We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“An inexpensive way to stay on Maui” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Camp Olowalu

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Lahaina
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Camp Olowalu
Ranked #29 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Lahaina
Nanaimo B.C.
Level Contributor
210 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 222 helpful votes
“An inexpensive way to stay on Maui”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2013

This used to be a church camp located approximately 10 miles outside of the town of Lahaina, Maui, but has since been sold and is now operated by the owners of the property.

There are 6 cabins on the site, which comfortably sleep six people on army type cots. In addition there are bathrooms with showers and a large mess hall and kitchen. There is also a large 30 plus camping/tent site adjacent to the cabins.

There is a pay phone and wifi services (if you are close to the office in the main area of the camp).

The camp is well maintained although the buildings are really showing their age, as they are probably at least 60 plus years old.

The camp buildings are typically used by locals and others for overnight functions and can be booked by calling the camp office. Book early if you want to use the cabins and adjacent facilities as they are heavily used.

Camping is very basic and rustic. Outdoor portable toilets are the only facilities available. It is extremely busy as many of Lahaina’s working poor use this campground as home base.

The camp is well situated to Lahaina and Kihei and all of the typical holiday activities that they have to offer.

All in all a very inexpensive way to stay in what can be a very expensive area, but be prepared to rough it!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank TravellerNanaimoB_C_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

77 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    23
    24
    13
    7
    10
See reviews for
15
33
11
Business
0
Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Paris, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 6, 2013

We spent most of 2 weeks here at Camp Olowalu during our stay in Feb 2013. Overall our stay was fantastic. The property is well maintained but very basic overall. By that I mean portable toilets, although there were lots of them and they were cleaned out every few days, no hot water but there was running water. There was a shower area just off the beach and a place to clean your dishes right beside that. We mistakenly thought this was the only shower area, a few days into our stay we discovered there was an actual shower area that was outdoors but closed in so you can have a proper shower, although still only with cold water. Now when I say cold, I mean about the same temp as the ocean in Feb. To me, this was just fine.

There are about 60 campsites at Olowalu and another several cabins. Apparently we came a few days late as they increased the cost of camping to $15/person/night from $10. I'm not sure how I feel about being charged per person for a campsite, I think charging per site would make more sense overall. However I think I understand why, I'll get to that in a moment. Cabins are $20/pppn but you do get use of their washroom facilities (which I understand have heated water) as well as use of the shared kitchen area. This alone might be worth the extra $5 but I would still prefer to sleep outside to be honest. I did not see the inside of the cabins as they do not allow campers to use the cabin facilities but looking at the pics posted by others, I would really prefer to sleep outside.

We were a little worried at first because we have hammocks and no tent. This means we need trees large enough to support the hammock and we wanted to be able to set up in the same general area. After walking around the place we discovered a great deal of fallen dead wood surrounding most sites. We eventually found a several sites that would easily accommodate hammocks. We were only steps from the beach. Perfect!

We found the campground fairly quiet (until someone moved in right next to us towards the end of our stay) and we were in bed usually by 8 or 9 pm. I know that seems early but when you spend the day constantly going, it was nice to get to sleep early. This also allowed us to get up around 6, early enough to make some coffee/tea and start breakfast before the sunrise. The sunrise is just spectacular from Olawalu, I watched the sun rise over Haleakala daily from my hammock sipping java, truly a wonderful experience.

After breakfast, we cleaned up and went snorkelling off the beach. There is a wonderful reef system all around this area and we saw green sea turtles every time we went out almost. In fact usually we saw several. Just an amazing experience! It's actually funny, we ended up doing a snorkel adventure from a boat, doing Molokini crater and a few other spots and we both thought the snorkelling right at the camp was as good if not better. In fact if you stay here, go get yourself a snorkelling set and just hang out here. A little tip, depending on how long you are staying, it may be cheaper to actually buy a snorkelling set vs renting. In fact we always took our gear with us where ever we went on the island in case a snorkelling opportunity presented itself.

You can snorkel away to your heart's content or you can even rent out some kayaks or SUP's. beyond that, there is not much else to do here. Of course that's just fine by us. During the day, it was a nice place to have a mid-afternoon nap in the hammock.

There is a store right across the road for some basic food and drink needs and most importantly ice! We picked up a cooler and some food and we were set as far as breakfast goes. There is a fresh food stand right next to the store with fresh pineapple and coconuts. Attached to the store was a little restaurant, although a bit on the pricey side, the food there was very good. Outside of that, I would recommend having a car or some mode of transportation if you want to get around. One of the other guys staying at next to us just had a bicycle, this is fine depending on where you want to go. Lahaina is the closest town only a few miles away but it's where all the cruise ships come in, meaning more expensive and when a ship is in, it's very very busy.

To get to Kihei which is where we loved spending most of our time will require a much longer ride. A car will provide significantly more freedom but one could certainly just cab it, bus it of hoof it and spend most of your time here. Camp Olowalu is definitely a nice place to hang ;)

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank L84TOFF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 26, 2013

We found Olowalu to be a place where working poor people lived on a permanent basis. The tent to our right were a family of five with young kids (who went to school) and on left was and a guy and his wife in a huge fourplex tent. The tents are packed in like sardines. All night I listened to others talk and fart. In the morning I heard alarm clocks going off as people made their way to work/school. If ever there was a time and place for the government to step in with some low income housing this would be it.

The showers were clean and private. Port-a-potty toilets were many but looked well used. A washer and drier are available for a reasonable fee.

We stayed the night and left the next morning.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank bestdaysofourlives
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chilliwack
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 24, 2013

We stayed at the campground for one night on the way to Lanai and for another night before catching flight home. The first night we arrived late but were able to find an open site and paid at the office in the morning. It was a quiet night. Outhouses were reasonable. I've seen far worse. This campground is right on the beach. Most people appear to be long term but everyone seemed pleasant. For the second time, we had a much better site right by the beach. Again, we were not there for very long but for 2 small backpacking tents, this was an ideal spot. There are very few places to camp anywhere in Hawaii let alone near the beach.

Room Tip: Try to set up your tent before dark.
See more room tips
Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
4 Thank norah25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 21, 2013

The view is spectacular and waking up on the beach is amazing. Yes, we saw a few cockroaches and the place is rundown, but the friendly people and the snorkeling over-rides it. We were planning on tent camping and it does seem that the campsites are very close together, but a cabin was available at the last minute. The locals that live at the campground were very helpful and nice. The showers and bathrooms aren't the cleanest, but for camping everything was just fine and we are planning on going back.

Room Tip: There are only 6 cabins and they are basic, but equally fine.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Dawn F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
great falls, MT
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

We camped here three nights in sept. It becomes obvious right away that many people are living here instead of just camping. The tent sites are pretty close together - approx. 15 feet apart. You park in a parking lot and walk a short distance to the camp sites to set up. There are 3 or 4 cabins here which are allowed to use the kitchen/dining facilities, but tent campers are not allowed to use them. So, for 50 plus camp sites, there are 2 portable toilets, an outdoor sink and an outdoor shower (cold water only). We did not have a bad experience here, but if you want any privacy, this is not the place.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank onthebrinkman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
23 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2012

Being Canadian and growing up through the Boy Scout system, I'm no stranger to camping so reading the reviews, both positive and negative, the negative obviously more concerning, I was truly unsure of what to expect. As I had been to Maui before but only driving past the state parks where I saw many tents, Camp Olowalu is a place you will drive by if you aren't sure of where it is, as I did just that on my way from the Airport.

Since I really don't want to praise this place too much, because I am more worried I will have troubles getting a great tent spot the next time I go, I will just say that don't expect to be wowed at the first drive through. Since the tenting near the cabins is pretty wide open and close to each other, which is where I stayed for about 5 or 6 nights until I did find something further back, you may not find it to be that great. But then again, I wasn't here for a camping experience since I was here for a cheap place to sleep while I took in the island for a month! Since you are only allowed to stay for 14 nights (I believe it is a Hawaii state issue even though this is a private camp ground) they pretty much look the other way, and/or may tell you to move to a new camping site (just for the record books). The wind from the water made it a daily chore to sweep out the sand. Since I moved part way through my stay, to a site in the back that had more trees, I was never questioned about my length of stay and since there are some that pretty much live there, as others have been quoted in the reviews of noticing the full sized box springs in some tents, this didn't pose to be a problem as I befriended many 'locals' and had a wonderful time playing horse shoes on the beach.

This is a very busy place on the weekend with the cabins filling up with many parties from boys & girls club to birthdays and even a wedding reception while I was there. The most incredible thing I found in the 30 days I spent on this part of the island was that it never actually rained.. the rain would spray off of the mountain which would make it literally like liquid sunshine as there would be no clouds in the sky, yet you would feel this rain falling on you from the nearby mountain. A few nights you would hear the sprinkle of rain on the tent but it would soon subside. Yes, there were 8 inch centipedes which apparently sting, as well as some scorpions which I found in my sand shoes that I had left outside my tent one night so you do need to be aware.. after all you are camping and these are pretty much the only two creatures on the land that can pack a punch and quite possibly have you visiting the hospital as a result of their sting.

There is a cold water shower (two stalls and the water isn't that cold--quite refreshing actually) which are great--you can pay the $5 for a hot shower from the cabins I am told but I certainly didn't require that after a day at the beach this was all I required. As well, there is a full sized washer and dryer and charging station next to the parking lot. The proverbial plastic out-houses were a little nasty by the end of a long weekend but were cleaned out each and every Monday so that was fine with me.

So would I recommend this place to other campers? Yes, absolutely.. although I probably wouldn't suggest it if you have small children as they will just complain I am sure. But for a couple that want to get away, or for solo travellers like myself.. it worked great and I am already looking forward to going back.

FYI, I purchased a small backpackers tent, sleeping bag and mattress on Amazon before flying over there. It all fit in one suitcase so I did have two suitcases but since there is a Costco and Walmart on the island, you can buy a tent when you get there and save the extra baggage fees. I ended up giving my tent and cooler to the locals when I left.

Room Tip: 30 minute drive from the airport but less then 10 minutes to Lahaina. There is a general store almos...
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank Ercadm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Lahaina
6.2 mi away
Lahaina Inn
Lahaina Inn
#30 of 31 in Lahaina
3.5 of 5 bubbles 229 reviews
5.7 mi away
The Tiki Beach Hostel
The Tiki Beach Hostel
#33 of 42 in Lahaina
4.0 of 5 bubbles 59 reviews
6.7 mi away
Puunoa Beach Estates
Puunoa Beach Estates
#21 of 42 in Lahaina
5.0 of 5 bubbles 40 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices
5.4 mi away
Old Lahaina House
Old Lahaina House
#8 of 11 in Lahaina
4.0 of 5 bubbles 132 reviews
3.2 mi away
Ho'oilo House
Ho'oilo House
#3 of 11 in Lahaina
5.0 of 5 bubbles 343 reviews
10.4 mi away
Nona Lani Cottages
Nona Lani Cottages
#15 of 62 in Kihei
4.5 of 5 bubbles 158 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to Camp Olowalu? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Camp Olowalu

Property: Camp Olowalu
Address: 800 Olowalu Village Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-9702
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #29 of 42 Specialty Lodging in Lahaina
Number of rooms: 50
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Camp Olowalu is an affordable alternative to hotels while being even closer to nature. Visiting this rustic retreat is like visiting Hawaii the way it used to be - a peaceful and fun tropical paradise year-round. Experience some of the best whale watching, snorkeling, and kayaking Maui has to offer right off our beachfront property. Hike multiple nearby trails and discover the traces of ancient Hawaii. Adventure is waiting for you right outside your camping grounds. We offer our cabins for group events and tentalows and the camp sites for individuals ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Camp Olowalu Hotel Lahaina
Camp Olowalu Maui/Lahaina

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing