PHOTO: Dreamstime

Fodor's Expert Review Honua Kai Resort & Spa

130 Kai Malina Pkwy., Honokowai, Hawaii, 96761, USA See on Map

Two high-rise towers contain these individually owned, eco-friendly (and family-friendly) units combining the conveniences of a condo with the full service of a hotel. Guests enjoy valet, concierge, an on-site restaurant, and an organic gourmet food market run by O'o Farms. Active families will enjoy the spacious suites with large lanai, as well as the water features—slide, waterfall, lazy river, and serenity, lap, and kids pools—and the fitness center. Those vacationing at a slower pace can stroll along the dune restoration area that fronts the beach, and perhaps spot endangered bird species and turtles. The Ho'ola Spa houses Maui’s first Himalayan Salt Room, and provides massage and other treatments.

Book directly through the resort to gain all of the resort privileges -- if you book through VRBO you will be missing out on quite a few of the amenities.

room

Choices at Honua Kai include luxury studios and one-, two-, and three- room suites, each with a large floorplan, full kitchen with Bosch appliances, in-suite washer/dryer, large lanai, and free Wi-Fi. There are also three suites that make up their Royal Collection, three-bedroom suites with top-tier features.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The resort has been undergoing ongoing construction throughout 2018, but that isn’t necessarily being disclosed upon booking. Be sure to ask about construction and its proximity to your lodgings when booking.

bathroom

Large bathrooms include large soaking tubs, glass-enclosed showers, and marble or wood vanities. Bathrooms are stocked with Aveda products.

lobby

The lobby is lovely and opulent, but has a bit of an outdated concept of luxury in its decor.

pool

If three acres of water fun sound like a special treat for your vacation, you definitely won’t want to miss the resort’s aquatic playground complete with pools, a slide, five hot tubs, loungers, cabanas, floats, and a lazy river.

spa

The cool tones of the Ho’Ola Spa set guests off to an immediate calm to experience their menu of services that includes massage, body treatments, and skin care. This spa’s standout feature is their Himalayan salt room that combines color therapy and salt panels to give guests an extra healing option.

gym

The resort’s 24-hour fitness center offers a large variety of equipment, broken up into a cardio and a weight wing.

dining

Aina Gourmet Market is a great place to grab a quick coffee, smoothie, snacks, or grab-and-go meals (as well as a few sundries) for a day at the beach. For a laid back, but elevated seated dining experience, Duke’s Beach House offers Hawaiian-influenced breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The outdoor seating has beautiful ocean views.

drinking

The outdoor bar at Duke’s features cocktails, wine, and beer in a casual setting. Wine, beer, and liquor can also be found at Aina Gourmet Market.

LOCATION

Getting Around

It’s easy (and preferable) to explore Maui’s smaller towns by foot, but to get to them and around the island, you’ll need to rent a car. If you plan on exploring the Road to Hana, get something with a little extra horsepower (but not too big as the road can get very narrow).

Restaurants

Enjoy fine dining while practically sitting in the ocean and relaxing with the sea turtles at Mala Ocean Tavern (9-min drive) -- this restaurant is so close to the water that at some tables you can feel the surf splashing your toes. The fresh, vibrant menu is not only full of locally-sourced items and lots of fish, it also features a gluten-free menu. Wine choices are fantastic, as are the cocktails with a few special martini options.

Dining at The Mill House (41-min drive) should top any Maui itinerary, giving guests the chance to enjoy innovative, beautiful, locally sourced dishes. Add to the food a variety of fun cocktails and a massive wine list all wrapped up with clever, beautiful styling, and it’s hard to pull yourself away. An extensive happy hour from 2 to 5 p.m. gives guests the chance to try a variety of small plates and drinks. The views of the clouds wisping by the west Maui mountains and the fun duck pond off the patio makes the dining experience even more special.

Bars

The Four Seasons (55-min drive) is known around the world for its welcoming lobby bars, whether you’re a guest or not, and the gorgeous Maui hotel is no exception. The lobby bar recently underwent a facelift that included new furniture, new staff uniforms, and an entirely new cocktails menu that is arranged by the changing colors of the day, with plenty of twists on tropical classics. Enjoy with music and comfy views while relaxing on comfy, new furniture.

Though it may not be as popular as another Hawaiian brewing company, Maui Brewing Co. (48-min drive) deserves every bit as much respect, especially since it’s still local. Its newest brewery, tasting room, and pub in Kihei is super sleek and fun. Drop in for a brewery tour or grab a seat at the massively long bar and try out some of their seasonal beers that are only available at the brewery. Be sure to grab a crowler or growler to enjoy those special flavors during the rest of your trip.

WHY WE LIKE IT

This unique combination of vacation condos that come with the amenities of a luxury hotel, including valet service, check signing privileges, every-other-day housekeeping services, and concierge make for a great vacation choice. The 38-acre property (three of which are the pool area) is well kept, and is right next to Kaanapali North Beach for fun and relaxation. In addition to all of the other amenities, the resort also has its own activities company, making booking expeditions throughout the island much easier.

QUICK FACTS

Rental
Family, Green, Views
Quiet
On the beach
Design
$$$$

HOTEL INFO

Phones: 855-718–5789;808-662–2800

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