Friday, February 24, 2012

Hawai'i: The Paia Inn

People will ask me, "Where should I stay on Maui?" While on the surface it seems like a fairly simple question, it really comes down to what people plan on doing while they're there. Are you driving to Hana? Kite Surfing? Golfing? Watching the sunrise from Haleakalā? Just laying out or swimming in the ocean?

What you plan on doing, in terms of activities, should probably drive your decision on where to stay. Our first time there we stayed up at The Ritz Carlton Kapalua. I went to golf - that's really the only reason we were up there. It was a little cooler than I was hoping for, not nearly enough sun, and out of the way in relation to the rest of the island. It doesn't help that I'm not much of a resort person, but thankfully it wasn't overrun with children.

On our next couple of visits we opted for the Pineapple Inn, in Kihei. The location was warmer and sunnier, the price was very affordable, and the digs were nice. I would describe it more as a hotel-in-a-house rather than a bed and breakfast. Even though they are a mile or two from the ocean, there's a pool and hot tub on site. I'd have no problem staying here again, but it did require you to hop in a car every time you wanted to go somewhere.

Then there's Paia......

Paia is a small one intersection town (a 3 way intersection at that) that sits at the base of The Road to Hana, or the Hana Highway. This little hippie town has more character, and characters, then all of the resorts in Wailai, Ka'anipaali, and Kapalua could ever hope to muster. Whenever I hear Jack Johnson's song "What You Thought You Needed", this is the place I think of.

The Paia Inn

Tasteful Pacific influenced decor

As with most things architecturally related Paia, it's all a retrofit, and the Paia Inn is no exception. Molded around a Lululemon, dotted through some on-the-way-to-the-oceanfront property, with  parking on site as well as a few doors down, is the ever evolving Paia Inn. This little hotel's constellation of rooms is tied together with a consistently strong knack for efficient use of space as well as supplying a modern feel at each level of accommodation.

Our Deluxe Sweet
A strong customer service experience ties together the whole package here. Are the girls that work at Paia Inn cute? Totally, but let's not judge a book by it's cover. These girls (Nina, Tina, Carly, Angelina, and Sarah - yes three names end with -ina) are extremely helpful. Whether it's getting something for your room, asking a question about activities, getting info on general Maui stuff, or finding a bottle opener for your beer, they are all more than happy to help you anyway they can.

 Pathway leading to the ocean

There's also beach access from the hotel. At the end of the path that leads to the ocean is a private entrance that offers beach chairs, boogy boards, beach towels, and outdoor showers so you can rinse off the sand a salt water. Three separate beaches can be accessed if you have the will to walk them, but be warned it is Paia so there may be a missing bikini top from time to time.

Around the back of the building, near the front desk is the outdoor eating area. They've got a guy that makes breakfast everyday except for Tuesdays. Monster omelets with fresh local ingredients can be had the other six days of the week. If you feel like getting something from somewhere else, you're more than welcome to bring it back and eat it, as well.

Outdoor Dining Area

For us Paia Inn is all about location. We love staying close to the area, but in terms of access you're close to a lot of things. You're fifteen or twenty minutes from the airport, down the hill from the Upcountry, at the base of the road to Hana as well as Haleakalā. We love the energy here. It's just a fun place.

Paia Inn Hotel
93 Hana Highway
Paia, Maui, Hawaii96779

Tel. (808) 579-6000
Fax (808) 579-6001
Toll Free (800) 721-4000

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