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Maui Travel Blog

Maui Sands Photo Journal 1979-1981

Maui Sands was built in the 60s, it was one of the first resort style properties in West Maui, and the Nadler family has been staying there since it was built. As regular guests through the years, “the good old days,” as Vicky and Merl reminisce, are captured in these amazing photos. Go back in time for a moment through this photo journal of the years between 1979 and1981. Mahalo to the Nadler’s for sharing all of these with us!


A Different Time


“Maui Sands was built back in a time when property wasn’t as expensive and developers took the time and money to make sure that their condos were surrounded by lush landscaping. It’s hard to get a unit with a bad view: they either face the ocean (with views of Lanai and Molokai) or tropical gardens blooming with brilliant heliconia, flowering hibiscus and sweet smelling ginger.” –  Fodors Travel Guide

It was a different time, there were no air conditioners and telephones in the condos. Vicky remembers a pay phone in a little storage room that was part of an office for the maintenance men. She also mentioned there were jigsaw puzzles and paperback books that you could take back to your condo and use.

Pictured together, Merl Nadler and his favorite housekeeper Annie.

The Beachfront


The beach in front of Maui Sands before the sea wall was built. Vicky (pictured alone along the beach) and Merl Nadler recall that there wasn’t a railing around the oceanfront bench and there was lots of sand and foliage along the beach.

The couple in the picture along the beach are Mac and Marge who were residents at Maui Sands and played a key role in “the good old days” around the pool.

Pool Parties


Maui Sands pool parties were popular among visitors and residents. According to Vicky and Merl’s recollection Mac and Marge (pictured above) lived in a condo along side the pool and Mac was the organizer of all the parties. They also recall that most of the people in these pictures were visiting Canadians.

The Old Airport Beach


From 1965 to 1986 there was a small commuter airport located along the northwest coast of Maui called Ka’anapali Airport. The airstrip was very close to the beach and was within walking distance from Maui Sands, Maui Sands Seaside, and Paki Maui.

Small twin-engine propeller planes, operated by the Royal Hawaiian Air Service, flew in and out from Oahu. The runway was surrounded by sugar cane and a small terminal was home to the popular Windstock Lounge. The airport also had a car rental place and Merl would walk down there and rent a car for a day or so. They just loved the convenience.

Today the airport is located a few miles north and above Honoapi’ilani Highway and is called Kapalua Airport. The beach area where the airport was located is now known by locals and visitors as Airport Beach.

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