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…
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.
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.
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!
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…