I will be visiting Maui for the first time in Feb. 2009. I am bringing my husband, 5 year old daughter and parents. We have scheduled 3 days in Maui and my main purpose in going and choosing February was for the whales. I would love it if you had some suggestions on the best place to stay to see the whales from our lanai (balcony). We were considering the Marriott in Wailea. The hotel looks beautiful and has a great military discount, but nothing is booked yet. I am open to suggestions, whales are our main goal.
You can see whales in the ocean from any ocean-front room at any west-facing hotel or condo on Maui. And February is the best month for whales. BUT you will see more if you
1. Stay on West Maui instead of South Maui, because there are many more whales in the water adjacent to West Maui than in the water adjacent to South Maui. Here is a comparison of other factors about those two sides
Which side of Maui to stay on
2. Get a room that faces straight into the ocean, NOT a room that is sideways or has any part of any building blocking its view of the ocean. Most of the major hotels do have such rooms, but those are the most expensive rooms at any hotel. So a way to avoid that problem is to instead stay at a condo where ALL the rooms are ocean-front and face straight out to the ocean. The only condo like that on the West side is Mahana. Here is my page about Mahana
IMPORTANT: Mahana is a condo, not a hotel. You will have much more space than a hotel, and you will have a full kitchen, but you will not have the amenities of a hotel. You will have an ordinary plain pool instead of elaborate fancy big multiple pools and you will not have fancy water play areas like you would get at the Wailea Marriott. But if whales are your main concern, then you will see a lot more whales from any room at the Mahana than at any room at the Wailea Marriott. See this page for the difference between condos and hotels
Condo versus Hotel
Were you going to get two rooms at the Wailea Marriott for the five of you? You could get one two-bedroom condo at the Mahana instead, which will give you two complete bedrooms and two full bathrooms, plus a fold-out sofa-bed in the living room for your daughter. In a two-bedroom condo at Mahana, you and your husband would take the master bedroom, which faces straight onto the ocean. Your parents would take the second bedroom, which does NOT have an ocean view. You all would also enjoy the living room of that condo, since all the living rooms do face directly onto the ocean. In addition, every condo at Mahana has a private lanai (balcony) that always is right on the ocean, facing straight out, and that lanai (balcony) is where you will have your best view of the whales.
A few of the balconies (lanais) at Mahana have the view partially blocked by a palm tree, so check on that as soon as you arrive in your room. If you have a blocked view, do not unpack, but go right back down to the front desk and ask them to show you a different room that does not have a palm tree blocking part of your view. But again, even with a tree in the way, you will have a much better view of whales at Mahana than at any hotel, because hotel rooms usually are not right on the ocean and they usually have part of the view from every hotel room blocked by parts of the building and some trees.
Since whales are your main goal, I think you should go out on at least one, and maybe two, whale-watching cruises with one or two different companies on one or two different days of your visit. Here is my page about that
Whale Watching Boats
Why are you only on Maui for 3 days? It takes at least a week to see Maui.
Print out this section of my website to have a printed guide to take with you. It’s about 41 pages:
Maui Hawaii Printable Guide