I am a Whaler owner and have returned for the first time since construction was completed in Summer 2009: The Whaler property looks much more attractive than it has been for several years.
Although some may think my comments below are biased in favor of The Whaler, I am offering my perspective based on thirty plus years of ownership: I frankly admit that I am surprised at how gorgeous the courtyard and swimming pool now look. I have ALWAYS enjoyed every one of my visits to The Whaler, but had not realized how much it “needed work.” (To put it simply, I’ve always been thrilled just to be in Paradise!) I realize that occasional guests are much more likely to be critical, but even they should be impressed with The Whaler’s new look.
The center courtyard has been completely remade, with a new design and different plantings, and a winding walkway paved with light red brick. A new and larger pond, waterfall, and bright yellow flowers and green vegetation abound. A small bridge over the pond provides a viewing point for the new koi fish, which are still pretty small, and leads right to Kaanapali Beach. The open view through the courtyard to the pool, beach, and ocean is very pleasant: The green and yellow courtyard blends beautifully into the blue ocean and islands of Lanai and Molokai beyond.
The swimming pool has several new features, beginning with the stone deck resurfaced in light gray and white tiles. Pool lounge chairs are now of a white mesh fabric and are very comfortable (no more strap lounges!). There are also nine double wide, covered cabanas spread around the pool area, providing welcome shade; these cabanas are provided free to all guests.
Although the pool itself has not changed in size, there is a new Jacuzzi whirlpool which is larger than the previous one. Guests now enjoy complimentary AM coffee at poolside, as well as afternoon lemonade. One other change from previous years is that The Whaler hosts a poolside reception EVERY Wednesday afternoon: All guests and owners are welcome to partake of free pu-pus and mai-tais one afternoon, followed by hotdog lunch the next, and followed on the third Wednesday with an ice cream social. These “mixer” events have proven very popular and are always well attended (including Yours Truly).
The elevators in each Whaler tower are currently undergoing complete renovation, with the installation of all new mechanical equipment, new doors, and mahogany-like wood paneling. All six elevators are expected to complete servicing by December 2009. Similarly, the underground garage has undergone renovation, with peeling concrete having been corrected, the walls and ceiling having been steam cleaned and repainted in a bright white. Work will be completed in another month or so, but the overall garage appearance is already much brighter and more welcoming than before.
The drive-up lobby area is remodeled with new pillars and benches, and final touchup paving is near completion. The lobby interior and front desk area has not changed, but is still attractive. Five barbecues remain available for all guests and owners, complete with tables to enjoy eating your meals outside…alongside the Kaanapali Beachwalk and the ocean beyond. You won’t notice it, but major upgrades have also been to the air conditioning, electrical, and fire suppression systems on property.
Potential guests may also appreciate several other complimentary benefits of staying at The Whaler: Newly added in the past year are a spot to wash your rental car, free printing of airline boarding passes, and a sizeable bookcase to exchange popular books for beach reading.
Just so that you know I haven’t “sugarcoated” anything, there are still further improvements planned for The Whaler. Building exteriors do still need to be repainted to regain the original bright white finish, but a contract for this work has not yet been issued. It is unknown if this work will begin in 2010…or later. Further, a new covered garage may eventually be built (adjacent to existing tennis courts) alongside the drive entering The Whaler; however, this is still several years away from even the drawing stage. Eventually, these projects are expected to take place…and will be disruptive, but this work will make The Whaler even better than it is now.
Of course, since all Whaler condominiums are privately owned, they continue to be upgraded as desired by each owner…and generally most are very attractive and receive room and furnishing improvements and modernization as needed.
Bob Cohen – Whaler Owner