Historical Traveller Reviews of Mana Kai Maui Hotel
Not what it used to be.
I have been staying at the Mana Kai since 1984. It seems to be getting a bit run down. I have stayed in many different units over the years. Some really nice and others (mostly the privately owned) not so good. Please be aware of the webcam in unit 215. The cam has the ability for many individuals to control it remotely, zoom in, take pictures and publish them on the worldwide web. I don't think I would have a relaxing lay in the sun knowing this. Time for me to try somewhere else maybe... The 5-Palms is still a very nice restaurant especially when the sun is going down.
Superb, A real taste of Maui
from A TripAdvisor Member
I researched everything, and everyones review on Maui hotels til my eyes bled. My husband and I never stayed on the south end before, and it far exceeded our apprehensions! This place is great!
It's not in the hectic pace of Kehei, but at the end, just before Wailea. We had soothing crashing waves every night on the 7th floor in our superb room for 10 days. Place was clean, nice breeze coming in ALL the time, and overhead fans in the bedroom, and kitchen, even an extra floor one in living room. Decorated really nice, everything in kitchen except no coffee grinder, so get the peaberry Kona ground for you. Plenty of towels, dishes, silverwear etc....no spices so need to get your own.
We DID NOT need the air conditioning. We opened the front door to let the breeze pass through, and even had to close it half way because it was going to take down some picture!! With the door closed, breeze came through just fine, I was in all my glory! Balcony is huge, we had breakfast everymorning, looking at the scenery. Beach, and swimming was great, path to walk, run all along the coastline, awesome.
Down sides: Can't see from balcony the sunrise, or sunset, so you go out the front door, to watch from THAT side, or could go down to the pool or lawn. Every night I stood at the end of hotel balcony, NO BIG DEAL to walk out the front door, instead of inside your balcony/condo.
Second: Token laundry machines, I was hoping for our own, but with that view, hey I'll pay the
Third: No barbeque, hubby and I love to barbie, esp. with great fish, so I took advice from fellow trip advisor and took our marinated yummies next door-=-.........ssshhhhhhh....
Remember I'm a little spoiled in California, and this place definitly exceeded our expectations. AAoceanfrontcondo is to thank, and tripadivor.
If you have kids (especially younger ones) you GOTTA stay here! we have never been to this island before, so did alot of research before we came. had some friends that stayed in ekahi village down the road in wailea, and some other friends that stayed the other way near kam 2. the mana kai is da bomb for one reason: location, location, location! you are right on the beach-no lie, like 15 yards and youre there! A ton of the other condos you have to cross s. kihei rd (good luck-run you bugga!!) or if they say you are on the beach like many in wailea, only a few rooms are on the beach and the rest might be like 100 yds or more away depending on where your room lies in their vast compound! the mana kai sits almost parallel to the ocean and is very small. we stayed with our 2 kids (2 and 4) my mother in law and brother in law, and my other brother in law and his wife. The rooms have a unique set up in that a larger room faces the water, has a full kitchen and plenty of space and a smaller room, which is attatched by a common hallway with the larger room, has a bedroom and a full bath. so if you go with other people, its like staying in a house-it was so convenient being so close to the ocean with the kids-don't know how many times i had to go to the room to get food, snorkel stuff, juice, "daddy, poo poo coming!". camera, etc. If i'd have been farther away (ie just about any other condo) I would have jacked 5 bags o' poi from the foodland and taken the next plane home! this place is like 1/4 mile from where wailea starts so you are only like 5 min. from a ton of other beaches if you get sick of the awesome beach 15 yards away (try Makena beach next to the old church). Theres alot of talk about sorento's next door, but my brother in law ate there (he and his wife are doctors) and they said the food was just OK and the service was irritating (they would refill there water after EVERY sip to the point where they would drink anything just to have some time alone!) Best place to eat: "Da Kitchen"-go back up s. kihei rd past kam3 and take a right at the shave ice stand. Get the Hawaiin plate and a side of poi-it will last you for 2 days! TONS of food without chaa ching! Also, rent from Aloha rentacar-they pick you up and are alot cheaper than anyone else, even though their cars might not be super cherry. so try this place, especially if you have kids-its awesome!
ps-if you get anything at the keawakapu store at the mana kai, check your change if the young blondish guy is helping you-he was so baked on the maui ganja when we were there that he didn't even know where he was!!
Great place to stay
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Mana Kai Resort from July 13 - 22, 2004. We stayed in unit 215. The guy that owns this unit has a website (and webcam) for his condo - checkout www.mauimanakai.com. We rented the two bedroom configuration. There were five of us - two parents, three teenage boys. The configuration worked fine. The beach is great - Keawakapu Beach. Lots of sand, snorkling, medium waves (my kids did lots of boogy boarding). You can walk for a couple miles along the beach. About a 1/2 mile down the beach a sidewalk starts that runs along the resorts - great place for a morning walk or jog. The one bedroom has a beautiful view of the beach. The one bedroon hotel room is on the non-beach side of the building and therefore has no beach view. I've got several pictures of the Mana Kai Resort at
Best value for what you get!
from A TripAdvisor Member
We loved this place - stayed there in December 2003 for 11 days. We were on the top floor and what a view. It was really quiet and all you had to do was take the elevator down to just a few steps to the pool and beach. Great snorkeling out front also. We were disappointed that there wasn't a barbecue but you can go over to the Surfside to barbecue if you want. We would go back again and we are pretty picky about where we stay. Do your research on the internet and you won't find a better value for right on the beach. The restaurant downstairs is great and Sorrento's next door is, too. Walking on this beach you see many multi-million dollar homes.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Just returned from super 4 day weekend (July 4th 2004). Stayed in hotel room on the property (307B). Room was clean, well kept and daily service was good---towels (both bathroom and beach) were plentiful and always available at the desk. The property is magnificent---small but right on the water. The beach is great---long walks available right in front of hotel. Can walk to Wailea property and use their beach bar (just OK). Good body surfing---some rocks so small kids have got to be watched. On property restaurant (Palm) is so-so with kinda inattendent help. But setting is marvelous. Next door (adjoining property) is Sorento's on the Beach. A don't miss place to eat---great service---presentation and food is as good as it gets. Assume $30 entrees as a rule with normal island booze costs---and they have good wine list. Veal dishes all superb. Another good eat bet is a KKO about 2 miles up the beach. Try the Bluenose, a local catch, well worth it. Pan seared, then baked with toasted coconut and topped off with drizzle of Mango Sauce---no better seafood meal in the islands. Lahaina about 40 minutes away assuming traffic flows OK (not always a good bet).
Enjoy yourself---we'll certainly be back there for a periodic weekend when we need to hide from Oahu pace.
Love, Love, Loved it!!!!
Just came back from my first trip to Hawaii/Maui. The Mana Kai was exactly what I wanted. Both my friend and I had really felt no need to stay at one of the island's big resorts that boast huge grounds with lavish swimming pool areas. Our reason for this was: if we're on a beautiful island (such as Maui) with natural, beautiful beaches, we wanted to be somewhere right on the beach with a personal, almost private feel, with easy access to walk right out to that.
The Mana Kai was exactly that. We had (and I DEFINITELY recommend having) a deluxe oceanfront room, and the view was simply phenomenal. (I will gladly e-mail anyone interested a pic of our view from the lanai.)
While the beach has suffered some errosion due to previous storms, there is still ample space to sit on the sand. The water/swimming was still really nice, and the lawn directly in front of the beach that the Mana Kai provides is completely comfortable and makes you feel like you're right on it. You really feel like you're at your own personal beach.
Our room was clean, and the kitchen was very functionable. The hotel's location, in addition to the beach, was also great: close to Wailea (shops/restaurants, etc) and in the heart of Kihei's best food, activities, etc.
I will, without a doubt, go abck to the Mana Kai.
My favorite place on Earth
from A TripAdvisor Member
I have been going to the Mana Kai Maui ever since I was two years old. My grandfather was one of the first people to buy a Condo there. I'm 21 now and am going to be going back with my family in June/July. The Mana Kai Maui is an unbelievable place for a great price. The beach has warm white sand and is absolutely gorgeous. There is coral reef to your right as you enter the crystal blue ocean. The reef is swarming with life. If you go during the winter you will see dozens of humpback whales right off the coast. There are also hundreds of sea turtles that pop up out of the water. If you swim out far enough you are likely to see families of sea turtles eating seaweed under broccoli shaped coral. There are TONS of activities. I would recommend taking an Eco-Kayak tour of one of Maui's many nature preserves. That is definetly worth the money. Make sure to ask for a renovated room (some owners of the other condominiums do not want to pay for the renovation). The newly renovated rooms are absolutely immaculate and provide you with brilliant views of the ocean, sunsets, and islands in the distance. If you go to Mana Kai Maui you will never want to come home. That is the only drawback I can think of.
Nice place to stay
After 3 stays at the next door Surfside we decided to "upgrade" to the Mana Kai. For an extra $40-50 a night you get daily maid service and are closer to the beach. The room layouts are very different. At the Mana Kai their one bedroom is really a very large studio apartment. The sleeping area can be separated from the living area by a sliding door but then the "living" area is tiny. The advantage to this layout is that the bed is right next to the ocean. The disadvantage is that the room can feel a little cramped particularly if you have 4 people sharing the common space (their 2 bedroom includes a separate room in back with bath room). The surfside has a more traditional layout with the bedroom in the back and a large living area in front. The only disappointment with the stay (besides a few days or torrential rain) was that the beach in front is seriously eroded from several winter storms. At least 60% of the beach is gone and all of the beach directly infront of the resort is gone. This was my favorite beach in the world- huge, sandy bottom and almost deserted. Now it is quite small and consequently feels crowded. Locals say it should come back. Its still a nice place to say but just don't go thinking that the beach will look like the pictures anymore. For a current picture of the beach check out the web cam.
Great week at the Mana Kai
We just finished a great week at the Mana Kai, which we very much enjoyed. We got a terrific deal through Suntrips on a one bedroom hotel room. That means that it's on the parking lot side; the condos are on the ocean side. In our case, we had a low numbered room, meaning that it was at the ocean end of the building, so we could see the ocean, and hear it every night. The room was clean, and nicely (if somewhat boringly) furnished. It came with a small fridge and a coffee maker, so every morning we had coffee, and muffins and fruit from the local grocery store. One of the nicest beaches in the area is immediately to the south of the hotel, and there is a great snorkeling spot right in front of it (we saw turtles there two afternoons in a row). We loved hearing residents blow the conch shells every evening to celebrate sunset.
If you're looking for a great meal, the Sarento right next door is one of the nicest restaurants on the island. We walked in at 7 pm on Saturday night, and were seated on the lanai 5 minutes later. Bring a BIG appetite, though!
Top Local Tips for Kihei
Road to Hana
Be prepared - not scared- and DO IT! Yes, it takes all day. Yes, it is worth the time.
Best Scuba Diving - Mike Severns Diving
If you are a Scuba Diver, book with them. They are so nice. Plus they leave from the boat harbor which is only a couple of block north to the Mana Kai. Pauline, owner/skipper is a biologist. She and her crew of Warren, Dan and Tom really enjoy what they do, and it shows.
Free outrigger canoe trip
Go to the Kea Lani, Sign up, then show up. Sign up early or it will be sold out.