Historical Traveller Reviews of Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas Hotel
Loved the Westin
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I stayed at the Westin for the last 5 nights of our honeymoon. We loved it! The rooms were so nice, from the Heavenly Bed to the oversized shower with dual shower heads, granite counter top, and jacuzzi tub. The pool was great too, and the grounds were well tended with lots of plants and flowers. Everyone (staff) was super friendly and professional. The only slight drawbacks were the construction that is going on...it is loud and clear when you're by the pool. However, you get used to it pretty easily and it's not so loud you can't talk or enjoy a meal at the outdoor restaurant (which has a great breakfast buffet if you're really hungry enough for a $40 meal for 2). The only other complaint was the maid service. One day they never showed up to to clean the room, one day they came at 8 am, and then the next day weren't there until after 5 pm. A guy at the hotel said the maidstaff cleans rooms well into the evening on weekends. For such an upscale resort, that is not what I'd expect. Surely they can find more housekeeping people in order to get the jobs done by midday, like all of the other, lower scale, cheaper hotels, right? The only reason it bothered me is because they came at inconvenient times. On the flip side, the beach is beautiful, although a touch steep. There is great snorkeling right off the beach by the hotel, and the staff at the towel/snorkel gear rental was very helpful in getting us set up with rentals and talking to us about what we saw. The poolside chairs are very comfy and you can have all the clean towels you want from the hotel for free. The resort is close to everything too, at least in West Maui. We would stay here again, if we feel like dropping the cash. A staffer also told us that currently there are about 180 rooms. When the construction is done, there will be 600+. I hope they plan on building a whole new pool area or 2, because there is no way the exising, big as it is, can accomodate that growth. Overall, beautiful hotel, great, comfy rooms, and a great place to spend a honeymoon.
Solid place, although not yet finished and service is spotty
from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife and I returned from our honeymoon this morning after spending our second week of the trip at the Westin Ocean Resort Villas. In short, the rooms are well appointed, regardless of whether you're in a one bedroom or a studio (the 2 bedrooms aren't yet finished). The second building is about half finished and you can anticipate hearing the construction if you're by the pool during the week until it's done (perhaps another 6-8 months). It's brand new and is somewhat quieter than any of the other resorts/timeshares we visited. It's certainly plush, but not as expansive as the Grand Waliea, Four Seasons, Ritz, etc. However, we liked the low-key nature of the place. If you have children and/or require hotel service, this may not yet be the place.
from A TripAdvisor Member
We stayed at the resort May 15 - 22nd. Rooms were very nice and spacious. The kitchen was well equiped in our one bedroom unit. The front desk staff made you feel welcomed and at home. I am not sure if this is the place for little kids since the beach is not that large. We took the shuttle to the Sheraton and used their facilities since the snorkeling was better down there. We were able to charge to our rooms any item we used or ate as if we were at the Westin which made it easy. I would highly recommend Ka'anapali Ocean Resort to any of my friends that want to get away for a relaxing vacation and want to feel like home.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My family of five just returned. Stayed June 19-26. We are 4 adults and one child. We had a two bedroom unit.
What a perfectly wonderful time. This is a very relaxing resort. The minute you enter the open air lobby, you just know you are in for a treat. The furnishings and decor are just full of "Westin". Of course there are the heavenly beds! The two bedroom unit has a main entrance with a private foyer and they are actually two separate units - great if you are taking along family members. One unit is a one bedroom unit with separate living room and full kitchen, balcony, and stackable washing machine and dryer. The other unit is a studio unit with a small bar type sink, two burner cooktop, free standing fridge (not an under counter type-which is great), a microwave/convection oven, stackable washing machine and dryer, and a sliding glass door with a "french" balcony (I think that is the name for it).
At night it is just beautiful. They have torches all around the property. The grounds are beautiful, the pool is kept very clean, and there is a water slide for the kids.
The beach is astounding at sunrise and sunset. Something you need to understand is directly in front of this property there is a protected reef. The snorkeling here is as good (if not better) than any snorkeling tour you will take. There are sea turtles there too! I have read comments about the water being murky and it being very steep right away. It does get deep right away, but put on your snorkel gear and see why! There is a whole world down there and tons of colorful fish. Also, you need to swim out a few yards and then the water is pristine. If you have small children just walk a little up the beach about two minutes to the south (towards black rock) and there is an area for the the little ones and those who arent into snorkeling.
This is a secluded spot. So if you need to be in the middle of all the party action, I suggest you stay over at the regular Westin Maui, Marriott, or some of the others over there by Whaler's Village.
It is only 25-30 minutes from the airport, less than 10 from Lahaina, and maybe 5 from Whaler's village. There are two markets close by. Star Market and Safeway. The resort provides shuttle service daily from 8am-10pm to the Westin Maui Hotel. They might even go to the other sister properties too (Sheraton and Kapalua Bay) I am not sure about those two. There is a deli market there at the resort, but it is limited. They have New York steaks and chicken breast seasoned and ready to throw on the grill. They also have shrimp, chicken, and beef kabobs. They have a delicious pasta salad too (and I dont even like pasta salad). I would buy the meats and kabobs, but everything else get at the market. It is very expensive in Maui, so be prepared.
Finally, I would like to address some of the negative things that others have mentioned. Everyone must know that this is a purpose built resort and that it is a Vacation Ownership Resort. There is no ocean view on the third floor, but they do "consider" it to be ocean view. The tops of the palm trees that are against the building block the view on this floor. There is even another view blocker if you are not on the pool side and are on the third floor - a complete row of trees blocking the beach. There is only one building of the three that is complete at this point and there is construction during the day. They are estimating completion of the property for July '05, approximately.
These are just some of the things to be "aware" of before going. If you are not an owner, dont expect to get an ocean view. Owner's do get preference, and rightfully so. They pay a premium price for it along with yearly maintenance and taxes. I myself was pretty upset at first when I got a non-ocean view until I went through the sales presentation. I then understood why and had a new respect for these owners. They should absolutely get priority view. Anyone who is not an owner is only there because an owner has opted to go elsewhere for that date and therefore it makes it available to non owners at a nightly rate. I just dont think that people realize this is strictly a Vacation Ownership Resort based on some of the reviews written. It is not a vacation resort infused into a regular hotel.
Also, you have use of the facilities at the other three properties on the island as well. We had spa treatments over at the Westin Maui. You can charge all incidentals to your room too, even at the other properties.
This is a beautiful property, a romantic getaway in a secluded area, but yet close enough to all the action. I highly recommend this property.
I hope this helps anyone who is trying to make a decision on where to stay.
Problems at the Westin
from A TripAdvisor Member
I went with my husband and one other couple to the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas in mid-December. Construction was rampant at that time, and the noise left much to be desired. Although they had just opened one month prior, they had a lot of kinks to work out. Check in person was very unfriendly, and told us our room was on the top floor. We checked into our room on the first floor, and went back to the front desk, where the guy claimed that he had no idea what we were talking about (?) Nobody at the front desk seemed to know much about the resort. The rooms themselves were very spacious and had nice amenities. There is a shuttle that runs from this Westin to the one on the main strip of Ka'anapali Beach, which was nice.
The restaurant was adequate. We didn't have any problems like the previous poster.
The beach itself is extremely steep, and very little sand. It is clearly not on a main strip of beach. You walk 3 steps, and you're already in the water. I agree that this is not advised for young kids (or older adults for that matter).
While we were there, there was a large swampy area on the property (part of the construction). It gave off a horrible odor, and was not even roped off. Hopefully this will be cleaned up soon, as everyone I encountered complained about it also.
If you are looking for a nice room near the main strip, then this might be the place for you. If, however, you are looking to stay at an actual beach resort, then you would be better off at the Westin Hotel Ka'anapali Beach.
All Around Great Stay
All in all a great place to stay. Always awesome Heavenly Bed and Bath. Contrary to some reviews we found the staff to be exceedingly helpful and friendly. Rooms have kitchen, full fridge, stove, toaster, blender, d/w, washer and dryer...awesome. Upon arrival at 2pm, our room was not yet ready (we knew checkin was 4pm). We were free to use everything while we waited, however, and there is an early/late departure lounge and locker rooms adjacent to the gym with lockers, showers, etc. Bellmen were more than happy to help us out with everything and to offer up advise on activities. Our only complaint was that the maid service went downhill after the first two days. At first, our room was cleaned and restocked by 11am...later in the week not until well after 2pm, and then without replacing the soap, leaving the sink dirty, etc. Not crowded at all although occupancy was 90% during our visit. The 2nd building is under construction, but we didn't feel overly disturbed by the noise. No jockeying for position for pool chairs here. If you wonder whether its a nice place to stay, take a short walk (or take the free shuttle) down the beach to either the Sheraton or Westin Resorts (full use of who's facilities & services is open to you) and see the crowds around the pool -- nice place to visit, but you'll be glad you're staying somewhere brand new and quiet. Spa at the Westin Resort is new and very nice, by the way. The Villas has only a nice gym (better than most hotels), sauna and steam room, aside from the pool and spas of course. Food service is limited here to the pool bar. We weren't overly impressed w/ the food at the Westin Resort and would recommend going to Lahaina or another resort for nicer meals. Better yet, go to Safeway and stock up the kitchen! Stayed in a studio lockoff, which is the size of a large hotel room. If you can swing it, the 1-br suite side of the lockoff would be better for a longer stay. Finally, we were here on a 5-day vacation ownership marketing deal -- $749 w/ free rental car and $100 in resort dollars. Get another $100 if you go through the sales pitch. Can't beat this deal in Maui for a hotel of this caliber. However, if I were paying the posted rates...I think I'd seriously consider going to the four seasons or fairmont for a bit more.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Stayed here the beginning of May with family in a two - bedroom lock out. Place was beautiful! Rooms were spacious with LARGE bathrooms and nice decorating. Pool and slide were great. Small but awesome work-out room with flat screen T.V.'s and remotes attached to equipment!
I got this as a bonus vacation from Interval so paid substantially less than normal costs. Although I don't think it's worth it's normal cost price (probably because it's still being built) the place is amazingly nice.
Beautiful room, terrible service
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary. We usually go off island somewhere, but this year we decided to enjoy our own island and play tourist. We booked a room at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas and upon check-in, were upgraded to a one bedroom from a studio. The room was beautiful and clean and we were on the fourth floor with a wonderful ocean view. The jacuzzi tub was great and the shower too. The bed was very comfortable and we slept very well. The bad thing, and I do mean very, very bad was the service at the restaurant. The first night there, we decided to go down to dinner at the restuarant there because of conveinence. We asked the bartender if we should wait to be seated and he said to sit anywhere. We sat, and waited, and waited, and waited, for about 15 minutes at least. No service. We felt ignored. Finally, as two waitresses were cleaning the table next to us, one of them finally looked up and said, "Oh, we didn't see you". The bartender apparently, who knew that we were sitting there didn't think to let someone know that we were there, even though it was so obvious that we were still waiting to be served. It felt like he decided that it wasn't his responsibility, so whatever! Anyway, after that, the waitress was good, she was very attentive, (actually, she recognized my husband and I think she was embarassed). The next day, we were still giving it a chance, and had lunch there. Service was great, food was good. Now, we have really been to about every restuarant on Maui, and were feeling lazy, so that night, we headed back down again, since lunch was so good. We figured that it wouldn't happen again, but we were wrong. We sat down, waited for what seemed like forever to be noticed, I made eye contact with the bartender and a waiter, but still no one came over to us. I was getting angry so I got up and asked the bartender if there was someone to take care of us and he said, " Oh sorry, I didn't see you there.'" Then a waiter and a waitress came over and said the same thing, "Sorry, we didn't see you." This coming from the one waiter that I had made eye contact with earlier. They offered to buy us a drink. Okay, so now service was okay, the food very good. The waitress didn't come by often enough, she didn't bother to refill water or tea, but she did decide to add a 15% gratuity to our bill. I guess she was afraid that she wouldn't get tipped. After she dropped off the bill, she never came back. We waited for a while, just to see. At this point, it was almost pure fascination how long it would take her to return, to see if we needed change or if we were paying with a credit card. Again, she never returned, even though I could see her at the bar, just waiting for us to leave. I guess we could have made a stink about it, which we didn't. My husband didn't think it was worth it, but I couldn't wait to write this review. So, here it is. Overall, the property is beautiful, but I don't recommend the restaurant, unless you have all the time in the world to wait!
Very nice resort
Stayed here May 15-22 2004 in a studio. For a studio, very spacious condo. Very large bathroom w/jacuzzi tub, giant shower, etc. Had plenty of room for our 2 year old's crib, which was supplied by the Westin w/no problems encountered (some mentioned in previous reviews).Pool is gorgeous, and ocean just steps away. The snorkeling at the beach in front is pretty good if you go out about 30 yards. Beach is very steep and not safe for toddlers to play in the surf (our son got knocked down).Construction noise/interruptions minimized - our son enjoyed looking at the cranes and bulldozers. Internet use in the business center was free but they said there would be a fee starting May 23. Nice poolside bar but we did not eat there so can't review the food. We traded my San Francisco timeshare to stay here -- on expedia it was $340/night for studio (the ones not pool facing) so kind of pricey for what you get. Otherwise I would give it 5 stars. As mentioned in previous reviews, we had the abbreviated balcony so did not really use it much (plus were on 1st floor w/view of the empty lot next door). All the personnel we encountered (bellman, front desk, maids) were very pleasant. We did not attend the timeshare presentation (I think we would have received a $100 voucher for use at the resort). Good cardio equipment at the gym -- somewhat limited weight machines if you're a serious gym goer - -my husband went to the Gold's in Lahaina. Overall a very nice resort.
from A TripAdvisor Member
Brand new place - still under construction. Wish they would have told us that before we visited. Hard to relax when you here jackhammers and tower cranes. Everything was pricey - but that's Maui. Overall, the place will be very nice when fully completeld. Great pool and spa. Staff very friendly and the accomodations were great. If you go, visit the bar at happy hour and chat with Jim, he's a great guy. We had appetizers and they were yummy. We went through the timeshare presentation and it wasn't that bad. Westin has one of the best vacation ownership deals around.
Top Local Tips for Lahaina
great Luau at 540 Front street. Small and not a buffet and very worth it. also, the whale watching trip with trilogy is great and leaves from the hotel next to the Westin. Also, whale watching leaving from Harbor in Lahaina.
If you are interested in purchasing jewelry from most vendors, they more than likely will drop the price if you seem interested in the jewelry but are unsure if you want to purchase. They want your business!
The whalewatch trips offered by Pacific Whale Foundation are great, affordable, with knowledgeable naturalists. Boats respect the whales and do not break the law to get close to them. Organization is a non-profit that is worth supporting. There are several half-price trips each day--$19.95, a great deal. Drinks served onboard are cheap, too.