Historical Traveller Reviews of The Whaler On Kaanapali Beach Hotel
Will never stay any place else
My husband and I stayed at the Whaler from June 6-13th, 2004. We had never been to Maui and used TripAdvisor and the Maui Revealed book (must buy if you are going to Maui) to plan our vacation. The Whaler was a great place to stay. When we checked in we were upgraded from a studio oceanview to a 1 bedroom suite for free! We felt like we needed to call our friends and tell them to pack up and come and join us because there was so much room in the suite. Two couples could EASILY stay in the one bedroom suite. While there we had excellent service from all the staff and security was remarkable. The maid service was great, the entire facility is very clean and well kept. True, it does not have the great pool area like the surrounding hotels, but all you have to do is walk next door to have the elaborate pool area. Honestly, we thought we would miss the huge pool area and being pampered, but we did not at all. It was nice to be in a quiet area and left alone. The location is great. There are so many places to eat (Leilahni's was our favorite). The grill area at the Whaler is great if you want to cook (go to the fish market and get seasoned fresh fish to throw on the grill). The kitchen had everything we needed, except seasoning. The first day we were there we went to Walmart (by the airport) to buy groceries, it was not worth it. Go to the Safeway in Lahaina (get a Safeway card for free and save tons of money). I could go on, but I think you get the idea- The Whaler was nice, well located, clean, great staff- we will stay there again on our next trip! By the way, the Whaler's website does not do it justice. They have done some renovations in the garden and grill area. We were pleasantly surprised, it was better than we expected.
Put simply...Loved it!!!
from A TripAdvisor Member
On September 16, 2001, my wife and I went to Maui on our honeymoon. We stayed next door to the Whaler at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel and thought it was great. A couple of years later a we went with a group of friends and stayed at the Whaler at Kaanapali. LOVED IT! We got a 2 bedroom ocean front and couldn't have been happier. The staff was nice and the room was clean. The lanai wrapped around the whole unit and the view was WONDERFUL!! I don't know that when we go back (hopefully soon) we would stay anywhere else!!!
Great place to stay if not looking for a grand resort.
What can i say, we loved it. We stayed 10 days at the end of April 2004. If you are looking for a GREAT location with NON MEGA resort prices, this is the place. On our vacation we look for location and cleanliness, this had both. Located a few steps from the Whaler Village(Numerous shopping and eateries) and right on a beautiful beach. We had no problems with our stay so we rarely dealt with staff, only at check in and out. Our room was on the 11th floor with an excellent view of the ocean, black rock and mountains( i am guessing this was tower 2 as we could not see the other tower from our Lanai). The room was way out of date in decor, but this was our least concern. It was spacious and clean with a comfortable bed. The appliances were old but worked well. Parking was $7 a day and never had trouble finding a spot in the garage. The pool is small with no waterfalls or slides( If you want that, resort pools are public and they are a short walk from the Whaler ) The dates we were there, school was in session and kids were at a minimum. Nice Weber grills were located next to the pool. We did some grocery shopping and made sandwichs, chips etc for most lunches and grilled steaks one evening. The prices at the grocery were higher on some things (milk) but the same as in Ohio on most( deli meat, chips, cereal). We thought that eating out was no more expensive than eating at a nice restaurant in other major US cities.( your on vacation, live a lttle and have fun) We did Ruths Chris, Plantation house in Kapalua, Cheesburger in Paradise, Buba Gump Shrimp, Moose McGilicuty, most all in the Whalers village incl Rusty Harpoon etc. Obviously some were better than others but no complaints. Maybe we are not hard to please but this was a fantastic trip with no complaints. It rained one day on Kaapalua so we drove to South Maui and had no rain. Like i said if you are looking for a low cost condo with NO resort ammenities this is the place for you. Our cost with taxes was $220/night booked through orbitz and calling the resort and requesting a room on an upper floor for the view. Highly reccomdmended is the Book "Maui Revealed." We used this book numerous times for sight seeing, maps, restaurants, excursions etc. It was great.
Enjoy your time in Maui
Better value than a Hotel......
WOW !!!! We stayed at the Marriott in spring of '00.
It was a wonderful two weeks, so we decided to return for our Honeymoon in '02.
The Whaler provided all we had anticipated. We booked everything ourselves, flight included and we saved (my estimation) at least $2000.00 by staying at the Whaler. Costs of eating out every meal is high on Maui. The being "at home" atmosphere, while access to all that Maui has to offer. GREAT !!! The value is well worth it for stays of 7 nights or more. We stayed on the 7th floor and had a wonderful view of the sunsets and neighboring islands. Condo vacationing is the best for your $$$$$ and if Maui is your desired destiny, then The Whaler is for you, too.
Avoid the Whaler until construction is over
If you love hearing drilling above the sea waves, The Whaler is perfect for you. We picked the Whaler because Pleasant Holidays promotes it as the most tranquil spot on Kaanapali. For our first two days there, it lived up to that claim. But May 17th-21st, our tranquility was shattered by the Whaler's air conditioning renovation taking place from 7:30am to 6pm each weekday. This is going on through June 14 (and perhaps longer - you know how construction projects go), so if you have a reservation there, all I can tell you is to switch it NOW.
There are two towers, and of course we were booked into the tower undergoing the construction. But, in sharp contrast to the previous poster, we were never told in advance of our stay, we were never offered a room even *comparable*, let alone better than ours in the opposite tower, and by stark contrast to the Monte Fitts rep that poster dealt with, our Pleasant Holidays rep in Hawaii told us, "it isn't our problem if there is construction at the Whaler." Reading that previous post and learning how his trip was made better by excellent customer service on the part of his agent, it just makes me seethe even more at the horrendous service we received during our stay.
Unless you are booking it through someone you trust, I would avoid The Whaler for awhile. In addition to the construction, or perhaps because of it, we found the staff to be either apathetic or condescending - very unfriendly. Perhaps under different conditions (I read reviews at this site that raved about them) they are happier folk, but if anything, they seem to consider the guests an inconvenience, and probably would have been much happier had the Whaler shut down during this construction project. Believe me, we are in total agreement on that point.
Oh, here are some specifics about our room. We booked a 1BR, 2BA Ocean View non-smoking room, but upon check-in, the only acceptable ocean view room available was 912, a smoking room. We took it because the non-smoking room offered to us, rm 670, had a view of the opposite tower and was really rundown. Fortunately, 912 didn't smell too smoky. It had an incredible view of the ocean, Black Rock, and some of the mountains behind Kaanapali. The view was the best thing about the room, and we spent many evenings (after the drilling ended each day) on our lanai admiring the scene. The other positive things to say about 912 are that the showers were awesome, very powerful, roomy, and well-lit. The king bed was a dream - brand new pillowtop - VERY good sleeps each night. A CD player in the livingroom, a newer TV in both rooms, and a combo DVD/VCR in the livingroom (the DVD side didn't work). There was a mouthwatering, delicious pineapple in our fridge upon arrival. 10% Kona coffee was available in the room, but we went to Whaler's Village next door for the 100% good stuff. The washer and dryer was just two doors from our room, $1.25 wash and $1 to dry. We packed light, and made good use of the laundry facilities.
Now the negatives about 912: the carpet appeared about 20 yrs old, very matted and icky - we never went barefoot in the room. We moved one of the couches to make room for our daughter's crib, and found tons of crumbs and dirt underneath - it had obviously never been moved to vacuum there in the history of the room. The walls also badly needed a paint job, and there was one hole in the bedroom hall wall. The two couches were really old with some stains as well (we requested additional sheets to drape over the couches). The kitchen appeared surface clean, but I did a bit of Lysoling upon arrival so I would feel comfortable cooking and eating there. I suppose my thoughts are, if this is what a "luxury" condo room looks like, what do the non-luxury condos look like? If it weren't for the amazing view, the awesome showers, and the plush bed, I would have called it a dump, but those 3 key features carry a lot of weight, a lot more than carpets and walls.
I've read reviews here that rave about The Whaler, so we were obviously very disappointed. Maybe some rooms are a lot nicer and newly renovated, and maybe the staff is friendlier when they aren't being complained to all day by angry guests. Take your chances, if you like, but I'll never go back there again, construction or not.
from A TripAdvisor Member
We just returned from Honolulu and Kaanapali, and had an AWESOME time at The Whaler. As a side note, I have to mention that we rented the unit through Karen Kondo (works with Monte Fitts Reality and manages several units there) since she provided with 1st class service! There was some construction being done to the air-conditioning units that we were well-aware of in-advance, and Karen was kind enough to not only offer us attractive rates, but also to guarantee that our money would be refunded if the noise was too much of a distraction. Moreover, she also offered to move us into either different units or a different property if we were not satisified, so we agreed to booking the property. Well, to make a long story short, the noise was a bit too much for us when we arrived (we reserved a 1-bedroom studio ocean view), so we immediately contacted Karen. To our surprise, not only did Karen move us into another unit (in a different building) but it just so happend to be a 2-bedroom, 2-bath, Ocean FRONT (11th floor, 2000 sq ft) unit right on the beach! These units generally go for 3X what we were spending per night for the studio unit, but Karen just moved us right in and said, don't worry about it... you're rate will not change and just enjoy yourselves! Moreover, she personally called The Plantation Restaurant, made dinner reservations for us at sunset and made sure that we got a window table the following evening. Now that's what I call service!! Needless to say, we had a memorable stay at The Whaler and I would highly recommend working with Karen with regards to scheduling your future vacations in Maui. She's the best! You can contact her at the following website just in case anyone is interested: ---------------- The Whaler (in my sincere opinion) is one of the best locations on the island and the beach... well, Kaanapali is truly one of the nicest beaches in the United States!
Exceeded our expectations!
from A TripAdvisor Member
Exceeded our expectations!! Just returned from Maui and we would definitely stay at the Whaler again. When you visit Maui, you have two choices where lodging is concerned; a resort hotel or a condo. The resort hotel will typically have a nicer pool area than the condo, but the condo gives you a much nicer room. In Maui, who cares what kind of pool you have? We went to Maui for the ocean. I travel a lot and get tired of hotel food, plus we went to Maui with both of our kids. We stayed in a one bedroom condo at the Whaler and it was perfect. Our condo was absolutely gorgeous, obviously remodeled recently, with an amazing view from the lanai. A lot of folks who review the Whaler say it is the best value on Maui. Well, money isn't really an issue for us, and we would still stay there again! The entire staff was extremely helpful and friendly.
Slow pace in Lahaina
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the Whaler. It was beautiful and perfectly located. I couldn't have asked for more. I took my 19 yr. old daughter. After 3 days she was bored and would rather have been in Waikiki. I suppose it's a more adult, quiet, restful, kick your shoes off type of place. I wouldn't have missed it!
from A TripAdvisor Member
The location is terrific, but we found it a little pricey at in excess of $300 a day.
in love w/ the whaler
from A TripAdvisor Member
The whaler is by far the best value in west maui. If you want the best for a middle of the road price this is your destination, I recommend renting directly from the owners (vrbo.com) and shopping at wal-mart or safeway for your groceries. Save hundreds by making breakfast, lunch, and some dinners in your full kitchen. I have been to maui 16 times in my 36 years and have stayed at a # of places. Why not enjoy the other resorts ammennities (pools, restauraunts etc... but pay 1/2 what you would for a comparably sized room (studio) and have the flexibility to make meals and drinks next door at your condo. I would also only rent a car for maybe 1/2 your stay, taxi to lahaina for 6-7 dollars each way and arrive alive.
Top Local Tips for Lahaina
Golf at Kaanapali
The golf is better at Kaanapali as you don't get the bad weather that is up at Kapalua. They offer multiple round discountsfor those who love warm golf.
Shopping in Lahaina
The shopping in Lahaina is the best in the area. A word of warning--do not park in a bank parking lot after hours you will get a ticket. Be careful where you park and do not leave personal belongings in vehicle for someone to see, they will get stolen.
The Whaler Maui
Rent through a private owner as the condos are personalized. We got an awesome one for our wedding in Tower 2.