Beach experts rate Ka’anapali Beach on Maui as one of the best in Hawaii, and when you stroll along its picture-perfect golden sand, you can certainly see why. Located on Maui’s west side, it’s especially lovely as the sun goes down, with the islands of Moloka’i and Lana’i visible in the distance. Hotels and condominiums line the beach.
My husband Alan and I had a chance to stay on Ka’anapali Beach during the annual Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, and not only did we eat well, we were able to check out two very different types of accommodations.
Our first lodging, the Ka’anapali Ali’i Resort, is a condominium resort located on the beach a short walk south of the Whalers Village shopping center. Here’s the scoop:
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The Ka’anapali Ali’i includes four adjacent buildings with a total of 264 condo units, 180 of which are currently in the rental pool. They’re all one- or two-bedroom apartments, with separate living rooms, full kitchens, and large lanais (decks).
One of the property’s best features, besides its beachfront location, is the size of the units. They’re huge, measuring 1,500-1,900 square feet.
All the suites are individually owned, and they’re all decorated completely differently. The massive two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit where we stayed, in Building Four, had been recently updated. The kitchen had granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, and enough dishes, glasses, and cookware, including a blender, toaster, and coffeemaker, to accommodate two couples or a family. Both bathrooms, too, were spacious and modern.
Our unit was considered an “oceanview,” and the view of the ocean was indeed spectacular, from the living room, from one of the bedrooms, and from the lanai, the outdoor terrace. Some “oceanfront” units are closer to the beach, while other units look toward the mountains or onto the property’s gardens. There are lower-floor “mountain” or “garden” view units that overlook the parking garage, so ask about the unit’s specific location if the view is important to you.
Because all the units are individually owned, the furnishings and finishes vary, from very up-to-date to more dated, and unfortunately, when you book online, you can’t select particular units — just their views. Certain amenities are standard, however, including central air-conditioning, TVs, DVD players, safes, and convenient in-suite washers and dryers.
Facilities and Services
There’s plenty to do on the property, starting with several outdoor pools and hot tubs. One is a “quiet” pool designed for adults, another is kid-friendly, and there’s a wading pool for the littlest tots.
You can work out in the 3,000-square-foot fitness center, play tennis on the three clay tennis courts, or take a yoga class, which is offered outdoors several times a week ($15).
The resort has an activity center where you can rent snorkel gear, tennis rackets and balls, and boogie boards. The activity concierge can arrange lots of other activities on and off the property, from scheduling stand-up paddle boarding lessons or golf tee times to making dinner reservations. The resort shop carries snacks and rents DVDs; you can borrow your beach reading from the small lending library.
The Ka’anapali Ali’i has no restaurant, but there are eight beachside BBQ grills where you can grill your own dinner and enjoy it either in your unit or in the outdoor seating area. If you don’t want to cook, there are several restaurants and cafes within walking distance and more places to eat a short drive to the south in Lahaina and to the north toward Napili Bay. For excellent local Hawaiian food with Filipino influences, walk to Joey’s Kitchen, in the lower-level food court at nearby Whalers Village.
One-bedroom units at the Ka’anapali Ali’i start at about $450/night, while two-bedroom units range from $580-880/night. Rates include Wi-fi, daily maid service, and on-site parking, and unlike many beach hotels, Ka’anapali Ali’i does not charge a “resort fee.” Book online at the resort website or try agoda.com for your reservations.
And there’s no extra charge for that beautiful beach.
Hotel review by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. The Ka’anapali Ali’i Resort, in conjunction with the Ka’anapali Resort Association and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, hosted my stay for review purposes.