Wailea VS Kaanapali area for our honeymoon


Mar 31st, 2004, 06:26 AM
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Wailea VS Kaanapali area for our honeymoon

I'm sorry if this question has been asked numerous amount of times, but I am new to the board. Just discovered it yesterday. I reserved the FAirmont Kea LAni in Maui but now have been hearing that Kaanapali (Hyatt) is closer to all of the shops & nightlife. How far is the drive from The Fairmont? And is it worth it? or should I switch to the Hyatt? Are the roads safe to be driving at night time. If we went out to dinner late and had to drive back to the Fairmont, would it be too much? Or is there a nightlife around WAilea also? One more thing...is there gambling (casino's) at the resorts?

Thanks everyone.
dianebabs is offline  
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Mar 31st, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Tough choice. You are right to consider where you prefer to spend evenings, activities, etc., because the driving can get tiring.

It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to drive from Wailea to Lahaina. The road is mostly one lane in each direction, and it is winding and close to the ocean at points. I had to make this drive a few times and it is a bit of a haul. Also traffic can be bad at times (as can be parking in Lahaina).

It is true there are good restaurants and more nightlife options in Lahaina, but there also are excellent restaurants in or near Wailea (Nick's at the Fairmont, Sarrentos in Kehei, Ferraro's at the Four Seasons, etc.). I'm not sure about other nightlife options, other than a couple of average luaus. There is a good shopping center in Wailea that is walkable from all of the hotels there. I don't know Kihei very well, but it is just a short drive from Wailea. There are a number of other alternatives for eating and shopping there.

If you will be spending time around the resort during the day, consider which environment appeals more to you. Wailea is more picturesque, in my opinion, but quieter. The resorts are a more spread out, and the coastline is a bit more meandering, with both small beaches and rocky areas. Ka'anapali is more like a strip of hotels along a beach. I was there a few weeks ago and thought it seemed crowded, but the Hyatt not as much so because it is down at one end.

I posted some pictures from my recent trip on our webshots site, if you want to get a feel for the area around Wailea (sorry, not too many shots at Ka'anapali):


Finally, in addition to nightlife preferences, I'd also consider whether you will be taking day excursions (snorkeling trips, etc.) that leave from Lahaina. This also can seem like a long drive when you have to make it early in the morning.

For what it's worth, I've stayed in both areas and prefer the ambience of Wailea. I have stayed at the Kea Lani (before it was a Fairmont) and loved it.

I am not aware of any casinos.

Finally, I'd suggest using the search function. I know this topic has come up before and you will find plenty of opinions in past posts.
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Mar 31st, 2004, 07:58 AM
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Ah...the age old question...Kaanapali or Wailea? It really depends on what is most important to you when you think of your trip to Maui. Will you be wanting to "go out" (to bars, clubs, shows, etc.) every single night? Do you want to be in an environment with a lot of people, a lot of entertainment options & shops right at your fingertips? Then I would go with Kaanapali. However, if you want to relax, enjoy peace and quiet, eat at fine restaurants, and only "go out" a couple of times during your trip, then I would go with Wailea. Keep in mind those are gross generalizations. Of course you can "relax" and eat out at great places in Kaanapali and you can get fun night life in Wailea, too. Just not as much. I'm personally a Wailea person--I LOVE the Kea Lani and enjoyed our honeymoon there because of the relatively quiet and private environment. However, we did drive to Lahaina at least three nights while we were there. I didn't really mind the drive...it's right along the coast and scenic and for some reason I found myself not in a hurry to get anywhere while in Maui. It's really up to you, though.
travelisfun is offline  
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Mar 31st, 2004, 01:03 PM
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Travelisfun phrased my opinion exactly.
I'm not a big Kaanapali fan because it feels busy and crowded to me and that's not what I want when I go to Hawaii. And the resorts in Wailea are better, and that's important to me.
But many people feel the opposite.
If you type "Wailea Kaanapali" in the search box you'll find more opinions than you'll care to read.
travleis is offline  
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Mar 31st, 2004, 01:06 PM
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Not another Kaanapali versus Wailea thread!

If you type those two words in the search box at the top of the page, you'll find lots of past threads on this subject. Yes there's more nightlife and dining options in West Maui in general. If you're only going to do the drive a couple of times, it's not that bad, but I wouldn't want to do it every night. Traffic can be pretty bad on Maui too.

Casino gambling is illegal in the state of Hawaii.
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Mar 31st, 2004, 02:24 PM
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Check this one out: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34449885

If you're looking to feel like you're in Ft Lauderdale, hit up Lahaina/Kaanapali. It's crowded and touristy and tshirty; like, all of the sudden we wondered where Hawaii had gone. Wailea feels much more quiet and tropical, and there's an abundance of big beautiful beaches with great snorkeling. I think the quiet luxury of Wailea is more romantic and the beaches were much quieter than the kaanapali area. But it just depends on what you're looking for, some people love Lahaina/Kaanapali; we can't stand it.

As an alternative, the Kihei area is very lively with lots of restaurants (Sansei was very cool and tasty) and bars, and there's no shortage of good restaurants in Wailea. Some of the best evenings we had were with our self-bbq'd chicken and a rum drink on the lanai with music playing or out on the lawn!

The drive between Lahaina and Wailea is about 45 minutes. It's one lane each way, but it's really not that harrowing.

We stayed in Wailea and took a day trip around West Maui, ending the afternoon at pretty Kahekili Beach Park (near Kaanapali, and it had showers so we could clean up for dinner) and Lahaina shopping and Hula Grill in the evening. A day trip was enough for us. If you're out all day doing all Maui's wonderful activities you're usually pretty zonked by the evening anyway!

It IS kind of important to make an honest decision for yourself because you don't want to end up being one of those couples who's "bored" in Wailea and end up driving to L/K every night.

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Mar 31st, 2004, 02:43 PM
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I thought they were widening the road to West Maui (rte 30) to 2 lanes each way? It's been almost two years since I was there last and there was lots of construction at the time. I assumed that's what they were doing but maybe not. I remember trying to get from the airport to our condo in Kahana and getting stuck in Maalaea for 4 hours waiting for an accident to clear. I was hoping they would've widened the road by now.
Patty is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2004, 06:38 AM
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thank you everyone...my mind is made up...(thanks to all of the great info). I have heard rave reviews about he Fairmont and am going to stay there for the 6 nights. probably drive down the coast twice but am looking toward the more "peaceful" expereince in Wailea. Thanks again..i can't wait to expereince Hawaii!!!!
dianebabs is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2004, 09:21 AM
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Patty, it is 30 miles from Wailea to the Old Lahaina Luau. The posted speed limit is as low as 20 mph in some places. I think 45 minutes is a fair driving time, no matter how many lanes there are available. This ain't the mainland!

Diansbabs, the Kea Lani is lovely. We were there last night for cokatils with friends. The lounge is beautiful and they have jazz each night from 6 to 9. We ordered the cheese and fruit plate, thinking we would have a late dinner afterward, but for $10 we had a good amount of grapes, fresh upcountry strawberries, cubes of cheddar and four wedges of softer cheeses. Needless to say, that was our dinner. We don't usually frequent the touristy resort places, but we will go back to the Kea Lani for cocktails.

What kind of nightlife are you seeking? There is plenty of nightlife in the south if you know where to look. And you'll not be missing anything in the way of shopping. The Shops at Wailea are nearby and there is plenty shopping in Kihei for souvenirs and such.
here_today_gone2Maui is offline  
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Apr 1st, 2004, 10:35 AM
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I wasn't disputing the drive time. I was just wondering if they ever widened the road, did they?
Patty is offline  
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Apr 2nd, 2004, 02:57 PM
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The Hyatt is beautiful but very quiet. Try this place. We are staying there in late April and can't wait. It would be perfect for a honeymoon yet very close to Lahaina. www.hooilohouse.com. Cheers, Julie
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Apr 10th, 2004, 08:51 AM
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It really is a choice of preference. I choose Kaanapali because I can spend a week without ever getting in a car. Yes I have already done all the drives.
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