Amazing 10-night stay at this iconic "6-Star" resort on the coast of Kaanapali Maui
(San Juan Capistrano, California)
Jul 02, 2022
We completed a ten-night stay on Bonvoy-points (560,000 points) at the “Six Star” Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa in Kaanapali Maui Hawaii, a 5-minute drive north of Lahaina Town, which is less an hour’s drive from the Kahului Maui airport (OGG). This was our third stay at this property.
The Sheraton Maui is one of the original iconic resorts along the Kaanapali coastline. Built in 1963, this 59-year-old property was closed for two years in the mid-90’s for a complete rebuilding, but retaining some of the original architectural design, specifically Tower 4. Which is built into the cliffs of Black Rock. Unlike so many resorts (including the nearby Westin & Hyatt Regency) where every bit of property was turned into developed space, the Sheraton Maui has acres of open grass in front of each tower to the pool and beach areas, making this property feel much more relaxing than others.
The property centered on top of Black Rock, which is at the north end of the famous stretch of hotels, condos and timeshares, including the Whaler’s Village Shopping Center.
The hotel is divided into six towers. Towers 1 and 2 are set back from the beach south of the lobby but can offer great views of the hotel’s luau and ocean. Tower 3 is just north of the lobby, also set back with great pool and ocean views. Beware both Towers 2 and 3 are double-sided with Resort (non-ocean) views. Tower 4 retains its iconic 60’s heritage but has significantly smaller rooms – but the views looking south along the Maui coast are like literally like living in a postcard – whether during daylight, sunset or at night. Tower 5 encompasses the suites and is the location of the former open-air Sheraton Club, which was now only used for morning yoga classes during our stay.
We stayed in Tower 6, located on the other side of Black Rock. Getting from Tower 6 to the Lobby requires three elevators and some walking to navigate around Black Rock. However, these larger rooms offer a complete 180-degree oceanfront view of the neighboring Lanai & Molokai islands with only kayaks, outrigger canoes, occasional catamarans & pods of dolphins interrupting the expansive sea of blue ocean water as if at a private retreat, which is so unique to the tropical experience.
All hotel rooms just before the pandemic were renovated with new artwork and fixtures. The rooms were clean, and the housekeepers service made your bed and changed out towels daily without asking. The rooms used small individual shampoo and body wash, but the housekeeper’s provided extras if needed.
Also added since our last stay are filtered water bottle refill stations, located in each tower on multiple levels, usually near the ice machine. I’d bring or buy your own bottle, as the collapsible bottles provided guests are cheap and I rarely saw anyone using them.
The hotel has great casual dining at the Cliff Bar Grill and Mai Tai Bar, offering great food and beverage options. In the late afternoon and evening, they offer great “island style” live music. Recently added is the Sandbar lounge next to the lobby, offering Starbucks coffee and a large selection of bakery items for breakfast and a great casual place to grab a drink in the evening. Elites are also offered free “mocktail” fruit drinks each evening of your stay. This area is adjacent to the open-air lobby, where guests can rest on overstuffed furnishings or tables to also have a great view of the resort and beach.
The pool area, which meanders through the Cliff Bar Grill to the Mai Tai Bar is relaxing alternative to the beach and ocean. This was the only area during my entire stay where I felt maintenance was not 100% as a couple of shredded pool noodles and discarded plastic cups littered one spot along the pool scuppers and nearby plans for days.
For Platinum Elites & above, the Coral Reef Restaurant offers the award-level continental breakfast, but charges $15 per person to upgrade to the full tropical buffet. On my last stay in 2017, the full tropical buffet was included for top-tier elites. Dinner is also served at this location.
A new location from our last stay is the Black Rock Shave Ice, located at the base of Tower 5 by the entrance to the beach. For $9 you can order a large shave ice in up to three flavors – very refreshing & well recommended!
The Maui Nui Luau is held three times a week. The music and performances aren’t the best I’ve seen over the years in Hawaii, but luckily you can sit along the breezeway off the lobby and take it in without spending $180 per person! The luau music resonates the feeling of “Aloha” throughout the property!
The property DOESN’T require you wear a band or bracelet to use the pool area. Pool/beach towels are free and provided from a hut near the beach. The room keys were provided as an NFC bracelet, so you never needed to find a pocket to keep your key. We wore these bracelets throughout or stay, including swimming in the ocean and going into town.
Unlike our stay in the Waikoloa area of the Big Island the previous week, there was never a feeling of understaffing or a “closed for business” feel at the Sheraton or any of the shops, restaurants or hotels in the Kaanapali or most of Lahaina area. For those on a budget, a five-minute drive south to Safeway or Longs, or a 10-minute drive north to the Napili Market offers many lower cost food options. In Lahaina, the most amazing casual restaurant is the Paia Fish Market, with mainland prices for a great casual seafood experience. It helped that the Sheraton’s in-room refrigerators were a little larger than average and kept things colder than average, allowing you to keep cold food and beverages longer during your stay.
Even when staying on points, the Sheraton charges a $41.10 daily resort fee and $27.08 for parking, less free parking for Elites the first night. For those staying in Towers 4 there is an oceanfront outdoor parking lot adjacent to the rooms, which always has plenty of parking space. There is also a multi-level parking structure behind Tower 2.
The management and staff at the Sheraton Maui were extremely professional and friendly, welcoming you with “Aloha” on every passing. I never saw a line at the registration desk during my stay. The only “understaffing” I experienced was a COMPLETE VOID of any Marriot Vacation Club sales staff, both at the hotel or along the Kaanapali walk by the nearby Westin. Although I missed getting a free “branded” cloth grocery bag, it was a welcome relief!
We will definitely be back for our fourth stay at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa once earning enough Bonvoy points to return to this amazing location.
Jul 01, 2022
Very, very disappointing for the money. Paying over $920 per night. Paying to be on the water and the grounds but the room is maybe a $350 room at best ! To add insult to injury after we checked in and saw our disappointing room I looked on line and found larger rooms w better views for less money. I called Bonvay/Sheraton yet they would not help upgrade me to a better room despite better rooms being vacant and available. They said “ you saw what it looked like on the website “ Well, they have a great looking website w great pics hence misleading. I said it’s simply not the same as when I saw the room live. The front desk wasn't helpful at all. Just told us to call customer service.
In short the value is not worth it and customer service and experience clearly isn’t important to them. I certainly will never stay at a Sheraton again. Too many better hotels and companies I rather give my business to.
Loved our stay at Sheraton Maui
Jun 26, 2022
We spent many hours trying to decide which hotel would be the perfect destination for our family of four in Maui. We read many reviews on TripAdvisor and had many discussions on which one we should go with. We eventually decided on the Sheraton and we cannot be happier. The hotel provided a great launching place for all of our excursions and a great location to relax. You cannot replicate the views of Lanai, Black Rock, and Kaanapali Beach. The beach is much wider and prettier in front of the Sheraton than any other hotel in Kaanapali. Also, when you look back from the beach you will not find a better view of the mountains because it is not a tall resort. The snorkeling at Black Rock is unbelievable. We saw multiple sea turtles and tropical fish. The room provided expansive views and and a nice sized balcony to drink your morning coffee. All of the staff were friendly and check in was a breeze. Can’t wait to come back!
Jun 21, 2022
We had a fantastic time at the Sheraton. Below are our pros and cons:
Pros: location, location, location! Located on beautiful black rock beach in a gorgeous setting. You can walk to Whaler’s Village and amazing restaurants. We enjoyed being towards end of Black Rock beach, less crowds and felt more peaceful. Resort was beautiful and well maintained. We enjoyed the pool cabanas and amenities at pool including shaved ice, cocktails and food. Valet staff were so incredibly kind, grabbing us beach towels and waters, always asking how our day was. Housekeeping quick and on time each day. Overall we really enjoyed it.
Cons: rooms are older. You don’t walk into your room and go “wow.” Our room was $800 per night - at that rate you expect things like bathrobes, soft towels and non scratchy toilet paper and Kleenex, none of which were there. I would have expected nice toiletries, also not there. Rooms very small. Also, what bothered us the most was how early they closed things. Last call for pool cabana service was 3:15, with the mai tai bar closing at 4pm (food service didn’t start until 11am). Shaved ice closed at 4pm. Why not keep things open until at least 6pm? Just too early and made our cabana days short and rushed. Also, Coral Reef breakfast buffet was forgettable and the Sand Bar breakfast was just not good. Despite all this, we would stay again!
`` $30 Million Renovation ``
Jun 18, 2022
It is very upscale Marriott property , oceanfront resort , so close to the beach and the famous Black Rock ,, they finished there $ 30 million renovation in 2020 , very impressed , I am a Platinum Elite member with Marriott for a while , Girlfriend #1 already here for few days , we check in to the Moana Room , very spacious and spectacular views of the ocean , very clean and modern , bed very crisp comfortable , bathroom with shower and tub , well stock with towels , happy with the air condition and mini refrigerator , it is great ideal resort for every one special with kids , the entire staff so friendly and helpful , front desk staff all way have a Can Do Attitude , and very knowledgeable about Maui !