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Kaanapali Beach Hotel 3.0

Maui, Hawaii, United States

Review Summary

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Pros

  • Fantastic beachfront location on a stretch of Ka’anapali Beach
  • Friendly, welcoming atmosphere with an emphasis on Hawaiian culture
  • Pleasant, sunny rooms with flat-screen TVs
  • All rooms have a private lanai, many with great ocean views
  • Hawaiian activities like lei-making and hula lessons are free
  • One nice whale-shaped pool
  • Two restaurants and a lively tiki bar
  • Close to many dining options and shopping at Whaler’s Village
  • Free Wi-Fi and no resort fee

Cons

  • Some of the buildings and rooms are dated
  • Just one pool for a large property
  • No hot tub
  • No fitness room
  • Extra fee for parking

Bottom Line

The 432-room mid-range Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is the embodiment of Hawaiian tradition and the Aloha spirit. With regular Hawaiian entertainment and free activities like lei making and Hularobics, it harkens back to an earlier time for Maui resorts. Though it’s not as updated as and lacks some of the features of nearby resorts like the Sheraton, its more affordable rates make this a decent value option for the excellent beachfront location on the beautiful golden sands of Ka’anapali beach.

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Scene

An emphasis on Hawaiian culture at this laid-back, old-fashioned resort

The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel bills itself as the “Most Hawaiian Hotel ” in all of Hawaii, and it's easy to see why. This 432-room mid-range resort is deeply rooted in Hawaiian tradition and takes every opportunity to share the local culture and Aloha spirit with its guests. The dark lobby is decorated with artifacts of Hawaiian culture, like ceremonial drums. Dozens of photos of hula contest winners adorn the walls -- every year the resort hosts the Hula O Nā Keiki, a hula competition for kids and young adults. The hotel even employs a staff of full-time Hawaiian cultural advisers to keep the local spirit vibrant. Free daily activities include lei-making, hula, ukelele and language lessons, and Hularobics.

The resort is situated on a well-maintained 11-acre beachfront property featuring grassy lawns dotted with palm trees and flowering shrubs. In one area of the gardens, guests will find a beautiful, traditional wooden sailing canoe that was built by the hotel’s employees on display. The entire staff worked together to build the canoe by hand, as a teamwork and cultural learning experience. Needless to say, the atmosphere here is extremely warm, friendly and welcoming. It’s also very relaxed and laid-back for this often crowded area that's streaming with tourists. Unfortunately, while many will appreciate the old-fashioned family values of the resort, not everyone will appreciate the old-fashioned feel of many of the buildings, room furnishings, and style. With just one small pool on the premises, neighboring resorts are better for kids, and the crowd here skews a bit older.

The resort has been undergoing renovations around the property starting in 2014, with new carpets, bedspreads, and other room details getting added. Even with the updates to aspects of the decor, the resort is still not as new as the Sheraton or Westin resorts close by. It also lacks the fancy pools with waterslides and other cool, modern features of its neighbors. However, the rates here are more affordable, and overall this is a great value for a beachfront property in pricey Ka’anapali.

Location

Between Black Rock and Whaler's Village on the beautiful Ka'anapali beach

Map of Kaanapali Beach Hotel

This 11-acre resort has a prime location in the center of the famous, golden-sand Ka’anapali Beach, a tourist hub of West Maui that’s known as one of the island’s best beaches. It is located next to the sprawling Sheraton, and offers great views of the popular Black Rock cliffs, where bold swimmers can be seen jumping into the water. There is also great snorkeling at the end of the beach near Black Rock, only a five-minute walk away. Just a five-minute walk in the other direction is Whaler’s Village, a nice outdoor mall with many shopping and dining options. While this part of the island is very walkable, a car will allow visitors to get away from the tourist resorts and see other great beaches and parts of the island. It’s a 10-minute drive to lively downtown Lahaina, and a 45-minute drive to the Kahului Airport.

Rooms

Sunny rooms with private lanais and flat-screen TVs; some updates still needed

The pleasant and sunny Partial Ocean View Room features basic decor and a private lanai

The resort’s 432 rooms are arranged over four buildings, which make a horseshoe shape around the outside of the property. There rooms are primarily categorized by view -- specifically, Garden View, Ocean View, and Oceanfront. The Lahaina Aloha Value Rooms in the Garden category are the most affordable, and have views of neighboring properties. The Oceanfront rooms are the best category, with private lanais that have amazing, panoramic views of the beach and the ocean. They also include little upgrades like Keurig coffeemakers and more space. The other rooms have regular coffeemakers and older mini-fridges.

The rooms are pleasant and sunny, with large sliding glass doors that lead to private lanais with comfortable seating. All rooms are decorated in a similar fashion, featuring colonial-style furniture, like wood desks and hutches that hide the TVs. There are 32-inch flat-screen TVs in all rooms, as well as mini-fridges and coffee facilities. The color palette features warm tones, with some island-style wicker furniture and accents in forest green. The bathrooms are clean but basic, with updated countertops and fixtures. Some rooms have shower/tub combos, while others have walk-in showers. The rooms either have two double beds or a king. Rooms with king beds also have a daybed on the side, for lounging or as an extra sleeping space. Though there are a few updates here and there, overall the room still feel a bit worn and plain.

Features

One small pool, two restaurants, and lots of Hawaiian entertainment

The resort has two restaurants, the Tiki Terrace and the more informal Tiki Bar and Grill. The grill offers lighter, casual fare like pizzas and sandwiches, while the Tiki Bar serves cocktails into the night. The Terrace restaurant serves Hawaiian-inspired fare and has a great breakfast buffet. Its Sunday brunch is very popular. There's also a small grab-and-go kiosk with coffee and light lunch options. Every night (except Mondays) around 6 p.m. the staff sounds a conch shell to announce the start of the entertainment, which includes Hula, local musicians, and dancing. Drink service is offered in the Tiki Courtyard, where the entertainment happens. The resort hosts a traditional luau on Monday nights. There is also a small theater behind the restaurant that holds a dinner and magic show, several nights a week.

In the center of the property there is a cute whale-shaped pool -- however, having just the one pool for a quite large property didn’t seem like enough. It’s a far cry from elaborate pools with waterslides and waterfalls at neighboring resorts. There is no hot tub or fitness room. Many lounge chairs are spread out around the pool and over the nice grassy lawns. There is a giant checkers board in the gardens and a few ping-pong tables can be found around the property as well.

The lobby features a handful of shops, including a large gift shop, a jewelry store, and a small convenience store out front. There are many local crafts and hand-made jewelry for sale as well. There is one E-ticket printing computer located next to the front desk. Next to the lobby, there is a tiny salon that is sort of old-fashioned looking, and the spa consists of just two massage treatment rooms. Coin-operated guest laundry rooms are available. The hotel includes six electric car charging stations in premier parking spots. There is valet parking available for a fee, and a daily charge for self-parking as well. There is free Wi-Fi in the courtyard, and the resort is working on expanding Wi-Fi to all guest rooms, which will be completed fall 2015.

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Address

2525 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, Hawaii 96761, United States

Also Known As

  • Hotel Ka Anapali Beach
  • Ka Anapali Beach Hotel

Room Types

  • Aloha Value Room
  • Garden Room
  • Ocean Front Room
  • Ocean View Room
  • Partial Ocean Room
  • Pool Room

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