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La Jolla Mom

Review: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali

Our stay was hosted by Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Families who prefer the amenities of a luxury hotel will find our host, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, an excellent choice for a family vacation at Kaanapali Beach Resort. Maui is an incredibly popular vacation destination from Southern California so I know quite a few people who have stayed here and shower the same accolades that I’m about to.

Read on to learn what you need to know before booking the resort.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa Location

hyatt regency maui resort spa orchids

The resort is located on 40 gorgeous beachfront acres and one of the five hotels in Kaanapali Beach Resort, a 3-miles stretch of family-friendly beach that was once the vacation spot of Hawaiian royalty.

Steps from Whalers Village

We did not walk to Whalers Village where restaurants, shops, an ABC store, the Whale Museum and more are located from the Hyatt, mostly because we’d already been and I couldn’t tear my 7-year-old away from the resort. However, it’s probably about a 15-minute walk.

Minutes from Downtown Lahaina

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 a designated outing here because I could have used more time to explore the shops and restaurants.

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. Rooms at Hyatt Maui have an empty mini fridge and there’s a convenient mini market inside the resort with snacks, sodas, prepackaged sandwiches and more so stopping along the way for food isn’t really necessary.

Wildlife Everywhere

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort Spa Penguins

Upon stepping into the open-air lobby heaving with gorgeous orchids and tropical greenery, exotic birds may (literally) welcome you to the resort. Nearby, African penguins waddle around their enclosure drawing tons of attention as gigantic koi swim near by—they are too cute. I think we came home with over 100 penguin photos alone. Morning feedings are quite the spectacle of cute and kids can help feed the koi.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort Spa black swans

Swans, flamingos, ducks and other birds wander the lake area. Take the Tuesday wildlife tour to learn more about the animals and how they are cared for.

Our Contemporary, Hawaiian-Style Room

hyatt regency maui room

Overlooking the pool and the ocean, our room in the Napili Tower was an easy place to pass the time. One queen and one double fit nicely into a 450ish square foot room with an empty mini fridge (always appreciated), in-room coffee, a sizable desk, walk-in closet and a private lanai with seating where I powered out some work. We were so busy that the TV was barely turned on, but it suited our needs.

Turn-down service is available by request. Cheerful, uncluttered, Hawaiian-style decor created a comfortable vibe. My only complaint was that our shower was a bit small, but it wasn’t a big deal.

Regency Club Level

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort Spa Regency Club

As fans of club level rooms for family travel, this Regency Club did not disappoint. Open for a decent buffet breakfast of one hot dish, cereals, fruit, pastries and more… it’s a great way to start the day. Light snacks and plenty of coffee, soda and other drinks are on offer throughout the day. A buffet of appetizers and reasonably-priced wine and cocktails round-out the evenings.

The true value of this Regency Club lies in the knowledge of the dedicated concierge and other helpful staff. They’ve been at it for a long time and know so, so much about the island. We struck a number of conversations with staff regarding our itinerary and then some. Always analyze the cost of a Regency Club room versus what your family may normally normally spend without it.

Camp Hyatt Kids Club

My daughter is hit or miss when it comes to kids’ clubs but checked into Camp Hyatt full of enthusiasm. Days are themed and their task was to photograph wildlife and other things around the resort with a disposable camera that we developed at home. They played games, ate lunch and ended the day swimming in the pool (after a Haagen-Daz snack) with their counselor. I ran into them at the pool. Normally, she’ll beg to be released from whatever she’s doing but stayed at camp while I read by the pool until camp finished. Send your kids to Camp Hyatt while you relax at the spa or take an SUP lesson!

Of Water Slides, Waterfalls and Fun

hyatt regency maui resort spa keiki pool

I nearly died when my shy 7-year-old insisted on plunging down the Hyatt’s two-story water slide. I finally caved but insisted that I go down first in order to catch her if need be.

It was dark and fast. By the time I hit the pool there was no way for me to tell her not to do it. She came flying down like a crazed loon crashing lopsided into the pool, all limbs flailing. It was then I knew I had an adrenaline junky on my hands. She went down 27 more times that day alone. The good news is that treading water near the slide’s exit into the pool burned off many tropical drinks.

hyatt regency resort and spa lahaina pool

Though it looks like one gigantic pool, it’s considered two. The Lahaina Pool (above, early in the morning) draws a kidless crowd while the Napili Pool has the water play area and little water slide for young kids, the big water slide, a sizable sandy beach (wear shoes as the sand gets hot), Kaanapali’s only swinging ropes bridge and plenty of lounging. The Grotto Bar divides the two pools though you may swim between them through the bar area and its bordering waterfalls.

You bet drinks and food can be delivered to your poolside chair. During peak times, it can be tough to flag someone down so merely step into the Grotto to order if need be. Poolside plastic cups are compostable and speaking of going green, the hotel figured out how to heat the pool using hot energy generated by their air conditioners.

Awesome Hotel Dining

kaanapali dining with kids at japengo

In addition to Regency Club dining, highlights included:

  • In-room dining
  • Japengo for Maui’s best sushi
  • Umalu by the pool for salads
  • Halona Kai for quick drinks and snacks during the day, including Starbucks coffee
  • Son’z Steakhouse for a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list and excellent steaks
  • Swan Court Breakfast for a nice buffet to enjoy right next to the swans
hyatt regency maui resort spa swan breakfast

In-line with the hotel’s eco-friendly practices and Maui’s thriving local food scene, a pretty garden on property supplies herbs, peppers and more to the kitchen.

hyatt regency maui resort spa chefs garden

Hungry? Also see my post about our favorite things to eat in Kaanapali. We ate so much goodness.

Even More Hotel Amenities

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort Marilyn Monroe Spa

From water sports to a Marilyn Monroe Spa, this is a hotel you don’t have to leave. They also offer:

  • A gorgeous spa. I did not have time to book a spa treatment on this trip but I did take a tour and loved it. Of course, many rooms and lounging areas have ocean views but this full service spa also performs beachside treatments in designated cabanas. Nails, makeup and hair is done in the spa’s Glamour Room, perfect for readying a girls night our or bridal party.
  • Fitness center with classes.
  • Cultural resort activities including lei making and hula lessons.
  • Snorkeling, boogie boarding, SUP and scuba diving lessons.
  • Championship tennis courts.
  • Nearby golf.
  • Tour of the Stars rooftop stargazing. This was a huge highlight for us and deserved its own post (click the link).
  • A Macy’s department store on the property full of bathing suits and resort wear.

Drums of the Pacific Luau

I can’t emphasize how convenient it is to attend a luau steps from your hotel room, especially when on a family vacation in Maui. My daughter and I enjoyed Drums of the Pacific, our very first luau, from the live performance to sampling local Hawaiian dishes. Click the link to read about our experience.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, if you came to the resort and never left, you’d still feel like you had a true Hawaiian holiday. This well-rounded resort suits a number of travel styles but your kids are going to love this place, especially the wildlife and pool area. It’s a busy resort though so you’ll need to keep an eye on them, especially around the pool.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa
200 Nohea Kai Drive
Lahaina, HI 96761

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