Interested in Maui?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Maui each week.
Napili Bay is a classical crescent-shaped bay with a sandy beach, located at the far northwest corner of Maui. It is fully developed, in terms of having various kinds of lodging, basic shops, and rental business. Yet the bay is quite secluded and still preserved with the natural beauty and charm of a tropical beach. Unlike Lahaina old town (30 min) or Ka'anapali (20 min) to its south, Napili Bay is pristine Hawaii without abundant tourist population or traffic, or any entrapment such as shopping mall, chain stores/eateries and big tour buses.
Napili weather can be cooler and wetter than Lahaina or KIhei. Low rise condominiums line the shoreline.
The bay is relatively calm year round, due to several lines of submerged coral reef barriers starting about 100 ft from the shore. The beach is all sand, with few seashells or pebbles. At the two flanks of the bay are tidal rocks, especially on the south corner. There, tidal pools are present for exploration and discovery. The bay is safe for swimming, snorkeling, diving, floating, surfing and peddle board. Many families would let their toddlers play on the sand or with the waves with little worry. One additional attraction is frequent visits by some Hawaiian green sea turtles. They can get as close to the shore as 10 ft, mostly around the southern tidal rock area. It is not unusual to see one turtle appearing around noontime, for a few consecutive days.
Vista: The eastern side of Molokai is visible straight across the bay at a distance. Its tall mountains, steep slopes with green valleys, as well as the island cloud formations can change in appearance and mood according to the time of the day. The north side of Lanai can be seen to the far left side when facing the bay. It is toward there that daily sunset can be seen over the horizon, unobstructed by Lanai (unlike the view in Lahaina or Ka'anapali).
Nearby: Kapalua Bay is the next bay north of Napili Bay. It is publicized for good snorkeling and diving, yet there is only one lodging on the bay (Kapalua Resort). To avoid the limited parking there, one could easily walk there from Napili Bay. To the north end of Napili Bay is Napili Kai Resort, which stretches from the beach to the top of the headland, where the resort's entrance is next to the short trail for going to Kapalua Bay. One can walk up the steps that leads from the beach to the main lobby, then out to the parking area and turn left to get to the trail (around 10 min).That public trail is also the beginning of a nature hiking trail that meanders along the shoreline boundary of Ritz Carlton Resort in a northern direction. It passes through a headland that has many interesting volcanic rocks and then passes by the Honolua Bay.
Beachfront lodging: The Napili Sunset occupies the middle of the beach. To its left are Napili Bay Resort and Napili Surf. Further left (south) but facing the rocks are Napili Shore and Napili Point. To the right (north) is Napili Kai. There are other lodging behind these properties, all with public access to the beach.
Basic shops: Dive shop (with other water activity rentals) and general store are behind Napili Sunset. Grocery stores include Napili Market (5 min driving in Napili Plaza) and Times Supermarket (fresh local fish daily; 15 min driving in north Ka'anapali). Restaurants include Sea House at Napili Kai and a grill at Napili Shore. Less than 10 min driving up the road are fine dining places such as Merriman's and Sansei in Kapalua.
Since Napili Bay is about one hr drive from the airport and quite remote from most of the typical tourist attractions (Molokini, Haleakala volcano, Hana, etc), it may not be time effective to stay there if you want to drive out daily to these places.