Fodor's Expert Review Makena Surf

4820 Makena Alanui Rd., Makena, Hawaii, 96753, USA See on Map

For travelers who've done all there is to do on Maui and just want simple but luxurious relaxation at a condo that spills onto a private beach, this is the spot. The security-gate entrance gives way to lush tropical landscaping embracing an herb garden and two pools. The secluded complex, which hugs the South Shore coastline, is designed to belie its size; from the road it's hard to tell that the two- to three-bedroom units are taller than a palm tree, all with ocean views. Water aerobics and tennis clinics are offered seasonally. Privacy envelops the grounds, which include remnants of an ancient Hawaiian fishing heiau (a temple comprising a rock formation).


Each unit differs in furnishings and decor, as each are individually owned, but most maintain a high level of quality and luxury. Each unit includes air conditioning, full kitchen, washer/dryer, free WiFi, and ocean views. Some include private lanai. There are 12 different floor plans in the community, ranging from 1038 to 2678 square feet. Units range in size from one-, two-, and three-bedroom, with ocean view, ocean front, or beachfront options.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Because the units are individually owned and there are multiple management companies, the prices can differ dramatically, with some borderline overpriced.


Bathrooms are spacious, with marble counters, walk in shower, and contemporary fixtures.


There is no lobby at this condo hotel. Check-in is at an offsite location.

There are two main management companies for this property -- Destination Residences and Alii Resorts. Both have nice websites, so spend some time on both to find the perfect unit for you at this property.


There are two pools at the resort, one large, rectangular one, and a smaller, trapezoidal one. Both have some loungers and a few tables with umbrellas, surrounded by tropical trees. The property also has one hot tub.


Getting Around

It’s easy (and preferable) to explore Maui’s smaller towns by foot, but to get to them and around the island, you’ll need to rent a car. If you plan on exploring the Road to Hana, get something with a little extra horsepower (but not too big as the road can get very narrow). Free self parking is available. There is also a free Wailea shuttle service provided that just happens to be a Tesla X.


Beloved Hawaiian chef Sheldon Simeon’s newest project, a contemporary take on his family’s Filipino food, takes diners through his personal story, ranging from his childhood to his time on “Top Chef.” The dishes at Lineage (7-min drive) are deeply personal, and the new interpretations of the food Simeon grew up with use incredible ingredients, including gorgeous vegetables from Oprah Winfrey’s Maui farm. The cocktail program at the beautiful bar is just as exceptional as the food, and the surprising amount of plant-based options is refreshing (but there are plenty of elevated traditional options for meat lovers).

Find fresh, vibrant food at Fork and Salad (16-min drive), featuring signature, as well as build-your-own salads, grain bowls, and sandwiches made with a wide variety of mostly local and organic ingredients. These healthy options make a great choice to pick up for a beach picnic or day of hiking.


Though it may not be as popular as another Hawaiian brewing company, Maui Brewing Co. (15-min drive) deserves every bit as much respect, especially since it’s still local. Its newest brewery, tasting room, and pub in Kihei is super sleek and fun. Drop in for a brewery tour or grab a seat at the massively long bar and try out some of their seasonal beers that are only available at the brewery. Be sure to grab a crowler or growler to enjoy those special flavors during the rest of your trip.

If you’re looking to get a little more rowdy while enjoying a cocktail, you’ll want to stop by South Shore Tiki Lounge (14-min drive), where happy hour lasts all day. Seriously, it’s daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., with live music from 4 to 6 p.m. each day. Even when it’s not happy hour their tiki, blended, and classic drinks are priced nicely, and the bar is a lot of fun, with drinks and DJs every night from 10 p.m. to close.


For the most part, the condos at Makena Surf Resort are well maintained and have been beautifully furnished and stocked to make vacationers have a true luxury experience. The property is lovely and well taken care of, with tennis courts, pools, and a hot tub. The location of Makena Surf is wonderful, with excellent snorkeling and turtle-watching reefs (and of course, stunning sunsets) just outside of the hotel. Daily housekeeping is also a very nice treat at a condo property.


On the beach
Casual Chic


Phones: 808-891–6249;800-367–5246

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