Royal Lahaina Resort, Ka'anapali, Maui


The property, some 27 acres, is owned by the Hogan family (Pleasant Holidays) and is undergoing a major revitalization which will be ongoing for another year. Recently reopened, the location is just north of Black Rock, along a beautiful.5 mile long beach that is nearly exclusive to the property. The beach in front of the hotel is long and wide, and a winner, and the oceanview rooms have stunning views, especially from higher floors (6 and above)

This property is impressive – with a new WOW factor. The old 12-story Lahaina Kai Tower was recently gutted to the four corners and entirely rebuilt, with larger rooms and many suites (now a total of 330 rooms). The decor is clean, contemporary and Hawaiian, with lots of dark woods, architecturally designed and custom crafted furniture, brightly colored fabrics, and large windows/doors covered with wooden shutters. The new Sealy Presidential Diamond Suite Plush Beds include 360-thread count linens. Beds are high enough off the ground that luggage can be conveniently stored beneath them. The entertainment system is up-to-date with large, 32"" hi-definition flat screen TVs and an enhanced Sharper Image sound system; with ZipConnect for MP3s and iPods and cordless phones; wireless high-speed internet is standard in each room. Marble counter bathroom areas.

Baths are small in standard rooms, but adequate and well designed. Two-bedded rooms have open vanities, while king-bedded rooms have louvred-screened vanity area. There are many convenient combinations of one and two bedroom units, connecting to a standard room and everywhere we looked the view was good – ocean front, ocean view or mountain. Each room had a small balcony with two chairs and small table. The owners spent over $90,000 per room on the renovations. Rates were starting at just over $200 per night at reopening, and are a steal for what you get (as far as rooms go).

The property also included 22 stand-alone cottages, beach and garden front; each consisting of four regular rooms on the ground floor and a large, one bedroom, two bath suite on the second. These cottages were “old Hawaii” in style and they’re “funky.” All are being replaced with one to five story villa units that are being sold from $2million+.

While the newly renovated rooms might well represent the best deal in Kaanapali right now, if not on the entire island, the downside is that the lobby floor and restaurants had not been renovated and still have that 20-year old look. We had a rather extensive buffet brunch in one of the two restaurants – the room was plain, low-key, overlooking the ocean. The new chef here is Jayson Otani, formerly from Roy's and the popular Sansei restaurants. There are three pools on the property and 11 tennis courts. An Italian restaurant, Basil & Tomatoes, is on property. (Diamond Jim's is closed.)

A new lobby/atrium will be built, and the current lobby will become a large new spa/fitness area. The property has a $16 daily resort fee that includes parking, two mai tais, in-room safe, free access to local and toll free phone numbers, a daily newspaper and in-room coffee/tea service.

Room rates were from $200 – $280, suites from $750 – $850. Suites have French bathtubs and large bathrooms. Connecting rooms can be guaranteed for a fee. Ask for 6th floor or higher with full ocean views!