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Reviewed October 20, 2017

This resort has the most beautiful views in Hawaii. The grounds, the pools, and the azure blue ocean, with the island of Lanai in the background, was a feast for the eyes. The property is well kept and the staff are helpful, but not intrusive. Duke's Restaurant was never disappointing. Maui has too many beautiful and awesome sites to experience in one visit. I can't wait to return.

Room Tip: There were six of us in a three bedroom suite. Three kings, beautiful kitchen, living area and deck. 7th floor facing the ocean.
  • Stayed: October 2017, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Randall R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HonuaKaiResortandSpa, Manager at Honua Kai Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded October 31, 2017

Aloha,

Thank you so much for your comments and we look forward to welcoming you back to Honua Kai Resort & Spa.

Mahalo,
Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2017

So I put 5 stars down for my rating and then looked to the right side of the screen where Tripadvisor kindly places several recent reviews by others (maybe to help inspire the review I am about to write) and see ratings much lower than I would have expected. This is unusual for me as I am pretty critical and do not give out high star ratings easily. Before I relay my experience I feel compelled to address some of the issues raised in those reviews. First, I rate on the basis of what else is available in the area I visit. On Maui there are lots of places to stay but if you are a family who needs 2 bedrooms and like the convenience of a full kitchen where else can you go? I did a ton of research and found that there are certainly lots of other choices but none that looked nearly as nice as the Honua Kai. A number of people complained about seeing bugs in their unit. I did not have that experience, but would not have been surprised if I did. It is a tropical climate which is home to trillions of insects. Also, the glass windows/door to the lanai can be retracted so that that the room is fully open to the outdoors which is a bug invitation. If you do not want to see bugs then maybe a tropical climate is not for you. I do sympathize with the people who complained of the pool closures as they were all open during my August visit. I will say I swam in the pool twice during my 10 day stay as I much preferred the ocean which was warm and beautiful to swim in. The beach was quite narrow but we enjoyed being out there, particularly during sunset on many of our nights. Honua Kai should absolutely compensate for the pool closures especially if you received last minute or no notice. I would have been furious too. When I booked I enquired about construction and ended up passing on a discounted room facing the Weston construction and opted not to stay in that building. Finally, there were complaints about maid service. I never saw the people servicing our room but had absolutely no issue with how the room was cleaned.

Now that I have gotten that of my chest, let me tell you how I ended up at the Honua Kai. I spent a ton of time researching where to stay on Maui. My needs: two bedrooms and preferably a functional kitchen for our family of four (2 teens) that was not going to break the bank (i.e. a suite at the Ritz Carlton was out). I started with VRBO and Airbnb. The Honua Kai is made up of privately owned units that either rent though the resort, the websites above, or real estate brokers on the island. The units are all similarly appointed with nice kitchens and bathrooms, relatively nice living room furniture, and basic but nice bedrooms. I found our beds to be comfortable and had no issues in that department despite other reviewers complaining about the beds. Honua Kai is not cheap and the ocean from rooms were over our budget. Despite this I really wanted to stay here and discovered that there is a price break for mountain view rooms. I found such a room on VRBO that fit the bill but was a bit more expensive than it seemed it should be. The owner had funny block of 11 days open (starting on a Wednesday) and we were willing to fill 10 of them. So I attempted to negotiate for a bit of a discount and was informed by the owner that he ALWAYS fills his unit and why would he want to negotiate with me. It was the BEST thing he could have done for me. I do not do business with people I do not care for and this fellow rubbed me the wrong way so I walked. I then looked on the web for realtors and came across KBM Hawaii. Now I am as dubious as anyone when booking on the web so I looked into reviews of their operation and found them to be credible. They had a BETTER mountain view room on the top floor of the building which ended top being perfect for us. Our lanai had a fabulous view of the volcano and if you looked far right we could also see the ocean. We had no neighbors facing into our lanai so privacy, unlike with the ocean view units, was not an issue. And the kicker? KBM gave us a FREE rental car for our stay so the deal worked out way cheaper with KBM professional the whole way through. Can't say how glad I am that I listened to my instincts. So the lesson here is that mountain view rooms may actually be better than ocean view rooms and that if you book through a realtor you usually get a free rental car. You won't get that on VRBO or booking directly with the Honua Kai.

I realize this review has gotten longer than I expected so will shot gun through my experience during our stay. The room was quite luxurious and had great AC (it was HOT on Maui when we were there) and was well located. There were lots of fun local style places to get great food right next to the hotel and it was relatively easy access to the whole island. There was a big supermarket across the street which we took advantage of on several occasions. We covered just about every accessible part of the island and explored extensively and after all that I was happy with where we chose to stay. I am a planner so did not use concierge services at all but they always seemed ready to help. Because I rented through KBM I did not check in at the main desk. The KBM rep met me in the lobby, gave us our keys (electric wrist bands) and did a quick orientation/tour for us. We were in the Konea building which is a few minute walk to the "main" Hokulani building. The Hokulani contains the central lobby, shops, and a coffee house. Our building had a little lobby market with coffee service and was also quite nice. All open air and very pleasant. Parking was easy. Right out front less than 50 yards to the building entrance. The hotel property is beautiful with incredible sunset views of the pacific. Amenities such as gas grills for guest use were available but we never used them. To be honest, there is so much to see and do on Maui, that even in the 10 days we were there we did not get to do everything I would have liked. As a result, we did not spend a lot of time on the property during the day but were happy to come home and collapse into our very comfortable room at night.

Duke's is a private restaurant on the hotel property owned by a company with a portfolio of similar places throughout Hawaii and California. The restaurant is pleasant but you need reservations for dinner and it is quite expensive and in my opinion not worth the money. Maybe just once for fun.

Summary:
Great place to stay with the family with all the amenities you need and terrific location. If you are trying to keep the budget in check (not easy to do with a Hawaii vacation) book a mountain view room through a realtor like KBM and get a free rental car to boot. I give 5 stars as there is no comparable condo property offering the level of luxury that the Honua Kai does. It is not the Four Seasons or Grand Wailea but those properties do not offer what I wanted for my stay and to get the space and accommodations I had at the Honua Kai at one of those properties the price point would have been double or triple.

As always, it is important to inquire about construction or service disruption when booking, and if you are surprised by such an issue during your stay, hold the owner's feet to the fire to receive the appropriate compensation.

  • Stayed: August 2017, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
15  Thank gersty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2017 via mobile

A nice place and nice beach. Service is bad in restaurant. And we where not told that 2 out of 3 pools where closed because of renovation. The Hotel did give us discount(after we contacted the travel agency at home) but it was not the stay we had in mind.

Stayed: October 2017, traveled with family
3  Thank Chalotte H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2017

We reserved a (3) bedroom condo that was beautiful. The decor was attractive, the rooms were very spacious, and the view was spectacular. However, the beds were not at all comfortable. And we found cockroaches in our room.

Two of the (3) pools were closed for renovations. My suggestion would have been to do (1) pool at a time. The only pool that was open, had so many people in it. Now I know we all have children, but, babies in just diapers should not be allowed in the pool. The water looked cloudy and grossed us all out where we wouldn’t even get into the water.

There are (2) pool concierges next to each other vying for your business. We rented a cabana for a discounted rate of $150 due to the pool closures. That included nothing. The seats were stained and not very inviting. The only good that came out of that was Ally, our waitress from Dukes.

I would recommend this hotel when they are not doing renovations.

  • Stayed: October 2017, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank suzyG95136
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2017

Pluses:
* Situated right next to the beach
* Duke's Beach House (restaurant/bar) sits on the hotel property and overlooks the beach.
* Parking was free/included in the daily resort fee
* The full kitchen and access to an outdoor grill made cooking (and cleaning up afterward) easy
* The room was clean and housekeeping was pleasant

Minuses:
Lack of knowledge or lack of honesty? At best, misleading: We planned our honeymoon two months ahead. Before we booked the room, we called and asked if the hotel had any construction planned or if any pools would be closed. We learned from other TripAdvisor reviews for other hotels that September had a few hotels doing just that and we cut those from our list. The Honua Kai told us they had no plans to do any construction, stated all of the pools will be open, and volunteered that the neighboring Westin will be doing construction, but our rooms wouldn't be near that hotel. A week AFTER we booked, our travel agent told us the hotel will be shutting down one of the pool areas for construction. Rather than starting over with less than two months to go (and a million other things to do with the wedding still on the list), we decided to move forward since the room looked nice and it was located where we wanted to stay on the island. Then, after we arrived, the hotel posted a notice in the elevator lobby that one of the condos will be doing tile work until November with "heavy noise" during our stay. So, our leisurely start to each morning now included an air hammer.

Lack of compensation. When I asked for a late checkout as a courtesy for the condo tile work noise and the misleading information about the pool, I was told the hotel could only offer an extra hour. Anything more than that would cost $175 extra. As our flight wasn't set to leave until 11pm of our last day in Maui, a few extra hours would have been appreciated. After striking out, we were talking with another guest about our experience while on the beach and she said the hotel called her a month ago and offered 25% off her stay, if wouldn't cancel. Then we she told the hotel her family had a 10pm flight, they offered her a 6pm checkout NO CHARGE. Based on my understanding from the hotel, every condo unit owner is different. So, my interpretation: Beware. Some guests get a caring host, while others get what they get.

Lack of convenience of front desk services. We stayed the Konea Tower, which had its own concierge to book tours and dinners. However, if you want to use the outdoor grill, you need to hike it to the main building around the construction to get the grilling tools. Also, whenever I have a problem or question that requires a little more detail, I like to talk with someone face to face and not over the phone. Unfortunately, if you have questions , you have to hike it to the main building.

Forget about the tub: My wife likes to take a bath instead of a shower to relax. Unfortunately, the tiny hot water tank in the room didn't have enough water to fill the tub. Thankfully, it was plenty for a couple consecutive showers, toothbrushing, and shaving.

Room Tip: It's a condo building first and a hotel for guests second. Don't rely on the web site to book.
  • Stayed: September 2017, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank LAAPsdad0516
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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