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One of Kaanapali's best beachfront mega-resorts; but expect long lines for food, chairs at the pool, and help at the front desk
Past the Westin's landscaped driveway and grand entrance, throngs of guests line up at the front desk, waiting to catch first glimpses of the Westin's lush grounds, its 87,000 square feet of pool-mania, its waterslides, its Heavenly Spa, its on-site shops, its gorgeous beachfront. ... If it sounds like a mouthful, that's because it is. One of Maui's biggest resorts, the 759-room Westin has more amenities than any other hotel in its price range.
Unfortunately, the line at check-in isn't the last. The pool decks get crowded in the afternoon and lounge chairs can be hard to find unless you're out very early. This family-friendly resort is also packed with kids, so honeymooners should take note. Even the wait for breakfast can be ridiculously long. But the lines are no different here than they are at the Westin's closest competitor, the Hyatt Regency, or most other mega-resorts along the resort-rich four-mile stretch of Kaanapali Beach. The Hyatt also has an incredible pool complex and similar top-tier features, and its guest rooms are a touch larger, but its sliver of beach is also much narrower.
Impersonal service and long lines
Getting acquainted with the Westin Maui usually includes waiting in line to park your car, waiting in line to check in, and then waiting some more for your luggage to arrive at the room -- the operative word here is wait. This is a massive resort with well over a thousand guests on any given day, and you can feel it. Considerable lines at the breakfast buffet and even coffee stand would be prohibitive, if you had any other options. At the front of the line, the service is variable: like it or not, you're stuck with what you get and staff members aren't forced too hard to please guests.
- Two concierge desks; knowledgeable staff
- Separate activities counter for booking outside activities and excursions
- Nearly 24-hour room service (Regular in room dining service 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. with Night Owl Service of gourmet sandwiches, snacks and drinks from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.)
- Self-parking; lot gets packed, but if full, valet parking is free
- The pricey resort fee covers a number of amenities including: admission to 24-hour fitness center WestinWORKOUT, internet access, 2 bottles of water provided daily, airport shuttle service as well as shuttle service to Lahaina and Westin's three other Starwood resorts, a Westin Maui souvenir eco bag, and an outdoor portrait sitting and 4x6 color photo
In the center of Kaanapali Beach -- Hawaii's first master-planned resort community (built in the 1960s)
Kaanapali is centered around two golf courses and bookended by the massive Hyatt Regency and the 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 composed of small hotels and condo rentals, like the Royal Lahaina.
- 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.
- Next door to Whaler's Village, an open-air shopping mall with beachfront restaurants, curio shops, upscale fashion boutiques, and its own free museum
- About a 10-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 from the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas in north Kaanapali, a five-minute drive from the hotel.
- Self-parking on premise; valet parking available for a fee (if the self-park lot gets full, they'll valet park your car for free)
- Shuttle Service available to Lahaina and Westin sister properties in Kaanapali
Broad center of beautiful, four-mile-long Kaanapali Beach
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa faces Kaanapali's four-mile stretch of white sand beach.
- Located along Kaanapali's four miles of continuous, swimmable beach
- Beach is public (like all beaches in Hawaii), so even in front of the resorts, alcohol is prohibited
- No lifeguards
- Wind and currents vary, but water sports from kayaking and snorkeling to windsurfing and beginner's surf lessons are possible along the beach.
- Excellent snorkeling at Black Rock, located at the north end of Kaanapali Beach (about a 15-minute walk from the hotel)
- Resort umbrellas and beach chairs available on the beach for a fee
- Guests get beachside service when they rent private beach cabana chairs for two
Great beds and modern features -- typical for the price in Kaanapali
The Westin's comfortable, modern guest rooms are what you'd expect for this price in Kaanapali -- better than Kaanapali Beach Hotel's cheaper rooms and a touch smaller than those at pricier Hyatt Regency -- but the rooms at the nearby Sheraton Maui Resort look almost identical. The only difference between the Westin and Sheraton guest rooms: the Westin rooms have a sliver more space, but no microwave. They're all decorated in the same earth tones of green, blue and brown for a relaxing island vibe.
- Guest rooms start at a comfortable 380 square feet in the Ocean Tower, but the same room type (at the same price) in the Beach Tower is significantly larger, 456 square feet.
- Room rates are based on view, not size or layout.
- All rooms have a small balcony, just enough room for two chairs.
- Westin's Heavenly® beds: pillow-top mattresses; down duvet; five down pillows
- Bathrooms are clean and outfitted with modern fixtures
- Empty mini-fridge and coffeemakers in each room; free coffee, tea, and bottled water
- Flat-screen TVs with cable and on-demand movies
- In-room Wi-Fi or wired Internet is included in the resort fee
- Also available: 27 individually designed suites (700 to 2,034 square feet), all of which have ocean views, upgraded electronics like iPod docks and bigger TVs, and separate living areas
All around great amenities, particularly the pool area and expansive spa
Clearly, the five pools and two waterslides are the Westin's top attractions (see Pools below), but it doesn't fall short on other amenities. For anything more, you're looking at a considerable price jump for a hotel like the Grand Wailea, the Fairmont Kea Lani, or the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua.
- 24-hour fitness center: up-to-date equipment; overlooks pools and restaurants from the 2nd floor; daily fitness classes like yoga and spinning
- Heavenly Spa includes a coed relaxation lounge, and men's and women's locker rooms, each with a small steam room, dry sauna, and whirlpool
- No on-site tennis court, but you can take a free shuttle to play at either the incredible courts at Royal Lahaina or the Marriott Maui Resort & Ocean Club
- Several on-site shops and an art gallery
- Business Center with with Apple desktops
- Kids Club room has ample activities to keep the little ones busy -- board games, air hockey, Wii game system, etc
Five pools and two waterfalls, including an adult-only pool -- but good luck finding a lounge chair after 10 a.m.
The Westin's five pools -- its 87,000-square-foot "aquatic playground" -- extend like the Great Lakes behind the lobby. All pools are connected by a complex system of walkways, stairs, and waterslides that run between the multiple levels and sections of each pool. And unlike the pool complex at the Hyatt Regency, the Westin also has a quieter, adult-only pool; although there have been complaints of the hotel not enforcing the no-kids-allowed policy.
- Five large pools -- rivals the best in Kaanapali, including the Hyatt Regency's pool complex
- Two waterslides -- a 120-foot, twisting slide with its own lifeguard and a slightly tamer one for younger kids
- Adult-only pool (16 and over), with its own whirlpool
- Towel stand sells inflatable pool toys and swim apparel
- Pools get crowded by lunchtime; it's often hard to find lounge chairs in the early afternoon.
A full schedule of activities, including an on-site Luau
- Westin's Wailele Polynesian Luau shows two to three performances each week ($110 to $125 per adult including tax); slightly more expensive than at the Hyatt Regency.
- Daily activities like surf lessons, airbrushed tattoos, hair wraps, and lei-making -- but just about everything costs extra (excluding feeding the fish in the koi pond)
Two championship-quality courses; hotel guests get discounted rates.
There are two 18-hole courses at the Kaanapali Golf Resort, which spans 1,200 acres of land situated between the beachfront resorts of Kaanapali and the mountains to the west. Built in the '60s, both 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 the best in Maui.
- Par-71, 6,700-yard Royal Course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. But its wide fairways extend from Kaanapali's main thoroughfare to the beach, and the holes are never far away from traffic and resort structures.
- Par-70, 6,388-yard Kai Course is designed for easier play, though it's suitable for all levels, and its location in the mountains offers great views of neighboring islands.
Tons of entertainment and a reasonably priced kids club, but rooms are a tad small for families
Full days of entertainment can be made of the Westin's pools and beach alone. While the Westin's kids club doesn't offer the same level of educational activities as the kids' clubs at the Ritz-Carlton or the Fairmont Kea Lani, their daily rates are also slightly cheaper.
- Standard rooms can fit a rollaway, but very tightly; Deluxe Oceanview or Premium Oceanview Rooms are larger, and have the option of a king bed with a pullout couch
- Four kid-friendly pools; two waterslides
- Westin Kids Club has full and half-day programs, seven days a week. Activities include arts and crafts and supervised pool time
- Heavenly Cribs, according to Starwood, offer thicker than usual mattresses.
- Kids' menu available from room service and kid-friendly options available at all restaurants
- There's a kids dining pass, which is a flat daily fee of $20 that includes access to breakfast buffets (when available) at Relish Burger Bistro, special children’s menu offerings and beverages all day when dining with an adult
The 759-room Westin Maui's five-pool aquatic playground, direct access to Kaanapali Beach, exceptional beds, and a slew of above-average amenities make it one of the best mega-resorts for the price in Kaanapali, if not all of Maui. But at a resort this big, you'll have to wake up early to snag a lounger.
Things You Should Know About The Westin Maui Resort & Spa
- 2365 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, HI 96761
Hotel Is Also Known As...
- Lahaina Westin
- Westin Lahaina
- Westin Maui
- Westin Maui Hotel
- Westin Maui Resort
- Westin Maui Resort Spa
- Deluxe Ocean View
- Executive Suite
- Garden View
- Golf Mountain View
- Imperial Suite
- Luxury Suite
- Ocean View
- Partial Ocean View
- Premier Deluxe Ocean View
- Premier Suite
- Terrace View