The island of Molokai is one of those places that will stay in your heart forever. While it is not the most touristy islands in Hawaii, it’s still the fifth biggest island and has plenty to offer.
Molokai is amazing if you love intrepid style travelling and getting a deeper understanding of local cultures. It’s still home to some of Hawaii’s oldest living tribes and remains very true to its island roots.
A stay on this magnificent island will give you endless adventures and memories of some of the most incredible, untouched sights in the world.
There’s a lot less choice here when it comes to accommodation in Molokai, but the island is still huge. This is why we have put together this guide to help you decide where to stay in Molokai.
So, let’s get started.
- Where To Stay In Molokai
- Molokai Neighborhood Guide
- Top 3 Regions To Stay In Molokai
- 1. Central Molokai – Best Place To Stay In Molokai For Your First Visit
- 2. West End – Best Place to Stay in Molokai for Families
- 3. East End – Where To Stay In Molokai On A Budget
- Final Thoughts on Where To Stay In Molokai
Where To Stay In Molokai
In a rush? Need an answer fast? Wishing we hadn’t bothered with those last two questions? Don’t worry, here are our top three picks for places to stay in Molokai.
Best Family Condo in Molokai – Coastal Resort Condo
You’ll love sitting back on your outdoor lanai with a coffee or cocktail in hand, gazing at the ocean while the kids play in the pool. This fantastic, spacious condo is walking distance to Kepuhi Beach, and by far one of the best places to stay in Molokai! Capable of housing four guests with two bedrooms and 2 baths, this cute coastal condo also comes with a spacious living space, fully-equipped kitchen, and hot tub.
Best All-Rounder Condo in Molokai – Hawaii Haven
Head here for a great value vacation in the East End of Molokai. At this no-frills condo you also have access to a pool and tennis court, making it a great choice for friends and families alike – but Molokai is all about getting out and experiencing the true Hawaii, so hop in the car to begin your adventure! From this resort, you can have easy access to P?l??au State Park as well as trips to go whale watching and snorkeling. Bliss!
Best Hotel in Molokai – Hotel Moloka’i
Welcome to your island home! First-timers in Molokai will love this hotel (it’s also the only hotel on the island) for its awesome Aloha spirit and proximity to all the local attractions. It’s a true Hawaiian experience and is also the birthplace of hula – you can bet the staff will do everything to make your stay perfect. The hotel offers oceanfront rooms that have been modeled after a traditional Polynesian village, and come with all your basic amenities such as coffee making facilities. There is also an outdoor pool and oceanfront restaurant.
Molokai Neighborhood Guide
This just goes without saying considering you can’t fly into any other part of the island! But this area is a great place to stay in Molokai for first timers because while it has all the charm and culture of the island, it’s a little more “well rounded” by the fact it’s the main settlement.
If your family loves a beach vacation but you want to do it without the business and crowds, the West End of Molokai is the perfect place! This area is home to some vast and beautiful untouched beaches, some of which are completely deserted.
The East End of Molokai is a place where natural wonders abound. It’s where to go to experience a truly wild side of Hawaii, with vast reef systems, massive sea cliffs, and five epic valleys of which only one is accessible for humans.
If you’re not sure where to stay in Molokai, we’ve got your back. The island isn’t big, but you want to make sure you are staying near to all the attractions you want to see.
When you first hit the tarmac in Molokai you will be amazed at the natural beauty that surrounds you. Central Molokai is where you’ll arrive first, as it’s the main settlement of the island. The fact that this is the 5th largest island doesn’t mean a whole lot because a drive between the north and south sides is about 15 minutes tops. If you’re hiring a car, you’ll need to make sure you learn the road rules! (FYI – the maximum speed limit here is 45mph, so slow down and get into the island groove.)
Exploring this part of Molokai will have you rubbing shoulders with the locals as you enjoy the local produce, explore the stunning scenery, and if you visit the Hoolehua Post Office you can even mail yourself a coconut! This is a great place to stay in Molokai for first-timers because it’s home to the island’s largest town, with the most activities to do.
Beach bums will absolutely love the West End with its seemingly never-ending choice of white sand and crystal blue water. Despite being home to one of the most famous Hawaiian beaches, one of the best things about the West End is it’s so quiet you’ll never have to stress about crowds or parking, no matter where you go!
Here, you’ll find some of the most gorgeous, untouched beaches in the world. Spending time here is a must for those that love to experience all that that the ocean has to offer. Famous Papohaku Beach is where you’ll find a long stretch of white sand, with amenities such as picnic tables and bbq’s for public use too. This side of Molokai is also where you can watch the Molokai World Championships, which is a famous canoe race!
Heading over to the East End is where you will experience the true rugged nature of Molokai. With massive sea cliffs, deep jungles and mountain ranges, it’s absolutely jam-packed with stuff to do! Take a mule ride along the highest sea cliffs in the world, or tour the many and varied religious monuments scattered around. This rugged area will be an unforgettable memory of your vacation.
It’s definitely best for those who love the outdoors as pretty much everything revolves around immersing yourself in nature.
Top 3 Regions To Stay In Molokai
So now we have introduced to you the three neighborhoods to choose from, let’s get stuck into the best accommodation in Molokai.
1. Central Molokai – Best Place To Stay In Molokai For Your First Visit
This just goes without saying considering you can’t fly into any other part of the island! But this area is a great place to stay in Molokai for first-timers because while it has all the charm and culture of the island, it’s a little more “well rounded” because it’s the main settlement.
Here, you can live like the locals and spend your days exploring the town and its many attractions, such as the historical Church Row in Kaunakakai.
Best Condo in Central Molokai – Eclectic Oceanfront Dream
If unique homestays are what you’re after, look no further! This highly rated, one-of-a-kind condo is decorated with heaps of local artwork and treasures that the owner has collected over many years. It has two bedrooms and two baths, suitable for up to four guests. It. has a fully-equipped kitchen and relaxing lanai overlooking the fish pond. It’s also located just a mile from Molokai’s historic Kaunakakai Town. If you’re looking for a unique place to stay in Molokai, this is the one for you.
Best Rental Home in Central Molokai – Fisher’s Island of Molokai Oceanfront
For your first time in Molokai, this little rental home is a great choice! Whether you’re with friends or family, the main bedroom offers privacy while the cool loft room is a great option for those sharing. You’ll be perfectly located for long days of sightseeing plus it even has its own pool and beachfront access!
Best Hotel in Central Molokai – Hotel Moloka’i
This awesome hotel will be unforgettable for your Molokai vacation just for the views alone. The hotel feels like a classic Hawaiian village and you’ll love sitting back on your balcony enjoying a cocktail while you watch the gorgeous ocean. Each of the rooms comes with an oceanfront balcony and has been kitted out in a traditional Polynesian village-style. You can also hire gear such as snorkels and scuba equipment for a fun day out on the water!
Things to See and Do in Central Molokai
- Kaunakakai Wharf is the place to go for some beautiful views of the main harbour on Molokai, plus the neighbouring islands can be seen off in the distance.
- Enjoy some local live music any night of the week at Hotel Molokai’s oceanfront restaurant Hale Kealoha.
- As mentioned earlier, you’ve gotta stop by the Post Office and “post a nut” (a coconut) home to yourself or a friend – it beats a generic postcard any day!
- An iconic Molokai establishment and a favourite among locals, Kanemitsu Bakery is a must do if you’re looking for a sweet treat.
- Head to Church Row for an interesting experience learning about the island’s religious history as one of the first places that various missionaries visited.
- Take a guided paddleboard or kayak tour over the Barrier Reef for an awesome adventure where you can take in the gorgeous marine scenes up close and personal.
2. West End – Best Place to Stay in Molokai for Families
If your family loves a beach vacation but you want to do it without the business and crowds, the West End of Molokai is the perfect place!
This area is home to some vast and beautiful untouched beaches, some of which are completely deserted. This means lots of quality family time spent exploring all the different bays that the whole family will love.
Accommodation options are pretty much limited to small studio apartments and condos, which are all extremely affordable and comfortable. This is not the place if you’re wanting a lavish resort, but perfect for those wanting a taste of the real Hawaii.
Best Vacation Rental in West End – Sunny Oceanview Unit
This lovely, sunny little family-friendly unit is an excellent option for you and your loved ones. Not only are the ocean views gorgeous but you’re located super close to lots of fun activities, plus there’s an on-site pool. The unit comes with two bedrooms and two baths, as well as a spacious living area. The fully loaded kitchen means you can enjoy a few dinners at home together too!
Best Resort Condo in West End – Coastal Resort Condo
This fresh condo comes with full bragging rights that you’re within walking distance to one beach while having ocean views to another! Complete with island decor and plenty of space to spread out, the family will love coming back here after a big day of sightseeing and adventuring, and be sure to check out the swimming pool and hot tub on-site! The condo comes with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, plus a sizeable living space that the whole family can enjoy.
Best Apartment in West End – Molokai Ocean View
This little place will be perfect for easygoing families who enjoy getting out of their hotel room and experiencing what the location has to offer. It’s located just steps from the ocean, plus it’s got a shared pool and the owners even have a car for you to use. This means getting around the island to all your activities and sights is just that little bit easier without the fuss of having to rent a car. The apartment comes with one queen-sized bed and one sofa bed, perfect for small families or couples.
Things to See and Do in West End
- The West End beaches are some of the best in Hawaii for swimming, you may also rent snorkelling gear from your accommodation to get a better look at the marine life.
- Surfing is another great activity this side of Molokai, and again you can rent a board and take a lesson from your accommodation or from the local rentals shop.
- If you’re visiting in October, make sure to check out the canoe championships that take place off the coast of the West End.
- Sit back and enjoy a beautiful sunset over the ocean on famous Papohaku Beach.
- Papohaku Beach is also a great place for a beach day with the family, as it’s the only beach in this area with bathrooms and other facilities.
- Visiting Maunaloa is a must for any Hawaiian itinerary! The town was once bustling with activity, but now many buildings stand abandoned after the locals protested the development.
3. East End – Where To Stay In Molokai On A Budget
The East End of Molokai is a place where natural wonders abound. It’s where to go to experience a truly wild side of Hawaii, with vast reef systems, massive sea cliffs, and five epic valleys of which only one is accessible to humans.
There are no resorts here – your vacation will be strictly adventure! And rightly so, because there’s just so much magnificent scenery to be seen and adventures to be had. Take your pick of places to stay in Molokai’s East End, where the choices are budget-friendly and cheerful, perfect for those backpacking Hawaii.
Best Vacation Home in East End – Easy Breeze on Molokai
For couples traveling on a budget, the chilled vibes at this little condo will be a perfect choice. The homeowner wants their guests to experience the relaxation that comes from a stay on Molokai, with a few touches like a rain showerhead and California king-size bed to make your stay just a little extra special. Staying in Hawaii doesn’t have to be expensive, and this little condo proves just that.
Best All-Rounder Condo in East End – Hawaii Haven
This spot is an excellent choice whether you’re traveling as a couple, friendship group, or even a small family. The common amenities mean there’s something for everyone to enjoy, be it the pool or tennis court. Plus, you’re surrounded by all the awesome activities that this side of the island has to offer! This one-bedroom apartment comes with a queen-sized bed and sofa bed, and a spacious living area. It is just a stone’s throw from the P?l??au State Park.
Best Self Contained Units in East End – Wavecrest B209
The units at this complex all have lovely garden views and come complete with a fully-fitted kitchen, ready for lots of penny-saving meals made at home! There’s an awesome pool on site for you to enjoy after a long day of exploring the endless beaches or impressive sea cliffs of Molokai’s coastline. There are also cycling routes nearby and it’s just a short walk to the beach.
Things to See and Do in East End Molokai
- A scenic flight into Kalaupapa Historical Park is a must for an eye-opening experience into a former leper (Hansen’s disease) colony where recovering patients still live in isolation today.
- Drive the epic coastal road to Halawa Valley for some absolutely incredible sights.
- Tie up your laces and set off on a guided hike through the Halawa Valley to the majestic Moaula Falls.
- You may also enjoy a hike on the Pepeopae Trail in the Kamakou Preserve, where you can experience the deep Hawaiian forest before it spits you out at an awesome lookout over the valley below.
- Take an iconic mule ride in Kalaupapa Historical Park, that will take you alongside some of the biggest sea cliffs in the world!
- Stop in at the Ancient Fish Ponds – made from lava and coral this is where Molokai locals sourced their protein from all the way back in the 13th century.
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Final Thoughts on Where To Stay In Molokai
Forget the busy tourist traps of other Hawaiian islands and head to Molokai for a truly unforgettable vacation. You’ll learn about the vibrant Hawaiian history and culture while experiencing some of the most magnificent natural wonders the world has to offer.
With accommodation options ranging from small breezy condos to spacious and modern homes, there’s something for you no matter what kind of traveler you happen to be. Deciding where to stay in Molokai should be nice and easy since we’ve done the hard for you – now, you just have to book! Do you have a favourite? Let us know in the comments.
Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.
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