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“Great Stay - But Rooms Vary”

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Aston at Papakea Resort
Ranked #26 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Reviewed August 3, 2006

We selected Papakea mostly due to comments and pictures found on the web. We wanted a smaller location and not a big high rise hotel. We also wanted a condo for more of the "home away from home" feeling and something that was on the beach and would still be within 10 minutes drive of Lahaina was important. It seemed like this a good spot, however, I was really concerned with the room we might end up with due to some of the comments found on the web. I booked in January and paid for an upgraded ocean view room. Once you get there you may notice that almost all of the units have some sort of ocean view. Anyhow, to appease my concerns on the room, I called Expedia a month before we arrived and they said that the rooms should all be similar to what is represented on their web page. They also recommended that I call Papakea and convey my concerns to them. I did this and was told by the women who answered the phone that the last week of March is their off season and that moving would not be a problem if I was not happy with our unit. I thought - okay - I'm not going to stress on anything before I'm even there and just let it go. Fast forward about a month....we were there the last week of March when the unusally heavy rains were making national news and Kauai had serious flooding problems. Maui was much better off, but we still had a fair share of rain. When we arrived at Papakea it was the night of a horrible storm - even the locals were talking about how intense it was the next day. Poor visability (driving 2 mph under the street sign and we still couldn't read it due to the rain!) made finding the resort a real challenge so it was 1:00 a.m. by the time we arrived. Upon check-in I mentioned that I had concerns over the condition of the room (which I had yet to see) as I had read about the differences in the units. The older man working the desk said that they were FULL and that this was always a very busy time of year (so somebody lied to me) but if I wasn't happy with the room to let him know and that he would relay the situation to the morning manager. At that point, I didn't care, I just wanted a bed to crawl into. The first unit they gave us was E302, really close to the water, but OLD, OLD, OLD. Nothing had been done to the place and it was NOT what was shown in the expedia web-site. Sent the hubby back to the night desk clerk to inform him that the room is not what we expected and we will need the manager in the morning. Woke up, sun is shining, the room still is not satisfactory even though the rest of the family said it was okay. I go to discuss the situation with the extremely helpful young male manager. He didn't hesitate to offer another room, gave me the key and said check it out before we move all of our stuff and to just let him know if want to keep looking at other units. The first alternate unit, C-209, was great!!! CLEAN, new upgrades, flat screen TV, lots of dresser storage...in fact, it is so much better that even the family admits I was right to move when they see it!!! I thanked the manager and happily moved over to the new spot, which is not as close to the ocean, but the ocean view is still great. It kind of sounds like a downer until now, but really, it still wasn't all that bad. It was just very memorable - we still laugh about it. Everything there (well, anywhere) depends on your attitude. The locals and the tourists are all very friendly as long as you start out being nice to them. Papakea was perfect as the units are only four story buildings. The grounds are as beautiful as any we others we visited. My husband and our boys (ages 14 & 17) loved hanging out on the putting green and by the pools. It was close to Lahaina. The B-B-Q pits were really handy and you could always meet friendly folks that were also grilling their dinner. The beach wasn't much, but due to the rains and the large amount of sediment in the water (which we were told can be more attractive to sharks) we didn't go in the ocean much. When you look into other rooms, which is easy to do at night, you get a good feel from how different the unit styles are. We will be sure to stay here again, I will just specify a certain room the next time.

17  Thank FishFindHer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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974 - 980 of 1,099 reviews

Reviewed July 18, 2006

We just returned today from a stay at the Papakea in Maui. We were very happy with the condo, the location of the property, the parking, the cleanliness and housekeeping service, the grounds, and everything else...with one exception. The air conditioner is a single window unit in the living/dining/kitchen area and doesn't do a good job of reaching up to the loft (second bedroom) or the master bedroom. Otherwise, no complaints!

The pool was never crowded, nor was the hot tub. Access to the ocean was right there, although all along that area, the beach is rather narrow with rocks right off the shore. We shopped for food at the Star Market (close enough to walk) as well as the Safeway (ditto on getting a membership). We went to the beaches up and down the west side of Maui, from Lahaina (the town) to north of Kapalua. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but overall, they are great!

The shopping (tourist/souvenirs) is great in Lahaina as well as all the ABC stores. We enjoyed several different restaurants as well as having the choice of cooking in our condo. Overall, it was a fantastic family vacation!

Stayed: July 2006
5  Thank lizzy29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2006

In September I am taking my sister on her first trip to Hawaii. We are both in our 60s. This will be my fourth stay at the Papakea and I am counting the days. There have been times I have visited Hawaii and have stayed at other resorts. However, for me, Papakea is always my first choice and I can afford to stay pretty much where I choose. It is a very family oriented resort. The views are beautiful. The staff is extremely kind and helpful. The parking and the walk to my rooms are no problem. The Papakea is conveniently located to grocery shopping and other necessities. I find the Papakea a wonderful breath of fresh air because it meets all my ideas of what an island paradise is all about. Since 1975, I have visited the islands many, many times. Maui is my favorite island and the Papakea is my favorite resort. Do get the ocean view. My family has watched whales while sitting on the Lanai! I love it.

  • Stayed: February 2003
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10  Thank December29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2006

We stayed at the Papakea last week (June 2006) and enjoyed our stay very much. I didn't really know what to expect, and kept reading the reviews on this site which were very helpful! We had three families traveling together (14 of us ) and they did not get our rooms by each other, which was initially a disappointment, but it really wasnt that bad. We stayed in K305. We had requested rooms with twins in the second bedrooms, but only one room had them. I think it worked out well in the end also, because the lofts seemed to get a little warm for the other families and our two boys did just fine, one in the second bedroom and the other on the pull out couch. It was very clean and the grounds were beautifully kept. We shopped a lot at Safeway in Lahina. Make sure to sign up for the Safeway Card, it saved us over fourty dollars! I didn't think that groceries were really all that bad. Didn't have any problems with any of our three rooms. The hot tub and pool were all great. A few cats running around, but not bad like some people had written about. Didn't snorkel off the beach there much, but if the tide was high it was easier due to the rocks there. We drove most the time to other beaches. This is a great property and still oceanfront if you are willing to drive just a little to bigger beaches. We can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed: June 2006
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10  Thank hogies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Riverside, CA
223
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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12  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Portland, Oregon
110
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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10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Bay Area, CA
111
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
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11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

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:
#22 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range: $204 - $452 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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