TASHA OLSEN

  HOTEL vs CONDO   

Before purchasing our flight, I had to find the place to stay. As my husband and I were first-time visitors of Maui and were not familiar with any resort, I shall admit that it was a challenge. Hotels and travel websites have a kaleidoscope of beautiful pictures, but to my huge surprise I found too many negative reviews about the accommodations.
Usually I use TripAdvisor; from my previous experience I came to the conclusion that their visitors’ reviews are pretty close to reality. But this time even 5-star Hotels were criticized to no extent! I fully understand that to rent a nice condominium may be problematic. Each condominium has separate owner and, therefore, the standards are different. You may only hope for the owner’s honesty; to get a good condo is the same as to buy a pig in a poke.

But 5-Star Hotels?

                

That was something new.

Also, when I compared Mexico’s prices (we have traveled to Mexico frequently for many years) with Maui’s hotels’ prices I had to make an effort to stop my jaw hitting the floor. I had an impression that Maui hotels’ designers and builders are tricking us into believing they built palaces for pharaohs with gold and precious jewelries for hotels’ walls, otherwise how can you explain the minimum price of $500.00 per night (if you are lucky and it’s a low season)?

If I haven’t read a wonderful book “Paradox of Choices: Why More is Less” by Barry Schwartz just before our trip, I would completely forget about Maui and make a reservation to my well-known Mexico. The book gave me the straight answer why perspective tourists spend so much time shopping around instead of trusting common sense.

This is the answer.

Nowadays we depend TOO MUCH on somebody’s else opinions. It’s almost impossible to make your own decision, and – what is even more important – to be happy with it! There is so many choices that our subconscious plays a dirty trick with us. It doesn’t matter what we will choose, we already don’t like it! We hate it! Because we’ve missed the other opportunity!

I stopped “swimming” in the ocean of negative reviews, bought the book “Maui revealed” by Andrew Doughty and tried to focus on what WE want to get within our budget. Two business professionals were exhausted and ready to have a break from the office routine for 2 weeks. But on the other hand, we are too energetic to spent our entire vacations lying on the beach all day long.  How to combine comfort, budget, sightseeing, snorkeling and an ocean escape?

We split out vacation into two parts. For the first week we rented a condominium at Royal Kahana Hotel in Lahaina (close to Kapalua Bay).

The other week we stayed at a 5-star Astoria Hotel in Wailea. Now, we had the opportunity to explore different parts of Maui and compare the resorts.

s.                                                      

In general, the condominium in Lahaina was pretty good, quiet, reasonably clean with a nice front ocean lanai (balcony). We had everything we needed, but…

There is no doubt that a 5-star Hotel provided more comfort and delivered the true escape! Included in the astronomical (in my opinion) accommodation price of all the resort hotels in Wailea is their promise to the guests to relax and experience the feeling of a worry-free vacation.

I will mention pluses and minuses of staying at the condo and hotel in Maui a little bit later. I will also share some tips, you may find helpful.But now it is time to take a trip to Hana to explore Maui’s natural beauty.