After you’ve figured out where to stay in Maui in terms of location, it’s time to dive into the Maui accommodation offer for your preferred resort area.
It’s the most important decision you’ll make when planning your trip to Maui. You’ll want a place where you can retreat after a day of blissful relaxation, family fun, or outdoor adventure.
But scrolling through a list of Maui accommodations can also be very overwhelming. The list of options is endless, and the dozens of filters defeat their purpose. That’s why I’ve taken such great care in curating the best places to stay in Maui that you’ll find on this website. They’re organized by area, accommodation type, and travel type. Rest assured that each and every one of my suggestions is hand-picked and very well-researched.
But before you dive in, it’s essential to have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in terms of Maui accommodation. Does your perfect vacation include a Maui beach hotel? Or are you more interested in Maui vacation rentals? And what are the pros, cons, and additional costs for each accommodation type? Let’s find out!
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Maui accommodation types
Accommodations in Maui come in all shapes and sizes, from picture-perfect Maui beach hotels to comfortable condos and from cozy guesthouses to jaw-dropping villas. All have their perks and considerations. But which one is right for you?
If you’re at a crossroads between choosing a hotel or a vacation rental, then this overview of Maui accommodation types might help you tie the knot. It highlights the pros and cons for each and gives insight into tax regulations and hidden fees.
Maui hotels & resorts
There’s a variety of hotels to be discovered in Maui. Some enjoy a beachfront location while others are nestled in a verdant setting. Aside from the location, every type of hotel offers a different experience. Some are perfect for first-time travelers to Maui while others are better suited for an intimate getaway or a surf-focused trip.
Here’s an overview to help you find that perfect Maui hotel or resort.
Maui all-inclusive hotels
Despite what you may read in click-bait articles, there are no all-inclusive hotels in Maui. So, if you’re looking for a leave-your-wallet-at-home kind of trip, then this is not the place.
There are, however, some beautiful resorts in Maui that offer package deal options that come close to an all-inclusive experience. Some examples of package inclusions may be private airport transfers, resort credit, full board, cabana rental, or complementary activities.
The most comprehensive Maui package deal is the Paradise Found experience at the adults-only Hotel Wailea. Another example is the Complete Suite Experience at the Four Seasons Resort Maui in Wailea. Do note that such exclusive packages are to be booked directly at the hotel’s website.
For other Maui accommodations, you might score a deal by booking a package deal on Expedia.
Maui beach hotels
It’s important to note that all beaches in Hawaii are publicly accessible. Therefore, none of the Maui hotels has a private beach.
What may come as a surprise is that there’s no lifeguard present at the beach of the major beachfront hotels in Maui. So, when you travel with kids and you want an extra, trained pair of eyes watching over their safety, you might want to consider spending your beach time at one of Maui’s lifeguarded beach parks instead of the closest beach.
These are some of the most popular beach resorts in Maui:
Maui boutique hotels
Most Maui hotels that are featured high up in search results are big properties that come with a high star rating, many facilities, and an excellent location.
But, if you’re not keen on spending your precious vacation time in one of the major resorts, there are other options. Boutique hotels are smaller properties that offer a more personal experience in a more secluded setting. They often make for the best places to stay in Maui for couples.
Some of the most gorgeous boutique hotels in Maui include:
Pros & cons of staying in a hotel in Maui
One of the big advantages of booking a hotel in Maui is the amenities that it provides. Think amazing pools, water parks, entertainment, spas, kids clubs, a selection of restaurants, and a certain level of service. Depending on the rate you book, these amenities may or may not be included but they’re right there if you want them.
Other pros are the daily maid service and the expertise of hotel concierges. And let’s not forget that most Maui hotels enjoy a prime (beachfront) location in a lively area near restaurants and shopping outlets.
The disadvantages of staying at a hotel are the size of the hotel rooms and the lack of privacy.
Hotels also tend to be the pricier option. You’re likely to pay more at a hotel restaurant than at a local restaurant. And because everything is at your fingertips, you’ll often find yourself inclined to consume more than you would if you stayed at a vacation rental.
The major drawback of a Maui hotel is the dreaded resort fee. Continue reading to learn more about this hidden cost.
Maui vacation rentals
Vacation rentals offer a different, more tranquil experience. They offer a homey feel and, for your comfort, they come equipped with a kitchen, a washer, and a dryer.
You’ll find many vacation rentals in the resort areas but also some in more residential neighborhoods.
Always verify if the rental you have your eye on is licensed. Maui County defines transient vacation rental as accommodation rented for less than 180 days and requirements and permits vary according to the type of rental.
Continue reading to find out how to check online listings for their permit number. Or, instead of doing your own research, you could browse my selection of properties. I take great care in adding the tax and permit numbers to every listing on this site so that you can book with confidence.
Here’s an overview to help you find that perfect Maui vacation rental.
Maui house rentals
Finding a holiday home in Maui is no easy task. The rules for house rentals are so much stricter than they are for regular short-term vacation rentals. Not only is the number of permits capped by area but there are also zoning restrictions at play as well as 5-year ownership and an on-island manager.
But the house rentals that do get licensed are spectacular island homes. Some villas come with a private pool, a hot tub, or a lush garden while other properties may be beachfront homes.
Note that some homes are exempt from the short-term rental permit. Examples are holiday homes that are located in a district zoned for hotel use. These houses are short-term rental home (STRH) designated but do not require an ST number.
Of course, renting a villa in Maui doesn’t come cheap. But if money is no object, or if a special occasion calls for a special dwelling, then you’ll have the most amazing time in one of the luxury vacation rentals in Maui. Browse my selection of beachfront homes, penthouses, villas with a private jacuzzi, and Maui vacation homes for large groups.
Or, for a more authentic experience, you could look into cottage rentals. These Hawaiian-style single-family are enchantingly unique, both in terms of architecture and location. In fact, they make for some of the best places to stay in Hana.
Since there are only so many properties to choose from, I’d recommend booking your Maui rental home well in advance.
Maui condo rentals (resort condos vs. independent condos)
There’s a wide range of condo rentals to choose from. Some come with basic amenities while others can benefit from a resort location to offer resort amenities.
You have multi-bedroom rentals that cost a pretty penny and surprisingly affordable rentals that are still conveniently located.
Kihei is known for its extensive offer of condo rentals, some of which are housed in beachfront properties.
Short-term rentals in Hawaii must display their permit number on their rental site listing. However, vacation rentals located in hotel and apartment zones don’t require a short-term rental home permit. These listings will display their TAT and GE tax numbers instead.
My personal wish lists of vacation rentals are intuitively organized by area. Discover the best Wailea condos, Kaanapali condos, and Kihei condos. Or, you can browse by category: Take your pick from cheap condos, luxury condos, and beachfront condos in Maui.
These are my top picks:
Maui bed and breakfasts & inns
A separate permit with additional requirements is required for bed and breakfasts and inns. This is the most personal of all Maui accommodation experiences because the owners live onsite as well.
You stay in their home, or in an annex, and share a sumptuous breakfast every morning. In the case of an inn, breakfast might be optional. This is by far the best way to experience the Aloha spirit and to get insider tips on the island.
Rest assured that only licensed breakfasts and inns are featured on this website. Here are some examples:
Airbnb vs VRBO
VRBO has more listings than Airbnb when it comes to multi-bedroom vacation rentals in Maui. VRBO also has more Maui vacation rentals that are located on resort grounds. This stunning Hyatt Vacation Club condo is an excellent example of such a resort rental (one of my personal favorites in Kaanapali).
In my experience, VRBO has better customer service through its direct support line. And to top it off, the service fee tends to be considerably lower with VRBO than with Airbnb. That’s why I prefer VRBO over Airbnb for rentals on Maui as well as all other Hawaiian islands. As a result, all listings featured on this site are available on and link out to VRBO.
Both VRBO’s Book with Confidence Guarantee and Airbnb’s Aircover Protection comes with the guarantee that you’ll be assisted in finding a new accommodation in Maui in case the owner would cancel your booking within 30 days of check-in. The same assistance applies if the property would have been misrepresented in the listing or needs a major repair.
If you would happen to find yourself in such a situation, then always try to negotiate a written solution with your host before reaching out to the rental platform. I’d also recommend using the booking portal for all communication.
Pros & cons of staying in a vacation rental in Maui
Rentals offer more privacy and plenty of space to relax. While you may not want to spend your evenings cooking, being able to prepare your own breakfast or lunch picnic in a well-equipped kitchen is a big advantage. Plus, it’s often way more economical than having every meal in a fancy hotel restaurant.
Vacation rentals also tend to come with a range of beach equipment like beach tents, body boards, and buckets and spades for the little ones.
Your vacation rental might not have a pool unless you’re staying at a resort condo. And if it does, it’s most often a more modest version. Don’t expect elaborate grounds with freeform swimming pools.
Regular maid service is not available in most rentals but laundry facilities and basic cleaning supplies are available.
Maui accommodation costs
Now that you may know your preferred accommodation type, it’s time to compare the costs for each. For your convenience, I’ve created a visual comparison of the average daily rate for Maui hotels versus vacation rentals for the most popular resort areas.
It’s based on the statistics provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
It’s pretty clear that vacation rentals are the more affordable option.
Do note that, especially for South Maui, the comparison of hotels versus vacation rentals also implies a comparison of Wailea versus Kihei. After all, all hotels in this area are located in Wailea while practically all rentals are situated in Kihei. The hotel slash rental ratio in West Maui is much more homogeneous.
Costs that apply to all Maui accommodations
It’s no secret that a trip to Maui can get quite expensive. And the costs add up, partly because of the taxes and fees that the state and county levy on short-term rentals and hotel stays alike.
The nightly rate of your accommodation is one thing. But unfortunately, that’s only part of the total accommodation cost. Hawaii is a national champion when it comes to accommodation taxes.
Here’s an overview of the taxes that apply to both hotels as vacation rentals in Maui.
- 10% Transient Accommodations Tax (TAT) levied by the state that distributes a share to each county.
- 3% Maui County Transient Accommodations Tax (MCTAT) levied by Maui County.
- 4.1666% General Excise Tax (GET) that a business may or may not pass on to its customers. But you guessed it, the majority of businesses do.
That’s a whopping total of 17.1666% that’s being added to the cost of your accommodation in Maui.
When vacationing in Maui, you find yourself on an island where every property has limited space. So, obviously, parking will cost you.
Yep, that’s another cost to add to your bill. It might pay off to look for a hotel that includes parking in the resort fee. If not, then it may pay off to limit the number of days on which you rent a car in Maui.
Psst… Make sure to book your rental car well ahead of time. My go-to partner is Discount Hawaii Car Rental. Their booking process is effortless, with no booking fees, prepayment, or cancellation penalties!
Hidden costs when booking a hotel in Maui
And the cost keeps adding up because, in addition to the high tax rate, there are even more costs to take into account when booking a Maui hotel. I call them hidden fees because some, the dreaded resort fees for one, only appear on your bill at check out.
Hotels in Maui, and in Hawaii in general, are known for their hefty resort fees. This extra cost is usually charged per room and per night and added to your bill at check-out. So, it’s a cost that might not be mentioned on your booking confirmation and is not included in your booking total.
The fee varies by property but usually ranges somewhere between $40 to $50 per night. The Montage Kapalua Bay tops the list with a resort fee of $65.
Originally, a resort fee was intended to cover hotel-specific services and amenities not included in the room rate. But these past few years, the fees have increased while the services they include tend to have decreased.
So, it’s important to do your homework by researching what the resort fee covers. If it includes parking, for example, then you might consider it a good deal. But sometimes it may cover ukulele lessons or stand-up paddle-boarding courses that may not be what you’re looking for. Or worse, the resort fee is sometimes mentioned to cover internet connection. In this day and age, imagine that. It seems unfair, but it’s the hotels’ sneaky way to save on commissions to travel agents and booking engines.
Lucky for you, I did all of the homework for you. My curated lists of Maui hotels and resorts always include the resort fee and, if when applicable, also the inclusions. Oh, and you’ll be pleased to know that the occasional hotel doesn’t charge a resort fee at all, the Four Seasons Resort Maui for one.
In addition to the resort fee, you’ll still have to tip. The resort fee is money in the pocket of the hotel and not its employees, after all.
Adequate service from your waiter or waitress is usually tipped at 15% and excellent service at 20-25%. The housekeeper deserves $5 or so a day and the bellmen and the valet about $2 per bag. If the concierge helped you out with a special request, then tip him or her too.
So, if you plan on staying at one of the Maui hotels, then this is another cost to take into account.
Hidden costs when booking a vacation rental in Maui
As a vacation rental bookers, you won’t have to deal with onsite tipping and resort fees. Unless, of course, you’re staying in resort condo. But that doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook. There are some rental-related costs to take into account as well.
Host fees or owner fees
Most VRBO properties charge a cleaning fee. The exact amount depends on the size of the property.
An admin fee may be charged by the host to cover anything from the cost of credit card transactions to pre-arrival communication and post-departure communication.
A property fee may also be passed on to guests. This fee equals the monthly amount that the owner pays on the property.
Finally, a damage protection fee may be added. It’s a one-off charge that protects you from incurring expenses related to accidental damage inside the vacation rental during your stay, up to a pre-defined maximum.
VRBO bookings include a service fee of 10% to 15% on the subtotal (nightly rate + admin fee + cleaning fee) minus taxes. The percentage of the service fee decreases as the reservation amount increases.
This fee can’t be waived by the host as it covers the cost of product development, transactions, and customer service provided by VRBO.
Some condos or villas may be located on the grounds of a hotel or resort. Most of the Maui resorts charge a resort fee to both hotel guests and condo owners.
So, if you have your eye on a resort rental, then the owner will most likely pass on the resort fee to his or her guests.
Generally speaking, however, this resort fee will replace the host fees or owner fees.
The following visual comparison gives you an overview of the additional costs mentioned in the previous paragraphs. It might help you decide which accommodation best fits your budget.
Which type of Maui accommodation is right for you?
By now you should have some idea about which Maui accommodation type fits your travel style. But if you’re still on the fence, then why not combine the pros of a hotel with those of a vacation rental? There are two ways to do so.
The first is to book yourself a resort condo. That way you can benefit from the extra space and the kitchen without having to compromise on resort amenities.
The second way, one that I often choose, is to spend part of my stay at a hotel and part at a rental. The days I spend at a rental mostly coincide with my active days when I participate in tours, go hiking or explore the island. And then the days that I spend at the hotel are meant to stay put and make the most of all onsite amenities.
Maui vacation packages
Most Maui vacation packages include airfare, accommodation, a rental car, and maybe even an activity. But, since there are no all-inclusive hotels in Maui, there are no packages that include all travel-related costs.
Sometimes you might score an occasional deal with a Costco vacation package for Maui or save when you book a package deal on Expedia. Unfortunately, though, that’s not always the case. So, it’s still important to run your calculations before you book your trip to Maui.
Remember that booking a vacation package implies paying the entire sum upfront, whereas booking your accommodation separately usually allows more time to complete the payment.
Another thing to take into account is that flights that are included in a vacation package are mostly in economy class. If you have a layover or prefer more comfort, then I’d recommend booking your airfare and flights separately.
Things to consider before booking your Maui accommodation
In addition to the costs, there are other things to consider before making your booking. Let’s have a look at the other factors that are to be taken into account.
When opting for a rental, make sure to verify if it’s properly licensed. And when in doubt, check with the rental owner.
In addition to the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT or W) number and Tax Map Keys (TMK) number, a vacation rental in Maui should mention the permit number in one of the following formats:
- Number starting with “ST” and referring to a Short-Term Rental Home Permit.
- Number starting with “CP” and referring to a Conditional Permit.
- Number starting with “BB” and referring to a Bed & Breakfast Permit.
- The only exception to this rule is when a rental is located in a special zoning district (hotel, apartment, or other). If that’s the case, then this will usually be mentioned in the online listing.
But why go through the trouble of doing your own research if you could go ahead and book one of my suggestions? That’s right, I’ve done the work for you. Rest assured that all properties listed on this website are licensed. For your convenience, I even add the tax and permit numbers to every listing on this site.
What’s the area like? Does it have the vacation vibe you’re looking for? Are there other restaurants near walking distance? And what about farmers’ markets or supermarkets?
This is obviously a crucial element when you’ll be staying in a vacation rental. But, even when I stay in a hotel, I like to buy my water in a grocery store instead of paying for overpriced water bottles in a hotel. I also like to stock up on picnic supplies now and then for a quick bite at the beach or during a hike.
Also, when you travel with kids, you want to make sure that you won’t have to cross a busy road on your way to the beach.
Parking is a non-negotiable if you plan on renting a car during your Maui trip. If you don’t plan on driving yourself, then be sure to stay in an area that’s well-connected to the public transportation system.
If you stay in a hotel and pay a resort fee, check whether that also covers the parking cost.
On a tropical island, you want to be able to open the door of your accommodation to be greeted by a gentle breeze. Air conditioning is so important in this warm climate.
So, be sure to check if the room or condo of your choice is equipped with proper air-conditioning and not just a ceiling fan.
Beware of red flags. Some opinions are highly subjective like “breakfast was not to my taste” but other remarks like “the bedding was stained” don’t leave room for interpretation.
Lucky for you, you have a secret weapon: me! All accommodation suggestions that I curated have been thoroughly researched. That also means that I took the time to go through as many reviews as humanly possible and eliminated those properties that raised a red flag.
Rules and restrictions
Be aware of any restrictions that apply in terms of parking, smoking, or noise levels and if these are in line with your expectations and plans.
Oceanfront vs ocean view accommodations
Both terms sound alike but there’s a difference.
An oceanfront room is a room in a Maui seafront hotel that directly faces the ocean. An ocean view room is a room that doesn’t directly face the ocean but offers some degree of ocean view. Most often this is a lateral ocean view but this can be open to interpretation.
It’s up to you to weigh your options and determine whether a prime beachfront location is worth the additional cost. That being noted, mountain views can be just as magical in Maui. Here’s a photo of the West Maui mountain view from a room I stayed in at The Westin Maui Resort in Kaanapali. Not bad, right?
How long should you stay in Maui?
Maui is packed with palm-fringed beaches, scenic coastal trails, dreamy resorts, intriguing sights, and exciting adventures. With so many amazing things to do, defining that Maui itinerary is no easy task.
Spending 5 days in Maui is an absolute minimum but I’d recommend a 7-day minimum for the ultimate relaxation. And if you have the luxury of time (and money), then you might even make it 10 days. You’ll never run out of things to do in the Valley Isle.
For reference: According to the statistics provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitors stayed for an average of 9.8 days on the island of Maui in 2022. If you travel this far, you better make it worth your while.
When to book your Maui accommodation
I’d suggest that you make your first booking about 6 months before departure and even longer if you plan on traveling in peak season. At that point, you’ll have ample choice in accommodation, room types, and dates
Make it one with free cancelation to lock in the price. Then check in on a regular basis to see whether the prices have dropped. If they have, simply modify your booking or make a new booking before canceling the original one. Just be sure to take note of the deadline for free cancelation.
I have to admit that I sometimes book two or three accommodations, especially when I don’t have my entire itinerary figured out yet. Once I fine-tuned my plans, I keep the booking of my preference and cancel the other ones.
Where to book your Maui accommodation
Right here, of course!
I take great care in finding you the very best Maui accommodations. As a former luxury hotel professional and bespoke event planner, I know a thing or two about choosing the right accommodation.
All suggestions on this site are hand-picked and thoroughly researched. You can simply click on the links provided to book the featured listings on the booking platform of your preference.