Historical Traveller Reviews of Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas Hotel
A great resort
from A TripAdvisor Member
March 10-17, 2004 We just got back from 2 great weeks in Hawai'i; the 2nd week was spent on Maui at the Ka'anapali Villas. Most tourist accomodations on Maui are condos, and from previous reviews I've read on a variety of properties, the quality of a room seems to be a crap shoot. So, we were prepared to fight for a better room - it was not necessary, as we were very pleased with our unit right off the bat. This was a studio ocean view unit, with a very nice view, including sunset viewing from our lanai. It was very spacious and clean, with a large washroom. The furnishings were very tasteful (in the style of the islands) and there were lots of personal touches from the owners - paintings, lamps, wine rack and other interesting decorations - that made the place feel like "home". Unit 617. A beautiful beach, as advertised, that we walked every morning. You can walk for about an hour upisland and about 20 minutes the other way, before you can't go any farther. One morning we saw some whales jumping, fairly close to shore and later on, we saw a sealion have a nap right on the beach. If you prefer wimming pools, they have 3 and were never more than 1/3rd occupied (the hotel had 76% occupancy rate the week we were there). The only restaurant on site is the casual Castaways Cafe, which has an outdoor section, right on the beach - a nice to place to sit and view a glorious sunset. Decent food with good service. Overall, a very satisfiying week - we also had good weather for all but one morning. For outstanding dining, we had our last dinner on Maui at Mama's Fish House, in the town of Pa'ia, which is near the airport at Kahalui - great food, service, atmosphere and view; right on the beach. It was a perfect way to end our trip to Hawai'i and to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. Feel free to contact us at my e-mail address. Aloha!
Loved the beach access
We just stayed 6 nights at this resort. The condo portion is a quiet place to stay. The hotel side of things seems to be older (I didn't venture in). If you are looking for an atmosphere with older adults and very few children. This place is for you. Our condo was well furnished and clean. It is on the windy side of the island, so not as much sun in March. I would recommend it if you are looking for quiet. The hotel staff was very polite and accomodating.
Quiet and great beach access
The Maui Ka'anapali Villas is not a hotel. It is a condo complex that has owners who lease through Aston. I came to this site before our trip back in November of 2003, and was extremely skeptical about having made the reservations. Luckily I did my trip to Pleasant Holiday and figured I could make adjustments, but I tried the Villas anyway. The place is old, probably built in the mid 60's, but our condo was great. The overall resort needs major upgrading to compete with the other newer resorts nearby. The pool area is a bit lame, and they didn't have a hot tub that I could find. The beach access is excellent, as is just about every resort in Ka'anapali. It's a good place to stay, but research the other resorts first.
The Best Place to stay!!
I don't know where that reviewer stayed, but it certainly didn't describe the MKV. My husband and I stay here about three times a year and just returned yesterday. The staff is friendly and accomodating, the rooms are comfortable, and the food at The Castaway was very good.
Listen, if your looking for a nice relaxing vacation,no rowdy people, a beautiful beach, and a great value, look no further than the Maui Kaanapali Villas. It's not the Westin, but who needs all the fancy stuff, when you have such a gorgeous beach at your feet...Going back in April!!! By the way, the Royal Lahaina next door charges for parking, coffee in your room,etc...but, the bar is great, and so is the restaurant.
Just got back today from Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas. We went with our family taking up 3 condo rooms. The grounds and main lobby are quite nice and very well taken care of. I wish I could say the same for the rooms. The two pool areas are fine yet quite basic. The property restaurant is adequate with basic food fare menu. Something along the lines of Marie Calendars/IHOP serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The adjacent pool bar was also basic but doesn't serve those exotic Hawaiian drinks if you are looking for that kind of stuff. There is an Activities booth at the pool and in the main lobby where you can sign up for scuba lessons, snorkel tours, snorkel rentals, helicopter rides (I did that and it was a lot of fun seeing things from atop and going over old volcanoes, etc.).The beach is quite narrow from the shore to pool side area. Don't expect a large flat glamorous beach you see in a lot of ads (head to towards the Sheraton in Lahaina for that and the Big Black Rock over there too for good snorkeling). The Aston KSV beach is a bit rocky. Bring water shoes. It's a basic beach. You might just want to bring water shoes anyway as many beaches can have rocky patches.The rooms are another subject. I read a lot of negative stuff on the rooms here and we were quite skeptical about coming here. I'd rate the rooms just fair and basic--along the lines of a Days Inn/Holiday Inn/Ramada. While the condo rooms are fairly spacious with full kitchens, the decor (carpets, baths, drapes, beds, mattresses, etc) are quite dated. The hallways are old and resemble something like an old college dorm. The three rooms we rented for a week were very musty, mildewy smelling and had a constant moldy stench that seemed to come from the mattresses or sofa. We left the windows AND A/C on all the time to keep the smell out. That worked. The drapes were visibly dusty. The furniture was basic. I think the housekeeping could have done a far better job keeping the rooms much cleaner, hygenically speaking overall. They were skimpy. If you go there make sure you ask for newly cleaned bedding tops.There is no room service here. There are stores and a market across the street. There is a small convenient store on the premises and gift stores too.If you are looking for lower-cost yet simple, adequate accomoddations for a family this place will do for the money. If you want more than this, and want or expect more of at least 'above' basic services (like a Crown Plaza, Sheraton, Marriott, Wyndham DoubleTree, level or even higher level-types would offer), this isn't the place for you. But for a basic family vacation, looking to save dollars, it will do. My biggest complaint is that the rooms really do need to be updated and better maintained despite what you read here. They are at least 15 years old if not older since they were last done, you can tell.If you want a terrific deep massage, from somoene is quite experienced, you will get one here by asking for Wendy. Incredible!!!!If you love Sushi and Japanese food, you must go to Sansei Japanese Restaurant in up near the Ritz Carlton Hotel to the north. Fantastic!!! About 15 min. from the Aston. I'd rate the Aston KSV about a 5 over all. Fair-basic-nothing special. But for a family on a budget, and not looking for extras or frills, it will do.
from A TripAdvisor Member
It appears to me that the reviwer: "A TripAdvisor User, Encino, CA" of December 22, 2003 is not describing the Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas, but instead the Aston Kaanapali Shore. If that is the case, I would like to mention that the Aston Kaanapali Shores is currently renovating all its condominium units.
Great place great price
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Aston Kaanapali Villas from Nov. 11-19th 2003. We had a wonderful stay. The rooms were fine except the king size bed was not very comfortable. The staff was very nice and the location is great. We enjoyed the food and the drinks at the Castaway Cafe. We were very satisfied with our stay. We would stay here again.
Wonderful Setting and Value
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I just returned from 8 nights at the MKV (Maui Kaanapali Villas). We were with another couple and we each had a studio. The units are so spacious and the rooms we had were very nicely appointed.
The grounds are maintained very well and there are 3 pools that were not busy. It is easy to meet people. The Castaway beach cafe and bar is so low key and the food is good. It is kind of funky and I hope it stays that way. Sitting out on the patio you have an ideal setting looking out at Molokai and Lanai.
The beach is the one of the best on the island for sunning, snorkeling and swimming and it is not crowded. The public beach next door has some nice facilities. We rented snorkel gear for the week right there at the activity booth.
There is a store in the lobby as well as a manned activity desk. The trolley makes stops there, too.
We walked down to the Hyatt every morning on the walkway and dined at several restaurants within walking distance and shopped at Whaler's and the other hotel shops while feeling very smart about our good value in accomodations. This is our second stay at MKV and we think it is a find!
What a wonderfully quiet place to stay among the hotels and timeshares that are teeming with people and noise. Kaanapali Villas was truly a gem of a place to stay. The only bad experience was at the Castaways Restaraunt which in on the same site as the Villas. The food was okay, but (with no justification) charge extra for take-out orders. This is never mentioned on the menu, just added to your check. Beware of this!!
Otherwise, this location is very highly recommended, especially the Ocean Side (Emerald and Dolphin) rooms.
Great place on the best beach area in west Maui
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed 6 nights in the Villas and overall found it to be an outstanding deal. We had reserved an oceanview studio, but ended up in a 1bdrm, so that was a nice bonus. I'd have to say if you can afford it I would upgrade to the 1bdrm. This was as big as an apartment (at least a 1bdrm apt I had) so for my wife an I it was great to have so much space. The place was clean, though like the previous review states, the furniture was a little dated, but it was no problem for us. Kitchen is nice also and had pretty much everything needed. I think there a couple MAJOR postives for this place: 1) it seemed to be the most reasonable prices on Kaanapali area. I think the Royal Lahaina (next door) was a little cheaper, but they are just basic hotle rooms 2) I'd say the villas is on the best part of the kaanapali beach, and perhaps even the best beach in all west maui. Again, as the previous reviewer stated, the place is just north of black rock, so there are WAY less crowds since the bulk of Kaanapali lodging is south of black rock. Another highlight is that there is great snorkeling just north in front of the public beach park area (just look for the diver down flag, or for all the snorklers) This was some of the best snorkeling we found on Maui, at many other places the surf was to high, or you had to swim to far out and/or near rocks with high waves. This reef is not far out, and there are lots of fish. I think probably the main reason for the negative reviews is that I think many, if not all, places here are privately owned, and Aston, or the managing company handles all reservations and cleaning. So in general I think the units could vary alot depending on what the real owner puts into it. So as many have said, if you aren't happy with your unit, try for a different one. I'd guess many of the negative reviews result from either expecting the Ritz Carlton, which is idiotic given the affordability of the place, or from getting assiganed a subpar room. Overall, while we actually didn't care for West Maui in general (Kauai is MUCH nicer) if we ever return this place will definitely be the first choice for lodging. Definitely recommend the Maui Kaanapali Villas.
A Heck of Deal on the BEST Beach!
It was with some trepidation that we booked at the Villas, given the mix of reviews they had gotten on this site and others. However, we felt confident that we could, if necessary, complain our way into a better room. We arrived late at night, and the check-in staff was very nice. They gave us our room assignment (256, Coconut Building), and then circled three other rooms on the map that were opening up the next day. Desk guy said that we could check those out in the morning, and move if we liked them better than our assigned room.
Room was definitely dated--seventies-ish decor in some of it, but cute Hawaiian style in living area. At least it was clean. It kind of reminded me of staying in a friend's apartment--not the Ritz, but a decent place where you felt comfortable. We had a studio, and it was more than adequate size-wise for my husband and I and all of our stuff.
WAY bigger than most hotel rooms. I considered checking out the other rooms offered until morning, when we discovered that somehow our room was the only one in the entire place (excluding the oceanfront $$$$$ units) with a FULL OCEAN VIEW. Though designated garden view, through pure coincidence there was a vacant residential lot in front of us, with the beach right in front of that. There was no way we were moving!! The lanai was large and it was great to be able to enjoy breakfast there daily. The kitchen was well-stocked with lots of little extras like a blender and Tupperware that came in handy. The grounds are beautiful and meticulously maintained.
As far as location, the Villas has the best. We walked the entire Kaanapali strip, and visited every other beach area on the West side.
Because the Villas are just north of Black Rock, the beach area is significantly quieter and less populated. In my opinion, it was also more beautiful. In addition, there is a large palm-treed grassy area with lounge chairs that fronts to the beach. This was our favorite place to lay out because we could move to shade if we got too hot, and also no complications from laying right in sand. It was only steps off the actual sand. There was great snorkeling and swimming directly in front of the hotel.
The pool is fine, not the Sheraton, but who is in Maui to swim in the pool? Not us... The Castaway Cafe had good food, esp. fish tacos, and was right on the beach at the front of the hotel. There was never a problem getting an outside oceanfront table even right at sunset. We took a free scuba lesson in the hotel pool. Another plus, parking is free.
If you get a room you don't like--move! It seems that most people aren't in their rooms anyway, except to sleep, and the outside extras at the Villas are more than enough to compensate for any perceived issues with the datedness of the decor, etc. Here's the deal with this place--if you aren't terribly picky, this is an excellent deal for your money. It was exactly as we expected, and we will certainly stay there again after seeing the rest of the West Maui offerings. I am giving it five stars, not because it's a top of the line resort, but for the value we got from it.
Did I leave anything out?? Have any questiosn about the Villas or Maui?
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Top Local Tips for Lahaina
Longhi's - not worth the price
Don't eat here unless you want to throw your money away! We looked through the local literature and wanted something with a bit of local flavor. I was nothing but disappointed with this meal. We were one of the few patrons in the restaraunt, yet service was pretty slow. The waitress came over at one point and said that the owner just came in so she needed to "get him coffee", and that she'd be back to take our order. 10 minutes later (20 minutes after arriving) she came back and took our order. Everything on the menu was pretty pricey ($30+ per plate). For meals to be more expensive, they need to be: better quality, larger portions, or exceptional environment. Longhi's had none of these. The quality was ok, but nothing to brag about, the portions were miniscule, the service was mediocre and the environment was not impressive (ants crawlin, the walls). With plenty of food options on the strip, you're better off elsewhere.
Check out the art galleries in Lahaina. There are some terrific works by some local artists.
Winter Whale Watching
The whales come to Maui from Alaska during the winter months to bear their young. They swim just offshore this property. In the early morning and late afternoon you can see them breaching and blowing not far off shore. Take a whale watching cruise for the best view- many catamarans take out groups . If you love seeing the whales play- don't miss this opportunity. We saw mothers and babies as well as the big boys. Wonderful!