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Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

West Hartford...
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Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

Hi,

My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon, and we are unsure whether to stay in Wailea or Kaanapali. We have heard there is a lot more to do in the Kaanapali area but that the hotels in Wailea are much nicer. Is this true? Are the comforts of the hotel worth staying in Wailea, vs. the activities that Kaanapali area offers? We are fairly active people although not into the club scene at all. What is there to do around Wailea? Honestly, because it is our honeymoon, we are going all out so finances are not a concern. We just want to make the right choice!

Which area should we choose?

Thanks!

Arroyo Grande...
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1. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

You have several right choices - so no worries.

You need to pick up a good travel guide for Maui and a good map.

No, the resorts in Wailea are not "much nicer." More expensive, usually, and glitzier sometimes - if expensive and glitz is what you are looking for. You won't be disappointed in Ka'anapali - the Sheraton Maui and the Hyatt are both great for honeymoons, as is the RItz Carlton in Kapalua.

Wailea is about 20 minutes closer to Haleakala and the Road to Hana than Ka'anapali. West Maui is close to Lahaina Town. You won't find the club scene anywhere on Maui - although Lahaina is the most active place on the island in the evenings.

Again - lots of great options. We prefer West Maui, others prefer South Maui.

Kapaa, Hawaii
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2. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

There are only two things you can do in Kaanapali/west Maui that you can't do in south Maui. One is para-sailing the other is jet skis and you can't do those on the west side between December and May due to the whales.

The Four Seasons in Wailea is the best hotel on the island, hands down. It's not all about glitz and expensive, in this case it's all about surroundings and service. The Ritz up in Kapalua is the second best.

While Wailea can be a bit more sedate than Kaanapali all you have to do is drive 5 minutes down into Kihei, just as active as Lahaina.

You can save anywhere between 30-40 min. drive time to attractions from south Maui as opposed to west Maui. This really, to me, shouldn't even be a consideration of where to stay!! Just a fact.

If it were my honeymoon and money no object, the Four Seasons is where you would find me!! No others compare.

Gig Harbor...
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3. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

What msfuzz said - exactly.

If you are "going all out" then the Four Seasons wins hands down.

Maui, Hawaii
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4. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

If money was not a concern would rent an Oceanfront house in Wailea. These have been the most amazing vacations for visitors and most extraordinary private views. You get a concierge to help you and can get daily maid service. Pool and hot tub usually is on site! No onsite room service or restaurants. However, there are plenty of services to handle all of your food needs as well. Even massage therapists can come to you. Privacy reigns with this type of accommodation.

Since it is a honeymoon and you may want to be treated like royalty and still be active then Four Seasons is the place. Service is amazing.

There are boat trips leaving from Kihei and some activities will pick you up. There are nice restaurants on rhe ocean and some bar atmospheres in Kihei (non-hotels). Lahaina has a lot of tourist type shopping IMO and more crowded. Easy drive when there are no accidents or fires!

There are not that many places on island that stay open late. There are a few places scattered throughout island (Cassanova's, Hard Rock, Karaoke and late night sushi at Sansei until 2 am).

Have a great time!

Chicagoland
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5. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

Kaanapali was developed earlier. Its' hotels are mid-range chains -- very nice, but they are older structures than most in Wailea. You can get to Kaanapali from Wailea in less than an hour. If you stay south, do spend a day touring West Maui.

Wailea is home to THE best hotel here, Four Seasons. There arealso the highly rated Fairmont Kea Lani, the Grand Wailea (too many children for many honeymooners), and the Marriott Wailea. They all have restaurants and bars, and there is an upscale open-air mall, Shops At Wailea, with still more restaurants. There are also free-standing restaurants in Wailea and in neighboring Kihei.

If you plan to see Maui's top sights, those are closer to South Maui.

What time of year would you visit? How long can you stay? Will you also be on Waikiki? (That's where the *serious* nightlife is! LOL) What's the budget for lodging?

Edited: 7:55 pm, February 17, 2012
Big Island, Hawaii
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6. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

IMO, yes, the hotels in Wailea are much nicer. As pointed out above, the Four Seasons is the nicest hotel on the island. I wouldn't call it glitzy although it is less Hawaiiana in feel than some of its sister properties on other islands, but it's a superb property. I personally don't like Kaanapali at all.

New Mexico
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7. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

Two words: Four Seasons. The vibe in Wailea isn't necessarily glitzy, but it is more luxurious and relaxed, perfect for a honeymoon. Plus, you have proximity to really superb beaches, some fun restaurants in both Wailea and Kihei, and easier access to the major sightseeing attractions such as Haleakala and the Road to Hana.

As others have said, though, you really can't make a mistake, since both West and South Maui are wonderful.

Broussard, Louisiana
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8. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

We stayed in the Sheraton in kannapali and couldn't have been happier. Request building 5 and you are on top of black rock and can see turtles and whales from your lanai! We enjoyed the nightly torch lighting and cliff diving ceremony.

San Jose, California
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9. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

Wailea is way nicer. The ideal destination for a honeymoon.

Wailea is beautiful, upscale, with many upscale resort choices. And has gorgeous sandy beaches all around. Much more peaceful and relaxing than Kaanapali.

Broussard, Louisiana
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10. Re: Honeymoon: Wailea or Kaanapali?

Another very thorough comparison from another site.

fodors.com/community/united-states/maui-kaan…