Luxury Real Estate Maui: Unveiling the Island’s Top Gems

Luxury real estate Maui
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The shores of Maui continuously attract new residents and second-home owners who want a beautiful home or condo in a stunning setting. The Maui Real Estate Team represents buyers and sellers of luxury homes all over the island.

In this post, we explore the best luxury real estate Maui has to offer, including information on the communities where luxury properties are concentrated and a sampling of some of the types of homes and condos available.

For a closer look at some exceptional properties, check out our featured listings.

How Do You Define Luxury?

One of the first things we ask clients looking for luxury property is “How do you define luxury”?  For some, it is exquisite materials, top-of-the-line appliances, amenities galore, and plenty of space. Some may define luxury by location, proximity to a favorite activity, or beach.

Some may have a more simple view of luxury. Peace and quiet, a sense of tranquility, an escape from the hustle and grind that put them in the position to acquire a luxury home.

An example of luxury real estate on Maui

What type of property fits your luxury needs? Is it the privacy of a home or the lock-and-leave convenience of a high-end condominium? Is it an exquisite piece of land where you can build a home to your exact specifications?

The good news is that the Maui market offers a variety of properties to fit your needs regardless of how you define luxury.

Luxury in the Maui Resorts

When looking at Luxury Real Estate in Maui, starting with the resort markets makes the most sense. They are home to the greatest concentration of high-end homes, and the communities themselves are full of amenities appealing to luxury buyers.

While there are some similarities between the resorts in terms of the general types of amenities and access to beautiful beaches, each resort area has its distinct personality. Most home buyers will end up gravitating to one resort or the resorts on a particular side of the island.

Wailea is the most well-known and biggest of the Maui resorts. Its numerous hotels help heighten its “brand.” It is home to the Four Seasons, the Grand Wailea, Andaz Resort, and the Fairmont. Residents and second homeowners enjoy easy access to these hotels’ fine dining and other amenities.

There are three golf courses for residents and visitors to choose from. The Shops at Wailea is the premium shopping area on the island.

While cloaked in vibrant, green landscaping, the weather in Wailea is dry and sunny throughout most of the year. Afternoon clouds forming over Haleakala keep the temperatures from soaring too high.

The crescent-shaped, golden sand beaches are great for swimming and snorkeling. Ocean conditions are typically more placid than a lot of other parts of the island.

The combination of man-made amenities and natural beauty explains the draw of this area. Those who want to make Wailea their second home or primary residence may choose from numerous condominium developments and gated subdivisions for housing options. We wanted to highlight just some of these options.

Looking at Wailea Condos, the conversation starts with Wailea Point. Located between the Four Seasons and the Fairmont Kealani, this oceanfront development is arguably the resort’s premier location. It includes amenities like three heated pools, a lap pool, tennis/pickle bar courts, a manned security gate, concierge and handyman services, and even an orchard. T

he condos themselves are generously sized with a handful of owners who created double units. Owners invest heavily in the condo with high six and seven figure remodels commonplace.

Wailea Point offers luxurious living between its ideal location, numerous amenities and stunning setting
The interior of a condo at Wailea Point with big views of the Pacific.

If you prefer more understated elegance, Wailea Elua condos continue to rise in price due to the demand for its superior location on Ulua Beach. In addition to the location, there is just something about the feel of Elua. It hints at a Hawaii of days gone by.

It would be easy to go on for a while, listing other luxury Wailea Condos and their attributes; it has more luxury options than any other condo market on the island. Check out the current inventory of Wailea Condos for sale.

Similarly, the resort has several gated subdivisions if you prefer a single-family home. If you want to live on the ocean in a single-family home, there is a single option within Wailea. Maluhia at Wailea consists of just 14 residences with 5 of those right on the beach. While this is one of Wailea’s finest communities, interested buyers need patience or luck. Homes for sale in this community do not come on the market often.

The next closest subdivision to the water in Wailea is Wailea Kai. This community was among the first in Wailea. The homes are older and there are bigger homes with more bells and whistles in other Wailea subdivisions. That said, the subdivision is a quick walk across the street to beautiful Keawakapu Beach. If a walk to the beach is your type of luxury, this is a great spot. Quite a few insiders consider it the best luxury value in Wailea.

Four Wailea residential neighborhoods border a golf course. While you can’t go wrong with any of them, Wailea Golf Vistas is our pick of the bunch. Lovely homes, beautiful views, the Wailea Blue course, and within walking distance of the Wailea Beach Path. Wailea Golf Vista’s location is somewhat of a sweet spot; still on the golf course, but a bit further removed from some of the busier Wailea subdivisions.

There are many luxury homes to choose from in Wailea, and many are located in neighborhoods other than the ones we highlighted. If you are interested in Wailea, check out the current inventory of Wailea Homes for Sale.

Makena

Our local Realtor’s Association lumps Wailea and Makena together as a single district in the MLS. That makes sense, considering that they are both upscale communities that border each other. They have the same climate, and both areas are acclaimed for golden sandy beaches.

That said, Makena has its distinct feel. It is much less dense, and there are no Hotel Resorts in Makena. There are more homes along the shoreline and across the street from the shoreline in Makena. You can also find acreage in Makena. There are some larger lots across the street from the ocean both in subdivisions and outside the subdivisions.

Luxury Real Estate in Makena
A luxury home in Makena. The property is not listed for sale.

With less density, more acreage, and more oceanfront homes, it is not surprising that Makena Real Estate tends to be more expensive than its neighbor to the North. Makena Owners have resort amenities close by but tend to have a little more privacy and exclusivity. If this sounds like an appealing option, check out the Makena Homes for Sale page on our site

Those who value privacy, exclusivity, and resort amenities and still want Makena may find an option with the relatively recent addition of the Makena Golf and Beach Club. Discovery Land Company is developing this project. Discovery is renowned for its very high-end developments, including the Yellowstone Club.

Members can access a golf course, fitness center, pool, clubhouse, fine dining, and other amenities. Makena Golf and Beach Club offers building lots and condominiums. Their offerings are seldom on the MLS. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team to find out more about this Makena Community.

Ka’anapali

Ka’anapali is Maui’s first resort community. Originally developed in the late 1960s, it combines beautiful sandy beaches, sunny weather, cooling trade winds, and a verdant backdrop with the West Maui Mountains. The resort offers two golf courses, and Whaler’s Village offers upscale shopping and dining. The mix of natural and manmade amenities has drawn affluent homebuyers for decades.

Golf Course and Beach living in Kaanapali
Ka’anapali offers a mix of beach and golf-oriented lifestyle

The combination of beach and golf lifestyle offered in Ka’anapali is summed up by the number of residents who own golf carts. The golf carts are used just as much for shuttling to and from the beach and Whaler’s Village as they are for golf rounds.

Traditionally, part of Ka’anapali’s appeal was its proximity to the shops and restaurants of Lahaina’s Front Street. Sadly, that is no longer the case after the fire in August of 2023. While it will take a long time for Lahaina to rebuild, the return of this community will enhance Ka’anapali in the long run.

There is a diverse mix of luxury home and condo options within and immediately adjacent to the resort. Most recent luxury home sales occurred within the resort’s Lanikeha Subdivision. This subdivision offers lots ranging from just over a 1/4 acre to over an acre. It also has a community clubhouse and pool area.

Kai Ala Drive is the one place in Ka’anapli where you will find beachfront homes. These six beachfront homesites are located on Airport Beach in Ka’anapali. Four of the six lots have homes, with a fifth under construction. The lots are all about an acre in size. While a home sold in the neighborhood in 2023, they don’t come on the market very often due to their limited numbers.

It’s worth mentioning a subdivision just outside the resort area boundaries. Ka’anapali Coffee Farms is one of the island’s more unique luxury home neighborhoods. The bulk of the land on each lot within this agricultural subdivision is dedicated to coffee farming, with half an acre to an acre reserved for the owners’ homesites and whatever crops they may choose to grow.

In the condo market, Ka’anapali Ali’i offers beachfront living directly on Ka’anapali Beach. Ali’i offers one-bedroom and two-bedroom floor plans. The views, location, and grounds make it a top choice for those who want to own in the heart of Ka’anapali.

Honua Kai is located just outside of Ka’anapali Resort. The newest condo development along this stretch of coast includes two towers and townhomes. It has three total pool areas, a fitness center, a popular restaurant, Duke’s Beach House Maui, a market, and other amenities. Honua Kai has studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom floorplans.

Again, we are just skimming the surface of housing options in Ka’anapali. To see the full range of options, check out the full inventory of Ka’anapali Homes for Sale and Ka’anapali Condos for Sale.

Kapalua

Kapalua Resort is located a few miles further up the coast from Ka’anapali. Like the other resort communities on the island, it also offers beautiful beaches and renowned golf courses. Kapalua Bay was the original recipient of Dr. Beach’s Best Beach in America Award. The PGA Tour kicks off the year with an event at the Plantation Course.

Oneloa Beach in Kapalua.
Oneloa Beach in Kapalua

Kapalua Residents have the option to buy a membership at the Kapalua Club. This allows for access to Spa Montage; access to the Kapalua Beach Club over Kapalua Bay; complimentary towels, beach chairs, and umbrellas at Kapalua Bay; discounted rates at Kapalua’s golf courses, and more.

One of the main things that differentiates Kapalua from other resorts is the climate. Wailea, Makena, and Ka’anapali are located in the rain shadow of Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains. Kapalua’s location closer to the island’s Northwest tip means more exposure to weather that might come in on the trade winds. That means more precipitation in the winters but a more naturally lush environment and cooler summers than the other resorts.

Kapalua is also closer to a broader range of outdoor activities than the other Maui Resorts. The Mahana Ridge Trail is a great hike that connects the resort to the Maunaloa Arboretum. The former Village golf course is home to a growing network of single-track trails for mountain bikers. During the summer months, the beaches of Kapalua offer good snorkeling. In the wintertime, it gets more surf than the other resort areas. Avid and highly skilled surfers flock to nearby Honolua Bay when winter swells grace the shores of Maui.

Kapalua’s proximity to Maui Prep, a school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, attracts families looking for year-round resort living. The school saw significant growth over the last few years with increased remote workers.

While housing options in Kapalua tend to be luxurious overall, there are a couple of places worth highlighting in particular. Plantation Estates offers lots of two acres or more, and big views along the Plantation Course. The combination of acreage and golf course living is unique in the island’s luxury home market. Kapalua Place is the one place to find beachfront homes in Kapalua. Five of the eight lots in the subdivision are directly overlooking Oneloa Beach.

To see the luxury home options throughout Kapalua, you can check out the current inventory of Kapalua Homes for Sale.

If you prefer a condo, The Montage Residences Kapalua Bay offers large, well-appointed condos in a beautiful setting next to Kapalua Bay. The Montage offers 2, 3, and 4-bedroom floor plans. Property amenities include fine dining at Cane and Canoe, a stunning pool area, and Spa Montage.

Coconut Grove is another luxury condo option in Kapalua. The 3 bedroom condos directly overlook Kapalua Bay. These are just two of the condo complexes in Kapalua. You can check out the current inventory of Kapalua Condos for Sale to explore other condo options.

Luxury Outside the Resorts

Luxury living options aren’t just confined to Maui’s resorts. You can find luxury homes all over the island. That is particularly true if your sense of luxury is defined more by more than just the structure itself.

Oceanfront Luxury

The greatest concentration of luxury homes on Maui outside the resorts are located along the shoreline. Oceanfront land is finite, and it makes sense that the land trades for a premium, and the homes ultimately built in those locations tend to be upscale.

It’s also notable that oceanfront homes aren’t as common in the resort communities on Maui outside of Makena. If you truly want to live in a home on the water, you have a lot more options outside the official resorts.

If you are in South or West Maui, you find homes on the ocean close to and immediately adjacent to the resorts. In that sense, you have the best of both worlds.

Beautiful Keawakapu Beach in Kihei is home to some of Maui's most luxurious homes.
Keawakapu Beach in Kihei has a high concentration of luxury homes.

Keawakapu Beach in South Kihei has to be at the top of the list for concentrations of luxury homes. It feels like cheating calling this outside the resorts since it is just to the North of and across the street from Wailea.

That said, this stretch of coast has seen the second-highest concentration of $20,000,000 plus sales outside of Makena. Lot sizes range from a half acre to just over one acre in size and front a beautiful stretch of golden sand.

Napili and Kahana are communities located between Ka’anapali and Kapalua. If you drive ten minutes in either direction, you will be in either resort. The quiet bays and coves along this stretch of Maui coastline are another area where high-end home sales are common.

This stretch of coast is also home to one of our favorite understated luxury condo options on the island. Alaeloa is a collection of 42 standalone and duplexed cottages on 13 oceanfront acres. This leasehold development offers a true sense of old Hawaii, and its low density makes for a quiet and relaxed atmosphere that so many crave.

North Shore Luxury

Luxury tends to be congregated around areas with best-in-class amenities. The North Shore of Maui happens to offer one of the best combinations of wind and waves in the world. If you love to wing foil, kitesurf, or windsurf, the coastline along the North Shore of Maui is a bucket list destination for any of those sports. The surfing, stand-up paddle boarding, and outrigger canoe racing are also pretty fantastic in their own right.

Add in good restaurants, a great health food store, an abundance of yoga studios, and other wellness-related businesses, and you can see why this stretch of coast has such strong lifestyle appeal. As more people have learned about the quality of life on the North Shore, it has become a haven of understated luxury living.

The Spreckelsville neighborhood epitomizes the lifestyle-oriented draw of the North Shore, with a fantastic ocean sports playground just offshore. The Maui Country Club offers a nine-hole golf course, pickleball, swimming, tennis, and other activities that add to Sprecks’s lifestyle appeal. Sprecks offers a variety of real estate options, including oceanfront homes, executive homes on larger lots, and even a boutique luxury beachfront condo complex at Sugar Cove.

The neighborhoods on and near the ocean in Paia and Kuau are another part of the North Shore with a growing number of high-end home sales. Again, ocean sports are a draw, as are the shops, boutiques, and restaurants of Paia Town. The North Shore neighborhoods are all near some of the best schools in Maui, which is a luxury that many of our clients desire.

The pool area of a luxury oceanfront home in the Kuau area of Maui's North Shore.
Luxury living in the Kuau area of Maui’s North Shore.

Haiku is located a little further down the coast in a more rural setting. For those looking for more space, the area’s agricultural roots mean that most properties are located on two or more acres. Haiku is on the wetter, windward side of the island, making for a more lush and tropical landscape.

You may find the area appealing if you consider privacy or owning orchards or gardens a true luxury. It is also close to Paia town’s amenities, and Haiku has excellent restaurants like Nuka.

The topography of Haiku means the oceanfront tends to be an elevated cliff front. Aina O Ka Hale Pili is an oceanfront neighborhood along the cliffs of Haiku with recent high sale prices. Haiku Makai and Haiku Hill are non-oceanfront neighborhoods with concentrations of luxury homes. Those are just some of the Haiku neighborhoods that may appeal to luxury buyers.

Upcountry Luxury

Upcountry Maui offers cooler climates, a rural lifestyle, and beautiful vistas of the ocean, neighboring islands, and the West Maui Mountains. For families looking for a luxurious year-round residence, it is home to many of the island’s best private schools. Seabury Hall, Haleakala Waldorf, Maui Montessori, and Carden Academy are all located Upcountry.

upcountry offers horse back riding and all kinds of other outdoor activities.
Upcountry is a great spot for horseback riding and other outdoor activities

While you are a little further from the beach, Upcountry still offers many outdoor activities. If you are into equestrian sports, it is a popular area for horseback riding, and there is a laidback Polo community strongly influenced by the area’s ranching roots.

There is hiking nearby in Haleakala National Park, Polipoli State Recreation Area, and the Makawao Forest Reserve. The Forest Reserve is also home to some of the island’s best mountain biking.

Like the North Shore, this is an area where gardens and orchards can thrive. Kula has long been one of the island’s agricultural hubs. The higher elevation and cooler temperatures make for surprising crops, including the island’s only vineyard.

Upcountry has long been home to some of the bigger estate properties on this island. These were the residences of local cattle ranching and agricultural families. Some were the second homes of wealthy Kama’aina who built summer retreats on Haleakala’s cooler, higher elevations.

More recent high-end subdivisions like Baldwin Ranch Estates in Makawao and Kula’Io in Kula have seen strong demand from luxury home buyers.

Other Areas of the Island

If you are looking for golf, beaches with placid waters, and upscale shopping, Hana and East Maui will be something other than your cup of tea. However, if you want natural beauty, lush tropical foliage, quiet, and seclusion, Hana or one of the nearby communities may be about perfect for you.

This area of the island is only accessible by a windy road that meanders through rain forest and passes over numerous one-lane bridges. For area residents, this is more of an attribute than a flaw.

A luxury estate property tucked up in the hills above Hana
Seclusion and natural beauty are a draw for luxury home buyers in the Hana area.

Being a small market, Hana has limited luxury home inventory. That said, there are typically one or two options on the market at any one time. They include a mix of oceanfront homes, homes on significant acreage, and oceanfront with acreage.

If you value, quiet and natural beauty when looking for a luxury home, you may find the perfect spot in Hana. Check out the current Hana listings to see what is available.

Launiupoko and Pu’unoa are two neighborhoods located just South of Lahaina. The August 2023 fire reached the edge of the neighborhoods but did not burn any homes. Other wildfires have entered the neighborhoods in the past. Launiupoko has taken steps to mitigate wildfires by becoming a Firewise Community.

These two neighborhoods saw considerable interest from luxury home buyers in the twenty years before the fire. Properties in the neighborhoods are valued for their combination of a warm, sunny climate, stunning views, and acreage.

Fun surfing and stand-up paddling at Launiupoko Beach Park also appealed to buyers. Of course, the proximity to Lahaina Town’s amenities and attractions also enhanced the appeal of these neighborhoods.

Like Ka’anapali, these communities will benefit when Lahaina rebuilds. The neighborhood’s remaining strengths are enough to see continued buyer interest.

Central Maui isn’t necessarily an area associated with luxury real estate. That said, a smattering of old Kama’aina Estates are scattered along the base of the West Maui Mountains. The Wailuku Country Estates subdivision has seen some high-end sales over the last few years. This neighborhood offers views and acreage just a short drive from downtown Wailuku. There are also some beautiful homes in Wailuku Heights and Koa at Kehalani.

Luxury Real Estate Maui: Find the Best with the Maui Real Estate Team

We covered a lot of resorts, neighborhoods, and condos in this post. Hopefully, it helped provide a foundation for your search for a luxury home in Maui.

If your head is spinning a little, we would be happy to help. Contact The Maui Real Estate Team and tell us how you define luxury. We would be glad to learn more about your needs so we can find the right location and property for you and your family.

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