We have been going to Maui yearly for a while now and have always stayed at the Sheraton (which we love and I have reviewed multiple times in the past) but I got a great deal for 5 days at the Westin that was too good to pass up. The things we love most about the Sheraton are the location, the beach and the views (Building 6) so I expected to be "satisfied" with the Westin but it was so much better than I expected.
First the room was an Island Studio and I went in expecting no view considering the deal we got - and I got what I expected. It was a first floor unit overlooking the road and parking lot. There was a balcony but absolutely no view. If I was paying anything close to the full daily rate for this - I would have been pretty disappointed because the view is such a big part of the experience for us. A couple of other down sides were that we had a dorm-sized refrigerator (apparently this is very rare) and the closet and drawer space were so minimal that we were never really able to unpack. Not being able to cook was OK but the clutter of our stuff was a little frustrating. However - everything else about the unit was great. It was in good shape, the bathroom features were wonderful and having a washer and dryer was a real benefit.
Now for the upsides - just about everything else about this resort. The grounds are beautiful and everything is easy to access. The pools are nice and heated (a benefit over the Sheraton) and we never had trouble finding chairs even though the resort was full. The service was great throughout the resort - friendly, helpful, knowledgeable. The beach was also a pleasant surprise. It is so much less crowded than at Black Rock and the swimming was good. I think there are days that the ocean will be friendlier at Black Rock due to the protected nature of that beach.
We took advantage of the shuttle between the Starwood properties and that worked great. They ran frequently and the drop off/pick up points were easily accessible. We did not use the one that went to Lahaina but others speak highly of it as well.
The restaurants were spotty. Breakfast at the Ocean Bar was just OK and the buffet was not worth the cost. The sports bar had a great location and atmosphere, fun staff and good food. We did not try the more formal Italian restaurant and I heard a variety of comments good and bad about it.
We took the tour of the resort and were wowed when we saw a one-bedroom with an ocean view. The difference between the studio and the one-bedroom is dramatic. It is more that just the added square footage - it feels like you are at home only in Maui. They are so well laid out and the finishes are modern and nice. The the ocean view is better than I expected. Maybe not the up close and personal view as the Sheraton ocean front but pretty terrific. I'm glad we did not do this until the end of our visit because going back to our room was definitely harder after seeing what was possible.
The bottom line for us is that we liked our stay here so much that we chose to become owners and are really looking forward to our trip next year. I did not think I would move away from the Sheraton but our experiences here really sold us.
One final word of advice is that for obvious reasons this is very popular with families - especially during spring break. The resort was full and there were a lot of kids. We did not find this troublesome even though we were there without kids however if you are looking for a quiet atmosphere - this would probably not meet your expectations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and West Maui Mountains, makes The Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas the perfect island retreat. Each spacious and stylish one and two-bedroom villas include private lanais, full-sized kitchens, washers and dryers, generous living and dining room areas, and complimentary Wi-Fi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas Hotel Lahaina
- Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas
- Westin Lahaina
- Westin Ka Anapali Ocean Hotel
- Westin Villas Maui
- Lahaina Westin
- Westin Maui Villas
- The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas Maui/Lahaina