Tuesday, 10 September 2013

A Great Family Condo in Maui

Since I have been back from Maui I have received a lot of questions about where we stayed.  When I talk about the condo we managed to get everyone is pleasantly surprized and the next question is can you send me the information please.
The view from our Lanai (patio)

So I thought I'd go a step further and share the information on my blog so that those of you who may be heading to Maui in the next little while can keep Daniel's condo in mind as one of your options.  I'd like to preface this review with a few points.

1) This review is primarily about the condominium itself, but will include some comments regarding the Ma'alaea area.
2) We stayed as a family of four.
3) I anally researched to find this particular spot (more on that later)

Actually, let's get the anally researching part out of the way first.  When the destination of Maui was chosen, and the time frame of two weeks was decided, I knew I needed to find a nice, clean place that was within out budget, but also had the "perks" that I was looking for.  The first thing I did was to log on to and start looking at what was out there for choices.  Here was my list of criteria:

  • Ground Floor
  • Within approx. 80 feet of the ocean
  • On the ocean, no road or parking lot to walk across
  • The Ocean must be swimmable and the beach nice to sit on
  • Two bedroom with the second bedroom having two twin beds
  • Air Conditioning
  • WiFi
  • Washer and Dryer
  • Full Kitchen with Dishwasher
  • Free Parking close to the unit
  • Had a nice swimming pool
  • In a great location for restaurants and nightlife
  • The beach at high tide
  • Budget $2500 for two weeks
I also spoke to friends who had recently been to Maui and got a feel for the area's I would consider.  Kihea, Ma'alaea, Kaanapali and Napili.  So began the exhausting search for the perfect place.  After five days of emailing owners and property managers back and forth, I took my list and narrowed it down to 16 condo's ranging in price from $5500 for two weeks to $2500 for two weeks.  I put these 16 units in an excel spreadsheet and gave them points for every one of the above criteria that they met and then took away points for each $500 over $2500.  At the end I had 16 units with a points range from 12 all the way down to 4.  WOW!  I even had a hyperlink in the first column that would take you to images of the unit.

One night I presented my husband with this list.  I think he secretly thought I was nuts.  What can I say, I get excited by this kind of stuff (I hear the word "geek" being tossed around).........techno freak yes, geek??? No.

Looking down the beach
Anyway, Wade and I went over the list and through some simple questions he very quickly narrowed it down to four.  A huge house about five miles from the beach that was simply stunning and well priced but only had eight of the twelve points above, and most of the points were focused around being on the ocean so obviously that was important to me.  The next choice was the condo's at Ma'alaea Surf in North Kihea.  They were over double the budget, had most of the points but the cost killed it.  Then there was the house on the beach in South Kihea, but it didn't have a pool and was a bit too far from the action.  So we decided on Unit #111 at Kanai A Nalu owned by Daniel.  It had everything we were looking for except I was a little unsure about the location.  

The booking process through VRBO was really simple, Daniel was great to deal with, he responded very quickly to my questions, eased my mind about the wind in the area (I was told that Ma'alaea was very windy and we wouldn't like it.) and sent me links to some of the reviews of his property.  So, never having done VRBO before, I was a little hesitant, but took the plunge.  We were not disappointed.

Daniels place is only about a twenty-five minute drive from the airport (across the island).  It is located down Hauoli Street (the name of the street means Happy) that runs from where the Aquarium is, along the ocean for about four blocks.  We arrived late at night and were greeted with the scent of Night Jasmine the minute we walked up to the condo's front door.  The directions provided, the keypad method of entry and other instructions from Daniel were very clear.  The condo was a good size for a family of four (two adults and two children).  It had two full bathrooms which were between the bedrooms, giving everyone some privacy.  Everything was spotless.  The kitchen was newly renovated and fully stocked with all the cutlery and crockery you
The Kitchen
could need. 

We were all exhausted so went to bed, and yes, the beds comfortable.  In the morning we awoke to the breeze blowing through our window and the sound of the ocean.  I went outside and walked the few steps past the pool to the waters edge.  It was paradise.  A gentle breeze was blowing, the water was warm and the beach was empty.  I love it.  When I returned to the condo, I took some time to check it out further.  It had everything you could need for a day at the beach, chairs, mats, umbrella's boogie boards, towels, you name it.  Daniel had thought of everything.

I love this place, it wasn't fancy, but it felt like being at home.  I loved the metal screen in the front that you could lock and that way the breeze flowed right through the unit.  The kids loved the WiFi and the Television.  We only used the AC once, but used the dishwasher regularly as we ate there a lot.  It was so peaceful to wake up in the morning and not worry about where to go for breakfast.  

In terms of location, the beach was nice, we weren't bothered at all by the winds, if anything, they were a relief later in the afternoon.  The town of Ma'alaea is quiet.  The only things there are the Aquarium and a handful of shops and restaurants.  There is Beach Bums (which I will write about at some point), The Waterfront Restaurant (which closed down on our last day there) and Buzz's Wharf (the company that catered the food on our Dinner Cruise on the Alii Nui which I wrote about in this post)

In terms of location, if you like peace and quiet then Ma'alaea is perfect for you.  If you are looking for action and nightlife, then I'd choose Kihea or Napili.

Bottom Line:  If I go back to Maui as a family again, I will definitely be staying at #111 Kanai A Nalu again.  It is perfect for a family vacation.  If I win the lottery and can pay the rates at The Grand Wailea, then I might have to reconsider, even then, the peace and quiet at this spot was such a lovely thing to come home to I am not sure I could give that up.

Go and check Daniel's place out!

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