Favorite Maui Hotels in Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua
Planning a vacation to Hawaii takes some forethought and preparation. You will find that many of the best Maui hotels in Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua are constantly booked at 97% capacity. Most often visitors to Maui make flight and hotel reservations a year in advance! That’s not to say that you can’t find places last minute, but options will certainly be limited. If you plan to make scuba diving a priority during your visit, here is a list of the best Maui hotels to consider. Each hotel offers a quick drive to premier Maui dive sites. Banyan Tree Divers loves to shore dive in West Maui, so our list is comprised of hotels in Lahaina, Kaanapali, and Kapalua.
#1 The Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Kaanapali
The Hyatt Regency Maui in Kaanapali is just north of downtown Lahaina and sits on 40 acres of beautifully landscaped oceanfront property. 806 guest rooms each have a private lanai, allowing for spectacular views and no doubt contributing to placing this hotel on the “Top 10 List of Most Popular Honeymoon Resorts in Hawaii,” by Conde Nast Traveler.
So, why is this a good Maui hotel to consider when diving with Banyan Tree Divers Scuba?
- Quick car drive to all West Maui dive sites.
Since the Hyatt is located just north of downtown Lahaina, and at the southern end of Whaler’s Village, the location is unbeatable when it comes to convenience and proximity to dive locations. Driving from the Hyatt to almost all of our dive locations takes 5 minutes!
Have a reservation with Banyan Tree Divers, but can’t wait to get a glimpse of the underwater world on Maui? The Hyatt sits on a large stretch of beach that is great for snorkeling. It’s nestled into a fairly protected area that remains calm even during small swells. The shallow nature of the area allows snorkelers to see up close, what divers can expect to see at the deeper dive sites.
The Spa and Fantasy Pool
After a day of diving, what better way to unwind than with a massage at the oceanfront spa or simply laying by the half-acre fantasy pool? Scuba diving is relaxing, but any diver will tell you that two things after diving make all the difference; food and rest. The convenience of having restaurants, pools and a spa right outside the comfort of your room allows you to round out an exciting morning of diving with ultimate relaxation.
#2 The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, or Westin KOR as it is known locally, is a timeshare property located just north of Black Rock right on Kaanapali Beach. The 26-acre property is within steps of some of the most amazing diving and snorkeling that west Maui has to offer. The spacious rooms are stunning. This is a very family-friendly location that features an entire pool/playground area dedicated to kids! Since it is a timeshare property guests are encouraged, and in some cases required, to attend a potential owner meeting. We know several guests that have owned at this resort for years.
Extremely close to Kahekili Beach Park
Of all of the Maui hotels, when diving with Banyan Tree Divers Scuba it doesn’t get more convenient than staying here. The Westin KOR is located right next to Kahekili Beach Park where we often start our dive adventures. Many of our divers stay at this property. BTD loves being able to tell guests that they may simply walk down from their room to meet us for morning dives. We often conduct the PADI Open Water course at this site and guests thoroughly enjoy being close to their rooms for a quick lunch break or an easy stroll back to the resort after a long day of diving.
The Westin KOR is one of the few resorts that have a large play area designated for children. If the family isn’t playing at the beach, then nothing beats the Pirate Pool. We often find that parents with young children want to go diving, but don’t know how to make sure their kids are cared for while they escape for a couple of dives. This resort has a kid’s club where parents can reserve childcare if they want to get away for a few hours.
Timeshare owners have a home away from home
Banyan Tree Divers Maui owners, Caitlin and Kevin Maratea, used to run the dive program at the Westin KOR and know this property well. Because many timeshare owners come to Maui year after year, they have had the pleasure of certifying entire families, watching children grow up, and building bonds with their guests that have lasted years. If you love Maui and want to make it a common vacation destination, then there is peace and comfort knowing that you have a home away from home while you are here.
#3 The Ritz Carlton in Kapalua
The Ritz Carlton in Kapalua is without a doubt one of the most beautiful hotels on Maui. This resort sits on a whopping 54 acres right on the jaw-dropping coast of Kapalua, just north of Kaanapali. The grounds ooze luxury and elegance. The restaurants are amazing, and if you are a golfer then look no further.
If you want to be close to all of the shore diving that west Maui has to offer, but you want to get away from the bustle of Lahaina and resort row of Kaanapali, then this is your place. Kapalua sits on a breathtaking cliffside and its seasonal weather keeps the forests lush and the views dramatic.
Easy walk or drive to Kapalua Bay
Kapalua Bay is one of our summer dive spots, located a short and beautiful drive from the Ritz. The site almost always features turtles, and the rock formations are incredible. When diving with family in tow that simply wishes to snorkel, this beach is perfect for both divers and snorkelers.
#4 Aina Nalu Lahaina by Outrigger
Let’s face it, Maui hotels are expensive. Maui is a top vacation destination with tons of hotels, but not everyone wants to spend an entire month’s paycheck on accommodation. If you want to rent an affordable one-bedroom located one block away from Front Street, then consider the Aina Nalu Lahaina by Outrigger. This place makes a great home base, with newly remodeled condos in the heart of Lahaina town. Front Street is famous for the Banyan Tree, ocean views, shops, restaurants and art galleries. The rooms at Aina Nalu Lahaina are a great size for the price. The common areas and pool lounge provide a tucked away sanctuary. Enjoy the busy streets of Lahaina town and come home to your hidden oasis.
So, would this be a good place to stay when scuba diving with Banyan Tree Divers Scuba?
Yes, ultimately because it’s affordable!
It is next to impossible to find accommodation for less than $200 per night in West Maui, but it does exist! At last internet search, rooms at the Aina Nalu Lahaina were priced at $169 for a one-bedroom. The rooms are simple, yet clean and functional. Plus, this property has a great pool and hot tub setup.
Overall, Banyan Tree Divers votes for Aina Nalu Lahaina as the Best Bang for your Buck!
How do you get to the beach?
You can walk to Mala Wharf in Lahaina
Mala Wharf is one of the best Maui dive sites. It’s within walking distance to Aina Nalu Lahaina and there’s a nice, long beach with shade. Scuba divers get to see green turtles, white tip reef sharks and big schools of fish. Many divers visit Mala Wharf multiple times in one visit to Maui. Choosing from the affordable Maui hotels, you can’t get much closer to Mala Wharf than the Aina Nalu. It’s a short five-minute drive to this excellent Maui dive site.
#5 Airbnb in Lahaina, Kaanapali, or Kapalua
We had to mull this one over for a minute before adding Airbnb to the Maui hotels list. When Kev and I travel, Airbnb is our preferred accommodation search platform simply for the experience of having local knowledge and a unique place to stay. However, islands provide the challenge of finite land and having too many vacation rentals can muscle out the local population that is struggling to find affordable housing. So before we recommend searching Airbnb for Maui accommodation, we must add the disclaimer to do some research and make sure you are renting a legally sanctioned vacation rental before you book!
A truly local experience
Guests that tend to find our small company are usually looking for a personalized dive experience that is off the beaten path of larger diving operations. Many of these guests are also looking to avoid the crowds that often come with staying at a large resort. Finding a home on Airbnb means that you won’t have the all-inclusive amenities that come with resort living, but allow the freedom of blending into the community and renting from someone that hopefully lives and works on the island. The knowledge of the area that comes from your local Airbnb host is invaluable.
- Flexibility in your stay = flexibility in your diving
We can’t count how many times we have had guests write to us asking if they can dive immediately upon arriving on Maui. The answer is yes! Remember, diving after flying is OK, but flying right after diving is not OK. The only hurdle people often run into is the inflexibility of check-in times at the hotel. At Maui hotels, just like almost anywhere, your check-in time is often restricted to late afternoon so that rooms are guaranteed to be ready. Airbnb hosts often have more flexibility with check-in/check out to better fit your vacation schedule. You are likely to have a smooth transition to and from the island when you are not staying somewhere that juggles hundreds of guests daily. Banyan Tree Divers Scuba also assists guests with flexible meeting times to better work around your holiday schedule.
If there is one thing that we can say about finding Maui hotels, West Maui has accommodation to suit any need and want. Whether it’s luxury, location, or limitless views, a visit to Lahaina, Kaanapali and Kapalua will not disappoint. Couple that with the fact that West Maui features some of the best diving on the island itself and you certainly can’t go wrong. You have found Banyan Tree Divers Scuba, which is a first step in the right direction! We hope you found this article helpful if you are still looking for that perfect place to stay.