Situated on 26 acres, the expansive Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas features a slew of amenities -- fitness center, kids' club, spa -- along with its two pool areas and beachfront access. All 1,021 modern units are stylishly outfitted and have fully equipped kitchens, private balconies, and whirlpool tubs. The atmosphere is heavily geared toward families; couples or solo travelers looking for a quiet escape may want to consider Travaasa Hana or Makena Beach and Golf Resort.
Huge time-share resort geared toward families, with earth-tone, island-inspired decor throughout
With 1,021 rooms spread over 26 acres, The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas is one of Maui's biggest properties. Sitting on a gorgeous stretch of beach in North Kaanapali, the grounds are beautifully landscaped with flowering plants and palm trees in abundance. 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 for couples, 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, kitchens, and chic earth-tone furnishings. The resort is largely geared toward families; expect to see kids running around and families gathered around the barbecue grill.
All the services expected from an upscale hotel, plus grocery stocking and private chef hire
Regular, non-time-share-owning guests are provided the same services as they would get at a mid-range 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 Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas also has a private chef that can be hired to prepare in-unit meals. Expect long lines when the resort is crowded, however.
Daily housekeeping-- guests can defer housekeeping for a continental breakfast as part of their green initiatives
Prompt and friendly bell service
Room service is available from the Pu'ukoli'i general store
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.
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. The hotel does offer a free shuttle to Whalers and Lahaina, but expect seats to fill quickly.
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.
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 beach-goers -- 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 Watersports Center
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 -- have to rent from other vendors
Spacious, upscale rooms in earth tones with modern appliances in the fully equipped kitchens
The upscale, contemporary rooms at The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas are all decked out in similar decor and furnishings. They have neutral and earth tones, like rest of the hotel, as well as white crisp bedding, fabric headboards, green and brown black-out curtains, and patterned carpeting. Some of the artwork shows Hawaiian influences (expect illustrations of flowers and of the island itself), but that's pretty much where the island vibe ends. All have fully equipped kitchens with modern appliances, including a full-size refrigerator, microwave, stovetop, dishwasher, and sink. Studios can sleep four people since they come with pullout sofas.
Comfortable Westin Heavenly Bed with down pillows and duvets, and a pillow-top mattress
Flat-screen TV with premium cable, but no HBO, a DVD player, and a Bose stereo; movies can be rented in the lobby
One-Bedroom Suites sleep four and have a a dining table, a washer and dryer, living area and balcony.
Bathrooms have a separate toilet room and a walk-in shower; suite bathrooms have dual vanities.
Free Wi-Fi and wired Internet in all rooms
Views range from full ocean to not-so-scenic views of the resort parking lot; many of the ocean-view rooms are obstructed by palm trees and the pool area.
The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort 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 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 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
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
Designed by Arthur Jack Synder
Suitable for all levels, less undulating than those of its sister course
Excellent option for families with many kid-suited activities and play areas
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 tail after them.