Paia Inn, Paia, Maui, Hawaii $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
The modern incarnation of the Paia Inn opened in 2008 in the cutest former plantation town in all of Hawaii. It's a welcome addition to Maui's hip north shore—home to Owen Wilson and Laird Hamilton—where there were previously few hotels. Owner and architect Michael Baskin designed the five rooms with Asian-inspired teak furniture, European bedding, perhaps a few too many colorful paintings by local artists, and the usual tech perks (flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi). Scones from Anthony's—the surfer mainstay located across the street—accompany coffee in the lounge each morning, and the restaurant's low-key menu of sandwiches and smoothies is available for room service. The little stretch of beach right in front of popular surf break Tavares and Paia's many shops, cafés, and restaurants are a two-minute walk away. (You can park the car and not move it until you leave.) Reasonable rates (starting at $169 per night), and a location that dials you into local life, make it easy to overlook the only potential downside—the intimacy of this historic two-story building means that sounds from other guests can occasionally intrude. On the upside, it's also easy to make friends with fellow travelers.