by Lissa Poirot
Situated in Napili Bay, Napili Kai is a traditional Hawaiian resort spread across 10 beachfront acres. The resort is blended into the lush Lahaina environment, with 11 low-rise plantation-style buildings housing 163 oceanview guestrooms, studios and suites, many of which have full kitchens.
Originally opened in 1960, Napili Kai decided from its start to keep things minimal and intimate. No buildings are more than two stories in height, and instead of offering clubs for families and kids to separate, the resort prides itself on providing a quiet reprieve for guests who truly want to spend time together. Four swimming pools, a long stretch of beach, and onsite dining is simply enough for the guests of Napili Kai, many of whom include the high-powered and celebrities blending in quietly with families as they play board games and enjoy rousing competitions like the Putting Party that takes place in the heart of the resort. It’s old-fashioned, good fun paired with an energetic and welcoming staff that are the reason 65 percent of guests return year after year.
Our Editor Loves
- Old Hawaii feel in quiet cove
- One- and two-bedroom suites
- Kids 12 and younger stay and eat free
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
Rooms & Rates
Napili Kai provides 163 guestrooms in a choice of traditional hotel room, or studio or one- and two-bedroom suites. Nearly all of the accommodations feature an ocean view, and all have private lanais. Rooms feature flat-screen TV's, DVD players and complimentary Wi-Fi. Cribs are available upon request.
This choice of accommodations is a traditional hotel room with one king bed or two twins and a queen sofa bed. The room accommodates up to three people and includes a mini-fridge and coffee maker. These rooms are available with garden or ocean views.
Studios may accommodate up to three in one large room with a king or two twin beds. Suites come with a fully equipped kitchenette with a full fridge. Keaka Family Studios are available with a king or two twins with a queen sofa bed and can accommodate up to four people with children 12 and younger. Studios offer garden or ocean views, or beachfront or oceanfront options.
These accommodations offer oceanview, oceanfront or beachfront locations and can accommodate up to five people. These rooms offer a king and two twin beds or a king and queen sofa bed, and may offer a second bathroom. They are also outfitted with fully equipped kitchenettes with full refrigerators.
Accommodating up to seven people, these suites provide two separate bedrooms, as well as sofa beds in the living areas, with a number of bedding configurations. Available in garden view, ocean view, or oceanfront locations, they offer two bathrooms and a fully equipped kitchenette with full refrigerators, too.
These special suites are connecting rooms to create two- or three-bedroom suite options, with connecting lanais. The rooms may be booked as one for a guaranteed connection, and feature ocean views. Room configurations include king or two twin beds or one queen with a twin sofa bed. The largest three-bedroom grouping can hold 10 family members. Rooms offer mini-fridges and coffee makers.
I booked this trip through Costco Travel. The Resort is all that was promised. Several clear water pools, with chairs that overlook the beach and bay. Huge Hot Tub. Large beach area, Resort provides chairs and towels. The ocean view rooms have a large private lanai, that blocks the wind and rain. Nice outdoor furniture also visitors to sit outside and enjoin the bay. We took advantage of the spa services and had one of the best massages we have ever had. This property provides a variety of daily events planned each day of the week. The parking is close to the rooms which is a nice feature. Staff was helpful and prompt. A wide variety of flowers align the entire property.
We loved this hotel and will stay here again when we next return to Maui. The rooms are spacious, and the beach is practically outside your door. We did not give this resort 5 stars, because of the waiters on the terrace. On the terrace you do not need reservations - first come, first serve. We ate there on two occasions and found them to be unprofessional, harried and rude. The inside waitstaff was much better. I complained about the service and was told that there is a high turnover of the waiters. We had friends that stayed at this hotel one year ago, they had the same complaints about the waiters.
Kids' activities are provided (at no charge) from mid-June through mid-August, Christmas and Spring Break/Easter for children ages 6 to 11. The resort offers free shuffleboard, checkerboard, Ping Pong, croquet, Bocce and weekly cultural activities, such as lei-making.
The resort's main pool is situated between the Honolua and Lahaina buildings and near Napili Beach. The pool is adjacent to putting greens. The Lani Pool Deck and Hanki-Panki Whirlpool are considered quiet pools for adult use. There are also pools near Puna Point and Puna 2.
This pool/beachside location provides free beach and sports equipment to guests, and also serves coffee, lattes, milkshakes, smoothies and traditional Hawaiian ice.
The resort is located adjacent to Kapalua's tennis courts, and Napili Kai guests are welcome to play the courts for a fee.
Kapalua features two golf courses adjacent to Napili Kai, and guests are welcome to play at a special, discounted rate.
Sea House Restaurant
The resort's only restaurant has been a staple for more than 50 years. The restaurant provides breakfast (7 to 11 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), dinner (5:30 to 9 p.m.) and snacks (2 to 5 p.m.). Kids 12 and younger can dine free with an adult purchasing an adult entree. Blackout dates apply through the winter holidays. A kids' menu is available and includes dishes such as pancakes for breakfast and burgers, hot dogs, BBQ ribs and pizza for lunch and dinner. All items on the kids' menu are $7 each. High chairs are available upon request.
There are four complimentary barbeque areas on the property for guests to use.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
Napili Kai is one of the few resorts on the island that does not charge a resort fee. Here, parking is free, Wi-Fi is free, beach gear is free, and kids 12 and younger eat free with a paying adult. When the Keiki Club program is offered (seasonally), it is also free to guests.
Washer and dryer facilities are located on the property with complimentary laundry detergent.
For guests arriving or departing before check-in and check-out time, a hospitality suite is available with a shower and changing area so guests can enjoy the beach and facilities.
The Art of Smart Timing
As is the case with most Maui resorts, high season is during the winter holidays, Easter and spring break and summer. The resort offers more for families during these high periods, but rates are also higher and the island becomes more crowded. However, Napili Kai's intimate resort never feels crowded, even during its high season.
Napili Kai is located 35 miles from Kahului Airport, but travel time to the resort from the airport is about 50 minutes. Taxis will run around $120 and airport shuttles (with other hotel stops) will run around $75.
Guests will want to have a rental car to visit other areas of Maui. Napili Kai is an 11-acre resort with only one restaurant and snack bar and only one clothing boutique. Kapalua Resort is adjacent to the resort and offers more dining options. Kaanapali Resort, which offers more shopping, dining, golf and activities, is five miles south of Napili Kai.
For Mom and Dad
Every Monday, mom and dad can meet other new guests at the Adult Putting Party on the putting green with 50-cent drinks. Mai Tai parties are held every Wednesday night, as well.