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Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

Ottawa, Ontario
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89 posts
27 reviews
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Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

This will be our first trip to Maui and we have been looking for condo rentals in Kaanapali and Napili but it seems we have left it a little late to get a good selection. Our stay will be first two weeks in March 2015. Friends have stayed at Maalaea several times with no complaints. I have seen comments about high winds and odours from sugar refinery. We love walking the beach, and intend on exploring other parts of the island, so won't be at Maalaea all the time, just some time to relax. Any comments about amenities and location as a good place to stay would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

20 replies to this topic
La Costa, California
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11. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

lol Mauin0kaoi yeah wouldn't want Maui to tip over :)

Alaska
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12. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

I would have no problem staying anywhere in Ma'alaea that Barbara has stayed because I trust her good taste! Yes.....there is wind. Sorry, but there is wind everywhere on Maui. We stay in north Kihei, fairly close to Ma'alaea and do appreciate the convenience of getting everywhere on Maui quicker than if we stayed past Lahaina. My biggest MUST is being total oceanfront and no buildings in the way of our view. I find that easily where we stay but could see there being a difficulty in finding that for the right price and shorter notice in Napili and Ka'anapali.

And btw, those three locations could not be any more different from each other....lol! I would happily stay in Napili, but have no interest in ever staying in Ka'anapali again. Just too busy and resort feel for me. Just like NKO said, thank goodness we do not all want to stay in the same place or this crowd avoider would be very miserable. Deb

Milwaukie, Oregon
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13. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

Thanks for the kind words, Deb. IMO, Maalaea is the kind of place that you like better when you actually STAY there. I don't think driving by or using the harbor for a boat cruise gives a true picture of how peaceful and pleasant it is as a home base. I particularly enjoy watching the action associated with the great views: boats back and forth from the harbor, kayaks, SUP, surfers when conditions are right, and amazing whale action in winter. Not recommended, however, for people (including some of my friends) who enjoy a resort atmosphere with meals, drinks, and shopping a short walk away.

Oregon
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379 posts
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14. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

There's an awful lot between Kaanapali and Napili that would be worth looking at. Honokowai is basically a 1- or 2-mile stretch of condos that are mostly small and low rise and similar in price to Maalaea.

We just booked a 2-bedroom at Nohonani (for early December) that's 25 feet from the ocean for about $200 a night. You get a little pocket beach instead of a miles-long walking beach, but you don't get the wind, and it's a much more tropical feel. Also much closer to Lahaina, etc. for nice dinners and shopping.

Jim

S.F. Bay Area
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3,008 posts
8 reviews
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15. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

<<We just booked a 2-bedroom at Nohonani >>

Nice little affordable complex -- units virtually on top of the ocean as is the adjacent pool ! I also like that the building's designers actually went through some effort to have both bedroom and living area on the makai (ocean) side of the building's 28 units.

As Jim mentions, tons of diverse options in this area & Kahana as well.

Oregon
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379 posts
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16. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

Important point Mr. NKO makes. The master bedrooms at Nohonani are right on the ocean. I don't think I've ever slept better than the two-week trip we had in April with the sounds of the surf lulling us to sleep.

Jim

Alaska
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17. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

I expect to enjoy Nohonani next fall with a bunch of awesome friends! A very good friend stays there and she loved it, so our girls trip will hopefully be at Nohonani and this north Kihei girl is looking forward to the trip. I really loved her little pocket beach and the closeness of the ocean to the units.

My honest opinion is that for a first trip it does not matter whether you stay west, south etc.. I think it only matters that you get the best deal and as much of what you really wanted for your condo/hotel. Enough visits and you will possibly find the place you consider your home away from home. And then do not be afraid to step out of your box and try a new area of the island. It is true that the best places and little gems book up fast for certain seasons, so when you find what ticks most of your boxes....reserve and do not lose out. Deb

Kihei, Hawaii
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129 posts
3 reviews
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18. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

For my tastes, Maalaea is just too windy. The beach there is not the best for walking or swimming. Last time I walked the beaches in that area, I had to retreat due to the pain of flying sand. One of the county dumps is located about a mile upwind from Maalaea, but I have never encountered an overwhelming smell.

Ottawa, Ontario
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89 posts
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19. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

Thanks to everyone for your advice, recommendations. We still haven't firmed up accommodation. I looked so hard for so long that I thought I'd better give it a rest.

You have all been so helpful, and I didn't mean to stir up a hornet's nest. Seems there are very strong opinions - positive and negative - about Maalaea.

Maui, Hawaii
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1,769 posts
1 review
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20. Re: Maalaea vs Ka'anapali and Napili, etc.

I would guess about 75% to 85% of the people that visit Maui will only visit once their entire life. This will be your first visit and possible your only visit to Maui so I wouldn't settle for Maalaea just for a good beach to walk and a good view of a harbor as some have suggested. You can't go wrong with Kaanapali, Kapalua or Napili and with that long of a visit I would also recommend splitting it up between the West and South side.

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