Outrigger Aina Nalu Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Maui, Hawaii, United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Full kitchens (except for studios)
  • Lahaina location offers Maui's best nightlife
  • Two sizeable, uncrowded pools
  • Washer-dryer units in many units
  • Free wired in0room Internet access and Wi-Fi in the lobby and pool areas

Cons

  • At least five to 10 minutes from nearest swimmable beach
  • No bathtubs -- only standing showers
  • Minimal amenities
  • No on-site dining or room service

Bottom Line

This refreshed condo property in the bustling, touristy town of Lahaina has fair-size, affordable studio, one- and two-bedroom units and two small, pleasant pools, but offers a bare minimum of amenities and services -- and the nearest beach is a five-minute drive away.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

This recently renovated condo property in bustling Lahaina, with bare minimum amenities and no beach access, is best for those who want quick access to the town's lively nightlife, shopping and restaurants.

Grounds at the Aina Nalu Resort
Grounds at the Aina Nalu Resort

Outrigger Aina Nalu's 134 refreshed condos are priced a hefty notch lower than many to the North in Kaanapali, but the property has fewer amenities. It's five to 10 minutes from the beach by car, and the property seems to discourage small children. Though there are two small pools that are on par or better than most Maui condos, the only other main convenience is an activities desk for booking excursions and dining reservations. This is a good choice for vacationers planning to spend most of their time outside the hotel and wanting quick access to Lahaina's lively bar scene at night. The Lahaina location, though touristy, offers Maui's best nightlife and its closest approximation to a bustling city -- it's full of shops and restaurants along the harbor, and has a more exciting live music and bar scene than other towns in Maui.

Outrigger Aina Nalu is a solid home base for travelers who plan to do lots of off-resort activities. Though it doesn't offer the history and charm of Lahaina's other primary lodging options -- the Pioneer Inn and the Plantation Inn -- it does offer full kitchens for those who want to dodge pricey resort meals, plus the pools are larger. Those who want the perks of a condo but prefer better beach access and more resort features -- like on-site shops, restaurants, and activities -- would do better to check Kaanapali's Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort and Marriott's Maui Ocean Club.

 Service

Friendly, informative 24-hour front desk

The front desk staff greets guests with a welcoming and informative check-in, including complimentary postcards that they'll stamp and send free of charge and a quick property orientation. But once you're settled in, there's little help to be found: This is a condo rental, not a full-service hotel or resort. An Expedia-run activities kiosk is located next to one of the pools to help guests plan excursions or book nearby events and activities, and check-out housekeeping maintains the units and grounds, but there's no bell staff, room service, or pool service.

  • Friendly, informative, 24-hour front desk staff
  • Check-out housekeeping
  • Expedia activities desk open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • No porters (you carry your bags to your condo, even if it's on the 2nd floor)
  • No room service or pool service

 Location

In Lahaina, a historic whaling town now filled with bars, restaurants, art galleries, tourist shops, and Maui's best nightlife (but no beaches)

The Aina Nalu Resort is just outside downtown Lahaina, a bustling whaling port during the mid-19th century and former capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom. Today, this touristy seaside town is home to some of Maui's best shopping, dining, and nightlife. Chain restaurants like Bubba Gump and Hard Rock Café coexist with local establishments, like scrimshaw sellers and shave-ice shops, and art gallery exhibits pay tribute to Lahaina's past as the whaling capital of the Pacific. In the center of it all is a huge, banyan tree that arches over an entire city block.

Front Street is the main drag of Lahaina. This half-mile-long stretch is packed with everything a tourist could need, from activity desks to souvenir shops and fresh island cuisine. Well-preserved, 18th-century buildings give it a historic feel -- most of the town has been designated a National Historic Landmark -- and its many attractions, retail stores, and excellent restaurants make it a must-see for every Maui visitor.

  • Two blocks from Front Street's lively nightlife -- live music and a mix of tourists and locals fill the bars (though it still tends to die down before midnight)
  • Historic attractions like the 19th-centry Courthouse (free) and the well-preserved 18th-centry Baldwin House ($3 admission).
  • Two blocks from Lahaina Harbor, the takeoff point for interisland ferries and trips for diving, snorkeling, and sunset sailing around Maui
  • A short walk away from from the majestic Banyan Tree Park, a single, century-old tree with gnarled branches and twisted roots that covers almost one acre
  • Warren & Annabelle's magic show-cum-comedy act is one of the best shows in Maui; on Front Street for guests 21 and older.
  • Considered the most authentic luau in Maui, the intimate Old Lahaina Luau takes place nightly on a beach near the Lahaina Cannery Mall. (Reserve tickets well in advance.)
  • 35-minute drive from Kahului Airport

 Beach

The nearest beaches are five to 10 minutes away.

Lahaina isn't about beaches. It's a former whaling village fronted by a large harbor and filled with shops, restaurants, and Maui's best nightlife. Some surf schools run lessons out of the harbor, but the nearest swimmable beaches are five to 10 minutes away.

  • In general, the water around Lahaina is good for surfing, but the beaches are narrow and hard to reach from the roads.
  • Long, resort-studded Kaanapali beach is the most developed beach nearby; it's about 15 minutes drive north of Lahaina.
  • Launiupoko Park is the most swimmable, and busiest, beach along the highway south of Lahaina.

 Rooms

Newly renovated, with standardized decor and amenities

Kitchen and living room in the one-bedroom suite
Kitchen and living room in the one-bedroom suite

As Maui condo rentals go, these are in great condition and consistent décor and amenities mean no surprises (unlike at properties like Aston Mahana at Kaanapali, where individual owners choose décor and amenities). Studios and one- and two-bedroom units are average size and were renovated in 2007. They include full kitchens in all but the studio units, spacious bathrooms that include washers and dryers (but no bathtubs, only standing showers), and Dell flat-screen TVs with DVD players.

  • Standardized condo units with consistent amenities and decor
  • Units range from 252-square-foot studios to 846-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath units; all, except studios, are average size for condos in the area.
  • Comfortable but basic beds; no name-brand bedding or mattresses
  • Queen-size sofabeds in all one- and two-bedroom units
  • Dell flat-screen TVs in the bedrooms and common areas with DVD players
  • Full kitchens with dishwashers, microwaves, stoves, ovens, and dishware (in all but studio units -- which have a microwave and full fridge)
  • Air-conditioning and ceiling fans
  • Bathrooms have standing showers only -- no bathtubs; basic Outrigger brand toiletries.
  • Wired, in-room Internet is free along with Wi-Fi in the lobby and pool areas.

 Features

Not much beyond two pools and a lounge area

One of two pools at the Aina Nalu Resort
One of two pools at the Aina Nalu Resort

The Aina Nalu's features are about as minimal as they come. It has two pools, which is more than the few other Lahaina hotels can say, but otherwise there's just an activities desk, a lounge area, and free Wi-Fi in the lobby and by the two pools. Free wired Internet access is available in guest rooms. The good news is that the pool area is far more relaxing than at one of Maui's giant resorts -- there's no battle for lounge chairs, no crowds at the towel stand, and no constant noise. Though the pools are small compared to Maui full-service resorts, they're fairly standard, or better, than at similar condo properties. For more extensive on-site features, pay a little more for the resort-like amenities at time-share properties such as the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort and Marriott's Maui Ocean Club.

  • Two pools and a small whirlpool are standard, if not better, than similar-size condo properties.
  • Poolside lounge area with huge flat-screen TV and comfortable couches and chairs
  • Free Wi-Fi in lobby and by the pools and free wired in-room Internet.
  • Discounted access to nearby Internet café and fitness center.

 Family

Not a good choice for families with young kids

Though cheap for Maui, Aina Nalu's family-friendly amenities and services are well outdone by other time-share/condo properties like the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort and Marriott's Maui Ocean Club. The latter both offer better children's amenities for a small jump in price, and Kaanapali's huge beach and choice of nearby activities is better aimed at younger kids than Lahaina's bumping nightlife and touristy shops.

  • Cribs (usually free at most resorts and hotels) are charged by the night, and only available in one- and two-bedrooms.
  • No toys allowed at pools
  • No on-site entertainment or child care services

 Cleanliness

Spotless

Rooms were renovated in 2007, and everything from furniture to carpets still seems brand-new. Check-out housekeeping is efficient and effective.

 Food

Full kitchens, but no on-site restaurant

There's no restaurant on-site, but all units (except studios) have full kitchens that include dishwashers, microwaves, stoves, and ovens and are stocked with dishes and silverware. Studio units have a microwave and full fridge.

  • Two large poolside grills for guests
  • Small grocery/convenience stores within walking distance
  • Safeway grocery store less than five minutes' drive
  • Delivery option from local restaurant
  • Lots of nearby dining choices -- from chain restaurants to more upscale -- in Lahaina

 Bottom Line

This refreshed condo property in the bustling, touristy town of Lahaina has fair-size, affordable studio, one- and two-bedroom units and two small, pleasant pools, but offers a bare minimum of amenities and services -- and the nearest beach is a five-minute drive away.

Things You Should Know About Outrigger Aina Nalu

Address

  • 660 Wainee Street, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Aina Nalu
  • Aina Nalu Resort
  • Lahaina Outrigger
  • Outrigger Aina Nalu Hotel
  • Outrigger Lahaina

Room Types

  • Garden View Studio
  • One Bedroom Garden View
  • Two Bedroom One Bath Garden View
  • Two Bedroom Two Bath Garden View

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 134
Pool: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Address: 660 Wainee Street, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
(See Map)
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