Maui Sands 5F - You really can't beat that incredible view!
Review by Cary F
That gorgeous ocean view is what absolutely sold me on this condo rental.... words can hardly describe what it was like seeing the ocean, hearing the waves, and watching whales and sunsets from the lanai every day. Upon arrival, I think we spent the first 30 minutes just oohing and aahing over the view, before bothering to unpack!
We travelled as two couples. The rooms shown consist of the master bed with a queen, and the spare room with two smaller beds. Upon request, they will push these two together to make a king size for couples who don't want to sleep apart. The beds were reasonably comfortable, with pillow/foam toppers, and plenty of extra pillows.
There is only one bathroom to share, but it was fully outfitted with tub/shower, sink, toilet and even a bidet, for the European guests. (We had to Google it for instructions, but none of us was brave enough to try it.)
The condo is well appointed, with all the utensils, kitchen items/appliances and linens you need. The side closet also had a beach umbrella, and Styrofoam cooler to borrow for other island explorations. The fridge has a built in ice maker, and there were other sundry items like spices, sugar, soya sauce and cooking oil in the cupboards. (Nice when you don't have to buy all this from the store!) The lanai had ample seating for all, and table where you could dine if desired.
The condo complex has most other amenities on site or nearby, including a laundry area, pool, and BBQ/picnic areas. A few cement beach access stairwells, and communal seaside deck are along the beach wall. Restaurants, shops, groceries and other services, as well as a public sandy beach are also within a couple blocks' walking distance. I highly recommend Pizza Paradiso, in the plaza by the Times Supermarket.
There are plenty of activities and interesting places to explore/shop on this west end of the island, such as museums, zip lines, and plantation tours, as well as some fabulous snorkelling around Black rock, and Kahekili (Old airport beach) just minutes away.
Don't let being on the west end discourage you from exploring other areas like Haleakala, Hana and La Perouse Bay. Traffic can sometimes be heavy around mid/late afternoon rush hour, but you can avoid some of this by taking the Lahaina bypass (route 3000 signs) and travel early or later in the day.
The nitpick items/traveller tips/rebuttals:
Yes, this condo is older than some of the other resorts and condos. This area around Lahaina was one of the first resort areas to be developed on the island, so the buildings and neighbourhood reflect that...embrace some of the old school Maui charm! Whilst some things needed repair, we did get a notice from Chase'n Rainbows that some work was to be in progress, but we were never disturbed by noise or work crews.
We had a slight issue with our parking space upon arrival, as the one we thought we were assigned was occupied by another condo guest. However, a call to the after hours number resulted in the quick remedy of this problem.
The pot smoking neighbour in 5E was still present. I was worried about this due to my allergies and asthma sensitivities, but we only caught a slight whiff of it 2 or 3 times, and heard him once or twice during the week, so hopefully the management/ rental agent has spoken to him about not disturbing his neighbours.
There WILL be ants... other than one penthouse condo, I have yet to stay in a tropical resort/condo/hotel anywhere that hasn't had their resident bugs. The best way to avoid these pests is to store ALL opened food items in the refrigerator (yes, even your dry goods like sugar and cereal), and mop up spills in the bathroom. They seem to be attracted to sources of moisture, and scents like human sweat/cosmetics, so make sure to hang up your towels and store toiletries on the shelves instead of the counter tops.
Also, if you leave the lanai door open, don't be surprised to find a bird or two trying to hop inside looking for crumbs... 🙂
We also had a small gecko visit us one night, but that's okay - they eat bugs. (If critters like this bother you, then the tropics are perhaps not your ideal vacation destination...)
All the above aside, we had an AMAZING time at this condo. We had a hard time prying ourselves away from the daily whale shows in the morning, and basked in the gorgeous sunsets at night. For those intrepid beach combers, you can don a sturdy pair of water shoes and wade in the shallow inside reef areas from the sea wall, when the surf isn't too high. I didn't get the chance to snorkel here like I planned to, but it is possible to do in front of the condo if you are surf aware, comfortable in the water and a good swimmer. However, we did see fish and other interesting creatures during our few wading expeditions. For the fisherman, there are also a few spots along the seawall and reef where you can try casting a line.
As I said before, you really can't beat that awesome view from the lanai... we flat landers simply couldn't get enough of the ocean, and dearly hope to return someday soon!
5 out of 5 stars