Affordable Hostels in Maui

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Maui, Hawaii

It’s no secret, I started to get hostel fatigue in Chile, perhaps it was because I had worked for one in Cuzco for a month.

I just started getting tired of dorms, and I missed the great hostels in Ecuador where I could pay $8-10 and get a room instead of sharing one with eight other people.

Lately I haven’t been traveling in hostels at all, and I haven’t stayed in one in Maui until now.

I really wanted to experience the full spectrum of accommodation, both budget and luxury to show that you really could come to Maui and have whatever kind of experience you want.


I don’t want the hostel experience.


I came off the flight from Moloka’i feeling a bit tired and ready for a nap. The girl at the hostel reception was cheery and full of energy and I remembered all those hostels in the past where I had such a good time.


But then I saw my room.


I opened the door to see I was sharing a dorm room with two other girls who were disgusting pigs. I could not do it.

I went back to reception to ask if there were any rooms with a free bottom bunk.

I’m taken to a new dorm with only one guy, it’s just as spartan but he is cleaner than the girls so I settle in onto the white sheets concealing a plastic covered mattress.

I just want to be alone and have a nap but my friendly dormmate wants to have the mandatory are you on holiday/how long are you traveling…. conversation. He seems nice so I muster up some friendliness.

I consider taking a shower but then I remember I don’t have any shampoo because I’ve been using hotel toiletries and I also don’t have a towel.




A year ago none of this would have bothered me. I embraced hostels and loved the people I met. But tonight as I hear my fellow hostel dwellers starting to rev up for Saturday night I am kicking myself for not bringing the hotel shampoo from Hotel Moloka’i.

Instead of wallowing in my grumpiness I decide to hop in my rental car to find some shampoo. Because I may be the grumpy girl right now but I don’t want to be the grumpy girl with greasy hair.


Author’s Note: I wrote this in a moment of frustration, not all hostels are like frat houses but every once in a while they are really terrible. When I got back from Wal-mart I met another dormmate who was great and the next day we went out snorkeling. This is why hostels are great, you meet amazing people, even in the frat house-like ones.  



Disclosure: I was a guest of the Maui Visitors Bureau, all opinions are my own. They did not ask me to write any favourable reviews. I did not disclose the name of this hostel because it’s not their fault I don’t want to stay in a frat house. There may be hostels in Maui that are a bit better but I think I’m done for a while.

Join the Conversation

  1. Oneika the Traveller says:

    I hear ya, sister! I find that I’m over hostels as well, and have written about this fact, though I still do stay in them occasionally when my budget doesn’t allow for a hotel stay. I’ve stayed in some really nice hostels (a pristine hostel in Chile springs to mind) but overall I am tired of having to bring shower shoes and my quick dry towel… Not to mention the forced conversations with dorm-mates (though I am really friendly, sometimes I just feel like keeping to myself)! Now that I travel a lot with my boyfriend, we split the cost of our hotel room, which makes frequent hotel stays easily doable.

    1. Well heyyyyyy friend! I totally agree with both you and other friend Ayngelina here. I’ve stayed in good hostels and I’ve stayed in bad hostels, but when it comes down to it, I’m not 21 anymore (sadly/thankfully).

      Oneika, I LOVE that you mention shower shoes hahaha because it’s so true! I love not having to worry about that. Also, I can be soooo anti-social sometimes haha. And yeah, my bf and I travel together most of the time, so splitting a hotel room works. We still look for deals (I wuv, but I’m far more inclined to hit up a hotel than a hostel.

      If I were heading out on a RTW or even a long-term trip, perhaps I would think differently (or probs lean more towards airbnb/roomarama/housetrip), but right now, we’re doing about one – two weeks in a hotel (max), so it works out alright…

  2. Never want a grumpy girl.


    I’ll bring buckets of shampoo before I have to deal with this.

  3. On the upside.. you got to go to Maui! I’m from Hawaii and I miss it so much!

  4. I have never stayed in a hostel dorm. I don’t think I will ever do that because I know it is something I will not enjoy. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against hostels. I usually stay in a private room with ensuite bathroom. I get a good rate, all the hostel facilities and my privacy. Ok, I don’t get shampoo or a towel. I travel always travel with those anyway.

  5. Ava Apollo says:

    Yikes. I’ve only stayed in a few hostels and have to admit I hated each and every one with a passion. They felt really dirty. I wish there was a good alternative for that cheap, though. I guess one gets what one pays for.

  6. I have never stayed in dorms, and never will (though I have stayed in private rooms at hostels and guest houses). I do love meeting people, but I don’t want to do it when I am tired and just want to sleep, or when I’ve just woken up with greasy hair and a greasy face. Nor do I want to wait in line said people to use a shared bathroom. People can meet other people anywhere without being thrown into such a level of intimacy immediately. Plus, what if the people you share a dorm with are just plain annoying, or not really the sort of people you find great company?
    Just my 2 cents 🙂

  7. I’ve come to the realization that I need a private room when we stay at a hostel. That way we get the best of both worlds.

  8. RenegadePilgrim says:

    I stayed in an AirBnB in Kihei that was priced like a hostel when I split it with my travel partner. We looked into hostels in Maui, but most of them were too expensive (with two of us traveling together) and didn’t look like anywhere we would want to stay. As I get older, I don’t mind staying in hostels if the price is right, but I am getting pickier too. My standards are higher.

  9. TammyOnTheMove says:

    I am so with you. I hate hostels and that’s not an age thing. Never liked them, never will. I’d rather spend a few more pennies on a private room than having to share one with noisy and dirty guests.

  10. Chrystal McKay says:

    I do love hostels for the price and the company – but I can’t stand the messiness of others. It just doesn’t click for everybody that they are sharing a space thus nobody wants to see their dirty underwear!

  11. Cole @ Four Jandals says:

    As a couple we are lucky that we usually opt to get at least a private dorm or a hotel room now. Every now and then though we fall back into a dorm room and just don’t enjoy it any more. Use to be fun like you said but not now that we need our beauty sleep! Plus hotel rooms are sometimes cheaper than a hostel private room in Europe.

  12. The last time I stayed in a hostel was Berlin 2005. I got a fungal infection. It was gross! I would rather not know anybody, than stay in a hostel!!! Before then they never bothered me.

  13. I think this is happening to me too…

    I used to love hostels. LOVE THEM. I loved how easy it was to meet people, I loved all the new friends I was making and even the lack of sleep didn’t bother me.

    …And then I got an apartment. I lived in Chiang Mai for 3 months and then spent the next 2 months travelling with Dave and staying in private rooms.

    When I left to travel solo through Laos and Cambodia, I found that I just couldn’t stay in hostels any more. The snoring had me hitting walls to wake people up, having to have the same conversation over and over exhausted me, and I just found myself longing for a nice, clean private room.

    Now I’m back in Europe I’m going to have to force myself to like hostels again…. 😉

  14. We love hostels, but we hate dorm rooms… fact. Whenever we arrived at a hostel where no private rooms were available and we had to stay in a dorm room we were miserable. But we love the kind of travelers who stay in dorms, hanging out in the common areas or at the hostel bar. We stayed mainly in guesthouses in Asia and we really missed the vibe of hostels.

  15. I’m definitely in your headspace right now, hun. I’m hating hostels and I’m hating backpackers but I *know* the reasons behind that is that the last two hostels I stayed in are chock full of being unbelievably ill and having bad experiences there. *And* the last lot of backpackers I met were all frigging idiots who wanted to experience nothing of Mexico but the partying and drinking.

    As a result, whenever I’m out in the city for my weekly shop and see a handful of backpackers clad in their shorts and flip-flops, I end up making such a scornful face.

    Hopefully some more travelling will put this attitude behind me. I mean, hostels are convenient and cheap but I’m so over sharing with fifty other people.

  16. Paddy Waller says:

    In the hostals(albergues) on the Camino de Santiago you can share a room with up to a hundred people.As it is only a month I had no problem putting up with the snoring,smelly feet,early starters(5.00am) etc but I could have doen it for a long period!
    Nice post!

  17. Oh god am I really in the minority, I suppose I am still young (22) but I LOVE hostels, I travel solo so I suppose this may be why, I have never stayed in a hotel alone (I think I have only actually stayed in a hotel once or twice ever) but I can imagine it is pretty hard to make friends there while it’s really easy in a hostel. As for the antisocial times etc. In one hostel I spent one whole day in bed watching TV etc everyone thought I was really boring but I couldn’t care I was having travellers fatigue and I wouldn’t see them again. I think that’s the key, not caring.

  18. Micamyx|Senyorita says:

    Reminds me of my first hostel experience in Chiang Mai. I was sad on my first day because everyone’s drinking in the lobby area. Do I need to drink in order to talk to fellow travelers? I was also put in a mixed dorm but i learned to love it since my dormmates were friendly and tidy with their things. I know that I will get tired of it as I grow older.

  19. Moment of frustration or not, I totally hear you! Hostels have their advantages, yes, but oh my god they are just too much sometimes. I chose to stay in a hostel recently to save some cash and ended up in a mixed dorm…in which the guy in the bunk below me decided to bring a girl back to the dorm room. Noooo! Super classy.

    I moved back into a hotel the very next morning. Maybe I am getting old but that is way more than I am willing to tolerate. Ever!
    PS I have written a blog post about my experience too – a girl needs to vent!

  20. Yeah, I’ve never really been a fan of hostels, to be honest. I don’t even do too great meeting people most of the time. BUT, I’ll have to get over it, because I’m staying in tons of hostels in Europe this summer!

  21. Christy @ Technosyncratic says:

    Yep, we’re really not big fans of hostels. They rarely seem to provide free internet, and we need our own space!

  22. I give you a lot of credit for staying in hostels in many places. I did it, but I prefer my own quiet space.

  23. Haha I lived in a hostel in NZ for five months straight! Now that I’ve been home and slept in my own bed, it’s a bit funny going back to the hostel life! We’ll see how it goes…

  24. I don’t mind hostels, but I think that’s because I’m not traveling all the time, so I only use hostels a few times a year (if even that). If I was on a long trip, or an rtw I’d probably look into accommodation alternatives to balance things out. I like private rooms, but my budget usually means I have to go for a dorm room. I do try to stay in the smaller dorms, 4 or 6 beds, instead of staying in a dorm with like 20 beds. In any case if hostels aren’t making you happy then there’s no point in suffering through them.

  25. Ernestine says:

    Hey there! Just want to let you know that I have nominated you for a Liebster Blog Award. Please visit my most recent blog post to see the conditions on accepting a Liebster

  26. Meg | One Love Meg says:

    We’ve been traveling now for 28 days and I am already over hostels. I feel like it’s a huge HIT or MISS. Currently, we are in an 12 person dorm style, with 4 guys who snore. We are right next to the kitchen/common area (LOUD) and it’s just miserable. We are also in Spain where everyone goes out late and comes in at 4am. I am lacking sleep and I am cranky. My bf does not want to splurge for the private rooms and I am living the hostel life. I think we need to revisit the “hostel dorm” life soon. 🙂 AMEN to hating hostels!

  27. I once stayed in a guest house in Hastings NZ that had 34 people, 2 toilets and 1 shower. It should have been hell but it was actually one of the best accommodation experiences of my life! I think it all really depends on the people you get stuck with, I find that good friends can make even the worst situations bearable!

  28. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen) says:

    Ugh, that’s so frustrating. I don’t mind a hostel every now and then, but I can’t take sharing a room with so many people for days or weeks on end. I’ve met some fun people, though, and for that I’m grateful.

  29. 8 people in the room is not so bad. 10 years ago I was staying in one hostel in Canada with other 40 guests 🙂 Though it wasn’t so bad at that time. I am not sure I would feel the same today 🙂

  30. It’s probably just because I’m a tightarse (see recent post) but I love hostels. Even when they’re mucky, noisy and you don’t have the same mindset as the other guests, they’re the best way to meet people, which is one of the main reasons I love to travel. Having said that, I’ll treat myself to a private room every now and again, just to recharge!

  31. Grumpy Ayngelina! 😛

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Ha, I know!

  32. Yup, I hear ya, Ayngelina. A good night’s sleep is so much more important to me these days. I just checked into a dinghy hostel in downtown Montreal for two days until I move into a new place for June. I NEED MY OWN SPACE DAMMIT. Are we getting old?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Usually in Montreal I stay at the Sous Bois hostel in Old Montreal and while I love the socializing there it is also so dingy.

  33. Emily in Chile says:

    I think I’m over them too. The price is right sometimes, and the social side of things can be great especially for solo travelers, but the whole shared bathroom thing just doesn’t interest me anymore. I guess we’re all getting old!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      The ones in South America that aren’t on the typical backpacker trail are great but they can be such a hit or miss everywhere else.

  34. Solo Female Nomad says:

    I can completely understand that feeling! I have a love-hate relationship with hostels. Love it for the social atmosphere, but hate it for the snorers that I always seem to share with!

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I know if you stay in a room with girls they are messy if you stay with guys they snore!

  35. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures says:

    Never tried one, never will. Just so not my thing. I’ve never had a problem meeting interesting people out and about while on the road either.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Some of them are really fantastic but it can be tough to find the special ones.

  36. Caz Makepeace says:

    Craig and I were just talking about this the other day. It is not really our style of travel anymore, but that is probably because we have the kids. We still like to stay in the odd one here and there.
    Part of travel is evolving with it and knowing it is okay for your styles to change

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I can imagine it would be difficult with kids, you simply need more room.

  37. Anne From "Stayin Norfolk" says:

    Glad your Maui experience improved. I’ve stayed in some lovely hostels, I recall one in Interlacken that was spotlessly clean with great views of the Jungrau. But yes also some flea pits, that’s why I prefer to stay in discount b&bs rather than dorm rooms when travelling alone today.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I have had fantastic experiences in Latin America, and honestly some crummy ones. If I do hostels moving forward I’ll need recommendations from people I trust.

  38. Leah Travels says:

    Perhaps I’m not a “true” traveler, but I’ve never stayed in a hostel. Maybe I will just to say I have, but I’m not looking forward to that day. God help the people who have to share a room with me. I can hear my incessant bitching now.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I hate it when others make you think you aren’t a “true” traveler when you don’t do things the way they do, I felt the same way because I didn’t adore hiking, that somehow I was less of a traveler. I now understand that me not hiking also means others are saved from my whining.

  39. Kash Bhattacharya says:


    I had the same problem after staying in a seedy hostel in Paris last year with a bunch of snoring Brazilian hyenas…

    I have only two words for you now: Luxury Hostels

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Kash I told you, come over to the Americas and show me where they are because I’d be all over luxury hostels.

  40. I always liked hostels for the price and the social aspect, but it gets old quickly. I hate almost always being the oldest one in the dorm by quite a few years, I hate that there’s always someone coming in late and someone getting up early. It’s nice now that Andy and I are both outgrowing them, so we either stay in hotels/guesthouses, or we get a private room in a hostel, preferably with a private bathroom.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      Most of the hostels I stayed in around South America had a lot of people in their 30s but maybe that is because there were a lot of Europeans but I agree I have no desire to be the oldest by many years.

  41. Believe it or not, I traveled extensively in my 20s without ever staying in hostels regularly. I have stayed in some, of course, but I guess I liked privacy and found other budget places to stay. I can see why, after your stays in nice hotels, you are over hostels.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I will likely do some hostels again if I know they are good, but I cannot do the frat house kind any longer.

  42. Magic Travel Tanya says:

    Ha! I feel your pain. Even though we don’t go for the dorm rooms any more, some times the private rooms can just be as bad. Maybe I am getting old, but I do love quietness after 10pm.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      You know in South America the private rooms are sometimes more expensive than hotel rooms, if you can find where locals stay the rooms often have tv and wifi for the cost of a dorm for foreigners.

      1. Arianwen Morris says:

        I’ll be looking out for those! I think there should be more of those pod-style hotels, so you can socialise with everyone, but you still have your privacy when you go to bed.

  43. It may sound blasphemous – being a backpacker and all – but I have never liked hostels! They’re simply a means to an end. Give me a hotel any day!

  44. International Volunteer says:

    There is less privacy leaving at a hostel, but it is easier to meet other travelers. It can be nice. 🙂

  45. I know what you mean. Sometimes I think I’m “too old’ for hostels. I think I just like my privacy more and be able to do what I want when I want… also the last hostel i was at, had paper thin walls and 2 snoring guys… ah.
    I can relate to the frustration you felt.

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      I hate the snoring, although it is better than people who are messy.

  46. Some things i hate about hostels:

    1. That FUNKY SMELL that emanates from the bedroom and rooms of too many hostels.
    2. The “party” hostels where you can’t go to bed before 2 OR 3AM, because the bar is right next to the dorms or people are just plain up late and noisy,
    3. The state of bathrooms in some hostels.
    4. You’ll inevitably end up above the creepy 65 year old guy with way too much stuff who has been living at the hostel for awhile.

  47. Interesting insight, but I think everyone has been staying at the wrong hostels! Hostelling is one of my fav parts of traveling and to prove that hostels are some of the best places to crash in, I documented my latest experience from Madrid. I think you’ll change your mind after reading this one!

  48. if really needs to take on the budget, better i’d be in hostels.. you can always meet friendly peeps and enjoy but i would be so much unlucky if i end up in a room with that funky smell too.. 😛

  49. Chris Johnson says:

    Hey Ayngelina,

    I’m glad that I helped turn your experience around. Snorkeling was hella fun!

    Good to see that you’re doing well and keeping the blog going!

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