For the past three years, hubby and I have stayed at the Aina Nalu in Lahaina during the month of March. This year, instead of booking through Outrigger, we contracted with a property management company hired by a private condo owner and all went well. We traveled with hubby's business partner and his wife.
This was the first year we've spent in a ground-floor two-bedroom, two-bath unit and it had its pluses and minuses. On the plus side, it was just a short skip and a jump to the small pool and barbecue grill area. Also, no lugging groceries and other bulky items up and down stairs. Negatively, we did have a first-ever sugar ant issue this year. You know, those teeny, tiny pesky little creatures. But, after alerting everyone to the lil visitors, we left no food, snacks, condiments or whatever out and they soon disappeared. It's the tropics, for heaven's sake, and they won't kill you.
There is no daily maid service --either through Outrigger or individual owners -- but it didn't kill us to make up the bed each morning and to wash towels in the en suite washer/dryer. Also new this year (for us) was the inclusion of two boogy boards, lawn/beach chairs, pool *noodles*, plush beach towels and other items to better enjoy our stay. Also, the unit had an actual bistro table with four high stools that allowed all of us to play card and board games. These items are not available in Outrigger-managed units and having them this year was a real bonus.
We often left open the back door, which faced a small courtyard, and were daily visited by an adult kitty who would just walk right in, get a pet or two or a scratch behind the ear and waltz right back out. We nicknamed him *Charlie* for his *travels*. He'd return again and again and was totally comfortable around visiting humans. It made me miss my min pins (miniature pinschers) back at home, though.
We return year after year to the Aina Nalu for its convenient location two blocks off Front Street and for the fact that we can have a few mai tais daily downtown at sunset and not have to drink and drive. Plus, it is an incredible value (about half-price) compared to properties on Ka'anapali, Kapalua or down at Wailea. That allows us a larger budget for fine dining, quality wines and optional tours.
The weather was the worst of recent memory, however. Not wet and rainy just overcast and not ideal pool weather. That made our two-hour whale-watching cruise this year far more comfortable and for once I didn't come home with a sunburn. But still it's Maui, and the worst day on Maui is always better than the best day at work on the mainland.
Check out the new Fleetwood's on Front Street, which has opened since our last visit a year ago, and is owned and operated by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. The food and beverages, plus the live entertainment and clientele, are worth the premium you pay for a quality experience. We inadvertently ended up *crashing* a birthday party and had a super time with our new BFFs!!
As the Hawaiians say, Maui No Ka Oi!! Maui -- is indeed -- the best!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.