Maui is one of Hawaii's most stunning islands (and the best for snorkeling, hands down), making it a popular destination for newcomers to the islands. With that, though, comes the unfamiliar territory of figuring out where to stay, and why. The island isn't small by any means, and there are numerous places that travelers might consider when visiting Hawaii, all making the choice that much more challenging.

When in doubt, Reddit is always one way to determine the best solution based on others who have had the same question. As it turns out, there's plenty to know about vacationing in Maui along with hotels vs. Airbnb, which towns are the best for certain types of vacations, and which places are best based on the weather patterns of each. This is what the forum had to say about staying on the beautiful island of Maui.


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Consider One Of Three Main Towns

The common thread (no pun intended) throughout Reddit when it comes to where visitors should stay in Maui comes in the form of three places: Kihei, Ka'anapali, and Lahaina. When it comes to determining which one is the best, travelers should also consider the fact that Kahului, another town on the island, is really only useful for the airport into which travelers will be flying, according to Reddit users.

Comment from discussion .


  • Voted the top destination in Maui
  • Six miles of beaches
  • 25 minutes from the airport
  • Sunniest & driest place on the island
  • Good for swimming, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking, and whale-watching
  • Kihei's Kalama Beach Park is a hub for recreation, including surfing
  • Lodging includes condos, cottages, and small boutique hotels


  • Smallest of the three
  • Three miles of beach and also considered one of the best in Maui
  • Very culturally-centered
  • Great for beach activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, snorkeling, boating, and surfing
  • Lodging includes resorts and condos


  • Located on the western coast of Maui, largest of the three
  • Once a historic whaling village
  • 45 minutes from the airport
  • Known for its art galleries, unique shops, and great restaurants
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Home to Front Street, which is considered one of the greatest (historic) streets in the country
  • Home to 55 acres of historic landmarks
  • Great for history buffs and those interested in Maui's culture
  • Lodging includes beach camping, hotels, hostels, and resorts

Affordability & Rentals Vs. Hotels

The next big thing on traveler's minds when visiting Maui is the cost to do so. It can be a tough battle between going with an Airbnb vs. a hotel or resort, and, thankfully, Reddit has some opinions on that, too. The overall consensus is that Kehei is the most affordable of the three which keeps it in the running for the best place for newcomers to Maui.

The downside of staying in Kehei is that nightlife isn't necessarily what it is in other towns, which was commonly mentioned throughout the thread. However, if visitors plan on doing most of their sightseeing and activities during the day, this shouldn't be an issue. Those staying in Kehei should also be aware that's the drive to both Lahaina and Ka'anapali - both of which are points of interest in Maui - is about 45 minutes.

Opting For A Hotel Or Resort

For some, the idea of an all-inclusive resort or hotel is something that's worth spending the extra money on. Since food in Hawaii is pricey, continental breakfasts and on-site restaurants are a big deal when it comes to booking a hotel over a rental property. Hotels and resorts also feature swimming pools (another Reddit tip) which also helps to justify the cost/night.

Some recommended looking into resorts that offer condo rentals, which are worth the price because there are no extra fees accrued. Travelers will be able to rent condos straight from the owners, which usually saves renters some money in the process.

Opting For An Airbnb

Some travelers prefer privacy and when it comes to Maui, the idea of having an entire house or condo to oneself has plenty of benefits. For one, the views are often better from private rentals. One Reddit tip was to avoid booking through Airbnb, though, and going straight to the source of the rental - this way, travelers can bypass Airbnb fees.

This also gives travelers the chance to rent a property that's on or within walking distance to a beach or an area of interest. Depending on what travelers are looking for, they might be able to score a great rental, in a great area, that will either a) justify the price paid or b) be worth the price that's paid.

In Summary

Where to stay in Maui comes down to what a traveler is looking for, but Reddit has helped narrow it down to three popular locations on the island. When it comes to rentals vs. hotels or resorts, this is also dependent on a traveler's budget and interests.

Those seeking more budget-friendly options might find that a boutique hotel is best, while those seeking intimate beach time and full space to themselves might find a winner through Airbnb or VRBO, but can save money by booking directly with the owners.

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