We have stayed in north Kihei many times and are here right now for two weeks, at Koa Lagoon. We just drove home from Lahaina and I swung into the Ma'aleea Harbor Road to cruise through and check out places I read about all the time on TA.
We got to the road that says Dead End and drove down it......WOW, that's where all these great priced condos with views close to Sugar Beach have been all the time. We just never turned down that awesome quiet road! We literally drove past both of your choices to the end of the road (very close) to where Haycraft Park is located. We want to check out that park cause it looked pretty busy an hour ago on a Saturday.
We were impressed with how unbusy the road was and you're smart to value Barbara's opinion. The lanai is major for us too, cause we spend more time at the beach than the pool. But lovely grounds are a big plus. You know, once you pick out your rental, the fun part begins.....planning the fun!
We leisurely drove down Kihei Road this morning, from north Kihei, and we got to Po'olenalena Beach in under 12 minutes. We drive slow and enjoy the view and people watching all the happy Maui folks whether visitors or locals! Well, not everyone is happy, but that's real life. :-) Lots of places in south Kihei are a good little walk from the rental grounds to a beach, also! I would much rather be on the same side as the ocean and drive to the beach, than be across the street and not drive, but have a long walk with all my beach comforts (chair, boogie board, bag, towel)! But to SEE and HEAR the ocean from your lanai is priceless!
Your post just bounced out at me as I sit by the simple pool at Koa, next to a sleeping husband. The fair is next for us, so some down time was needed and I thought I would give you my POV! Deb