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Aston at Papakea Resort
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Reviewed May 27, 2013

We booked through Maui Dreams Come True. Misty detracted us from staying at a different Aston property to stay here instead. We are in our late 20's from San Francisco and came here for a week long honeymoon.

I'm going to be entirely honest because I think the more info people have about the area and this location, the more informed decision they can make... especially if you have never been to Maui like my husband and myself.

Ok, Papakea itself:

1. The grounds are nice, the condos are old. Maintenance staff is super nice and work hard to upkeep the property.
2. There was definitely confusion between what happened during the check in process. We got here after our flight landed at 10, got to Papkea by noon. I guess Aston owns the property, but then there are private owners who have it managed by different companies who rent them out. But when you check in, it feels like a hotel. When I told Maui Dreams I checked in at noon, they weren't happy to hear we were let in before 4 PM.
3. When you check in, they offer free breakfast one day a week. This is SOLELY so that their concierge, who works for Expedia, can sell you on activity and event packages during your stay. Classy.
4. It's hard to lay out on the grass area and enjoy the sound of the waves when there is construction going on. Yes Dave at Papkea will respond and say that it is due to upkeeping the buildings, but it detracts from the ability to utilize the properties outdoors amenities. But since they lose no money renovating during the day (since there is no bar, food, activities you pay for), this is not an inconvenience for them, just you. We spent time at any other beach but here.
5. It's loud on the property, you can hear everything from people walking past your room, to people dragging chairs and talking inside the unit above you, to the fountain at the ponds in front of the unit. It might be a beachfront property but we heard no waves crashing at night as we hoped, just the coy pond fountain which sounds like rain.
6. Walls are thin so its not intimate at all, it feels like you're living at run down apartments. We were woken up every time C-209 closed their front door at night and can hear their TV blaring. Kids from the unit above or below us kept throwing construction paper onto our lanai.
7. Neighbors are old and NOSY as hell. They are always people watching you and aren't too friendly. The idiot in C-207 on the left of us kept peering over onto our lanai when we were outside enjoying the morning like a rude pig. Zero privacy when you're on your lanai because you can see everyone out on their lanai looking back at you too.

As for Unit C-208...

1. It's old. There are some renovations here and there but its definitely dated.
2. The bedroom gets unbearably hot at night despite our best efforts to keep it cool. You can't turn the fan on high in the bedroom because it makes a large CLANKING noise because the unit wobbles so much at that speed.
3. You are reminded the whole stay that it is a PRIVILEGE for you to rent the unit from the owners from signs left everywhere. It is not welcoming at al as you feel like you're staying at your parents beach house under strict rules, not to mention the guilt that comes with the electricity bill that is "600% more" than the mainland electric company. If you're going to be so anal about the unit, why be renters? As a rental property owner myself, I can say this is a total turn off for your guests.
4. The bed is not very comfortable, and the night before we left we figured out why- the box springs are sitting on top of boxes of flooring tile. No joke, it's hidden well with a bed skirt but upon looking for missing items that's what we found underneath the bed. Unreal.
5. Shower door doesn't latch so water gets all over the floor. So you have to hold the door closed while you shower. And it's tiny, only 1 person can fit into the shower at a time.
6. The kitchen reeked of something rotting and we couldn't figure out why. There's a sign above the sink that tells you what to do it clogs so I'm guessing it's the plumbing? Gross.
7. There's a washer dryer unit which was nice to be able to do our laundry but we were constantly washing the linens provided after going to the beach everyday which I was having to do throughout our honeymoon.
8. The wall mirrors in every room and on every closet door are so odd. You're constantly seeing yourself no matter what room you go into. Very dated feature (think 70's).
9. No instructions left on how to use to prehistoric AC unit (has remote) or the cable/TV. Not a big deal since we weren't there most of the time.
10. The plus is that you're located close to everything- Kapalua, Napili, Kaanapali and Lahaina. You're only 10 minutes from everything to do in the area. Grocery store across the street with coffee, bars and food in the shopping plaza as well.

Now, for Maui Dreams Come True:

1. It takes Misty a long time to return calls/emails, and even then she doesn't respond without consistent follow up on your part. This blows my mind considering this is what she does for a living. The whole reason we booked a different property at first is because she took a week to respond to our inquiry on Papakea.
2. Communication being a major issue, we were never told that there was a $50 deposit (for incidentals, to which I have no idea what those would be since we didn't rent from Aston) when you check in at the front desk. We had to pay for the entire stay upfront 90 days before we arrived at not once was this additional fee mentioned.
3. I emailed both Misty and the owner of the unit Jim about the nosy neighbor who kept looking over onto our lanai and asked them to address it. Never heard back from either of them. I guess we don't deserve our privacy? Again, major communication break down with a blatant disrespect for us. You ask for "kokua" and yet you don't give it yourselves.
4. Misty offered a bottle of red or white wine for our honeymoon at the arrival of the unit. When we arrived nothing was there. That's when we called and it was revealed that we check in before 4 PM (no idea that was an issue). What we received instead was carmel popcorn, chocolates and a bottle of Cook's at the front desk. Nice gesture, but a bottle of wine would have gone over much better as advertised. (We left the Cooks unopened in the unit because who can actually drink that stuff, honestly?).
5. They do not update their website on the units at all. The only reason I was able to find pics of C-208 when she offered it was a google search that turned up disappointing results. When I addressed this, Misty was very laissez faire about it and said she would mention it to their owners. Is it not your job to provide info on these rentals if you in fact, collect the money for them?
6. What she does do instead is provide the flipkey link of available units, but no unit number. I had to ask her multiple times "which unit number is this link" and she was vague for about 5 emails. I'm guessing because she wanted me to choose by what I saw in the pics, not the online reviews about the unit.

IN CONCLUSION...

Your money is better spent somewhere else. While the pricing may be attractive to some, it's honestly like staying at a Motel 6 in paradise. This place is DEFINITELY NOT for honeymooners, better for families and older guests.

There are many other options on West Maui shoreline from Kapalua, Napili, Kahana, Kaanapali, and Lahaina so do your research. We couldn't believe while walking down the shore how many there were and how we failed to miss them during our search. We knew we wanted to avoid the typical resorts like Hyatt, Sheraton, etc. but would have loved to have found a nicer condo resort than Papakea.

And we would have spent more money to have a nicer, shore front unit rather than eat out every night at high end restaurants and some of the activities we did, which is why which chose Papakea... we wanted the cash to spend on doing stuff since we knew we weren't going to be at the condo all day. But if I had to do it again, I would have chosen elsewhere entirely for a few extra hundred dollars on a better condo resort.

I hope Misty, Jim and Papakea read this review and give anything but their generic response to the above. I'm expecting the usual "At Papakea we pride ourselves.... we will address these issues.... we appreciate your business and feedback.... blah blah blah. This is why customer service is dead, because there is zero accountability for those who can hide behind computer screens when they respond.

Hope this review helps others make a better decision on where to stay.

Room Tip: Do your research of the area and look for other condos between Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua. There are too many other options in West Maui to settle for Papakea.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank SommGirlCA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 4, 2013

Part of the Vacations International Timeshares. We used my wifes Grandmothers Timeshare and had a blast. Grounds are very well upkept. ( see pics ) they have two pools and some ponds with coy fish. ( see pics ) Great place to stay in Maui. Very large rooms with plently of silverwear and other admentitives you will need for a good stay. Right near everything you will need for a great Maui Stay.

Room Tip: We stayed in room D205 - it has no direct sun during the hot time of day. Plenty of fans inside room to keep it cool. Large screen door to keep fresh air coming in at night when you sleep. No air conditioning but that is very common in Hawaii. Clean but dated rooms. But who cares when your staying in a place that is free. ( see pics of inside room ) Our room is near the main entrance and main checkin building.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2013

We stayed at Papakea Ocean Front Resort, Unit H301 for two weeks in April 2013. We loved the condo unit. It felt like home. We booked our stay through Misty with Maui Dreams Come True. Everything was provided as represented by Misty. Booking our trip through Misty was easy. She was accommodating and we were left alone to enjoy! The Condo had everything we needed, and is a beautiful property that is very well maintained. We thought it just as nice as resorts that cost a lot more money. Snorkeling out in back of the property was amazing. We saw sea turtles and whales right out back of the property. The property was quiet, yet family oriented. We spent out 25th Wedding Anniversary there and hated to leave..

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank vicky b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2013

This was a nice condo on the ocean. The bed was comfortable and the resort was quiet. These condo's are a little older but they are in good shape. The landscaping is immaculate. There is also a shopping center across the street that has a supermarket in it which is very convenient. The condo also has a small washer & dryer in it which is nice. The bedroom could get a little warm due to only one wall air conditioner on the opposite side of the unit but it does have a ceiling fan which helps.

Room Tip: The ocean view rooms are nice.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Yard001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

This must be a great place for family reunions because we saw so many of them. The kitchen is stocked with lots of dishes and updated appliances. The housekeeping could be much better. We were here 12 nights and they never mopped or vacuumed during our entire stay. They made the bed, took out trash, and put out fresh towels. Construction was going on the entire time we were here so expect construction noise - but at least they are keeping up the property. We booked with Costco and stayed in c105.

Room Tip: BTW, first floor only is garden view, all other floors are ocean view. We got a ticket for placing our dive equipment to dry on the lanai.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank donnarueca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daveatpapakea, Manager at Aston at Papakea Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 29, 2013

Aloha,

The work being done is very limited in scope and is for the most part not to disturbing. We do have to paint and keep things looking good.

Mahalo,

Dave Schneider
General Manager
Aston at the Papakea Resort

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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