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
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 deep water 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 while in the city center there are upmarket hotels available.
- Luxury hotel: Wailea Beach Resort by Marriott **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Mid-range hotel: Courtyard by Marriott **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Budget hotel: Maui Beach Hotel *** Traveler Rating
- Hostel: The Northshore Hostel Maui **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
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.
- Luxury hotel: Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Mid-range hotel: Napili Shores Maui by Outrigger ***** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Budget hotel: Kaanapali Ocean Inn **** Traveler Rating
- Hostel: Tiki Beach Hostel **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
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.
- Luxury hotel: Travaasa Hana **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Mid-range hotel: Heavenly Hana Paradise **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Budget hotel: Bamboo Inn **** Traveler Rating
Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Maui (Travel Guide)
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.
- Luxury hotel: Four Seasons Resort ***** Traveler’s Choice Rating
- Mid-range hotel: Andaz Maui **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Budget hotel: Days Inn by Wyndham *** Traveler Rating
Book your Gadventures tour today of the Hawaiian Islands!
North Shore and Upcountry
The North shore and Upcountry of Maui is one of the most serene and charming area 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.
- Luxury hotel: Haiku Plantation Inn ***** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Mid-range hotel: Kula Lodge ***** Certificate of Excellence Rating
- Budget hotel: Nalu Kai Lodge **** Traveler Rating
- Hostel: Central Maui Hostel **** Certificate of Excellence Rating
Essential Maui Travel Tips
Best time to Visit Maui – 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.
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.
Tipping – U.S. standards on tipping apply:
- Restaurants: 15-20%. Check to see if “gratuity” is included for large parties
- Bar: $.50-$1 US per drink
- Housekeeping: $1 US per bed, per night
- Luggage porters: $1 US per bag
- Doorman: $1 US for calling a taxi
- Room Service: 10-15% of the total bill
- Taxi: 15% of fare
Language – 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.
More on Hawaii:
- 21 Bucket List Things to do in Hawaii
- 13 Epic Things to do in Honolulu (Plus travel tips!)
- 50 Incredible Things to Do in Maui
- 10 Best Maui Hikes for Insane Views
- 20 Best Beaches in Maui: Ultimate Maui Beach Guide
- Ultimate Road to Hana Guide – Maui, Hawaii
- Maui Jeep Rental- Should I or Shouldn’t I?
- Extreme Doors Off Helicopter Tour in Maui, Hawaii
- Maui Whale Watching in Hawaii
- Old Lahaina Luau: Best Luau in Hawaii
- Molokini Crater Underwater Adventure in Maui
- 13 Best Cities to Visit in the USA