Michael Baskin is an architect, builder, and designer who specializes in the preservation of historic coastal towns.

Celebrated for his unique approach to construction and design, Baskin has been featured in various publications including the New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Coastal Living, Men’s Journal, and Sunset magazine.

In 2002, Baskin purchased a lodging house in Maui and transformed it into the Paia Inn, which has been described by the Los Angeles Times as an “upscale stylish haven”. As a highly popular tourist destination, the Inn continues to receive outstanding reviews and has been recognized as one of the top three best hotels in Maui. 

Baskin is currently working on several renovation projects in Paia, as he hopes to retain some of the city’s historic charm. As an opportunist, he is also proud to create various economic opportunities for local residents. 

What is your current role at your company?

I am an architect, designer, and the owner of Paia Inn – a boutique vacation rental in Maui. Located on a three-mile stretch of white sands, it is the perfect spot for a family getaway or wedding reception. With private beach access and bali-inspired architecture, we offer coastal luxury to those visiting the island. 

What inspired you to go this route?

My dad has always been a motivator for me in my life. I spent many of my formative years sitting in on my dad’s staff meetings, and he taught me a lot about business and entrepreneurship. He encouraged me to pursue my post-secondary education, and I eventually learned how to combine my passion for design and architecture. I began remodeling old homes in local neighborhoods before investing in higher-priced real estate markets such as Maui. With every project I completed I learnt how to be more cost conscious and increasingly profitable. Now, I am widely known for my refined coastal style and my unique approach to design. I have built homes and small hotels in Hawai’i, the Caribbean, California, and Thailand.

What defines your approach to business?

My approach to business is simple really, I take the time to ensure I hire the right people. I work alongside many talented individuals including architects, engineers, and accountants. I attribute my success to my hardworking teams of professionals. I value open-communication. It’s important that everyone remains on the same page at all times and understands what it is we are working towards. 

What are the keys to being productive in such a busy environment?

Patience and perseverance are vital to long-term success. When it comes to construction, you can pretty much always expect challenges, whether it be delays, additional costs, or permit requirements, especially when it comes to historic properties. It’s important to stand your ground and do your best to navigate through whatever issues arise. 

How do you measure success?

I have been in the business since 1987 and since then I have experienced extensive success. I am now the owner of a beautiful boutique vacation rental property and I specialize in the restoration of coastal towns. However, despite my own success I realize the importance of giving back. As a longtime Maui resident I make an effort to give back to several organizations including Haleakala Waldorf School, Kekaulike School, Horizons Academy, Paia Youth Center, Make a Wish, Camp Imua, Keiki Dream, Seabury Hall, the Cameron Center, the Hui No’eau, Hana Senior Center, Red Cross, the Hawai’i Wildlife Fund.

Success to me is also finding a balance between my personal life and professional obligations. As a family-oriented person, it’s important that I spend quality time with my loved ones on a daily basis. 

What advice do you have for those who are interested in your industry?

My best advice would be to seek out other industry professionals who can share some of their experiences with you. Business is challenging and it’s easy to lose motivation when it comes to your goals. However, taking the time to learn from more experienced individuals may help one avoid unnecessary pitfalls. 

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

For me, family is my number one priority. I love my job and everything that I do but to me, success is now being able to spend time with those who are most important to me. Maui is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Normally when I am not working I take my family and we like to enjoy the day out on the water. 

What is one piece of advice that you’ve never forgotten?

Never lose sight of your goals, but most importantly never lose confidence in yourself. You’re in charge of your own success, so it’s important to stay motivated no matter how challenging things seem. Make self-reflection a weekly habit and use setbacks as learning opportunities.

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Michael Baskin is an architect, builder, and designer who specializes in the preservation of historic coastal towns.