The Royal Lahaina is in the most perfect location on Kaanapali Beach and has so much amazing potential. However, the hotel seems to lack good management, which is illustrated in the inattention to the details that differentiate an average hotel/resort from a great one or even a good one!
We stayed on the 7th floor of the tower and the room had clearly been recently renovated. It was a very nice room with a good-sized lanai with 2 chairs. There also seemed to be decent noise control as we didn't hear much from other rooms (except people dragging their chairs across their lanais). The bed was OK--a little too soft for my taste and left my back hurting for the first hour or so each day. The bathroom was a bit lacking--a fairly large sink area (which is good!) and a tiny room with a toilet (which squeaked every few minutes) and shower. The shower was very small, but had great water pressure (once the hot water finally kicked in). The lighting was terrible (ladies, forget about plucking your eyebrows or even seeing any details on your face). A small lighted face mirror could fix that. I loved the toiletries that the hotel provides, though. I had similar ones on my first trip to HI (on Oahu) many years ago and it brought back good memories.
There was a standard safe and a nice-sized closet, although it would have been nice to have a second suitcase stand (why on earth would a hotel only provide one suitcase stand in a resort where there is invariably more than one person staying in a room?).
The biggest disappointment was with the towels and housekeeping. First, when you DO get towels, they are old and worn. Sometimes you get a bath mat and sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get hand towels. Sometimes you get none, sometimes you get one, and sometimes you get three. Once we got one nice, huge, fluffy bath towel, but other times we got teeny, tiny towels that would be big for a five-year old. The housekeeping service was incredibly inconsistent. Considering that this seems to be a long-standing and common complaint, the only reason for this can be poor management. They also didn't seem to clean the sink area very well as there were easily visible rings and other marks left on the counter. Nor did they seem to clean the back of the toilet (where the seat lifts up). On a positive, they seemed to clean the shower very well, especially with all of the sand that we undoubtedly tracked in!
Other things that would be nice would be an alarm clock that has a dimmer. The clock was so bright that it lit up the room at night. Where that would be nice would be in the bathroom so that the big overhead light wouldn't have to be switched on in the middle of the night.
The parking situation is terrible. First, the fact that you have to pay to park on the premises is simple price gouging, which seems to be quite common in such a touristy town (I don't recall experiencing such gouging on the other islands). Second, the guest parking is shared with the luau, so unless you are parking before 4:00 or between about 8:30 and 9:30, you have to park waaaaayyyy in the back. Again, a good manager would be able to see this as a problem and have staff direct luau parking from the back forward instead of the other way around so that hotel guests have priority.
The other disappointment was in how the grounds were laid out. There was a hot tub, but it was so inconveniently located that I never went--it was across the parking lot and around tennis courts. Who designed that? And why was one (or two) never put in where the pools are on the beach side of the resort? I suppose that would make too much sense?
To end on a positive, the breakfast was excellent! It was a buffet with any and all of the Western-style breakfast items you could want, including lots of fresh, local fruit. Make sure that you get it included in your package, though. No breakfast in the world is worth $22 a person! Also, we found the staff to be very nice and helpful. There's one guy who staffs the security shack who always says "Welcome Home" when you come back, which was very nice. The activities desk person was also very helpful (and make sure you ask for the AAA discount if you have an account!).
We had dinner at the hotel once, and it was good and quite reasonable relative to the location. At sunset they do a small torch-lighting ceremony, which was nice. And, as mentioned, the location can't be beat. It's a short walk away from Black Rock, which, in my opinion, had much better snorkeling than Molokini.
Overall, this is a great place to stay if you are OK with average (my gold standard for tropical resorts is the Koa Kea on Kauai). Just make sure that you compare prices carefully so that you aren't paying more than you need to. As one example, after we returned I read about a groupon deal that would have given free parking and would have saved me $70!
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Lahaina Hotel Lahaina
- Royal Lahaina Resort Maui
- Royal Lahaina Maui
- Royal Hotel Lahaina
- Royal Lahaina Hotel Maui