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“Kuleana 411”
Review of The Kuleana Resort

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The Kuleana Resort
Ranked #23 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Lahaina
northern Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
118 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Kuleana 411”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We stayed here for 4 nights in early February. It was a wonderful condomium and I would recommend it to anyone.

The best part is the view. Many condos advertise "beachfront" or "great view" but this place truly delivers. There was NOTHING between our balcony and the ocean, other than a few feet of lawn, a few black lava rocks, then sand and waves. I could throw a stone from our balcony and hit the water (and I can't throw very far). Every day (actually every hour) we could see multiple humpback whales swimming past. Sea turtles are everywhere although we couldn't see them very well from our balcony. The best place to see them seems to be standing at the top of the sea ladder. They would come within one foot of the base of the ladder and poke their head up, as if to say "hello!".

The condo itself was clean and recently updated. Appliances were very new and fancy. The bed was comfortable and we slept great. There is a room air conditioner in the bedroom but we never needed it. All rooms have ceiling fans to keep them cool. The bedroom is at the back of the unit (away from the ocean and very near the pool). I thought noise from the pool would be a problem but it was not because the pool closed at 9:00 (or maybe 10:00) and closing time was strictly enforced. The condo complex in general was very quiet. We never heard noise from other surrounding condos. The noise from the waves crashing on the shore was tremendously loud but for me, that was a plus.

The snorkeling in front of the condo was generally poor. We tried to snorkel close to shore, where the turtles were hanging out. The visibility close to shore was very poor due to sand turbulence. You cannot see more than one foot ahead of you. My husband almost bumped into some sea turtles because he could not see them until he was on top of them. When you are near shore, the waves constantly buffet you and threaten to push you into the rocks. Since this area is not in a protected bay, we were leary of swimming far from shore. Other beaches (our favorite was Napili Bay) have better visibility and snorkeling opportunities. The beach itself is very small. There is a small strip of sand, big enough for 4-6 people to set chairs, if they don't mind getting their feet wet by bigger waves and being close to strangers.

We were also disappointed that it is impossible to walk on the beach for any distance. We discovered that most of Hawaii's shoreline is made up of large rocks that jut far into the ocean. And you are unable to walk on the lawns or property abutting the ocean because most of the resorts have fencing that goes up to the water. Here in Michigan, we are accustomed to sandy shorelines that continues for miles and miles with no interruptions. There are sidewalks on the road that runs behind the resorts (away from the water) that most people used for long walks. But there is not much within walking distance anyways. There are no beachfront restaurants or bars less than a mile away.

As far as amenities, we enjoyed the use of the cooler and beach chairs. We were grateful for the provided beach towels. The kitchen was well supplied and clean. The balcony had a table, four chairs and two foot stools. The freezer had an ice maker and we made use of the Brita water pitcher. Plenty of pillows were provided and I appreciated the fleece throw for cooler times on the balcony.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
3 Thank upnorthjodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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197 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
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English first
Phoenix, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

Watching whales, sea turtles, sun sets and full moon over the ocean right from the balcony! Having coffee every morning with such a beautiful view made it very difficult to leave. But I will be back, hopefully during whales season again. It's amazing. Thank you for a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank msfrankfour
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vallejo, California
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2012

My wife booked this place instead of Kahana Falls which is 5 minutes away from each other, and she made the better choice. On the outside it doesn't look like much, but on the inside it was great. Granted the space was smaller than I was expecting and used to but for a family of four it was just right. My wife and I took the master bedroom while the kids took the murphy bed in the living room. After every dinner we rearranged the living room to pull down the bed and get the kids tucked in. The kitchen was small but good enough to cook meals and enjoy each others company. Another draw back was that our unit didn't have any AC, however if we opened the sliding door towards our balcony which was facing the ocean the cool ocean breeze cooled our whole unit down.

The positives about this place is again the view. The Pacific Ocean was literally our backyard. It was great waking up each morning, hearing the ocean waves, feeling the ocean breeze, while drinking a cup of joe and reading the newspaper. The kids loved eating outside on our balcony while watching people try to surf, swim, snorkle, or paddle surf in the ocean. Another positive about this place it has a private small beach for only the guests. The waves were perfect and not too rough so the kids could play and have fun without the fear of big waves.

The service to this place was good, especially with Ed, and the facility was in excellent condition. Compare this to the other place we could of reserved, Kahana Falls, which did not have the ocean for a backyard or any private beach, my wife did a great job. I would recommend this place to anyone and come back again. If you are looking for a place that is not the big hotel chains, quiet area, and a private beach this place is a great place!

Room Tip: Ask for the rooms that have a balcony and not the ground floor. If you get a unit that is on the gr...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank James M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corona, California
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2012

We stayed a week in October 2012. For a rental condo on the ocean, this place is a well kept gem! The parking was fantastic, The pool was so pretty day and night and it is all tile so you don't scrape your feet. The room was dark when I first walked in but once you open the curtains and turn on the fans relaxation settles in.. I found no need for air conditioning. My husband and I slept on the living room Murphy bed and enjoyed the moonlight views to the ocean waves crashing 50 feet away.. We stored all our gear in the bedroom. The front desk was helpful when we needed help due to a wet phone .. Just remember this is a do it yourself condo , if you want to be waited on, choose a hotel resort.. I will definitely stay here again

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Jessica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacific Grove, Ca
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed October 25, 2012 via mobile

We are regulars to Maui for 20 years now and for the past few visits we stayed at Kuleana. Beautiful grounds right on the beach, big pool, snorkeling is good with many turtles each morning and plenty nearby to see & do. I would recommend you look at the units on their site. Air conditioning is important to us and not all units have it. There are some dated units and some that have been remodeled. You can't find a better deal for this ideal location on Maui. As I write I'm looking at a gorgeous view and listening to the waves - total relaxation! Maui was just voted best island in the world for the 17th year in a row!

Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
9 Thank debinmonterey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Tired of large resorts, then this condo is for you. From it's lanai there are incredible views of the ocean, sunsets, Lana'i, Moloka'i, the beautiful, tropical grounds and the all tile pool. Just off their reefs swim turtles, and just about a 5 minute walk north is a small beach where turtles beach and sun themselves. We stayed 10 nights and as usual did not want to leave.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank 7910Jim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level 6 Contributor
84 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 274 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

This property in West Maui is located about 15 minutes north of Lahaina, and on the coast across from the small regional Kapalua airport. You can rent via the management company, or directly from various owners via sites like Airbnb or VRBO. The furnishings and condition of the specific units therefore vary.

In this review I will only speak to the resort and area, not a specific unit. You will also want to try and get some info on specific units by unit numbers from TA and elsewehere, since it sounds like while most units are good, there may also be some less well-maintained units.

It is a great location to be based for a West Maui stay, with a large grocery store (Times) and other shopping and services, local shops, farmers market (some days of week), and great restaurants all within a 5-10 minute drive. There is a nice small private beach right in front, and some rocky areas as well where there are almost daily visits by large green sea turtles feeding on the algae on the rocks. You can watch them from shore from only feet away, or safely snorkel with these gentle creatures, but also ensure that you to not touch them, corner them, or otherwise harass these protected seafarers. If you remain still in the water, and let them eat and swim in and out without blocking their path or chasing them, they will treat you as just another object in the water.

This is an older condo property, but the exterior and grounds are extremely well maintained. Note that many of the units do not have air conditioning (there appears to be a condo bylaw restricting AC installations). If the units have good fans in the living room and bedroom, and you are attentive to ventilation, the lack of AC isn't a big problem in our experience. We are also very attentive in tropical climes to keeping food cleaned up and secure, and screens in place, etc - we had no problem with ants or insects of any sort.

The gardening and landscaping is superb, and the staff are attentive and friendly. There are four community BBQs close to the beach, and you can visit new neighbours, drink your wine, and bbq while watching the sun go down. The BBQs and the pool are spotlessly maintained. The pool was active but never crowded during our 1 week stay. There are pay washer / driers in in the lower level of certain buildings, and good condition, lots of machines, no waiting. Parking is easy, and the area felt very safe. There is a security patrol each evening. Make sure you park properly and keep the parking pass on display on your dash, or you will promptly receive a warning.

Snorkeling out front of the unit is great for turtles, but only average for fish. For great snorkeling drive 15 minutes north to Mokuleia Bay (park clearly marked at top, and then 5 minute walk down stairway) for great beach for swimming, and snorkeling on the left; or go a bit further north to Honolua Bay (lots of pulloff parking before and after a sharp crook in the road) and then a 15-20 minute easy hike along a trail to the rocky bay. Both areas are very popular with locals and knowledgeable visitors, and parking is tight later in the day; so make the effort to get there early around 8 or 9 am, when the parking is easy, you have lots of space, and the water visibility is generally best.

If you found this review informative, kindly click on Helpful? link below.

Room Tip: Google "Kuleana resort map" to find a layout map of the resort and individual units. The f...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
25 Thank Western_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Kuleana Resort

Property: The Kuleana Resort
Address: 3959 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-9394
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #23 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Kuleana Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kuleana Resort boasts a truly remarkable oceanfront location, on West Maui's pristine coastline, with a gorgeous panoramic view of the Pacific ocean and the nearby islands of Molokai and Lanai. We offer you a rare piece of vintage Hawaii with the convenience and comfort of today. For over 25 years, we have strived to make sure that our guests have the most unique Hawaiian vacation. The atmosphere of our resort is friendly, family-oriented, homey and fun. This rare gem sparkles with the beauty of the tropics that only years of aloha can provide ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Kuleana Hotel Lahaina
The Kuleana Resort Maui/Lahaina

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