My little oasis at Maui Vista in Kihei and other travel tips

Overlooking the fragrant grounds from the lanai at Maui Vista in Kihei |
If you followed me on Instagram stories while I was away during Christmas, this view will look very familiar to you.

You are looking down from the lanai of unit 2212, at Maui Vista, located in Kihei, Maui.

I came to know this little space like it was my best friend. On so many levels.

Maui Vista in Kihei |
When I left for Maui in December, life was pretty chaotic at the time. I had actually booked this little escape during summer. Since then, I had cancelled it, but not the flight part, as it was purchased with free air miles.

So, when December finally hit, I was feeling all sorts of “No, I could never do that!” one minute, to bursting into tears the next, because I knew how much I needed it.

So at the 11th hour, I went online to cancel my flight, but my fingers started tapping for cheap condos instead.

And that’s when I found this place. (I go via VRBO)

When I read the listing, it said…

SALE! $100
SALE! $100
SALE! $100
SALE! $100


All in bright red. As if to wave at me saying… what’s your excuse NOW?

In December, this price is unheard of. You’d be looking at least $170 PLUS for a decent place, especially that time of year.

And I just loved the look of the decor inside! Tasteful, upbeat.

It was like everything suddenly aligned, and the only thing I had left to do was convince myself it would be ok to go.

So… I bit down hard, and threw the non refundable condo rent on my credit card.


Beautiful, beach styled condo at Maui Vista in Kihei |
Beautiful, beach styled condo at Maui Vista in Kihei |

When I first walked into the condo, the first thing I said was, “Wow, this is really nice!”

I didn’t anticipate feeling like this. I was already smitten with the condo I usually go to at Kihei Akahi. But I had to let it go, which forced this one my way.

Beautiful, beach styled condo at Maui Vista in Kihei |
Beautiful, beach styled condo at Maui Vista in Kihei |
What kept coming to mind about this place was, there was no wasted space. It didn’t feel too big, nor too small. It felt perfect. It was cozy, and all the stuff was placed like it was just meant to be there.

But I will say, I have never stayed at a condo before with so many empty drawers and shelves for renter’s stuff. It was pretty amazing. The closet doors hid a huge built in closet with all matching hangers, tons of shelves and drawers, and even cubbies. All empty.

Talk about a traveller’s dream…

As you can imagine, I allowed myself to completely unpack, and move right in!

Beautiful, beach styled condo at Maui Vista in Kihei |
During the first few days, I really felt like a fish out of water.

I missed my son. This was ‘our thing’, coming here. But, I was here for a really important reason this round.

This one was truly just for me.

But being in a new place ended up as a complete blessing. There were no memories here, so I got to strike out all on my own this time.

It took a good week. But around that time, I let go. Of everything. And was just ‘here’.

When I look at these pictures, I get such a warm, comfortable feeling. This place? During my toughest hours, it became my sanctuary.

And that’s when the real magic started to transpire.

I’d start my morning with a Hawaiian CD, and enjoyed coffee on the lanai.

No discussions. No plan making. No wondering how to keep the other party happy and occupied. No sharing the TV remote. No tip toeing each AM trying not to wake the other up.

This was my little playhouse, and what a place to play!

Some days, after the beach, I just sat on the sofa and read a book. It was a south facing unit, so there was no lack of sunshine!

I became such a homebody here. Rarely went anywhere other than the pool, beach, or condo.

The established grounds of Maui Vista in Kihei |
Ok, well, part of the reason I rarely went anywhere was because parking was a little chaotic. And this place was just far enough from everywhere where you kinda needed to drive. 

I just wasn’t in the right headspace to ‘work out’.

Knowing I’d move to another condo near the end of my stay, much closer to where all the walking action is, I just stayed put.

The established grounds of Maui Vista in Kihei |
It was here that I also did my major sightseeing, which was actually very little.

I went upcountry in THIS post, went whale watching (a first! but maybe go high season instead of Dec), took a trip to Lahaina (and saw Moana!), and a few other minor detours.

But when I started to feel ‘meh’ once returning, I knew it was time to pull the plug, and just stay put.

If this girl turns down the Maui Swap Meet, flat bread in Paia, my fabulous Acia bowl from The Farmacy in Wailuku, and a visit to tranquil Iao Valley, SHE. IS. DONE!

One neat highlight though, was when local signmaker buddy Doug took me out to a sports movie, then we walked the beach at night. I would have never done those two things. But to come across sleeping turtles along the beach? So cool. So cool. Tag along with a local, and you’ll get something special out of it.

The established grounds of Maui Vista by the pool in Kihei |
The established grounds of Maui Vista by the pool in Kihei |
Back to condo life…

One highlight for me is spending time at the pool. This place has three, one to each building.

But just a warning… I did not expect the water to be as chilly as it was!

And that’s when I reflected… it was December after all. Warm to me, but cooler to them.

It also makes a big difference if a pool has dark tile. Most pools aren’t heated in Hawaii, so they rely on the sunshine to warm them up.

I was rather sad to miss out on nightly swims here, because honestly, I didn’t want my teeth to chatter! 

But once I moved condos, the dark tiled pool at the other place was chilly too. I was stunned. In summer, it is as warm as a bowl of soup!

So there you have it. Temps are indeed cooler in Dec.

And while there is NEVER a bad time to go to Hawaii, there was less in bloom this time of year too. Still fragrant, lovely, warm… but it wasn’t out of place to wear a sweater in the AM or PM, and I didn’t DIE wearing jeans to the airport. Unheard of in July.

Poolside library at Maui Vista in Kihei |
Each pool had its own shelf library too, which was super cool!

Merlinator, a red beaked tropical bird on the lush green grass at Maui Vista in Kihei |
Condo rental tip

Something strange did happen with this unit while I stayed here. This condo has battery operated keypad entries. And one evening, I returned to a dead lock.

The front office was closed of course. But most units are rented privately, so your communication is through a local rental place.

Place all those contact numbers in your phone before you get there! I was searching through emails on the phone looking for a number to call. The pad glitched, and eventually did allow me in that night. But you can bet I didn’t leave until they ran over a bypass key the next AM!

Ok, and one more thing…

On my day of departure, I was about to leave at 11AM. I had just handed the key over, so I was without. Feeling a little odd about it, I tried the door lock before I closed it behind me, as I wanted to get the luggage trolly downstairs.

The door would NOT accept my code. Whaaaa…

With a quick call to the rental unit, they discovered the ‘clock’ on the lock was a little early, so I would have been locked out. Sheesh! So they gave me a bypass code this time so I could at least get out of the unit with all my stuff.

They made it right, and that’s all that really matters. But I’m just glad I was as cautious as I was. 

Renting a car on Maui, I highly recommend the Nissan mid sized SUV |
Car rental tips

This was my little putt putt I rented. It’s a Nissan SUV, and this sweet thing treated me right! Adore. Adore. Adore. 

This would be called an ‘intermediate SUV’, which I highly endorse renting. They sit a little higher off the ground, perfect for pot hole-ish roads, and I love how the hatch back opens the back of the car right up. It also came with a back up screen and usb plugs. Swoon…

To rent, I generally go through Discount Hawaii Car Rentals. Super good online service, and it’s always worked out well.

Main road through Kihei, across from Maui Vista |
And just to give you a little perspective of the surroundings, most places in Kihei are on the other side of the road from the beach.

Or, the more affordable ones are anyway.

This road gets super busy, so I always like to stay further inside the condo grounds, rather than face the road if possible. My unit was so quiet, you could hear a pin drop!

Main road through Kihei, by Maui Vista and Charley Young Beach |
One BIG highlight on staying here was the fact that Charley Young beach was directly across the road.

I am so smitten with this beach! I spent a lot of time at the little private beaches to the right of this lane. Most days I had my little spot all to myself.

But if you ever stay in this area, that’s a large parking lot on the right, and there was always tons of room.

And if you’re ever wondering if Christmas is ultra busy? I think summer is actually busier.

Meandering walkways through the beautiful established grounds at Maui Vista, located in Kihei, Maui |
Meandering walkways through the beautiful established grounds at Maui Vista, located in Kihei, Maui |
So… after 12 days, my time was done here. By that time, I was super relaxed, and totally in my element.

And while I really enjoyed my quiet time here at this quaint, sweet condo, I was eager to move to my next place. No more driving! I was done with all the sight seeing, and over the last 4 days, it was pool, beach, and condo yard. Rinse and repeat.

Fav eateries

Oh.. and walking distance from my fav S&Q’s coffee shop (their iced coffee is perfection!), Moose’s (family pub), and 808 Bistro (the banana cream pudding is divine!)  It was nice to leave the car behind this round.

The beautiful established grounds at Maui Vista, located in Kihei, Maui |
Great places to stay

It’s really neat if you can divide your condo time up. It gives you two vacations in one, plus you aren’t sad when you leave the first time, because you aren’t going home yet!

One year we stayed on the north shore Maui, and divided it up between Napili Point and Papakea. Really neat experience! But I generally stay at Kihei Akahi.

So, did the trip do what it was meant to do?

It did. And so much more.

My wish is for every person to go on a vacation by themselves at some point in your life. A familiar place, where you know you’ll be safe. It truly was a life changing experience I will never EVER forget.

Happy travels to you!

Where do you like to stay when in Hawaii? Any favs?

You can read all about my travels HERE

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Categories: Junk Drawer, Travel
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10 thoughts on “My little oasis at Maui Vista in Kihei and other travel tips

  1. Such an interesting article. Thanksfor sharing. You’re really a great writer. I could see myself reading a book if you wrote one. My wife, Dorothy Tegeler wrote and published about 8 travel books and she did it mostly all on her own. She even did a cook bood and a childrens coloring book. We both read your articles.

  2. Hi Donna,

    I’ve only been to Hawaii once for my 30th anniversary and we stayed at a hotel in Waikiki beach. I would love to travel with you though because the experiences you have are how I would love to discover and learn about the area. I love Hawaii and sometimes I just imagine how beautiful those Islands were before they were discovered. Untouched and pristine. Sometimes I feel sad when I see all the development. But, it still is beautiful!!

  3. Thanks for sharing! In the fall of 2012 I drove from SE Washington to northern BC for a few days to visit my Mom but I needed to have time to talk with God and ask Him something. I look back on those pictures like you and what an amazing, life changing trip that was.

  4. Wonderful article. You’re getting to know the layout of the land well. Very informative. So glad you were able to get away. By the way, I liked the blue lights on either side of the clock in the kitchen. Cool.

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