Every year we look forward to spending our winter vacation in Maui and this year was no different. We stayed at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, a great family resort. The rooms are either studios, one bedroom villas or 2 bedroom villas (a 1 bedroom and studio connecting). The rooms all have kitchens, washer/dryers, Jacuzzi baths and fold out couches. We tend to eat breakfast in the room every morning, bbq for lunch at the pool, and then either go to dinner at night or bbq at the pools again.
The first part of our vacation we stayed in the North towers. These are the newest towers. The rooms are very nice and modern. The second part of our vacation we stayed in the South Towers. These rooms are larger and have newer TVs. The resort has 3 pool areas: the shipwrecked pool for the little ones, the pool at the North Towers with pool basketball and volleyball, and the pool at the South Towers with a water slide and a shallow kids pool. You can get chairs by the pool (but get there early for chairs right in front of the pool) or you can rent lounge chairs with nice cushions on covers (to block the sun). I would recommend reserving the chairs before you even arrive as they do sell out. Our preference was to rent the beach chairs on the beach as they were more comfortable than the pool chairs and it was great sitting on the beach. They cost $10.00 without the covers. We also bought inner tubes at the pool to use on the beach. They were only $8.00 and we spent hours on them floating in the ocean.
If you are at the pool when the hot dog guy is out, make sure you get a hot dog... they are the best!!! The hotel has plenty of barbecues and we enjoy barbecuing for lunch and dinner. The hotel has a kids camp along with different events going on every day such as lei making, s'mores night, sand art, soap creations, koi fish feeding, intro to hula, bingo, etc.
There are a number of fun activities to do with your family. We always enjoy walking around Lahaina with all of the stores and art galleries. There are 2 movie theatres and a glow in the dark miniature golf place called Glow Putt miniature golf, and Cold Stone Ice Cream.
We saw a show called Ulalena at the Maui Theatre in Lahaina. It is a beautiful show with live Hawaiian music, amazing special effects, and incredible acrobatics, and it tells the story of Hawaii. After the show we stayed for a Q&A with the cast and the kids took pictures with the cast members.
Another place to go at night is Whalers Village. There are stores and restaurants and they also have live music on certain nights.
We also took the Sugar Cane Train one morning. It picked us up right across the street from our hotel and took us down to Lahaina... we stayed on the train and just did the round trip back. The kids enjoyed it. It was a relaxing 90 minute ride there and back. During the ride they talk about Hawaii. Tip: Don't sit in the yellow car (it is the loudest one and hard to hear the speaker).
We were lucky enough to have friends with a sailboat so he took us out one day to do some whale watching. It truly was a magnificent sight to see the whales so close. I would highly recommend doing a whale watching excursion if you get a chance.
There are many luaus in Maui, however, we heard that the Old Lahania Luau was really great so we went there one evening. It was by far the most organized luau I have been to. You walk up and they ask you your name, and they then tell you which entrance to go in (no long lines waiting to check in). They greet you with a fresh flower lei and a tropical drink. They show you to your seat and then you are free to walk around and enjoy the pre-show activities. We enjoyed watching them crack a coconut, sculpting wood, make cool objects out of leaves and more. Then it was time to watch as they unearthed the pig from the Imu (their traditional Hawaiian underground oven) and then it was dinner time. The food was really good... they have a wide assortment of food for the buffet including chicken, steak, fish, poke, crab salad, and more. They have an open bar all night with a large variety of drinks including my favorite, the "lava flow." After dinner and when the sun sets, the show begins and the hula dancers tell the story of Hawaiians. It was a very enjoyable evening.
For dinners we went to our favorites... Ruths Chris Steakhouse and Kobe's Japanese Steakhouse, where they cook the food in front of you. We also went to the Smokehouse BBQ Bar and Grill one night which a Peachheader recommended. It was a casual restaurant that was very affordable and quick service. We all enjoyed our meals.
For breakfast, I ventured out one morning to the Seahouse Restaurant. They have a great kids menu ($5.00, and it includes milk or hot chocolate). I had an amazing breakfast of chocolate macadamia pancakes... to die forJ. It is a great restaurant overlooking the water on the beach.
One night we took a walk from the Westin to Dukes Beachhouse at the Honua Kai Resort and Spa. We hung out in the bar/restaurant area and had dessert and drinks while Jasmine ran around on the grass with some new friends she made. We also went there for dinner one night. It was a beautiful setting overlooking the beach and sunset and they had live music playing. The food was good and so were the drinks
Maui is one of my favorite places to visit. Though I was provided discounts and complimentary tickets for some of the activities written above, the opinions I expressed are my honest reactions to the events and locations I visited.