The Honua Kai is Kaanapali’s newest massive beachfront condo/hotel resort located about 5 minutes north of Lahaina and 10 minutes south of Kapalua Golf Resort, and hits a home run in almost every aspect. Two giant towers frame a massive pool/garden complex that includes a BBQ facility, “lazy river”, gardens, waterfalls, and enough green space to allow a small army to catch their share of the day’s rays.
There are two ways to book accommodations – right through the resort itself just as if you’re booking a suite at a hotel, or through a property management company specializing in vacation rental properties. You will pay more by booking directly through the resort; however, booking through the resort also includes amenities like maid service. If you book through a property developer all you pay for is the accommodation – “extras” like a cleaning service come at a hefty premium. We did book through a property manager, and the inconvenience of having to wash towels a couple of times through the week was of small concern considering the money we saved.
I can’t speak categorically for every single unit in the resort, but my belief is that this is a condominium-style complex rather than a traditional hotel. Size of the accommodations range from a relatively cozy studio suite and the largest units come with several bedrooms and more than one bathroom, and are capable of accommodating large families. All come with fully-equipped kitchens, five Bosch appliances, full bathroom, a sitting room, and a balcony. The price of a unit obviously depends upon its size and the view. Some of the larger “premium” accommodations also have their own BBQ grills right on their patios or balconies.
Check-in was no more or no less onerous than checking in to a regular hotel; however, each tower had its own check-in desk. Determine whether you’re booked in to Konea or Hokulani , and proceed to the check-in at that tower. Underground parking is included in the rate – at least, it was for our booking.
There is no restaurant in the complex per se, but Duke’s Beach House is located on the property next to the beach, and a small deli-style market is located in the Hokulani tower. The food is excellent, but both are pricey – the kinds of prices that a resort can charge a captive market. However, there is a market directly across the street, and a Safeway at the north end of Lahaina. To put it in perspective – we paid $85 for breakfast for four at Duke’s. Following the breakfast we went to Safeway and spent $65 for groceries that enabled us to cook breakfast for ourselves for the next six mornings. I can understand not wanting to cook while on vacation, but this was a no-brainer for us. We could make breakfast and clean up in a half hour, while breakfast at Duke’s took almost an hour by the time we walked to the restaurant, ordered and ate the meal, and then walked back to the suite. And it cost us about 1/5 what it would have to eat at Duke’s every morning.
Each tower has its own small but well-equipped fitness centre – no complaints there at all. The beach activity centre also looked very popular, although we didn’t avail ourselves of its services.
To conclude, the Honua Kai is very well located for enjoying the Lahaina-Kapalua corridor. Restaurants and amenities abound all over the area. The beach is large and clean with great views out over Lanai. No matter your budget, you’re sure to find a comfortable unit here that will suit your needs.