Maui - South or West Maui?

Jul 26th, 2009, 01:33 PM
Original Poster
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Maui - South or West Maui?

We are planning a trip to Maui next Spring. There are 6 of us, in our mid-50s,(some may be 60!!!) . We would like to in a Condo for approx. 10 days. We are trying to decide between South Maui (Wailea) or West Maui (Kaanapali) for where to stay? We like to walk the beach, walk to restaurants, etc. We will get 3 separate one-bedrooms.. but would like to be on the beach. Would you suggest Wailea or Kaanapail? Thanks.
pjejae is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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Maybe split the time between the two to avoid extra driving?
I think Kaanapali is layed out better for the walking from place to place, but you'll want to see areas in Wailea as well. Wailea is the more posh area.
olesouthernbelle is offline  
Jul 26th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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I prefer the beaches and general ambiance in Wailea. There is a beautiful oceanfront paved walkway that connects all the hotels. Also, there's a complimentary shuttle service every 30 minutes or so between the hotels, condos, and Shops at Wailea. The prime beachfront locations in Wailea are fronted by hotels. Beachfront condo complexes that have 1 bedroom units are Wailea Ekahi and Wailea Ulua. Many units sit quite a long ways back from the sand, however. You might also consider the "new" Hotel Wailea Maui. All units are 1 bedroom suites. It is on the slopes above Wailea, with shuttle service to a private area along the beach and signing privileges at the Grand Wailea. It looks like a wonderful adult-oriented property. There are some good rates available; I'm thinking of staying there 1 night when I visit Maui next month.
Barbara5353 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 04:31 AM
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Having stayed in both areas last November, I agree with the comments above. One plus for Wailea is the closeness to Makena (Big Beach), south of the hotels/condos, which is NOT backed by hotels. I found it a fabulous place to unwind and eat a fresh fish taco from a truck. Kaanapali is denser with hotels, but it's also close to Lahaina (which people like or dislike) with its restaurants, shops, etc. You wouldn't walk to them, though, and this doesn't seem to be your priority.

A colleague of mine did split her time between South and West Maui and recommended it strongly for the reasons oldsouthernbelle suggested. You can put in a lot of driving time. In the past this might have meant you sometimes didn't get the best rate (there might be minimum requirements or deals for longer stays), but the economy has been hard on tourism to Hawaii in general. It's worth asking and checking.
Linda_C is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 06:00 AM
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I agree with Barbara. I much prefer Wailea. The beaches are far superior to those around Kaanapali.

I dont understand the negative spin that is being put on driving around the island when staying in one location. When I am on Maui, I usually like to stay in one place and I like to unpack and pack only once. One loses a day moving from one place to another, and I actually don't mind driving a bit longer distances once or twice to see something that is not located in the immediate area that I am staying in. I get to see more of the island that way.
iamq is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 10:44 AM
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Both areas have beautiful resorts and great beaches. It's really fun to enjoy both areas and you have time with your 10 days. It's about a 45 min drive between the two areas. So 5 days in each is a good way to do it. Or, if you don't want the hassle of moving between condos, you could stay in one area and commute to the other. Either way you'll have a great vacation. Maybe your deciding factor will be where you can get the best condo for the best price. If you haven't already got it, the travel guide with the best comparison of the areas and the condos in them is Maui Revealed by Doughty.
montereybob is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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We loved the Wailea area - thought it was beautiful and romantic, didn't seem as touristy as some of the other areas of Maui. The beach was beautiful as well, but it's really hard to go wrong in Maui.
volcanogirl is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 09:03 AM
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West Maui is quite touristy, but it depends where you stay. Last year, we stayed at The Sheraton Maui, and couldn't wait to get away from the crowds. But we have just gotten back from Kaanapali Alii, an incredible condo developement that gives you the best of both worlds- peace and quiet at your apartment, and lots to do when you leave the premises.

For less than two oceanfront rooms at The Sheraton, we rented an absolutely gorgeous oceanfront apartment at Kaanapli Alii, and honestly didn't want to leave.

Right in front of the apartments, is a beautiful stretch of Kaanapali Beach, which attracts a lot of surfing action because of its HUGE waves. Some mornings, we had most of the beach to ourselves, which was very different again from what we experienced at The Sheraton's beach last year.

There's a path right in front of the apartments that links all the hotels,( Hyatt, Marriott, Westin, Sheraton) and Whaler's Village, a development of upscale shops and restaurants. ( Frankly, we thought HULA GRILL was great; Leilana not so much.)

We did rent a car, and when we weren't busy using the brand new grills (!) at Kaanapali Aliis pool area, we headed into Lahaina. Had some really great meals at Longhis, Aloha Mixed Plates, and Mele.

There can be heavy crowds along the path in front of the beach, but you can always escape by jumping in your car to some other part of the island, or finding a quieter section of the beach. Anyway, we enjoyed the flexibility of having all that plus Lahaina available.

Hope you have a great time! We can't wait to go back!
Weadles is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Weadles, glad to hear you loved it!!!
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 02:06 PM
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I am in your same age category (lucky us!) and have stayed in both places. I much prefer Wailea. We are headed that way again in Oct. We stay in one spot and don't mind the driving. Kaanapali and Lahaina are great to visit for the day, but I love staying in Wailea.
rpowell is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 05:57 PM
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Hey, I'm in your same age category, too, and some of us prefer having more action available. But maybe that's just the old city girl in me speaking. Still, something to think about is what kind of traveller you are. My husband and I might seriously go a little stir crazy in Wailea - beautiful as it is- after a few days, but that may not be your style at all!

To sf7307: AN ENORMOUS THANK YOU!! I would not have found Kaanapali Alii without you, and I am already fantasizing about how to sell all my husband's sport memorabilia (!) so that we can go back! It was absolutely one of the best places we've ever stayed.
Weadles is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 06:28 PM
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You are very welcome! We felt the same way the first time we stayed there.
sf7307 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 07:23 AM
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Ahhh...and the Kaanapali vs. Wailea debate rages on. It is good to see than some things never change.
iamq is offline  
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