There are so many things that go into making Aina Nalu one of the best resorts on Maui. The location in the "Heart of Lahaina Town", just a block off Front Street, can't be beat. The low rise buildings, surrounded by lush foliage, give you a sense of serenity and place. The pools, the fountains, the palms, the little hidden nooks and Zen gardens around the property all give you the feeling that you've escaped to old Hawaii.
But if you have ever thought about buying a condo on Maui, it's the value that really speaks to you. Aina Nalu 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condos are now priced from the high $300,000's to the low $400,000's. To get anything comparable to the quality and amenities at Aina Nalu anywhere on Maui's West Side you would have to spend over $600,000.
Why is there such a difference and such an opportunity at Aina Nalu? It's timing. Aina Nalu's major construction and sale of its 180 plus condo units happened at the very top of the real estate market. Some of the condos sold for over $600,000 at the time. When the real estate bubble burst and the recession set in, Aina Nalu had its share of foreclosures and short sales that brought the values down by as much as 66%.
Today's going price of around $400,000 represents a 100% increase over the absolute bottom price of $205,000 in 2011. Prices have been steadily rising over the last few years but Aina Nalu is still the best buy on Maui.
One of the aspects of Aina Nalu ownership that many owners enjoy is rental income. Most Aina Nalu owners, over 90% in fact, don't live on the property or even on the island of Maui. Most live on the mainland and rent their condos through Outrigger, which is on site, or one of the other excellent off site management companies like Coconuts Condos and iTrip.
The property managers take care of the property. If somethings needs repair or maintenance, they handle it. Larger items still need your OK, but routine cleaning and maintenance are handled. They do the marketing, the booking, check ins, check outs, and at the end of the month they send you a check. Pretty hassle free.
The 2 bedroom condominiums are set up perfectly for full time living, a great second home or that get away condo/vacation rental you’ve always dreamed of owning. Imagine 2 private suites divided by a generous living room, dining area and a full kitchen.
Each bedroom has a queen or king size bed, sometimes twins, with bright reading lamps, a flat screen TV and a private bath.
The décor in the bedroom suite and throughout your condominium is a unique modern tropical style. Mary Ann Philpotts, a designer renowned for her approach to south Pacific design, combed the region from Bali to Maui to find just the right wall and floor coverings, furnishings and even ceiling fans to set the mood.
The luxury starts with the stone tile floors. The stone is used for the kitchen and for both of the baths. The oversize shower in each bath is also made from the stone tile.
The living area has comfortable soft furnishings for lounging and conversation or enjoying the flat panel high definition TV.
The upstairs rooms are filled with natural light from the vaulted ceilings. You can stay cool with air-conditioning or open the lanai door and crank up the custom fans.
If you like cooking, the kitchen has a full supply of cooking and eating utensils as well plenty of drinking glasses and cups. You will have a full range and oven. You can do prep on the black granite counters and dine at the bar.
The master suite has a king size bed with end tables, dresser and another flat panel TV. You have a full size closet with full length mirrored doors and you can take advantage of extra storage above the closet; ask me how that works. The master also has a vaulted ceiling and lots of natural light.
The master bath is tiled with the same stone tile as the entry and kitchen. But they didn’t stop with the natural stone there. They built your oversized shower with the same natural stone and of course equipped with an oversize shower head to match.
The vanity has a granite counter and the matching fixtures are customized to complete the pleasing look.
The master bath is also where your “owner’s closet” is. This is an area that can only be accessed by you. You can store clothing, boogie boards, snorkel and swim gear, supplies – anything you like. You’ll have a lot less to pack.
The guest bedroom has a queen size bed, end tables and an armoire/TV cabinet. There are vaulted ceilings and extra storage above the closet in this room as well. The guest bath is just across from the bedroom. So, it is very private. The guest bath has the same tile floor and an oversize tile shower. It also has a washer and dryer.
Both bedrooms have floor to ceiling windows. You can open the wooden blinds for the view and close them for privacy.
There are ceiling fans in every room and all doors are solid wood. The solid wood doors reduce noise and add to everyone’s privacy and enjoyment.
Aina Nalu’s location ideally positions it to be the premier green property on Maui. The downtown Lahaina location means you don’t necessarily need a car. Restaurants, theaters, supermarkets, coffee shops, medical care, the bus, in short just about anything you need or want is just a short walk away.
The Aina Nalu Owners Association installed solar panels to provide energy for all of the hot water on the property and all of the common area electric as well. And with over 180 units and 8.6 acres, that’s a lot of hot water and power. Additionally, many of the water faucets in the units have been fitted with restrictors to help save water a precious resource on Maui.
A large property needs a lot of lighting for safety and comfort. So, all of the common area lights have been converted CFL’s to save energy and cost. The public restrooms have timers to help conserve energy when they are not in use.
Guests and owners also find it easy to recycle at Aina Nalu. There are large recycling bins at both of the pool for newspaper, aluminum, plastic, cardboard and glass at the pools and near the main trash collection area.
All of these “green” measures have a measurable impact in dollars and cents on the owner’s pocket books by saving thousands of dollars in electricity and propane costs.
Do you feel like walking to the beach? Then slip on your flip flop (slippas here in Hawaii) and head towards 505 Front Street. Just before you get there you will come to Kamehameha Iki Park. The grassy park makes way to a long sandy beach that runs from the Lahaina Harbor to Puamana.
This is a perfect spot to camp out for the day with the family and enjoy the warm shallow water. Towards the harbor end of the beach is an area known as breakwall. That is a reliable spot for local surfers and the surf schools find it gentle enough in close for beginners of all ages.
To the south end of the beach is a spot with the unwelcoming name shark pit. Don’t worry, it is not known for its shark population. The story goes that shark pit has a good surf break and the locals gave it that name to keep tourists away so they could keep it for themselves.
If you want to take the bus or if you are driving some world famous beaches, including Lahaina’s Baby Beach, Kaanapali Beach, Airport Beach and Kapalua Bay are literally minutes away.
Just about anything you want is just steps away from Aina Nalu. Breakfast, lunch and dinner is virtually across the street at Lahaina Coolers, Penne Pasta and Espresso Italiano. Walk down Hale Street to the Wharf shops for Thai, Mexican, the best burgers in town at Cool Cats, more great coffee, pizza and more.
For elegant ocean view dining you can walk a few blocks south to 505 Front St. to Pacific’O, one of our favorites. You can walk a couple of blocks north to any number of great spots including Kimo’s, Longhi's, Fleetwood's, Cheeseburger in Paradise, Lahaina Pizza, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Bubba Gump's.