The Best Beach and Coastal Hotels in Maui

The beachside Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
The beachside Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa | © Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Charlene Fang

Maui, the second-largest of Hawaii’s islands, has a 120-mile coastline where you can explore Honokalani Beach and its sea caves, powder-fine Napili Beach or the marine life-rich waters of Kapalua Bay. There’s a strip of sand and a beachfront hotel for you, whether you’re a surfer, a snorkeler or a sun-seeker looking to take it all in.

1. Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Resort, Chain Hotel

Aston Kaanapali Shores
Courtesy of Aston Kaanapali Shores / Expedia.com

If big resorts are your jam, then head to the Sheraton Maui on Kaanapali Beach, where distractions abound. From the nightly cliff-dive ceremony to the massive lazy-river pool and choice of five restaurants, so everyone can have their fill of Hawaiian fare. All rooms come with mod-cons while the grounds sport charming local touches, including a traditional canoe and drums. Its location, 10 minutes’ walk from Whalers Village, brings convenience and proximity to Black Rock Beach, known for its snorkeling and (if you’re lucky) the odd turtle sighting.

2. Aston Kaanapali Shores

Resort

Aston Kaanapali Shores
Courtesy of Aston Kaanapali Shores / Expedia.com

The Aston Kaanapali Shores pulls off the trick for turnkey vacations. The three-mile long Kaanapali Beach is right on your doorstep and there are ample grounds to stroll around (or let the little one loose). There are tennis courts, a fitness center, two pools shaded by palm trees and the occasional humpback-whale sighting. Standard rooms come without a balcony or kitchen, while suites have both. There’s a pool bar and restaurant for all food and drink needs. Otherwise, Lahaina and Whaler’s Village is a short drive away.

3. Kā'anapali Beach Hotel

Hotel

Kāanapali Beach Hotel
© Kā'anapali Beach Hotel
The spruced-up premium rooms at the luxurious Kā’anapali Beach Hotel have breathed new life into this resort, dubbed Hawaii’s ‘most Hawaiian hotel’. Inside, sleek wood consoles and botanical illustrations update the space, and the Aloha spirit is alive and well. If you can bear to tear yourself away from all-day snorkeling and kayaking, there’s a host of cultural classes (from hula lessons and lei making to Hawaiian language) to sign up for, so you return home with more than a suntan.

4. The Mauian

Independent Hotel

The Mauian
Courtesy of The Mauian / Booking.com

If low-key and beachfront ticks your travel checklist, The Mauian on Napili Bay is hard to beat. All rooms are steps away from the crescent-shaped Napili Bay where sea turtles are regularly sighted and close enough to Kapalua Bay for some quality snorkeling. Although it was built back in 1959, it has been renovated over the years and breakfast is on the house. Rooms come with mini-fridges and microwaves, while the studios have full-size refrigerators and cooktops so meals can be enjoyed from your home base. There’s no in-room TV or air conditioning – but you’ll hardly be indoors to notice with so much hiking and so many water sports on offer in the area.

5. Kā'anapali Beach Club

Chain Hotel, Resort

Kāanapali Beach Club
Courtesy of Kā'anapali Beach Club / Expedia.com

Not everyone loves a beach holiday and if a compromise is required, the Kā’anapali Beach Club could be the solution. Aside from being right on the sand, there’s an 18-hole golf course, and the grand lagoon-style pool has a kid-approved water slide with a waterfall feature to keep the tykes entertained. The sizable rooms come with a kitchenette, but there are common barbecue grills available and a restaurant, cafe and snack bar located within the property.

6. Aloha Surf Hostel

Hostel, Independent Hotel

Aloha Surf Hostel
Courtesy of Aloha Surf Hostel / Hostelworld.com

Beloved by surfers, wind and kite surfers for its prime location between Ho’okipa and Kanaha, the Aloha Surf Hostel offers cool flash packer-style accommodation in the historic town of Paia. Located within walking distance of Paia Bay, where there’s an excellent near-shore surf break, the hostel comps a bunch of freebies (tours, breakfast, wifi and parking) to sweeten the deal.

7. Best Western Pioneer Inn

Boutique Hotel, Chain Hotel

Best Western Pioneer Inn
© Best Western Pioneer Inn

This 34-room hotel holds bragging rights as the oldest continually operating hotel in Hawaii. Housed in a building that dates back to 1901, the exterior recalls the grandeur of an age-old Hawaiian era, while inside the curated memorabilia (harpoons, turtle shells) illustrates Hawaii’s history. Located across the street from the ferry to Lanai, it’s a convenient place to layover, or to use as a base to go whale watching. All rooms have outdoor balconies, but choose the ones facing the harbor or courtyard for a more peaceful stay.

8. Royal Lahaina Resort

Resort, Chain Hotel

Royal Lahaina Resort
Courtesy of Royal Lahaina Resort / Expedia.com

Built in 1962, Royal Lahaina Resort’s prime position blends evergreen charms with the gorgeous sandy shores of North Kaanapali. There are three ocean-facing pools, a hotel spa, gym, massage rooms and a golf course next door. The rooms have had a refresh since the ’60s and those in the Lahaina Kai Tower reflect a more contemporary style with a pop of tropical color and partial ocean views. The more spacious cottage suites include full kitchens, although being a pleasant 15-minute walk (or three-minute drive) from Whaler’s Village, you won’t go hungry.

9. Napili Kai Beach Resort

Independent Hotel, Boutique Hotel

Napili Kai Beach Resort
Courtesy of Napili Kai Beach Resort / Expedia.com

Napili Bay’s clear, calm waters make for a relaxing beach vacation for all ages and a long-time favorite is Napili Kai Beach Resort. The low-key property sits steps away from an excellent coral reef with see-through emerald water. While there’s no business center or room service, the rooms are spacious and come kitted out with full kitchen facilities – although the romantic Sea House restaurant is worth at least a few dinners. There are plenty of activities, too (a shuffleboard court, an 18-hole putting green, weekly mai tai parties, slack-key guitar performances) to keep everyone entertained, but it’s the beach you should be enjoying, and they make it all too easy to do so by providing towels, mats, coolers, snorkels and masks.

10. Lahaina Shores Beach Resort

Chain Hotel, Resort

Lahaina Shores Beach Resort
Courtesy if Lahaina Shores Beach Resort / Booking.com

Anyone looking for a base to explore West Maui with convenient access to a beach will love Lahaina Shores Beach Resort. The only beachfront hotel in town, the condo-style rooms come with full kitchens and the sea is visible from most lanais (low Hawaiian beach houses). Aside from a small freshwater pool and some barbecue grills, there’s little else in terms of distractions, which is perfectly fine, as Lahaina Beach is one of the better spots to hang out on a stand-up paddleboard, do some snorkeling or enjoy a surf.

11. The Inn at Mama's Fish House

Inn, Cottages, Hotel

The Inn at Mamas Fish House
The Inn at Mama's Fish House
Maui’s north shore attracts a different sort of visitor, one looking to kick back on a less crowded beach and possibly catch a few waves on Hookipa Beach. Nestled in the crook of Ku’au Cove, The Inn at Mama’s Fish House offers 12 well-maintained studios, suites and cottages outfitted in charming Polynesian style decor, upscale cane furniture and local artworks. While the lanais come with barbecue grills, you should also make a beeline for Mama’s Fish House, one of Maui’s best-loved restaurants. If you can’t snag a table (do call for a reservation), there’s plenty of options at the nearby town of Paia, too.

Looking for a different stay in Maui? Check into one of the top hotels or the best boutique properties, bookable now on Culture Trip. Or, for more options, discover the best hotels to book on Hawaii.

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