There are many ways to visit a place and more often than not, I've either stayed in a B&B, hotel or 'lodge' and on a couple of occasions, I've rented a house through VRBO, which was successful two out of the three times.
Recently, I tried a 'condo' in Maui through a luxury property vacation rental called Makena Surf. At first, I had a bunch of pre-conceived notions that it would be geared towards families only (in other words, not quiet).
Quite the contrary. Because it's a luxury property, great care has gone into getting the details right. Rather than arrive in a bare hotel room with the most personal thing at your disposal quite possibly being the coffee maker, the condo is stacked with the things you'd need on a vacation as well as things you'd need to day-to-day living: kitchen utensils, glasses, plates, pots and pans, broom/vacuum/mop, washer and dryer, beach chairs, suntan lotion, umbrella, videos, and books. My unit even had tea and spices in one of the cabinets.
As part of staying with them, you receive discount coupons to nearby restaurants and a 'key' that gives you a discount at a nearby grocery store. They provide in and out maid service and a linen change with clean up every 3-4 days on stays of 1 week or longer.
Since the units are often individually owned, the style of each will vary slightly (bedroom-to-bedroom) although the bathrooms, kitchen, dining room and terrace/balcony are pretty much the same. Below were the bedrooms in my unit. (the bathroom was to the right which opened up "view-wise" to the living room so you could see out to the ocean if you chose -- obviously it slides closed if you want the privacy).
The dining room area below which opens up to a full kitchen: (I love the openness of the units)
The living room and kitchen areas:
Depending on what unit you go with, your view will be different obviously. If you're on the second floor, you have the benefit of a view but your terrace/balcony is closed, so you can't walk out onto a lawn/grassy area whereas the bottom unit provides full access to a whole lotta green and beyond that, the ocean if you have an ocean front unit, which I would highly recommend. Look at the view below from my balcony.
(Note: this photo was taken late afternoon and you can see just how empty the 'private beach' area is, which is makes it perfect for a family who wants the security of knowing their children can run around, or a couple who wants to take a sunset stroll).
The pool is no less beautiful. It was quiet, with a hot tub alongside it and surrounded by bright happy colorful flowers that are sure to turn a stressful day into a serene one.
One of the things that stuck with me about the place was the number of flowers; they were everywhere: by the pool, in the front of the property, to the right and left of the walking trails that take you through the units.
Below is from the beach itself looking back at the units:
And the beach in the late afternoon before the sun set. This is by far my favorite photo and memory; the quiet and private-ness of a beach hard to find anywhere, never mind a popular place like Maui. And, the service was outstanding.
One other add and a piece of advice. They have Internet access in all the units and there is a modem in each, so you're not sharing with other units, which is a huge benefit if you plan to be online often.
As for the advice: because its enclosed in a private area, you want to show up early enough to find your unit during the day. They do have an after hours number and a place where you can get your key if you get in late, but it could be tricky to find your unit if its your first time. Hawaii in general isn't known for its lights or road signs.
Bring a flashlight with you, print out a map in advance and opt for the GPS unit in your rental car - will save you time and stress on those dark roads late at night. BTW, this applies to the majority of the resorts and hotel properties in Hawaii.(Hawaii isn't big on signage and lights :0)
Photo Note: the photos taken of the flowers were taken on my mobile phone camera rather than my SLR, hence the reason for a little graininess. I can assure you that there's no graininess when you see them face-to-face. The garden work in the area is top notch.
Note: Makena Surf hosted me while in Maui, but all views expressed here are honest and of my own opinion.