Photo courtesy of Christian Horan
The island of Maui is best known for its turquoise beaches, luxury resorts and laid-back vibes. It’s the second largest Hawaiian island and a popular destination for travelers who want to enjoy their days by the water or explore the outdoors.
From land to sea, there is something on the island for everyone. Cultural attractions and world-class golf courses are just minutes away from unspoiled forests and waterfalls ripe for outdoor recreation. You can watch the epic sunrise from the peaks of Haleakalā National Park in Upcountry and then head south to the resort community of Wailea and spend a lazy afternoon sunbathing on the beach.
No matter what side of the island you choose to explore, we’ve rounded up the 10 best resorts to check out for your next trip to Maui.
Photo courtesy of Rich Stapleton
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
For guests who have already checked off island activities like watching the sunrise at Haleakalā National Park or walking through lavender fields at Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is the perfect hotel to stay put.
Spacious guest rooms are equipped with deep soaking tubs, private lanais and a sofabed. For larger families, upgrade to one of the three premier oceanfront Elite Suites where you can enjoy large living and dining areas, two full marble bathrooms, a highly curated wine list by Christian Navarro (Wally’s President and Principal) and luxury accommodations that will make you feel right at home.
Suites also include a complimentary in-room Peloton bike (by request), so you can break a sweat while watching a breathtaking Maui sunset in the background. The oceanfront property offers three swimming pools including an adults-only infinity pool with limited chaise seating that tends to book up first thing in the morning, so arrive early.
Order cocktails from the swim-up bar and make your way to the edge to enjoy the ocean views and snap a scenic photo. For the ultimate relaxation, book an oceanside spa treatment in a handmade hale made of all-natural materials as you doze off to the sound of the waves crashing.
Photo courtesy of Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
It’s easy to see why Grand Wailea Resort is considered an outdoor playground for children. The massive resort set on 40 acres of tropical gardens features nine pools, including seven waterslides that are loads of fun for the whole family. Start your morning with a one-hour yoga session on Wailea Beach or take advantage of the complimentary scuba and snorkel lessons offered for hotel guests.
For dinner, reserve a private table at the family-friendly luau offered three nights a week during sunset hour for a bona fide Hawaiian evening under the stars. Listen to ancient Hawaiian stories and learn traditions like hula dancing accompanied by a traditional dinner that includes dishes such as poke and pipikaula.
For a tranquil nightcap, stroll through the lush gardens while listening to the sounds of the thundering waterfalls and toads that come out in the evening.
Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is a secluded hideaway surrounded by natural beauty, from the rugged cliffs to the crystal clear waters of the northwest shore. Verdant pine trees and a championship golf course greet at the entrance, but the main attraction lies on the other side of the resort.
Neighboring beaches such as D.T. Fleming Beach and Ka’anapali Beach leave plenty of options for things to do on land or sea, including whale-watching, surfing, hiking or simply relaxing on the white sandy beach.
Sense of place is a cornerstone of The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua which has a labyrinth garden and a Honokahua Preservation Site – the resort even has a dedicated Hawaiian cultural advisor to educate hotel staff and visitors about Hawaiian culture, language and history. Look out for QR codes placed near artwork around the hotel that will explain the significance of the piece and how it relates to the Hawaiian culture and people.
Check out the weekly calendar of events for cultural and wellness activities, including an easy 1.76-mile guided hike along the Kapalua Coastal Trail which hugs the ocean and offers beautiful views of Kapalua Bay, a perfect spot for snorkeling.
Photo courtesy of John Russo Photography
If you’re looking for a quiet retreat, look no further than Hotel Wailea – the only adults-only luxury resort in Maui. The 72 bungalow-style suites are a nod to the islands with Ohia wood sourced from the Big Island, original artwork in each suite, and coral and limestone walls that bring the textures and tones from the surrounding coastline indoors. The cozy 720-square-foot suites are spread out within the resort’s well-manicured gardens to allow for a more intimate and relaxing experience.
The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea is perched hillside and offers panoramic ocean views in a romantic setting, but don’t overlook the private treehouse nestled amongst mango and avocado trees where you can enjoy a special 7-course dinner curated just for you. Access to the beach is easy with a quick 5-minute shuttle ride to Wailea Beach where the valet can set you up with a lounge chair and umbrella or snorkel gear to spot exotic fish.
Photo courtesy of Leila Najafi
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
While most travelers visit Wailea for the luxury resorts that provide a quiet escape, it’s also worth planning a trip to Andaz Maui Resort for the restaurants themselves – some of the best in Wailea.
Ka’ana Kitchen, the hotel’s signature restaurant, pays homage to the local surroundings with 85% of the menu centered around Upcountry (local) ingredients. Sushi lovers will appreciate Morimoto Maui helmed by the legendary chef Masaharu Morimoto from "Iron Chef."
Specialty dishes include the sizzling hot ishi yaki buri bop which is cooked tableside on a hot stone bowl – a feast for the eyes. The delicate fish carpaccio topped with a pretty edible flower is also not to be missed.
Pro-tip: Make an early reservation for Morimoto Maui during one of the resort’s scheduled luaus on Tuesday and Sunday evenings and request tables 101-104 for a front-row seat to the show.
Photo courtesy of Montage Kapalua Bay
Montage Kapalua Bay
The Montage Kapalua Bay boasts 50 well-appointed residential-style suites that start at 1,250 square feet equipped with full kitchens, high ceilings and hardwood floors. The plush hideaway is set on Kapalua Bay and is a short 10-minute drive to the historic town of Lahaina.
Choose from an array of dining experiences such as the hotel’s signature restaurant, Cane & Canoe, which offers live music daily from 6-8 pm, or guests can also create a customizable restaurant experience in their residence complete with live music, wine pairings or an open bar.
If you’re curious to venture off property, Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar next door is also an excellent choice.
Photo courtesy of Marriott Bonvoy
Wailea Beach Resort
Wailea Beach Resort is a more laid-back, family-friendly option compared to its ritzy neighbors. For families that seek action-packed vacations, the resort offers a variety of experiences including a kayak turtle tour, paddle boarding, ukulele lessons, and can even set up fireside s’mores. And if that’s not enough to keep you busy, the hotel also has the longest resort slide in all of Hawaii.
The Marriott Hotels & Resorts property is also conveniently located within walking distance from The Shops at Wailea, a shopping destination that is home to luxury retail brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton, in addition to the popular eatery, Lineage (pro-tip: order the Korean fried chicken).
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Kea Lani
Fairmont Kea Lani
Any hotel that features all suites and villas is intriguing, including the Fairmont Kea Lani, aptly named "white heaven" after the white sand beach it sits on. Both couples and families will appreciate the spacious accommodations sitting on 22 acres of pristine landscape, ideal for long-term stays or workcations.
Deep-rooted Hawaiian traditions and the vibrant outdoors inspire the treatment menu at the award-winning Willow Stream Spa. Whether you choose to indulge indoors at the 9,000-square-foot spa, in a private outdoor cabana or poolside, the options to get pampered are endless.
In 2001, Fairmont Kea Lani launched a dedicated team called Planet21, to spearhead a number of initiatives that cultivate responsible tourism. Sustainable initiatives include donating used soaps to Clean the World foundation, protecting the Hawksbill sea turtle in partnership with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund and Department of Land and Natural Resources, and installing 2,236 solar panels across the resort.
Photo courtesy of Hana-Maui Resort
Maui visitors that make it to the eastern edge of the island are rewarded with an abundance of natural beauty from cascading waterfalls to immaculate beaches and breathtaking forests all along the famed Road to Hana. Hana-Maui Resort is a little slice of heaven located towards the end of the route, if you’re brave enough to make it that far.
The secluded resort recently transitioned to a Destination Hotel by Hyatt and is an intimate 75-room island oasis with airy guest rooms that feature full or partial ocean views. The bungalow-style rooms are spread across 66 acres of beautiful landscape leaving a little more room for solitude.
If the 64-mile road trip with hairpin turns and coastal cliffs isn’t exactly your idea of a vacation, opt for the Plane to Paradise package that will whisk you away to the resort without the dizzying roads.
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa on Ka’anapali Beach introduced newly renovated rooms with private lanais and your choice of views: ocean, garden, golf course or mountains. The resort’s variety of activities are suited for guests of all ages and interests.
Recognized as one of the best hotels for stargazing, the Tour of the Stars astronomy program will take you on the rooftop to spot the twinkling lights on a clear Maui night.
Get a dose of culture and head to the nearby town of Lahaina for an afternoon stroll on the streets of this celebrated fishing town. But there’s no better way to learn about Polynesian culture than participating in a traditional luau offered six nights a week at the resort with a plated feast and a jaw-dropping fire dance finale.