Deciding to vacation in Maui is easy, but trying to choose where to stay is more difficult. Not only is Hawaii’s second-most-visited island home to some of its most celebrated and best-loved resorts, but all of its distinct beach areas are pretty incredible, too. So if you’re in search of the ultimate Maui experience — for a honeymoon, anniversary, milestone birthday or memorable family vacation — here are our 10 picks for the best beach resorts in Maui.
Honua Kai Resort & Spa
For a condo-style vacation with resort-like amenities, check out Honua Kai Resort & Spa. Located on North Kaanapali Beach, this affordable hotel in Maui offers 600 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites with large lanais, island-inspired décor, full kitchens and in-unit washers and dryers.
Opened about 10 years ago, family-friendly Honua Kai is set on 38 acres with a series of interconnected pools, slides and waterfalls that kids will love, as well as Duke’s Beach House for Hawaii-inspired cuisine (think poke tacos, coconut shrimp and banana leaf-steamed island fish and shrimp), plus Aina Gourmet Market for groceries, snacks and coffee.
Andaz Maui at Wailea
Travelers who want their luxury resorts to feature sleek modern room design, offer locally sourced menus and be pet-friendly should check into the 301-room Andaz Maui at Wailea. Overlooking Mokapu Beach within the beautifully manicured resort area of Wailea, this relative newcomer (opened in 2013) is one part chic and two parts chill.
The resort features five pools — three cascading, one lagoon-style and one adults only — and the tranquil Awili Spa offering customizable treatments. For sustenance, choose from four onsite restaurants with farm-to-table menus, including Ka’ana Kitchen for creative modern Hawaiian fare, Morimoto Maui for Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s signature sushi and Japanese dishes, and Lehua Lounge for small bites.
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Sometimes a classic can be refreshingly cool, especially a classic resort that’s got the best location on world-famous Kaanapali Beach, near the famed Black Rock where you’ll find some of the best snorkeling in Maui and mesmerizing nightly sunset rituals. That’s certainly the case with the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, which has been enticing guests with its midcentury architecture since 1963.
Set on 23 beachfront acres, the property features 508 newly renovated guestrooms, a 142-yard Lagoon Pool with a Mai Tai Bar, five restaurants and the Spa at Black Rock. Yet it’s perhaps best known for its nightly sunset ceremony during which a solo diver leaps from atop the rugged lava of landmark Black Rock into the sea to honor the Hawaiian gods. This ritual is hands-down one of the best things to do on Maui.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
The upscale enclave of Kapalua is where visitors to Maui go to experience the island’s lush natural beauty, world-class golf and Hawaii-centric cuisine and spa treatments —and The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, one of the best beach resorts in Maui, delivers it all along with abundant Aloha spirit (Kapalua means “arms embracing the sea”).
The 463-room resort is set on 54 acres, part of which is a sacred site preserved for native Hawaiians, so honoring local island lore and healing traditions is in the property’s DNA (it has a Hawaiian Cultural Advisor and ongoing arts and music programming for guests). Recreation-wise, the Ritz-Carlton has a stunning tiered pool area as well as a separate kids pool play area, six onsite restaurants, 36 holes of championship golf and water- and land-based activities for all ages. If you’re looking for things to do in Maui with kids, try the family-friendly Ambassadors of the Environment program developed by Jean-Michel Cousteau.
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Despite sitting on a narrower piece of property than some of its neighbors in the Wailea resort complex, the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea fits a lot of pampering into its 15 beachfront acres. This resort is the definition of island sophistication, with 307 rooms and suites (up to four bedrooms) that are consistently cited as among the most luxurious and spacious on the island. Along with an extensive Hawaiian art collection, this top Maui beach resort offers three notable restaurants: Ferraro’s for modern Mediterranean-Italian, DUO for steak and seafood, and the Maui outpost of Wolfgang Puck’s Spago.
It’s a combination that attracts both couples and families, who enjoy access to three pools, three championship golf courses, a kids’ club, a spa (which also offers three breezy oceanfront treatment hales), and the golden sand and gentle surf of Wailea Beach.
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
If you go on vacation to go the spa, you’ll find pampering aplenty at this sprawling 40-acre resort in Wailea, where an astounding 50,000 square feet is dedicated to 40 treatment rooms and the soothing Healing Waters of Maui hydrotherapy circuit. You’ll also find lots to love about the 776-room Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort if you prefer to laze by or splash in a pool. Grand Wailea has nine of them, including the 25,700-square-foot Wailea Canyon activity pool with seven waterslides, rapids and jungle waterfalls, plus the more low-key adults-only Hibiscus pool. You’ll also find your way (eventually) to seven restaurants and lounges and the golden-sand beach, which, yes, is pretty grand, too.
The Fairmont Kea Lani
Known for its distinctive white Moorish architecture, 22 gorgeously landscaped acres and prime location on Wailea’s Polo Beach, the Fairmont Kea Lani offers 413 spacious one-bedroom suites (which can accommodate up to four) and 37 villas, making it popular with families.
The property has three pools (two kid-friendly pools connected by a 140-foot water slide and a quiet adults-only one), the Keiki Lani Kids Club for children 5-12, a Willow Stream Spa that uses Maui-sourced products, an onsite Hawaii cultural program, and four restaurants, most notably Kō, serving award-winning Hawaiian Regional Cuisine).
Wailea Beach Resort–Marriott, Maui
Set on 22 acres of stunning black-lava coastline and boasting five pools and the longest resort waterslide in Hawaii (shhhh—save that surprise for the kids until you get there), the Wailea Beach Resort–Marriott, Maui has been updated with ocean-inspired décor (sandy hues and abstract art done in inviting blues) in its 547 rooms and suites. Bonus: Oceanfront rooms have great views of neighboring island Lanai and of humpback whales in season.
Restaurants include the newly opened Humble Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi, the more casual KAPA Grill, and the Mo Bettah Food Truck for fresh island treats. There’s a Madara Spa onsite and the beaches of Wailea and Ulua, as well as shops and restaurants, are all a short stroll away.
Montage Kapalua Bay
Tucked into 24 lush hillside acres above tranquil Kapalua Bay and beach, Montage Kapalua Bay is the kind of resort that manages to be fabulously luxurious and yet still feel like home. Perhaps that’s because the property features just 50 residential-style accommodations — ranging from One-bedroom Garden View Residences to a Four-Bedroom Premier Ocean View Penthouse — all given a refresh in 2018.
This top Maui beach resort pays homage to Hawaii’s natural surroundings and rooms feature gourmet kitchens, contemporary bathrooms and large private lanais. Other indulgences include the cascading, three-level Sunset Pool; two championship golf courses; Cane & Canoe restaurant, designed to resemble a traditional Hawaiian canoe house and serving locally sourced seafood and steak; and Spa Montage with treatments inspired by the island. Yes, please!
The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
Villa living — literally, since condo units at property on North Kaanapali Beach are individually owned and part of a rental pool — can be yours while on Maui. The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, one of the best beach resorts in Maui, has Studio to Two-Bedroom Villas featuring modern Hawaiian décor, Westin Heavenly Beds and kitchens. The property also has three restaurants, three pools and a hot tub, the onsite Spa Helani and easy access to golf at the Kaanapali Golf Course.