Westin Maui Resort and Spa, Maui (Ka’anapali)

01. Introduction: Catching the Hawaiian Airlines A321neo (by the skin of my teeth)
02. Hawaiian Airlines A321neo first class San Diego to Maui
04. 3 things I wish I would have known about driving to the top of Haleakala
04. Westin Maui Resort and Spa, Ka’anapali
05. Hawaiian Airlines 767-300 economy class Maui to San Diego

Less than three weeks after declaring that I’m giving up on hotel reviews, here I am with a full post stuffed to the brim with pics about a chain hotel that has already been discussed far too much on the Internet already. I really know how to commit to something, don’t I?

For those of you that missed that announcement (it was in my last hotel review), I basically came to the conclusion that writing about generic cookie-cutter chain hotels wasn’t a very good use of my time considering that those reviews are the least-read articles on my entire blog. I totally get it too, because when you’ve read one review about a low-tier Hilton or Hyatt you’ve kind of read them all – and since most of us are here for the airline reviews anyway (me included), the hotel reviews were just getting in the way of the good stuff.

“I am only writing about interesting hotels from here on out!” I proclaimed with clenched fists, thinking that it would be a good long while before I ever have to write another hotel review again, because I typically don’t stay in the most interesting or luxurious of properties (the kind that are worth writing about). I thought for sure it was over.

But then, standing on my balcony watching the sun go down over the beach there at the Westin at Ka’anapali, I felt a twinge in my fingers and the gears starting to turn in my brain while I processed the moment. Beads of sweat were forming on my brow as I resisted the urge to get pics and detailed notes (necessary to put together a full review), and the longer I stood there staring at that beautiful scene, I just knew that I was going to cave in and that a full review was going to happen. And here we are. Sort of.

As fate would have it, I somehow lost *all* of my in-room photos for this review by the time it came to sit down and write it, and all that remains are pics of the resort itself. What the heck? I’m normally a stickler for having 10 backups of every file on my phone and computer (both onsite and offsite!), but it seems as if a higher power intervened over the past few weeks and “helped me out” with my desire to quit hotel reviews cold turkey. Once I realized what had happened, I thought that there was no point in posting this review if half the content was missing, but…when it came right down to it, the room was really generic and I didn’t have that much to say about it anyway. This is a Resort and Spa after all, and it was really nice, so let’s just focus on that and ignore the bland room for a majority of this review…

Location map of the westin resort and spa Maui

Location map of the Westin Resort and Spa Maui – as you can see, it’s located nowhere near the airport (which is in Kahului btw), so getting here was a bit of a challenge. I ended up paying $100 for a round-trip ticket on a Roberts Hawaii shuttle bus, but a rental car is probably the cheapest option. I should have kept the Jeep for a couple more days!

In the spirit of being completely honest and fully transparent, I’d like to point out that my first impressions of this place were not all that good. Considering the hefty price that I paid for this two-night stay, I was expecting something a lot more upscale and grand than what I saw when I first pulled up to the property.

Westin resort and spa Maui entrance

Welcome to the Westin Resort and Spa at Ka’anapali! My hopes were high that this would be a good place to ease the tension of spending so much money on a ride from the airport because, well, this travel blogging thing doesn’t pay very well yet and I’m already over budget on this trip.

Westin Maui resort and spa front entrance

I barely know how to mow a lawn without killing it, so huge props to the guy or gal who carved “Westin” out of those bushes. Oh, and bonus points too for spelling it right!

Westin Maui resort and spa exterior design

This 1960s-era design is not what I would normally associate with the Westin brand, so it was hard not to feel a bit iffy on the way in.

Just like most businesses in Hawaii, the feeling was very laid-back and casual from the outside – something I quite liked actually. The problem was that the entire property seemed old and outdated, which I believe is the first time that I’ve ever had that feeling walking into a Westin before. The good news is that it looked much more modern and up-to-date on the inside.

Westin Maui resort and spa main lobby

The main lobby, which is definitely more fitting of that clean Westin design language that I know and love.

Westin resort and spa Maui concierge area

Keep in mind that this is a full resort though, so the other half of the bottom floor (adjacent to the lobby) was this area full of meeting rooms and concierge service centers. Don’t worry, things start looking a lot more Hawaiian with the next pic…

Pink flamingos Maui Westin resort lobby

From dry corporate meeting rooms to happy pink flamingos, the lobby of this hotel had it all. This nice little pond was located adjacent to the main reception desk, which didn’t surprise me a bit considering the GPS coordinates of this place. I would’ve been totally disappointed if there were no flamingos!

Westin Maui resort lobby pond

A slightly wider angle showing how the open air lobby wraps around the pond. And nope, it didn’t smell like flamingo poop at all.

Tropical pond Maui resort and spa hotel

To be honest, an occasional whiff of flamingo poop wouldn’t have mattered to me at all with views like this. This is one of the nicest hotel lobbies that I’ve ever been in I think!

Something that I didn’t like was the fact that I was getting a strong “Disneyland” vibe as I stood there in line waiting to check in. Families with young kids running around and screaming everywhere, the smell of the chlorine from the pools just outside the back entrance…this was not what I had been expecting, and at that point I was thinking that I made a bad choice and that I wasn’t going to enjoy my stay. But then I was handed the card keys to my room way up on the 11th floor, and all of those petty annoyances were flicked aside in an instant. My room would most certainly be high enough to escape all of this madness!

Westin Maui resort and spa guest room hallway

Fresh off the elevator on the 11th floor in search of my room (and I may have been praying really hard for a sweet ocean view).

Room 1151 Maui resort and spa

The fact that it didn’t say “Sweet Ocean View” underneath the numbers was giving me cause for concern. But then again, I don’t know how to read braille so I can’t say for certain that there was no mention of it.

Westin Maui resort and spa room ocean view

This picture represents the only interior shot of the room that I have left, but that’s OK because it’s the “sweet ocean view” which is the most important part anyway.

Westin Maui resort view from room

The view from my room! Everything you see in this picture is part of the Westin Maui Resort and Spa (except for the Pacific Ocean, duh). Not too shabby, eh?

Westin Maui resort and spa sunset

Looking to the right, you can see that everyone on this side of the building has an epic Instagram-worthy view – which more than likely got them tons of likes during their vacation.

Ocean view Maui resort and spa

#sunset #hawaii #maui #omg #beyonce (lol)

 Westin Maui resort and spa pools

The view from up here looks just as nice during the day. If you’re a fan of swimming pools, you’re gonna love this place. If you’re not, well…why’dya come to Hawaii in the first place?!

Westin Maui

Ok, one last artsy-fartsy pic from up here looking through the Westin logo on the sliding glass door (because I’m clean out of room pics).

Westin Maui resort and spa pools

The view from the pool area looking towards the main building in the background. Pro tip: these pools fill up fast as the day goes on, so if you’re not keen on 10-year-olds cannonballing all around as you float aimlessly about on your inflatable flamingo, it’s best to do your lounging in the morning hours while it’s not so busy.

Kaanapali beach hotel

The good news is that there is an entire ocean to escape to when all that cannonballing gets annoying. But then you’ll have sharks to worry about, so you’ve got a descision to make. Personally, I’m willing to gamble on the sharks…

Kaanapali beach boardwalk

One of the really nice things about the Westin is the fact that it’s located in a cluster of other hotels via this boardwalk, which also leads to a small shopping center stuffed full of good places to eat.

Açai bowl Westin Maui resort and spa

The best açai bowl located within walking distance to the Westin Maui Resort and Spa is from Island Vintage Coffee located in the Whalers Village shopping center. I’m pretty sure that you could find something better in the nearby town of Lahaina, but this is plenty good if you’re feeling lazy.

Westin Maui resort and spa food

There’s also lots of grilled meat topped with pineapple salsa and white rice to be found in any direction of this place. Pretty much the number one criteria for any fine hotel choice, right?

In summary, the Westin Resort and Spa here at Ka’anapali isn’t exactly what I would consider to be fitting of the high-style Westin brand, but by the end of my second day I was really starting to appreciate it for what it was.

It’s an excellent beach hotel, maybe even better than the Hotel Del Coronado in my home town of San Diego – at least in terms of offering the complete experience (food, relaxation, beach access, etc). It’s definitely not a place to stay if you’re looking for blissful peace and quiet, as this is a very family-friendly resort with lots of young kids running around and having fun (and cannonballing into pools). It’s important to note that SPG/Marriott Rewards members have access to the highest floors – which are an excellent escape from all the noise and activity below.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this review of a hotel that almost didn’t happen (for a multitude of reasons). And embarrassingly enough, I think there is going to be another hotel review in my next trip report series as well – not because I want to write it, but because there were pictures of naked people on the walls and provocative musings written with lipstick on the bathroom mirror, and it would be selfish of me to keep it all to myself. So much for giving up hotel reviews…

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    1. Josh Walton August 29, 2018
      • SANspotter August 30, 2018

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