If you’re thinking about heading to Maui with kids, staying in a luxury condo resort like Kaanapali Alii has huge benefits, as we learned during a recent hosted stay. Kaanapali Alii offers a nice blend of accommodations that are four times the size of standard hotels rooms with conveniences offered by a hotel—all in a gorgeous and family-friendly part of Hawaii.
Kaanapali Alii’s Awesome Beachfront Location
As the name implies, Kaanapali Alii is one of the six condo and vacation rental resorts in the beachfront Maui paradise otherwise known as Kaanapali Resort. It is conveniently located steps from the sand, in between The Westin Maui Resort & Spa and Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club. These beautiful beaches were once a vacation destination of Hawaiian royalty for a very good reason.
Steps from Whalers Village
With a slowish-walking 7-year-old who liked to stop and check out the stone statues along the beach, it took less than 10 minutes to walk to Whalers Village where restaurants, shops, an ABC store, the Whale Museum and more are located.
Minutes from Downtown Lahaina
Because it was difficult to pry my daughter off the beach, we stopped in Lahaina on our way back to Kahalui Airport to see the Banyan Tree and walk around quickly. I do wish we would have planned time to shop a bit and have a meal in town because it’s so close.
From Kahalui Airport
Remember, there’s a direct flight from San Diego to Maui on Alaska Airlines. We rented a car at Kahului Airport (which took no effort at all) and set off on the scenic 45-minutes drive to Kaanapali, stopping in Lahaina to stock up on snacks at Safeway along the way. I knew we’d have a full kitchen and that I’d probably want a glass of wine at sunset.
Luxury Condo Amenities
A Luxury Condo with Tons of Space
Our roughly 1500-square-foot, one-bedroom condo felt enormous and like an upscale home with plush furnishings and tasteful decor. It wasn’t really a one-bedroom condo though. An enclave off the living area, near a full bathroom, had a queen sized bed that my daughter slept in. Though the living area and enclave are open to the kitchen and dining area, I could still mill about the condo in dim light after my daughter went to bed without bothering her. The master bedroom had a closet, sitting area, TV and full bathroom.
Fully-Stocked Kitchen with Full-Sized Appliances
The kitchen was stocked with almost everything you’d need from Pyrex baking dishes to a blender. You could comfortably cook an entire meal in it—just like at home—and clean-up using the full-sized dishwasher. Ours had a single oven with a four-burner stove and large fridge and freezer. The condos also have a washer and dryer, which is so convenient during family beach vacations full of sand, sunscreen and chlorine.
The presence or absence of coffee can make or break a stay for me so I was grateful that Kona coffee was replenished each day.
No Need to Bring Supplies
Everything you need is there from dish soap to laundry detergent. Conditioning shampoo, soap and lotion were waiting in each bathroom. I’d suggest bringing conditioner, if you need it.
I had no trouble with the WiFi and it was fast. Noise from the air conditioner might bother light sleepers, but with ear plugs I was fine and my daughter didn’t seem to notice it.
Housekeeping also comes once a day though you may request turn-down service, too. Bellman are available to help with luggage and ours also gave us a pretty nice tour of the property on the way to our condo.
Kaanapali Alii Dining
There isn’t a restaurant on the property but you won’t really miss it with signing privileges at the Westin restaurants right next door and plenty of restaurants within walking distance.
Dine in Your Luxury Condo
With a fully-stocked kitchen, a sundry store on property (that sells wine, too), and nearby grocery stores, it’s possible to eat more or less like you do at home and avoid overdoing it by eating out three meals a day. As a hotel breakfast lover, I have to tell you that I felt a world of difference (in a good way) by eating more or less my regular breakfast while on vacation.
Kaanapali Alii’s butler provisioning service delivers groceries to your condo prior to arrival, like the Maui Mornings and Maui Sunset Grill combination pictured below. Not pictured is the amazing local ahi that I put in the fridge and there’s bacon hiding an amazing cut of steak.
Maui gold pineapple, delicious papaya and more deliciousness gave us an opportunity to sample local food–there are 800 farms on Maui after all.
Kaanapali Alii’s Grill Master
My daughter and I were traveling without our usual grill master, my husband, but we wanted to experience Kaanapali Alii’s Grill Master service. I was thrilled that since we arrived to the barbecue area early, the Grill Master on duty had us sit down and enjoy ourselves while he cooked our steak and ahi to total perfection. I mean, I couldn’t do this.
Grill Masters arrive with spices and cooking recommendations to the oceanfront barbecues at 5:00 p.m. Plenty of seating is nearby should guests want to dine by the pool instead of in their condos.
Order In-Room Dining
On the nights you don’t feel like cooking, in-room dining is available via the Westin, Paradise Grill and Round Table Pizza delivery. Menus are available inside your condo booklet.
Walk to Whalers Village
Convenience food like Subway and a new Ruby’s Diner are there as well as beachfront sit-down options such as Hula Grill, Leilani’s on the Beach and Maui Fish and Pasta. I heard the acai bowl at Island Coffee is amazing but didn’t have a chance to try it. The shave ice cart in the courtyard is pretty delicious, too.
Amenities on Kaanapali Beach
The beach right in front of Kaanapali Alii is amazing for kids. The water is warm and though the waves look bigger than they are as they crash on to the shore, they’re so incredibly gentle that I could let my daughter boogie board without much worry. The water was also crystal clear. The air and water were warm enough in June to head to the beach at 8:00 a.m., which is what we did to avoid too much sun.
Boogie Boards and Snorkels for Rent
I paid $8 for the first day and $2 each additional day (each) to rent boogie boards for us at the Kaanapali Alii sundry store. You can rent snorkels there, too, as well as arrange outings with the concierge. I was happy to have a boogie board for myself so that I could float around in the ocean as she boogie boarded back and forth to shore.
Do Reserve a Beach Cabana
Just $50 a day gives you a beach cabana from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., allowing you to come and go as you please. The canopy provides much-needed shade and it was nice to curl up together in comfy digs. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available for guests to use. A beach butler will set them up and take them away as needed.
Swimming Pool Area
You’ll be given pool towel cards, which is pretty standard practice in Hawaii, to collect towels at the pool. It’s here that you reserve beach cabanas, rent SUP boards, grab a Haagen Das ice cream bar and reserve other beach activities like snorkel cruises and the like. A covered patio with TVs was showing the World Cup near the jacuzzi.
A quieter pool area for adults is a bit off to the side and there is also a children’s wading pool. There isn’t much shade around the pool so get there early, if you can. The pool isn’t massive like the pools at nearby resorts though all were enjoying it.
Kaanapali Alii Guest Activities
There is no resort fee, but in addition to what I have already mentioned, guests also have complimentary use of:
- Fitness center
- Alii Kids Club for ages 6-12 includes activities such as lei making, ukelele lessons, tennis lessons and more
- Free play on three lighted tennis courts
- Alii Spa treatments such as expert massage services including reflexology and “Pohaku” hot stone therapy (fee for treatments apply, of course)
- Yoga on the lawn (additional fee applies)
Good to Know
Kaanapali Alii Is Perfect for Multigenerational Travel
Even if your brood isn’t staying in the same condo, the fact that they have sizable living areas means that you can entertain a group inside your condo with ease. There were tons of grandparents, kids and grandkids enjoying the property together during our stay.
Ground Floor Has Advantages
If you have active kids in tow, though upper floors boast pretty spectacular views of the Kaanapali Beach, consider a ground floor unit that opens up into a grassy area. I noticed kids cartwheeling and kicking around a soccer ball while parents and grandparents inside these units were cleaning up dishes or getting ready for the day.
Luxury Condos Allow Better Budget Control
I was blown away by how low our daily spend was at Kaanapali Alii. I attribute it to having our own snacks and drinks at the ready as well as eating breakfast in the condo. And, we weren’t incurring the daily charges hotels sometimes have for WiFi, parking, etc.
Kaanapali Alii’s Set-Up Is Easy With Kids
Access to condos from the beach and pool area doesn’t require hauling wet kids through a large hotel complex or indoor lobby area. The walkways from the beach and pool lead directly to the condo building entrances and the elevators are right there. It’s very easy and quick to go from condo to beach and back multiple times throughout the day.
Parking Is Easy
When you need your car, it’s a pretty short walk to the structure. No valet needs to get it and you can return to park directly in the lot. Parking is also complimentary.
We Would Stay at Kaanapali Alii Again
It’s hard to ignore the convenience offered by a luxury condo resort like this. And, when I asked readers on Facebook if they prefer luxury hotels or luxury condos for family travel to places like Kaanapali, the answer was luxury condo by quite a stretch. So, we’re not the only converts.
Also, quite a few people I know have actually stayed at Kaanapali Alii as kids or recently as adults and everyone only has positive things to say about their experiences.
50 Nohea Kai Drive
Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761
US and Canada Toll Free: (866) 664-6410
*Thank you to Kaanapali Alii and Kaanapali Resort or hosting our stay. All opinions are my own, per usual.