My husband and I and our 3 year-old stayed here in January of this year. We loved the Papakea!!!
The check-in process was rough but this was not Papakea's fault. We were booked through a company called Vacations International who completely screwed up our reservation. But I am not giving a review of them but, rather, the resort itself. Suffice it to say, because of Vacations International's mess up, we had to be put in a "Resort Quest" room until a Vacation International (V.I.) room became available at the Papakea. However, because of this, we had an excellent opportunity to see how the resort is run by Resort Quest vs. V.I. How a room is furnished including the type of deck furniture that comes with it, the type of toiletries and bath towels, and whether or not you get maid service has everything to do with the company that owns the unit.
The Resort Quest unit was very nice. It had carpeting throughout the unit which was unusual but welcome. The furnishings were basic "beach decor". Kitchen appliances were a little outdated but no big deal. The toiletries were above average and the towels were thick and fluffy. It had daily maid service. And the unit was very spacious. Two T.V.s and one DVD player. Patio. A/C. Washer & Dryer. All in all, a lovely unit. The only complaint I had about this unit was that it was on the ground floor and in my opinion, any unit on the ground floor lacks privacy. The only other thing about Resort Quest rooms is that they charge a hefty fee to make any phone calls from the unit, even local calls! However, this wasn't a problem in our case, because we just used our cell phones. Also, if you are a Resort Quest guest, you can avail yourself of the concierge and he/she will make any reservations for you, so you don't ever need to make a local call.
When we were finally moved into our "real" room (a Vacation International-owned room), it, too, was nice but not as nice as the Resort Quest unit. We had an ocean view one bedroom so we had the privacy I require. The view was incredible and, frankly, I wouldn't want an ocean front room. It's a lot more interesting when you can see the ponds and palm trees with the ocean in the near distance. No carpeting in this unit. No daily maid service. The toiletries were very basic and I didn't use them. And the towels were rough and "scratchy" compared to the RQ towels. There is no A/C in any V.I. unit. Surprisingly, the appliances were better than the Resort Quest appliances but only marginally. There was a washer & dryer in this unit, too, so I assume every unit at the Papakea comes equipped with a washer & dryer which is very nice. It also had a DVD player and two T.V.s. Overall, the room was pretty decent and if I hadn't seen the Resort Quest room, I wouldn't have known there was anything better at the resort. The one plus of staying in a V.I. room is that local calls are free. But big deal. We had our cell phones. I don't believe, however, you can use the concierge if you are a V.I. guest. And any maintenance or maid issues must be dealt with via phone call to an off-site office. Basically, if your unit is owned by anyone other than Resort Quest, the management on-site at the Papakea wants nothing to do with you. (On-site management is Resort Quest only.)
The grounds themselves were superb. Two putting greens. Two swimming pools. Chaise lounges dot the lawn right by the ocean which offers a great view and they are never crowded. When I looked at other resorts in the area, they are all high-rise and the grounds are limited compared to the size of Papakea's grounds.
All in all, it's a very low-key resort that caters to families. My only complaint is that there is no restaurant on the premises. However, you can walk one or two resorts down and find restaurants. Besides that, we always go grocery shopping during the first day of any trip and stock our unit for the week so we are not "restaurant dependent."
Tiki torches are lit throughout the property each night. And there are huge koi ponds just loaded with fish. Very idyllic setting.
We definitely intend to return to the Papakea but will make sure we book a Resort Quest room next time. I was told during check out that oftentimes, V.I. guests who are staying for 3 weeks are made to switch their room two or three times. The whole point of staying in a condo. is to make it as much like home as possible including being able to unpack your stuff. Anyway, Resort Quest is on top of their game and since they own 70% of the units at the Papakea, you can't go wrong booking through them plus they offer a discount for staying multiple nights.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A garden paradise on "The Magic Isle." This picturesque oceanfront resort is nestled amid 13 acres of lush tropical landscaping and expansive lawns bordered by flower-lined paths. The resort offers a variety of on-site amenities and activities - with restaurants, galleries and shops of Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach just moments away. Facilities Use and Cleaning Fee: A daily facilities use fee and a one-time housekeeping fee $89 (plus tax) will apply. Daily housekeeping is available for an additional fee. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aston At Papakea Hotel Lahaina
- Resortquest Papakea Resort
- Papakea Resort Maui
- Papakea Maui
- Aston At Papakea Resort Maui/Lahaina