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My friend and I stayed two nights at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa Ka’anapali last weekend that cost me 12,000 SPG Starpoints and $31.25 per night. I really enjoyed my stay and recommend the Westin Maui and Ka’anapali area generally.
The hotel is on the beautiful, wide, miles-long Ka’anapali white sand beach just a few miles north of Lahaina on the west coast of Maui with perfect views of sunset over the ocean.
My friend and I spent three nights on Maui (and three on Oahu), and our plan was to camp the first night and stay at a nice hotel the next two nights. I wanted to use Starpoints, and both the Westin and Sheraton on the same beach should cost 12,000 points per night during most of the year. (During peak dates, they go for 16,000 points a night.)
Unfortunately on our dates, the base room at the Sheraton was unavailable, so I was offered a better view for 13,500 points per night. I figured I’d get an ocean view for my 12,000 points at the Westin, so I picked the hotel that cost me fewer points.
I would summarize this FlyerTalk thread comparing the Sheraton and Westin as saying that some people prefer each one. On our travel dates, the Westin was more expensive with cash, but that isn’t always the case, and you can get it for a $269 base rate next month.
Check In & Parking
We arrived at the hotel at 2:45 PM in our rental car and pulled to the valet stand to ask about self-parking. The valet had to check that we were actually hotel guests, which took about 2-3 minutes before opening the self-parking gate for us. This system is in place because once you are in the self-parking area, exit is free. Waiting around to park was not a great first impression.
Self-parking is included in the $31.25 (including tax) resort fee. We were given a second card for free at check in for our friends to use when visiting us. That’s not actually necessary, as we could have swiped the one card we got at check in to let our friends in, and they could have exited freely. The self-parking lot is right near the entrance, so it is convenient enough.
When we checked in, we had to wait a few minutes in the Gold/Platinum line. While we waited, someone came out to give us cowrie shell leis. The hotel often had someone right at the main entrance doing this. We were given a fourth floor “Ocean View” room in the Ocean Tower, two towel cards, and two parking cards at check in. I accepted the “make a green choice offer,” which turned down some cleaning service for 500 points per night. That was a nice 1,000 points back.
Our room was nice enough, although Ocean View was a bit of a stretch for the 4th Floor. It was mainly tree view with a little ocean peaking out.
We got two queen beds, which were very spacious and comfortable.
The room had a flat screen TV and a mini-fridge to store the Kona Brewing Company beer we had picked up at Walmart in Kahului. Unfortunately the room had a corkscrew, but no beer bottle opener. Luckily YouTube has a great video on opening one bottle with another.
The sink and mirror were outside the bathroom, which made it easy to chat while one of us got ready.
The bathroom was standard. The hot water and water pressure in the shower were on point.
The little balcony was perfect for two people to hang out with a drink.
Resort fees are a scam in my opinion. This $31.25 per night scam included:
- High Speed Internet Access in your guestroom and public areas (basically a lie since everyone already gets free internet at SPG properties just for booking through an SPG platform)
- Local and toll free calls up to 60 minutes
- Two (2) bottles of water replenished daily as needed
- Shuttle service to Kapalua West Maui Airport, upon availability (this is not the airport that serves the mainland)
- Shuttle service to Lahaina and to our three Starwood resorts
- Logo souvenir eco bag
- Outdoor portrait sitting and free 4 by 6 color photograph through Reflections Photography
We thought the 4″ by 6″ portrait sounded like a funny perk, so we took advantage. This service is only available Monday through Saturday with 3:40 PM Saturday the last slot. You sign up in the lobby, and the pictures took us just a few minutes. They’re hoping to sell you a more expensive package, and they hold the images hostage to entice you to buy.
They won’t email you the pictures. They will just print one out and put it on their table for you the next business day. Unfortunately we took our picture on a Saturday, so that meant we’d be checking out on Sunday before the picture was ready on Monday. The photographer said she could mail us the one photo for $16.
All the employees I encountered were friendly, and two went above and beyond.
The front desk check in agent offered me a second self-parking access key when I asked where our friends could park when they came to visit.
A manager picked up our 4″ x 6″ portrait and mailed it to us for free. We were walking through the lobby, and she asked how our stay was going. We had just taken our portrait, and we mentioned we were bummed we would not actually receive the final product. She took my friend’s address, and the photo was there when he got home.
I’ll also give good marks for how quickly extra cups were brought to our room and how quickly my to-go burgers from Relish were ready.
The only area I checked out were the swimming pool and ponds between the hotel and beach, which are the star of the resort.
The ponds have waterfalls, koi fish, and flamingos.
The all-ages pool has a volleyball net, waterfall, basketball net, balls floating around, a water slide, and turns blue at night.
Above the main pool is an adults-only pool and hot tub open until 10 PM. I never spent more than half an hour at a time in the pool area, but I really enjoyed it because I like pool games like basketball and volleyball.
The free poolside chairs, some of which had some shade, filled up very quickly. Renting a gazebo or caban is ludicrously expensive.
Ka’anapali Beach is stunning and has views of Molokai and Lanai.
Two chairs and an umbrella is $45 per day. I’d recommend a towel instead.
My favorite part of the beach is at the very end in front of the Sheraton, a rocky outcropping called Blackrock. Every day dozens of people ignore the “Don’t Walk Past This Sign” signs and jump from the 20 foot rock. Every day at a sunset, a local guy paid by the Sheraton comes out and does a swan dive. Some days he even does other tricks like flips and handstand jumps.
The snorkeling especially near Blackrock must be pretty good as there is a steady stream of people out there. I saw several turtles from the rock and one dolphin.
I got burgers to go both nights from Relish. At about $20 after tip, they were fine. Next door is Whaler’s Village, which has a food court including pizza, Mexican, plate lunch, and Subway. There are several beach front dining options, but they were out of my price range.
Here’s a map I made for my review of the Andaz Maui at Wailea. Ka’anapali is just north of the underlined Lahaina on the northwest coast.
The Westin Maui is 39 minutes from Kahului Airport and 8 minutes from West Maui Airport. I consider Ka’anapali’s location a little better than Wailea’s. Both are about the same distance from the airport, Haleakala, and start of the Road to Hana.
Ka’anapali is right next to Lahaina, which is a nice little town on Maui, so I give it a slight edge.
I definitely am happy with my 12,000 points per night redemption to stay at the Westin Maui.
Ka’anapali Beach, the pools, and the service were highlights.
I would have liked to have stayed on a higher floor and gotten out of that resort charge, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back.
Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.