The Westin Ka`anapali Resort Villas is a spectacular property on 26 oceanfront acres located North of Puu Kekaa point with 1021 rooms that have condo like features. The property is a Starwood Vacation Ownership (SVO) resort but you can still reserve rooms like other resorts without being an owner as long as they are available, and they even offer kama`aina rates. One of the first differences you notice is that the rooms are decked out with kitchens, dining tables, chairs, washer, dryers and sofas. The space really ends up feeling more like a home away from home rather than a hotel room.
When choosing a resort for a staycation, I didn’t think that the ability to cook, grocery shop, do laundry, or have a full-size fridge would make a difference, but after staying in one, I really love it. Even if I’m only storing my leftovers from dining downstairs at the resort, the comfort level and the ability to reheat and eat on a table feels luxurious. Angela Nolan, the Area Managing Director for the Westin Ka`anapali Resort Villas says that’s the idea.
“With in-villa kitchens or kitchenettes and washers and dryers, as well as dining options, a full service spa and pool fun, we hope that staycationing kama‘aina feel like The Westin Ka‘anapali Ocean Resort Villas is an extension of their home with resort amenities,” says Nolan.
The resort is comprised of five towers, three of them make up the South property and two in the North. There are six outdoor pools, and on the South side there is a slide. One of the pools has a pirate ship and playground area for children, conveniently located by their Westin Kids Club. The South pool also features shaded gazebos and cabanas, which can really make a pool day with the family seamless. The beach isn’t far either, and we often ran down to dip in the ocean in-between swimming in the pool.
Ocean activities are easy, snorkeling is a must. Out on this north side of Pu`u Keka`a there’s an active reef full of fish and turtles. Outrigger canoe rides, stand-up paddle boards and kayaking are all available here as well.
Of course, the Villas have some irresistible dining options. The Ocean Pool Bar and Grill recently launched the Monday Burger and Brew special that starts at 5:30pm, you can choose from outrageous Wagyu with fried egg and kale kimchi, wild boar with boursin, local beef with a southwestern flair, or the Ni`ihau eland with surfing goat feta and red pepper jam. These are paired with a Maui Brew Company beer for $21.
Pulehu, an Italian Grill announced the appointment of chef de cuisine Alvin Savella, a local West Maui boy, in June and his menu was launched in the fall. Tempting additions like the seared scallops with smoked pork belly and kabocha puree, ahi carpaccio with fennel and garlic aioli, and the Wagyu tomahawk ribeye that features alii mushroom risotto and foie with brussels all form the fine dining experience with Savella’s touch. His sorbet, gelato and affogato desserts are flawless as is his budino, textures of tiramisu and zeppole. Pulehu also features a popular three-course menu, and wine pairing events.
Pailolo is a lively outdoor dining location that has the first food truck I have seen run by a resort. The truck was designed by California Cart Builders and is a full service truck that serves as the kitchen for Pailolo. The oceanfront sports bar features pay per view events and live sports on large high def flat screens, and boasts an outdoor fire pit and lounge area. The casual eatery has a sensational menu provided by the truck with farm to table elegance layered over pub favorites.
You can pre-order some items from the villa’s grocery store to stock your fridge prior to your arrival. This can come in really handy if you are arriving late, didn’t have time to stop for yourself or want to be equipped for a big bacon and egg breakfast in house like I did. Sure it’s a bit more expensive than the regular grocery story but not much, and it’s such a treat to arrive in a room stocked with some goodies you chose. The grocery list is online and makes it a cinch.
The Ka`anapali Ocean Resort Villas has a full service spa in the North Tower called Spa Helani. The 13-room spa has indoor and outdoor lounges and an extensive lists of Hawaiian healing rituals of their own design. The spa keeps the list fresh with new treatments every quarter. Their Ho`omana ritual is one such seasonal treatment that begins with a Hawaiian chant sung by Makalapua Kanuha, the resort’s Director of Culture. Others like the Ocean ritual employ algaes and marine salts and the rhythmic wave motion of massage.
Spa Helani also hosts social events like the upcoming Shamrocks and Savasana on St. Patricks Day. Join in for a outdoor sunset yoga session led by Julie Mitchell at 5:30pm followed by a beer social for $15 per person.
The resort is also proud of its Pu`uhonua Cultural Center that shares Hawaiian culture through talk story sessions hosted by Makalapua Kanuha. The center is open Monday through Friday from 10am to 4pm. You can also sign up for the Malama Honokowai project, volunteering in the nearby Honokowai Valley to help restore an ancient farming archeological site on Saturday mornings.
Standard rates for the resort start at $359 but going online can reveal some great deals as low as $189. Go to Westinkaanapali.com, click on Special Offers underneath the “Book a Room” matrix and then on the next page click on “Local Offers” on the right hand side to isolate the Kama`aina deals.
Kamaaina resort reservations shortcut:
Kama‘aina at a glance:
20 percent off spa treatments at Spa Helani, a Heavenly Spa by Westin
25 percent off food at: Pulehu, an Italian Grill, Pailolo Bar & Grill and Ocean Pool Bar & Grill
50 percent off food at Pulehu, an Italian Grill after 8pm on Mondays
Some restrictions apply; discount not applicable on special menus; contact the resort for full details on all deals.