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“The Good, Not So Hot, and Terrible about SOK...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Sands of Kahana

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Sands of Kahana
3.0 of 5 Condominium   |   4299 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #25 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Lahaina
Detroit
2 reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The Good, Not So Hot, and Terrible about SOK...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2010

We have owned a timeshare here at Sands of Kahana since the late 90s. We have a 2 bedroom and 2 bath ocean-view; the size of the condo is great (about 1800 sq. ft.) and so it is quite comfortable. The kitchen is well-stocked and large enough for a family to "cook together" if they want to. There is also a lanai (outdoor porch) you can access through the doorwall off the living room area. The maid service comes in once a week for a thorough clean...and then once again during the week for a towel exchange.
The grounds are well maintained and the beach is very nice (clean and quiet most of the time). You feel more like you are part of a residential community being here as there are only 4 buildings. Each building is shaped like an open-air donut. When you are on your "floor"..you can look down to the ground or up to the sky from the walkway area before entering your specific condo unit.
Which segues into what is not so hot about SOK. Because the 2nd bedroom is located right in front of each condo unit and next to the front door...this means that when ANYONE is outside the front door "talking" (or screaming, or yelling, or partying!)...the people inside that bedroom can hear EVERYTHING! This is because there are windows with screens facing out into the walkway from that 2nd bedroom. Which is not so hot. And the talking can be happening outside your condo's front door on ANY FLOOR of the building as (I said) each building is designed like an open-air donut. So if someone is yapping on the 1st floor--and you are on the 5th floor---then the people in your 2nd bedroom will hear those 1st floor peoples' conversation word for word. So bring a sound-machine if you have one for your 2nd bedroom guests---or turn the t.v. in that bedroom way up with the windows open so others can "get it" about sound traveling in the walkways of SOK!
The units which have 3 bedrooms are exactly the same size/shape as our unit...but they managed to put these units in the corners on each floor. As such, the 3rd bedroom is right up next to the front door in those units as well---but has the luxury of a thick wall separating it from the walkway outside the front door (instead of windows). I would imagine it's quieter for the people staying in these units...
The other problem is the lanai "conversations" you can hear from the people either above you...below you...or next to you when you are sitting outside. My husband kept saying "What? What do you want honey?" last night as I was inside the condo. The problem was I wasn't saying anything. It was the "neighbor" who he thought was me! He was out on the lanai working on his laptop...and obviously thinkin' I was calling to him (!)...
I know there isn't a quick or viable solution to these issues mentioned above; this is what I feel is terrible about SOK as it won't be changing for the better---ever! So you can only hope you time your visit here on a week or two when there are no or very few drunks, screamers, or yellers amongs the other guests----and/or when they are at least located in another building furthest away from your own.
To parents with young children or teenagers visiting SOK...please PLEASE pay attention to this post!! Your kids may be cute and adorable to you...but when they start with the screaming (in glee or otherwise)..it is NOT at all cute to us who don't know you and can still hear them 7 or 8 floors above or below you!
Another terrible aspect of SOK is when the outdoor workers decide to start doing their thing (like scoring the cement at the kiddie pool the other day) before 9:00AM. I understand "bright and early"...but not because we have been woken up by the sounds of drills, lathes, heavy equipment, or lawn mowers!
I also don't know why SOK is classified here as a "hotel" since I understand very few units are available on a night-by-night basis.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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472 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (137)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
San Diego, CA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2010

In my opinion, there is no better location on Maui than the Honokowai/Kahana area. Most of the timeshare/vacation rental resorts are right on the ocean front, there's lots of shopping (groceries, etc.) nearby, and you're only about 10 minutes from Lahaina Town. And, if you go there from around December to April, the ocean in front of your condo is where the whales come to play.

Most of the places along the Lower Honoapiilani Highway (the road next to the ocean) are older, looking like they've been built around the 1970s. And, they're rarely more than 2 or 3 stories high. But, the Sands of Kahana is the exception. It has 4 eight-story towers that are staggered to give at least an ocean view (if not direct ocean front) from every building (as long as you aren't on the east side, which looks toward the mountains).

Each unit in the place is huge. The 2BR units are 1600 square feet and the 3BRs are around 2000 square feet. Each unit has at least one lanai, with the larger (3 BR) units and penthouses having two lanais each. Each unit also comes with a laundry room (stacked machine) and a full kitchen that is very spacious. And, you can either have a completely open air configuration between the master bedroom (which opens up to the lanai) or close the moving wall to separate the rooms.

The beach in front of the resort is sandy, although it gets kind of rocky a few yards off shore. But, you can easily make your way through the rocks to get out into deeper water, where you can go snorkeling along a barrier reef about 100 yards offshore. The grounds themselves provide a large grassy area and lots of lounge chairs, a pool area (that gets kind of noisy if there are lots of kids), and this is one of the few resorts in the area that has its own bar and restaurant. Although, I found that it was much more convenient (and cheaper) to hit the grocery store a couple miles south on the way into Kahana and stock up on my own supplies.

The only things I would warn about are the age of the place (I guess some people expect everything to be brand new and luxurious wherever they go). This place is older and the design is dated. And, you might find things like a spot of rust around a window frame or something. But, it's clean and everything is maintained pretty well.

Another issue is the fact that the interior windows (facing into the center of the building, which is open all the way from the top floor to the garage) have wood slatted shutters that don't quite close all the way. When it's windy, this can cause a constant whistling sound, especially if the lanai sliding door is open. Also, every bit of noise from every floor - including the garage and trash dumpster area - comes up the middle of the building and through the slats. This can be annoying if there are noisy people coming back from a late night out or heading out early for their day (especially those with noisy kids, who don't get the concept of other people sleeping when they're not).

But, overall, the Sands of Kahana is a great place to stay in Maui. I would also suggest looking for a unit on a vacation rental site (like vacationrentals411.com or vrbo.com). These are usually owned outright by someone, as opposed to a timeshare, and you can get some great weekly deals. These also can be better units, both location and amenities (like remodeled kitchens and bathrooms). And, if you do stay there, don't book any activities until after you arrive. They have an activities desk in the lobby where they can get you the best prices on the best tours on Maui, without making you go through a timeshare presentation.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2010

This was the first time we stayed here and was our first trip to Maui.We were there for two weeks. We had a one bedroom unit that was huge. There are two bathrooms, a full kitchen, dinning area and living room with nice sized balcony. We had a partial ocen view that was very nice. The hotel(condos) are right on the nice sany beach beach. It is a safe area for swimming thoug hbe aware there is coral and rock once you get out a ways from the beach break. We did some snorkling. There seems to be a resident sea turtle that we saw everyday. Sometimes it was only a few feet from the beach. Breakfast for $3.99 is a real bargain. The grounds, tennis courts and pool are well maintained. It is an easy drive to some of the best snorkling areas. The only downside is that the rooms have slat windows for the nice evening breezes that blow through. In the morning this makes for an early wake up because of noise of service trucks in the AM etc. We really enjoyed the complex and Maui and would stay there again.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vallejo
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2010

beach front with pool and great place to eat . Nice bar with happy Hour. Condo is large and well stocked. Any problem is taken care of the staff right away.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Preston, Idaho
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2010

The trip was amazing! Our room was more like a large apartment. So much space, we could have brought all six of our children, and fit very comfortably. The kitchen was HUGE!!! The lanai was cozy, and had a beautiful view. The beach side restraunt had amazing fresh pineapple, that we ate everyday. The food was good, but the view was wonderful. The beach was so close, it took less than five minutes to get walk there. If we ever get a chance to goto Hawaii again, we would stay here. Although one of the older resorts, it is well maintained, and a superb value!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2010

My husband booked a two bedroom suite at Sands of Kahana through a hotel consolidator website. We were a little skeptical and did not have a lot of expectations but once we arrived and checked in at our two bedroom apartment we felt like we hit a jackpot. The place was great (dated), but clean with HUGE units, a lot of amenities and located right on the beach. We enjoyed so much that we decided to extended our stay and they were great in accomodating our request. The best of all is the great price. I really recommend Sands of Kahana and can't wait to be back.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Washington
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2010

The Sands of Kahana had everything we needed for a weeks vacation in beautiful Maui. It was centrally located to everythng we wanted to see and do, had a great outdoor bar area next to the pool (love to ring the 3:00 p.m. bell for drinks!), a wonderful beach to walk on right outside (with sand, and there was plenty of room to roam), bbq's to grill on, beautiful grounds, tennis courts, the condo was very spacious, and all at a very reasonable price!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sands of Kahana

Address: 4299 Lower Honoapiilani Hwy, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #25 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Sands of Kahana 3*
Number of rooms: 65
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sands Of Kahana Hotel Lahaina
Sands Of Kahana Vacation Club
Sands Of Kahana Maui/Lahaina

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