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Mama's Fish House or Nick's In Maui?

Hi All,

My husband and I will be staying 4 nights at the Four Seasons Wailea in Early January. Our reservations so far are as follows:


Our dilemma is regarding our last night. Should we go to Mama's or Nick's. I've heard very conflicting reports about Mama's but the ambience/setting look great and whilst that's important to us I don't want to sacrifice it for a great meal. So what's the general consensus out there on these two establishments - which one will provide the best food along with great atmosphere? I'm being swayed at the moment towards Nicks as it's in the Wailea area and we would need to get a taxi to Mama's - any idea of how long that would take/cost?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Nick's is fine, but Mama's is better in terms of both food and ambiance. A cab to Mama's from Wailea is probably at least $75 each way including tip and would take about 40-45 minutes I think. If you prefer to stay in Wailea, I'd suggest going to Capische? over Nick's. Better food, better cocktails and a nicer atmosphere at a similar price point. Ask for a table on the lanai and book at a time that you can watch the sunset!

    2 Replies
    1. re: kellyds

      Hi Kellyds, Thanks for the response. Wow, I'm glad I asked the question re distance and cost from FS to Mama's. Definitely not willing to pay that much to get there so that's narrowed down the choice nicely. I'd never heard of Capische - just jumped onto their website and it looks great! Thanks for the rec!

      1. re: Oceans1

        I completely understand your decision on a cab - I think that the comment might actually be a bit short on the actual cost - then there is the return trip.

        While this board is about evenly split between the Mama's lovers, and the Mama's haters (few in between... ?), I am a fan. On last trip to Maui, we turned down two more free nights at the Ritz-Carlton (lovely 2800 sq ft condo), to pay for The Inn At Mama's Fish House, just so that we could do dinner, and not have to drive afterward. The Inn was cool, not that expensive, so friendly and I was about 18' from the front door to the restaurant. We did our lunches there, and then dinner (one night to Bev Gannon's), and I would do that again, in a heartbeat. Now, the Inn is more like a B&B, but we turned our backs on total luxury (and for free), just to do it.

        Travel safely, and enjoy greatly.


    2. I have never been to either one in Maui... but my BFF swears by Mama's. Maybe worth a try and compare?

      1. Do Mama's on the way to or from the airport. It's far too expensive a cab ride to justify going there from Wailea round trip.

        1. We like Mama's for lunch, go for a later seating. It will be more relaxed and the view and food are worth every penny.

          1. This is a good question.

            Considering your location, I would lean toward Nick's.

            Mama's is up in Pa`ia, and as we like our wines, the drive back, while not difficult, is not what we enjoy.

            When we dined there (Mama's) we were most often staying in Kapalua, so only did lunch. Then, just to have dinners, stayed at The Inn At Mama's, and that was perfect.

            We have the same issue with Bev Gannon's Hali`imale General Store - just too far from where we normally stay, so lunch is the order of the day.



            1. Thanks all for your comments and Hunt I think the Inn at Mama's definitely sounds like the way to go - so next trip to Maui we're going to include that on the itinerary. Looks like we'll hit Nick's this time but is there anywhere else in Wailea that I should consider over that and not miss?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Oceans1

                I am first sorry, that I might have tempered your trip up to Pa`ia, BUT I have wrestled with driving up/back, especially after an evening of fine wines. It IS worth the miles, IMHO, but only for lunch, or by staying there.

                We normally do Maui about every five years, and are about due to return. We will do the Inn, as the food is that important to us. Many others, on this board, feel just the opposite, but those are their tastes, and there can be no argument.

                We plan on doing the Grand Wailea, and then move up to the North Shore for a few days - just to safely dine there.

                Enjoy, and travel safely,


              2. This September we celebrated our wedding anniversary dinner at Spago's and I would not return there anytime soon. The entrees we had were insipid, and unimaginative. Not worth the $$$ at all. I would skip it, and plug in Mama's if you can figure out the logistics.

                1 Reply
                1. re: letsindulge

                  That's really disappointing to hear. This is our first trip to Maui and as we're staying at the FS we thought we would try it out. My Husband is keen to give it a go as he's heard some good reviews and the setting looks nice. I'll cross fingers that our experience is better.

                2. Oceans1, how was your trip? Any report back?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kathryn

                    Hi Kathryn, I'm afraid to say that we changed our plans at the very last minute, and I mean last minute. Our itinerary was to spend 4 nights at the Four Seasons Hualalai on the big Island and then 4 nights at the FS Maui. However upon arriving at Hualalai we fell in love with the place and knew that we wouldn't want to leave after 4 nights so we cancelled Maui and extended our time at Hualalai. It's a truly magical place but we are definitely going to include Maui on our next trip.

                    1. re: Oceans1

                      Well I can't say that I blame you, I've heard nothing but amazing things about the FS on the Big Island!

                  2. Nicks is good. I've never been to Mama's

                    Spago usually disappoints me with their service. Its inattentive and slow. Well-prepared meals come out cool. Steak knives don't appear on time etc etc. At these prices one expects competence.

                    I think you will like Amasia. Might want to repeat it in place of spago.

                    1. We're eating late at Mama's, before a flight - any advice on where to sit, or where to ask to sit?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: torta basilica

                        Late for lunch or dinner? What time of year? When is sunset?

                        1. re: torta basilica

                          I wouldn't dine at Mama's past Sunset...the ambiance is half, or more, of the experience. BTW, that goes for almost all oceanview restaurants in Hawaii - you are not paying $50+ for entrees for the food - save your $$$ for the mainland, or Honolulu at least!

                          If you do decide to dine at Mama's in the dark, it won't matter where you sit.

                          If I were you, I'd eat at Flatbread or Paia Fish House instead. Or even Da Kitchen.