Hotel Spotlight: Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, Maui, Hawaii

The air is sweeter in Maui. I am sure of it. It’s as if the sugar cane fields enrich the clouds with sugar and then the trade winds blow small raindrops of sweet precipitation down onto west Maui. Everything is green. The air is fresh. The sun lingers high above the white sand and if you are lucky, you see it set from your lanai at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel.

Behind you, clouds hug the West Maui Mountains and in the distance, Molokai and Lanai frame the setting sun for an image that imprints in your mind’s eye for an eternity.  That is why you travel to Hawaii and that is why you stay in West Maui.

When you walk out to the beach from the grounds at Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui Hawaii you set your eye upon a stretch of sand that stretches across a landscape of picture postcard perfection. Humble waves efficiently rearrange sand castles, gentle swells hoist paddlers near the shore and winds coming across the island sway the coconut palms.  Outside the resort grounds, Hawaii reacts to the environment as it has for lifetimes.

The resort, however, reacts and molds and changes yet it stays the same. This is not a luxury resort by any means but it has the customer service of the best hotels on the planet. It has manicured grounds to rival the best on the islands and the people of the KBH are familiar. You’ll recognize the smiles, you’ll feel the warmth in their love for their land and you’ll understand why the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel is often called the most Hawaiian Hotel in Hawaii.

Stay. While the rooms at the Kaanapali Hotel in Maui have been renovated recently it does not magically elevate this hotel to a luxury class. That is not to say that this hotel is not well appointed, it is just stated to relay a measured enthusiasm for what you get in room options. The rooms are spacious yet can feel dated. The furnishings are upgraded but by no means luxury. I may continue to preface every statement with an explanation to dissuade you from thinking that the property is a luxury resort but I do that purposefully.

This is not a lavish resort with marble floors and polished art surrounded by formal greetings and subdued enthusiasm. The Kaanapali Beach Hotel is a place where aloha resides. Smiles are in abundance. Greetings are warm and inviting. The sunlight outside is as bright as the sunshine inside. The intangibles are present at this resort. Personal service, local knowledge, loyal employees and happy guests are in abundance throughout this resort. There is no pretense here, just a love for Hawaii and Hawaiian culture that seeps into your soul when you check-in.


Play. The easiest way to entertain yourself on Kaanapali Beach is with a long day on the sand. Check your schedule at the airport and leave your watch in the hotel room. Grab a mai tai from the bar and sit comfortably under an umbrella. Yes, you could rent a stand-up paddle board and cruise the shore or walk over to the north end of the beach by Black Rock and snorkel but that would defeat the purpose of a relaxing beach vacation in Maui. You could probably get a SCUBA diving lesson in or midday ride on a catamaran but working on your tan would seem like a much better proposition. You could always dig a deep hole in the sand or create a giant hill just to jump off the top. That is what beach days are for.


Eat. Nearby Whaler’s Village is home to a number of restaurants within walking distance of the resort. Have lunch at the Hula Grill and let your feet sink deep into the sand while you have a drink. The Tiki Grill at the hotel serves convenient snacks all day and when combined with a local beer make for a perfect way to accent your beach day. Nearby Lahaina Town has plenty of restaurants to choose from but make sure to check out Aloha Mixed Plate for some genuine local food that will have you speaking pigeon English in no time. Food so good it broke da mouth!

Explore. You’ll hear about the Hana Highway and how it is a difficult drive but you must consider it as a day trip.  The bamboo forest is enchanting and you’ll be greeted with a picturesque waterfall at the end of a moderate hike. The views on the way are worth the drive but make sure to stop at the roadside fruit stands and if you see a sign for a lava tube tour, take it!