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“Amazing Resort- Windy Location” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Honua Kai Resort & Spa

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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   130 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #5 of 30 Hotels in Lahaina
Hamilton, Ontario Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Amazing Resort- Windy Location”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

We stayed for 5 nights at Honua Kai for our 10th wedding anniversary.
We had asked for an upgrade as we had booked a mountain view but thought it didn't hurt to ask. Well it didn't, we were upgraded from our 1st floor mountain view to a 3rd floor mountain/ocean view.
We were blown away by the suite! We received a one bedroom with den suite, basically the den is an extra room with a t.v. and pull out couch. Our lanai faced the mountains as well as partial ocean, which was very nice. The bedroom was amazing and the bed was very comfortable. The bathroom was HUGE, with a beautiful rain shower and Aveda toiletries, so no need to bring your own. The kitchen had everything you needed for cooking and so on. Basically the room could not have been better! They start you off with a complimentary bag of coffee, if you run out then it's 5 bucks for a new bag, we just bought our own from the store instead. They also provide you with dish/washing machine cleaning supplies and bounce sheets so no need to bring your own.
The gym was great, everything you need was supplied as well, water and towels.
We received 2 towel cards and that worked out fine, received fresh towels by the pool each day. We decided to rent chairs from Snorkel Bob's, which isn't far from the resort, they charge 25 bucks a week for 2 chairs and then throw in a cooler for 5 more dollars. This worked out great as we would pack our cooler with food and drinks and then bring it to the beach each day. The hotel does charge more for the same chairs so it's worth going off site to rent anything.
The beach is stunning, beautiful sand, clear water and great snorkelling as they have a large reef right in front of the hotel. We stayed on the beach each day until the afternoon, this is when the crazy blow your chair over winds would show up. The wind would blow so hard that we watched as chairs, flip flops and hats blew away as people chased them. Also sand would blow into you and it would hurt! So when it got this windy we would pack up and head to the pools. The pool was also beautiful, with flowing waterfalls and faux rocks surrounding the area. Pool service was great and quick and you could just charge it to your room. The pool area was also very windy and at times the umbrellas would snap up and scare you! I spoke to many staff and they all said that's it the location of the resort and that other spots are less windy.
On the 2nd night when we returned to our room there was a box of host macadamia nut chocolates with a picture frame saying "Happy Wedding Anniversary", very nice touch!
We ate at Duke's twice, so we received the free hula pie, amazing. I had the best meal at Duke's when I splurged and got the lobster, it was to die for!
I accidentally checked off breakfast and spa in my review and then it wouldn't let me take it off, there is no spa yet at Honua Kai and we always made our own breakfast, which was terrific!
Overall this resort is stunning and the service is fantastic. I hurt myself on the lanai on day (stubbed toe on door stopper) and when we called for a bandaid they sent up a first aider to check out my cut. He was at my door in 5 minutes cleaning and bandaging me up, that's great service! Also the concierge service was great help with providing us with information for trips.

The only drawback to this resort is the location, and by that I mean the crazy wind. It was so bad that we would have to search for another resort in a better location for our next visit. We stayed at Makena Beach and golf resort for the other half of our visit (separate review) and we met an employee who worked at building Honua Kai and he had a scar on his arm from a piece of sheet metal that was pulled clear from his grasp due to the wind, crazy!

Stunning resort but just too windy.

If you have any questions regarding Honua Kai, please feel free to message me.

Room Tip: Rooms on a higher floor will give you better views. As well ask for an upgrade, you never know if yo...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

This property is a great value if you are travelling to Maui with a family. We had a two bedroom condo with a full kitchen and massive patio with a partial ocean view. The appointments were high end. This is a condo resort, not a hotel, so adjust expectations accordingly. The facilities were new and spotless! The pool area staff were very friendly and helpful. What a happy place!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 3 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.
Bloomington
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

A great place to stay! We were in a two bedroom suite and it was fabulous. The staff was very pleasant and if you get Betty from Housekeeping taking care of you she will treat you right! The only change I would request is to have an "adult only" pool and really keep that adult only. It's great having a place for families, but there are times when you prefer a little more quiet.

Loved it!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Pleasanton, California
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

The location is great & with a little research, we enjoyed going a little north and found plenty to do going south, too. Ziplining was a favorite & right up the road (Skyline Eco Adventures), as was parasailing right from Kaanapali Beach (UFO Parasailing). Lahaina is a fun little town with tons of shops & we saw our best sunset from there. The lanai is very large with a nice, big table, but unfortunately, it was too windy to spend much time out there. I found mornings to be quite peaceful. The corner location is ideal to see the gorgeous beach views as well as the mountains & I got an incredible picture of an entire rainbow right behind us on the mountain. We stopped at Costco & Kmart on the way in from the airport (you go right by them) & stocked up on things we'd need for the 9 days & with a couple of quick trips to Safeway (about 7 minutes away), we were set. The pool areas are great & the slide was fun, even for adults. We did use the common BBQ & the guys seem to enjoy having "man time" down there. Overall, it was a lovely time & we look forward to going back!

Room Tip: We rented from VRBO - #836
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Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Linn, Oregon, United States
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

I was traveling with my daughter & mother, we had plenty of space & separation for the age differences. Clean, fresh with lots of towels & toiletries . Kitchen was well equipped & huge deck for outdoor eating? The way all the windows opened the whole living room up to the patio was awesome? Pool was great, clean & mot too crowded. We were sad to leave & miss it already!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Huddersfield, United Kingdom
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

The rooms here are really very smart and well equipped - we stayed in a mountain view, 1 bedroom on the 7th floor and were very happy with it. We weren't bothered about not having an ocean view as we hired a car and went on lots of trips. One thing that really should be provided is a full length mirror - I am sure a lot of ladies (and a probably a lot men too!) like to see how they look before going out, a big miss for Honua Kai here. Also although we knew there is no spa we can't figure out why it is called the 'Honua Kai Resort & Spa' here in the UK a hotel wouldn't be allowed to have Spa in the name if one wasn't available! The gym was also quite basic and improving these areas would be a big plus. As others have commented it does get very windy here, sometimes it got difficult to keep your towel on your sunbed - we got round this by securing the towels by using a couple of my hair claws on each lounger (we noticed they sold them in Times supermarket for a couple of dollars) and we did not have any more problems. Every member of staff we spoke to was very polite, friendly and helpful - service was very good and the couple of times we ate at Dukes we found the food excellent. We would recommend this resort and although we would return we would be tempted to see what other resorts had to offer for a similar price.

Room Tip: If you are going to be out most of the time a mountain view room is a good way to cut costs
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

Are you comparing Honua Kai to some of the five star resorts on Maui? If so, this review is for you.

Honua Kai is a very nice resort. We have stayed there twice over the past year as some friends own a condo there. When in Maui we spend part of our trip at the Ritz Carlton in Kapalua (just up the road from Honua Kai) and the remainder with family and friends at Honua Kai. We will probably return over the next few months.

Honua Kai advertises itself as Maui's newest and most exclusive five star resort. Quite honestly, it isn't any such thing. I would consider it a solid four star, however, and it might be perfect for you depending on what you're looking for.

The facilities at the hotel are nice and still come across as fresh and new. I like the open air lobby and the way that the resort is laid out. The beach is large and there is plenty of room for everyone. There is also a lot of space around the pool. While some people still play the nasty trick of rising before dawn to lay towels on the choicest spots and then going back to bed, overall there's plenty of good spots to be found at any time of the day. The jacuzzis are unfortunately full most of the time and close at 10 PM, so don't expect to find any quiet time there.

The resort is made up of condo units. From what I understand, the hotel is actually just renting units that aren't being used by their owners. You can purchase a unit during your vacation (as they frequently remind you) and then put it into their pool to rent out. Alternatively, many owners prefer to rent out their units on VRBO, setting their own price and conditions. Some of the choice units with the best sea views go for astounding weekly rental prices; our friend rents his unit (a very large 3 bedroom + 3 bathroom penthouse) for over $12,000 per week during the high season. Yikes! Anyway, though, even the smaller units have designer finishes, granite countertops, etc.

There are many different floor plans. I strongly suggest researching the unit that you're looking to rent or asking the "hotel" before finalizing your reservation. I've seen some of the smaller units (the studios) and, well, they're small. I personally wouldn't want to stay there. Conversely, some of the larger units are enormous. It's worth your time to research what's available and choose the unit that best meets your needs. Most importantly, be sure to research what kind of view your unit will have. Some have amazing ocean views with great balconies where you can watch the sunset. Some look out over the grounds of the resort without any sea view, which isn't bad, and probably is a great way to reduce the rate you pay. But a great number of them overlook the parking lot, which would be dreadful if you were hoping for a nice ocean view and instead got to see some nice parked Jeeps.

The downside of Honua Kai in my opinion is the service. I've been there several times now and still haven't met anyone that has gone out of his or her way to provide great service. The staff can be abrasive at times. For example, my partner and I got chewed out by security because we were in the jacuzzi at 10:05 PM even though we had no idea it closed at 10 PM. They demanded ID (we were in our swim trunks...), shined flashlights in our eyes, and made us feel like criminals. Not what I'd expect from a high end resort.

The food on site isn't good, but that's my opinion. Many people would disagree, I'm sure. Personally I don't care for the restaurant, Duke's. It's your only choice for a proper meal and, predictably, the prices are high. I've eaten there three times and still haven't had a good meal. My friends absolutely love it, though. Apparently it's quite good for fish, but as we don't eat that, there isn't much for us to choose from. There is also the little market on the property. It is VERY expensive ($27 for a recent turkey sandwich and smoothie; $7 for a single cupcake) and only provides a limited selection of high-end groceries. They don't sell sodas or many typical snacks, but they've got plenty of heavily marked up Pellegrino in case you run out. On the positive side, the pricey smoothies are quite tasty. In comparison, the restaurants at the Ritz and the Four Seasons are even more expensive (sometimes shockingly so), but the food is reliably excellent. Both hotels offer sundry stores where you can buy sodas and snacks at inflated prices, but they're there.

To bring it back to my comparison to the five star resorts like the Ritz, it simply doesn't compare. The rooms at the Ritz are posh and luxurious. Honua Kai is well appointed and spacious, especially for kids, but I would never call it posh or luxurious. The staff at the Ritz goes out of its way to make you feel special and welcome, but the staff at Honua Kai barely look at you (at least in my experience based on multiple trips), but they aren't outright rude, either.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the concierge staff at the Honua Kai. I went to them for help booking a kayak tour and later a helicopter tour. Both times they were adamant that I use one specific tour operator and didn't want to tell me about other operators and why theirs was so much better than any others. When I researched their outfit online, it made it clear that they were getting kickbacks. After the first time I thought it was just a one-off negative experience, so I returned to book the helicopter tour. I met with a different concierge... and the same thing happened again. I won't return. In comparison, the concierges at the Ritz are absolutely incredible. They don't try to push expensive tours on you and have tons of experience with most of the different tours on Maui.

One major upside of Honua Kai is the water sports staff working on-site, especially the scuba diving company that has a branch there. On my first trip to Honua Kai I booked a couple introductory "discovery dives" for a very reasonable price (about $75 each, I think). On my most recent trip I decided to get my scuba certification. I couldn't believe how inexpensive it was; they offered the entire course, including all the books, equipment rentals, and dives, for less than one-third the price of a course in my hometown (Seattle). Not only that, but they will build the certification class around your own schedule. At home the course requires weekly classes and dives over several weeks, but here they understand it has to fit within people's short vacation schedules. They were able to cram my entire certification course into just three days! It was great fun and the instructor are fantastic. The same company has branches in several of the other hotels on Maui, but they told me that Honua Kai is the best one because it's the calmest and that lets them focus on each customer on a more individual basis. I very strongly recommend them if you're at all interested in diving.

So, to sum up this long review... Honua Kai is a very nice four star resort, but I strongly disagree with their ongoing advertisements where they portray themselves as a five star establishment because they simply do not compare at all favorably with the true five stars like the Ritz Carlton or the Four Seasons. Nonetheless, if you're looking for a deluxe place to stay with your family or a group of friends, and if you can find a good deal either through the "hotel" or through VRBO, I'd definitely recommend Honua Kai if you make sure to reserve one of the more spacious, ocean view units. If you're looking for true luxury and top notch service, however, then this isn't the right place for you. In that case, if you want to stay in West Maui then look to the Ritz Carlton, and if you want to stay in South Maui then I recommend the Four Seasons (but get ready to dig deep into your wallet to stay there).

I hope this is helpful, and I hope you have a great vacation! Regardless of where you stay, Maui is a wonderful island and a lot of fun.

Room Tip: Try to get an ocean view with a balcony, but if you want to save some money get a unit that overlook...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Address: 130 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Lahaina
#3 Family Hotel in Lahaina
#3 Luxury Hotel in Lahaina
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
#5 Business Hotel in Lahaina
#7 Romantic Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Honua Kai Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 628
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on world-famous Kaanapali North Beach, Honua Kai provides an unparalleled level of service and all the amenities of a luxury resort with expansive one, two, and three bedroom suites. Perhaps the greatest luxury of all is simply the space to spread out. Inside, the feel is that of a luxury Maui vacation home, graciously furnished in exotic wood and polished granite, and tastefully equipped with top of the line appliances. The gourmet kitchens contain everything you need to make a fantastic meal. Or simply make reservations at one of our spectacular restaurants. This is the Hawaii vacation you have always imagined, exactly as you imagined it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Honua Kai Hotel Lahaina
Honua Kai Resort And Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui/Lahaina

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