Nestled in gardens adjacent to one of Maui's most popular dining spots (Mama's Fish House) and fronting a small beach known as Ku'au Cove, these well-maintained studios, suites, and one- and two-bedroom cottages have a retro-Hawaiian style with rattan furnishings and local artwork. Each has a private garden patio and a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette, making it ideal for both couples and families. It's best to make reservations for the restaurant when you book your accommodations or you may not get a table (inn guests get a discount).
Because this is such a unique and well-reviewed accommodation (with minimal units), make reservations well in advance if this inn is definitely on your list (at the restaurant, as well). It’s the perfect place to stay to begin or end a trip on the Road to Hana.
Guests can choose between a studio, two suites, and four cottages at this unique, beachfront property. Work from Maui artists and woodworkers can be seen all through the old school Polynesian decor and design throughout, though the suites are modern and have luxury amenities. Daily housekeeping, beach items, and Wi-Fi are included.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Some of the suites and cottages are adults-only. Be sure to keep an eye out for those if you plan to travel with children.
Bathrooms differ based on the type of cottage, but all are relaxing and well decorated.
The lobby at the inn is just as quaint and charming as the rest of the inn, creating a welcoming environment for visitors as soon as they arrive
The restaurant at Mama’s Fish House is a destination that many Maui travelers find on their itineraries. They serve up plates that beautifully highlight the fresh catch brought up daily by local and international fishermen, all processed and served within 24 hours of catching. Their daily menu features the name of the fisherman and the exact location the fish was caught--how often do you know exactly where your food is coming from? Add desserts, raw items like oyster and sashimi, salads, and cocktails, and you’ve got some of Maui’s finest dining.
The cocktail menu at Mama’s includes tropical classics, as well as some that have special meaning to the family that created the restaurant. An extensive wine menu is also available for diners.
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).
Dining at The Mill House (23-min drive) should top any Maui itinerary, giving guests the chance to enjoy innovative, beautiful, locally sourced dishes. Add to the food a variety of fun cocktails and a massive wine list all wrapped up with clever, beautiful styling, and it’s hard to pull yourself away. An extensive happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. gives guests the chance to try a variety of small plates and drinks. The views of the clouds wisping by the west Maui mountains and the fun duck pond off the patio makes the dining experience even more special.
Kula Lodge and Restaurant (17-min drive) is a wonderfully romantic upcountry spot. It’s got stunning views, and serves a Hawaiian-heavy menu at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the only full-service bar in Kula. The garden terrace is the special occasion spot at the lodge, nestled amongst the trees at 3000 feet above sea level, with a wood-burning pizza oven and open-air views.
The nightlife is bustling at Charley’s Restaurant and Saloon (15-min drive), where music happens every night of the week. Restaurant by day and night, after 10 p.m. it’s a drink-slinging good time, with beer, wine, and a full bar. The daily happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. offers up some great prices along with discounted food, as well.
Maui Wine (33-min drive) offers some truly memorable drinking experiences. For those looking for a simple visit, a quick trip to their tasting room in King’s Cottage (with optional tour) is a great way to get to know these wines. For a truly special treat, the Old Jail Tasting allows guests to gain more in-depth knowledge of the winemaking process and taste four select wines (often specialty or unreleased wines) along with taste pairings, all while hanging out in an old jail.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The seclusion from the rest of the hotel and resort hustle and bustle is a huge draw here, as Mama’s is set on a secluded white sand beach. Its proximity to quirky and fun Paia town and to Hookipa Beach where international wind-, kite-, and board-surfing competitions are held is also a nice bonus. The grounds are beautiful, and each accommodation has its own personality and different little thing that makes it unique, but also let guests feel at home while they are away. Being able to step right up to one of Maui’s most acclaimed restaurants also doesn’t hurt.