Editor’s Note: We visited this hotel in late 2019, and this review is meant to share our experience so you can plan future travel when it is safer to do so
WHERE IS IT? About one hour’s drive from Kahalui airport, this property sits on 40 acres in the heart of Kaanapali Beach with great dining, shopping, and golf within the vicinity.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Spread across numerous buildings with an atrium-style lobby at its heart, the eco-friendly resort has plenty going for it besides fantastic dining and views. It recently earned its LEED Gold status thanks to numerous sustainability efforts taken on by management, including substantial efforts to reduce waste and single-use plastics. There’s even a self-guided sustainability tour that walks guests through many of the efforts that have been put in place around the resort. In the lobby are the resort’s most popular greeters: a group of penguins that frolic in a pond and are fed daily to the delight of kids and tropical birds that amuse passersby.
The hotel is known for its annual Paddle for a Cure fundraising campaign each fall supporting breast cancer research. In 2019, the hotel raised more than $40,000 making it the third largest fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation in the state. Various sporting events (a golf tournament and paddle boarding), special menus at hotel restaurants, and merchandise and experiences (beachfront cabanas, for example) are all part of the fundraising efforts.
ROOM FACILITIES Soon to undergo a thorough renovation, the tropical style of the guest rooms holds up well. Soft carpeting leads to beds wrapped in plush duvets and a quartet of pillows. Bedside power and USB outlets are a modern sign of the times, and refrigerators that guests can stock with sundries plus Keurig coffeemakers are especially popular amenities. Bathrooms have strong water pressure, wide vanities stocked with tropical-scented products from the onsite Marilyn Monroe Spa, and oversized towels.
Furnished balconies overlook the tropical grounds and pool areas with the most prized facing the beach and boardwalk that runs the length of the coastline. Many families love rooms on the ground floor that open directly to the lawn so kids can play or walk to the pool. Regency Club rooms come with access to the Regency Club lounge on the lobby level. It includes free breakfast, all-day refreshments, and an evening happy hour with free wine and beer and a buffet of light bites. It’s a great value for those that enjoy breakfast and happy hour each day.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Japengo is the dinner-only Asian fusion outlet serving everything from delectable sushi rolls to grilled seafood and marinated meats. Thai and Chinese dishes are among the most popular. The al fresco breakfast restaurant looks toward the lagoon, but switches to a high-end steakhouse for dinner with aged meats and seafood dishes. One sure-fire crowd pleaser – filet mignon meatballs with spaghetti. Umalu serves fresh salads, sandwiches and cocktails within a few steps of the resort pool; poolside service is a great alternative. There’s a swim-up bar in the pool, too. Son’s Steakhouse serves delectable steaks once the sun sets while the morning hours are the scene for a huge breakfast buffet. There’s an a la carte menu for those without the biggest appetite, but the colorful spread is hard to pass up. Ululani’s Shave Ice by the pool is a huge favorite and worth waiting in line for when they open, but it’s Honolulu Coffee and their acai bowls that got me most excited.
LEISURE FACILITIES A fun experience is the resort’s Drums of the Pacific Lu’au for those that want to try traditional Hawaiian cuisine. There are plenty of places to swim whether splashing in the beach in front of the resort or in one of the many pools. A hanging bridge crosses part of the swimming pool where waterslides connect several of them. Private cabanas along the beach feature up-close views of the waves, and they come with buckets of ice water and service from the resort’s staff. Guests needing a workout can visit the air-conditioned gym. The Marilyn Monroe Spa features tropically scented beauty and massage treatments. I especially enjoyed that the in-room toiletries were also from Marilyn Monroe Spa.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Wireless Internet is complimentary everywhere, but those with World of Hyatt elite status get the fastest speed. The resort also has numerous ballrooms, meeting venues and outdoor patios for groups of various sizes. This is a popular spot for conventions, banquets and weddings with unbeatable views and family activities.
VERDICT Amid plentiful resort options, this property deserves accolades for its business traveler-focused amenities, its charity-focused initiatives, and family-friendly amenities that help deliver on its promise as one of World of Hyatt’s most popular properties.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 806 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Within the Kaanapali development and along a beautiful stretch of beach, this is one of the largest resorts in the area. Its numerous dining options, family-friendly pool with waterfalls and a cave with swim-up bar, and tropical grounds make it an island favorite.
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room on the random dates we checked start at $351.
CONTACT Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina, Hawaii, 96761-1985. Phone +808-661-1234. hyatt.com