“Worth it for the beach and solitude. Beautiful and spacious...get a snorkel, skip the pool!”
The pictures don't do the grounds justice. They are beautiful and very quiet other than the mowers, etc., that happen by in the morning. Early on the lanai, it was just me and the several sorts of birds, including very friendly mallards. (Grounds are an Audubon approved bird sanctuary). The pine trees and acacia looking ones look like a weird jive of African and Norwegian trees sprinkled on an English countryside rather than what you really expect from Hawaii, but it is green and beautiful, with lots of shrubs and flowers. The overall impression was open space and green vistas.
We were in the Golf villas on the lowest floor (12P6) and it was extremely quiet other than that the mowers and other big equipment tiling parts of the course, etc. We had a two bedroom, two bath which gave us plenty of privacy and very nice decks off the living/dining and master bedroom (all glass fronted), big bathrooms, a huge shower in our room which had two single beds, a small washer and drier with some detergent in our bathroom, and very well set up full kitchen with a pineapple in the frij, dish soap, and plenty of dishes, etc. No housekeeping for the five days we were there ($50 if you want fresh towels delivered and trash dumped rather than doing it yourself at the bins across the way, or well over a hundred per bedroom for full service cleaning during your visit), but plenty of coffee and towels for the room and beach were available at the check in building, and there were free chair loans available at the beach. There was a vacuum and other cleaning stuff in the room and not having housekeepers in made it feel more like our own place for the week. Other guests were quiet and friendly.
Sunsets on the beach were gorgeous, and the snorkeling was better than the several other places we tried here and on Oahu, including Hanauma and a snorkel tour trip. There were sea turtles at one of the beaches over by the Ritz. Waves were very light, and it wasn't crowded, though we were there in mid-April and things were a little slow. Pools were small, but the beach was a five or ten minute walk or shuttle ride away.
It only took twenty minutes to half an hour into Lahaina, though one day it took over an hour to get back to the room from the aquarium because of all the "rush hour" traffic...I think mostly tourists and surfers pulling on and off the beaches along the two-lane highway between there and Ma'alaea on the south end. Most times it only took an hour or less to get all the way across to the airport from Kapalua though. Lahaina was great for whalewatching in that season (we had a great experience on one of the small boats with Pacific Whale Foundation), the Atlantis submarine was fun and more of a unique experience than I expected in terms of seeing the reefs and fish after all the snorkeling, French toast on Hawaiian bread at the Pioneer Inn by the harbor in the morning, drinks and people watching anywhere along the main drag at night (though the sidewalk rolls up fairly early). The banyan tree and museum beside it are great, and the craft fair over the weekend under it is a great place to find a unique and locally-made souvenir (you can watch local wood carvers...listen for the tapping), and the Blue Lagoon across from the park had excellent mid-day happy hour Mai thais and fish tacos.
We had nice free covered parking, though rooms were definitely not handicap accessible, and you would definitely want to ask for one closer to ground level if you had trouble with stairs or luggage and stairs. There is only a set or so, but the rooms had a step or so in and out.
The condo itself wasn't perfect, but I wouldn't complain either. It was nicely decorated with sturdy and comfortable furniture that showed a little wear. There were a few stains on the living room rug, and sheets were a little worn but very soft and fresh smelling. No bugs at all and very clean, with everything in good working order including efficient and quiet central AC (though the dish washer was more of a rinser). I slept on the couch some nights due to a snoring roomie. I think it folded out, but I didn't bother. I'm short, and it was comfy as it was. I hate sleeping in a bright room but left all the blinds open even though the whole front of the living and dining room was glass because only one distant house light, stars, and the trees were visible.
The spa was extremely nice and had a salt pool with a bit of an ocean view, plus a separate womens' area. They let us have a late check out and then use the spa on our last day- we had a red eye flight out. We went into Lahaina and then drove back for showers and free tooth brushes at the spa in the afternoon, then picked up our luggage that was stored at the front desk since rental cars are such a theft target. Thanks to United, it took us an extra seven hours to get home, so we were very grateful for that final shower! The treatment rooms were isolated bungalows in a beautiful garden, and I wished I'd scheduled a massage!
Lots of weddings took place on the beach, and women would get ready in the spa, which seemed like a really nice way to do things. This is a great place for a couple, a group of friends, or retirees, but I wouldn't really recommend this for families with young kids. (I think the Hilton we first stayed at on Oahu was crawling with families because of its convenience to the pools, entertainment, and other necessities, but this really isn't, and honestly, if you just want a pool, save the airfare and get a membership to a local one). Rooms were big enough, but there wasn't much close to entertain them, and the ABC store at Kapalua seemed more expensive than others ($12 for a small NyQuil, for example, but decent snorkels for $30 or so). The Times Supermarket near Honokowai is closer than the Safeway, seemed to have a better selection and prices, with lots of cheap coffee and some fun souvenirs and beach stuff.
Overall, if you want to spend the extra money for a large room in a more remote area, this is a very nice place. If you want perfection in your furnishings, I suspect the Ritz or similar would probably fit the bill better. The spa is great no matter what. Don't know much about golf, but it looked like paradise on that count. The beach is simply amazing with tons of coral, lots of different types of fish, and a few turtles. I hope folks who use the beach will learn a bit about why they shouldn't step on rocks and coral or try to pet the turtles so it will stay nice and not turn into a baron sandscape! If you go, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Higher floors on the golf side might have had some view of the ocean, but a smaller lanai.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.