Maui's Resort Areas
Maui and surrounding islands
Napili Bay with the renowned Napili Kai Hotel in the background. The property just screams old Hawaiiana, which can be a tough find in the islands today.
Lahina Street Scene
Map of South Maui Coastal Towns
Maui's Magnificent Scenery
Surf's Up in Maui
Excellent Whale Watching Opportunities in Winter
Many gay Maui residents gather at Little Beach on Sundays
Makena Beach Video by Cyrus Perry
Maui on the Map
Geographically, Maui island is divided into West Maui and South Maui,.There's also isolated heavenly Hana, discussed seperately, and Maui's elevated central up country. West Maui is home to the sprawling pre-planned Kaanapali Resort area. This part of the island is very popular with families anytime school is out.. South Maui is home to the affordable condominium complexes of Kihei and snazzy Wailea. Most of the island's LGBT population resides in South Maui.
Kapalua is a peaceful, scenic resort area located on northwestern point of the island. The luxurious resorts here include the Ritz Carlton and the newly opened Montage, a collection of high end spacious residences. The Montage offers all the amenities and services of a five star hotel. Scattered in the hills are the many Villas of Kapulua, which can vary widely in the quality of their furnishing and decor. Kapalua is home to world class golf, giving the area a "country club" vibe, which may not appeal to some. It is also home to one of Maui's most scenic beach areas. Be forewarned, it can get breezy.
Between the Kapulua and Kaanapali resort developments, off the main highway along a coastal road, is picturesque Napili Bay.
Because the bay is swimmable, you'll find lot's of families during school holidays.
Surrounding the bay are several small reasonably priced two and three star older family oriented resorts. The most notable amongst them is the Napili Kai , Accommodations at this extremely popular resort vary from three to four stars, depending on the building chosen.
The Napili Kai is LGBT friendly. If you're traveling with your gay "Modern Family" in tow, and your children don't require a "tricked out" swimming pool, a stay here would be unforgettable. The protected cove is ideal for swimming. The Napili Kai would also make an ideal honeymoon spot if you avoid school vacation periods. The ambiance is old Hawaiana, which when done right, can be a tough find.
Kaanapali is a very developed resort area,. The beachfront development consists of many high rise condominiums, and several large resort hotels. There's also a two story outdoor mall with a matching two story parking garage. An unnecessary reminder of mainland suburbia, the comlex is a livesaver for the parents of kids when it rains. has one of the better stretches of beach, while the Westin and Hyatt feature tropically landscaped pools which are really more like aquatic parks.
An excellent reasonably priced family resort is the slightly older but well maintained Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Billed as Maui's "most Hawaiian Hotel." daily activities and performances introduce kids to Hawaiian culture at this beachfront resort.
A beachwalk promenade is built along the Kaaappali coast line, making for easy access to the resorts, restaurants, and shopping. The beach, while attractive, is small in many sections.
Just below Kaanapali lies the cute former whaling village of Lahina. The well preserved town has a Key West vibe to it, sans the rainbow flags. There's plenty to eat, drink, and buy during a lazy afternoon here. It is also the boarding point for most of the islands boat excursions.
There are several places to stay here should you want walking access to the village, most notably the Plantation Inn. There really isn't much of a beach though.
Continue down the coastal road and you'll arrive in the section of the island designated as South Maui, and the town of Kihei. Most of the island's gay and lesbian population live in this area.
South Maui and Kihei
Continuing down the coastal road and past the main airport will leads to South Maui. The first town you'll arrive in is Kihei, home to most of the island's gay and lesbian population.
While Maui does not have a designated gay bar, the island's watering holes and restaurants are quite gay friendly. Monthly gay dinners are held in area restaurants and visitors are most welcome.
Some of the low rise condos offered here can seem quite affordable, but be forewarned that their condition and decor can vary wildly. Security deposit conflicts when booking direct is another issue.
Proximity to the ocean can take its toll on a property if not regularly maintained. Quality and condition of bedding, especially convertible sofas and mattresses, are a cause for concern.
This situation applies throughout the islands, indeed apartment resorts everywhere. Rainbow Voyages only deals with reputable condo management firms.
More dependable yet are condominium developments where the management company requires owners purchase standardized furniture and bedding packages. Worn or broken furnishings are then rotated out, much like at a reputable hotel. While form can trump design in such cases, guests have peace of mind concerning the quality of the furnishings and bedding. Unfortunately there are no such developments in Kihei, though an upscale Residence Inn will be opening mid summer in lovely Wailea, just down the road.
Kihei's only full service hotel is the 3 plus star Maui Coast Hotel, where Rainbow Voyages can book excellent rates.
On offer are standard hotel rooms plus oversized studio and one bedroom units. The comfy rooms are spotless, and the staff quite welcoming. None have cooking facilities, though plenty of reasonably priced dining spots are nearby, many within walking distance. Located just across from the beach, the property features a pool with a nice deck, bar, and cafe.
Further south are the manicured lawns, multi-million dollar villas, and 5 star resorts of Wailea - reminiscent of a much smaller and very much less frenzied version of Beverly Hills.
Luxurious 5* hotels line the beachfront in an unforgettable tropical setting. All of the big name chefs in Hawaii have set up shop along with several celebrity restaurateurs. Find out more about Wailea's resorts by clicking here.
Drive 15 minutes south and the road continues to the refreshingly undeveloped grounds of Makena State Park, where you'll find Maui's famous Big Beach. Walk further around the rocks and you'll find legendary Little Beach, which takes take on a festive air on Sundays. The northern part of Little Beach is the gay section.
Last but not least is Hana, on the lush tropical eastern side of Maui. Here you'll find the serene Travaasa Resort. Built on a hillside, their cottage units, some equipped with whirlpools on the porch, look out on the crashing waves of the Pacific. Noted for their fresh cuisine and restorative ambiance, a week at the Travaasa could be quite transformational.
You can take the lovely drive with all of its tropical foilage, hairpin turns, and jaw dropping scenery. If time is of the essence, the flight accross the island takes just 20 minutes. Honeymooners often combine a stay in Hana with another resort.