Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hyatt Regency Maui at Kaanapali

Ka'anapali is a very interesting part of Maui. It was the first resort community development in North America comprising luxurious and grand hotel and condominium properties along the beach and around two golf courses. Major hotel chains include Sheraton, Westin, Marriott and Hyatt.
It's a challenge walking along the lovely oceanfront walkway without being asked to chat about a timeshare unit!
The new Hyatt Timeshare project has its own pool and grounds that are just being finished
While much of the original development is becoming somewhat dated, the Westin, Marriott and Hyatt are all building and actively marketing....very actively marketing... new timeshare developments adjacent to their properties.

The resort community has various retail developments including Whalers Village, a compact, pedestrian oriented outdoor shopping area with restaurants. The two golf courses are Ka'anapali Kai and Royale golf courses, though reasonably well-maintained are over-priced and not that interesting. For some reason, the Kai course does not have any comfort 'stations' on the course. Just port-a-potties.
The Hyatt Regency has over 800 rooms and suites in three 1970s-style towers set within 40 acres of lavish gardens.
The indoor outdoor lobby atrium is grand, like many other Hyatt Regency hotels. The hotel complex has a full-service spa, 5 on-site restaurants and a water park.  We ate at the Japengo and Son'z Maui Swan Court restaurants and both were good. The service was particularly enjoyable, and the wine list, especially in Son'z caters to big spenders. I wonder how many bottles of $500+ wine they really sell? :-)
Our oceanfront room was well laid out with a king bed offering a view of the palm trees and a separate sitting area. The hotel info says it is 451 sq.ft.
An added overlooked the Drums of the Pacific Lu’au traditional Polynesian dance and music production, so we did not need to pay to experience it.
A breakfast buffet is served each morning in the very attractive indoor-outdoor Swan Court restaurant with its swans and waterfalls. It's best to ask for a table away from the kitchen.

We enjoyed the Hyatt but probably would have enjoyed it even more had we not spent four nights at the Fairmont first. The Hyatt was a bit more expensive during the post-Thanksgiving/pre-Christmas period but in reviewing hotel ratings, I note on the Fairmont is rated 5 star and the Hyatt as 4 star. I think this is reflective of the overall standard of amenities. The Fairmont has only suites, not just rooms, and it recently underwent a $70 million renovation. While the Hyatt facilities have been renovated and redecorated since it was built, they could improve the facilities, especially the hotel room bathrooms, if ours was typical.

Although the only photo of a hotel room bathroom on the website looks like this, the typical bathroom looks like this.
There is no separate shower stall, and the tub/toilet area is quite small and seems dark due to the 1970s travertine. (I suspect that the photo on the website is of a renovated bathroom in one of the renovated suites. But it is not likely what you will be getting).  I think the hotel should clarify this, so others won't be disappointed.I would also recommend that they replace the shower curtain with a European-style swinging glass door, and improve the lighting. I have many other suggestions which I will be happy to share.

Overall, the Fairmont Kea Lani and Hyatt Regency are both beautiful properties with much to offer if you are looking for a resort, rather than a condominium unit for your stay. Ka'anipali is a different place than Wailea. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you are considering a trip to Maui and are not sure what to expect, drop me a line. I'll be happy to offer further observations.

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