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“Nice resort, bad view”

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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Ranked #8 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Nice resort, bad view”
Reviewed March 1, 2014

Our family visited Honua Kai mid-February. We had five people staying in a two-bedroom suite. Biggest complaint: The ocean view is NOT an ocean view. We paid a premium to have a room with an ocean view, as classified by the resort. Even when we checked in, the front desk promised we would be "very pleased with our ocean view." However, when we got to our room, we had a great view of a huge palm tree right beside our lanai and only tiny slivers of the ocean through every other palm tree the resort has around their court yard, pool, and beach. We're certain other "ocean view" rooms have the same issue as it's pretty impossible to see through the trees. When we called the front desk to say we weren't pleased, there was nothing they offered to remedy the situation. If you're looking to be able to sit on your lanai and watch the whales, be very cautious when reserving a ocean view room at this resort.

On the other hand, we were very happy with the multiple pools and hot tubs. The water slide was fun. The staff was very nice and the resort was very clean. We loved the fact that the doors to the lanai opened very wide. The small grocery store in the lobby was convenient, but pricey. My wife paid $12.50 to participate in the hour-long yoga class offered by the resort and was happy with the service. Valet was apparently included in your room price but we never used it because it was just as convenient to park your own car. Overall, due to the below average ocean views (if you would even consider them ocean views), we don't plan to return to this resort.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
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3 Thank TruthBeTold133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2014

We spent a week in a 1 bedroom condo, everything you needed was there and in working order, very modern and well equipped. Staff at the resort extremely nice and helpful. Parking was very easy and available. We found the beach directly in front not as great as it is a bit to the south but still very nice, Pool area is interesting and there is a quiet zone which is nice. Chairs were sometimes hard to find but that is due more to people "reserving them for the day" with towels and then not using them. It is a perfect place for people with children but we were a couple without kids and still found it great. Duke's restaurant on the property is handy but reservations are a must during the busy season! Grocery store across the street handy too.
My only complaint would be that we found housekeeping did not show up most days.
We would return and would recommend the place.

Room Tip: We enjoyed the mountain views, some rooms that are ocean view are blocked by trees.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Faydra2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katonah, New York
Level Contributor
91 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

My wife and I found Honua Kai to be a prefect place to spend a week. There's plenty of parking and it is very convenient to Lahaina and beyond. Directly across the street is a grocery store with reasonable prices and a great place to stock up on bottled water and whatever you care to eat in your room. We rented through Chase n Rainbows, so only dealt with the front desk staff once when we had to buy our parking permit for the week ($15 a night).

The grounds, open-air lobby and building interior are immaculate and the beach is beautiful. While families congregated more around the pools, we made a b-line for the beach every morning after breakfast. We were fortunate that our room had beach chairs and an umbrella, but if not, The Snorkel Store is only a few minutes south and you can reserve in advance and get discounts on snorkel equipment as well (see my separate review). I think you can also rent on the beach but probably more expensive. I really enjoyed snorkeling in the reefs right in front of the hotel when I wasn't under the umbrella. For lunch we went to the gourmet deli adjacent to the hotel lobby - it was convenient and the food was good - so well worth the Maui resort prices. Splitting a sandwich and a salad worked for us. We did the Duke's (also on the grounds) happy hour once and thought that was fun and a good value and would do it again. We stayed on the beach until close to sundown and then ventured out for dinner almost every night. I also reviewed Duke's, The Feast at Lele and Mama's Fish Market if you are interested.

We stayed in Hokulani unit 712 which we rented through Chase n Rainbows (they are easy to work with and met me with the keys at night because my flight arrived late). The unit was on the south side and had a beautiful clear view of the ocean just off to the right. We were able to see whales every morning while we had breakfast on our lanai. Also, because it was facing south it was more quiet and private as it did not face the resort grounds and pools. While this review is more of Honua Kai as a whole, the unit could not have been nicer. Large, top appliances, clean, comfortable living room furniture, comfortable bed, and stocked with towels, soaps and a hairdryer just like a hotel - we wanted for nothing.

In summary, we thought Honua Kai was a perfect place to enjoy the Maui beaches and to sightsee from. The families seemed to be having a great time which was heartwarming, and there were plenty of young to middle-aged couple like my wife and I as well.

Room Tip: We really liked the south side as opposed to facing the resort grounds or the mountains.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank katonahkid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fridley, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed February 27, 2014

We decided to have our Wedding Ceremony at this Resort. We had 4 other couples stay here as well. The suites are amazing!!! The beds were so comfortable and everything was so clean. We had a mountain view which was nice. Of course ocean is better but we settled on the mountain view to save a bit of money. The staff was nice and the property was beautiful. There was a lot of kids but since they have so many pools and the beach it did not bother me. When it gets dark the kids are all gone and the hot tubs are open. They also have a great communal grill area. The men caught a 30 pound Mahi Mahi so it was perfect to grill one night. There is also a grocery store right across the street. No need to go to Costco by the airport. It is a zoo! The Resort fee is kind of a joke. $25.00 per day for parking.

The only thing that was a negative was the Ceremony Lawn I booked for $500. I had to ask 3 people before someone could tell me where this lawn even was. It was right by the slide, the landscaping was minimal (even my offsite coordinator said it had changed) and there was a big gas pipe. They were even working on the pipe right before and my husband had to say something about it. He also had to ask them to close the slide for the ceremony. I just felt really taken advantage of. I did try to call the original person I was working with but he must not work there anymore and I only got a voicemail. In the end I just gave up. I understand that they have to make money but it was way over priced. I have been a Wedding Planner for 11 years and from the pictures it looked good but in person was not the same.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Veggiegirly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria
Level Contributor
35 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

Warning: this Resort and Spa caters to children so if you are traveling alone with your significant other this place is to be avoided at all cost.

Let's begin with the check-in. Arrived at the hotel at 1:00 P.M. The greeter at the front door politely and cheerfully showed us to the front desk. There, we were face to face with Nikki. No "hello", no "how was your flight", no "how are you doing", just a surly "what's you name." As we were tired, we asked if we could check in and were told that check-in was 4:00 P.M. — we'd have to wait in the lobby. At 2:10 P.M. I went back to the front desk where Nikki told me there was still no room available. She didn't even check with housekeeping. Later, we begin to see guests with children who arrived after us being given their keys. At 3:30 P.M., I go back once again to the front desk and ask if our room is ready. Nikki telephones housekeeping who tells her it is. This is 30 minutes before the housekeepers are scheduled to leave for the day. We later find out that our room was ready just before noon. So, if you arrive tired at the Honua Kai after your flight, don't expect to be checked in until 3:30 or 4:00 P.M. At least, not by Nikki.

The evenings: We were kept awake at night with kids running up and down the halls. There is no parental supervision and resort supervisors don't venture up onto any of the floors. Heaven forbid, they might have to calm down the kids. Outside at the pools the kids are everywhere. Screaming, shouting and splashing is the order of the day. There is one quiet pool with 20 chaises longues reserved for adults only, but the kids try to invade this small pool as well. Thankfully, the adult guests chase them away—not the resort staff. In the evening, you can still hear the kids in the pools while you are relaxing in your room.

Duke's, the only restaurant within a 45-minute walk of the resort, serves pricey, horrible food. We also ate at Duke's in Honolulu where the meal and the service were impeccable. Duke's at the Honua Kai has a captive audience so they don't care. Make a reservation at the Honua Kai Duke's and you will still have a 30-minute wait. Go figure !

Location: the Honua Kai is located at the end of Ka'anapali Beach so if you want to go to other restaurants or do some shopping at Whalers' Village you've got a 45-minute walk along a footpath or, alternatively, along the beach. It's good exercise and a chance to see the other resorts. The Sheraton and the Westin Resorts are adult oriented. We were envious and gave all those smiling, super cheerful, relaxed-looking vacationers a scowl as we walked by :-)

If you want to eat at the best restaurant in Lahaina, the Lahaina Fish Company on Front Street, you have about a 15-20-minute ride by taxi. It's $20.00 each way. Make a reservation and ask for a table that fronts and overhangs the ocean. Book the table for when it's dark. The view is extraordinary. And, don't forget to look down into the water to see the schools of fish swimming everywhere. I mention this point because when you see written in advertisements Lahaina Honua Kai you may have the impression, as we did, that the Honua Kai Resort is within walking distance of Lahaina. It isn't.

To close on a positive note, if you have kids and lots of them, this is the place for you. I just wish the Honua Kai let people know that the resort caters to kids and not adults. If we had known, we would have booked the Westin or the Sheraton.

Room Tip: Don't pay the extra $100.00 for the sea view. What you get is sea glimpses. See the "sea...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank whiteknight63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
27 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Lots of pools, great beach, no problem getting poolside chairs. Close to food stores and they have a little gourmet food shop in the lobby with good coffee. Nice BBQ area. Turtles and seals right at beach. Whale watching from beach was excellent especially in the mornings. Condo had a good kitchen and comfortable beds. Restaurant on premises (Duke's) is ok. Children's menu food was poor quality and unhealthy. Will return.

Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
Helpful?
2 Thank TDM_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2014

We stayed in a studio, #815 and absolutely loved it! The suite is immaculate with all the necessities, including towels, dish towels, beach towels and a full equipped kitchen. The lanai is gorgeous with breathtaking views of the ocean and the whales jumping. The grounds are very well manicured and the beach is fun to swim in and "attempt" to surf, lol....definitely a 5 star. Unfortunately, I fell ill and was not able to fly home for an additional 7 days, unfortunately, we were not able to stay here as it was already booked. We went to different resorts and this one is by far the best manicured. The only downfall, it could use a some Hawaiian traditions, it was very commercialized

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Lydia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Property: Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Address: 130 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-8413
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Luxury Hotel in Lahaina
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Lahaina
#2 Family Hotel in Lahaina
#6 Spa Hotel in Lahaina
#7 Business Hotel in Lahaina
#8 Romantic Hotel in Lahaina
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Honua Kai Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 628
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on world-famous Kaanapali North Beach, Honua Kai provides an unparalleled level of service and all the amenities of a luxury resort with expansive one, two, and three bedroom suites. Perhaps the greatest luxury of all is simply the space to spread out. Inside, the feel is that of a luxury Maui vacation home, graciously furnished in exotic wood and polished granite, and tastefully equipped with top of the line appliances. The gourmet kitchens contain everything you need to make a fantastic meal. Or simply make reservations at one of our spectacular restaurants. This is the Hawaii vacation you have always imagined, exactly as you imagined it. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Honua Kai Hotel Lahaina
Honua Kai Resort And Spa
Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui/Lahaina

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