I know this is a big topic as both properties are highly regarded on TA. I am sitting in my living room at Kaanapali Alii as my husband is taking our suitcases down. Very sad day. We have been here for 11 days. We stayed at Honua Kai 3 years ago. We also have my 21 year old daughter with us. We all agreed that Kaanapali Alii wins hands down. Unit is spacious. We got one that had been upgraded with granite. MB was huge with lots of room and a sitting area. We got two full bathrooms. We rented a 2 bedroom2 bath at KA. The second bedroom is a converted den with own bathroom and sliding doors. Same set up at HK but no second bathroom. The grounds are lovely at HK. Nice at KA as well. KA is a smaller property which I loved. 4 buildings, 11 floors and 6 units per floor. That is about 260 total units. The location for KA is perfect. We could walk to Whalers Village on the beach walk. Less than 1/4 mile away. In the other direction another beautiful self and 1/4 mile to a Starbucks. I walked 3-4 miles each morning. Beautiful. My husband and daughter could surf right in front if the resort. Could not do that at HK. The went out 3-4 times per day. We rented surfboards for a week from a little rental spot near PApakea and it was 70.00 for the entire week per board. Everyone on the beach walk wanted 70.00 per day! The BBQ area at KA is great with a grill master that will help you or even do it all for you. Another perk is we could bring down our own food and drinks by the pool. We were there 11 days and didn't but one cocktail during the day. Saved a lot of money. HK would not allow that dye to Dukes on site. Whalers Village so close you could walk up for Happy Hour whenever you wanted. Had great bellman service at KA. Nine at HK since we went through an owner. We rented directly from an owner at KA as well. Our bellman brought up all out bags AND all our Costco stuff which was a lot. Would have taken us tons of trips to do they.
Lastly, I found the winds terrible at HK. Seems to be built in a wind tunnel! We would be getting blown out there and leave resort on beach walk and walk a little south and winds were gone. We stayed set both properties the exact same time of year, late May. I won't ever return to HK due to the wind issue alone.
Having stayed at both I can now give an honest comparison. Feel free to ask me any questions. Re: price I got a great deal at both. Per night rate at HK was a little less but I got a free night at KA.