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Reviewed March 28, 2007

My family just returned from an 11 day trip to Maui. Normally, we stay in very affordable Kihei, but decided to splurge a bit at the Makena Surf. Condos can run $450 -$800+ a night depending on location and time of year. We stayed in unit G201 which we rented from Alii Resorts. This unit tends to have lower rates than other units. Why? Partially, because we didn't book with Destination Resorts (the primary property manager of the facility) and it is an end unit. We preferred the end unit, because you have an extra wall of windows. Having said this, the view is spectacular and you are only a short walk from either of the 2 beaches or the main pool. The second pool is a bit of hike from this unit . Unit G201 has just been renovated and an exceptional job was done. The common areas (living room, dining room, kitchen and bathrooms) are extremely tasteful with Hawaiian charm. The bedrooms are not quite as nice (dated furniture), but comfortable. Daily maid service was provided by Alii Resorts. The condo always looked great after they left. They helped with dishes and a minimal tidying. It should be said that most condos only have the cleaning staff come every 3-4 days for linens. So, I consider this extra help to be a big plus. Special kudos for the staff that maintains the grounds. The landscaping is mature and lush.

The Makena Surf is more remote than most condos, so if you intend to do a lot of site seeing it may be more convenient to stay in Kihei. The restaurants in the Wailea area are quite good. Remember, you can always eat at the resorts, even if you aren't staying at them. Parking is usually complimentary if you are dining there. The upscale "Shops at Wailea" was also fun to browse around and have a Lapperts ice cream cone. We also had great food and service at Joe's located at the Wailea Tennis Club.

FYI--Each unit at the Makena Surf is furnished to the tastes of the owner, and I highly suggest not booking a unit until after you have actually seen pictures of it . This is very easy to do in the age of Google. Although, I don't think Destination Resorts does this for the units they manage.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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12  Thank jismithll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2007

We rented a unit from Destination Resorts. They were very easy to deal with and when we needed a special type of lightbulb replaced, they were there the next day. The unit itself was on the second floor of the G bldg and we LOVED it. The grounds were gorgeous. We spent a fair amount of time on the lanai; have about a million pictures of sunsets. The cardinals and little red-headed birds ate breakfast with us every morning. We never heard our neighbors. We especially loved grabbing our snorkel gear and walking downstairs to Chang's Beach for some great snorkeling. We saw tons of turtles, octopus, even a small shark. We went out every day. Just don't go at dusk cuz the water was full of tiny jellyfish(?) that sting. We remembered we were warned about them just about the time we started feeling the little zaps. Oops! We went on the Molokini snorkeling trip too, but the snorkeling right off our beach was just as good. Saw several weddings on Chang's Beach from our lanai. Never went in the pools so can't comment on those. Lots of good restaurants and shopping in the area. We were died-in-the-wool Kauai lovers, but I think Makena may have changed our minds for good.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank Zoeycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2007

Makena Surf is not a resort but are are individually owned condos. My husband and I stayed here with friends who’s family owns a condo here. Can I say beautiful. With the manicured grounds, good natured, welcoming and helpful staff, tennis court with lessons, hot tub, heated pool, beach equipment, and pristine beach it’s worth the money if you can afford it. We miss, eating breakfast on the lanai while watching dolphins, whales, man rays and giant sea turtles swim by as well as being lulled to sleep by the calming waves. If you can afford it, it's definately with the price. A place to gets some R&R and a place to spend with family.

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank lacole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2007

Just got back from a week stay with family and had an incredibly relaxing time. Makena Surf is on Maui's South Shore which is actually just above the southwest corner of the island. The condos are exactly that, privately-owned condos - not a resort. There is no restaurant, no room service, no bar, no concierge, and none of the extra noise and distraction that can come along with them in a large resort. (We went to brunch at the Grand Waleia up the road, and it really was a different world - huge bar, restaurants, shops, fountains, cement/structure, kids, etc. if that's what you're looking for.)

Nonetheless, we didn't miss any of them. Waleia is directly north and offers all that you could want in the way of fancy shopping and dining, not to mention a slew of golf courses. And just north of that (about a 10 minute drive) is Kihei which has groceries, fast food, rentals, shopping, great bars, etc.

You will want to stop at the Safeway in Kihei on the 31 Hwy on your way in and pick up the necessities. The condos come with a fully supplied kitchen (utensils, coffee maker, blender, dishwasher & detergent), so grab your favorite food and beverage for as much cooking as you plan to do.

Between the family we had two condos in the C building. One was recently updated with new flooring, countertops, furniture. The other (ours) was a bit more dated but just as clean and comfortable (and a bit bigger). There is really not a bad room in this resort, but a couple rooms on the first floor in a couple of the buildings have obstructed views. Some buildings are directly on the beach; others futher back about 50 or 60 feet.

There are two beaches on the north and south end of the property. The south beach is smaller with nice tide pools for the kiddos. Although accessible by the public, it was very quiet every time we went. We actually would snorkel from the south beach to the north beach (and back). The snorkeling in front of Makena Surf is incredible. I've done it in Belize and Cozumel, and this holds its own. Beautiful tropical fish, sea snakes, and large sea turtles (on one pass we saw half a dozen of them from 3 to 5.5 feet long). Careful or you'll swim right into them! The north beach is much larger and shared with the property to the north. Plenty of room and beautiful views. Some afternoons we could see the whales coming to the surface and actually jumping halfway out of the water! Who needs a whale watching excursion?!? You could go underwater and hear them singing - sometimes uncomfortably loud! No fear, they were at least 300 yards offshore. Watch out because the afternoon brings in much rougher waves and currents that will rip your swimsuit right off if not tied on tight. There were people from age 5 to 70 out there boogie boarding at times. FYI - the Makena Beach State Park is less than a mile south and is enormous and beautiful - heed the warnings regarding not leaving valuables in your car.

Basically, Makena Surf is ideal if you want a quiet retreat to go home to at the end of the day, watch the sunset, grill a steak on the patio or head up to Wailea for a romantic dinner at a 3 star restaurant. Just make sure you rent a car - this is not a place to stay w/o one. Other review mentioned weddings... we saw only two very brief, small ceremonies at the end of the day. And special mention of the staff is due - they were very pleasant as a whole, and the grounds were lushly landscaped and manicured. We'll definitely return.

Stayed: January 2007
14  Thank K J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2006

My husband and I have travelled to Hawaii 2 other times, once to the Big Island and the other time to Kauai. We decided this time we would go to Maui as it seemed a little more lively. We weren't disappointed. My husband and I met my parents who were renting a until at Makena surf for christmas. We rented the unit directly below them. This seemed the best solution as we were bringing our three small children with us (one of whom was 5 months and not yet sleeping through the night).

The grounds of the condo are absolutely beautiful. Our until was in the B building directly facing the beach on the ground floor. The unit was a little dated in design but was really spacious and comfortable and we didn't feel we had to worry about what our kids might destroy. The low bushes provided a nice buffer so that my kids couldn't run directly out to the beach.

We spent the mornings with our children on the beach and the afternoon at the pool. The pools (there were two) were both lovely and never overly crowded even though it was just after christmas. And though the condos are very family-friendly, this is not a place popultaed by screaming hoards of children --at least it never seemed that way (un-like some of the hotels in the area).

The B building is a little further away from the other buildings and in my opinion the best building to stay in if you like a little bit of privacy. The drive to the restaurants, hotels and grocery shopping is 5-15 minutes but I far prefer the environment and privacy of the makena surf to the hotels which seen overun with tourists and paris hilton like characters. This is the perfect holiday for those who prefer a low-key but elegant vacation. We could have stayed another 2 weeks and have already booked our vacation there for this coming year.

Two days trips I highly recommend:
1. Hookipa beach to watch the surf-boarders. Stop for lunch at Mamma's Fish House enroute. The best meal we had. Beautiful view and very authentic. Honestly, when stressed I conjure memories of that lunch up and it calms me down. It was a true Hawaiian moment.

2. Drive to Hana (approx 3 hours) beautiful and untouched.

P.S If you have children there are a few very good nanny service companies which allow you to get out for a Mai Tai.

Makena Surf is a place you and your children will want to come back to many years to come.

  • Stayed: January 2006, traveled with family
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11  Thank meepheart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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