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Kaanapali Alii

Kaanapali Alii is a resort on the northwest coast of Maui.

Kaanapali itself is a long strip along a beautiful beach with multiple resorts right next to each other. The resort offer amenities that anyone can indulge in (surf lessons, massage, surfboard/boogie board rentals, kids clubs, etc.). 

The Alii is a group of 4 buildings containing condominiums surrounding a central pool/spa area with direct beach access and its own fitness center.  It has a smaller, quieter feel to it than some of its neighboring resorts. 

Checking in at the Kaanapali Alii was a breeze.

We rented a car from the airport, and had an easy drive to the Alii. Many recommend stopping at Costco’s along the way to stock up on supplies at better prices. We didn’t make time for that and instead stocked up at the onsite store, which has all the basics and snacks at slightly higher prices, as one would expect in a hotel gift shop.

Upon arrival the staff was friendly and welcoming – their reception office is open until 10pm.  They provided us with keys, maps of the resort, and baggage assistance.  Parking is free and convenient right near the condo buildings.

The Condos themselves are very spacious. We had a two bedroom two bathroom with a large modern kitchen (totally stocked with pots, pans, plates, utensils, etc.) opening into a living room, a kitchen table and eating area seating 7 comfortably, and a deck with dining table and two full length chaise that had a partial ocean view.

Our ocean view was wonderful and provided views of the beach and ocean as well as the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. 

I would definitely recommend being up high if possible and if you like drinking coffee looking out at the ocean the partial or full ocean view may well be worth the extra expense. The condos are cleaned daily by a courteous staff who vacuums, cleans, replaces towels, etc.

The resort has a great onsite spa where mom spent a few restful and kid-free hours and pricing for massages and other therapies are very reasonable.

A huge plus of the resort is that the Alii Kids Club for guests ages 6-12 is complimentary. The kids club offers Maui resort activities like include ukulele / Hawaiian culture through music and chant, hula bootcamp, tennis madness, Hawaiian coconut weaving, and mixed flower lei making. The kids loved it!

The whole family enjoyed the beautiful beach, especially our surfing lessons.

The exercise center is located above the parking garage, next to two red clay tennis courts (free to use and instruction with a club pro is available for a fee). The entrée way boasts a lounge area with comfortable chairs and a large flat screen TV. The gym is locked from the outside and requires a room key to get in.

The space is clean and modern with cardio machines looking out the second story window (Stairmasters, elliptical, stationary bikes, and treadmills), a room for stretching and dumbbells, and a room with nautilus-type weight machines.  There are also very nice locker rooms with lockers and a shower. The gym is absolutely beautiful and for those who like working out you will not be disappointed.

The pool is located in the center of the condo buildings.  It is split up into two different areas – an adult only side without any kids running around (a more quiet and tranquil place) and a family side with kids playing.  Both sides offer a nice place to swim and lay in the sun, and both sides have their own large hot tub spa.

The are plenty of lounge chairs and complementary towels at the poolside kiosk. There is easy bathroom access and all the basics you may have forgotten are for sale (hats, sunscreen, etc.).

They offer a reasonable lunch menu as well for poolside dining and have some great snacks as well (popsicles, ice cream bars, etc.).  There is also a shaded area with 3 large flat screen TV’s and comfortable seating for watching sports that is off to the side and in no way detracts from the tranquility of the pool area. 

My only criticism of this area would be the size of the family pool.  It is approximately twelve feet across by 50 feet long.  Not too small for many to enjoy, but lacks some of the amenities we saw at other resorts that admittedly are more expensive...(waterfalls, winding lazy rivers, slides, etc.). 

In Summary, we had a great experience at the Kaanapali Alii.  For us it offered a more affordable way to stay in that beautiful stretch of beach in a condo setting.  For those who want to have more amenities at their finger tips like restaurants, Starbucks, a larger resort style pool, etc., there are multiple competitors on both sides – they are simply more expensive. 

The other resorts also house a lot more people and subsequently have a bit more of a busy, bustling vibe.  For those looking to spend a little less and give up a few of the amenities (all of which are a short walk and available) this is a great choice. We'll definitely be back!

Room/condo rates begin at $425 for a one-bedroom condo.

--Submitted by Andrew Wittenberg, Long Beach, California ER doctor, husband of Posh Martha and daddio to two cool LA kids.

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