Imagine watching cliff divers during a sunset dinner. Picture an oceanfront stroll after sunrise with local coffee in hand and warm beach sand tickling your toes. If you’re looking for a tranquil beach vacation in Maui with a host of amenities and on-site fine dining, I’d suggest booking your holiday at Sheraton Maui. Located on gorgeous Kaanapali Beach, a serene stretch of sandy ocean beach with a variety of resorts, dining, and entertainment options, Sheraton Maui offers a resort experience you’d come to expect with the brand, with thoughtful cultural activities and island-inspired decor accentuating the property.
During my recent vacation, I stayed in a deluxe oceanfront king suite with a super spacious lanai, perfect for watching the sun rise over the ocean. My room included deluxe Sheraton Signature Bedding, a roomy bathroom with luxurious toiletries and super soft linens, and plenty of space to relax on comfortable furnishings. The room also included a mini fridge and coffee maker with an assortment of coffees and teas. My suite was in one of the building wings original to the hotel, offering an expansive view of the ocean and surrounding greenery, and just far enough away from the main building that my vacation time was completely quiet and serene when I retreated to my room, while still providing easy access to the property amenities.
Sheraton Maui is a sprawling resort with several wings and lanai view options. With more than five hundred suites, you’re sure to find the size and location that suits your particular needs. Furnished lanais provide ample private outdoor space to enjoy the scenery, while the large grounds of the venue offer a number of garden gathering spots, picnic areas, and a beautiful landscape of lagoons and waterways.
Sheraton Maui has a host of on-site dining options ranging from quick bites to fine dining. Black Rock Kitchen is a popular venue I frequented for its daily breakfast buffet and local ingredients showcased on the dinner menu. The breakfast buffet offers a large variety of hot and cold entrees, local specialties, pastries and fresh island fruits, and several beverage options. For dinner, I enjoyed baby back ribs with a mango kiawe BBQ sauce as a starter, and for my main course I savored a fresh catch offering from the daily specials. Entrees range from ribeye and filet mignon for land-lovers to seared scallops, ahi, and snapper for seafood fans.
For lighter fare, I sampled the menu at Cliff Dive Grill, a perfect gathering spot for viewing the nightly cliff diving ceremony at Black Rock. This is also a great spot to dine poolside in the day time or catch up with friends over cocktails. For a light pick-me-up at Cliff Dive Grill, try the roasted garlic-rosemary pumpkin hummus with pita chips or chili pepper tiger shrimp. For a more substantial lunch, I recommend volcano spiced mahi-mahi tacos or the half pound cliff dive burger. Be sure to sample the signature cocktail menu for island-inspired refreshments.
Sheraton Maui has the beautiful Black Rock as part of its property, so you’ll definitely want to cozy up on the beach for the nightly Cliff Diving at Black Rock. This is a lovely cultural tradition that begins with hula and song, and is completed with tiki torch lighting before the dives. Grab a seat at Cliff Dive Grill to enjoy cocktails during the show, or pick up a Beachside S’mores Kit from guest services and find a comfy spot on the beach. Throughout the day, you’ll find plenty of on-site activities including introductory scuba lessons, snorkel gear rentals, and marine life education through Maui Ocean Center’s Hawaiian Marine Life Hale kiosk located in the pool area. This is a fabulous experience for learning more about the life you’ll see snorkeling in front of Black Rock. If you enjoy this, definitely head down the road to visit Maui Ocean Center for additional marine life viewing and experiences. I was thrilled to learn so much about the fish and marine life and then apply that knowledge to identify my fellow swimmers during my snorkel session. Another fabulous way to pass the afternoon is taking a leisurely swim in the sprawling pool area. Lagoons weave around the property and you’ll even find a small water slide for kids and kid-like adults to enjoy. If you seek a little more indulgence during your vacation, book a treatment at the Spa at Black Rock. Or, book a tee time at Kaanapali’s golf facilities.
Sheraton Maui offers the Maui Nui Luau a few times each week, but you’ll also find a variety of luau offerings throughout Kaanapali Beach Resort. Right next door, I enjoyed the Royal Lahaina Resort Luau, which is a short walk along the ocean beach walk. Stroll in the opposite direction along the beach walk and you’ll find yourself surrounded by a number of venues for cocktails, fine dining, and entertainment. There’s a fabulous assortment of shopping and local dining at Whaler’s Village. That’s where I enjoyed a beautiful sunset dinner at Hula Grill, with friendly service in an inviting setting. For my main entrée, I ordered Crab Topped Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi-Mahi, but you’ll find a variety of land-lover options, too. After you’ve experienced your share of snorkeling and swimming, consider signing up for surf lessons. I had a private lesson with the team at Kaanapali Surf Club, and recommend this for beginners. The lesson was thorough and focused on fun, and my surf instructor made sure I caught as many waves as possible in our one hour session. I’d definitely do this activity again and will recommend to friends, as it’s such a great way to learn the basics of surfing. Then, when you’re ready for a little exploring beyond the beach, guests have the option to take a shuttle into Lahaina to explore the waterfront town, peruse local shops and the outlet mall, and experience even more local Hawaiian hospitality at area restaurants and bars. Lahaina is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon, with so many great shops and eateries. I found myself returning there several times to fully appreciate all the neighboring town offers.
Sheraton Maui proved to be a wonderful resort full of amenities and in such an ideal location along the beachfront. My room was comfortable and the resort offered a world of amenities to ensure a fabulous vacation getaway. This is definitely a spot I’ll return to in the future for more surf, snorkel, and sunshine.
Lori A. May is a Seattle-based travel writer.
Photo credits: CT Shier.
A portion of this itinerary was coordinated by Kaanapali Beach Resort.