If you are headed to Maui, a vacation rental may be something to consider. We travel to Hawaii yearly and like to feel at home on vacation. There is something about a hotel that makes us feel uncomfortable and unsettled. With a rental you can cook your own meals, have your own space, and avoid high resort fees. Most rentals will provide extras such as beach chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards, bikes etc. to make your stay more enjoyable.
The sky is the limit in terms of what is offered. If you would like a resort experience, there are rentals such as the Hoolei or Wailea Beach Villas. If you are looking for something remote, there are rentals such as Kula Villa or Hana Hideaway.
The best place to start your search is VRBO and AirBnB. We book 10 months in advance, as the best places book up quickly. We have not been scammed yet, but it has happened to others. To avoid this, look for properties that have several reviews that span over a few years. I have come across some scam listings in my searches. They are usually too good to be true with reviews by fake accounts spanning over a short period of time. Be diligent, as you do not want to show up at your destination to find out your rental doesn’t exist.
Some rentals are managed by the owner, and others are managed by rental companies. We prefer rentals that are managed by companies as the communication, cleanliness and method of payment are superior. We have had two owners ask for payment via money order and both of those places were less than stellar. It is always best to pay through VRBO, AirBnB or a rental agency. If there is an issue with the property there are guarantees when booking through these companies.
We have stayed in four rentals in Maui over the years. Here is a brief overview of the places we have stayed. You can get more information and photos by clicking on the highlighted property name.
1. Haiku Nani
This home is in Haiku, which is a remote country location on the north side of the island. The house sits on an acre of land complete with it’s own botanical garden, view of horse pastures and the ocean.
The home is brand new and is spotless. This area gets a bit more rain and the house is carefully laid out so that you are covered. The lanai is expansive and spotless as well.
This is our new favourite rental as we had no issues with the property and felt completely at home. The area is remote, which means you have to do some driving to get around. Also, there is no AC, but it is not needed here as it cools off at night.
2. Bliss Beach House
This is a beautifully decorated home within a residential neighbourhood in Kihei. It is perfect for families with children as it has it’s own game room and pool. The finishes and decor in this home are impressive. The owner put a lot of thought and effort into this rental.
The location is not as desirable. Some of the surrounding homes are in need of repair. There is a beach down the street that you can walk to, but it is not as nice as the beaches in Wailea. I think this is a good option for a large family that is willing to drive to go to the beach or that just wants to hang out in the backyard pool area.
3. Elua Condo
This condo is situated within Wailea, which is the most beautiful resort area on Maui. It sits on a beachfront complex that has an oceanfront pool and fitness area. The walk to the beach is about 5 minutes from the condo.
The condo itself is spacious, comfortable and clean. It is managed by Ali’i Resorts, which does a towel drop every day and a change of sheets every three days. We loved this condo! The only downside is there was a bit of road noise early in the morning.
4. Wailea’s Best
This condo is also in Wailea and has a resort style pool on the ocean. It is on Keawakapu Beach, which is one of the best beaches on Maui. Our experience here was less than stellar. We always check the mattress when we arrive in a unit. This one had hundreds of little rust coloured stains along the periphery of the mattress. Our first thought was bedbugs! We checked into the Grand Wailea while the owner arranged for pest inspection and a new mattress to be delivered. It was not bedbugs, but mould that was on mattress. Apparently when they renovated they did not replace the mattress.
The rest of the condo was not to our standard of clean and we saw two cockroaches there during our stay! This is an example of a privately managed property, where we paid with a money order. All the reviews were good and condo photographed very well.
There was no way of us knowing the place was not clean. This is one of the risks you take when you go with a vacation rental.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Grand Wailea though. If you are not interested in staying in a rental I would highly recommend this hotel. First class all the way!
Although we have had one bad experience on Maui, we will continue to rent when we visit Hawaii. I hope this has given you some food for thought on your accommodation search.
Here are the links to the rentals and hotel we have stayed in:
Kira Canadian Girl