Kaanapali Beach Hotel
When you start planning your Hawaiian vacation, you’ll notice there is an assortment of accommodation options to choose from ranging from condo rentals to beachfront resorts. If you’re headed to Maui and want to experience a wonderful combination of beachfront activity within a vibrant Hawaiian setting, I recommend Kaanapali Beach Hotel. The property brands itself as “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel” and, after enjoying a recent stay there, I have to agree the venue offers an amazing experience with the perfect blend of traditional resort amenities alongside thoughtful and culturally rich hospitality.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel is located directly on one of the most beautiful beaches in Maui and I loved having immediate beach access for sunrise swims and sunset strolls. The property itself is large enough to feel roomy, but not quite so large as some resorts where you feel you have to walk a mile before hitting the beach. My suite was less than a two minute walk to the beach, the pool, and the property restaurants, so I thought the size of the resort was perfect for feeling relaxed yet within a heartbeat of all the amenities.
I stayed in a bright oceanfront room with a lanai that offered panoramic views of the beach, the hotel courtyard and whale-shaped pool, and the overall landscape. The lanai was spacious and offered two chairs and a side table, perfect for enjoying a morning coffee in paradise. The suite was comfortable and traditionally decorated with Hawaiian touches: beautiful carved wood furniture with patterned fabrics and soft lighting. The room was well-stocked with amenities including papaya toiletries, coffees and teas, and large beach towels.
Breakfast was convenient with Tiki Terrace Restaurant just a few steps from my room. The daily breakfast buffet offered an amazing assortment of hot and cold entrees, local specialties, fresh fruits and pastries, and a wide variety of juices, teas, and coffees. Everything was fresh and flavorful and a fantastic value for my vacation dollar. Tiki Terrace also offers a made-to-order breakfast menu for those who prefer specific dishes over a buffet. In the evening, the open-air Tiki Terrace comes alive with fine dining and entertainment. The culinary team is led by Executive Chef Tom Muromoto and the menu includes regional dishes highlighting local ingredients. During my stay, I enjoyed a Mini Poke Bowl and Ulu Crab Cakes for starters, and a wonderful Seafood Lāwalu entrée featuring lobster, scallops, fish, and shrimp over porcini mushroom risotto with a splash of white truffle oil. I loved the textures and flavors that came through in this dish, and it was easy to see why this is one of the restaurant’s award winning dishes. In addition to Tiki Terrace, guests can enjoy an assortment of other on-site venues including poolside Tiki Bar & Grill, a grab-and-go coffee counter, and a weekly Legends of Kāʻanapali Lūʻau featuring a Hawaiian, Polynesian, and Asian-influenced buffet alongside a full evening of entertainment.
In addition to immediate beach access and a beautiful whale-shaped pool and spacious courtyard for relaxing in the sun, Kaanapali Beach Hotel offers a variety of activities for the whole family. An on-site craft fair showcases local arts and crafts for unique souvenirs to take home, while an on-site shop offers additional gifts and local treats to peruse. As “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel,” though, you’ll want to take advantage of the bountiful assortment of on-site cultural activities. Guests are invited to learn phrases of the Hawaiian language, try their hands at lei making, experience hula lessons, try bamboo printing, and so much more all within the beautiful garden setting of the hotel courtyard. The on-site team of cultural experts ensures Kaanapali Beach Hotel perpetuates the traditions of Hawaiian culture for all guests to experience during their time on the island.
Guests of Kaanapali Beach Hotel are provided with large towels and beachfront chairs to enjoy immediate access to warm ocean waters perfect for swimming, boarding, and snorkeling. If you’re looking for activity gear, head to the beach walk and you’ll find excellent rates for beach activity rentals right next door. In front of The Whaler, I found a fabulous deal that included two snorkel sets, two boogie boards, two beach chairs, an umbrella, and cooler all for less than a hundred bucks for a five-day rental period. Not bad if you plan on boarding the waves a few times or taking advantage of the incredible snorkeling along Kaanapali Beach, which I highly recommend. In addition to the on-site weekly luau at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, the whole stretch of Kaanapali Beach Resort offers a variety of luaus to experience. You’ll also find Whaler’s Village is a short walk from the hotel, offering a lovely open air shopping plaza with local and national retailers, dining options, and additional entertainment offerings including lei making and ukulele lessons, live music and hula shows, and ocean wildlife talks. Other activities and amenities of the Kaanapali Beach Resort stretch include world class spa facilities, whale-watching excursions, sunset sailings, and a championship golf course.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel offers beautiful, authentic Hawaiian accommodations set along a gorgeous sandy beach and surrounded by every amenity you can think of for enjoying a Maui vacation. My time at the hotel was relaxing and rejuvenating, with fabulous dining experiences and adventurous activities. I’ll definitely be back to enjoy this inviting hotel and its surrounding paradise strip in the near future.
Lori A. May is a Seattle-based travel writer.
Photo credits: CT Shier.
A portion of this itinerary was coordinated by Kaanapali Beach Resort.