|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
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This eclectic antique Hawaiian cottage is perched atop a scenic jungle gorge with breathtaking views in every direction. Open and breezy; attention to detail shines from every facet. If you’re looking for a unique and authentic Maui vacation, Maliko Retreat should be among your top contenders. (Tip: If you only need one bed, the owners have a brand new studio cottage on the other side of this same property: check out "Maliko Coffee Cottage")
Attention to detail permeates every aspect of Maliko Retreat. From the remarkable personal attention the owners give each and every guest, to the structural craftsmanship, restoration touches, furnishings and guest amenities, Maliko Retreat is clearly a labor of love for owners Sydney and Maurice Smith.
This uniquely Maui home was originally hand-built in the time of Old Hawaii from old-growth redwood and cedar. Recently lovingly restored by the owners, all of the original details and ornamental woodwork have been retained.
Added touches follow the theme of incorporating natural and re-purposed materials. A few examples include hardwood railings milled from a fallen Pu’unene monkeypod, tile and stone work incorporate river rock from the stream below, antique leaded glass doors and windows were reclaimed from plantation era estates, and the original cast-iron claw-foot soaking tub (with a killer view!) These are only a few of many; the Maliko Retreat cottage has a top-to-bottom list of unique touches, detail craftsmanship and interesting points of character.
Designed in harmony with the 'aina
Original builders in this time understood the land intimately; they had to be connected to the environment in everything they did (out of necessity.) The house was originally constructed without access to modern conveniences that we now take for granted – including electricity. The result is a design that masterfully harnesses the natural light and our dependable tradewinds to the home’s full advantage.
Strategically placed ornate woodwork air vents are more than fine finish details – when coupled with the open and airy floorplan, the home breathes with the valley, cooling the home comfortably as it delivers an added bonus: a symphony of intoxicating scents from the flowering Maui rainforest below.
The living room has a cathedral ceiling with floor to ceiling windows. The effect is powerful: Natural light streams into the home all day long, and you’re presented with a deep verdant scene of rainforest canopy unfolding into the background of blue ocean, West Maui Mountains and Molokai island. Views from the home also include Haleakala mountain and a seasonal waterfall.
Being located on acres of undeveloped land, and adjacent to an even larger parcel of undeveloped forest, the home and property are incredibly peaceful and quiet. The only sounds you’re likely to hear from your private retreat are the songbirds, wind, and passing showers as they patter on the rainforest canopy below.
The lanais have multiple tables and comfortable chairs, and the quantity and brightness of the stars and Milky Way are spectacular at night. When evening rains come in, the lanai is such a spectacular spot to watch the raindrops stream though the sunlight, quenching the jungle’s insatiable thirst to grow. And since most of the rain on the North Shore comes from our daily tradewind cycle, it typically (and conveniently!) blows in late afternoon and overnight, delivering the vibrant afternoon rainbows that the windward side of Hawaiian islands are famous for.
Birders will especially appreciate the perspective, and the variety and quantity of birds that can be seen from the canopy vantage point. Pueo (native owls), nene (Hawaiian geese), plovers, stilts, majiros, hwamei, egrets, Java sparrow, Japanese white eye, doves and mynah are just a few of the many species of birds that call this area home. A large flock of egrets migrates twice daily past the cottage, while the feeder attracts smaller birds to the home all day long. (Binoculars are included.)
Sydney and Maurice are exceptional hosts. They treat every guest as if they were family, welcoming all personally and freely offering unbridled hospitality and Aloha alongside their extensive knowledge of the area. Most requests that you might have they will graciously accommodate – they even offer to stock the kitchen before your arrival with your list of groceries for just the cost of the grocery store receipt! (I suggest letting them pick some unique local fruits, veggies and fish that you might not otherwise encounter.)
The significant value added from owners this passionate about the paradise they lovingly steward can’t be overstated. Sydney and Maurice deliver a depth of genuine Maui experience that you’re guaranteed to count high among your cherished Maui vacation memories.
Being in a steep river-cut valley has protected the land immediately boarding Maliko stream from becoming plantation monoculture for pineapple, sugar cane or grazing cattle. Instead you will be treated to an enchantingly diverse jungle forest. Wild blooming tropical flowers, vines, palms, gingers, jungle plants and fruits. Guests are encouraged to pick fruit and flowers (and you will be welcomed with a basket of freshly picked fruit at checkin as well!)
There are also small picnic areas, a stream with waterfalls and private natural pools so enticing, that even the most bashful will comfortably let go of their worldly cares to indulge in a skinny dip. Ancient Hawaiians used this valley, too – and there are even ancient lo'i and pictographs that the owners can bring you to view. The grounds are truly an untouched slice of natural Maui rainforest.
The property is also home to the Maliko Estate Coffee farm – but you won’t find any clear-cut fields or mechanized rows of coffee farming – the hand-picked coffee grows in harmony with the jungle surroundings. Maliko Estate Coffee is shade-grown below the undisturbed lush jungle canopy. You can take a tour of the farm – or simply enjoy the half pound of natural farm-fresh coffee included with your stay!
The owners offer guests many informative activities and tours. Impromptu shorter tours are often freely given, while more comprehensive tours and activities are charged for. Fees are modest considering they are private and high quality – they also get rave reviews from past visitors. Tours offered include a Maliko Estate Coffee tour (you’ll take home a pound of fresh coffee), a basket weaving excursion, wild tea gathering and brewing, and “salad dressings from the jungle” tour where you gather edible leaves fruits and flowers to top your salads with.
We loved the Maliko Retreat. The house is perched atop a hill overlapping a gulch and waterfall that is part of the owners property. It's charming, with incredible views. Sydney gave us a full tour of her property and explained how she and her husband rescued the land and brought it back to its natural state. Makawao is one of Maui's cutest towns, with a great combination of good food and artists/craftsmen. It's also a great spot from which to travel around the island (particularly good for a shorter drive to Haleakala for sunrise, as it's 1/3 of the way up the road.
The only bad thing about renting this place was that we had to leave! This rental was just right for a family of four, with lots of privacy, outstanding views, and all the amenities you could ask for. Definitely book the tour of the property for the full experience. Highly recommended!
2 couples stayed at the Maliko retreat for a week that included a local friends wedding. The house is charming, open air style, and well stocked w all the amenities you might need. The property is on 20+ acres and Sydney, the owner, gave us a phenomenal tour along w access to your own hiking trails and private waterfall swimming holes. It is well located for close proximity to up country makawao and to the beaches of paia and hookipa. Rental car is a must, as uber and taxi services on Maui are very unreliable. We plan to come back in March to this beautiful property.
What a jewel of a find! My husband, mother and I stayed in this fabulous cottage for a full week. It was relatively easy to find, just like the photos (maybe better), and very well kept. The view and surroundings cannot be beat. Amazing view of Haleakala on one side and the shoreline and bay of Kahului on the other. There is also a spectacular waterfall right outside. You can hear from the cottage (downstairs bedroom) and it is great going to sleep to the sound of it. Beautiful birds everywhere on the property and my favorite were the Coqui frogs at night. If you like open air, nature, hiking, places away from the resorts, this is a place you might like. The host is wonderful. She is so helpful and knowledgable about her property and Hawaii. You must take her guided tour of the property and rainforest. Paradise...and what I believe is closer to a true Maui experience. There are fruit trees on the property as well. We had huge fresh avocados everyday off one of the 3 trees near the house. The host provided us with some of her fantastic coffee with fruit from the property on our arrival as well as a frequent shopper card to the local grocery store which really helped save money on groceries. The cottage had everything we needed for our stay. We had an amazing stay here. Thank you!!
The Maliko Retreat is a truly amazing place to vacation. Loved this secluded laid back haven in the rainforest. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the upland forest and the Maliko Valley. The landscape and view is breathtaking with avocado trees just outside the front door. The unique cottage is well equipped with everything you could possible need. My family loved our stay and we will definitely go back.
This place is a wonderful find in Maui, absolutely loved the time our 4 guests spent here! Beautiful views and surroundings, and is nicely secluded yet at same time close to many sites in Maui. This is the cutest cottage I have ever seen, so unique with furnishings and decorations. The host is an amazing person, very kind, knowledgeable and helpful with all kinds of info. I am so glad we found this location, made the first portion of our trip in Maui very special. You will love exploring all the land this cottage is nestled in, just gorgeous! If you are looking for something "different" than just the typical resort and beach scene in Maui, and are more of a mountainous type person, you will love to stay here! We all hope to stay again sometime soon in the future. PS the coffee and fruits grown on the property are delicious!!!
Do any of these describe you?
- Usually active on vacation
- Plan on seeing it all
- Love hiking, waterfalls & adventure
- Prefer being closer to nature
- Seek authenticity in travel
- Plan lots of surfing/windsurf/kiteboard
- Escape touristy hustle and bustle
- Enjoy experiencing how people are living alternative/green/natural lifestyles
- Like to get away from it all – but still be close enough to drive back in
Maui’s North Shore is less developed, less crowded, has cooler days, and is in a more natural state than the popular resort areas of South and West Maui.
With a rich agricultural history, the North Shore is now primarily residential with large multi-acre lots. Celebrities and the ultra wealthy live side-by-side with multi-generation Hawaiian families. Stunning views, uncrowded beaches and an eclectic collection of unique and interesting folks dot the landscape.
Much of the land and virtually all of the oceanfront property is protected from significant development, and there are strict zoning laws that prevent the sprawl and population density found in the more popular visitor destinations. Since development is restricted here, you won’t find any large hotels or resorts. Lodging options are much more down-to-earth: you can rent a house or vacation rental, or stay at one of only three small boutique hotels.
The North Shore is strategically located for visitors to conveniently explore the natural sites and attractions on the Road to Hana and Upcountry Maui, while also being close to world-class beaches. Avid hikers, adventurers, beachcombers and surfers won’t run out of things to do no matter how long they stay on the North Shore.
The North Shore is also quite centrally located, and since the island is relatively small, it is also located within moderate drive times to the rest that Maui has to offer.
The first thing to know (and this applies to any location you choose to stay) is that those who love nature, hiking, sightseeing, exploring and adventure will find themselves all over our incredibly diverse island.
Second is that outside of the immediate resort-area congestion, drives on Maui are not boring commutes like they are back home – virtually every drive is incredibly scenic, and more often than not, drives to a specific destination serve up unexpected and enjoyable tours en route. This is especially true on the North Shore, and outside of the more developed ares, because open view planes show off Maui’s vast geographic diversity.
North Shore vs. Resort Areas
- Closer/avoid traffic bottlenecks to:
~ Haleakala National Park
~ Piiholo Ranch Ziplines
~ Lavender Farms
- Much closer:
~ Road to Hana
~ North Shore Beaches
~ Paia Town
~ Makawao Town
- About the same:
~ Iao Valley
~ Costco, Big Box Stores, Mall
~ Surf rental
The only places further are the resorts themselves:
- It takes around 10 minutes more to drive to either resort area from the North Shore than it would staying in one resort area and driving to explore the other (a must-do!) A straight drive, it takes about 30 minutes to reach Kihei from Paia, and about 50 minutes to reach Lahaina from Paia.
The North Shore has many uncrowded, dramatic and beautiful beaches. Surfing, sunbathing, swimming and world-famous surf spots are plentiful. The biggest wave surfed in the world most years is at Jaws in Peahi. Hookipa is Mecca for windsurfers around the world. Kanaha is the most popular place to learn windsurfing, and Kite Beach is where the sport of kitesurfing was literally invented! All are found on Maui’s North Shore.
(There are photos and links to articles on all these locations)
Most tourists will drive right by these beaches – if you don’t decide to stay on the North Shore, you should still consider setting aside at least one day to explore a couple of these these great local beaches.
Some Favorite North Shore Beaches
Baby Beach -Great for kids, lap swimmers and beachcombers. Also very scenic.
Ho’okipa - You can watch some of the best windsurfers in the world here. Also has very regular surf breaks.
Baldwin Cove - Calm cove, great for escaping the wind when the sand is blowing!
Baldwin Beach Park - A long, sandy beach with plenty of parking, lifeguards and facilities.
Tavares Beach - Popular with locals. Good surf break, too.
Kuau Cove (Beach at Mama���s Fish House) - A small tidepool beach. Kids love exploring here.
Paia Bay - Great for advanced boogie boarders. Also has a good surf break.