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Honua Kai Resort & Spa
Ranked #9 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Much better options available...look elsewhere”
Reviewed 15 July 2014

First I should start off by saying this review is not about Maui, rather the Honaua Kai Resort & Spa property and management. Maui is an absolutely incredible island. The Honua Kai though leaves much to be desired.

Honua Kai is a very, very large property (10+ floors) with a total of a hundred or more units. The time we stayed at the resort, finding neighboring chairs by the pool was always a problem. If you don't mind being nickeled and dimed, you can purchase a cabana for $100. At other resorts I visited in Maui finding chairs by a pool was never a problem. There are also no resort facilities on the beach (not entirely uncommon though)

The communal resources are poor at best, and the staff is fairly helpless. Whether the problem was getting in the garage or the gym, key cards were always a problem. Every time we experienced a problem of any sort we got a lecture about how the problem was tied to the fact we didn't rent directly through the resort. While it's true we did rent through a private lister (the resort itself did not have penthouse units available during our timeframe), the keys are controlled by the facility security office so the excuse makes no sense. Further, a non-descript alarm went off late at night. The resort staff was unreachable leaving many residents confused as to what to do. Was there a gas leak, a fire? All that was said was 'alert' along with a loud siren. This was at night and sounded for at least 10 minutes. Note that this is not a hotel and concierge service is not available 24/7, so if emergencies like this happen you are on your own.

On a previous trip I stayed over at the Westin Ocean Resort Villas and was impressed with the communal gas grills, patio tables, pools, etc. This place offers very little of what I experienced.

Room Tip: Expect to pay a premium for an ocean view room. The balconies are very nice though.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
7 Thank freekboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Denver, CO
Level 5 Contributor
48 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2014

Stay here, you'll love it. I would recommend to those with and without children. We stayed in Hokulani Tower in Unit 250 for 10 days with 2 couples and 1 child. This is a 3-bed, 3-bath corner unit which faces the water slide, kid pools, and has an ocean view (slightly obstructed by palm trees and Duke's Restaurant). My initial reaction was that it would be noisy, but that was never a problem even at the busiest of pool times during the day. I was so comfortable that I really did not have that urgent desire to "sleep in my own bed at my own house" thing at the end of the trip. I really miss that lanai and those folding windows.

Why I can't give the place 5-stars for this visit: the A/C in the living area never cooled the room below 78 degrees so it was fairly warm (and we absolutely did make sure to close all of the glass doors so the sensors would let the A/C work). The ice maker was either off or not working at the start (corrected and the staff brought us a bag of ice), the wine fridge didn't work at all, and the coffee maker died (was promptly replaced). This unit was VERY expensive on a per-night basis (10 dollar signs, not 5). First world prices mean I don't care if it's a first world problem and all of those items should have been working when we arrived.

We encountered no issues with real estate agents or poor service. After reading the reviews I expected both. For our visit, service was friendly and prompt with the exception of never getting the A/C to work in the one area. We were not approached about buying anything with the exception of the letter on the entry table offering our unit for sale.

I enjoyed the place so much that I have a long list of reasons why I loved the property:
1. The exterior walls to the lanai were folding glass doors that opened to the pool/ocean view and this was my favorite part of the unit. I read/napped/ate outside when it wasn't too windy to do so. We had a grill and a dining table on the lanai.
2. The kitchen was spiffy - quite large. Viking appliances. The blender made fantastic afternoon pina coladas (use Coco Lopez, not Coco Real). Fridge was plenty large. Dishwasher provided in unit with detergent replenished daily. Kitchen towels replenished daily. Staff ran the dishwasher and hand washed dishes for us every day or unloaded the dishwasher if we had already done them.
3. Washer/dryer provided. Slow to dry so be patient and doesn't vent to exterior (not sure how that meets code but whatever). Detergent replenished by staff. Detergent goes in the II slot (I had to Google where to put detergent).
4. Bedrooms are quite spacious with large closets and some hangers provided, along with dressers. Comfortable beds and staff made them every day.
5. Bathrooms also amply sized. 2 of 3 in the bedrooms but all full bath with at least a shower. Aveda Shampoo/Conditioner/Body Wash/Lotion provided and replenished daily. Best hotel toiletries ever - rosemary/mint is so refreshing and the lotion isn't that perfumed junk that dries the skin.
6. Pools were so much fun. Yes, there are a ton of kids (I don't have them but my nephew was with us) but there is a pool for adults and people seemed to respect it. My nephew got us all to ride the water slide so definitely do that. There are at least 3 hot tubs - the one by the water slide is HOT. Towels available with the room key. Never had an issue grabbing one chair to hold our stuff but if you plan to lounge, you'll want to go early to get a space. Unfortunately people were starting this process at 6:30 am (pool opens at 8 or 9).
7. The activities booth (and towel supply) allowed reasonably priced snorkel rental, and other watersport rentals as well as easy booking for a quick intro scuba and/or snuba trip right from the beach. Try the Snuba in the pool (11am every day) to see if you like it. It's expensive but pretty fun if you don't want to do a full scuba dive.
8. Beach access is just past the pool. Beach area is short and water is down a short, steep hill. I had never been to Hawaii and the sand tricked me into thinking I could easily walk into the water, but it's rocky out there. Water shoes might be a good idea if you want to walk in the water. It was a good snorkeling spot when going out a little farther and we saw a couple of turtles and lots of fish. Beach at Black Rock was better, but this one was easy to access and still fun. Shower is right by the pool to get sand off the feet.
9. The boardwalk starts at this hotel and goes to Whaler's Village to the South (and Black Rock). A very nice walk/run. There are SO many runners on the path so you'll be single-file.
10. Parking was easy - choose the garage, the surface lot, or valet.
11. Lahaina is a 10-minute drive from the hotel and 5-minutes from Whaler's Village but there's a supermarket across the road from the Konea Tower that will serve the purpose.
12. Duke's had good food/drink and a gorgeous view. There may have been a less expensive section (not sure), but sweet baby Ray the restaurant was spendy at $30/entree - not an issue, just a surprise.

If you're still reading, here's some other notes about Maui:
-Do NOT use the spray-on sunscreen. It doesn't work. I live in Colorado where I get burned in 30 minutes and thought I would be fine. I was not. Buy the lotion.
-Old Lahaina Luau - that's the best. Aloha Mixed Plate makes the food and it's good.
-Go snorkel at Honalua Bay, about 20 minutes north of the hotel. Can't wear suncreen. Donate $5 to the "owner" of the property. Saw a reef shark, a couple of turtles, and a lot of fish. Long swim.

Room Tip: Spring for the ocean view that does not also overlook the courtyard (closest to the pools) and don...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16 Thank kab77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bay Area, California
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 July 2014 via mobile

Stayed at the Honua Kai Resort for 9 days with my hubby and 18 month old LO (little one). This was a fantastic place to stay for a family. We stayed at the Hokulani Tower with a resort view (view of the mountain). What we liked about this "condotel" is that we could just stay in and make a meal in our kitchen and didn't have to pack as much due to the washer/dryer in our unit. Our room was very spacious as well as our lanai and bathroom. We were provided with Aveda brand toiletries, and basic essentials like laundry and dishwasher detergent, coffee and filters and even fabric softener sheets. And because this is a condotel, our room was cleaned and replenished every other day. Also note that renting a crib cost $8 a day and there is a resort fee of $29 charged daily to your room. BTW, walls were sound proof as I asked my neighbors and they didn't hear LO crying, nor did I hear their child crying...well, except for when the crying occurred in the condotel hallway.

The grounds were neatly kept and the three pools were fantastic. For our LO, she loved splashing about in the 1/2 foot tall pool and the water jets offered at another pool. The beach on the property is clean and neat, and the coral reefs had much to see when you swam farther out and north of the property. You can also rent umbrellas and chairs for the beach as well as cabanas or gazebos at the pool (FYI, this can be $$$).

In terms of markets, the Aina Gourmet market had a few essentials but is a bit pricey. Just a two minute drive north of the property, is the Times Market...which has everything such as souvenirs, beach toys/gear, a bakery, sushi, a kiosk to rent movies (since the units have blu-Ray players), etc.

The only restaurant on site was Dukes. Food is good but the service was kinda lacking. But if you do decide to eat there, make reservations for their dinner menu option or plan to wait for table on their casual dinner option (that part of the restaurant doesn't take reservations).

Oh, and I also booked a same day
Massage at their spa on site. The massage was great, but the amenities were bare bones minimal. Their focus is strictly on services so don't expect a steam room, sauna or spa tub...in their lockers rooms, it's basically a bathroom and a shower.

Overall, it was a great stay. The valet/bell staff were super helpful. The pool service and market folks were kind and generous. We felt really welcomed there and look forward to going back (next time with an ocean view).

tips: book through Costco as it offed the best vacation package prices.
Best shave ice: Ululani
Great restaurant: Starnoodle
Picturesque beach: DT Fleming beach park north of HK

Stayed July 2014
10 Thank trvln_foodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chicago, Illinois
Level 6 Contributor
186 reviews
48 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
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
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Service
8 Thank justmyopinion1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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
11 Thank liclak
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
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 Business Hotel in Lahaina
#7 Spa 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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Also Known As:
Honua Kai Resort And Spa
Honua Kai Hotel Lahaina
Honua Kai Resort & Spa Maui/Lahaina

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