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Can you recommend an intimate place to stay in Maui?

The Question: Can you recommend the perfect hotel in Maui – something that's intimate, without sharing space with the owners?

The Hawaiian beachfront is crowded with the usual suspects with their white-tea scented amenities, glass-enclosed showers and global brand stylings: You know the Westins, the Hyatts and the rest of the tall-tower crew.

But you want something more intimate. Charlene Ka'uhane, who represents the Maui Visitors Bureau in Canada (, says many of the choices on Maui are the large hotels and condos you're trying to avoid. But some medium-size properties have the beach location and secluded ambience that you're looking for. It may not be just you and the sunset – but expect to have elbow room. These are her suggestions:

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  • Napili Kai Beach Resort ( is a Canadian-owned property on a crescent-shaped beach. The hotel is low-rise, with “classic Hawaiian charm,” Ka'uhane says. “The service is impeccable and personable, and there's a great sense of place.” It features 163 hotel rooms and condos on 10 oceanfront acres (four hectares). Every morning, a conch shell is blown calling guests to coffee and fresh pineapple at the beach cabana.
  • Kaanapali Beach Hotel ( is a more moderately priced low-rise hotel with an expansive lawn between the guest rooms and the ocean. “This area is great for relaxation – reading and lounging under shaded trees steps from the sand and ocean,” Ka'uhane says. The 430-room property promotes itself as “Hawaii's most Hawaiian Hotel,” backing up the claim with a staff of full-time cultural advisers.
  • The Royal Lahaina Resort ( is situated on a 10-hectare (27-acre) property on a quiet stretch of Kaanapali Beach. Its 333 guests rooms – admittedly in a 12-storey tower – feature contemporary teak furnishings and muted Hawaiian accents. It also has two-storey cottages located among its tropical gardens.

Or if you can trade room service for increased privacy, consider a condo. Holly McBean, a travel agent and Hawaii specialist with Travelonly (, suggests the Ma'alaea Surf Resort ( The one- and two-bedroom condos, situated on Sugar Beach, are spread out over two hectares (five acres) and offer a laid-back Hawaiian experience.

E-mail your travel questions to

Follow Karan Smith on Twitter: @karan_smith. Special to The Globe and Mail

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