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“What an Incredible Place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Napili Kai Beach Resort

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Napili Kai Beach Resort
3.5 of 5 Resort   |   5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761   |  
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Ranked #4 of 31 Hotels in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Zionsville, Indiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“What an Incredible Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 18, 2010

My wife and I just completed a two-week stay at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. This was our third trip to Hawaii and our first to Maui. We have some experience with travel in this country and others, to include a number of stays at five-star resorts. This is the finest hotel/resort we have ever stayed in. To say that about a resort like this is somewhat out of character for us because we usually seek out new hotels and the Napili Kai is an older resort, at least by Maui standards - some buildings almost 50 years old. This resort has an incredible history that overcame many challenges in its early days to become the jewel that it is today. You have watched the 60's movies that have all the cool exotic places that no longer exist and you wish you could still experience them when they were new? This is it. You almost expect the Rat Pack to walk around the corner in one of the hallways. The Napili Kai resort is immaculately maintained down to the finest detail - both buildings and grounds. There is no faded paint - every inch of the place is freshly painted. If there is a leaf on the ground in the morning, someone will have removed it by that afternoon. The grass throughout the resort (watered every day) is like a manicured putting green without a weed in it. The beach and shoreline are gorgeous - has to be one of the best in Maui. Our room was in the Puna II building, which recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation. This building is an upgrade, but for what they charge you, it is well worth it. Full kitchen, GE Profile appliances, granite countertops, real cherry cabinets, large lanai with heavy expensive whicker cushioned furniture - I could go on, but won't. We have stayed at Conrads and Ritz-Carltons - this room was the nicest we have ever stayed in. And speaking of the Lanai and hotel in general, when they built this place in the 60's and added on in the 70's, you could almost build on top of the ocean - they can't do that anymore. Our room was just a few feet from the ocean and we went to sleep every night with the sound of ocean breaking against the rocks below our room. And although our room was an upgrade, we looked at a number of other remodeled rooms (although not remodeled to the extent of our building) in other buildings that were nice. And I think almost every room in the place has a wonderful view of the ocean. The staff is incredible and many have worked there for decades (their name tags tell you how long they have been with Napili Kai). I think one of the bartenders has been there over 30 years. Staff will bend over backwards for you. As a whole, they are the nicest, most respectful and most helpful we have ever encountered. When we arrived to check in I approached the desk staff person and told her who I was. She did not say anything and walked away. She returned moments later with a papaya drink for me and said, "Welcome home." The resort advertises that it is family friendly and we found that to be the case. But what you will find here are mostly middle aged and older couples. It is a nice, quite place and if you like to let your kids run screaming through the hallways all day, then you won't be welcomed and this resort is not for you. The hotel's Beach House Restaurant has very good food and is very affordable for breakfast and lunch. Dinner at the restaurant is a more dress up affair (by Maui standards) and somewhat expensive (by my standards), but you get what you pay for and dinner is excellent. We like to explore our destinations and drove over 1,000 miles in our rental car. We found Lahaina (15 minutes from the Napili Kai) to be the most interesting and fun town on the island. Very touristy, but what isn't in Hawaii? What you will find is a beautifully picturesque town on the ocean with a lot of wonderful restaurants. The Beach Boys liked the town so much, they wrote a song about it. In reading the other reviews in TripAdvisor for the Napili Kai, I think our review is pretty consistent with other reviewers. There were a couple of reviewer comments, however, that our experience did not support. Some reviewers commented on bugs in the room. We saw very few bugs. This is a tropical climate. There are bugs in every hotel room in every hotel in Hawaii. Ask anyone who lives in this kind of climate. It is a battle you can fight, but will never win. Some complain about the regimented towel policy. You receive plastic cards that you turn in for beach towels at the beach house. You receive a towel for each card. When you turn the towel back in to the beach house, you receive your card back and when you check out they want their cards back. The resort is going to charge you for each plastic card you don't have at checkout. It is no big deal. The resort does this because if they didn't, no one would ever bring their towels back and the resort would be spending tons of money on towels. Many hotels don't even make beach towels available for you. My wife and I have stayed in many great places and at many great hotels, but have never had a desire to return to the same hotel again. We will return to Maui and the Napili Kai to again experience this beautiful island and classic resort.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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656 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (186)
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English first
Urbandale, Iowa
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2010

Great beach, great views and the resort is in wonderful condition. We enjoyed our stay at Napili Kai and time in Maui . Our first trip to Hawaii (we have been to Aruba, Cabo San Lucas, Grand Caymans and others) and found this to be our favorite by far. The Sea House Restaurant's food was very good and we thought the prices reasonable compared to many places we have visited. Snorkeling was great and we enjoyed the putting greens. Napili Kai is probably more suited to people looking for a relaxing vacation, but Kaanapali is ten minutes away and Lahaina is only twenty minutes. My wife is excited to plan another visit to Maui and we plan to stay at Napili Kai
Beach Resort.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cranbrook, Canada
Level Contributor
22 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2010

We booked a flight, car and hotel deal through Expedia after I searched the internet for a few days for value-for-money-deals-at-a-resort-type-of-choice..... and whilst expecting less,we got so much more !

Close-to-beachfront-feet-in-the-sand-stuff was our aim at a resort which we thought would be more of the beaten track, yet within a short drive from everything...and we were so pleased ! We've stayed at them alll: many a five and four star resort on a few continents and then got less than expected. This time round we rather went with a value deal at a nice resort in Maui,and the holiday turned out really,really good and relaxing for us !

If you are looking for a yuppie 5 star resort where you have to be entertained every minute of the day or have to be in the main stream where everything happens there and then first.....well this is not for you. What you will find here however is a VERY beautiful covy,tropical beach, good for swimming (but take care,don't be a Mr Olympic), snorkeling (which I did for the very first time and will do going forward), and rock exploring on low tide (no kilometer on kilometer on kilometer walking though but a nice longish walk from side to side none the less), BEAUTIFUL big and well maintained gardens (which sets the scene), adequate sized,neat and equipped rooms, putting greens with 18 plus holes (beautifully groomed), a beach restaurant on the rocks, an adequate exercise room and other nice and thoughtful stuff.

As for some comments about the "towels issue" and the resort not being for young children, well....I beg to differ...no problem on our side at all with in-house-rules or issues with our child during our stay !

You can walk (really!) one block and be on the golf course and have to drive 10 minutes to Safeway for main grocery shopping at Lahaina(here again, no need for the bigger grocery shopping when you've just landed...do that the next day after you've rested, at Safeway ! (We found the prices really reasonable). Lots of other dining options all over and quick eat locations close as well.

Tips: take basic insurance on car - some roads are tight and parking generally is tight everywhere ! do the Haleakala (?) Crater trip by car - takes 6 or 7 hours but the views from that crater of Maui and surrounds on a clear day can't be described in words. watch the traditional Hawaiian Lahau (?) In Lahaina if you don't know whether you'll have the chance to visit Hawaii again. drink pina cooladas ....these islanders REALLY know how to make them. do some snorkeling and explore a whole new world !

This hotel is real value for money! Dedicated staff everywhere compliments this resort.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
milwaukee, wisconsin
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2010

This is the second time we have stayed at Napili Kai in the last three years & it is just wonderful. An 'oceanview' Lani suite has a spectacular view of the gorgeous bay. The rooms, the beach, & the grounds are immaculate. It is NOT hard to follow the rules on towels. This time, we saw whales from our lanai three different times. The concierge is excellent & the staff are all unfailingly polite & friendly. We will back again . . . I almost hesitate to tell people because I don't want to give out our secret :-)

Stayed April 2010, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2010

We have stayed here several times and are getting ready for another trip later this year. The location is great! I am not a strong swimmer, but the beach here is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and lounging. I love the putt-putt course and mai tai party. The rooms are updated, clean and nice. The kitchen is functional and all you really need for vacation. This place is excellent and the bloody mary's are delicious.

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2010

This resort has more arbitrary rules than an retirement village in Boca Raton. Here are a few examples: 1. When you check in, they give you a few plastic cards that you can exchange for beach towels. In theory, you are supposed to get the cards back when you return your beach towels. If you don't return the exact number of cards that you were given at check in, you are charged some outrageous sum per towel when you check out. Don't get me wrong, I am all in favor of conserving resources. In reality, however, some guests lose their towels and steal someone else's towel to avoid the fine. In the five days that we were there, we had our towels stolen twice. When we told the guy at the beach hut what happened, he told us: "you are supposed to stay with your towels." I guess they expect you to wear the towels on your head like turbins when you go swimming. Anyway, who wants spend their vacation closely guarding a worn out beach towel? 2. The resort claims that kids eat free. But, if your child makes that mistake of ordering a "short stack" of 2 pancakes instead of a regular stack of 3 pancakes, they will charge you because the term "short stack" is used on the adult menu and includes a few nuts, while the "stack" of 3 pancakes is listed on the children's menu. 3. Although they advertise that all snorkeling equipment is free, this is misleading. It doesn't include fins. (We were told that, if we wanted fins, we could rent some at Snorkel Bobs.) In addition, during the first two days of our trip, we couldn't swim at the resort because of strong rip currents. Although there were other beaches nearby that were safe for swimming, the guy in the beach hut told us that they didn't like the snorkel equipment to leave the property and that it had to be returned each day by 5pm. When we finally got a mask and snorkel on our third day, the equipment was uncleaned and full of sand. 4. Although they advertise that the condos include daily maid service, there are signs in the condo stating that the maids have been instructed not to clean the kitchen (not even a glass or coffee mug) for some unexplicable reason. Finally, don't believe the Napili Kai's marketing statements and reviewers like Frommer's who claim that the Napili Kai is a real "find" for travelers with kids. When you enter the room, you will see literature stating something to the effect that children are expected to be under control at all times because "many of [their] guests have passed their child rearing years and/or chosen to go on vacation without their children." I believe that it is self-evident that parents should monitor their children, and such statements are patronizing. There is a strictly enforced quiet time between 10 pm and 8 am because the walls in the condos are thin. Ironically, although children are expected to be seen and not heard, you will hear lawn equipment and Fox TV blaring from some condos at odd hours. The claim that there are washers/dryers in all units is false: there are coin operated laundry machines in a few buildings. These all close at 8 pm. Although they advertise that they have a Keiki Club during "Spring Break/Easter" and I was told that they would have this when I booked my reservation two months in advance, I was told at check in that they had decided not to do the Keiki Club that week, but that children could attend the 1/2 hour presentations on lei making, etc. There was no one under 60 at those presentations. The bottom line: If the resort wants to cater to older guests, that's fine. But, they shouldn't market themselves as being "kid friendly."

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2010

I stayed at Napili Kai in late January, after doing a huge amount of research on Maui accommodation. I wanted a place that was right on the beach, and after much thought, decided I wanted a hotel/resort rather than a rental or a condo. I also prefer smaller, independent hotels to large chains. Napili Kai fit all those requirements.
When I arrived, I was given a room on the main floor of the main building, between the lobby and the courtesy suite (available to people who need somewhere to stay after checkout if they have a late flight). It was also a handicapped room, and I thought that with all these factors, it was the default room, the worst room in the resort, the place they stick the single travellers. Sight unseen, I asked for an upgrade, and the very pleasant front desk attendant told me she could move me the next day (of a six-day stay). It turned out to be a lovely room. Quiet, fantastic view, close to parking, very spacious. Wonderful deck. I stayed put for the whole stay, turning down the upgrade.
Napili Bay is a beautiful spot for anyone who wants a quiet beach vacation. It's got great swimming, sheltered beach, uncrowded. Many people have commented on the grounds at this resort, and it truly is gorgeous. Built up with towering palm trees, with bougainvillia and hibiscus everywhere. There's an army of grounds keepers. It's incredibly peaceful - the vibe here is very low key. I did not find the room out of date, but it wasn't up to the minute either. The small kitchen was serviceable, and the room was surprisingly spacious.
One of the great bonuses of this property is its proximity to Kapalua - I went on a few walks and hikes up this almost deserted coastline, explored the beaches, ate at the Honolua General Store. You will not be bothered by anyone - the overall feel of the place is quiet, restorative, relaxing.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Napili Kai Beach Resort

Address: 5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Spa Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Lahaina
#2 Romantic Hotel in Lahaina
#3 Spa Hotel in Lahaina
#4 Family Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Napili Kai Beach Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 162
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Plantation-style Resort on secluded beach; 3 miles from Kapalua-West Maui Arpt; 9 mi from Lahaina & 36 mi from Kahului Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Napili Kai Beach Hotel Lahaina
Napili Kai Beach Lahaina
Napili Kai Beach Resort Maui/Lahaina

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