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Katie
Los Angeles

Kaanapali

What's the best neighborhood in Kaanapali for a first time visitor?

I've never been to Kaanapali and I'm a little overwhelmed by all the hotel options. I'd like to stay in a hotel that is central and gives me good sense of what Kaanapali is like. I'd love to know where locals tell their friends to stay when they visit, and why those areas and hotels are special. thanks!


5 Answers

answered by
Trevor from Berkeley

You have a ton of options! Kaanapali is a great beach, but as many others have mentioned, it is quite crowded and very touristy. If you want to be in the thick of the action, stay by Whalers Village, which is the central shopping/dining disctrict of the area. For lodging Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina & Napili Towers is a good bet.

If you want a more mellow vacation and don't mind driving a little farther, head up to Napili Bay. It's a secluded beach cove with good snorkeling. Outrigger Napili Shores is a great resort that's right on the bay and also home to the The Gazebo Restaurant, which serves some of the best brunch (up for debate) on the island.

You can go just a little bit farther still up to Kapalua, which is a bit ritzier than Napili Bay. Though ritzy it feels wild with the lava rock cliffs and all. Kapalua Beach has even better snorkeling and you're a quick drive to Honolua Bay, where you can swim with manta rays (on a good day). A little north is also the Nakalele Blowhole, a salt water geyser (kinda) that spouts water over 100 ft. high.

Well that's West Maui for you, which is home to Ka'anapali. You have South Maui, which is also touristy, but has some great beaches. Then there's the North Shore, Upcountry (volcanic foothills), Hana (far east), which have a much more local vibe.

If you want a map that shows you all the places to stay and surrounding activities check out this destination guide for the island, which I helped to build 
https://vacatia.com/family-vacation-guide/maui?categories=resorts.

Good luck! :)


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Kaanapali (city)
  2. Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Lahaina & Napili Towers (hotel)
  3. Napili Bay (attraction)
  4. Outrigger Napili Shores (hotel)
  5. The Gazebo (restaurant)
  6. Kapalua (city)
  7. Honolua Bay (attraction)
  8. Nakalele Blowhole (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Kristi from Fresno

As a travel agent who specializes in Hawaii, I have been to Maui many times and ka'anapali Beach is crowded and not always the best representation of "Hawaii" but it does offer nice resorts & condos right on the beach and close to Lahaina Town for more restaurants & shops.  Depending upon your budget, I like The Royal Lahaina Resort for solid 3.5 star tower rooms and cottages that are more like old time Hawaii.  For a budget hotel, the Kaanapali Beach Hotel has a very Hawaiiana Aloha spirit with lots of free activities.   For upscale hotel, I like the Hyatt Regency Maui.  


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. ka'anapali Beach (attraction)
  2. The Royal Lahaina Resort (hotel)
  3. Kaanapali Beach Hotel (hotel)
  4. Hyatt Regency Maui (hotel)
2 thanks


answered by
Steve from Honolulu, Hawaii

Kaanapali is a tourist ghetto!  An upscale ghetto!  Those hotels could be on almost any island...interchangeable parts!  Check out Airbnb and stay up in the mountains, or on the road to Hana or in Lahaina.


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Hana (city)
  2. Lahaina (city)
1 thanks


answered by
Suzanne from Pasadena

Maui is our most favorite of the islands and it comes with lots of options. Kaanapalican be crowded, but you can rent a car and go see other parts of the island. Don't miss spending time in Lahaina and make a short drive north to Kapaluato eat at The Plantation House http://theplantationhouse.com with spectacular views and delicious food. The Hyatt Ka'anapali Beach - Maui, A Hyatt Residence Clubis a gorgeous alternative to a hotel. The area is very commercial but still is a great place to stay.

If you are looking for another location on Maui, we love Wailea and now tend to stay there every time we visit. Our current favorite is Andaz Maui at Wailea and it is a spectacular property with excellent restaurants and great beaches. Maui has something for everyone and you just need to pick what your budget allows, as well as how you like to travel. Enjoy!


1 thanks


answered first by
Steve from Honolulu, Hawaii

I hate Kaanapali...way overbuilt and too "Not Hawaii".  Go somewhere else, almost anywhere else.  Unfortunately, most of Maui is overbuilt tourist compounds!  Lahaina is better...but if you want to get a better feel for Hawaii, look for something near Paia or along the Hana Hwy or up in the hills like Makawao.  Try Airbnb and Home Away to search for places.  


Mentioned in this answer:

VIEW DETAILED MAP
  1. Lahaina (city)
  2. Paia (city)
1 thanks




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