Located in West Maui, Hawaii, Lahaina is one of Maui’s most popular tourist destinations. The city, which features a quaint old town with 19th century store fronts on Front Street, sits at the center of the Maui tourism industry, serving as a gateway to the well-known Kaanapali and Kapalua beach resorts. However, long before tourists discovered this Maui beach town, Lahaina served as the Royal Capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom and before the United States annexed Hawaii at the end of the 19th century, Lahaina served as a home base for Hawaiian kings and queens.
The name Lahaina means “merciless sun” in Hawaiian, a tribute to the dry and often hot climate found on this part of the island. Averaging only 13 inches of rain a year, the backdrop at Lahaina certainly isn’t the lush tropical backdrop some tourists would expects, but the many days of uninterrupted sunshine often lure tourists looking for an escape to the beach in Hawaii.
Because Lahaina is one of the most visited spots on Maui, there are lots of hotels near Lahaina to choose from.
Located just three blocks from Lahaina’s famous Front Street (an area packed with souvenir shops, restaurants, art galleries and historic points of interest), Lahaina’s Last Resort offers up a great budget accommodation option in an area full of expensive resorts.
A hybrid between a hotel and hostel of sorts, Lahaina’s Last Resort has individual locking bedrooms, which are located off a hallway in the back of a picturesque activities sales shop. Outside access is 24 hours with a key, or for late arrival, a lockbox code. Each room sleeps up to two travelers with singles or queen sized bed. There is a co-ed shared bathroom with showers located down the hall. Rooms are clean, air-conditioned and minimally furnished with beds, fans and fresh linens and two towels upon arrival.
For around $25/night, you’ll be centrally located in Lahaina with easy beach access and private room.
Located in a residential section on the South side of town, JJ’s Bungalow is just three blocks from Beach Access and a ten minute walk to the heart of town. Lahaina is the best place to enjoy Maui for its beaches, snorkeling, surfing and its world famous Front Street crowded with casual and fine-dining restaurants, art galleries, and historic points of interest, shops and a rambunctious nightlife.
Much like Lahaina’s Last resort, JJ’s Bungalow is a hotel/hostel hybrid, offering private locking rooms stem from the central house which features a shared kitchen (use of the refrigerator is permitted only) and a single co-ed shared bathroom with shower. Outside access is 24 hours with a key. Rooms are clean, air-conditioned and minimally furnished with beds, fans, fresh linens and towels upon arrival. Complimentary wireless internet access is also available.
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This hotel has gotten a lot of acclaim from the travel industry as it was called the “Best Value on Maui” by Travel and Leisure magazine and “One of the world’s best places to stay” by Conde Nast Traveler. This small hotel features 10 room and 2 suites, which are decorated in authentic and romantic style reminiscent of European inns. This charming bed and breakfast is located in the heart of Lahaina and just a short stroll to the beach and the Whaler’s Village. The rooms also all come with private bathrooms and large lanais. There is also a great restaurant (though unaffiliated with the hotel) just downstairs in the same building called Paul’s Lahaina Grill).
This condominium resort allows travelers to feel right at home during their trip to Maui, renting out spacious condos complete with full kitchens, while still providing full hotel service. Located at the Kaanapali Beach, this hotel offers guests not only great views, but also access to some of the most popular things to do in Maui—snorkeling, working on that tan and more. The resort also offers two pools—one oceanfront and one garden—as well as a fitness center and spa, tennis courts and more amenities.
Another condominium resort near Lahaina, The Whaler is located right on the shores of the white sand Kaanapali Beach, where you can enjoy whale watching, snorkeling and other popular Maui activities. This condo resort also offers up a fitness center and spa, Oceanside pool and tennis courts. Along the beautiful boardwalk are miles of white sandy beach. Located next to the Whaler’s Village shopping mall, outstanding dining and shopping experiences are available. The historic whaling town of Lahaina is only 2 miles away by car. There is an open air trolley service that runs every half hour. Across the way is the Royal Kaanapali Golf Course, and three more courses located only seven miles north.
Located on 27 acres of tropically landscaped gardens near Whaler’s Village in Lahaina, the Royal Lahaina Resort features 447 rooms with balconies. Cottage suites feature kitchenettes and all rooms include televisions and MP3 adapters for those traveling to Hawaii and want to stay connected. The dark wood lobby of the Royal Lahaina Resort features frescoed ceilings, mirrored columns and Maui murals. A Polynesian luau, scheduled most nights, is popular among guests and Maui residents. The Royal Ocean Terrace Restaurant hosts live entertainment during dinner hours.
Located in Lanaha adjacent to the famous Kaanapali Beach, this hotel is also located just a quarter mile from Whaler’s Village and three miles from the historic Lahaina Town. Like the Lahaina Inn, this hotel has also received plenty of praise from the media, with Travel and Leisure Magazine calling it “#1 Best Value Hotel in Hawaii,” and Conde Nast Traveler voting it one of the world’s “Best Places to Stay.” The Kaanapali Beach Hotel stands out from many of the other condo style resorts just up the beach in a unobtrusive low rise building with 432 rooms surrounded by tropical gardens. There are also two restaurants, a spa, swimming pool and more amenities.
If you’ve stayed in a Ritz Carlton Resort somewhere else in the world, you probably have a pretty good idea of the luxury you can expect from these hotels and the Ritz Carlton at Kapalua is no exception. Surrounded by championship golf courses, mountains, pineapple fields and the majestic Pacific Ocean, the Ritz Carlton Kapalua is located on fifty acres in West Maui as part of the world famous fifteen hundred acre Kapalua resort complex. Built discreetly into the hillside amid century old Cook pines and ironwoods, the hotel offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and overlooks the island of Molokai from its oceanfront setting. Gentle breezes drift through open walkways and original Hawaiian art adorns the walls. Guests at The Ritz Carlton Kapalua enjoy a private white sand beach, high quality facilities and furnishings and services evoking the aloha spirit and the warm comfortable ambiance of Hawaii.
This newly remodeled resort (completed in 2003) located on the north end of Kaanapali Beach offers luxury and spectacular ocean vistas near Lahaina. The rooms feature fully equipped kitchens (with marble countertops) and bathrooms also feature whirlpool tubs. The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas is an ownership opportunity set along a pristine expanse of Ka’anapali’s North Beach (ranked #1 on “America’s Best Beaches” list for 2003).
Newly opened in September of 2003, “The Villas” are Hawaii vacation homes of extraordinary comfort… masterfully designed, richly furnished, and impeccably finished. Add to this an extensive list of amenities, a magnificent recreation lagoon, and an unlimited array of activity options and it’s easy to see why The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas have quickly become one of Maui’s premier vacation properties.
The ResortQuest Mahana at Kaanapali is an oceanfront high rise condo resort with all the rooms overlooking the Kaanapali Beach and ocean below. Private lanais and full equipped kitchens are the big draw for this property, though the massive floor to ceiling windows (which allow you to peep at the humpback whales, dolphins and sea turtles off shore), oceanfront pools, restaurants, tennis courts and more. Just a short jaunt from the whaler’s village and downtown Lahaina, there is also a shuttle service that will take guests from the resort into town (if you are looking to spend any of your time not on the white sand Kaanapali Beach right out your door).
Now that you are coming to Maui…
Airfares fluctuate depending on the time of year you are traveling, but you should have no problem getting a cheap flight to Hawaii. Once you have your hotel and flight are booked, all you’ll need to do is figure out what to do once you’ve Maui (if you want to do anything besides work on your tan and sip cocktails on the beach).
- Figure out what to do and read about Popular Things to Do in Maui
- Make sure you take a ride on Maui’s Sugar Cane Train, which runs between Pukolii and Lahaina
- Want to stuff your face with traditional Hawaiian food and watch hula (and find a place with an open bar)? Check out the Best Luaus in Maui
- Lahaina is located super close to world class golf courses, some of which are the Best Golf Courses in Hawaii
- Want to explore the island? Drive the Road to Hana