I stayed here with my wife and two daughters (aged 9 and 10) for 4 nights during our Spring Break trip to Maui, Easter week, 2013.
First the room was a two double bedded room, my least favorite bed configuration when we go places. Be prepared for VERY small rooms. Difficult to maneuver in the room when you have 4 suitcases and some carry-ons. Tripped over stuff and ran into corners getting around. The small fridge kept the bottled water cool but not very cold. I don't think it was cold enough to store milk, for example, so I put the ice bucket with the milk in it, inside the fridge overnight. Not sure why they don't have a decent fridge. The in-room safe worked, but we had to take the drain plug out of the bathtub to get it to drain. I would say the room was kept clean and the towels were replaced daily. We had a "mountain view" which is the same as a "parking lot and partial mountain view" but of course we knew that was what we were paying for. Ocean view would have been nicer, I'm sure. There was an elevator at the end of our hallway which dumped us out where the luau check in was, but more importantly at the base of the stairs that led to a back way up to the pool deck. This was convenient.
The pools were nice, but colder than I expected. Air temp was in the high 70s and so it was a bit surprising they didn't seem to be heated well. Kind of uncomfortable and I usually tolerate cold pools ok most of the time. No problem finding lounge chairs. We paid $37 to have an umbrella and two lounge chairs on the beach for a whole day (8 to 4). There are surf lessons available there, but we went down in front of the Marriott for surf lessons because there were more reviews of that outfit. You can boogie board and snorkel if you want right there, but I recommend water shows. There are some rocks and my 10 year old got seriously banged up during her surf lesson! If you are going to the Westin when it is on the warmer side, I suggest you book the beach umbrellas and chairs IN ADVANCE. It's not that much of an added expense and we were lucky to get one of the last ones when we wanted one. It gets quite hot out there and there is no shade on the beach otherwise.
There is a tent set up near the pool where you go daily to get wrist bands (they check for them when you are on the slide) and this hotel is quite retentive on their towel policy. The wrist band thing wasn't explained at all They give you "towel cards" on check in and you trade them in for towels each day. I understand they want to mitigate loss of towels, but I found this just one more thing that I had to keep track of during my vacation. They also sell floaty toys for the pool and there is a compressor you can use to inflate them. You can exchange wet towels for dry ones there anytime it is open, of course.
We went on some walks and our judgement is despite its shortcomings, the Westin pool area is the best one for kids in the area. The Marriott and the Kaanapali Alii are much smaller in terms of pool areas, but they have large grassy areas instead. Very soft on the feet.
What has been said of self parking lot is true: the parking spaces are very small. There are some larger ones way in the back of the lot nearby where they have the construction area. We rented a Cadillac Escalade in order to fit all our luggage and I was able to, with a little prayer, get the thing parked. Sometimes the lot fills up so they make you use Valet. We didn't need to. Good timing, I guess.
The staff was very nice and there are several places to eat. We used the Ono Bar and found that the poolside meals to be actually very good for resort food. Kids were happy with what they ate, also. There is a coffee place that serves Starbucks which opens from 5:30 AM to mid afternoon. They have an area set up where you grab bagels, hot croissant sandwiches, pastries and then pay for all of that when you order your coffee. The kids enjoyed feeding the koi, swans and flamingos in that area. We really thought our Cafe Mochas were authentic Starbucks and the pastries were good. We did eat a breakfast buffet one time and found it to be ok with the no-frills basics for a Hawaiian resort hotel. Kids were happy with it. We skipped the Easter Brunch (see my review for the Royal Hawaiian Easter brunch in 2012.) but they had the place set up for Easter Bunny activities and I'm sure it was great. Probably best for the smaller children, though. Easter Brunches are expensive in Hawaii! Short drive (maybe 5 minutes) into Lahaina Town for fun shopping, shave ice, gelato, etc.
So, small rooms, small parking spots, nice pool set up but cold for Spring Break, fun water slide, nice helpful staff, good Cafe Mochas, get your beach chairs/umbrellas reserved ASAP before you arrive, ok snorkeling and boogie boarding and surf lesson environment. They sell milk and other helpful things in their gift shop if you want to bring Costco cereal packs for the "I'm hungry NOW" morning childhood hypoglycemia.
We did a pretty thorough trip through Maui (see my other reviews for main activities we did) and are unlikely to return with all the other destinations on our vacation wish list. Next year our Spring Break is much later (tied to the Easter holiday) and my sense is it would be a better time to visit weather-wise. I could have used a few more degrees to be comfortable in and by the pools.
Get an ocean view if you can, it's Hawaii, after all, and it was fun watching the whales breech...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.