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“We loved the Papakea”

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Aston at Papakea Resort
Ranked #25 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
A TripAdvisor Member
“We loved the Papakea”
Reviewed July 4, 2006

I don't know why I waited so long to write this review, but here goes. We went to Maui last summer and stayed at the Papakea. We had a two bedroom condo right on the beach (we got lucky). I've read reviews about thin walls, dirty condos, no beach, bad staff, bad parking, blah, blah, blah. Our condo was clean and met our needs. It was cool at night and we didn't mind if we could occasionally hear people around the complex. The staff was absolutely awesome perhaps because we treated them with respect. It's amazing how well people treat you when you treat them nicely. Hmmm....
True there is not much beach at the Papakea, but the snorkeling was absolutely awesome and it was right there! We didn't have to drive clear around the island like we did in Kauai. The parking was, well, not always great, but even at a big resort, you're going to have to walk to where you are staying. It wasn't that bad. The shopping center across the street had a great restaurant that was small, but had awesome food. I can't remember what it was called. The little place where we rented our snorkel equipment was there also and they were pretty cheap compared to the place in Kauai.
What I have learned about these reviews is this: People who are going to complain, are going to find something to complain about whether they are in paradise or not. In both my trips to Hawaii, I have had nothing but good service, friendly and accomodating staff, respectful locals, and had an absolutely wonderful time. Attitude makes a big difference.

  • Stayed August 2005
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Helpful?
12 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 19, 2006

Just returned this morning from a 5 night stay at the Papakea. Our unit (D202) was immaculate! It was stocked with everything we needed (silverware, boogy boards, 2 TVs, etc.) which really helped a lot. The condo itself had a view of the Molokai Pool, putting green, as well as the ocean, which was very pleasant and had a very nice, obviously well maintained interior. From what I have read it seems like it depends which unit you get (since they are privately owned) that determines the caliber of your stay. If you are looking for a beautiful, reasonably priced, 1 bedroom/1 bathroom condo then I highly recommend D202. My one complaint would be that there really isnt a great beach at the Papakea. This problem was easily fixed by taking the 1 dollar shuttle from the Embassy (less than a blocks walk from Papakea) to Whalers Village, which is the location of the beautiful Kaanapali Beach as well as shopping and a few restaruants (loved Leilanis). Kaanapali Beach was great to swim at, relax on the beach, and Black Rock (in front of the Sheraton Hotel) provided some great off shore snorkeling. The concierge at the Papakea was extremely helpful in booking activities (we booked the Royal Lahaina Luau through the conceirge and got seats in the very front), etc. There is also a Star Market right across the street that is open from 5am-2am that has all your grocery needs, which helps cut back on money spent on food. All in all, it was a fabulous vacation and the Papakea was a great place to stay. Oh, and one last tip, I highly recommend renting a car or using airport shuttle service and the Maui Transit for transportation, as taxi rides are extremely expensive. It costed us 90 dollars from the airport to the Papakea, and 12 dollars from Whalers Village to Papakea (which is a 1 dollar Maui Transit Shuttle ride). Just a tip!

  • Stayed June 2006
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Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 15, 2006

My husband and I went to Maui in June '06 for our honeymoon and stayed at Papakea. Papakea was perfect! A beautiful view, friendly staff, Papakea had everything we wanted! I didn't want to come home!

Before booking a hotel in Maui we read reviews of several places and compared prices. We were scared by some of the reviews (the ones about dirty old rooms) but it seemed most people really liked Papakea. The price was really reasonable for an ocean front studio, so we decided on Papakea.

When we arrived, we immediately loved Papakea. It was close to a shopping center with places to eat and Star Markets plus it was right next to the ABC store. Perfect walking distance for us, although we drove most of the time. The grounds of Papakea were well maintained, although two of the ponds were empty and being cleaned, the pool/bbq area was very clean and well maintained.

When we went to our room in building A we found we were given a one bedroom instead of the studio which was great! It had all new appliances in the kitchen, a washer and dyer, a nice patio set on the lanai and most importantly it had an absolutely beautiful ocean view. There was nothing special about the bathroom or bedroom and no tv in the bedroom but why do you need it, you are in Maui!

We read the reviews about the people complaining about humidity and heat and having to drag their mattress in to the living room, this is one reason we wanted a studio, but we didn't have this problem at all. We slept with the doors and windows shut and air conditioner off and it didn't get stuffy until about 7am but when we woke up we opened the huge sliding glass door and the room immediately aired out.

Another reason we loved Papakea was because on our second day there we were pleasantly surprised by a bottle of Champagne and a card welcoming us and congratulating us on our marriage.

The Papakea is not for people that want a five star hotel with restaurants and entertainment. It is for people that want a simple, quite, friendly place with beautiful views. I would definitely stay at the Papakea again!

  • Stayed June 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed June 6, 2006

We stayed at the Papakea Resort G206 from May 28-June 5, 2006. I had mixed feelings about the property and the unit itself. I booked it through a private owner on [--].It is a 2br/2ba unit. The owner was terrific to deal with, but I must admit the unit itself left something to be desired. The carpet appeared very dirty, as was the couch in the living room. The kitchen area was nice, with nice cabinets and adequately stocked. It had all the necessary appliances and they were in good shape. The furniture in both bedrooms was very basic. The towels were a real mish mash and all had a very strange smell to them. I had to wash them before we could use them.There were beach toys and boogie boards in the unit for your use. The view from the condo was terrific, though. You can see the ocean from the lanai and had a full view too. The unit was located right in front of the elevator, which was a plus and a minus. Plus for ease of use(but the stairs were close by and faster to use), minus in that you hear the ding of the elevator as it goes up and down all day and night. There was a safe in the unit, but no key for it. The ceiling fan in the master bedroom was very dirty and made very loud clacking noises on anything but low speed.

The property grounds were very well manicured. They really don't have much of a beach area and what they do have is kind of icky in both sand and water. The pool area is nice, but the water in the pool was always cloudy and that concerned me. The hot tub was nice, though and the water in it sparkled. They keep chaise lounges near the ocean to lie in. They have a number of BBQ grills near the pool to use. They also have a putt-putt course and shuffleboard.

My biggest complaint about Papakea is the noise level. The walls in these units are VERY thin. We could hear our neighbors using the toilet! You can imagine what other kind of sounds we heard. Also, the windows in the bedrooms of all units are horizontal slats at the top of the wall. The air conditioner is in the living room, so in order to help keep it cool, you have to open those slatted windows, because the air conditioner doesn't really reach well into the bedrooms. But opening the windows allows every outside sound in. The walkway is right outside the bedrooms, so you hear people talking as they walk by, doors slamming and such. The buildings are laid out in such a way that the sound echoes throughout. Also, they have huge plantings of trees in the "courtyard" area between the buildings and there are tons of birds that like to start singing VERY early. Twice during our stay we heard crying children at night and it was clear they were not near us. The layout and thin walls just makes the sound carry. I heard other people that were staying in different buildings talking about it too.

Would I stay here again? Probably not. Papakea G206 was $220 per night, and while it was certainly reasonable for Maui, I think there are other properties that are equally reasonable and are a better bet.

Helpful?
6 Thank 3girlsmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 11, 2006

I am often baffled when I read the reviews. I stayed there for 6 nights last year and am going back this December again. Yes, I saw cats now and then but certainly heard no disruptive noises nor were they a bother. We had some issues with the dishwasher being loose and repairman was there within a few moments. Some light bulbs were burned out by previous tenants and they were replaced immediately. I understand some units are more worn than others, since they are privately owned it's basically up to the owner to make the decisions regarding the unit. We found the maid service and personnel wonderful. The key is treating people with respect and being appreciative if there is something they can do. Though it is not a deluxe property by any means, it is adequate and provides relief from having to run out for meals all the time. Stock up on food and liquor and enjoy the beauty and warmth of Hawaii. I believe your expectations are what may lead to some disaapointment.

  • Stayed December 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 29, 2006

It's always tough when reading these reviews. What may be a terrible experience to one may be exactly what someone else is looking for. I did lots of research before my trip. I was looking for a 2 bedroom condo on the beach, kid friendly, full kitchen, nearby access to groceries. It was important that the resort was small and intimate enough that I could comfortably have my older children walk to and from the room and still keep an eye on them. My friend recommended the Papakea. She has stayed there many times and had nothing but wonderful experiences to share. We booked it and loved it - generally. A few situations/suggestions that may help you book the right room at Papakea;
- The reviews were very right about some of the rooms being very run down while others for the same price are newly renovated. OUr first night we had to book a seperate room through Resort Quest since our regular room wasn't available till the next day. The first room was terribly run down. if I had to stay there for 10 days, I would have been very dissapointed. When we walked into our regular unit the next day, it was a wonderful and pleasant suprise. Newly renovated, fully stocked and perfect location. My first advice would be to ask when the room was last updated and look at pictures!
- The resort is full of original owners who are 'getting on' with their age and it seems that some of them almost resent the fact that others are on their turf. We encountered many grumpy older folks and some of the rules that the owner association has formed are ridiculous. Each day while I was at the pool, the staff asked young children simply having a fun time to pack away their goggles or beach ball. Once I even witnessed a father teaching his son how to snorkel and a staff member asked him to remove items from pool area. Harmless but somehow the owners are bothered by this. I later discussed this with the staff member and he apologized but informed me that he has been asked by management to enforce this rule. There is also a 10pm quiet rule. All though I respect this and moved in from the lanai at that time, my neighbour took this very literally and called us regularily at 10:05 while we quitely ate dinne indoors or watched movies with our children. We found that extremely frustrating.

Other than those two situations, everything else was super. Grounds great, location superb and (second) room awesome! We are definately going back (just hoping we have a friendlier neighbour next time!)

  • Stayed March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, AL
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 23, 2006

My wife and I stayed at Papakea back in November and it was great. We rented directly from the owner of unit Unit F-308. Sheila was great to deal with and flexible with us not being able to stay an entire week. The room was nice and perfect for our stay. It is of cource not a 5 star, but I can't imagine expecting it for the price. My wife and I read through all the reviews of the place and came to realize some people have to high of expectations for the price. The grounds were immaculate. We never had a problem getting a lounge chair. (one note: Papakea is directly on the ocean, but does not have any beach to speak or swimmable area. But that was fine with us. There were plenty of beaches within a short drive. And it was kind of nice to lay out by the ocean and not have to worry about getting all sandy!) Make sure you get an Ocean Front room . . there is quite a difference! Make sure you take the road to Hana and make sure you rent a convertable. it is well worth the money. And on the road to Hana make sure and take it all the way around. it gets a little bumpy, but was very managable in a convertable. Go to Hawaii and Enjoy!

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank sacoward
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Aston at Papakea Resort

Property: Aston at Papakea Resort
Address: 3543 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-9416 (Formerly ResortQuest at Papakea Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Aston at Papakea Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 364
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A garden paradise on "The Magic Isle." This picturesque oceanfront resort is nestled amid 13 acres of lush tropical landscaping and expansive lawns bordered by flower-lined paths. The resort offers a variety of on-site amenities and activities - with restaurants, galleries and shops of Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach just moments away. Facilities Use and Cleaning Fee: A daily facilities use fee and a one-time housekeeping fee $89 (plus tax) will apply. Daily housekeeping is available for an additional fee. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aston At Papakea Hotel Lahaina
Resortquest Papakea Resort
Papakea Resort Maui
Papakea Maui
Aston At Papakea Resort Maui/Lahaina

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