First, let me mention that the Kahana Beach Resort is NOT located in Lahaina. It is not a big deal, but it is well north of Lahaina, it is north of Kaanapali, it is north of Honokowai. It is between Honokowai and Kapalua. Really, it is closer to Kapalua and is closest to the Kapalua West Maui Airport. If you don't believe me, look on the map yourself!
This is not a big deal if you have a rental car. But, if you are using public transportation or walking everywhere, then it would suck to think you will be in Lahaina (which is a beautiful town, well worth exploring) and find out you are miles from any of the "action" you may be seeking. Lahaina is a happenin' place, lots to see and do, day and night. You must go to "Cheeseburger in Paradise" and do for a nice walking tour (find one on-line and print it off). I found a couple online at http://www.hawaiischoolreports.com/lahaina/lhistorictour.htm
I used the Fromer's one.
Just plan to spend at least one full day in Lahaina.. be there for breakfast and spend a day checking out the shops. They have some awesome restaurants, lots of galleries and shops. Avoid being there when the cruise ships are docked.. it can be quite crowded. Get your souveneirs and "bring-home gifts" at the Super Kmart near the big Airport (in Kahului).. they have the very best prices on everything you will find in the shops.. tee shirts, macadamia nuts, hula skirts, Kona coffee, you name it.
Back to the resort.. We booked our stay at Kahana Beach through our timeshare. The timeshare check in day in Wednesday and checkout is the following Wednesday. In my experience, it sort of causes a bit of a cluster, so we flew in a day earlier and stayed at a place in Kihei for $99 for the one night with a garden room with a partial beach view.
Anyhow, the next day, we drove down to the Kei Lani Resort in Wailea.. the one place I knew had the "classic" swim-up bar and those big hollowed-out pineapple drinks (which my g/f wanted to do, so badly). So we went to Kei Lani and acted like we owned the place, hung out at the pool for about 3 hours and spent $50 on drinks.
Then we drove up the coast, checked out some boutiques (the Wailea Shops are like Rodeo Drive in Hollywood) to the Kahana and checked it around 6 pm. No lines, no crowds. We put our bags up in our room, put on our swimsuits and went down to watch the sunset on the beach.
The Kahana Beach Resort is a no-frills place. I did see signs for an ice cream social and some other activities, but we were too busy to participate. We checked out the grounds at the adjacent hotels and we didn't even try the bar or restaurant at the Sands, next door. I agree with others, go to "Dollies' Sports Bar, about a 3 minute walk up and across the road. Great food, cool staff and they have big TV with sports playing all day. A bit further up the road is a strip mall with a McDonalds, an Outback and other restaurants and shops. We went to the one "fancy" steakhouse there (not Outback, the one upstairs by the elevator, I think it is Roy's) and it was quite overpriced. The service was awful. The food was pretty good, but not worth the prices. The best thing at the mall was the coffee shop. We went there for a coffee and muffin (or bagel) each morning and I was able to use the free wi-fi with my laptop to keep up on my e-mail. I limited myself to 15 minutes a day.. it is a vacation after all!
So again, back to the Kahana Resort. We never did use the pool. We basically just crashed in the room. The rooms were clean and well maintained. Try to get a room on the ocean side, above the 4th floor. The view is spectacular, particularly at sunset. It was nice to be able to watch the parasailers in the heavy winds, really rockin' and rollin', wile we were cozy in our room!
Speaking of wind.. plan your water (ocean and beach) activities in the morning. The trandwinds start to kick up around 2 pm and by 4 pm, they are in full swing until sundown. It can be very choppy on the water in the afternoons, so unless that is your thing, do the morning trips.
Speaking of trips, we went over to Boss Frog (located across the street, and down a bit, next to Dollie's Place. Go in and ask about coupons and the $100 timeshare deal. They give you $100 cash (or credit toward activities) and they sign you up for all of your excursions at 1/2 price (2 for 1). We did the Hana Bus tour (a must-do but get the bus that does 10 to 12 person busses with Captain's Chairs, not the 20 person bench-seat busses. Big difference! We also went on the Molokini and Turtle Bay snorkel trip (again, the early launch) that was hosted on the Boss Frog II. Again, all of these were quite reasonable at half-price and the Boss Frog guys know what is best in the tours and what is a waste of $$ or time.
So, we got the $100 credit toward our trips and paid for the balance with a credit card. They also take a credit card imprint for the $100 and the difference in the prices. Once you go to the timeshare presentation (ours was at the Sands), then you get a receipt that you bring back and they give you that imprint to tear up. The presentation was about 20 minutes and included lunch. We were not interested, but we let them do their song and dance while we ate, then we asked for a tour of the grounds and got our receipt and left. All-told, we were done in under 45 minutes, got lunch and we made and saved roughly $350. No pressure at all.
So, all in all, I highly recommend the Kahana Beach Resort for those looking for a quiet place to retreat from the crowds. I suggest you get a rental car becasue other than the small mall, Dollie's Sports Bar and Boss Frog's, everything else (the marinas, the fine dining, the activities) are all a short drive away.
If you like really good (I mean world-class) sushi, I do recommend you go up to Kapalua and check out "Sansei" it is a fantastic seafood restaurant & sushi bar in the Kapalua Shops (mall). A bit pricy, but well worth it! If you are going to go to Moose McGillycuddy´s Pub and Cafe in Lahaina, get those coupons at Boss Frog's! I know this seems like a big Boss Frog's ad, but I must say, they really helped to make our trip fantastic and they do have some killer offers/deals and coupons!
Enjoy your trip and be sure to post a review!!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.