Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Making a case for vacationing in Kihei

What makes Kihei Maui so special, let us count the ways
Patti Pietschmann

Over two decades my husband Richard and I have vacationed on every part of Maui from bustling Kaanapali to heavenly Hana.  We’ve stayed in  luxury hotels such as Four Seasons, Fairmont Kea Lani, Grand Wailea, Andaz , as well as Bed and Breakfasts, the Sheraton Maui, condos from the most exclusive Kaanapali Alii to Outrigger El Dorado, Maui Banyan, Mana Kai and others.  It being Maui, we always had enjoyable stays.  But none beat bedding down in Khei ei where we have been renting condos, often with our best friend Bob pictured with us at Humu Humu at Grand Wailea) for the past five years.

Located on the south side of the Valley Island, this little stretch of beach font provides a lively, non-pretentious vibe that attracts millennials, middle-agers, boomers and seniors seeking more than fancy umbrella drinks by the pool.

Housing is mostly in condo rentals which are located either on one of three special Kamaole Beaches or across the street.  There are good, inexpensive places to eat such as Fred’s, Café O’Lei, 5 Palms, Moose’s, Chinese holes in the wall, take out options and more. Most of them have popular happy hours with reduced prices on food and drink.
5 Palms at Mana Kai
  Condo dwellers have a Foodland, Safeway, Hawaiian Moons health food store, Whalers, Times Market in which to stock their larders. Most of us make weekly trips to CostCo—a 20-minute drive in Kahalui near the airport--we often hit the discount store right after arrival on the way to the condo to stock up on necessities such as booze, beer, wine, fish, steaks, vegetables, eggs, yogurt, walnuts—which are sold for much less than in town.

Kihei has awesome sunsets which locals and visitors celebrate by bringing chairs and beverages to the beach to relish the view. The area attracts transplants such as we who now eschew the touristy spots for a more authentic Hawaiian experience (many local utilize the parks, beaches and eateries.  But when one feels the urge, Wailea’s just 10 minutes away and so is one of our favorite non-Kihei restaurants Gannon’s.  Kaanapali,  however  is a bit of a schlep maybe an hour’s drive. There are city buses to take you there, too or to famous  Lahaina.

 Kīhei is a census-designated place in Maui County, Hawaiʻi, United States. The population was 20,881 at the 2010 census. Wikipedia
Zip code96753
Population20,881 (2010)
Area11.7 mi² (9.3 mi² Land / 2.4 mi² Water)