I will always and forever recommend the Pioneer Inn (room #39) to anyone asking about hotel options in and around Lahaina. The historic hotel is located at ground zero when it comes to Lahaina entertainment and activity.
Hotels however (especially the four- and five-star options located in Wailea and Ka’anapali), can be pricey and really cut into your vacation budget. I have a few valuable suggestions for those traveling with a family, group of friends, or on budget constraints.
Vacation rentals on Maui are quite abundant. Many mainlanders own one- or two- bedroom beach condos on Maui, but only have time to come to paradise once or twice a year, so they rent out their vacation homes on sites like HomeAway.com, VacationRentals.com, VRBO.com, and AirBnb.com.
When it comes to Lahaina, my top recommendation for a vacation rental is the Outrigger Aina Nalu. The complex offers finely furnished one- and two-bedroom condos about one-minute from Front Street. I don’t know how you could beat prices as low as $125/night in a spacious two-bedroom condo blocks away from the Banyan Tree, Hard Rock Café, Lahaina Harbor, and one of my favorite surfing beaches? I have stayed at the Aina Nalu on a couple occasions, having thoroughly enjoyed the poolside cabanas, bar-b-cue stations, saline pool, rock showers, and outdoor lounge with a flat screen television.
If you want to be right on the water, vacation rentals at Lahaina Shores offer superior location at bargain prices (I am currently finding prices as low as $125/night). Quickly walk to the shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bars located inside the 505 Front Street complex.
If you can take away one tip from this blog post, it’s this… do your online homework. Often times you can find a great alternative to expensive Maui hotels at half the price by reserving a vacation rental. Just now, I found this charming Lahaina bungalow for $85/night (pictured above). Take the left over money and dump it on a whale watch, snorkel cruise, or dinner show!
[Image source: AirBnb rental property]