David and I were in Maui for 12 days and we stayed in 3 different locations, so we really got a feel for the island- geographically and culturally.
The first place we stayed at is called Star Lookout. It's a home that's located at the 2900' level on the southwest slope of Haleakala (a massive volcano). Homes in the area are worth $10 million MINIMUM (Oprah owns a ranch on the same road as Star Lookout), so you can imagine the views! Star Lookout is far enough away from the fast-paced, tourist/resort atmosphere, to make you feel like a local, yet only a short (30 minute MAX) drive away from all the tourist action! David and I enjoyed walking to the local restaurant, Grandma's, for breakfast (and lunch....and snacks....ha), waking up to stunning views of the ocean and entire island of Maui, hiking the local trails and running along the mountain edge. We give this place 5 STARS and would recommend it 100%. (Note: This is not a hotel. However, there is a full kitchen where you can make your own meals, a laundry facility, a BBQ and a hot tub which you can use as much as you'd like)
^Views from the backyard!
^on the front porch
After 5 nights at Star Lookout, we were really sad to leave. What made it bearable, was that we were heading to the Grand Wailea. If you're not familiar with this hotel, it's a 5 star, Waldorf-Astoria resort that has appeared in countless movies (including a personal favourite, Just Go With It) and boasts an unbelievable water park/pool area, beautifully groomed grounds and staff that aim to please. The Grand Wailea is the definition of LUXURY. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a warm "Aloha" and fresh flower leis. Bellboys promptly took our luggage to our room where they gave us a tour and explained how to use the lights, safe, T.V. etc. David and I went to the pools immediately. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. There's a lazy river, at least 5 water slides, a rope swing, a water elevator (I KNOW, RIGHT!?) and lots of beach chairs to lounge on. The fitness centre is clean, well equipped and has free fruit and headsets (MAJOR score!! ha). We would totally recommend spending a night or two here (basic room was $700 American per night) just to experience total luxury!!
The third place we stayed at was the Royal Lahaina Resort! Unfortunately this was our least favourite spot. Lahaina is a town that looks like people were pouring money into it like 30 years ago....and then they just stopped. There are some big, nice resorts that need some serious updating!! The resort itself just seemed outdated. It did have a pool that was nice, an ocean-side shuffle board, a board walk and beach access....but it just wasn't a 'WOW'. There was no fitness centre (they did offer private/semi-private fitness classes), no laundry facility (or laundry service), and really bad parking!! It seemed more like a 3 STAR hotel than a resort (which it claims to be). Instead of staying in Lahaina, we'd recommend staying at one of the larger resorts in Ka'anapali (ie. The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas).
There are SO many great places to stay at on Maui. Whether you opt for the more secluded private home in Kula, the 'over-the-top' fancy Grand Wailea, or a hotel like the Royal Lahaina, we're SURE you will leave Maui with plans to return! Enjoy!
Hi! I'm Mrs. Julia Dawe,