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Small, singular and stylish – that’s what unites these boutique hotels on Hawaii’s second-largest island. Oh, and their nature-blessed locations.
Navigate Maui’s highlights – beachcombing on Napili Beach, hiking Haleakalā Crater, driving the Road to Hana – more comfortably by boutique-hotel-hopping around these select stays, where each property’s distinct character lends a different lens to your ultimate Hawaii adventure.
To stay at this Zen-like property, you must enroll in its classes or be part of a retreat group. Lumeria Maui offers lessons on everything from new thought to ecology, Hawaiian heritage, meditation and yoga. With 24 rooms on 6 acres (2ha) of lush forested grounds, the inn’s huge yoga shala, firepits, saltwater pool and hammock garden will advance any wellness journey.
Ho’oilo means “winter” in Hawaiian, hinting at how this bed and breakfast came about – as a winter escape for the owners. Just south of Lahaina, this elegant six-room property features cast-iron clawfoot tubs, bright flamingo prints and spacious lanais, perfect for whale-watching. In line with its ethos of giving back to the community, the property will make a donation to the Pacific Whale Foundation on Maui for every night you stay in its Koholo (whale) room. Each accommodation comes with a small refrigerator and breakfast in the morning. You’ll also find some of the area’s best restaurants a short drive away.
Few places offer travelers the luxury of waking up and rolling out onto the sand, but Napili Sunset Beachfront Resort does just that. It sits on a beach where daily sightings of sea turtles are not uncommon and offers beachfront one- and two-bedroom apartments and garden or poolside studios. The rooms are traditionally Hawaiian in style and come with full kitchens. Those with ocean-facing balconies are worth the upgrade.
If you’re looking for a barefoot beach hotel, the Mauian on Napili Bay is hard to beat. You’ll be steps away from the crescent-shaped Napili Bay, an excellent spot for watching sea turtles. Originally built in the 1950s, the property has a hip, retro vibe, and complimentary snacks are available. Rooms come with mini-fridges and microwaves, while the studios have full-size refrigerators and cooktops. For a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere, there’s no in-room TV, phone or stereo, but with so many outdoor adventures waiting for you, you’ll hardly notice.
Surf’s up at Paia Inn, where stylish Bali-style rooms offer a comfortable place to relax after a day of doing aerials and hanging ten. In the surf town of Paia and on the way to Hana, this mellow boutique hotel has a variety of rooms – from a petite room with one queen-size bed to a three-bedroom beach house – all granting direct access to the beach by way of the hotel’s lawn. The inn’s Vana restaurant is a local favorite, serving Hawaiian-infused Japanese dishes, such as kona-kampachi fish ceviche, and craft cocktails.
The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono celebrates the glory of 1920s Hawaii – it was built in 1924. Today, the plantation-style property has 10 guest rooms with bamboo furniture and beautifully hand-sewn quilts. In the morning, you can have a delicious home-cooked breakfast of local favorites in the comfort of your room or the lush tropical garden inspired by Don Blanding’s poem In an Old Hawaiian Garden.