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Wailea is one of the best destinations in Maui for upscale vacationing and access to the island’s best beaches. Located on the southern, leeward side of Maui, Wailea sees the least rain of any part of the island since most storms tend to hit to the northeast and peter out. Plus, this part of Maui offers a range of different lodging options, from luxury hotels to comfortable condos ideal for family vacations. Beach villa rentals tend to be one of the best ways to visit Maui on a budget, as they allow for some at-home dining, which is a plus in Wailea, where restaurants do tend to be a bit more expensive.

Condo rentals near Wailea do not always offer direct beach access because so much of that waterfront land is occupied by big resorts in this area. Resorts such as the Four Seasons and Grand Wailea take up a lot of real estate around here. However, all beaches in Maui are public beaches, so even if your condo complex isn’t right on the water, you can still find plenty of places to enjoy beautiful Hawaiian sand, pristine blue waters and abundant sun.

Wailea is close to Makena State Park, also known as Big Beach, and several other famous Maui beaches. Staying at Wailea can also mean a short drive to explore some of the remote beaches on South Maui, such as La Perouse Bay, a protected site that’s known as a place to spot dolphins. Plus, most condo complexes in this area have a pool, which some people tend to prefer for swimming, and they may also offer easy access to the golf courses in the Wailea area.

Consider these options as you plan your Maui vacation.

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Destination Residences Condo Complexes

Destination Residences manages a cluster of condo complexes in the Wailea area, including the Polo Beach Club and Wailea Beach Villas. Each of the condo complexes in the Destination Residences portfolio offers a cushy resort experience with ocean views, pool access and amenities like barbecues, laundry facilities and kitchens stocked with food prep basics. Some of the Destination Residences condo buildings are right on the beach, while others are higher up on the hill and require a walk or a drive to reach the shore.

These condo complexes also have resort-like amenities like front desk and concierge staff, plus regular housekeeping services. Each of the condo units is privately owned, but the management experience is much like that of a hotel. That may be appealing for travelers who like to have a little bit more support from staff where they’re staying. Professional management touches like this aren’t always available in Maui condo rentals, particularly with privately owned condos.

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Palms at Wailea by Outrigger

The Palms at Wailea condo complex is another professionally managed option, and prices here are potentially a bit lower because housekeeping services are optional. This condo complex is located closer to the heart of the action at Wailea, with the Shops at Wailea shopping and dining center located about five minutes away by car. Residents can enjoy beach access via a short walking path.

Families looking for a place to stay should note that the Palms at Wailea does offer rollaway beds and crib rentals for an additional fee. There are several different bedroom configurations available within the complex, so parents can plan ahead for how they’ll keep all the kids comfortable in the condo.

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Residence Inn Wailea

Travelers looking for a more traditional hotel experience with the comforts of a condo may be interested in the Residence Inn Wailea, a Marriott hotel that offers amenities like complimentary breakfasts and a resort-style pool with in-room features like kitchenettes. Large suites with multiple bedrooms and family-friendly features such as bunk beds further blur the line between hotel and condo, and the professionally managed and maintained interior of the hotel may feel a bit nicer and fresher than some budget-friendly privately owned condos, which are often stocked with dated furniture and decor. Groups can also create room blocks for events such as weddings or family reunions at the Residence Inn Wailea. Booking private condos or going through a condo management company may not offer the same community feel.

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Privately Owned Wailea Condos

Wailea is a desirable destination, and this generally isn’t known as a budget traveler’s ideal location for Maui travel. However, if you’re looking for a bargain, you may be able to find one on sites like VRBO and Airbnb. Privately owned residences aren’t in abundance in this part of the island due in part to the fact that it was developed mostly by resorts, but you may find some good options if you book well in advance. There are plenty of private condo rentals available slightly northward in the Kihei area. Kihei has a more down-to-earth vibe and offers many more affordable dining options while still providing great beach access, so that may be a more appealing option for those who are put off by the high price tag of some Wailea condo rentals.