airport. Or if staying in a major hotel, as if they have a "courtesy changing room".
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Old Aug 1st, 2020, 01:06 PM
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So I'm actually thinking of revising the plan --

- Pa'ia / 2 nights
- Hana / 2 nights
- Lahaina / 10 nights

The
Lahaina Shores Beach Resort that suze recommended seems like a really good fit for us (and we can use hyatt points) and it seems like a good base to explore both West Maui and South Shore. I also LOVE that they have a kitchen so we can eat in some nights.

We are actually heading to the Big Island after this and then wrapping up the trip with a few nights in Oahu (just for a quick taste and so we can fly home out of HNL) so we will definitely get a taste of some other islands.

Really, really appreciate all the great advice... let me know what you think about this new plan!

Tera
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Old Aug 2nd, 2020, 09:31 AM
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I like that plan a lot and am jealous that you also get to see the Big Island and Oahu. Maui is easy to explore and you'll literally be right in the middle staying at Lahaina. Don't miss going to Napili Bay. It's just spectacular. Also do some exploring north of Kapalua and hit up all the beaches south of Kihei.
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Old Aug 4th, 2020, 03:51 PM
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That hotel/condo was perfect for us. We were a family group of 9 - 4 couples and me single. The units were quite different from each other, but all were OK to very nice. The beach out back is nothing much but it's there. I really liked the pool in the middle of the lawn. What we all enjoyed was it being walking distance into town. So people could go out on their own or in smaller groups without using the rental car. Also there was parking right there so no hassles with that part. This trip was quite awhile ago, but I'm thinking the things we liked would not have changed much.

And yes I like your new itinerary much better. Do include Haleakala. We went up mid-morning as no one wanted to get up in the dark to do the drive for sunrise. It was still completely amazing, literally "out of this world"! I'm just not a multi-islands person, even with two week's time. Certainly not like you'd exhaust Maui in 14 days.

If you need help with Oahu, just ask, I have been there more times than Maui, and was there just Nov last year.

Last edited by suze; Aug 4th, 2020 at 03:54 PM.
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