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“For Once the Online Gamble Pays Off!!”
Review of Aina Nalu

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Aina Nalu
Ranked #23 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 12, 2007

What a pleasant surprise awaited us at the Aina Nalu Resort in Lahaina. My girlfriend and I travel from Phoenix to Hawaii several times a year and spend considerable amounts of time online trying to get the best bargain. We both could not have been happier with this trip's hotel result. We wanted to be close to Lahaina because of the great food and shopping concentrated around the massive Banyan tree anchoring the town center. Much to our surprise, this hotel is literally a couple of small blocks from Front St., the main drag in Lahaina, and is directly east of the Banyan tree - no more than a 3 or 4 min walk. The grounds are plush and bountiful with indigenous plants. The open-air lobby is very inviting and the desk agent greeted us with a friendly reception and helpful recommendations on local establishments. Our next surprise came in the form of a unsolicited 2-BR upgrade from our 1-BR reservation. While we didn't need the extra room, the extra closet space and expansive 2nd bathroom added to our delight. We were initially cautious about the renovations taking place on the second pool and the addition of a fitness center (and disappointed it was open for business) but that did not disrupt our stay. The rooms come as advertised in the picture - ALL of the rooms. You know how sometimes the online pics represent the best room in the hotel? Well at Aina Nalu all of the rooms have been newly renovated and few expenses were spared. Our room had 3 large LCD flat screen TVs, exotic tropical ceiling fans in every room - including the bathroom, new designer carpet in the common areas and BRs - and I am not talking about this nasty sand-stained beach front stuff. The entry, kitchen and bathrooms have beautiful stone tile. The kitchen has black granite-like countertops, new black appliances, and a stainless steel refer. Very nice! The kitchen is outfitted with all utensils, plates, dishes, etc.. so plan on cooking in. Dishwasher, microwave, washer and dryer are a big plus. New wall-mouted A/C units are in each room and provide plenty of cool air (although they can be a bit loud). As others have said, a few rooms have a view of the mountain-side of Lahaina, but most rooms offer little far-sighted viewing. Most are adorned with tropical plants just off the balconies to draw your attention up close. The grounds tend to be a bit of a maze - something I can only equate to what I believe the first day of work at the Pentagon must be like - but luckily parking is fairly abundant and just outside your room (think Motel 6 parking). We were so unexpectedly surprised by our stay, I felt compelled to write this review - even at the risk of giving away my newest secret. If you want to be in Lahaina and you don't mind not being on the beach, don't look any further.

Stayed: May 2007
4  Thank RDFink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 12, 2007

oh my gosh just pulling up to the property i could see i was in for something very nice.this property was the old maui islander...7min walk to the beach and front street...quiet area not alot of trafic or noise..we were all so very pleased with the beautiful remodeling, slate floors and showers,beautiful kitchen,french door to lanai...we stayed in a 2bed 2bath, all bedrooms and livingroom have individual airconditioners great for those who want it cold in their rm to sleep..plus ceiling fans in all rms and bathrooms...i recomend if you are going to maui and have more that 2 people ..share this condo it is a very low price for such a nice property and staff is great too....we had the best time ever...trust me i have stayed at the sheraton/hyatt and this is right up there with furnishings and comfort....but not the high price

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank cherie98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2007

This hotel is simply the best location for the price! We stayed for a week at Aina Nalu and loved the rooms (huge suites!). The property is coming off a huge total renovation so everything is new. The staff were friendly and with the "aloha" spirit of the old days. The hotel is right in town so you can do your day trips to beaches, etc. and return to the hotel at the end of the day to walk to endless restaurants for drinks and dinner. Try David Pauls, best wine list and food in Lahaina! We're going back for xmas!

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2  Thank Kara88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 30, 2007

What a glorious resort, really enjoyed our stay, the apartments are wonderful and you couldn’t want for anything. Our 2nd apartment was over looking the swimming pool, nice and quiet. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment. The apartments have literally everything you need, the kitchen is fully kitted out and the washer and dryer in the second bathroom is greatly appreciated after spending time on the beach and with 2 children. The bathrooms are very boutique hotel style – stone tile lined wet room for the shower. The maids were superb, really looked after you, checked you’d got fresh coffee for breakfast etc. The pool is small but very nice, the loungers are comfortable and its lovely to have fresh clean towels available at all times. Of a morning they also provide coffee. Would recommend this site to anyone but please be aware of the building work currently going on.

Unfortunately we had to move apartment because the first apartment we were located in was right next to the builders resurfacing the car park. We arrived after a delay at LA airport, checked in during the night, no problems etc., unfortunately the next morning we had problems getting our car out of the car park because they had started to resurface the road leading to the car park next to our block (no mention of not parking in this particular car park right next to our apartment when we checked in), eventually got over this obstacle but the second morning we were shaken from our beds by 2 diggers pulling up the car park surface outside our window, this work started well before 8am, up until 8am is supposed to be quiet time on the resort ! Unfortunately we didn’t find the reception staff very helpful to start with (I think the poor receptionist had had a number of complaints), we managed to speak to a Manager and got an apartment change, unfortunatly this didn't go smoothly, it wasn’t ready at 3pm as promised, had to come back at 7pm, we eventually moved apartments ourselves at around 9pm on our second day, at no point were any staff offered to help us move. Once we moved we couldn’t fault the resort.

Recommendations:

Definitely visit Snorkel Bobs opposite the resort, they are a wealth of information, can you point you to all the local snorkel sites etc.

We found the Old Airport beach to be the best for snorkelling but the car park does shut at 7pm prompt which is a shame as we had a lovely few nights watching the sunset and chilling on other beaches. Lots of marine life and turtles a plenty.

Road to Hana, glorious drive, amazing scenery but really do only do it if you can stomach the ride. When they say bends, they mean bends, various members of party felt travel sick. While in Hana we went to the Hana Maui Hotel, this place is definitely worth a visit to eat or stay – out of this world, very welcoming even though we were in shorts etc. and had only just been swimming in the waterfalls. Staff brilliant, looked after us very well.

Lahaina really nice town to stay within, easy walking distance to Front Street from apartments, had some lovely dinners and breakfasts. It has a really nice atmosphere when you walk around, does get a bit havoc on the day the cruise ship arrives.

Definitely going back to Maui and Aina Nalu.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with family
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5  Thank debsw1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2007

We (my boyfriend and I) had a great stay at the Aina Nalu. When we planned our trip to Maui, we were looking for something affordable, but something really comfortable and spacious. We also wanted something on the West side of Maui, where things are a little greener and more lush than the south side (Kihei, etc).

The things we loved about the Aina Nalu:
- location: not on beach, but several great beaches/snorkeling sites within 10-20 minute drives. The location was also great because we could go eat out & have a few drinks on Front Street, without having to worry about driving home tipsy. Easy walking distance. Because of this, we also didn't have to fight with finding parking on Front Street.
- spaciousness: tons of space. We were upgraded to a 2 bedroom unit, and had a ton of space. The bathroom was bigger than our bathroom here at home! The bedgroom was also plenty big. One entire wall in the bedroom & living room had floor to ceiling windows, with views of the greenery outside.
- the kitchen: the kitchen was really well equipped. Every time we thought "I wonder if the kitchen has ____ ", it did. We went to the grocery store and bought stuff to make breakfast, and also bought plenty of snacks to take to the beach with us. This saved us quite a bit of money, and less time in restaurants meant more time on the beach!
- in suite laundry: it seems no matter how much stuff I pack, half way through the vacation something I want to wear needs washing. The laundry was great, they even gave us a small package of laundry soap to use, and extras were available for $1.

Things that you might not like about the Aina Nalu:
- the buildings closer to the highway would have quite a bit of noise. (but the vast majority of the buildings were away from the highway)
- construction: they are building a bigger, fancier pool area, so one side of the property is a big construction site. This is probably what makes the hotel affordable -- we were never bothered by the construction while in our room, but we did have to drive by it.
- pool area: until the new pool area is done, the one they have is quite small. I really liked it, it was a good place to go for a quick cool-down, but if you are used to a big pool, you'll be disappointed.
- restaurants: there are no restaurants on-site (so no room service). Tons of choices within easy walking distance, though.

Lahaina was a really fun place to stay, we toured most of the island and would definately return to Lahaina. It has a small town feel, vs. big resort area.

Suggestions:
Be sure to check out Kapalua Bay to the north, great snorkelling is just a few feet off the beach. Nice beach for suntanning too.
Kaanapali beach was really nice too, good snorkelling around the black rock area, where we saw several Sea Turtles.
For dinner, try the Hula Grill in Kaanapali, The Fish Company in Lahaina, and Cheesburgers in Paradise in Lahaina. Good atmospheres in all these places, and good food.
For a quick meal, check out Maui Tacos in Lahaina or Napili. Yum.
Right across Wainee Street from the Aina Nalu is Snorkel Bobs -- this is a great place for equipment rentals or general info about snorkelling on the island. We also used Snorkel Bobs to book our whale watching & luau.

Must Do -- The Feast at Lele (luau). This was deifinately one of the highlights of our trip. We were hesitant to shell out the cash, but we were so glad we did! The food, drinks, and entertainment were unbelievable.

'I think that covers it! Have a blast wherever you go.

  • Stayed: April 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank TravellerWannabe35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 12, 2007

I was somewhat hesitant initially about Aina Nalu, having read the old reviews from when this was the Maui Islander. However, the more recent reviews seemed pretty good so we took a gamble and we were so glad we did. Aina Nalu was great. It's quite low-key looking from the street, although it has a cool open air reception area. We booked a 1 bedroom apartment and that's what we got. It was gorgeous inside, as per all the recent reviews - dark wood tones, a huge, luxurious bed with fantastic crisp linen and a plasma in the bedroom, a fully fitted kitchen (which even had a blender, great for margaritas before going out for dinner!), a beautiful stone bathroom with a big shower and a laundry, which was really handy. I knew when we booked the stay that there was a new pool being constructed, unfortunately, 5 months later, this was still the case and it wasn't finished. However, it turned out not to be an issue at all, as the existing pool was really nice, with plenty of lounges, pool towels, free tubes of sunscreen and even poolside tea and Kona coffee in the mornings. There were also bbq's next to the pool area and we saw a few people using them for dinner. I was worried about construction at the property pre-arrival, but we didn't see or hear any, with the exception of glimpsing the new pool, which is tucked away right at the back. I suspect they are using the rooms adjacent to that area as a last resort at the moment. The whole property was really well maintained, everything was super-neat and the staff were cheery. We loved being in Lahaina too, it was great for going out to eat and just wandering around Front Street. We would go back in a minute and hope to do so one day!

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank AmyPC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2007

My husband and another couple of our friends recently returned from the AIna Nalu where we spent 5 nights, Feb 28th - Mar 5th. We made our reservation back in the summer, and were starting to worry as the vacation drew near. We had read reviews complaining about construction and bugs. Please be assured that we didn't experience either! The resort was BEAUTIFUL!! Hubby and I have stayed at various 4 -5 star resorts, and this was the nicest room we've had yet. We had a 2 bdrm / 2 bath condo on the second floor and it was Fabulous! We didn't even see construction, nor hear it, and didn't see one bug. The rooms featured brand new appliances and tv's and have very chic decor (we're a group ages 26 - 30). And the shower......it couldn't be better! It's beautiful tiles with antique fixtures, and is more than big enough for two to enjoy. Although they're building a new pool, the one they have (although it's on the small side) was more than sufficient for us. With beaches like those in Maui, who needs a big pool? The chairs around the pool were awesome, big comfy cushions. The resort is literally a 3 min walk to Front Street, location is ideal in Lahaina. Bottom line, we got a fantastic deal on a great hotel. Expect to see rates increase as construction comes to completion and Outrigger puts it's finishing touches on the transformation (used to be the Maui Islander).

Stayed: March 2007
10  Thank Amy Drover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aina Nalu

Address: 660 Wainee St, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-1212 (Formerly Aston Maui Islander)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#21 Family Hotel in Lahaina
#21 Romantic Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range: $155 - $368 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Aina Nalu 3.5*
Number of rooms: 188
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aina Nalu(R) Lahaina by Outrigger(R) is a very special Lahaina hotel, an oasis of tranquility in the heart of Maui's historic Lahaina Town just a short stroll from the art galleries and bistros on colorful Front Street. The award-winning design of these residential-style Lahaina hotel vacation rentals is reflected in appealing details of Asian-inspired room decor, a sleek infinity pool, an elegant poolside pavilion, and cozy garden gazebos. This private hotel condo tucked away in a quiet neighborhood setting is a serene alternative to the Lahaina hotels on the busy waterfront. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Outrigger Aina Nalu Hotel Lahaina
Outrigger Lahaina
Outrigger Aina Nalu Resort
Aina Nalu Resort
Lahaina Outrigger
Aina Nalu Maui/Lahaina

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