Best of Maui Goods and Services

Best Bike Shop

West Maui Cycles

Every time I bike up hill, lumbering like some giant prehistoric wheeled reptile, one of those sleek, wasp-thin cycles, rider clad in high-tech material designed to reduce wind drag by .001 percent comes sprinting up from behind me. My face burns with embarrassment when they offer up a terse “thanks” as they pass, without even breaking a sweat. That aside, I really love bicycling and West Maui Cycles is an oasis, where bicycle enthusiasts of all levels can find whatever they need. They help you pick out equipment, tell you about the best trails and you can even set up an appointment for professional bike fitting service. 1087 Limahana Pl., Lahaina; 808-661-9000;

Runner-up: Island Bikers (YT)

Best Scuba/Snorkel Shop

Maui Dive Shop

Originally, I was thinking of how funny it would be if each of their seven locations were located far away from the beach. Then, I realized not only did I have a terrible sense of humor, I also had poor comprehension of what an “island” is. All Maui Dive Shop locations are appropriately near the ocean, so you won’t need to lug all your equipment very far. Whether you see scuba/snorkeling as a long-term commitment or just want to try it out, Maui Dive Shop can accommodate your needs with their extensive selection and gear rental. Island-wide, 1-800-542-DIVE

Runner-up: Snorkel Bob’s (YT)

Best Hardware Store


Having trouble pitching a tent? Tools just not pounding the way they used to? All the ambience will be for naught if something’s wrong with the hardware. That’s where Ace steps in. I’m sure you’ve heard the jingle but Ace really is the helpful place. Ace serves as a mecca for Maui’s DIY population, especially with its convenient locations, island-wide. Whether looking for screws, cleaning out the gutters (oh hey, I found your mind) or just asking for advice, Ace has your back. 334 Alamaha St., Kahului; 808-877-3931 / 1280 S Kihei Rd.; 808-879-7060 / 55 Pukalani St., Makawao; 808-572-5566

Runner-up: Lowe’s (YT)

Best Head Shop

Westside Vibes

I am appalled we’re perpetuating this zombie-fetish glorification. And on the Westside, too! Lately, where ever I go it’s zombie apocalypse this, cannibalism that! We’ve got enough problems, helping zombies with midnight munchies shouldn’t be one of them. As an American, I demand—what? That’s not what a headshop is? It’s a what? Huh. I guess that’s fine, then. You know this is Maui, right? Head (with or without your body attached) on down to Westside Vibes, featuring Maui’s largest and best selection of tobacco supplies, concert gear and other local products, including “Purple Drank.” 1087 Limahana Place ste 1B, Lahaina, 808-667-1900

Runner-up: Hawaiian Holy Smokes (YT)

Best Bookstore

Barnes & Noble

Given that this is the only place on the island to buy new book, music and movie releases (as well as those cool LEGO architecture sets), and the fact that the good people at Barnes & Noble agreed to sell my own novel and host book signings for me so that I might sell my novel, I have to agree with our readers on this one. Barnes & Noble may be a giant corporate chain, but it’s also a giant bookstore. Of course, it’s located way over in Lahaina, which isn’t exactly convenient for much of the island. Given that, readers may want to watch the growth of the runner-up, Maui Friends of the Library, which now operates used bookstores in Pu‘unene, at the Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kahului and at the Wharf Cinema Center in Lahaina. Next year, this category may have a different winner… 325 Keawe St., Lahaina; 808-662-1300;; @BNBuzz

Runner-up: Maui Friends of the Library (AP)

Best Swimwear Shop


Shopping for bikini bottoms used to be a complex issue. You had the choice of either look cute or being able to swim. Too often, those booty-poppin’ bottoms were guaranteed to have more than your booty poppin’ out if you did anything more than sunbathe. Thanks to Pakaloha, your cheeks never again have to be divided, unless that’s the cut you’re going for. Pakaloha boasts of the sexiest, sportiest and most importantly, slip-proof, swimwear on the island. It’s your one stop shop for our year-round bikini season. 815 Front St., Lahaina, 661-6888 / 159 Hana Hwy, Paia; 808-579-8882;

Runner-up: Maui Girl (YT)

Best Furniture Store


Maui is small, but it seems like there’s a place to buy beds, couches and end tables just about everywhere. Some are good, but most can be cramped and pricey. BJ’s is different. Centrally located in Kahului, the place is large enough to relax you when you walk in, but not so big that it seems like a sterile warehouse. I bought a couch here a year ago, and was amazed at their solid selection and reasonable prices. So the next time you need to replace that dirty, worn piece of furniture, just say, “I need BJs!” and everyone will understand. 374 Hanakai St., Kahului; 808-877-5503

Runner-up: Lifestyle Maui (AP)

Best Consignment Store


A certain hipster chain will charge you about $60 for a shirt that looks like it was found in a local consignment store. You balk at the price, aren’t consignment store finds supposed to be cheaper? The sullen teenage mascot rolls his eyes at you, “It’s supposed to be ironic,” he exhales. However, if you shop at Elise, you can actually buy a shirt from a local consignment store, for a reasonable price. But, if that’s not cool enough for you, maybe you can ask the friendly and accommodating staff to glare at you, when they ring you up. 840 Wainee St., Lahaina, 808-661-5473 / 310 Alamaha St., Kahului, 808-893-5473 / 95 E. Lipoa St., Kihei, 808-874-5473;

Runner-up: Rainbow Attic (YT)

Best Local Clothing Designer

Maui Thing

I’ve said it before, but I would much rather be in fashion, than in love. If you’re like-minded, Maui Thing is greater than cupid and much better dressed. Simple and stylish, Maui Thing exemplifies the “summer is a state of mind” mentality. The shop regularly supports community events, spotlights local artists, and incorporates local themes into the clothing. For example, did you notice the octopus logo is loosely in the shape of Maui Island? Clever, right? 7 N. Market St., Wailuku; 808-249-0215;; @mauithing

Runner-up: Maui Girl (YT)

Best Local Boutique


Mahina is the spam to my musubi, the hot water to my instant ramen, the cardigan to my skinny jeans. They carry a wide selection of clothing, all of it sophisticated without being overbearing. It’s not often you can channel your inner pin-up temptress and beach goddess, all in the same place. But what really stole my heart were the accessories: eye-catching jewelry and adorable purses galore! Coupled with their reasonable prices, its no surprise Mahina topped the list. 23 Baldwin Ave., Paia; 808-579-9131 / 1913 S. Kihei Rd.; 808-879-3453 / 335 Keawe St. #208, Lahaina; 808-661-0383;

Runner-up: Wings (YT)

Best Local Surf Shop


How can you not love a surf shop that has a vintage VW Bug suspended upside down from the ceiling? Who wouldn’t gravitate towards a cavernous building packed to the rafters with boards–long, short, kite, stand-up and even skate. What’s not to love about a place that employs ridiculously knowledgeable staff who can answer just about every board-related question? Hey, I’m just saying, but considering that Hi-Tech tends to win this category fairly often, it looks like our readers noticed. 425 Koloa St., Kahului; 888-717-0683;

Runner-up: Hawaiian Island Surf (AP)

Best Pet Supply


There are lots of independently owned and operated pet supply shops on the island–Kihei Pet Supply, The Pet Shop in Kahului, West Maui Pet Supply, to name a few–but our readers seem to love the convenience and size that comes from being part of a large chain. And hey, Petco does have just about everything pet-related that a person might need, from the smallest cat toys to a collar big enough to hold Fritz, your pet Doberman who sometimes might get a little bitey. Even better, every Saturday the good people at Hawaii Animal Rescue Foundation (HARF) spend the day at Petco showing off all manner of really sweet, really friendly dogs that are (literally) crying out for adoption. Petco: 270 Dairy Rd., Kahului; 808-877-6150;; @petco. HARF: 808-446-4126;

Runner-up: The Pet Shop (AP)

Best Out of Business Business


Yeah, Wokstar–South Maui’s best noodle house–closed back in October 2011 (there’s a King’s in its place now). But Wokstar was more than a place to get fried rice, noodles, potstickers and the most amazing, delicious jaffel sandwiches around–it was a gathering place where locals, visitors, Maui Roller Girls and clubbers trying to stave off drunkeness could hang until midnight, eating delicious food and having lots of fun. But it’s gone now, and Kihei just isn’t the same.

Runner-up: Kuau Mart (AP)

Best Accommodations

Worldmark by Wyndham

There are, to be sure, many, Many, MANY vacation rentals available on Maui. Some are massive five-star resorts, others are small studios and one-bedroom ohanas rented out by the homeowner. Of all that, our readers chose Worldmark by Wyndham’s timeshare accommodations. Of Worldmark’s 60 locations scattered across the globe, the company operates two “condotels” on Maui: Worldmark Valley Isle in Lahaina and Worldmark Kihei. Their rooms have all the traditional amenities, plus full kitchens and (at the Kihei location) really cold AC. Given South Maui’s year-round climate, that alone is probably a big part of Worldmark’s popularity.; @Worldmark

Runner-up: Four Seasons (AP)

Best Tattoo Shop

Paia Tattoo Parlor

Readers know skin art is forever and they love the ink slinging from Paia Tattoo Parlor, till death do them part. From honus to hearts to hellions, beauty goes more than skin deep in a rainbow of color and genres from this Northshore parlor. Subversive eye candy on display in their lobby and in the shows curated by Leah Honma give another perspective to art appreciation on Maui. Paia Tattoo Parlor is also Maui’s only tattoo supply store. 120 Hana Hwy, Paia; 808-579-8515;

Runner-up: Pacific Roots (JR)

Best Pre-School/Daycare

Tots R Us

There are few things I like more than wordplay. If I had a child, I’d probably enroll her in Hui No`eau Visual Arts Center Tots R Us Preschool, just because of the name. Luckily for my imaginary child (who I am tentatively naming Megatron), Tots R Us is a quality childcare program that seeks to unlock creativity via exceptional visual arts education. At Tots R Us, children participate in activities that stimulate and engage them in fun, relevant experiences, which promote lifelong learning and art appreciation. Not bad for just being potty-trained, right? 2841 Baldwin Ave., Makawao; 808-572-6560;

Runner-up: The pre-school at Kapalua (YT)

Best Recycling Center


Guys, having a favorite recycling center is a little like having a favorite child. Sure, parents probably have one, but you’re not supposed to say it out loud. Okay, the Kihei location is spacious and well lit. Point taken, it’s just a tiny bit more conveniently located, right off Piilani Hwy. And yeah, it does have that nifty HI5 Redemption Center, but c’mon, you’re making all the other recycling centers feel bad. E. Welakahao Rd. at Piilani Hwy., Kihei

Runner-up: Aloha Plastic Recycling (YT)

Best Adult Gift Shop

The Love Shack

Don’t be afraid of everything that goes “bzzz” in the night. If The Love Shack has any say in this, they’d be telling us we should open our doors to them, open our beds, and most importantly open our er…hmm. Year after year, MauiTime readers chose The Love Shack as their favorite adult gift store, and I can see why. The staff is knowledgeable, the atmosphere is sex positive, and the products, well, I’ll let you find out about the products on your own. 1913 S. Kihei Rd.; 808-875-0303;

Runner-up: Hot Spot Video (YT)

Best Resort Pool

Grand Wailea

Rope swings, super slides, underwater elevator and river rapids are just some of the attractions your wristband guarantees at the Grand Wailea pool. Kids activities, poolside food and drink service and fresh cold pineapple make hours in under the Wailea sun seem like seconds flying by. Slather on the sunscreen and put on your large floppy hat and settle in because you aren’t going anywhere; this is a slice of island heaven. 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr.; 808-875-1234;

Runner-up: Hyatt Maui (JR)

Best Laser Removal

Medispa Maui

Body hair is a lot like Tribbles. Some find it endearing and loveable. But, some (Klingons and me) see it as an ancient evil that can only be eradicated by laser power. Luckily, you won’t have to journey into Deep Space to get to Medispa Maui, just take your pick of their Kahului or Kihei locations. Medispa Maui provides comprehensive and state of the art skincare in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, performed by highly trained skincare specialists. Which is important when lasers are set higher than stun. 41 East Lipoa St., Ste 21, Kihei / 140 Hoohana St #301, Kahului; 808-879-4909;

Runner-up: Lei Spa (YT)

Best New Business

Hitter’s Paradise

I feel frustrated about a lot of things. When I can’t find my keys.When my neighbor decides 1am is the perfect time to get his karaoke on. When a deadline insists on looming over the horizon. Since my preferred outlet would land me in anger management classes or worse, Hitter’s Paradise is the next best thing. Hitter’s Paradise is Maui’s only outdoor batting cage facility and offers five hitting lanes and a pitching lane, along with pitching speeds from 50-70mph. Whether it’s letting off steam or a family-friendly outing, Paradise Hitter’s provides a high-quality softball and baseball training facility, for all skill levels. 386 Huku Li’i Pl., Kihei; 808-298-0262;

Runner-up: Vanity Salon (YT)

Best Salon

Plush Beauty Lounge

MauiTime readers know whatever your personal style or skin care, there is a stylist and aesthetician for you at Plush Beauty Lounge. They have gussied up Maui brides, created plenty of beautiful blondes and proven cuts are an art to be taken seriously. It’s a full-service salon that has waxing, skincare, haircare and color. Readers that want a perfect glow, snip, blowout or strip take their heads to Plush, where beauty is always picture perfect. Lahaina Gateway Center, 335 Kaewe St., ste 220, Lahaina; 808-667-5874

Runner-up: Vanity Salon (JR)

Best Auto Mechanic

Bob’s Car Care

When your first love starts complaining you’re not spending enough quality time with her, there’s no shame in using BOBs. Aww yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Bob’s Car Care has all the right stuff to get your automobile purring with contentment again. Usually, quality automotive care means not having enough money left over for gas, but not here! Their tender lovin’ care is only rivaled by their reasonable rates. 142 Kupuohi St., Lahaina; 808-661-3553

Runner-up: M&M Mobile Auto Repair (YT)

Best Ukulele Shop

Bounty Music

Bounty Music takes pride in the quality of their ukuleles, and for good reason. On Maui, a guy carrying around a ukulele is as ubiquitous as eating poke at pau hana. Everybody loves that guy. The one that shakes hands with everybody, whose loud laugh gives him away in a crowd, the one that gets called “Unko” even by people the same age. But would we be as convivial if he was carrying around a violin or tuba? No. The ukulele is cherished because it symbolizes good times and good friends. Bounty Music strives to provide Unkos (and Aunties) with an instrument that is worthy of those treasured memories. 111 Hana Hwy, Kahului; 808-871-1141;

Runner-up: Mele Ukulele (YT)

Best Place to Get Waxed

TIE: Paragon/Grace Beauty

In the land of tropical beaches, there are skimpy bathing suits. If this is your first time cramming yourself into a Brazilian bikini, then you can get the matching wax at Paragon Salon in Makawao or Grace Beauty in Paia. There is no better way to display more skin in the sun or in the shade, according to our readers. Carrie Gebb at Paragon even Tweets about waxing bikini shapes @paragonsalonHI. Katy Grace of Grace Beauty has the skills to go by Vagina Dezina, proving that being in a hippie town doesn’t mean you have to be hairy. Paragon: 1160 Makawao Ave.; 808-573-1300; Grace Beauty: 62b Baldwin Ave., Paia; 808-579-9779 (JR)

Best ‘Green’ Business

Cash 4 Gold/Kamaaina Loan

My first encounter with Kamaaina Loans and Cash for Gold was something out of a bad sitcom. I was shocked, how could there be a tie for best “green” business? And both of them are pawnshops? Imagine my embarrassment learned the truth. It was like thinking I was dating twins, only to find out they were the same person. Kamaaina Loans/Cash For Gold provides a professional alternative to banks. Get it? They deal in “green” every day. They offer accountable services, at competitive rates and have been in business for over 35 years. 52 N. Market St., Wailuku; 808-242-5555;

Runner-up: Rising Sun (YT)

Best Bridal Shop

Elly’s Formal Wear

It’s not that I’m bitter. It’s just some of my married friends make it hard to understand why they did it in the first place. “It was a mistake!” they cry. Out come the wedding pictures, to be dissected and scrutinized, for every possible foreshadowing of impending doom. “At least you looked good,” I tell them, picking my way through discarded taffeta. “Of course we looked good,” they spit out, directing the statement at the closest wine bottle. “Getting everything from Elly’s is the only thing we got right.” 145 N. Kihei Rd.; 808-879-7010;

Runner-up: L’Amour Bridal Boutique (YT)

Best Resort

The Grand Wailea

Luxury and splendor delight our readers as they voted the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea the Best Resort on the island. The amazing spa, great luau, luxurious pools (also voted Best on Maui) and spectacular food at every turn means your stay on these 40 acres of prime ocean-front land is never long enough to enjoy it all. New attractions like Alan Wong’s Amasia, the coconut treatment at the spa and creative kids activities at Camp Moana keep returning guests enchanted. September’s Jazz Festival and other events hosted here are such a treat for islanders that the Grand Wailea will be a kama’aina destination all year long. 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr.; 808-875-1234;

Runner-up: Four Seasons (JR)

Best Stand-Up Paddle Board Shop

Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport

There are a lot of surf shops on Maui, but for stand-up boards, paddles, traction pads, leashes and bags, our readers trust Hawaiian Island. They have a huge stock of all the boards and accessories you need for fun (and safety) on the water, and a knowledgeable staff ready to help you out. They also offer the largest selection of rental SUP boards and paddles on the island. 415 Dairy Rd., Kahului; 808-871-4981;

Runner-up: Second Wind (AP)

[PHOTO: Sean M. Hower]