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I’ve always loved the laid-back little town of Paia on Maui’s North Shore. With its mix of surfers, yogis, old-timers and trend-setters, it combines charm with a casual island flair that is worlds apart from the island’s masterplanned visitor resorts.
So when I heard about last year’s opening of the Paia Inn, I couldn’t wait to see it. On a recent site inspection, I had the opportunity to experience firsthand the way the boutique hotel blends seamlessly with the town around it.
The Paia Inn was originally built in the early 1920s and was believed to be a small Japanese hotel in the ’30s, according to Paia Inn assistant manager Jonelle Littleton. In 1962 it became a hostel. Now, in its newest incarnation, it does a good job of balancing comfort and convenience. Beyond the front door, clients are within walking distance of the shops, eateries, cafes, cultural sites and beaches of Paia. Inside, they find an intimate oasis of contemporary island furnishings and original local artworks.
The inn’s main building has five accommodations upstairs, including a petite room ($169 per night for one or two people); deluxe room ($199); junior suite (from $269 for up to four guests); one-bedroom suite (from $279); and a two-bedroom suite (from $299). Since the inn sits directly on the main road through town, the double-paned glass on the guest room windows does a good job of keeping the indoors restful.
All rooms and suites come with wireless Internet access, minibars, flat-screen televisions and iPod docking stations. Guests get a free continental breakfast of coffee, tea, scones and muffins, and the hotel common area provides free use of the business center.
The Paia Inn also manages a two-bedroom beach house located right on the beach. Perfect for clients seeking complete privacy, the beach house comes with a full-sized kitchen, large-screen television, fax machine, wireless Internet, stereo system, private driveway, lanai and grassy lawn, outdoor shower, washer/dryer and gas barbecue ($450 per night for up to four people).
Littleton added that the hotel prides itself on being green.
“When guests check in, they can select one of three charities and we will donate a portion of their room rate to that cause,” she said.
Given its proximity to Kahului Airport, just seven miles away, the Paia Inn makes a great property for guests who don’t want to rent a car. There’s plenty to do near the hotel, and other activities are just a short stroll or bike ride away (the inn rents bikes). It also serves as a good overnight stop for clients planning to drive the serpentine 52-mile Hana Highway. In short, the Paia Inn is an excellent choice for clients looking for an alternative Maui vacation in an irresistible setting.
Paia Inn808-579-6000Rates: Nightly rates begin at $169Commission: 10 percentwww.paiainn.com