The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Maui, Hawaii, United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Lots of kids running around
  • Extra charge for activities that are free at other resorts
  • Poor service at restaurants
  • Limited attractions nearby
  • Generic design; no Hawaiian flare

Bottom Line

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.

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 Scene

A time-share with more than 1,000 stylish units, resort-style amenities and a family-friendly vibe

The lobby
The lobby

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.

 Service

Decent number of services, but staff is sometimes slow and inattentive

Concierge desk
Concierge desk

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.

  • Daily housekeeping
  • Prompt and friendly bell service
  • Dedicated concierge
  • Room service is available from the Pu'ukoli'i general store.
  • Free valet parking for first night; fee for subsequent nights
  • Guests can call in advance to request that certain groceries be stocked in their unit's fridge (with nominal delivery free).
  • A private chef can be hired to prepare in-unit meals for up to six people.

 Location

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 Black Rock, 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 golf courses and bookended by the massive 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 Lahaina is about 15 minutes by car, and offers lots of shopping, dining, and Maui's best nightlife.

  • Four miles of uninterrupted sand between Canoe Beach and Black Rock with mostly calm, swimmable surf (though water currents vary in strength)
  • Paved beach walkway runs the entire length of the four-mile beach; often crowded, but a great place to meet locals.
  • Whalers Village, an open-air shopping mall with beachfront restaurants, curio shops, and upscale fashion boutiques, is a five-minute drive from the hotel
  • The free Whalers Village Museum, in the middle of Whalers Village, offers fascinating memorabilia from Lahaina's prominent whaling days.
  • About a 15-minute drive from the historic village of Lahaina, with tons of shopping, restaurants, and Maui's best nightlife
  • The Sugarcane Train Tour -- offering a history of Maui's sugar plantation days -- leaves from the station across the street.

 Beach

Directly on a beautiful, uncrowded stretch of North Kaanapali beach

Kaanapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach

The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort sits on a much more tranquil section of Kaanapali Beach -- north of the landmark Black Rock -- 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.

  • Quiet beach with calm water, no other mega-resorts nearby
  • Incredible visibility with an impressive table reef directly in front of the resort
  • Great snorkeling; gear can be rented from the water sports center for $18 a day.
  • Daily sunset dive performances off Black Rock --a sacred spot for ancient Hawaiians-- a 20-minute walk away
  • No beach furniture on the sand; limited to resort lawns and pool deck

 Rooms

Spacious rooms with minimalist design and modern appliances

A One-Bedroom Suite
A One-Bedroom Suite

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).

 Features

Impressive amenities for a time-share

Couples can enjoy a private massage.
Couples can enjoy a private massage.

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.

 Golf

Two championship, designer courses; 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.

Royal Course or North Course

  • Par-71, 6,700-yard
  • Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr.; recently renovated by golf architect Robin Nelson.
  • Wide fairways extend from Kaanapali's main thoroughfare to the beach
  • Holes are never far away from traffic and resort structures.
  • More challenging of the two courses

Kai Course or South Course

  • Par-70, 6,388-yard
  • Designed by Arthur Jack Synder
  • Suitable for all levels, less undulating than those of its sister course
  • Great views of neighboring islands

 Family

Super for families

The pool
The pool

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.

  • Enormous one-bedroom suites with full kitchens sleep four.
  • Kids' channels include Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network; G-rated DVDs for rent in the .
  • Kid-friendly food in all of the resort's restaurants. Kids five and younger eat free with a paying adult at the Ocean Pool Bar & Grill
  • Kids Club for five- to 12-year-olds features a different activity every day -- daily morning sessions offered, plus night camp on Mondays through Thursdays
  • Kids under 12 eat free at select restaurants at sister properties Sheraton and the Westin Maui
  • Calm, clear, uncrowded section of beach
  • Two main pools with a waterslide and a basketball ring

 Cleanliness

Immaculate

The hotel was built in September 2003, but everything looks barely a year old. Regular, non-time-share-owning guests get daily housekeeping.

 Food

Three restaurants, one deli, and room service

Lunch at Pailolo Bar & Grill
Lunch at Pailolo Bar & Grill

A few solid on-site options are provided, as well as plenty of alternatives a short drive away.

  • Ocean Pool Bar & Grill is the only restaurant open for all three meals. The breakfast buffet is quite good, with hot items including eggs Benedict and thick, crispy bacon.
  • The Pu'ukoli'i General Store serves fresh fruit, coffee, and deli sandwiches.
  • The Pulehu Italian restaurant, open for dinner only Thursday to Sunday, overlooks a koi pond and features wood-fire oven-baked pizzas and entrees prepared in an exhibition kitchen.
  • Pailolo Bar & Grill serves pupus (appetizers) and grilled entrees
  • Cocktails are half price during happy hour at the poolside bars.
  • Grocery items are available from the Kai Ala Market, which carries fresh-cut meats and fish.
  • Private chefs are available for in-room gourmet dining.

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas

Address

  • 6 Kai Ala Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Lahaina Westin
  • Westin Ka Anapali Ocean Hotel
  • Westin Kaanapali
  • Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villa
  • Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
  • Westin Lahaina
  • Westin Maui Villas
  • Westin Villas Maui

Room Types

  • Island View One Bedroom
  • Island View Studio
  • Island View Two Bedroom
  • Island View Villa
  • Ocean Front Villa
  • Ocean View One Bedroom
  • Ocean View Studio
  • Ocean View Two Bedroom
  • Ocean View Villa

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Kaanapali Beach Hotel

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 1021
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Address: 6 Kai Ala Drive, Lahaina, HI 96761
(See Map)
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