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Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

New York City, New...
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27 posts
Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Spending half my honeymoon in August 2010 in Maui, trying to figure out what hotel to stay in and in what area. We definitely enjoy dinner and drinks at night in a lively setting and enjoy excursions during the day and relaxing on a nice beach as well. So we don't want to be too far away from evening action and/or at least a hotel that will have some people to talk to at the bar past 9pm.

Was looking at the following hotels: 1) Ritz Carlton, 2) Hyatt, 3)Sheraton, and 4)Honua Kai.

1)I like the Ritz because it's 5 star for low price, but my only concern is it seems far from evening excitement than other hotels. Looks much nicer that the other hotels and seems to offer a lot on the compound.

2)/3) Hyatt and Sheraton seem relatively the same (mega resorts) but are much cheaper than the Westin (why???). Hyatt looks a little nicer online, but I'm not sure and they both seem to be in the heart of Lahaina which is nice if we ever want some action at night. I am a little concerned that there may be a lot of crazy kids running around though.

4) Is the Honua Kai not up to the standards of the above hotels. The pictures of the rooms seem amazing especially for a 3-1/2 star hotel. I am little concerned with location and the compound doesn't seem to offer much.

Any help would be appreciated.

Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
53,008 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

The Hyatt and Sheraton are both in Kaanapali. A five minute drive up the road from Lahaina. Nice beach and I am certain thats where you will want to be given your criteria. These places have a Lahaina address due to the location of the post office and nothing more!! The Ritz is a #1 property and the location is superb. August would be one of the best months to stay at this property. The only downside is there is no nightlife and you would have to drive into Kaanapali or Lahaina for that.

Honua Kai is the newest complex on this side of the island. Much more upscale than the Hyatt and Sheraton.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
27 posts
2. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Thanks for the insight. How is the Honua Kai location? I wonder why every site is saying it's only a 3.5 star resort, and the Sheraton and Hyatt are four stars then.

S W Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
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11,575 posts
19 reviews
3. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Why 3.5 ?? could be because it's so new. Also It's not just a hotel/resort. My understanding is that is a condo resort that folks have bought and are using the management company to rent the rooms.

Hopefully someone in the know will correct me if this is wrong.

Type Honua Kai in the forum search to see what all the talk had been the last 6 months. You will get more information than just searching the hotel site.

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
23,100 posts
19 reviews
4. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Honua Kai is the newest of the condo/villa/resorts on Kaanapali Beach. Resort with a kitchen basically...bigger rooms, usually washer and dryer as well. There are also the Westin Kaanapali Resort Villas and the Marriott Beach club in that similar criteria.

If you don't mind the drive for night-life the Ritz is a gorgeous property for a summer honeymoon. If you want to be able to walk/shuttle stick to the Sheraton or Hyatt.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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49,073 posts
18 reviews
5. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Lahaina is about 6 miles south of the south end of Ka'anapali Beach. Lahaina is a Town. Ka'anapali is a resort area bisected by Black Rock. Get a good map of Maui from AAA.

Ritz Carlton is in Kapalua. Recently renovated. Not as close to evening activities as Ka'anapali. Not as "on the beach" as the Sheraton.

Hyatt and Sheraton are both south of Black Rock on Ka'anapali. We prefer the Sheraton. Hyatt is OK, too. Neither are mega-resorts. Take a look at the room counts. Both do have extensive ground. Both are an easy walk to Whaler's Village along the paved beach path. And there is a shuttle to Lahaina if you don't want to drive for some reason.

By "Westin" - if you mean the Westin Resort ... you don't want to go there on a honeymoon in August! You don't want to go there, anyway IMHO. The Westin Villas (condos/timeshares) are north of Black Rock - and they are very nice. Honua Kai - they are condos. Individual owners. Brand new. North of Black Rock.

California
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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49,073 posts
18 reviews
6. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Wailea is in South Maui.

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
18 posts
7. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Hi there, I am also going to Muai for 2nd half of honeymoon (after going to Waikiki) and am looking for same criteria: access to some nightlife, great beach, and fabulous pool area. The Sheraton seems to meet much of the criteria. However, I have heard Lahaina is starting to get run down and that more poeple are heading over to Wailea.

Can anyone compare and contrast the 2 areas for us less informed?

If you desire to have access to hawian bars, should you stay in Lahaina? If so what part? Is there a hotel walking distance with still great beach and pool?

Thank you!

Chicagoland
Level Contributor
23,127 posts
8. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

The Wailea area is newer and has top-ranked hotels (Like Four Seasons and Fairmont). The Lahaina/Kaanapali area is older and has nice, but not top-ranked, and older hotels (Like Sheraton and Hyatt). Only The Ritz in Kapalua can compete in the same class as the Wailea hotels.

Yes, Lahaina has nightlife. Nothing like Waikiki, but it is the most Maui has on offer. Lahaina is a former whaling port with a Front Street now devoted to small restaurants, bars, 'galleries', tourist-y shops, etc. Reminds me of the Cape or a distant cousin of Bourbon St. in New Orleans.

Wailea has an open air upscale mall, Shops At Wailea. Kaanapali has one too, Whaler's Village, which seems larger -- possibly with more kitsch. (?). Lahaina and Kaanapali are the only places on Maui that you pay to park, if that's a hint about density.

wmoulton -- Don't know what you mean by 'Hawaiian bars'. You won't be going to local's hang-outs. If you mean 'Tiki-theme' there are plenty of those on Waikiki, and hotels in Hawaii tend to go with a little of that. You'll find plenty of 'theme' bar drinks on offer -- or you can buy some POG and a bottle of rum for DIY -- just not on the beach, please.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
27 posts
9. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Have you looked in the Sheraton...do you think that the overall quality is better than the Westin, Hyatt, and Marriot?

Boston, MA
Level Contributor
18 posts
10. Re: Wailea versus Lahaina Versus Ka'napali

Regarding looking at different hotels:

Hyatt - read some negative reviews, specifically on beach which is a must have:

- Beach very narrow, "beach by Black rock and the Sheraton is way better and much more convenient"

- "$35.00 for beach rental chairs was outrageous for the little bit of beach that they had."

- "Honeymooners are a dime a dozen. The hotel does ... nothing to help you celebrate (room upgrade, etc, like other hotels do)."

-"The drinks at the bars are also overpriced ($10 a peice). "

Westin:

- "Not hawiian, looks like an Austrian ski resort"

- "not for honeymoon"

- "everything is very expensive"

Marriot - I have 100k points so am still contemplating:

- website says "renovations Aug-Dec 2010". That's a huge wildcard and can make or break vacation

- "time share hotel"

- "poor beach strip, rocky, chair shortage"

Which led me to Sheraton (good and bad):

- "beach by Black rock and the Sheraton is way better"

- "best hotel on Kaanapali Beach"

- "nice sand beach, and walking distance to the whaler market place"

- should stay in building 4, 6 is too far away and in shade all day

- need to go next door to Kapula Bay for Hawiian music

- $26 resort fee, others are $13

Based on above, I'm still searching and would love to hear others thoughts on hotel with awesome beach, pool and location!!!