Tell me about Maui

Jan 12th, 2005, 07:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 139
Tell me about Maui

My family has traveled to the California coast for years for summer vacation. Have done it all from Big Sur to Santa Barbara to Laguna to San Diego and am not as excited this year. Kind of have that been there, done that feeling. Currently am toying with the idea of going to Maui for something new. Would stay at the Sheraton on Kaanapali Beach from June 9th to 16th. My ideal scenario is a new experience on a fantastic beach with lush scenery and unique things to do. My worst fear is a long, expensive plane ride coupled with beach and scenery that, while beautiful, really isn't all that much different from California along with horribly crowded, tacky, touristy towns selling the same junk one finds everywhere, with a party-like like Cancun atmosphere to boot.

So, please help. Is Maui really unique and worth the expense or is it Cancunish?
knute is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 08:51 PM
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Well, I live in California (born here) and have lived in the LA area, the Bay Area, and San Diego area. I LOVE California. But Hawaii is no comparison. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to visit Hawaii, and Maui is wonderful.
cawhite is offline  
Jan 12th, 2005, 09:32 PM
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Maui is fine. Beaches far exceed anything in California. However, if you want to avoid 'touristy', go to Kauai (less so, and more beautiful), the big island (less crowded, and far different landscape) ot Lanai or Molokai to really avoid it.
We were just at the Sheraton Maui 12/27-1/5 and had a really nice time. The beach is great. Weather was so-so. But there are crowds, there is traffic, there are tacky stores (Lahaina), but thankfully not to the depths of Cancun.
tcdtcd is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 04:53 AM
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Have not been to Maui (yet - we're heading there in May) but agree that Kauai would be very different - at least the north shore - very lush, green and tropical. The south shore of Kauai did have SOME resemblance to S. Cal in regards to the fact that it was quite arid. Apparently parts of Maui are lush too - though there are not too many places to stay in those areas.

LordBalfor is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 06:31 AM
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We've been to Maui and Cancun. There is no comparison between the two.

We stayed next door from the Sheraton at Kaanapali Beach hotel. Although the beach is nice it's nothing like Cancun. Cancun has soft white sand beaches with clam, crystal clear water. Kaanapali Beach has brown coarse sand with cold sapphire blue water. Kaanapali Beach hotel charges $25 p/p per day for loungers on the beach. Never had to pay for loungers in Cancun.

To me, Cancun has more of a tropical feeling while Maui was more comericalized. Food and drink in Maui are very expensive. In Cancun we book AI hotels where food and drink are included in the over all price.

We did a variety of tours in Maui, which were very expensive, but we did enjoy. We are more into water sports and snorking, which is a much better deal in Cancun.

You won't find "party-like" Cancun atmosphere in Maui, as most of the people who enjoy that can't afford Maui so they don't go there. $7,000 for 1 week in Maui compared to $2,000 for 1 week in Cancun.

We've been to Cancun (Playa del Carmen/Cozumel) four times with another trip planned for November. We've been to Maui once and would not return. If they would put in a few AI hotels and it not take us 15 hours to get there, we may reconsider.
KVR is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 06:41 AM
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I'd consider a part of Maui that is not Kaanapali if you want to really experience the natural beauty of the Island. Try Kapalua which is a bit less crowded with hotels and more rugged, or Hana and the incredible Hamoa Beach which is simply magnificent. Maui is incredibly beautiful and has so much to offer, but I'd steer clear of places like Lahaina, Kiehei and even Wailea if you want to escape the ordinary. All that being said, there is no comparing Maui to Cancun: Cancun is literally a prefabricated vacation destination that has been over-run by Pizza Huts.
michaelcrane is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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I don't see any similarity in the island of Maui and the Cancun resort area of Mexico.

Maui is very beautiful and did not particularly remind me of southern California at all.

Lahaina is the only town I know of that comes close to your worst case scenario.
suze is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 09:08 AM
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wow...maui is unbelievable. when you think you have seen one view of a life time, you go around the next corner and are overwhelmed again. maui has it all from the 'touristy' lahaina to remote rain forest. it is really what you make it. my wife and i were captivated by the island and the people. we are returning in may for a longer stay after being away for 4 years and can't wait. you mentioned unique things to do. on maui you can have the nightlife, hike a rain forest, visit a volcano, and waste away on popular or deserted tropical beaches. i have been to playa in 5 star AI's and maui blows mexico away....
Jan 13th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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Don't mean to sound incredulous, but you've gotta be kidding! I love Cali, so much that my boyfriend and I are trying to get ourselves moved out there, but the notion that Hawaii could be not "all that much different from California" is an abomination. (Sorry I'm Polynesian in background.)

California first of all is not an island or archipelago of islands. Second, we're talking two completely different climates (Maui is tropical). Then you go on to compare it to Mexico? If you did 15 minutes of Internet research into the Hawaiian culture and experience, I think you'd find the answer to your question "is it truly unique" is a resounding yes.
TravelDiva is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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Well said TravelDiva!!! Although I answered this post above with my impressions, I have the lingering feeling that it somehow managed to insult California and Hawaii both, maybe and even Cancun (Cancun being the only place that deserves it!).
suze is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 11:21 AM
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My boyfriend and I managed to find many quiet, out of the way places on Maui (and on Kauai, and on the Big Island). That's what we wanted and that's what we got. If we had wanted the hustle and bustle of Lahaina, we would have sought it out. Maui is really what you make of it. The Wailea area in South Maui is a beautiful string of golden crescent beaches with deep turquoise water and great snorkeling right offshore. You could also stay in Hana (we did for two nights) and really get away from it all and explore the jungles and waterfalls and secluded beaches.

You can seek out solitude on any of the islands. Part of what we love about Hawaii is that we can spend all day hardly seeing another person on a hike (Alakai Swamp on Kauai for example--didn't see a soul for hours and hours), enjoying the peace and quiet, and then being able to either retire to a quiet dinner on our condo balcony or joining everyone for a sunset drink at a tiki-torch bar. We had a porch with a bathtub at a place in Hana, Maui where we could stare at the stars and listen to the waves in total peace and quiet.

I would say, yes, if you're going to stay at the Sheraton it's going to put you in the middle of all the hubbub...Black Rock (right at the hotel) is a famed snorkel spot and they do a popular little ceremony there each night...Kaanapali Beach is extremely popular and there's shops and restaurants and a beach path up and down the sand. If you're willing to seek out the special places on the island to enjoy in serenity and then return to "civilization" each night, then it could work out fine. If you're looking to sit on a desert island like Robinson Crusoe for a week, it's probably not for you and you should consider the South Pacific maybe.

And if you're looking for "lush scenery" you want the north shore of Kauai...Kaanapali isn't exactly my idea of lush scenery. But all the islands offer exploration that is vastly different from California (where I've lived my whole life). The Hawaiian Islands are NOT Waikiki.

turn_it_on is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 11:29 AM
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If you go to Maui, get to Hana and stay a few days. It will satisfy your "new experience on a fantastic beach with lush scenery and unique things to do" requirement.
As Ken mentioned, the north shore of Kaua`i is all about lush, tropical and unique. It is my favorite.
Have a great trip.
iamq is offline  
Jan 13th, 2005, 11:35 AM
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Thanks Suze...I really don't mean to be harsh, but c'mon, between California, Mexico and Hawaii, we're talking three distinct locales. (All of them great in their own ways!)

Knute - Kaanapali, while still beautiful, is generally perceived as slightly more crowded/touristy in feel than some of the other spots on Maui (Wailea, Kihei, etc.), so you might want to consider avoiding that area.
TravelDiva is offline  
Mar 27th, 2006, 09:05 PM
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I've traveled all over Hawaii since I was a kid, not to get personal, but I was in Hawaii for the summer when it became a state!!! I've seen too much development for my taste, but I do love Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. If you want to get a taste of Hawaii 50 years ago try Molokai. Great beaches, quiet and the atmosphere is truly Hawaii.
For a longer trip, Wailea on Maui is my favorite since I'm now the age to appreciate a great beach (uncrowded...the Prince Hotel) great restaurants, and an easy drive to other island spots. Kauai is beautiful and very nature/scenic. Fantastic in the summer as it doesn't rain as much as other seasons, but is buggier (mosquitos)..Nobody argue with me on this one! I'm heading there in June as well as to Maui. Lots of rain this spring and bugs will be a problem (take deet spray) ...but then GORGEOUS is no problem, so plan accordingly!
delor is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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The closet thing Cali (LOL, I like that abbrev.!), has to Hawaii is Catalina Island. But even that's a stretch! ;-)
Go to Maui, you will fall in love!
Mar 28th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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I meant "closest thing" not closet thing. I need more coffee! ;-)
Mar 28th, 2006, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 61
Just got back from Maui - had a great time. We stayed in a condo in Kihei. Did the road to Hana (and on around with no problems on "improved" road), did some snorkeling, hiking on Haleakala, drove around the north side, did Lahaina, etc. Overall, a great vacation. Question for readers of this post...what is with all the abandoned cars left along the sides of the scenic roads in Maui. It was disappointing to say the least to be driving on a road along a fantastic beach and to then see a junked car on the side of the road.

Anyway - we will go back. Maui is awesome!

atcken is offline  
Mar 28th, 2006, 06:39 PM
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San Diego gal and have been going to the islands for years but Maui has traffic jams and after that experience more than once, I am over it.. still love the island and we are going to Kauai in Sept. but I am a Tahiti lover..Moorea to be exact..7 hours from LAX and you can get some incredible deals..
I don't like the Sheraton in Maui, I would do a villa in Kapalua or the Westin or go south to Wailea..
Cancun is a different animal..
I hope you have a wonderful time wherever that might be! Keep us posted.
Mar 28th, 2006, 09:27 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 64
Mom's from Maui...I'm from California. The median house price is over $700 K on Maui, even worse than Southern California!

Fluke or coincidence? I doubt it...there's a reason why housing is so expensive in is a highly desirable place to live and visit, simple as that.

As far as comparing Cal to HI, try swimming off any beach in California before August and best of luck to your olo-olos!
eRnO is offline  
Mar 29th, 2006, 07:47 AM
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Even August/ Sept., the CA pacific ocean temperature will freeze your bippy off! Give me HI/ Maui any day!

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