Stay at The Plantation Inn for affordable style, and place yourself just one block back from the beach; head to Lahaina Shores Beach Resort for an incredible view of the ocean from your balcony; splash out at the Maui Westin Resort & Spa for some true luxury in a spectacular location; or save money by heading to Lahaina's Last Resort for a welcoming hostel with plenty of atmosphere. Continue reading to discover how to find the cheapest hotels in Lahaina.
Hawaii isn't the cheapest of destinations in the United States, and at no time is this more true than in the middle of vacation season. As the schools and colleges close their doors for summer, expect the resorts on this Pacific island chain to up their prices. The same is true of winter.
The best time to visit Lahaina, then, is during the shoulder seasons: from mid-April to early June, and early September to mid-November. During this time of year, you'll be able to find hotels for around 20% less than their usual prices. In addition to cheap prices and fewer tourists, the weather in Lahaina is at its most enjoyable at this time of year! The only exception to this rule are the school holidays that take place during the shoulder seasons (make sure to avoid visiting Lahaina at Easter, for example).
Despite the smaller crowds during these seasons, it's still best to plan ahead than to just turn up. Hotels generally increase their prices the closer it gets to your arrival date, so to get the best deal, look to book as far in advance as possible.
Most of the expensive resorts in the area are in Kaanapali Beach, so to save money, you'll want to stay in the downtown area, where there are still plenty of hotels in Lahaina on the beach.
Practically every visitor to Maui rents a car, and it would be wise for you to do the same. It can be tricky visiting the major tourist attractions on the island of Maui without your own transport, as public transportation is scarce. The only exception is if you're planning to spend your entire vacation in Lahaina. In this case, the downtown area is walkable, and you can walk to pretty much anywhere within 10 minutes.
The are lots of free things to do in Lahaina, the most famous of these attractions being the Banyan Tree Park. Stretching out over an entire block, these enormous trees provide the perfect shaded hangout to escape the heat. If you fancy getting some sunbathing in on one of the best beaches in the world, head 10 minutes north to Kaanapali Beach, recently voted America's best beach. Spend an afternoon shopping on Front Street, the main street that runs along Lahaina's beach. There, you can shop for souvenirs, artwork, jewellery, and clothes.
For such a small town, there are lots of events and festivals going on throughout the year to keep you entertained. The biggest of these is Halloween, which is also known as the Mardi Gras of the Pacific. If you're traveling on a budget, it would be wise to avoid this time of year – around 30,000 people cram into Lahaina to celebrate. If you're visiting in October, make sure to book far in advance to guarantee a room.
Some smaller celebrations that don't cause hotels to increase their prices include the Taste of Lahaina food festival, the Lahaina Whale Ocean Arts Festival, and the International Festival of Canoes. The Banyan Tree Birthday Party is a particularly fun event: the tree is given a birthday cake, and pinatas are hung from its branches for the children to play with.
There are three airports that serve Maui, with Kapalua Airport being the most convenient for visitors to Lahaina. The airport is just 10 miles north of Lahaina, so getting in and out is rarely a problem. Your best option is to rent a car, as most visitors to Maui do. There is a taxi option but it's extremely pricey. There is no public transport between Kapalua Airport and Lahaina. Given that the airport is so close, many of the hotels in the Lahaina area offer a free shuttle service to and from the airport.
An alternative airport to fly into would be Kahului Airport, which is farther away but is the main airport for the island and offers more options in terms of flying in and out. The biggest bargain you're likely to find in the airport is the public bus between the Kahlui Airport and Lahaina. At just $1 for the entire journey, there's nothing to complain about. Taxis are available, too, as are shuttle buses and car rentals.
Hostels are very cheap in Lahaina, and are a fantastic option if you're looking to spend your time outside exploring without blowing your budget on accommodation. There are two main options in the downtown area, both of them in great locations, and most importantly, they include air conditioning!
Lahaina's Last Resort is just three blocks away from Front Street, the street where you'll likely spend most of your time, as it stretches for two miles along the sea. Unlike other hostels in town, Lahaina's Last Resort offers private rooms so if you're traveling as a couple, you'll be able to save money while retaining your privacy. The hostel is well-located, close to supermarkets, restaurants, and surf and dive equipment rentals. And, if you don't feel like eating out every night, each room comes with a fridge and microwave.
Alternatively, The Tiki Hale is slightly pricier but offers fantastic value for the money. You'll have access to a fully-stocked kitchen, free coffee, and free waffles every Wednesday as part of the hostel's "Waffle Wednesday" celebration! Guests are also given complimentary access to the washing machine and dryer, which is a tough perk to find even in luxury hotels. You can sign up for tours at the hostel's activity desk or simply relax in the chilled-out Tiki Garden. The Tiki Hale is just one block from Front Street and Lahaina's beautiful beach.
There are roughly 150 Airbnb apartments available from Lahaina, with 100 of these being entire apartments that you can rent. With several of these apartments costing less than $100 a night, there are plenty of bargains available. The advantage of staying in an Airbnb apartment is getting to live like the locals do. You'll likely have a fully-equipped kitchen to cook meals in and a homely atmosphere to come back to in addition to the pleasure of staying in a residential area.
For more information about Lahaina and what to do while you're there, check out Visit Maui, the official Hawaiian tourism board's website for the island. On the site, you'll find details about current festivals, ideas for activities, and information on the history of the island. The smaller Visit Lahaina website has an events calendar that is regularly updated.
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© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.