When you combine clear waters excellent for snorkeling, the most miles of swimmable beaches in Hawaii, and plenty of waterfalls and hidden beaches to explore, Maui is an obvious choice for a water-centric vacation. So if you’re planning a trip to Maui and want to have easy access to those beautiful beaches and ocean views, you’ve come to the right place. Here are our expert picks for the best beach hotels on Maui!
This gorgeous, 380-room luxury property fronting Wailea beach is one of the top resorts on Maui. It's incredibly romantic; couples and honeymooners will likely appreciate the spa and spectacular adults-only infinity pool (though sun loungers go fast). But families will find a ton to like a well, including a kid's activity club and pool, and tons of free equipment for the beach such as snorkel gear and volleyballs. Rooms are spacious with soaking bathtubs and some outstanding views of the Pacific. Dining is expensive and breakfast isn't included with the price of a room, but restaurants like Spago by Wolfgang Puck are probably worth the cost. The resort also provides plenty of freebies, including kids' club access and snorkel gear. Just be prepared for crowds at the lobby, pools, and beach.
The beautifully designed, 780-room Grand Wailea is awe-inspiring in its scale: It's got the best pool in Hawaii, one of the top U.S. spas, and a prime location on one of the best U.S. beaches. Opulence marks every feature -- from the luxe rooms to the massive gym -- but the resort's Disneyland-like vibe isn't right for everyone.
Situated on a rock between two beaches, the 22-acre, 546-room Wailea Marriott has panoramic ocean views and a serene vibe missing from some of the more crowded, neighboring resorts. Renovated in 2008, the Marriott's spiffy rooms, gorgeous adult-only infinity pool, reputable spa, and a popular restaurant make it the best midrange option in ritzy Wailea.
Wailea's aptly named Fairmont Kea Lani is a "white heaven" indeed -- its 450 units sit on a 22-acre beachfront property that includes three pools, four restaurants, a luxurious spa, and access to world-class golf. Unlike its competitors, this property does an excellent job of keeping both couples and families happy without the long lines and battles for sun loungers by the pool. Oceanfront villas and suites are some of the largest in Maui, though a pesky resort fee applies to anyone who doesn't book a villa.
Reopened in January 2008 after a $180-million renovation, the 463-room Ritz-Carlton Kapalua boasts up-to-date rooms, top-notch dining, a quality spa, polished service, and beautifully landscaped grounds of national park proportions. It all comes at a slight risk, however, since its location comes with the least consistent, windiest, and rainiest weather of all of Maui's major resort areas.
The expansive Westin Maui Resort & Spa is an upscale property with direct access to swimmable Kaanapali Beach and popular Whalers' Village. There are a whopping 759 rooms with simple, Hawaiian-inspired decor (not quite as upscale as one may expect at a four-pearl hotel). With the number of guests and size of the resort, lines can be long and service is more efficient than personal. Prices here are lower than neighboring hotels, though, and this Westin offers a slew of above-average amenities like a five-pool aquatic playground, four restaurants, and a full-service spa and gym. Resort fees are annoying, but they're a common theme in Maui.
The 432-room mid-range Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is the embodiment of Hawaiian tradition and the Aloha spirit. With regular Hawaiian entertainment and free activities like lei making and Hularobics, it harkens back to an earlier time for Maui resorts. Though it’s not as updated as and lacks some of the features of nearby resorts like the Sheraton, its more affordable rates make this a decent value option for the excellent beachfront location on the beautiful golden sands of Ka’anapali beach.
Direct beach access and guaranteed ocean views are the biggest draws at the Aston Mahana, but the quality of the 215 individually owned condominiums varies widely. Plus, guests get next to no service and few amenities. Trade oceanfront for consistent room quality at the Outrigger Aina Nalu, or go with a fuller package of stuff to do at the Marriott or Westin time-share rentals.
Situated right on the popular Kaanaapli beach with views of the landmark Black Rock, the location of the Sheraton Maui can’t be beat. And this upscale mega-resort fully takes advantage of its prime real estate, offering ocean views from a majority of its 508 sleek, contemporary rooms. Spanning 23 acres, the expansive resort features a full array of features, including a lovelyspa, modern fitness room, five restaurants, and a large lagoon pool and lazy river. The snorkeling from the end of the beach is some of the best in Maui -- and it’s no secret, as this area is often crowded, especially in peak seasons.
A 15-minute walk outside Kaanapali's main strip, the family-owned Royal Lahaina has what the Kaanapali mega-resorts lack -- a quiet, isolated beachfront. Its amenities -- just three small pools, a nightly luau, and an 11-court tennis facility -- don't rival those at the mega-resorts, but this is still a great pick for peace and relaxation.
Situated on 26 acres, the expansive Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas features a slew of amenities -- fitness center, kids' club, spa -- along with its two pool areas and beachfront access. All 1,021 modern units are stylishly outfitted and have fully equipped kitchens, private balconies, and whirlpool tubs.
This low-key, low-rise condo hotel in serene Napili Bay has an authentic Hawaiian vibe that you won't find at Maui's mega-resorts. The pools are small, the gym is small and dank, and some rooms could use renovation, but it's still a gem for travelers intent on quiet, beachside relaxation and an ocean view from every room.