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“Not Impressed”

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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Not Impressed”
Reviewed 11 July 2014

We are two retired couples who booked this resort based on the excellent reviews on TripAdvisor, yet I must write that we were not impressed. Check-in started off great – friendly people at the front desk who assured us we would “love the unit” we were assigned. When we got to the unit (a ground floor with view of the walkway to the pool), I went back to remind them we had booked, and paid for, a partial oceanview unit. There was not a sliver of ocean viewable from the unit “we would love”. It also had one King and 2 Doubles; our Orbitz confirmation showed 2 King beds. I asked if I needed to call Orbitz to clarify the room category purchased. They said no and were pleasant enough, assigning another unit on the 3rd floor that had a view of the public parking lot, a building under construction and… if you craned your neck…a partial oceanview. I understand enough about room categories to know that this fit that we bought, but if you are booking this property, please be aware that a partial oceanview is hardly worth any additional cost. The pools look amazing in the resort photos, but are mediocre at best. The slide that looks so inviting is lame, unless you are under the age of 10. Chaise lounges are lacking – especially in the shade - and my sister got hit in the head with a pool umbrella that was broken and therefore would not stay up (no wonder those chairs were empty!) The beach/ocean exactly in front of the resort is full of rocks and sea urchins, so make sure you wear your water shoes if you go in. Another alternative is to walk about 20 minutes toward the black rock and the beach and ocean becomes much, much better. The 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit was adequate, certainly not the “WOW” people write about. It is not that anything in the unit was horrible, it was just that it was not great…so read those reviews carefully…check the other places the reviewer has stayed at that if they see this resort as “best in Maui” and give it an “excellent” rating. It appears that it matters how you book, so perhaps it would have been better through another source. Some things were minor, such as the poor lighting in the bathrooms. Other things were more important. We like to cook on vacation and enjoy our meals on the lanai, so I can say that the kitchen was clean and plates and silverware were available. The condition of the utensils, knives and cookware was less than stellar. The oven did not work well. We waited over 40 minutes to get a preheat of 450º and then it did not hold. That pretty much ruined that dinner and tested our sense of humor. The refrigerator was dented, not pretty to look at, but it worked; however, the ice-maker in the freezer did not. Since cleaning is every other day, we called Housekeeping on Day 2 and asked that our garbage be picked up as the under-the-sink can was over-flowing. Although they said yes, they never came. There were a few other items that I guess you could say worked, but not in the best way. One was the dryer (it took literally hours to dry a small load of clothing) and the air-conditioning never cooled the room below 78º (thank goodness for the bedroom fans!). We advised at check-out that the A/C did not work well, so hopefully they have repaired it. My take is that a resort that charges premium rates should make sure every aspect of the unit is up to par before allowing any guest to check-in to it. Perhaps we expected too much based on the TripAdvisor reviews, but for the rate we paid, we were not impressed.

Room Tip: Do not pay for a partial oceanview room. It is not worth the little piece of ocean you can see.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
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    • Rooms
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Helpful?
8 Thank justmyopinion1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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NH
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 July 2014

Our family of six recently spent 9 nights at Honua Kai in the Konea Tower. We had a ground floor unit which worked perfectly for all of us. The condo was exactly as depicted, spacious and clean and the beds were oh so comfortable. The beach is beautiful with the islands of Lanai and Molokai in sight with Black Rock to the left. The sunsets are gorgeous. There is a reef a short way from the beach, however, it didn't bother us at all. We snorkeled right there and saw the same fish that we had seen on our snorkeling trip to Molokini. Even sea turtles swam by! We ate at Dukes a few times and enjoyed it - as said in other reviews, it is expensive, but everything is in Maui, even groceries are high. The grounds are beautiful, nicely maintained, and there is a grilling area that you can use, which was very convenient (and they were kept clean). The lit tikis at night were great. The pools were also wonderful. The underground parking worked out great.
Lahaina was just a short drive with the old whaler's village a must do. Also, sunrise on Haleakala is definitely an experience to remember - sunrise above the clouds is quite something.
The Old Lahaina Luau was also great and everyone enjoyed it. We used Four Winds II for our snorkeling trip to Molokini and thought they provided us with a really fun morning.
We did the road to Hana and had a full fun day of exploring. Although there are lots of narrow winding roads on the way to Hana, it is slight in comparison to the road north from Kahului to Kapalua - oh my, what a narrow, winding, cliff edged road that we traveled. We were so happy to finally arrive in Kapalua! The views were awesome, of course, but quite scary at many points. If you do make this drive north, you will find that the road to Hana is a piece of cake. We continued past Hana rather than turning back to retrace our path and parts of that road are "on the edge" as well, but Ohe'o Gulch and the drive thru the lava fields were quite a sight.
To summarize, we loved Honua Kai and Maui and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank skootdoot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ka'anapali, Hawaii
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

No words needed. Everything is lovely. Top notch accommodations, five star décor/property. Amazing pools, a new spa ( I did not try )...Duke's restaurant on property and Aina gourmet market for all your needs to enjoy meals/snacks in your room. the kitchens are very very nice. This is a perfect spot for families and groups.

Room Tip: If you aren't traveling with kids you may want to avoid the kids pool area
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank MrsChristenson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
Level 4 Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2014

Let me preface this review by saying that I understand that the Honua Kai (HK) books directly, uses third parties (e.g., Expedia) and allows its owners to solicit guests (e.g., VRBO). I chose to book through Expedia for the convenience and slight savings with ever-fluctuating airfare. I might have saved a few $$'s, but I paid in other ways..... (Warning: be prepared for the question, "Did you book through the hotel directly?" This will determine your fate as to whether you receive the white poolside towels, late night check-in or whether housekeeping will replace what's missing in your unit - maybe.)

The Good:

* Location - good solid location. Not in the mix (a la Black Rock) but not totally isolated. We could walk to Snorkel Bob's for rentals, but the grocery store across the street was kind of janky (few name brands). A short walk north had more of a funky beach town feel.

* Newer units - it's always good to feel like you are living in this century rather than the 80's or 90's.

* Bed-n-bath - the crisp white linens and towels rivaled anything I've experienced at a 5* resort. The 5 piece bath room was spacious enough for all and had Aveda products - nice!

* Pools - the combination of pools made for a lot of fun for the kids. Although the pools didn't offially open until 8 a.m., people staked their claim as early as 7 a.m. By 11 a.m., most all of the poolside loungechairs were "claimed" either by a person (cool) or by a ghost towel (not cool).

* Grounds - the area is beautiful, especially at night. My kids (age 8 & 15) loved going outside under the stars and looking for toads and watching the feral cats. Really. Next to snorkeling, this was a highlight of their trip.

* Underground parking - yes, it costs, but not having a hot rental car is worth it. Always found a spot.

The "Eh":

* Rooms - on appearance, the rooms look very nice, but upon closer inspection you can see hasty construction (bedroom door and closet banging into one another) and cheaper furnishings (carpet buckling in places). It will be interesting to see how this resort holds up through the years.

* Kitchen - the stainless steel Bosch appliances looked nice, but basically sucked. (Don't get me started on the dryer that either didn't dry or it scorched clothes.) The kitchen was 75% appointed, but missed some key items like a wine bottle opener (!) that the front desk promised to send up but never did.

* Personnel - I felt more Hawaiin hospitality walking through the Kaanapali Beach Hotel for our Trilogy cruise than I did at HK. Again, it could be the mix of guests' bookings.

* Housekeeping - the ONE time housekeeping came by in six days, they did great! However, they missed our other day and thus, our lanai was basically unusable due to bird dropping that were not cleaned off the first time. Towels were delivered at our request later.

The Bad:

* Room HK0216. Oh how I wish I had read the review from a fellow Expedia traveller a few years ago about this room. It sits conveniently above the workout area (the bedroom is above the weight room - CLINK!). On the days that we got up early, I didn't notice it, but near the end of our stay when we wanted to sleep in the noise from the work out room was unbearable. With only a day or so left in our stay, I chose not to switch rooms (I'm normally a Priceline customer - I can handle anything!), but please, if you are an Expedia customer DO NOT ACCEPT THIS ROOM.

Overall, we enjoyed out first time in Maui. HK has a ways to go before it hits 5* in my book - that should be reserved for the best of the best. My trip was summed up by the note slipped under our door on check out day. It reminded us not to leave anything visible on the lanai. I had my J Crew tunic draped over a chair due to the fact that the crappy Bosch dryer couldn't dry anything on gentle.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank liclak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Half Moon Bay, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Wow! We were truly impressed upon arrival at Honua Kai. What a beautiful resort. Our condo was clean, luxurious, and much bigger than we expected. It felt like a home more than a condo. The open air living room provided the full tropical vacation experience. Our condo was on the 2nd floor above the lobby....which provided a very large balcony, ocean view, and room for the kids to roam. Very important.

While the rooms were great, our days were spent at the beautiful pool with waterslide and waterfalls. This is what tipped our experience at Honua Kai from great to spectacular. We decided to rent a cabana for the week (well worth it!), and from there the pool staff treated us like royalty (not used to that!). Daniel, Matt, and Jennifer went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed. The best part about that -- they kept our kids happy and entertained, from lending us an inflatable alligator, to spending the time with the kids to make sure their snorkel gear fit properly. They went above and beyond, and provided us with an experience that we will hope for on all vacations to come.

Room Tip: Go for 2nd floor above the lobby, which provides a large lanai instead of a small balcony.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Alisa A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntsville, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014

Stayed here for 10 nights in a 2 BR, 2 bath (rented through VRBO). Absolutely could not have asked for a better place. Our lanai had a gorgeous ocean view with the evening sunset. Duke's Beach Bar/Restaurant is right there on property and has great food (a little pricey, but most of the nice food places in Maui are $$). The pools were really nice (not too cold). The snorkeling right there at the resort is awesome!! Saw several turtles and many many fish.

Room Tip: If you rent through VRBO, make sure you look closely at the pics showing the view from the lanai.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Wendy J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Level 4 Contributor
41 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

I have stayed at Honua Kai three times. Once through the hotel and twice through VRBO. The fist stay was so pleasant I was happy to return but was not prepared for the dirty rooms the second time. The rental company came in an cleaned the rooms but it was not a great start. The third time was great. The last rental was a three bedroom right by the pool which turned out to be a great location for my Grand kids. The beach access was so close and the snorkeling was excellent with a great variety of fish and turtles. The staff is friendly although not always helpful. The pool areas are very clean and inviting. The restaurant on property, Duke's, has a good variety of foods and the setting is beautiful. The 4 public grills are clean and great for cooking steaks etc. The last rental was not as well equipped but adequate for cooking simple items. The ice machine, which is located in the parking garage, was not working which was annoying for an upscale resort. Also the store on property was lovely but very expensive. A donut is priced at over $4.00. It is overall a very nice place for a Maui vacation.

Room Tip: Most room have good views. I like the corner units with the wrap around lanai.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Midge85253
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Property: Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Address: 130 Kai Malina Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-8413
Region: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Lahaina
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Lahaina
#7 Spa Hotel in Lahaina
#7 Business Hotel in Lahaina
#8 Romantic Hotel in Lahaina
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3 star — Honua Kai Resort & Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 628
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Situated on world-famous Kaanapali North Beach, Honua Kai provides an unparalleled level of service and all the amenities of a luxury resort with expansive one, two, and three bedroom suites. Perhaps the greatest luxury of all is simply the space to spread out. Inside, the feel is that of a luxury Maui vacation home, graciously furnished in exotic wood and polished granite, and tastefully equipped with top of the line appliances. The gourmet kitchens contain everything you need to make a fantastic meal. Or simply make reservations at one of our spectacular restaurants. This is the Hawaii vacation you have always imagined, exactly as you imagined it. ... more   less 
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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Southall Travel, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, HotelQuickly, Evoline ltd, getaroom.com and Cancelon so you can book your Honua Kai Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Honua Kai Resort And Spa
Honua Kai Hotel Lahaina
Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui/Lahaina

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