Once a booming sugarcane plantation town, today Paia
is a tiny village considered the domain of local surfers and travelers in the
know. Quiet and breathtakingly scenic, it's basically an undiscovered gem. There
are only a few Paia hotels here, and as such you won’t find the tourist masses
visible elsewhere in Hawaii. While Paia lodging may be limited, it is luckily
excellent across the board, including great boutique hotels in Paia and, at
the other end of the scale, cheap Paia accommodations such as hostels and bed
and breakfasts. The traveler who decides to make a trip to Paia won’t have
difficulty finding a place to stay, though they may find it hard to leave once
time is up.
Of the Paia hotels available, the standout option is the Paia Inn Hotel, located on Paia Bay. Chic and classy, it’s boutique Paia lodging at its very best. The elegant rooms here feature bamboo hardwood floors, high-definition cable TV, an iPod dock, and free wireless internet. Drag yourself away from these rooms and you’ll find a well-stocked library and a stylish garden patio. It is here, with a glass of chilled white wine in your hand and the sound of the ocean lapping at the shoreline in the background, that the Paia Inn Hotel proves itself one of the very best hotels in Paia.
Take a short walk from the patio, and you'll find yourself on that very shoreline. Paia Bay and neighboring Hookipa Beach are genuine paradises for surfing. The latter is also known locally (and not so locally) as the windsurfing capital of the world. Unsurprisingly, then, one of the best things to do for people staying in this part of the island is to jump on a board of some kind and ride those waves. The reception staff at Paia hotels will help you rent equipment if necessary.
The Kuau Inn is another example of the great Paia lodging options. A massive and spacious plantation-style house in the neighboring village of Kuau, which is about five minutes walk from Paia, it rents out four separate rooms that each come equipped with cable TV and free Wi-Fi. The benefit of staying here is the fantastically social atmosphere. The inn is run by a close-knit team, and as it’s a small place, everyone tends to know one another and spend time in the house’s many relaxing hangout spots. Similarly, the Blue Tile Beach House is one of the more laid-back hotels in Paia.
For a more rough-and-ready take on accommodation in Paia, try the Rainbow Surf Hostel. This is one of Maui’s few really standout hostels, and it’s great for backpackers or committed beach bums who want to stay in an affordable, sociable place that’s a stone's throw from the beach. The Rainbow Surf hostel offer an airport-pickup service, though they freely admit that it only runs when the staff members aren’t busy surfing
As when looking for hotels in Maui in general, checking services such as airport shuttles before booking can help save you money. Some hotels will include this in the price while others will charge a premium (or not offer the service at all, in which case car rentals are probably the way forward). Getting to Paia is easy—Kahului is only down the road, and it conveniently includes one of Maui’s airports.
When researching your trip, it’s also worth considering when to go, as cheap hotel deals and all inclusive packages often make the most of the offseason, meaning you can make your money go further.