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Where you stay when you travel can make or break a trip. Booking accommodations is a task in which you strike a balance between what amenities you want, what location you want, and what your budget is. For years, Airbnb has been our go to. Airbnb’s are great for meeting locals, feeling at home, and getting insider tips on what is best to do and see in a location. If you sign up for Airbnb using this referral code you can get $55 USD off of your first trip!
From Airbnb to Glamping
After our experience taking a campervan around New Zealand, we thought it might be fun to try something different in Hawaii. The weather would be nice, and while we did not want to bring all of the materials required for camping with us, we thought it would be nice to sleep closer to nature. The question of where to stay in Maui was decided by settling on glamping (outdoor camping with amenities and comforts) at Camp Olowalu!
We continued our glamping adventures in the Summer with a stay at a Mongolian yurt in The Yukon!
About Camp Olowalu
Camp Olowalu is a campground/ glampground right off of the main highway. It offers campsites that are close to the ocean, and tentalows which are spread out throughout the grounds. The tentalows are canvas tents located on wooden platforms. They include twin beds (two or four) and all the bedding required. This was essential for us, as we did not want to travel to Hawaii with linens. Although they do not have private bathrooms (there are 12 spread throughout the grounds) the back of each tentalow includes a sink with a mirror, as well as a private outdoor (hot!) shower. There are lights within the tent, as well as mesh covering to keep bugs out.
We arrived in the late afternoon to check in to our tentalow. We had a nap with the breeze coming through the tentalow, and it was nice to be out of the hot Hawaii sun. One thing to note is that these are not noise-proof, and you can hear things around you. While this should not be a problem at night, if you are a light sleeper this may be something to keep in mind. You will probably hear the chickens and roosters in the morning! Overall the beds were comfortable and the stay in the tentalow was enjoyable!
Although the tentalow itself did not have power, there were charging stations located near the tentalow. The only problem was that they were constantly being used. It was kind of nice to let our electronics die and disconnect, but if you absolutely need your electronics this may be a problem. The bathrooms were close by, and always available. There are BBQ grills throughout the site, which we never used, but would have been nice to cook meals.
Things To Do
Camp Olowalu was the perfect location for us, as we spent the day of check in in Ma’alaea on a snorkeling trip, and we would be heading to Lahaina the next day. It was right in the middle. While Olowalu is a small town, there are many things to do within a short distance.
Maui Ocean Center
This aquarium is perfect for rainy days and for families. Visiting Maui with small kids? Check out my tips for Visiting Maui With a Baby! It is open 365 days a year, and admission is $29.95/ adult and $19.95/ child age 4-12.
Interested in learning more about the Maui Ocean Center? We visited during our trip with our baby to Maui!
Distance to Camp Olowalu: 12 minutes
Pacific Whale Foundation
This non-governmental organization seeks to protect Hawaii’s endangered sea species: specifically whales. We had a chance to take one of their snorkel tours: Molokini Wild Side Snorkel. This 6 hour tour took us to three different snorkeling locations, fed us breakfast and lunch, and was a small group tour. They have many other tours, including whale watching ones, and one thing that really stood out for me was their desire to educate. They have naturalists on board and give a talk at some point during the cruise, that is informative and funny.
Distance to Camp Olowalu: 12 minutes
Although still busy (what beach in Maui isn’t?!) this beach seemed more laid back. There is a designated parking lot, and amenities close by. There was awesome snorkeling here, with coral so close to the shore. Adrian saw a baby turtle, but I only saw fish!
Distance to Camp Olowalu: 30 minutes
One of Maui’s most famous beaches, it is a resort ridden beach. We did not go, as we did not want to deal with the crowds and the lack of parking. Maui’s South and West side are notoriously busy, and we worked to find a quieter beach.
Distance to Camp Olowalu: 20 minutes
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If what you’re after is the BEST snorkeling, check out Honolua Bay. This area supposedly has some of the best snorkeling in Maui. While we only got to see it from above, it looked pretty crystal clear to me!
Distance to Camp Olowalu: 30 minutes
These are only a few of the many things to do nearby. Another good resource for finding nearby things to do is Lahaina Town!
Things To Eat
Whether you are looking for some fruit, breakfast, or maybe some pizza, there are many options around Olowalu. Here are some that we checked out!
Olowalu Juice Stand
Despite the poor reviews on Trip Advisor, we had a good experience here. We got a coconut lilokai smoothie that was refreshing first thing in the morning. We did not try the fresh fruit, which seems to be what people on Trip Advisor are complaining about!
Island Vintage Coffee
Located in Whalers Village in Lahaina, this place offers coffee and breakfast options. I had a Lox bagel with a coffee, whip cream & syrup concoction. Super yummy, quiet atmosphere, and Hawaiian music playing.
Looking to experience more island coffee? Check out Maui’s independent coffee shops for more inspiration!
Lahaina Pizza Company
This was probably the longest I have waited for food and drinks ever. It took about 20 minutes to get some water, and it got to the point where Adrian went to the bar to get me some water. Food took so long, and although it was really good deep dish pizza I am not sure if I would go back!
One place we did not get a chance to try, but has nothing but amazing reviews, is Leoda’s.
Our stay at Camp Olowalu was such a nice change from our usual Airbnb experience. Stargazing late at night at night, we slept with our tentalow swaying in the ocean breeze, and experienced all that the nearby area had to offer. If you’re looking for a change in your usual accommodations, try glamping! If you’re seeking where to stay in Maui, check out Camp Olowalu!!!
Need more ideas for Maui? Check out the Maui Guide for First-Timers!
A Truthful Traveler
22 Comments on “Amazing Place To Stay in Maui: Camp Olowalu Glamping”
This is so awesome! I love the tentalows. I’m incorporating this into my list of ideas for visiting Hawaii!
That makes me so happy!!! Tentalows are the way to go, especially in a warm place like Hawaii where you don’t have to worry about the nights getting too chilly!
This looks so SO cool and I would love to take my family here! 😀
They have tentalows for families as well, that have 4-6 beds!
Wish I read your post before I went to Maui. Great post 🙂
Oops! If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to find another excuse to visit Maui, so maybe you can check these out next time!
these look so fun! I would love to stay in something like this!!!
It is definitely a unique experience!
That sky, wow! I’d go just for that 🙂 I’ve never tried glamping but I’ll put it on my list if it can be this fun!
It was beautiful night sky!
Hawaii is on my bucket list and I hope to make it there one of these days! Beautiful photos! This camp looks like a great place to stay to just disconnect. Thanks for sharing!
It was on mine forever! It was definitely a place to disconnect- because everyone was fighting over the outdoor plugs. So we just let our phones die and enjoyed each other’s company!
We have Hawaii on our short list for the next few years. This is a really helpful post. That post of the sky at night is amazing! Glamping is about as “roughing it” as I get. 🙂
That is so exciting! You will love it, I have yet to meet anyone who did not like Hawaii!! Glamping is a perfect alternative for people who don’t want to bring camping gear and have the hassle of being completely outside!
Camping isn’t really my thing, but glamping could work for me. The family prefers fancy resorts, but I might be able to get them to change their minds with glamping- especially if it means a trip to Hawaii!
I am sure you could convince them to stay here! With the ocean right there, it’s hard to say no!
Maui was amazing for us too. Though we stayed at the Ritz, but would love to try other places when we go next.. Thanks for the post.
It is nice to stay right beside the beach in a hotel that has everything you need, but it is also cool to try new experiences!
That juice stand looks amazing! I would definitely get the guava – Maui is definitely the place to try something tropical! Great post, thanks for sharing.
It had some yummy juice! There was also fresh fruit which was an awesome option!
Wow that photo of the stars is amazing! I think that photo alone just talked me into staying here next time I visit Maui. It’s definitely an interesting experience that’s a different and nice change from what we usually do (Airbnb, as well).
It is super different from an Airbnb but so nice to be closer to nature, especially in a beautiful place in Hawaii!