Guide Where to stay in Maui
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Ultimate Hawaii Guide To Maui: Where To Stay

Guide Where to stay in Maui

I already gave you a bit of insight on where NOT to stay in Maui. Because of this particularly dishonest establishment we ended up staying in 2 other resorts during our 8-day stay. Here’s a little recap of both places, pros and cons, and some wonderful pictures of a paradise worth witnessing in person.

Montage Kapalua Bay

Due to all the hassle of trying to find rooms for 6 couples after being unceremoniously thrown out from Andaz, we ended up having 3 hotels to choose from. The problem was 2 of these hotels were located on the North tip of Maui, whereas the one, where 2 couples had already managed to secure rooms, was at the South-West corner of the island an hour’s drive away.

We had managed to arrange things so that the rest of us would join those 2 couples in Wailea on Saturday with rooms for everyone finally available, but until then we had to choose. We opted to all stick together and ended up in the Montage Resort, in a 4-bedroom suite with the most epic view over palm trees to the beach.

The suite was in one word STUNNING. Three bedrooms, each with its own bathroom, plus a shared kitchen, dining room and two living rooms. Oh yeah, and the balcony.

One thing I always check when determining whether the hotel is good or not are the products in the bathroom. It’s quite rare to find good shampoo and conditioner that would suit the Scandinavian-sort of hair, but this place made my dreams come true bathroom products-wise.

The only drawback with the apartment was that the minibar was completely empty. Not even water provided. And the room service was, I’m sorry to say, appalling. Super slow and they refused to bring up any alcohol.

So, we had to run down, across the yard and through the entire hotel entrance building to get to the bar where we were told that we could only take 2 drinks per person upstairs… I probably don’t need to tell you that we ran up and down so many times that first night that I can’t even count so far.

The best part of the suite was that we were all together. Particularly in the morning we would crawl out of our bedrooms one by one and each head straight to the balcony, like it had some sort of magnet appeal.

Honestly, I don’t know anything that would make me as happy as walking out to the balcony first thing in the morning and being greeted by warm sunshine and birds singing. I truly hate winter, there is no place for such uselessness in my life as cold and darkness! Sunshine is my ultimate happy-switch.

Anyway, after everybody was awake we’d make plans and some of us would head to the gym while most of us hurried to breakfast.

Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui

Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui

I can wholeheartedly recommend this resprt and especially the beach in front of it! Note that every single beach in Hawaii is a public beach. Nobody in Hawaii, not a hotel or any individual, can own a beach.

This basically means that alcohol is illegal on beaches and some of them have rental services only available to members of their private beach club or the people staying at the nearby hotel. I found this a bit discriminating.

Nonetheless, the beach in front of Montage was a brilliant one, because it was barricaded by a formation of rocks where the larger waves would break and leave the beach as a little sanctuary where all kinds of fish and giant turtles ventured to feed and chill. So, renting snorkels here is a must!

My boyfriend got familiar with a giant turtle there and our Lead Man somehow managed to crash with a canoe even though the point of a snorkel is that you can see where you’re going. We spent such happy times at the beach there.

The resort’s restaurant was excellent food-wise. Unfortunately service was extremely slow and they were very reluctant to let us dine there on the first night. We arrived there straight from our tour of the grounds after leaving our suitcases into our rooms. Most of us were wearing basic shorts and tops, and our Lead Man was in his swimming trunks and a T-shirt.

Maybe our casual outlook was the reason why they wouldn’t give us a table at first, but thankfully our Lead Man can be extremely persuasive. After promising to pay extra and to eat extremely quickly we got a table. In the end these promises were useless because they couldn’t charge us extra anyway and their own service prolonged our dinner.

To be honest I wouldn’t have minded if we had stayed in Montage the whole time. The resort is truly beautiful and I absolutely loved having everybody in the same apartment. The feeling of community in the evening and the mornings chilling on the balcony is something I enjoy immensely.

But alas no, we had to move on to our final hotel on Saturday before the New Year. But before that here’s a little recap of the pros and cons of the Montage resort:

Pros

  • Relatively new resort
  • Rooms are beautifully furnished
  • The bathroom products were of premium quality
  • The resort area is a paradise with all services available
  • The pool area is lovely with multiple pools and a hot tub
  • The beach is right in front of the resort area with possibility to rent towels, surf boards, canoes and snorkeling equipment
  • Service was good

Cons

  • Rooms have minibars but they are empty
  • The breakfast buffet was very small
  • Room service very slow and doesn’t deliver any alcohol
  • Overall service very slow
  • Necessity to carry an ID around in the pool area in case you want to order a drink

Guide Where to stay in Maui

Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui

Fairmont Kea Lani

The Fairmont Resort looks like any enormous hotel in Greece with thousands of rooms and private apartments scattered around the huge grounds.

This is quite an old hotel but it was rated as Maui’s second best resort. It’s so huge that it almost reminded me of a little city; in addition to multiple restaurants it has 2 floors of shops and boutiques of all sorts within the main building.

I can’t deny it’s a very nice resort, but after Montage I can’t hide the fact that I was a tad disappointed. Our room had the best view but the furniture hadn’t been updated since the 80’s. And I don’t hate anything style-wise as much as the 80’s (hence, I didn’t take any pictures of the room itself). In addition, we had separate beds…

Thankfully they were wide enough that we could still sleep in one bed but it was rather crowded since we both like to take the full arena when asleep.

The pool area was bigger and more varied than in Montage; bigger pools of different sorts. There were 2 jacuzzi both hidden from view, and adults only-pool away from the noises of the family pools further down the hill.

What was especially great about the pool area was that you didn’t need to carry your ID in your bikini top in case you wanted a mojito to accompany you by the pool.

Here also the pool area descended to a beach. This was an open beach with no barriers between the wide open Ocean and the beach. It was still possible to rent equipment for water sports but the circumstances were not as optimal as they had been at Montage.

We didn’t get a chance to dine at the hotel’s restaurants (other than the breakfast buffet, which was excellent!) but we did order food at the lobby bar several times. The food was very good and their cocktails were super tasty.

Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui

Guide Where to stay in Maui

In this resort as well, room service was extremely slow. We ordered coffee one evening and it took over an hour for them to deliver it.

One of the highlights of staying at the Fairmont was sitting right next to the great Sir Anthony Hopkins! We had heard that he’s there since one of us had glimpsed him at breakfast one morning. And then, one morning when me and my boyfriend were sitting in the lobby waiting for everyone else to come down, my boyfriend suddenly went “Isn’t that someone famous?”

I looked over and saw this very old man wearing a straw hat and a Hawaii shirt and said I didn’t recognize him as anyone special. But then I heard him speak! And I spun around again and suddenly it became obvious: it was Sir Hopkins himself!

I had dreamed of seeing him there and going up to him to courtsey and say “Good morning, Sir”. But when the opportunity was presented I was too scared. I also couldn’t bring myself to disturb their family gathering.

Overall I think Fairmont was a really good resort for families but for a group of friends just looking to chill it was a bit too crowded and the rooms were not up to (my) expectations. Call me picky, I’m not gonna deny it.

Here’s again a summary of the pros and cons from the Fairmont Resort:

Pros

  • The pool area is exceptional
  • The bathroom products were good quality
  • Breakfast buffet was excellent and had everything you could wish for (except croissants….)
  • No need to carry an ID to the pool area
  • The resort area is a paradise with all services available
  • The beach is right in front of the resort area with possibility to rent towels, surf boards, canoes and snorkeling equipment
  • Service was good
  • ANTHONY HOPKINS

Cons

  • Way over-prized
  • Rooms were stuffy and not particularly nice looking
  • Room service very slow
  • The resort was overall too big, aka uncomfortably crowded

Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui Guide Where to stay in Maui

+ Four Seasons

I’d like to mention the Four Seasons resort here even though we didn’t actually stay there. Instead we had dinner there twice because the service was incredibly better than all service on the island put together. They had a great sense of humour and service was FAST, which is something that is extremely hard to find in Hawaii.

I can’t rate the rooms because I haven’t seen them but I would venture to guess that they are beautiful. The lobby and pool area as well as the restaurant would suggest that the simple and beautiful aesthetic would continue elsewhere in the resort as well.

In any case, this is the number 1 hotel in Maui, like in so many other places. And after those 2 spectacular dinners there, with actual gold in our champagne glasses and the most amazing food in our tummies, I don’t find that hard to believe at all.

I think we also discussed that a room in the Four Seasons wouldn’t have cost any more than a room at the Montage or Fairmont, so if in Maui, I’d recommend trying out the Four Seasons, for sure.

Or Montage. I think I left a piece of my heart in that suite along with my iPhone charger.

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disclaimer; this is not a collaboration post and all opinions are completely my own.

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