This was our 3rd family trip of Maui, but we had outgrown the 'resorts', it is so expensive to book 2 rooms (we are 5 people), and wanted to have kitchen facilities so we didn't have to eat out at restaurants every night. After much research we settled on Kaanapali Alii, and have no regrets.
We booked on the VRBO website, you get to see photos of the inside of the apartments available, which gives you a bit of an insight to the decor etc. We booked a 2 bedroom, which ended up really being 3 bedrooms as they had converted the study to be a bedroom with Queen bed, no windows and sliding doors to the lounge, but our daughter who though she was going to be sleeping on a pull out bed was thrilled to have a 'room'!
The decor of our apartment was a bit 'old fashioned' and dated, however, everything was in good condition, and the space we had far out weighed the decor! The kitchen was well equipped, and very spacious living and bedroom areas. We had a nice balcony, with a partial Ocean view, mostly looking over the grounds of the Marriott Hotel next door, but it was still nice. You have to remember these are owned apartments, so each one is totally different in decor to the next - and there is no fancy reception area, or lobby, just a basic check in area.
The location of the apartments is fantastic, right on Kaanapali Beach, very close to Whalers village where you can get the bus to Lahaina, to the Cannery where there is a supermarket or into town - its $2 each way, with a fairly regular service. At Whalers village you have a variety of shops and restaurants, not a lot but enough. We did hire a car for one day (they come and pick you up from your hotel and take you to the depot - I believe all the companys do this). We met someone at the Barbeque area one evening (excellent facilities - well maintained) that told us about a place, just before Lahaina, but off the main Street, called Maui Prime that had excellent meat and seafood and deli items...it was small, and not cheap - but did have excellent Steaks, seafood etc, you would need to have a car to come here, definitely worth checking out if you did.
The Pool and gardens are well maintained, however the pools are quite small, not the large lagoon style meandering pools of some of the resorts, but you have to weigh up whether you want the fancy pool, or the large, roomy apartment?
If we get back to Maui, we will definitely be staying back at Kaanapli Alii.