by Lissa Poirot
One of the newest properties in Maui is Honua Kai Resort & Spa, located along Kaanapali Beach. Its south building, Hokolani, was constructed in 2009, and its north building, Kona, and lobby were developed in 2010. The 38-acre property is a condominium property, whose owners offer a plethora of accommodations, which range from studio to three-bedroom condos with one to three bathrooms and fully stocked kitchens, dining areas and living spaces. Honua Kai’s management ensures the condos are outfitted with a unique style, such as Viking appliances in the kitchens, so guests never have to settle for second best.
And while it’s a condo property, Honua Kai Resort & Spa certainly looks and feels like a hotel, with four swimming pools, onsite dining, a sandy beach with water sports, an intimate spa, and a fitness room, plus a sense of serenity and luxury. You’ll only feel like you’re at a condo when you visit one of the numerous barbeque areas on the grounds — where families can conjugate and grill — or see other guests walking the halls with arms full of groceries from a trip to the local store. It’s the best of both worlds and a truly relaxing resort.
Our Editor Loves
- New property on Kaanapali Beach
- Accommodations for up to eight
- Kids' pool with sandy beach entry
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Pool
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Honua Kai is a 628-room resort occupying two towers. Three hundred of the condos are studios, while the remaining 328 are a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, available to rent in a hotel-like environment, including daily housekeeping. Each suite features an open floor plan, granite countertops, fully equipped gourmet kitchens, washers and dryers, and contemporary Hawaiian dÃ©cor, often with warm, exotic woods. They are also equipped with flat-screen TV's, wireless Internet service and DVD players. Cribs are available to rent for $50 per day.
Tip: When leaving the airport, 45 minutes from the resort, make a stop at Costco and purchase bulk bottled water, sodas, snacks and other foods, toiletries and needs so you won't need to leave to get items (and you'll save money). Costco even has an area in the front with discounted restaurant and attraction cards; you can save up to 35 percent on your food and fun by purchasing these in advance.
Best for small families, 595-square-foot Studios feature living, sleeping and eating quarters, all in one open space. Suites include one king bed and one queen sofa bed to accommodate four guests. Studio kitchens feature Bosch appliances.
Providing ocean or resort views, One-Bedroom Suites accommodate up to four with one king bed in a separate bedroom and a queen sofa bed in the living room. Suites range between 630 and 750 square feet, feature a large balcony space and have kitchens outfitted with Bosch appliances.
With the exact features of a One-Bedroom Suite, the larger Two-Bedroom Suite (1,100 square feet) offers a second bedroom with a king bed, and can accommodate six.
The largest of the resort's offerings, Three-Bedroom Suites are 1,750 square feet in size and accommodate eight with three king beds and one queen sofa bed. King bedrooms can be changed to hold two twin beds. Three bedrooms often feature Viking appliances in the kitchens and also offer ample balcony space.
This was our first time in Maui and our first time at this resort. We rented via KBM and it was an amazing unit in the Holukalani Tower with an ocean view on the 7th floor. There was construction on the opp side of the property of new Garden Villas but we barely heard anything and was not a distraction. There were some intermittent sewer odors but thats about it. Our 2BR unit was very well appointed and spectacular. The living room was large with the balcony door/window that opens completely! The kitchen was fully stocked. Unit also had a W/D that came in super handy! KBM also provides a beach package of chairs, floaties and boogie boards which was really nice! We loved the main pool at the resort. The beach was nice to but a little hard to swim too much with the reef rocks. The valet or self parking is free too! I would recommend KBM as the property mgmt company to rent from...It comes across a little impersonal after you book but they really did take care of every detail including switching out beds in one of the rooms. The check in was super easy. just show ID to the bellman and get your keys, done. I would definitely return on a future visit or at least KBM again for a rental.
We stayed in the Honua Kai for 9 days with my family, we had a 2 bedroom with Kitchen and a nice ocean view. We went to Dukes restaurant alot for food and drinks and its the only real place to sit and eat on the resort. Just a tip Dukes don't let you call in and pick up the food you have to eat on the premises which is a little annoying especially when you have a young child! The pools were great all very shallow which was good and you can swim all the way up to after 10pm at night. They have BBQ's on the resort which we cooked on July 4th which was very handy, also they have food trucks from 5.30pm nightly at the back of the resort which we gave a go one night. A couple of things I didn't like about the hotel was that the cleaners don't change the beds, we had to call down for them to come back up to the room and the fire alarm test kept coming on 3 times in the night and woke us all up. They only have 1 small lift in the 1 tower which is always busy, we walked through the fire exit steps most of the time. Overall I would give the hotel a 3 star as we were expecting a bit more quality for the price we paid, I think its kid friendly and the pool/garden areas are nice.
The resort is home to four swimming pools, including the kid-favorite activity pool. Here, a Keiki area provides a zero-entry, sandy beach pool for little kids to enjoy safely, while bigger kids will move on to the pool with a waterslide, waterfall and lazy river. The resort also offers a quiet pool for adults and a smaller lap pool, open from 6 to 8 a.m. Poolside cabanas are available for rent. Pool hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hot tubs are also available throughout the Aquatic Playground.
Nestled along Kaanapali North Beach -- one of the best stretches of beach in Maui -- guests can enjoy water activities like snorkeling, boogie boarding and paddle boarding. Equipment is available to rent or purchase. Note: Cabanas and umbrellas are not available for rent on the beach.
Westin Kids Club
Honua Kai does not operate a kids' club, but instead partners with the neighboring Westin Maui for kids to spend mornings, afternoons or full days in a camp-like environment that includes arts and crafts and outdoor play.
The resort offers one onsite restaurant for families and one market for grab-and-go items.
Duke's Beach House
Named for legendary surfer Duke Kahanamoku, Duke's provides a casual atmosphere with a traditional Hawaiian vibe overlooking the ocean. Recently expanded to include covered, open-air seating, Duke's serves breakfast daily from 7:30 to 11 a.m., and lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m, respectively. A kids' Keiki Menu offers grilled cheese, mac and cheese, a cheeseburger, cheese quesadilla, fish and chips, BBQ ribs, grilled fish and more, ranging in price from $6.25 to $13.95.
For grab-and-go breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner items, visit the lobby market, 'Aina Gourmet. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., the market offers seasonal and local items from area farms and businesses. Grab breakfast pastries, salads, sandwiches, fresh fruit and more, and visit when you need to stock your kitchen with a few snacks and treats.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
The resort, like many in Maui, charges a resort fee ($29). This includes parking, Wi-Fi and hotel amenities.
Although the resort does not offer onsite kids' programs and childcare, the concierge will be happy to provide babysitter names through its trusted network.
The resort features a small fitness center that admittedly feels a little claustrophobic to utilize, however, it's expected to undergo an expansion. It currently offers treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, free weights and strength-training equipment.
The Art of Smart Timing
The warm, tropical island weather makes Maui a popular year-round destination. The resort finds Christmas to be its peak season, and owners may be in town, so book ahead if planning to spend the holidays on the island. Spring break and summer months are also busies times on the resort. As an owner resort, many actually use their condos during off-peak times to capitalize on peak seasons, so you may not have too much trouble booking.
The resort is roughly 45 minutes by car from Kahului Airport. The resort does not provide a shuttle service, but island shuttles (SpeediShuttle), rental cars and taxis can get you there.
Honua Kai is situated on North Kaanapali Beach, close enough to enjoy the restaurants and shopping at Kaanapali, but also far enough from the collection of popular high-rises, giving families privacy and a home-away-from-home environment. You may want to rent a car to enjoy the attractions, restaurants and beaches of the island.
For Mom and Dad
Ho'ola Spa, added to the resort in 2013, may only provide four treatment rooms, but size does not matter if it's a relaxing treatment you seek while staying at Honua Kai. Be sure to duck into the Salt Room, where purifying and detoxifying takes place via salt panels with color therapy lighting. Guests of the spa can have 25 minutes free in the Salt Room if they book a treatment. The spa provides full body and massage treatments, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Additionally, golf can be enjoyed at the nearby Royal Kaanapali course, located just outside of the resort. Kapalua also offers two more courses and is about 20 minutes from the resort.