Hawaii’s hotels know how to do a warm welcome, but none more so that its boutique B&Bs, which come with bountiful breakfasts, tropical gardens and pools.
Away from the big resorts, at the other end of Maui’s accommodation spectrum, are some of the most charming bed and breakfasts on the island – small, singular and best suited to travelers who like a more personal touch. From historic inns to romantic cottages and trendy beach houses, these well-located boutique abodes offer a quieter, more relaxed take on the traditional Maui vacation.
Those looking for some quality time with extended family members may want to book out this property where there are eight rooms, including a two-bedroom cottage. Located on the edge of Haleakalā, the two-acre (0.8ha) plot looks out to views of the North Shore’s crashing surf and the West Maui Mountains. There’s a communal hot tub and kitchen, and bathroom and shower facilities are shared, except for the cottage. A breakfast of granola bars, oatmeal and seasonal Hawaiian fruits like papaya, star-fruit mango and tangerines are delivered to your in-room pantry each day.
This boutique retreat, run by hosts Eva and Jim Tantillo, serves breakfast each morning on an open-air lanai (deck), with views of the West Maui Mountains and Haleakalā. A short drive from the white-sand beaches of South Kihei and Wailea’s resort-lined stretch, the rooms are clean, comfortable and feel more like an elegant homestay. Better still, it’s affordable with nice perks such as laundry facilities, a barbecue area and free use of the B&B’s beach kit and towels.
The name translates as “winter” in Hawaiian, which gives a hint at how this bed and breakfast came about – as a winter escape for the owners. Located just south of Lahaina, the six-room property is elegantly decorated with cast-iron clawfoot tubs, flamboyant flamingo prints and spacious lanais to whale-watch from. As a way to give back to the community, your stay will net a donation to Maui’s Pacific Whale Foundation. Rooms come with a small refrigerator, breakfast is included, and for all other meals, the area’s best restaurants are a short drive away.
With 14 guest rooms and four suites, the Plantation Inn has the best of both worlds: access to the resort amenities of sister hotel Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, but the intimacy of a boutique property. Rooms are decorated in a traditional Hawaiian style (dark-wood floors, handmade floral quilts on four-poster beds, botanical prints), and there’s a small pool and hot tub in the courtyard for sundowners. Downtown Lahaina is five minutes away on foot, but the inn’s well-regarded French restaurant Gerard’s also shouldn’t be missed.
There are four rooms at the charming Old Lahaina House, a short stroll from Kamehameha Iki Park’s majestic banyan trees and fine sand beach. All are furnished with tropical-themed decor, there’s a small pool for guests, and all are welcome to use the poolside “summer kitchen” barbecue area. Take note: the Riviera Room is the only one with a balcony, but most have small poolside or garden patios.
Formerly known as the Lufkin House, built in 1924, the Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono has been lovingly restored to recall the glory of 1920s Hawaii. The guest rooms feature oversized bamboo furniture and hand-sewn quilts that are pieces of art in their own right. Guests wake to a delicious home-cooked breakfast of local favorites experienced in the comfort of your room or within the meticulous tropical garden inspired by Don Blanding’s poem “My Hawaiian Garden.”
What was once a family home has been turned into a gem of a bed and breakfast. Located on a secluded 37-acre (15ha) plot, Iao Valley Inn’s two rooms and standalone cottage offer a unique Maui stay. The property’s tropical decor is reflective of its lush green setting where forest bathing and napping to the sounds of the Wailuku River remain the focus. Close by, visit the historic ʻĪao Valley State Park to walk around the ʻĪao Needle Lookout Trail and Ethnobotanical Loop for a lesson on the tropical flora of Hawaii.
Surf’s up at Paia Inn where stylish Bali-style rooms offer a comfortable place to relax after a day doing aerials and hanging ten. Located in the funky surf town of Paia and on the way to Hana, this mellow boutique hotel has nine rooms – from standard-size one-bedders to a three-room beach house – which have direct access to the beach by way of the inn’s grassy lawn. The in-house Vana Restaurant is a favorite with locals for its Hawaiian-inflected Japanese cuisine and craft cocktails.
The trick to pain-free group holidays? Keep everyone together and the amusements on tap. At Maui Meadows Guest House, there’s ample breathing room (and beds) for all, with four tastefully decorated bedrooms and five spacious bathrooms. Communal fun comes in the form of a saltwater pool, ping pong table and hot tub, while a waterfall and outdoor cabana provide a retreat for quieter moments. When it’s time to hit the beach, there are eight within a 3mi (5km) radius, while Wailea Golf Club is a short drive away for early morning tee-offs.