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“Laid-back atmosphere and great beach”

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Kaanapali Beach Hotel
Ranked #14 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 13, 2013

We just returned from a 7-night stay at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel (not to be confused with the Kaanapali Beach Club further north). Wow -- what a beautiful location amid the hustle and bustle of "resort row" on beautiful Kaanapali Beach. Actually, this hotel is the second to last one next to Black Rock, so the beach never seemed crowded in front of the hotel compared to the Sheraton next door or other larger/newer multi-level ones to the south. Water was a perfect 79 degrees every day of our stay. This was our first visit to Kaanapali and I would come back to this resort in a heartbeat. Yes, it is one of the older ones in the area and does claim to be the "most Hawaiin" (which is why we picked it), but the location is stunning. If you are looking for brass, glass, high rises, swim-up bars, and to party at the pool, look elsewhere as there are plenty of those resorts nearby.

I especially loved the park-like setting with a variety of tropical birds to watch. The beach in front of the resort is wider than beaches to the south and so can accomodate more people, but it never seemed crowded. We never swam in the pool once, which was usually filled with children anyway. Our philosophy was "why use the pool when you have an inviting warm ocean to play in?." The local restaurant "Terraces" or "The Terrace" was ok for us and we ate there for breakfast almost every morning as it was convenient and they did have a pretty good choice of items (including fish some mornings) and fruit every day. The Tiki Grill was ok for snacks and sandwiches. They serve pizza between 6-8 p.m. I actually really liked the tuna in the sandwich and wrap. This hotel claims to be the most traditional offering classes in lei making, etc. I took the hula class and learned a dance which was fun. Our class included a diverse group of women, a few children, and even men.

As far as the customer service aspect, this one is a little tougher. Sometimes it seemed that the info and concierge desk folks in the lobby (didn't understand why the separate info desks were needed) weren't all that helpful (this is a general comment and not the case in every instance). I totally understand that they receive hundreds of questions a day (no doubt often silly ones), but I think they could be a little more consistent in their helpfulness (and maybe friendliness) to customers visiting their hotel. For example, one person couldn't even recommend another breakfast place to eat. By far, the most friendly staff we encountered were in housekeeping -- they were always pleasant and gracious.

Excellent and fun restaurants (like our favorite "The Hula Grill") were located a short walking distance away, as well as Whaler's Village for shopping. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is excellent for all out relaxing and for experiencing a bit of the local culture. It's also close to a lot of activity, a short driving distance to Laihana, and you can book snorkeling/diving and sunset cruises at the hotel (as well as nearby hotels) or at the actvity kiosk right on the beach.

Room Tip: You can see the ocean and beach from most higher floors. Center garden view is not bad with park-lik...
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Judith_Lynne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 12, 2013

We had to check out of our Kihei condo a night early to match up with our air travel, so we needed a place to lay our heads for a night. We wanted to try a different area, so we opted for Ka'anapali. After searching & reading many reviews I found this hotel to have by far the best pricing and no insane resort fees, so we jumped on it. We booked the cheapest room available, and were in the building closest to the ocean on the south side. We had a balcony looking out at the Whaler, so not a stellar view, but I didn't pay for one either:). You could see the beach if you looked to the side, so that was a nice bonus!
The hotel room was good sized, fridge & coffee maker, very clean, and furnishings seemed newer. I liked the fact that this hotel is smaller than some of the other high rises along that beach, so it was more quaint. The location was awesome & just a short stroll to Whalers Village!
We enjoyed the outdoor bar for happy hour and watched a hula show that evening. I give the on site dining a thumbs down though. We considered eating at the beach grill, until we watched the food coming out of there. It just didn't look appealing. We did have breakfast the next morning at the main restaurant. The prices were insane ($50 for eggs & coffee for two), but so was everything in Ka'anapali. What was worse is the food quality was terrible. I have had far better meals eating at Denny's, or heck a MCD egg McMuffin would have tasted better. There are a few other dining options a short stroll away at Whalers Village, however looking at their menu's you won't find any "bargains" there either, but you should find some better quality of food. We did eat dinner at The Hula Grill, which was good. It was late and we didn't want a fancy dinner, so we ate in the beach bar area which was far more affordable than the main restaurant and closer to the beach.
If I stayed in Ka'anapali again I'd definitely choose this hotel hands down, for the location and pricing. Overall though, I don't know if I'd return simply because I didn't particularly love this area. The beach was nice, but that was about it. This is a resort area with multiple high rise high end hotels and is very touristy, people from all over, of all nationalities, etc., which I enjoy when traveling to a place like Las Vegas for example, but when I travel to Hawaii my mind is set on pure relaxaiton & enjoying the laid back attitude. I prefer the South Kihei area as I feel it gives me more of an at home locals type feeling.

Room Tip: Check out the dining options at Whalers Village
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank traveltosun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

My husband & I stayed 5 nights at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel. What a wonderful trip! After my husband made these reservations I realized it was the same Hotel I stayed at 35 years ago with my cousin. I was concerned that the "most Hawaiian Hotel" was code for "Old and Outdated" but I am pleased to report that is not the case. Truly a gem amid all the modern, cold, cookie-cutter Hotels. The staff were all pleasant and truly took good care of their guests. Loved the shows every evening on the grounds. The Hawaiian Hula Show was wonderful. Loved the little boys who danced too.
The only thing I would say is bring your own Beach Towel as the ones provided are small bath towels. Also you will pay to use a beach chair/umbrella : -(
We snorkeled off the beach and it was amazing. I even saw a sea turtle!
LOVED this experience and would highly recommend this Hotel.

Room Tip: Rooms overlooking the Pool are all good.
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Kim156
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2013

We stayed seven nights here meeting up with friends from Knoxville Tennessee who we have corresponded with for 28 years since we last worked together whilst conducting tours of Sydney Australia. The tropical gardens and lawns are so well presented and leave the neighboring big name hotels with manicured lawns and hedges for dead. Each morning the flower petals and leaves were raked up even on the one day it rained. Our room was quite large, the lanai ideal for relaxing on and room attendants ever so friendly and appreciative of a small daily gratuity. We enjoyed a 'part ocean view room' which basically overlooked the beautiful gardens and whale-shaped swimming pool. We dined at the Tiki Terrace most evenings and thoroughly enjoyed the 2 hour live hula show. One of our group won a lucky door prize at the 'welcome' breakfast and this was a voucher for one three course dinner at the nearby Leilani Restaurant which we can highly recommend also. With Hula, lei making and weaving classes inhouse there is always something happening here. Sunday Church Service in the Garden was an extremely moving one with hardly a dry eye to be found among the 40 or so attendees. Pastor Laki plays Ukelele to accomany the hymns and gives a stirring sermon. Well worth attending!

Room Tip: Higher floors, better views
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  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Tery Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2013

My husband & I just returned from an 8 night stay at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel and even though this hotel wasn't top rated we couldn't have asked for a better hotel. The grounds are impeccable, the staff was wonderful, and the beach was awesome. We celebrated our 20th anniversary and I would recommend this hotel to everyone. Definitely go to the welcome breakfast your first morning and also attend the good bye ceremony on your last morning. We stayed in an oceanfront room which had been updated and was very clean. The spa offered a great massage, well worth the $97 for an hour. The lei making class was great. The valets knew our name after a few days and they always greeted us by name and with big smiles. I would definitely stay at this hotel again.

Room Tip: Definitely ask for a newly renovated room.
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  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Deanna T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2013

My wife and I just returned from a 5 night stay at the Ka'anapali Beach Hotel. Reading the reviews before we booked was with some trepidation. This was not a "cookie cutter" chain hotel nor did the services include someone pestering us to buy drinks. We stayed in the Kauai building which appeared to be one of the newer ones. The rooms were nicely decorated in theme not unlike Disney tried to emulate at its Polynesian Resort Hotel. The bathroom was large and the queen sized bed comfortable. The room was freshened and restocked each day while we were out. The beach was wide and near the end of the strand close to some of the best snorkeling around. The grounds were well maintained and a walkway nearby connected to all of the hotels, restaurants and the shopping center nearby. A modest buffet breakfast was provided at a welcome presentation. The informative presentation provided useful information about the hotel, the island, tours. what to see and pitfalls to avoid. No attempt was made to sell anything and the presentation ended with a drawing for 3 nice door prizes. The hotel provided tour arrangements at a savings with operators that they screened and monitored. On the grounds the staff offered free activities like lei making and hula instruction. Fun for the whole family. The hotel wants to provide an experience that maintains some semblance of old Hawaii. The workers were all polite and exemplified the emphasis of the hotel to provide a cultural of what they call "aloha". Upon checking out we were feted in a ceremony complete with a kukui nut lei. The ladies sang a traditional song, swayed to the music and told us of the history and significance of the kukui lei gift. Obviously we were quite pleased with our experience and would stay there again. This is not the place for snobby travelers who expect to have unnecessary coddling and need high end amenities.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank Linda763
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2013

This place was perfect for us. People were wonderful, grounds are beautiful. No it isnt as upscale as the surrounding hotels, but we arent upscale people. And honestly we checked out other hotels while walking the beach front, prettier pools maybe but grounds dont compare. My 9 and 14 year olds said they wouldnt trade our hotel for any other. If you want impersonal and not as friendly those places are for you. But kbh is a laid back, casual, authentic, awesome place where you are treated well. You will never want to leave. Our room was in kaui, 576. Updated, great beds, and had an awesome view of ocean, black rock, grounds and mountain. The rooms are much like a nice chain hotel back home only with lanais!! And honestly in maui you wont spend much time in your room anyways. Trilogy out front was great, family business with great people for rentals, towels and activities. They went above and beyond for us on more than one occasion. We typically ate breakfast in, lunch at hula grill (can walk to many of the beac front restaurants from here) lahaina coolers or cjs (road to hana box was perfect, try eating it at waianapanapa park overlooking the blowhole! and do not miss hamoa beach while traveling road to hana! use the gypsy guide app worth the money.) We always had dinner from tiki grill and drinks from tiki bar while watching the nightly show. Did tiki terrace one night, good but dinner in maui is pricey. We walked to royal lahaina luau from here. We did a few of the free classes, guys did the intro scuba class from trilogy for 20. The surf was a good 10 ft that day so they could only get in pool. The instructor pretty much gave them a whole first lesson to make up for it. Snorkeling at black rock in am was good, lots of fish, saw better coral at makena landing. Take the time to talk story with locals as well as guests, we met some great people with wonderful life stories. Take time to learn the culture. And our visit to lahaina umc was a highlight of the trip. Nothing like a little bob marley sung by your pastor to begin worship. Beautiful moving service.

  • Stayed: June 2013
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1  Thank Susieq1719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kaanapali Beach Hotel

Address: 2525 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-1987
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Best Value Hotel in Lahaina
#12 Romantic Hotel in Lahaina
#13 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
#14 Family Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range: $199 - $310 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Kaanapali Beach Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 432
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surround yourself with aloha on one of Maui's most beautiful beaches...At Hawaii's Most Hawaiian Hotel! Located on golden sand next to the clear blue waters of Ka'anapali, all rooms have balconies overlooking lush tropical gardens, inviting you to relax to the sound of gentle surf and cool tradewinds. Award winning dining, shopping and recreation are on hand or close by. Here you'll discover the best in Hawaiian culture and family-style hospitality - truly aloha at its best! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ka Anapali Beach Hotel
Hotel Ka Anapali Beach
Kaanapali Beach Hotel Maui/Lahaina

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