Best Area to Stay In Maui – Best Hotels & Travel Tips

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our Disclosure Policy here

Maui is the second-largest of the state of Hawaii’s many islands. This volcanic, tropical island makes for an incredible place to explore. There is excellent hiking, you can experience limitless adventures and you can relax on golden beaches.

Compared to nearby Oahu, this island can be a quieter place to visit, but it is by no means lacking in great things to see and great things to do.

Maui is by no means small either and the extensive mountains, jungle, and coastline can give you week’s worth of activities to enjoy.

To help you to experience the best of the island though, it may help to know where to stay in Maui to truly make the most of your trip here.

The main transport hub in Maui is found at Kahului, which is also the most popular place to stay on the island. Aside from Kahului, there are four distinct regions on Maui.

These are the west, the east, the south, and the north shore. Each offers its own advantages and disadvantages, easy access to certain sights and attractions and different accommodation options.

On Maui, you can find everything from luxury resorts to budget hostels, and deciding where to base yourself can be tricky, given the plentiful options. To help you to plan your island getaway, here is our complete guide on where to stay in Maui.

Where to Stay in Maui- Our Top Recommendations

Staying in Kahului

Complete Guide on Where to Stay in Maui

Kahului is the largest city on Maui and acts as the transport hub around the rest of the island. It’s a busy and bustling place, as this is where the main airport can be found as well as the deepwater port.

It’s a great place to base yourself at the start of your trip here to get your bearings or if you don’t want too far to travel after traveling a long distance to get to Hawaii in the first place.

On the outskirts of Kahului, you can find several budget hostels such as The Northshore Hostel Maui while in the city center there are upmarket hotels available like Wailea Beach Resort by Marriott and Courtyard by Marriott.

Staying in West Maui

Complete Guide on Where to Stay in Maui

West Maui has long been the most popular place to stay on the island, as the coast here was set up for tourism and resort styles hotels to attract visitors.

Among the many small towns, you can find large, international chains and luxurious resorts overlooking the ocean. This is the best place to stay for those looking for a traditional Hawaiian style beach getaway.

The former whaling village of Lahaina is a popular place to stay and is an interesting cultural destination, while further along the coast to the north, you can find resorts all along the shore as far as the town of Kapalua.

West Maui has a wide range of offerings, from luxury accommodation like Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club to more budget places like the Tiki Beach Hostel. You will easily find a place to fit any budget.

Staying in East Maui

Complete Guide on Where to Stay in Maui

The eastern shore of the island is a wonderful place for those looking for a remote location to spend their time on Maui.

This is a side of the island that few tourists see, as you won’t find quite so many resorts as on the western shores and it’s a lot less built up and developed.

The main town in the east is Hana, a laid-back place that is surrounded by beautiful, green forests and that looks out over an exceptional coastline.

The accommodation options here are limited, but staying in this isolated part of Maui will give you an experience like no other. These are a few of our recommended hotels: Travaasa Hana, Heavenly Hana Paradise, and Bamboo Inn.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Maui (Travel Guide)

Staying in South Maui

Complete Guide on Where to Stay in Maui

The southern area of Maui, from the town of Kihei down to Wailea is a toned-down version of the west coast. It’s just as beautiful, with gorgeous beaches and outstanding scenery, but it is hardly as built up.

You can still find some great accommodation here though, with many resorts and well-known hotels. A great luxury option is the Four Seasons Resort. For those looking for a more modest and budget-friendly accommodation check out the Days Inn by Wyndham

Book your G Adventures tour today to explore the Hawaiian Islands!

Staying in North Shore and Upcountry

Complete Guide on Where to Stay in Maui

The North Shore and Upcountry of Maui is one of the most serene and charming areas of the island. This a favorite area amongst locals and you will find that actually, there are few international hotel chains and the area is quiet in comparison to other more popular areas of Maui.

The North shore encompasses several different towns that are strung out along the coast and in the rugged interior, including Paia, Makawao, and Kula. Stay in this part of Maui if you are looking for a rural, peaceful escape.

The North shore has a wide range of offerings, from luxury accommodation like Haiku Plantation Inn to more budget places like the Nalu Kai Lodge and Central Maui Hostel. You will easily find a place to fit any budget.

Essential Maui Travel Tips

Best time to Visit Maui

where to stay in Maui- Hawaii Waterfall

Truth be told, anytime is a good time to visit Maui. The average temperature on the island is between 75–85 F.  The summer months between April and November are warmer and drier while during winter, between December and March, it is a bit cooler.

The trade winds keep things comfortable year-round so don’t hesitate to plan a trip at any stage of the year. It is generally drier on the western side and wetter on the eastern side.

Traveling on Maui

Maui is very easy to navigate with plenty of transport options. You can travel by shuttle, tour bus, taxi, or public transportation.

That said, the best way to experience all that Maui has to offer is by reserving a rental car in advance from the Kahului or Kapalua Airport and allowing yourself to explore.

Need to book a car for your road trip adventure? We use Discover Car Hire for comparing car prices to find the best deal. They search both local & international rental companies

Currency Exchange

Hawaii’s currency is the U.S. dollar. You can exchange currency at Kahului Airport (OGG), at the other major neighbor island airports, and at resort destinations.

Major credit cards are widely accepted and ATM machines are plentiful. Traveler’s checks are accepted at many businesses.

What to Pack

It’s warm in Hawaii, so pack your summer attire. It is recommended to bring a jacket or sweater for the evenings. You should also bring some warmer clothes if you plan on visiting higher elevations like Haleakala National Park.

Bring some casual dress clothes or resort wear if you plan on experiencing Hawaii’s nightlife. You can also buy an aloha shirt and flip-flops (or slippers, as the locals call them) once you arrive on the island.


U.S. standards on tipping apply:

  • Restaurants: 15-20%. Check to see if “gratuity” is included for large parties
  • Bar: $.50-$1 USD per drink
  • Housekeeping: $1 USD per bed, per night
  • Luggage porters: $1 USD per bag
  • Doorman: $1 USD for calling a taxi
  • Room Service: 10-15% of the total bill
  • Taxi: 15% of the fare


The official languages of Hawaii are English and Hawaiian, although Hawaiian is not commonly spoken. Major resort areas often have customer service representatives who speak Japanese.

Internet and Electricity

Internet access is readily available in Hawaii. Electricity in the U.S. is 120 volts (120 v) at 60 cycles (60 Hz) per second. If your device does not accept this voltage, you may need to purchase a voltage converter.

Recommended Tours
Hawaii TourHawaii Adventure TourHawaii Beach Tour
Hawaii Multi-Island TourHawaii Adventure Tour Hawaii Tour
Kahului to Kailua-Kona
8 Days
Small Group
10-13 People
Waikiki to Kailua-Kona
15 Days
Small Group
10-13 People
Waikiki to Kapa‘a
8 Days
Small Group
10-12 People
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

More on Hawaii:

Did you like this story? Share it!


Looking to get started on your trip planning process? Let us help!

Travel Gear & Packing: Check out our packing lists and travel gear guide to ensure you're bringing the right items on your trip.

Book Your Flight: Ready to fly? Check out our tips for finding cheap flights.

Find A Car Rental:We use Discover Cars to compare car prices, find deals and book rentals.

Book Your Hotel: Compare prices and book with our recommended hotel search engine. You should also check out our tips for finding cheap accommodation.

Find Vacation Rentals: Search vacation rentals & apartments on VRBO for the best prices and options.

Protect Your Trip:Don’t forget your travel insurance! Protect your investment and yourself. Read Is Travel Insurance Worth It?

If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.

About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We are also a member of other affiliate programs. For more info please read our disclosure page

Leave a Comment

Divergent Travelers- Adventure Travel Blog