Upon accepting a recent assignment, I found myself exploring Maui, Hawaii and getting to call it work. Tough gig, huh? I traveled with folks who have a much easier time getting to Hawaii from where they live on the West Coast than say from where I live in Louisville, Kentucky. Flights are downright stupid expensive and for many of the people in my area, Hawaii is a bucket list vacation and what a bucket list destination it is.
The area of Maui that I spent the bulk of my time exploring was Ka’anapali, home to fantastic resorts, memorable activities, scrumptious restaurants and unforgettable people.
Oh my, the people, in fact, one of my travel buddies, Dia of The Deal Mommy was on the trip with me and it was like we both had the same thought, at seemingly exactly the same time. You see, we had each visited Hawaii before, and neither of us left with a solid feeling of being blowing away by the previous visits.
That all changed for both of us on this particular trip. We both finally got “why Hawaii” in fact, she wrote about it on her site. You can check out that article here. She explains it far better than I ever could.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I feel like I can share about Maui better than I’ve ever been able to before.
Now, that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to what’s important. Where to stay on Maui!
Where to stay on Maui
The Ka’anapali area of Maui is home to a wide variety of hotels from 4-star luxury hotels down to hotels that have families returning year after year first with their kids, now with their grandkids. Hotels that tell a story if you will.
I was fortunate enough to get to stay in two different hotels during my time on Maui, both were Westin brands. One was the Westin Nanea, the newest property in the area, that has an ownership program in addition to the traditional hotel style rentals. The other was the Westin Maui Resort and Spa, which is an all hotel room property, that is a bit more centrally located, while still feeling removed from the hustle and bustle.
Let’s break down the two properties:
The Westin Nanea for sure has the ‘fresher’ feel of the two properties, at the time that I stayed, it had been open for just 3 months, opening July of 2017.
The property consists of all resort villas, with the smallest being a one bedroom villa, featuring a full kitchen, living room. All of these style villas go up to a 3 bedroom.
I was lucky enough to have a 2 bedroom, resort view villa. I am not sure why I needed one but, the option was there for a second bedroom! Hands down, my favorite feature of the villa was my bathtub, it was just what I needed after my very long flight.
The Nanea also has a swimming pool area for kids that might be my most favorite set up of all time. There is a sandy bottom, with water features, but enough standing water for kids to feel like they are doing more than just running through sprinklers. Additionally, that area also has a water slide that is tame enough for parents to feel comfortable but not so big that it parents have to go up and down with the kids.
The bigger pool has a few chairs that you are going to want to spend your entire day occupying. These lounge chairs are in just a few inches of water so that you can stick your feet in when you get hot. Seriously, it was my version of heaven.
This property had different classes of rooms, so be aware as you are booking, come some with daily cleaning service while others don’t.
The Westin Maui Resort and Spa
This resort is situated right next door to Whaler’s Village, a shopping area with restaurants and a wide variety of shops from Louis Vuitton to the ABC Shop. It is close enough to the spots that you will want to visit while you are staying on Maui.
The lobby of the Westin Maui Resort and Spa was my favorite, it like many other Hawaiian hotels, the Nanea included is open air. However, this particular lobby has a waterfall feature, the sound instantly relaxed me and I enjoyed the bit of time that I spent in the chairs in this area.
But, let’s get down to the rooms. The views are amazing, but the rooms themselves are small. I was in a King room. To be honest with you, I can’t really imagine having two full sized beds in the room. I guess what you have to weigh in making your decision on hotels, is the amount of time that you anticipate spending in the hotel room. If you think that you will shower and sleep in the room, then you are likely good. If you are the type of traveler who spends a bit more time in your hotel room, then you might find yourself wishing for just a bit more space.
There are quite a few pools at the hotel as well as some waterslides, however, if you are looking for a shallower type area for smaller kids, I didn’t see one. However, I did see an adults only pool which made this child-free mama happy, it was great to sit in a quite, splash-free area to read a book!
Additional Hotels in the Ka’anapali Maui area
While these hotels were the only ones that I had a privilege to experience, my other friends gave their thoughts on their respective hotels and you can read more about them in this post on TravelingMom.
Have you visited Maui before? If so, which area did you visit?
Disclosure: The Ka’anapali Beach Resort Association and several of its member hotels, restaurants, and activity providers hosted me on my most recent trip to Maui. As always, all opinions are my own.