Easily regarded as one of the best islands in the entire world, Maui is home to gorgeous coastlines, secret waterfalls tucked away in Maui’s rain forests, eclectic beach towns, and some ono (delicious) grinds. As word continues to spread about Maui’s fun loving lifestyle, more and more visitors are arriving. Via the Hawaii Tourism Authority, visitors increased by 7 percent so far in 2018 since the same time last year.
Maui’s natural fire works during the 4th of July, photo courtesy of Dom Marino
As for the best time to visit Maui, you can check out our blog: Finding the Optimal Time to Visit Maui. Of course, the best time to visit Maui are in the off seasons around early to mid April and September when the typical visitor able to get away to visit Maui.
Whether you want to budget or splurge on a trip to Maui, the Sayles Team offers some tips on where you can spend lavishly and where you can pinch some pennies.
Regardless of where you stay, accommodations are not always the cheapest on Maui and the hotels know your choices are limited in terms of finding the “ideal” or comfortable sleeping arrangements. The most popular places are of course South Maui (Kihei and Wailea) and West Maui (Kaanapali & Kapalua).
If you’re looking to find the best money can buy you on the South Side, then the Grand Wailea is a great option. Family friendly, but also just as enjoyable for the adults, the Grand Wailea will allow you to live like a king for a pretty penny. Another alternative to the Grand is the Ho’olei at Grand Wailea which is a community of luxury short term rentals directly across from the Grand Wailea.
On the West Side, the only place to splurge is at the Montage Kapalua Bay. Home to a stop on the PGA Tour, you know you are living it up when you’re surrounded by some of West Maui’s best real estate and within minutes to white sandy beaches.
Our recommendation for saving is finding a short term rental unit through Airbnb and VRBO. While there are no maids to make your bed or concierges to book you adventures, short term rentals can easily be half the price of a hotel room and you will have the ability to save money by cooking your own meals. Many of the short term rental complexes have their own on site pools and are within a few blocks of the beach, so change it and actually get the chance to live like a local!
Long before the farm-to-table movement in Hawaii was cool, chef Bev Gannon was quietly putting her name on the map and defining herself as one of Maui’s best chefs. Sitting on the lower slopes of Haleakala is Hali’imaile General Store where it surrounded by acres of pineapple fields. Chef Gannon shares her “elegant but unpretentious” fare comprised of ingredients from local farmers and served with aloha by an excellent wait staff.
Our principal broker and owner, Dano, with some friends at Mama’s Fish House
For the better part of three decades, Mama’s Fish House has been the Maui destination for some of the most succulent and delectable fish dishes. Nowadays, the restaurant holds the distinction of Maui’s first fresh fish restaurant where they prepare fish of the highest quality and embrace the aloha spirit. On some nights, you’ll catch some famous celebrities dining in and experiencing Maui’s best seafood restaurant for themselves. Set just past the Kuau Store, you know you are somewhere special when you have a wonderful view of the World Famous Ho’okipa Beach Park from the parking lot.
The Cafe O’lei Kihei location (also a 2nd location in Kahului) is easily one of my first choice lunch lunch spot IF their special for the day is still available. It is a full plate with an entree, rice, and a salad, all for under $9. I dare you to find a cheaper and better place in South Maui that can offer as delicious of a lunch special as theirs. The lunch special changes daily, so call early to find out and order one before they run out.
Mom and pop shops used to be the heart and soul of Hawaii’s economy back in the day, but now they are just a thing of the past. So when you do find one that stays true to the values of old Hawaii, you stop by for a glimpse back in time. Ichiban Okazuya Hawaii delivers one of the best plate lunch deals out there. Family run, this plate lunch is more on the traditional side and focuses mainly on Japanese dishes like: Chicken Katsu, Tempura, and Teriyaki Chicken to name a few. The little restaurant is take out only and is just behind the Wailuku court house on Kaohu Street.
Must Do Activities
One of the many waterfalls on the way to Hana, courtesy of our friend Dom Marino
Aside from the gas and food, the Road to Hana is a cheap Maui adventure as the drive is completely free for viewing! The only price you might be paying is the car sickness from the 600+ winds/bends in the road. Expect this to be a full day adventure if you are not planning to spend the night in Hana, drive time alone is at least 5 hours. Untouched by corporate development, the windy one lane road flashes you back to a simpler time.
Before leaving town, I highly encourage that you make sure you have a full tank of gas as Paia is the last gas station until you get to Hana.
Also as a side note, please be courtesy to the locals and let them pass as they are more accustomed to driving the road.
If you’re looking for an underwater adventure, then look no further than Molokini! The crescent-shaped island just off South Maui is a marine sanctuary below the water and a bird sanctuary above water, which means that it is completely protected under state law. The incredibly crystal clear water is due to its location in the middle of the channel and the lack of any sand deposits around the islet.
There are a variety of snorkeling tours, so carefully select which tour you would most enjoy. Below are just a few of the options available:
- Aqua Adventures: Aqua Adventures features a two location snorkel tour (normally Molokini for the first stop and Turtle Arches for the second). Adults $94.95, Children (ages 3-12) $64.95, 2 & under free (plus 7.1667% tax and harbor fee).
- Pride of Maui: sails you out to Molokini in comfort, offering glass-bottom viewing, a fun water slide, continental breakfast, an excellent BBQ lunch, and a refreshing open bar. Adults $86.00, Children (ages 3-12) $57.00, 2 & under free (plus 7.1667% tax and harbor fee and $4 per seat fuel surcharge).
Contact a Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Specialist
One of the very last cane fires on Maui ever back in late 2016
Please interview me to be your trusted Maui Real Estate and Lifestyle Advisor. I was born and raised on the island, and spend a considerable amount of time to inform my clients about the best deals currently on the market. Please do not hesitate to call me for your Maui real estate needs. I am more than happy to assist you in your home search.
Aloha,Anthony Sayles R(S) Anthony@Danosayles.com 808-280-6532