Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
With 1,021 rooms, this time-share hotel is one of Maui's biggest properties. Completed in September 2003, it sits on 26 acres of beachfront in North Kaanapali. And, like its sister Starwood properties, the Sheraton Maui and the Westin Maui, there's no lack of amenities. In fact, guests no longer have to take the free shuttle to the other Westin to use the spa or to dine at a fancy restaurant. The hotel has its own spa, a luxurious, tropical-chic enclave that features a private tree house, and its swanky Italian restaurant, Pulehu, is part of Maui's upscale dining scene.
A lot about this resort implies class and elegance, from the open-air lobby with a vaulted ceiling, silk throw pillows, and shoji screens to the massive one-bedroom suites with their wraparound windows and monochromatic motif. You'd think the clientele consisted mostly of well-heeled business types on hiatus after sealing multimillion-dollar mergers, and perhaps they are, but they're obviously traveling with kids. Time-shares cater to families, and this hotel -- stylish as it may appear -- is not free from the boisterous din of kids and families gathering around the BBQ grill.
This is a great choice for families who want an upscale experience along with the comforts of home in units with kitchens. Everyone else may prefer to earn or redeem their Starwood points at the nearby Sheraton, which has a central location and a more subdued atmosphere.
Decent number of services, but staff is sometimes slow and inattentive
Regular, non-time-share-owning guests are provided the same services as they would get at a midrange hotel, from porters to a dedicated concierge. In addition to the services that nearby condo and time-share properties like The Whaler and Marriott Maui Ocean Club offer, the Westin Ocean Villas also has a private chef that can be hired to prepare in-unit meals. The slow, and at times inattentive, service at the on-site restaurants is disappointing, however.
In the north part of Kaanapali beach -- Hawaii's first master-planned resort, built in the 1960s on former sugarcane fields on Maui's northwest coast
Located north of, Kaanapali's landmark feature, this hotel enjoys a measure of solitude not possible in the rest of tourist-heavy Kaanapali Beach going south.
Kaanapali is centered around two Hyatt and Sheraton. Six hotels and a handful of condo rentals are squeezed cheek-to-cheek along four miles of uninterrupted beachfront; guests mingle on the sand, using the beaches (and even, at times, the pools and facilities) of neighboring properties. The mostly calm, white-sand beach incorporates Black Rock -- an eroded cinder cone sacred to ancient Hawaiians and the site of daily sunset cliff dives. Kaanapali is less crowded north of Black Rock, where the lodging is mostly comprised of small hotels and condo rentals like the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort. The lively, historic village of is about 15 minutes by car, and offers lots of shopping, dining, and Maui's best nightlife.and bookended by the massive
Directly on a beautiful, uncrowded stretch of North Kaanapali beach
The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort sits on a much more tranquil section of Kaanapali Beach -- north of the landmark-- than do its neighbors to the south. It benefits from fewer beachgoers -- most of those who stay in the resorts to the south don't realize how beautiful this stretch is. Expect amazingly clear water, a long stretch of sand, gentle surf, and terrific snorkeling opportunities.
Spacious rooms with minimalist design and modern appliances
Westins veer toward a bland, monochromatic design that's both hard to love and hard to hate. The units at this hotel have the clean, minimalist look of any modern city apartment. Which is to say that there's nothing Hawaiian about them. The generic quality of the design is such that a New Yorker or San Franciscan could wake up to the white gossamer curtains, dark wood furniture and beige carpet, and not remember where he is. It's not necessarily a bad thing, especially for travelers who look for city comfort on a tropical beach.
Studio units are 440 square feet and feature a king-size bed, a whirlpool tub, and a kitchenette with a full-size refrigerator, microwave, stovetop, dishwasher, and sink. Studios can sleep four people since they come with pullout sofas. For the price, this time-share provides much classier digs than the similarly priced Marriott Maui Ocean Club and the nearby Aston Mahana (though Aston has larger studios by about 120 square feet).
Impressive amenities for a time-share
The Westin Ocean Villas offers more resort features than typically found at a time-share property. And compared to the Marriott Maui Ocean Club, which has similar features, the Westin has newer and bigger facilities. Guests can also take the free Starwood shuttle to the Westin Maui and to the Sheraton, where they get signing privileges at the spas and the restaurants. Unfortunately, many of the guest activities at the Westin Ocean Villas carry an extra fee, which is surprising considering most other resorts don't charge at all for the same types of activities.
Two championship, designer; hotel guests get discounted rates.
The 36-hole Kaanapali Golf Resort stretches across 1,200 acres of land situated between the beachfront resorts of Kaanapali and the West Maui Mountains. Built in the '60s, these two championship courses have been home to the Champions Tour Kaanapali Classic and the LPGA Kemper Open. Wind and rain are less common than at the neaby Kapalua courses, though the South Maui courses (those in Wailea and Makena) are reputably the best in Maui.
or North Course
or South Course
Super for families
Everything about this resort -- from the rooms to the pools -- was designed for families. A single traveler or a couple without kids may feel out of place here, since the grounds are overrun with little ones and the parents who run after them.
The hotel was built in September 2003, but everything looks barely a year old. Regular, non-time-share-owning guests get daily housekeeping.
Three, one deli, and room service
A few solid on-site options are provided, as well as plenty of alternatives a short drive away.
Not your typical time-share, this multifaceted Kaanapali resort features amenities that rival the area's mid- to high-end hotel chains -- fitness center, kids' club -- along with massive, stylish units and an atmosphere heavily geared to families. Solo travelers or couples might want to look elsewhere, however.