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PLEASE HELP!!!! need beach in maui for not-so-strong swimmer....

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Jul 11th, 2010, 10:54 AM
  #1
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PLEASE HELP!!!! need beach in maui for not-so-strong swimmer....

Hi all,

My wife and I are going to Hawaii for our anniversary in mid-October and really need some help. The biggest challenge has been finding a nice calm beach in Maui where my wife, who doesn't swim very well, can walk in the water may be snorkel with a noodle right off shore, etc. We're getting more and more disappointed as we try to book accomodations because every beach we look at seems to be for people who really can swim, surf, etc., particularly in October (or thereafter).

Our plan is to be there for 9 nights, on 2 islands. Presently we are flying into BI and out of Maui. For BI we booked at the Fairmont Orchid which really sounds perfect. If anyone has an opinion otherwise please let me know.

For the second island, we were originally planning to go to Kauai instead of Maui because it sounded gorgeous with so many beautiful natural wonders, but then it seemed like there were no resorts/condos on beaches with calm enough waters so we switched to Maui after reading Frommers recommendations on best beaches. Yet it seems the beaches in Maui either have very little beach (sand) or very strong waves.

It's been extremely frustrateing and we feel like maybe we were a little presumptuous and jumped the gun in booking Hawaii and the Carribean would have been more practical for us.

Any help would be so very much appreciated.

thanks,
-chad
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Jul 11th, 2010, 11:28 AM
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Kapalua Beach is sometimes called the safest beach on Maui.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 11:37 AM
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I don't know where the best beach is for you and your wife, but I would recommend always going to a beach which has a lifeguard. I am an excellent swimmer and grew up swimming in the ocean - and I never swim either alone or at an unguarded beach.

Sometimes a small inlet or bay or somewhere where there's a reef that extends out pretty far from the shore will provide calm waters.

The North Shore of each of the Hawaiian Islands will typically have rougher surf.

I think Waikiki Beach is the best for calm waters of all the beaches I've been to in the islands.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Kapalua beach did seem like an option except that it seemed that the only place to stay is the Ritz-Carlton because the more affordable places seem to describe the ability to use the Ritz-Carlton facilities more than anything else.

Do you think I should change it back to Kauai or another island. Waikiki sounds like a beautiful beach, but I always thought it was massively crowded... maybe that's a good thing?
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Jul 11th, 2010, 12:32 PM
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Not many beaches on any of the islands have lifeguards. Waikiki will but will be crowded and touristy. I can't really speak to the safety of beaches on Kauai because I don't really think of that island as a "beach isle". People go to Kauai usually for the scenery I would avoid any beaches on the west side of Maui (Lahaina, Kaanapali,Olowalu) altogether, they are known to have undertoe and riptides.

On Maui, I think the calmest beaches are Keawekapu or Wailea Beaches. There are big hotels and condos available on Wailea Beach. On the other side of Keawekapu Beach from those big hotels, there is the Mana Kai Resort which is less expensive.

Although there is a point off of the Mana Kai, I would not recommend a "noddle" swim there for your wife due to the surf/rocks...however, if she walks less than 3 mins south (heading towards the Wailea hotels) there is a "point" in the middle of Keawekapu Beach which is gentle. I snorkeled there almost every weekend growing up as a kid.

Keawekapu Beach has a public access at the corner of Kilohana Drive and South Kihei Road.

Another suggestion for gentle ocean conditions, go early. Hit the beach by 9am, at the latest. As the trade winds come up, so does the chop.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 12:35 PM
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Wanted to add that there is another public access for Keawekapu which has cold, open showers at the very end of South Kihei Road. If you come onto the beach from this direction, you will want to turn right (north) to get to the point I mention above.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 01:12 PM
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HunyBadger has some good ideas which I will second.
I will also suggest you try Ulua Beach which is in Wailea in front of the Wailea Elua Village.
We always stay in a condo in Wailea and I am not a strong swimmer either so can relate to your wife's issue.
I have found the water at Ulua to be quite calm and I was quite comfortable snorkelling while on a kickboard there.The snorkelling is good and there are often turtles.
I have also found Polo Beach to be reasonably calm. It does depend on the wind sometimes.
We prefer to stay in Wailea as there are a good selection of beaches there and the weather is generally better than other parts of the island.

Kauai is very beautiful and there are lots of beaches but most are not what you would call calm.

On the Big Island you will find a lot to do in terms of sight-seeing, there is a big change in scenery from the beach, the lava fields, the huge ranch area, right up to the sub-tropical area around the volcanoes.
My favourite beach there is Hapuna beach but it has quite a variety in waves, usually on the bigger side.
I think you will really enjoy the Fairmont Orchid.
Have a look at some hotels in Wailea on Maui, I think the Fairmont has a property there and also the Four Seasons.

Enjoy your trip to Hawaii, it is a special place.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 01:55 PM
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For a great non-threatening beach on Maui try D.T Fleming Beach Park.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 03:05 PM
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Very much appreciate the replies, relieved my anxiety tremendously. Hoping I can press my luck a bit and ask for recommendations on a place to stay near Wailea or Keawakapu beaches? I see there are a lot of accomodations, but the condo resorts all seem to vary in quality on a room by room basis and we've never stayed in a condo before. For hotels there don't seem to be many, I looked up the pricing for the Fairmont and it's really, really expensive. We'd like to spend less than $250/night for 5 night stay.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Hi chadnycity, we stay at Grand Champions in Wailea, it is an easy walk down the hill to the shops at Wailea for a nice coffee in the morning and Ulua beach is nearby. You could walk to it but with towels and beach mats etc.etc we always drive down. Keawakapu is a very short drive away also.
If you go on v.r.b.o. and click on Maui and then on Wailea and then look for condos in Grand Champions you should get some idea of the property. There are two pools and BBQ's, it is on a golf course and there is a tennis centre next door.
The condo we had at Spring break was lovely, all new furniture and brand new kitchen and bathroom renos.
You would pay less than $250.00 per night.

I will go and find the email address of the person we rent from and post it here just as soon as I can locate it.
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Jul 11th, 2010, 08:08 PM
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chad, look on v.r.b.o. for #14408 and #243486 in Grand Champions. We stayed in #243486.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 01:04 AM
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The calmest beaches I've seen in Maui have been in Wailea at Ulua or Keawakapu. Sometimes Napili Bay has calm waters depending on the time of year and there are plenty of choices of condos in this area.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 08:41 AM
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Anini Beach on the north shore of Kauai has a protective reef that makes it almost always calm.

October is late summer in Hawaii, and, with the winter which normally starts around November, come high winds and surf on the windward sides of the islands. Conversely, summer often means calm waters at beaches that have enormous swells in winter. We were on the north shore of Oahu this past week-Waimea, known for world class surfing waves in the winter, was glass-like in the mornings.

On Maui, the southern beaches described above, Keawakapu and Ulua, are often calm and very good for snorkeling. Excellent count and variety of fish.

Your wife might try viewing fish while she utilizes a kickboard with a glass window.

Have a great trip.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 09:30 AM
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Hi Chad,

I am not sure if you are open to changing your flights?

I am not a strong swimmer and I have had good luck with the beaches in the Wailea area (still no answer yet on my Marriott post!) I noticed the Fairmont Kea Lani was having a "construction" sale around the time you will be there. We stayed there once when they were renovating and other than the elevator not stopping on a few floors we were not aware of construction. I also like Poipu beach on Kauai where I learned to snorkel.
I am a rare admirer of Waikiki! We have stayed numerous times and yes it is touristy and crowded but we still like the beauty of Diamond Head, and the ability to walk to numerous restaurants and shops. We always drive to Lanikai Beach and Kailua Beach and the swimming there is also good. We often stay in Marriotts using points and the Marriott Waikiki is directly across the street from two manmade swimming areas that are walled off and have no waves. The prices are good and I think you can get a room with an ocean view around your price range.

Good luck and I hope you both enjoy the trip!
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Jul 12th, 2010, 01:09 PM
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Thanks raincitygirl for the condo rec. Place looks great, but we were hoping to not have to drive to the beach. So, we were looking at the Fairmont or the Marriott. I managed to get the Marriott at government rate $250, but as SeeHag notes, no one has responded on his site with favorable (or unfavorable for that matter) recommendation. The TripAdvisor comments seem lukewarm, but the ratings given by visitors were quite high, so it's confusing. Plus, I've found the TripAdvisor comments to not be as reliable as Fodor's Forum.

The Fairmont is somewhat near reach, but only if I use this website: Travel-Hawaii.com, which I really am nervous about since it requires non-refundable downpayment.

We'd love a condo if it were on the beach and had a nice pool. We'd like to get out of the need to always stay in hotels.
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Jul 12th, 2010, 03:21 PM
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Hawaii is our annual winter getaway and we always stay in Kihei. We have rented different condo units over the years at Kihei Surfside. The condo is located on the border of Kihei and Wailea. The unit #405 is the one we stayed at this year and we considered it the best one so far. It has a great ocean front view of West Maui and Molokini. The condo is next doors to the Mana Kai Resort and the other side of Kihei Surfside is surrounded by State protected land so there is no other construction in your view. The condo expanse lawn is beautifully maintained and has the softest grass you will ever put your bare feet on! It’s a very relaxing place to watch the sunset or whales. There is no beach in front of condo unit but a rocky shore. However, it’s only minutes away from Keaweakupu beach or Kama’ole beaches.

There is a walking path next to the Condo on the right that goes along the Kama’ole Parks 1, 11, 111 beaches where there are lifeguards. On the opposite direction, there is a six mile (r/t) pathway that we like to walk every morning that takes you along Keaweakupu Beach, through the luxury resorts and beaches of the Wailea Beach Marriot, Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, along the paved pathway of million dollar homes at Wailea Point, Fairmont Kei Lani and end at Polo beach (if low tide). There are three public washroom and shower facilities along the way.

We have stayed at the Mana Kai Resort a couple of times when we couldn’t get a unit at Kihei Surfside. It has been remodeled so is much nicer than before. They do have condo units here but it’s best not to be above their popular restaurant “Five Palms.” It can get noisy in the evenings. The resort sits on Keaweakupu beach but the condo will have more of a hotel feel.

If you are interested in looking into Kihei Surfside http://book.maui-vacation-rentals.co...FRKiagod71oylg Click on the image of Kihei Surfside #405 for more pictures and details. These are privately owned condo units so some units are better maintained and nicely furnished than others.

Have a fabulous time in Hawaii!
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Jul 13th, 2010, 06:36 AM
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There seems to be some confusion about Kapalua beaches. DT Fleming is the dangerous one with shorebreak. The N side is popular w/surfers and the mid and south for body surfers and the snorkeling isnt great. Kapaula Beach/Ironwoods beach or the place just below the villas is another dangerous beach used only by a handful of surfers. Kapalua Bay is the beautiful calm bay that everyone raves about the snorkeling. If she is a poor swimmer, just stay in the South side of the bay, as the N side can get strong currents.

Chad, if I had to suggest a place for you, pick something on Napili Bay. Its a very calm bay withing walking distance to Kapalua Bay. Look at the Napili Kai- you will have a great anniversary
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Jul 13th, 2010, 06:44 AM
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Thanks for clarifying FrankS. When I read Jean's post about Kapalua being the safest beach in Maui, I almost thought she was kidding. I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua and the beach there was anything but safe. In fact, the surf was so rough that we didn't even venture into the water.
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Jul 13th, 2010, 08:10 PM
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Thanks a lot everyone, the responses have been so helpful. My friends went on their honeymoon to Maui and they really dislked it. I think they stayed right near the Ritz in March though and perhaps that was the problem.

Frank, Napili Kai looks fantastic and isn't as expensive as the Wailea resorts. The Kihei Surfside condos also look lovely. Would you recommend the Napili over a condo or the Fairmont or Marriott in Wilea?
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Jul 14th, 2010, 06:45 AM
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Tom,
I love that beach, but it can be dangerous. Ive seen injuries there on calm days too. Waves break in such shallow water that a small wave can cause injury to a novice trying to bodysurf.

Chad,
I think Napili and Wailea areas are a notch above Kihei, so its really choosing between two good choices. Fairmont is the better resort and Napili is the better location. Considering you are staying at the Orchid, Napili would be a nice compliment.
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