The Hyatt Regency Maui is located in Kaanapali, a major stretch of resorts on the western shores of Maui. Don’t be confused – the Hyatt Residence Club is right next door and shares almost all the amenities. Kaanapali is home to a Marriott, a Westin, a Sheraton and a number of independent hotels. The good news is that the area is developed very well with a magnificent beach walk and lots of green from the golf course.
The bad news of course is the manic crowds in the area and the tourist predators in the form of timeshare salespeople all over the place.
Check-in was friendly but no rooms were ready at noon. We were told to return 2 to 3 hours later and indeed then an ocean-view room was available. The room was all the way upfront to the ocean – barely 100 feet away from the ocean’s edge! The view was a bit limited but still stunning from the highest floor.
The room itself was very spacious with a sleeper sofa. The bed itself was big, too, but the mattress was too soft (a big issue I have with Hyatt).
However, the room was creaky old and not what you see at international Hyatts that have the same room rate. It felt like everything would fall apart if you touched it (it didn’t). The bathroom was the worst – a dark, dingy area with minimal water pressure that would embarrass most Courtyards in the US. For the $250 room rate, that wasn’t what I expected!
The internet came in at 10 Mbit pretty much all the time and the WiFi signal was strong. The WiFi is free for all guests as it’s part of the resort fee.
We went to explore the surroundings and while the resort is right at the ocean, the beach and the area to swim in are both small (the reef makes it shallow and it has sharp corals).
The pool area is pretty ugly, with way too many benches around a (too-simple) pool. There is only one main pool and a very small kids’ pool, which were extra crowded on all the days.
Thankfully, this hotel gives you free access to the Hyatt Residence pool, which was quite a delight. It seemed brand new and was usually pretty empty. The water surface is broken into many adjacent pools, so it isn’t great for swimming laps, but is great for hanging out in the water.
You can order food and drinks right there using your regular room account. The food tasted old and stale, though not like something that would make you sick. $15 for an appetizer isn’t exactly good value either.
The beach in front of the Hyatt Residence Club allows for good swimming and there is also a lot of sea life right at the reef. Plus the sunset views from the beach there are just incredible.
When we returned to the Hyatt Regency, the Lu’au was in full swing and it was audibly very loud inside the room – so loud that sleeping would be impossible. Eventually (around 8PM ) it calmed down and the AC then cooled down the room very well.
The staff at the hotel were mostly absent – in fact they proofed elusive the whole time. This Hyatt is an enormous, old property, but no Hyatt staff ever crossed my path. Yes, housekeeping came by every day to clean the room (and they did it well), but since we did not eat at the hotel, no staff were ever in my way.
I liked that there were no towel police here as with Hilton hotels – you don’t have to keep track of your towel at all times. I also liked that the staff kept the hotel common grounds very clean during my stay.
In conclusion, I wasn’t sure what to make of this hotel. The property is tired and rooms are clearly substandard. It’s a big ‘vacation factory’ and the hotel seems to excel at extracting money from guests while being a stickler for ‘rules’. Frankly, the warm and knowledgeable Hyatt staff that often bring out the best of a hotel stay out were completely absent from this hotel. This Hyatt has a beautiful location but needs a new GM and a complete renovation.
The prevailing rate during my stay was about $250 per night plus taxes and the resort fee of $30. $250++ is just not a great investment here.
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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