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Meals and Wheels?

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British Columbia...
Level Contributor
629 posts
51 reviews
Meals and Wheels?

Hi all,

I am thinking about a spring vacation to Maui for 2014. I'm looking at the Royal Lahaina resort due to price and proximity to beach. We'd be traveling with two kids (11 and 14) and I'm wondering what I would expect to pay for meals in the area (just to help me budget). For example, at a café-type place, what would a burger and fries set me back? And a bistro in the evening - average dinner prices?

Also - we are not afraid to walk, but I'm wondering if it's really a "must" to rent a car on Maui - that seems to be the sentiment of most people I've spoken to.

And finally - it looks like we could get "nickel and dimed" at the Royal Lahaina - apparently you have to pay to rent beach chairs - anyone know what the cost of this would be each day?

Any other thoughts that anyone can offer for a first timer are welcomed! Thanks in advance.

Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
19,921 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Meals and Wheels?

The cost of a shuttle for 4 to and from the airport will be nearly the same as a week's car rental...price it out. There is so much you will miss on Maui without one.

You can find lunches for $10 a head and dinner's for $15-$20 but once again without a car you will be limited to more of the expensive resort offerings.

Have you considered a condo? You can really save on food, especially with kids. Take a look at Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas to get an idea...it's right next to the RL and on the same beach.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
1,336 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: Meals and Wheels?

I find restaurant prices in Hawaii are pretty comparable to Toronto or Vancouver prices. Burger and fries in a cafe might be $15. Dinner in a bistro $20-$30. That's per person.

Unless you want to be restricted to your hotel, it's best to rent a car.

Beaches are public in Hawaii, so there are no included beach amenities at any of the hotels.

Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
7,155 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: Meals and Wheels?

I agree a condo could be a good way to go with kids it's nice to have a kitchen at least for some breakfasts and lunches. If you rent through a private owner on VRBO or a on island agency usually there will be beach chairs in the condo if not you can rent them from a place like Snorkel Bob's for your stay.

Definitely plan on a car you will be so limited if you don't.

Aubrey, Texas
Level Contributor
955 posts
24 reviews
4. Re: Meals and Wheels?

I do agree that a car is a must on Maui! You can find good deal on DHCR (Discount Hawaii Car Rentals) or Costco if you're a member. Once you rent though, keep watching the prices as they do often drop closer to your vacation time.

Royal Lahaina is a decent place to stay! Stayed there in 97 and then again back in the summer of 2010. I personally am not a condo person BUT we don't necessarily "budget" when it comes to meals and such. We travel (usually) with 3 teenage boys so a budget is useless! LOL! BUT it does sound like you would benefit from having a kitchen with fridge and such in a condo. Another good selling point of a condo, is they sometimes have beach stuff (chairs, umbrellas, etc) so you would save on that cost as well.

If you do choose to stay at a hotel, you can rent chairs and umbrellas and snorkel gear for a pretty cheap weekly fee at the local snorkel shops. Boss Frog's is a pretty good one.

Maui, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Waikiki
Level Contributor
6,876 posts
129 reviews
5. Re: Meals and Wheels?

Maui food is a little pricey. 90% of our food is imported.

Royal Lahaina has good restaurants plus they have an ice cream/deli and a store with snacks. Next door is Castaways restaurants and Tuesday night is pasta night. Food is half price and it is ocean front dining and has a great wine list.

Check if Royal Lahaina has any specials on car and rooms as a package.

If you look at VRBO condos check the cleaning fees, parking fees,check in fees, hotel tax, and one time booking fees. Some owners have become very creative with their charges and cancellation policies.

Level Contributor
8,051 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: Meals and Wheels?

Here is a link to some sample Maui Restaurant menus


I wouldn't be without a vehicle on Maui

Consider a condo for sure.There is nothing like the convenience of a kitchen for a quick breakfast, or snack prep especially with the kids, separate sleeping quarters, 2 BA etc ....Usually triple the sq footage as well.Most condos do not charge extra for WiFi or Parking.

Princeville, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
Level Contributor
35,286 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Meals and Wheels?

Do rent that car. Maui is to be explored. You would be stuck in one area without a car or paying premium prices for tours. Renting a car really is a cost cutting measure. Most people on this forum find Costco or www.discounthawaiicarrentals.com the most reasonable when it comes to renting cars. Spring is a popular time to come to Maui due to the humpback whales. Get your accommodations and rental car reservations ASAP.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
5,068 posts
29 reviews
8. Re: Meals and Wheels?

Yes, rent a car and check out condos. With two kids I would not consider a single hotel room at all!

But I do have to correct what boulders said <<< Beaches are public in Hawaii, so there are no included beach amenities at any of the hotels.>>> We stayed at the Makena Beach & Golf Resort in january and they have free lounge chairs with beach attendants bringing you ice water, fresh towels, etc. If you want a cabana chair you do need to rent those. The Ka'anapali hotels do not offer free beach service, but I think most south Maui hotels do, not sure which offer what exactly. The very pricy Wailea Beach Villas Condos even offer free beach service too. If you really want a hotel experience, you may be able to get a good package at MB&GR. Maybe 2 rooms? We loved it there. You will NOT be "nickled & dimed". There are so many very nice amenities all included and no resort fee! Of course, you will want to tip for services.

I still think a condo is your best bet and lots of them have quite a few resort type amenities as well as the beach equipment. Mamma's suggestion of Maui Ka'anapali Villas was my first thought for you too, but there are many others. You can travel much lighter with a washer and dryer, and you do NOT have to cook! But the kitchen is great fro snacks, beverages and breakfasts - saves lots of money! Happy planning!

Nanaimo, Canada
Level Contributor
15,314 posts
36 reviews
9. Re: Meals and Wheels?

berniece, you don't mention where in B. C. you are from, but do know that the gas on Maui is cheaper than it is in Nanaimo, and WAAAY cheaper than Vancouver gas prices. So renting a car does not have to be an expensive adventure. Of course, if you were staying at the Grand Wailea, you would have to pay 30.00 plus taxes each day for parking it!

Another bonus for condos is that some of them do not charge for parking. SOME, mind you. Each place has different rules.

Hope you can make it work for you and your family.

Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
19,921 posts
14 reviews
10. Re: Meals and Wheels?

So berneice, is any of this great advice helping you!? Are we heading you in the right direction?