You know when the doctor is about the jab a needle in your arm and they say “Take your mind to a happy place”? Kihei is that happy place for me.

Home to incredible sunsets, clear blue seas and long stretches of sandy beaches, Kihei is one of those picture-perfect tropical paradises that does not disappoint.

I found Kihei to be much friendlier than some of the neighboring Hawaiian resort towns. It’s got a more local feel to it and allows travellers to discover what life in Hawaii is really like. Rich with Aloha spirit, surfing and smiley locals, I loved my time experiencing the Kihei culture.

When it comes to deciding where to stay in Kihei, you have a few different options. Each neighborhood is slightly different to the next. So, you’ll want to figure out which is best for you and your travel needs.

Lucky for you, you’ve come to the right place! I’ve taken one for the team and explored each neighbourhood in Kihei (I know, it was a tough job but someone had to do it…) I’ve compiled everything I know into this guide to help you decide where the best area will be for you.

From budget-friendly to mind-blowing luxury, I’ve got you covered.  So, what are you waiting for? Let’s find the best place to stay in Kihei for you.

Where To Stay in Kihei

Deciding where to stay in Kihei is easy with so many affordable options that will leave you set for an amazing beach vacation. Here are our top accommodation picks!

Wailea Beach Resort | Best Hotel In Kihei

Wailea Beach Resort Kihei

This phenomenal resort hotel is so great for families, you may never want to leave! World-class service means you will want for nothing with an endless list of facilities available to you. Relaxation is the name of the game here – sip cocktails by the pool while all your worries fade away.

Maui What A Wonderful World Bed and Breakfast | Best Bed & Breakfast in Kihei

Maui What A Wonderful World Bed and Breakfast Kihei

The ‘Aloha’ spirit is all around at this charming bed and breakfast. Locally owned by a husband and wife, the B&B provides everything you need and. is a great way to support the local community. The plush rooms are named after tropical fruits and all feature classic Hawaiian decor! 

Kamaole Sands Condo | Best Airbnb in Kihei

Kamaole Sands Condo Kihei

A stunning condo in the perfect location with everything you could ever need? This awesome Airbnb will make your stay in Kihei absolutely perfect! It’s jam-packed with all the gear for a day at the beach with plenty of space for your family or a group of friends.

Kihei Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Kihei

Kihei, Maui

South Kihei

Ride the waves and enjoy the buzz in South Kihei – this area is probably where you’ll head if it’s your first time, simply because of the fantastic atmosphere. The beaches here are much wider and are perfect for swimming and snorkeling!

Wailea Kihei


Although technically a town in itself, Wailea is the high-end luxury answer to Kihei’s affordable accommodation. A resort town jam-packed with stellar golf courses, this area is home to more incredible beaches and top-of-the-range shopping.

Sugar Beach Kihei

North Kihei

Nice and close to the airport, North Kihei is slightly quieter than its southern cousins. This means it’s perfect for those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle and prefer their travel away from others. Home to the longest stretch of beach, it’s a great place to stay in Kihei for water sports and long walks.

Visions of long days spent snorkelling with turtles, stand-up paddleboarding on calm blue waters, and relaxing by the pool sipping cocktails come to mind when thinking about Kihei. It’s the best area in Maui to stay in for nightlife and offers everything you could wish for from a tropical beach vacation.

South Kihei is where you’ll enjoy a fun-filled vacation with a never-ending list of activities available to you! Anything you can think of on the water can be done here, and with food and accommodation options that aren’t too expensive, it’ll leave you with more to spend on experiences and memories of a lifetime. With so much to see and do, it’s the best place to stay if you’re discovering Kihei for the first time.

Head south, and you’ll find the upscale town of Wailea. This is the place to be if you love shopping, golfing, and living the high life. Deluxe hotels are set along the breathtaking coastline and offer beachfront access and top-class amenities. Wailea is our top recommendation for where to stay in Kihei with children thanks to the large variety of activities on offer.

Finally, head back north towards the airport and you’ll find North Kihei which is a great option for those who enjoy long walks on the beach and being surrounded by landscapes and wildlife. Due to the residential nature of this part of town, the nightlife winds down a little earlier making it the perfect place for those who prefer early nights after a long day of exploring Maui.

Kihei’s Top 3 Neighborhoods to Stay in

1. South Kihei – Best Place to Stay in Kihei for Your First Visit

Kihei, Maui

With all that it has to offer, South Kihei is definitely your best bet for your first visit! Boredom is basically impossible here thanks to an endless list of activities available to you. Whether it’s a beach day full of swimming and surfing or a day out snorkelling with marine life, there’s something for everyone. There are heaps of affordable places to stay whether you prefer hotels or vacation rentals, as well as numerous shops, restaurants, and bars. 

Castle Kamaole Sands | Best Hotel in South Kihei

Castle Kamaole Sands Kihei

This condo resort is by far one of the best places to stay in Kihei thanks to its fantastic beachfront location, excellent facilities, and super affordable price! The condos are fully equipped with everything you need, and it’s the best of both worlds being so close to Wailea’s golf courses and shopping.

Maui What A Wonderful World Bed and Breakfast | Best Bed & Breakfast in South Kihei

Maui What A Wonderful World Bed and Breakfast Kihei

If you love to support local communities when you travel, this bed and breakfast in Maui will be perfect for you. The adorable rooms are set in bungalows that give off a true Hawaiian vibe, and the husband and wife owner will do anything to make your stay more memorable. The location and hospitality will make you wish you could stay forever!

Kamaole Sands Condo | Best Airbnb in South Kihei

Kamaole Sands Condo Kihei

This Airbnb is just a stone’s throw from Kamaole Beach III, and with a huge list of amenities, it’ll be hard to find something you don’t like about this house. The interior features splashes of warm Hawaiian flair throughout – who doesn’t love a spiral staircase? With plenty of room for the family or a group with four beds spread throughout two bedrooms, this is the ultimate place to stay in Kihei for your fun vacay.

Things to See And Do in South Kihei

Boat Ramp Kihei
  1. Grab your boogie boards and beach essentials for a safe and fun day at Kamaole Beach III where a lifeguard is stationed every day.
  2. For something a little different with the kids, head over to Hawaii Mermaid Adventures to learn how to swim with a mermaid tail!
  3. Kihei is famous for being one of the best places to learn to surf, so organise yourself some lessons at any of the South Kihei beaches.
  4. Kihei is extremely sunny and can get very hot, so cool down with a classic Hawaii treat of shaved ice.
  5. Try your luck at seasonal whale-watching with tours departing December through April from Kihei Boat Ramp.
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audy on top of a mountain in japan with the osprey aether

We’ve tested countless backpacks over the years, but there’s one that has always been the best and remains the best buy for adventurers: the broke backpacker-approved Osprey Aether and Ariel series.

Want more deetz on why these packs are so damn perfect? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

View on Osprey View on REI

2. Wailea – Best Place to Stay in Kihei for Families

Wailea Kihei

While it’s a slightly more expensive part of Kihei, Wailea packs a punch with all that it has to offer! Nestled in a stunning Maui enclave, the town has plenty to do for the whole clan with fun beach trips, day tours out on the water, and world-famous golf courses. Accommodation options are varied, so you can be sure you’ll find exactly what you need to make this your ultimate Maui getaway.

Wailea Beach Resort | Best Hotel In Wailea

Wailea Beach Resort Kihei

This magnificent resort is absolutely jam-packed with family-friendly activities including a kids pool, movie theatre, and play centre. It also offers a variety of daily excursions that the whole family can enjoy! The hotel features top-notch dining selections and an adults-only infinity pool that overlooks iconic Wailea Beach. This one is not to be missed! 

Luxury Beach Penthouse | Best Airbnb In Wailea

Luxury Beach Penthouse Kihei

For a fantastic family vacation, this exceptional penthouse with not one but two pools will be the easiest decision you make! With plenty of space to spread out and fully self-contained, this Maui Airbnb provides resort amenities and the convenience of your own condo, plus the staff can even stock the kitchen with groceries for you! With plenty of fun stuff for the kids, parents can relax knowing everything can, and will be, taken care of.

Wailea Ekolu Ocean View | Best Affordable Condo in Wailea

Wailea Ekolu Ocean View Kihei

Even if you’re visiting Hawaii on a budget, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy all that Wailea has to offer with this excellent oceanview condo! Situated in a quiet neighborhood, it’s close to the world-class shopping and golf course and provides an onsite pool. Beach gear is also included, which the kids will love!

Things To See And Do In Wailea

La Perouse Bay Kihei
  1. Even if you’re not splashing a lot of cash, The Shops at Wailea are a must see. Plus, if you’re lucky, some resorts have direct access to the world class mall.
  2. Book a tee time at Wailea Golf Club, one of the best golf courses in the world.
  3. Take a day trip out to La Perouse Bay. It’s an incredible location for catching a glimpse at some iconic Spinner Dolphins!
  4. Set up base at Wailea Beach for a fun day enjoying all the sunny beach has to offer.
  5. Spend an unforgettable day sea snorkelling – one of the coolest ways to see some incredible Hawaiian marine life.
  6. Experience the entertainment of a traditional luau at many of the resorts in town.

3. North Kihei – Best Place to Stay in Kihei on a Budget

Sugar Beach Kihei

Hawaii isn’t the cheapest destination, but budget travellers can rest easy in North Kihei. It’s also a top location for nature lovers, with fewer hotels and a more residential feel. The jewel of North Kihei is Sugar Beach – the longest in the area and the perfect spot for long walks.

Despite the quiet nature of this area, there’s plenty of adventure to be had and beauty to be observed. It’s well-worth checking out while you decide where to stay in Kihei, and is a great place to visit even if you stay elsewhere.

Sugar Beach Resort | Best Hotel in North Kihei

Sugar Beach Resort Kihei

Sit back, relax, and take in the sweeping views of the Maui coastline from this fantastic condo-hotel. The pool and hot tub will be the favourite spot of your holiday, ideal for relaxing after a day of exploring. There are loads of nature attractions close by, but we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t want to leave the room!

Kihei Sands Beachfront | Best Airbnb in North Kihei

Kihei Sands Beachfront

This lovely little beach bungalow is one of the cosiest places to stay in Kihei. The location is one of the best things about this accommodation; shops and top attractions are within easy walking distance.

Beachfront Resort | Best Resort in North Kihei

Beachfront Resort Kihei

Ideally located for all your Maui vacation needs, this affordable beachfront resort has everything. It boasts a full kitchen for all your cooking needs and comfortable sleeping arrangements for up to four people. The pool and beach are just steps away, and the on-site snorkel rental makes it so easy to hire any gear you need!

Things To See And Do In North Kihei

Hawaiian green sea turtle Kihei
Snorkelling is the best way to see the incredible Green Sea Turtles
  1. Snorkel in an underwater volcano crater to see an incredible array of marine life.
  2. Hit up the Maui Brewing Company for a sampling of local beers on an open air patio.
  3. Every fourth Friday, you can attend one of Maui’s ‘Aloha Friday’ town parties. These showcase some of the best Hawaiian culture and food around!
  4. For something a little different, take a deep sea fishing charter and maybe catch your own dinner!
  5. Take a drive around the bay north of Kihei to the Maui Ocean Center. Here, you can learn about the conservation efforts to look after Hawaii’s magnificent coastline.
  6. Head over to the nearby wetlands for a spot of birdwatching.
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Active Roots Security Belt

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FAQs About Finding a Place to Stay in Kihei

Here’s what people usually ask me about the areas of Kihei and where to stay.

What To Pack For Kihei

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

Make Some New Buddies…
Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!
Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

Grayl Geopress Water Bottle

Always travel with a water bottle! They save you money and reduce your plastic footprint on our planet. The Grayl Geopress acts as a purifier AND temperature regulator. Boom!

Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Kihei

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Kihei

Maui is full of exceptional places to stay, and Kihei is one of them! Full of fabulous beaches, awesome wildlife and plenty of nightlife, it’s the ultimate destination for your trip to Hawaii.

While there are loads of options to chose from, figuring out where to stay in Kihei doesn’t have to be time-consuming! If it’s your first visit, centrally-located South Kihei is a top option. If you’re with a family, the luxury resort town of Wailea will be your best choice. Because all of the resorts cater directly to families with kids, the parents can also live their best lives.

North Kihei is our top recommendation for where to stay in Kihei. It’s quieter and more chilled out than other areas and offers more budget-friendly accommodation.

Wherever you decide to go, you should consider getting some travel insurance. Hawaii is safe to visit, but it’s always a good idea to be prepared should anything go wrong!

Looking for more info on travelling to Kihei and Hawaii?

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!