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Far-flung Hawaii is a bucket-list destination for many travelers, and with eight islands to choose from, you’ll probably need multiple trips to experience them all. Today, we’re focusing on Maui — the second largest island in the chain, and one that’s often considered one of the best in the world.
With 30 miles of accessible beaches (there are over 80 beaches in total with white, black, or red sand), Maui is popular with seaside vacationers. But it also has a number of other must-see attractions, like the famous Road to Hana — a highway that takes visitors through spectacular natural sights, from ocean vistas to waterfalls to dense jungle; the popular snorkeling spot of Molokini Crater; and the Haleakala volcano. When it comes to picking a place to stay, the accommodations range from inns and B&Bs to massive brand-name resorts. Here, our favorite Maui hotels for all sorts of travelers, whether you’re looking for a honeymoon spot, a budget-friendly stay, or the best place to splurge.
Best Overall: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Located in the posh Wailea community, the Four Seasons Resort Maui sits on a lush 15-acre property along one of the town’s five beaches. The luxury hotel has recently undergone a major renovation, refreshing all 383 rooms and suites with elegant cream-colored decor and wood accents. While the rooms are comfortable and thoughtfully designed, the amenities are certainly what stand out most here. There are three restaurants (including Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, serving a mix of California and Hawaiian cuisine), a café, and a lobby lounge for dining and drinking, as well as a full-service spa and a number of boutiques. Plus, there are three saltwater pools, including an adults-only infinity pool, and the beach, of course. Where the hotel goes above and beyond, though, is in its experiential offerings. We're talking customizable helicopter tours that can take you everywhere from the Haleakala volcano to ONO Organic Farms, and private photography lessons and tours with acclaimed photographer Daniel Sullivan.
Best Boutique: Paia Inn
If you’re looking to avoid a brand-name experience in favor of a hip boutique, consider booking a stay at the Paia Inn. It sits on the Hana Highway in the relatively untouristed North Shore town of Paia, which has a California bohemian vibe with great restaurants and shops, namely the famous Mana Foods — a natural food store and social hub. The Paia Inn has just ten rooms that range from standard kings to a three-bedroom beach house, each decorated with traditional, yet updated furniture and artwork by locals. Some of the larger accommodations can be rented for longer stays rather than short-term vacations. The tiny property might not have the amenities of a sprawling resort, but it does have a lobby lounge and a garden café, and in-room massages can be organized by the front desk. And while the hotel is right in town, it also sits right on the beach, and the hotel provides free towels, mats, and boogie boards to guests.
Best Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
For luxurious solitude, head to the remote Kapalua Resort, a 22,000-acre private community home to two golf courses, a nature preserve with two marine sanctuaries, and the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, which sits on its own 54 beachfront acres. The hotel offers 463 rooms decorated with traditional Hawaiian woods, and each is kitted out with a marble bathroom and lanai. As for amenities, the hotel is centered around a 10,000-foot, three-tiered pool with a sundeck that overlooks the beach below, and it also offers a serene spa with Hawaiian-inspired treatments, a state-of-the-art fitness center, four tennis courts, and six restaurants, including the farm-to-table Banyan Tree restaurant, which sources ingredients from an on-site garden. There’s also a shuttle that brings guests anywhere within the entire Kapalua Resort, which has 100 miles of nature trails. One of the highlights of the hotel is its Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment program, which educates adults and children on the ecosystem and cultural heritage of Hawaii.
Best Budget: Maui Guest House
While major Maui resorts can come at quite a price, there are more budget-friendly stays to be found on the island, namely in the form of quaint inns. The best is the Maui Guest House, a bed-and-breakfast in the residential neighborhood of Lahaina, a popular town on the west side of Maui. With just five colorful rooms — each with its own bathroom with a jacuzzi tub — guests are guaranteed an intimate and comfortable experience at a great price point. Shared amenities include a massive kitchen and living room, a saltwater pool, a sun deck with ocean views, and free laundry facilities. If there are any downsides to the Maui Guest House, it's that the inn is a 10-minute walk from the beach rather than on it, and it’s one mile from downtown Lahaina’s restaurants, shops, and entertainment. But with free parking at the inn, it’s quite easy to drive into town or to the nearby resorts at Kaanapali Beach.
Best Family: Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
For an all-out resort experience that’s perfect for families, check into the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, a sprawling property set on 40 oceanfront acres. Of its 780 guest rooms, the suites are best suited for families, with more than 1,000 square feet of space and one-and-a-half bathrooms. There’s also the three-bedroom Ho’olei Villas, the most luxurious accommodations with full kitchens, private elevators, and even a garage. The hotel checks all the boxes when it comes to amenities, like having the largest spa in Hawaii at 50,000 square feet, an on-site car rental facility, botanical gardens, and a museum-worthy art collection, but the the hotel excels at its offerings for kids. There’s the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool with water slides and rapids (there’s also a swim-up bar for adults, plus an adults-only pool nearby) and a 20,000-square-foot facility home to video game rooms, a teen lounge, and other play spaces dedicated for children of all ages.
Best Romance: Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux
As an adults-only, 72-room property, the Hotel Wailea appeals to honeymooners looking to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the mega-resorts. While the boutique hotel might be small in scale, its accommodations are not—each room is a one-bedroom suite with a kitchenette and a lanai, decorated in creams and whites with dark wood and coral accents. Each suite faces the ocean, though the ground-level accommodations have more of a garden view (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing—the 15-acre property has exquisitely manicured grounds). There are two dining options on site: the “island-to-table” the Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, regarded as one of the most romantic restaurants in Hawaii, and the casual poolside Cabanas, serving light fare. For a special dinner, guests can book a seven-course meal in the Treehouse, a private space among mango and avocado trees. Other amenities include a fitness center, free aerial yoga classes, and a pool, and while the beach is a short car ride away, the hotel offers a free Mercedes-Benz shuttle to whisk guests to a beach club with free chairs.
Best Business: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
If you’re headed to a conference on the island of Maui, there’s a good chance it’ll be at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa on Kaanapali Beach near Lahaina, which has excellent meeting facilities and event spaces. There are definitely worse places to work: the beachfront property has two pools (one with a grotto-style bar), a 24-hour fitness center, a relaxing spa, luaus and hula dancing demonstrations, a stargazing program, and feedings for the seven resident penguins who live among flamingos and cranes in a massive atrium. Plus, there are ten restaurants, bars, and “dining experiences,” that serve everything from steak to shaved ice. Just note that with 806 rooms, business travelers will almost certainly share the resort with vacationers (including families), meaning it might be a bit difficult to focus on work with the crowds. But having numerous activities provides a welcome rest from business — and this is Hawaii, after all, so relaxation is just part of the culture.
Best Dining: Inn at Mama’s Fish House
As it is one of the best restaurants on the island — it's particularly popular with those driving the Road to Hana, which goes through the restaurant’s hippie-chic town of Paia — Mama’s Fish House might not be much of a secret to savvy travelers. But what is a well-kept secret is the 12 recently-renovated accommodations offered by the restaurant just next door, which range in size from a studio with a kitchenette to a two-bedroom cottage with a full kitchen that embody island living with furniture crafted by local artisans and plenty of outdoor space. The inn doesn’t quite have any true amenities — save for the restaurant, of course — and it’s 1.5 miles to downtown Paia’s restaurants and shops, meaning that it’s not for those looking for complete convenience. But with direct beach access and one of the best eateries in all of Hawaii, it’s a perfect stay for low-key foodies looking to relax.
Best All-Inclusive: Travaasa Hana
Unlike the Caribbean, Hawaii isn’t known for its all-inclusive properties, but at Travaasa Hana, guests have the option of booking an all-inclusive stay which includes three meals a day at the on-site restaurant, the Preserve Kitchen and Bar, as well as a resort credit to go to extra activities. Don’t expect a party-hard property, however, as the resort is more akin to a luxurious adult version of summer camp, with a slant toward fitness and wellness; the 70 accommodations are cabin-style, though they have much more modern and beachy decor than the rustic cabins you might be picturing. There are no TVs or alarm clocks here, so it’s the perfect place to disconnect, although there is Wi-Fi if you need it. Every day, guests are given the option of following any (or all) of five “pathways” for activities: Adventure, Culinary, Culture, Fitness, and Spa & Wellness. Thus, you might find yourself riding horses through the nature trails one day, taking a cocktail class the next, and wrapping it all up with a guided meditation. Guests should note that this isn’t a beachfront property, but there are plenty of beaches nearby, including one within walking distance.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular Maui hotels. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different hotels overall and read over 75 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.