I stayed at 4 Maui hostels over a 3 week period – BANANA and NORTH SHORE at Wailuku, ALOHA SURF at Pai’a and TIKI BEACH at Lahaina. I review each separately on TRIP ADVISOR and can confidently say that for travelers seeking a quieter option to the sometimes boisterous atmosphere at the others, NORTH SHORE does the job.
As such, it tends to attract a slightly older, more mature clientele. Other pluses include: it's extremely well organised – I particularly liked the after-hours arrival set up and the very helpful information folders/fact sheets/publications which told me stuff I didn’t know even after 2 weeks on the island; helpful staff (hats off to super-efficient MOMO): airconditioned dorms compared with fans at 2 others; free airport/beach/Ioa Valley shuttle; free pancakes; very sturdy bunk beds (I was unaware someone was sleeping above me one night); big spacious bathrooms – 4 in number which seemed sufficient for the relatively small number of guests; relaxed living area, keypad entry which kept the door to outside locked to non-guests; big free well-lit public carpark directly across the road, good wifi, relaxing upstairs front balcony, post 2200 quiet time practised and not just given lip service.
DOWNSIDES: small kitchen got crowded at peak eats times; 8 person dorm a bit cosy; location isn’t near touristy attractions or a big supermarket (however plenty of eats joints/bars nearby); PC a bit clunky; limited clothes-line area; doesn’t offer the free island tours of BANANA and ALOHA SURF; older building so beginning to show a bit of wear and tear (but the place is kept very clean).
THE RATING: I have rated all 4 of my hostel stays ABOVE AVERAGE. But if BANANA deserves 4 stars, NORTH SHORE beats it with 4.2 which I judge equal to TIKI BEACH. Only ALOHA SURF at 4.5 is better IMHO.
- make sure you write down the entry code # given when booking to ease keypad entry on arrival.
- NORTH SHORE indicates you use bus#20 to/from down town – bus stops are at the State Office Block building 400/500m to the south-west of the hostel. Online’s better mapping locations will show these stops. But be aware buses 1 and 2 have stops in Nth Market St only 400m down around (left) the corner (to the north east) which may fill a gap between #20’s hourly schedule (although they take maybe 3X longer to reach downtown).
- IOA VALLEY is a great, no cost excursion from NORTH SHORE. Momo drove me up at 1000 and although many facilities are still closed from a devastating flood Sept 2016 it is still a great area to check out. Locals were ignoring barriers to sit in the lovey swimming holes of the river and so I jumped a barrier and took a 4 hour (return) ridge hike up adjacent to the famous IOA NEEDLE. Gotta say the rough trail and steep descent wrecked my 71 year old knees and so I didn’t appreciate the 5km walk back down the road to the hostel even though it was a gradual downhill and would be a doddle to most of you dudes.
- The free beach shuttle is to KANAHA BEACH PARK near the airport. This is a pretty nice strip of silica which happens to be one of the world’s premier KITE SURFING/WIND SURFING locations. I’m not sure if the hostel picks up on subsequent AIRPORT shuttles – if not you can come back independently by taking the short road across to the airport and catching a #35 or 40 bus into town and then changing to a #20,1 or 2 to the hostel.
- If you use the local buses make sure you have plenty of dollar notes: $2 each bus/no transfers. No change is given. A day pass ($4) is excellent value if you plan more than 2 rides. Buses have free bicycle racks, great for long trips against the wind (don’t ask how I know this) and NORTH SHORE has a $10 a day hire bicycle – bit of a clunker but it does the job.
- it is possible to get to most places on the island by bus (although frequency is not great) – but NOT to super popular HANA or the VOLCANO, or to the island’s best beach (BIG BEACH with the funky and super popular Sunday afternoon DRUM CIRCLE at adjacent clothing-optional LITTLE BEACH) or to some of the attractions in the island’s north west. Check the hostel’s notice board – many guests have rental cars and are looking for people to share the trip to these places.
I hope some of the above stuff may be useful. NORTH SHORE is not shabby at all. I can recommend.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Aloha and E Komo Mai! The Northshore Hostel Maui is an ideal location to explore our tropical paradise. Spend your entire holiday with us or just one night! Our rates are the lowest on Maui and we strive to offer impeccable customer service to guests of all ages. We are located in downtown Wailuku, in the foothills of the West Maui Mountains, only 5 miles (10K) from the airport. We offer free airport transfers for our guests. Our facility is clean, safe, secure and friendly. A hostel is a great way to meet new people and save your hard earned money! You will find it easy to relax and feel comfortable and enjoy your stay with us. We hope to see you soon. A hui hoa! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Northshore Maui Hotel Wailuku