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How to Nab a Vacation Rental on Maui

by tr on February 10, 2010


By Kelly Stoneman

From the world-famous sunny beaches to the lush, vibrant rainforests and the small local towns in between, Maui really is everything you’ve imagined Hawaii to be … and more. Whether looking for exclusive, world-class resorts or secluded honeymoon cottages, it’s all here.

It can be a scary task to find the best accommodation for newcomers to Maui, and this is why it’s important to do your research! Here are some explanations and tips that might just make your search a little easier.

Maui county closed short-term rental homes
Beginning in 2007, the county closed a stunning number of short-term rental homes on Maui, from small Bed and Breakfasts to million dollar m017-7vacation homes! Hundreds of such rentals went out of business, a few lucky ones are still permitted and others are in the arduous process of applying for the necessary permits.

Maui Cottage Rentals are still available
Most travel agencies are still offering such vacation homes, and we have high hopes that such a sad story will have a happy ending for this once vibrant alternative to the usual resort experience.

Ask any of your friends, relatives and co-workers who have visited Maui previously. Those who have been here before usually have the best advice, as they’ve had firsthand experience. You will probably hear a wide variety of thoughts and ideas that had possibly never occurred to you. Experiences of people you know will usually tell you much more than any other informational source.

Bargain hunting on expensive Maui
Though Maui rentals are generally noticeably more expensive than other islands, the present state of the economy has kept occupation reasonable on Maui, and indeed the same is true for most Maui hotels-even Five-Star resorts like the Grand Wailea and Four Season. m024-181This means possible savings for you, especially when looking for accommodations for extended stays of two weeks or more. Be sure to enquire with your agent about any vacation rental houses or promotions that may not presently listed, just about end, or just about to begin.

Maui activities

You might save some money when booking with an agency that handles more than just vacation rentals, as they mostly offer special offers like promotions or even completely free activities, tours, and the like (if you book with them, naturally). Again, it never hurts to ask!

Here are some accommodation tips:

  • Remote village of Hana
    Maui offers the most diversity of rich environments and climates of all the islands. The remote village of Hana, on East Maui, is where you’ll find the most waterfalls and lush rainforests. From the star-swarmed luxury Hotel Hana Maui to basic campgrounds to comfy bungalows, there is also a great range of available vacation housing!
  • The North shore for the water sport enthusiasts
    The North Shore is most famous for the Surf Town of Paia, and offers fantastic opportunities for water sports enthusiasts like windsurfing, surfing and kite surfing with well-known beaches like Baldwin, Ho’okipa or Kanaha all very nearby. You will also find eclectic shops, wonderful eateries and accommodations ranging from small B & B’s and bungalows in Paia, Haiku and Upcountry in the island to lavish maui luxury villas in the nearby neighborhood of Spreckelsville!
  • Central Maui
    Central Maui is really primarily an industrial and shopping area with only a few, albeit, budget-friendly hotels and rooms for rent.
  • The South and West shores
    These shores of the island are primarily home to the exclusive and manicured areas of Wailea, Kapalua, Lahaina and Ka’anapali. The sugary sands of the beaches in these areas offer the perfect environment for sunbathing, relaxation and luxury at Makena (Big) Beach, Little Beach and Ka’anapali Beach, voted among the top ten beaches in Hawaii. Nearby, beautiful maui luxury oceanfront villas such as vacation villas, private estates and beachfront condos to fit any budget are available.
  • Get better deals by paying with a check
    When the time comes to pay, you get better deals when paying with checks. In general you can save an additional 5% if you simply ask for it! They can save up to 4% in credit card fees, so it’s often a win-win situation.
  • Damage deposit for exclusive rentals
  • For more exclusive beach and oceanfront vacation rentals, there are usually both security and damage deposits to pay, which can range from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand.
    There are two ways to avoid damage deposit charges. First and foremost, a good travel insurance policy will pay for such charges and cost a fraction of the price, and if you need you can check with your vacation rental or travel agent if they know of any. As an alternative, ask to have a hold placed on your credit card, rather than a charge.
    If all goes well and no damage to property is reported, credit card hold is free of charge and released within 2 weeks of your departure.
  • Security deposit
    Security deposits are deducted from your final balance due, usually 30-90 days prior to arrival on the island.

Remember, by properly researching and examining a variety of options, you are more likely to choose the Maui vacation rental that is best for you. It’s pretty easy to do and can be quite fun too.

You can find most everything you need by visiting travel websites. Most provide photographs, full descriptions, guest reviews and rate information. Naturally, if you need any more information you can typically contact the site or an agent by email or telephone. You may well even end up with the vacation home of your dreams!

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