Review: Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, Maui, Hawaii, USA
There are a whole host of different Kaanapali Resorts in Maui, Hawaii. With our first stay in this region of the Island of Maui, we ended up at the spacious and comfortable Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa. We would end up with a fantastic suite upgrade, a whole host of inclusions courtesy of elite benefits, and a resort that was well placed allowing for great walking exploration of the Kaanapali hotel row.
This post is one chapter on our trip to Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii, United States of America. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan on a 2 for 1 Companion Fare and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
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Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Kaanapali, Maui, Hawaii, United States of America
- Alaska Airlines First Class Vancouver – Seattle
- Alaska Lounge, C Concourse, Seattle Tacoma International Airport, USA
- Alaska Airlines: Seattle – Portland
- Alaska Airlines: Portland – Kahului
- The Sheraton Maui, Kaanapali, Maui
- Under the Banyan Free in Lahania, Maui, USA
- With the Turtles in Kapalua Bay, Maui, USA
- Alaska Airlines: Kahului – Seattle
Review: Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, Lahania, Maui, Hawaii, United States of America
Booking the Sheraton Maui:
We decided on the Sheraton Maui after substantial research between hotels in the Kaanapali area. With the hotel offering a club lounge, better online ratings than the Westin Kaanapali, and at a lower family price point than the more upscale newer Kaanapali villa offerings, it was a decision made fairly easy.
Marriott Bonvoy Redemption Opportunties:
The hotel is now in the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program as a Category 7 hotel. Rooms are available for between a low of 50,000 to a high of 70,000 points per night with a standard rate of 60,000 points per night. If you value Marriott Bonvoy points at $0.005 a point, you’d have to spend more than $350 USD to come out ahead for a 60,000 point redemption. Marriott Bonvoy Hawaiian Hotel redemptions are never a terrific deal. However, in recent times of high demand, In the high season months, this might represent a better value when the room rates climb beyond $600 USD per night. Under these circumstances, you might find some outsized value with a point redemption.
At the time, Starwood Preferred Guest was also running their summer “Take Three” promotion that offered 3 X points for weekend stays. We earned a boat load of SPG points with this stay as we earned 4 points per dollar as a SPG Platinum 75 member, 2 points per dollar for charging to the Canadian SPG American Express Card, 3 points per dollar for the “Take Three Promotion”; all of which totalled 9 points per dollar AND 1,500 points from SPG Amex for a stay at a qualifying resort property. With that alone, we were off to a great start there. As a result of the opportunity, we elected to end up paying a cash rate.
Getting to the Sheraton Maui:
The island of Maui, Hawaii, United States of America is a place that requires a rental car. The resorts are too far apart and not really connected through any decent public transport. As a result, it’s typically a car rental for us during our stays on the island.
I broke with my usual convention of booking direct and booked a rental car for the entire week via Expedia. I was going to pay for a resort shuttle over to Kaanapali, then rent a car for a few days, but then I discovered that Expedia was brokering prices with Thrifty Rental Car for 50% of what I could even get on the Thrifty web site. Forget the 500 Frequent Flier miles, I’ll just save $200 USD. The car for the week was $170 USD. After coming off Alaska Airlines Portland – Kahului, we hopped the Thrifty bus over to the nearby Maui International Airport rental car center. The bus driver today was a bit of a Mario Andretti type screeching around the corners like he was in an F1 car.
There were only two people in line but over 35 minutes to get a car assigned and ready to be packed up. Thrifty seemed to be massively behind with both car assignments and paperwork. Having booked a Full Size, “Chrysler 200 or similar” we ended up with a new but marked up Nissan Altima, having turned down a Ford Expedition SUV as I didn’t want the gas bill.
We stopped in at Maui Costco for some wine and a Costco hot dog snack. I got a new snorkel as my mask was falling apart. We then had a 40 minute drive up to Kaanapali toward the Sheraton Maui. The hotel was not well marked posted off the highway but I had the address in Trip it.
Arriving to the Sheraton Maui:
2605 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii 96761 USA
Our first impressions were all that you could expect from a hotel that’s been in operation since the 1960’s. The hotel has been in operation since January 20, 1963. The resort was quite spacious like an old school resort with an impressive and spacious entrance way.
There was a busy but competent valet staff taking care of things at the front end. The valet parking would end up being free for elite members, as we would learn later on in our stay.
We unloaded ourselves at the porte cochère. Unfortunately, there was only 1 check in desk host working at 5 PM when we arrived. Per usual, there was a marked but unmanned Gold and Plat check in line. We joined the general queue and were helped after about 5 -7 minutes. The lobby is an open air lobby, which is terrific and just the thing to put you in the resort mood after arriving to your property.
The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa offers 464 rooms and 44 suites spread over 6 floors across several different buildings. Most of the rooms have a version of an ocean view. Given the limited amount of suites (less than 10% of the rooms), for those with eilte status, a suite upgrade is far from guaranteed with a soft upgrade to some form of a view a much more likely result, if you’re running the upgrade odds strictly by the numbers..
After the expensive French Polynesian & Fiji Adventure, I had booked a simple resort room in the lowest category available. I thought that we would chance it and use elite Suite Night Awards for any upgrades and hoped for the best with the Sheraton being a very large property with many categories of rooms (partial ocean view, full ocean view, suites, family suites etc..) My Suite Upgrades were declined at the 5 day mark but on check in, we got a super duper SPG Platinum upgrade to a family suite in the O’Hana Hale building with two double beds (#1109). I was super happy with that as they retailed for about $668 USD after taxes and our rate was only about $220 USD per night.
The Room: Ohana Doubles Suite, 2 Double, Alternate bed: Murphy/wall bed, Ocean view
The Living Room:
After the check in process, we led ourselves to Room #1109 in the O’Hale building. The Ohana Doubles Suite Room #1109 was a room on ground floor. It had a large living area immediately opposite two double beds. The large living area was great for WT73Jr who could flunk onto the couch at any given moment.
The Bedroom: Two Doubles
On the bedroom side, there was ample bed space for a young teenager and us featured in the form of spacious double beds. It was much better than a base level room.
Rounding out the bedroom space, there was also a Murphy Bed in the living room which we never ended up using. The room could have slept 6 with two to a bed!
In terms of sleeping, the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper beds were comfortable. I found the room to be reasonably quiet, which was great since family resorts aren’t always known for peace and quiet.
There was a massive bathroom that was about 25% of the floor space of the room. The room also had the recently updated Sheraton “Le Grand Bain” toiletries. The bathroom featured both a stand up shower and a bathtub shower.
The room also featured a wet bar along with a refrigerator. We promptly stuffed it full of beverages that we had purchased from Costco. The hotel was also kind enough to provide lots of free bottled water for the stay. The pictured 1.75 L bottle of Sky Vodka was not included with the room, or the resort fee.
There was also a welcome letter explaining the features of the Black Rock Lounge benefits and the inclusions on the Resort Fee. The resort also offered unlimited free valet parking for SPG Platinum Members ($32 USD a day value – not written down anywhere except verbally explained via the front desk) and a 1,500 Starpoint Credit for the High Speed Internet Alternative (that credited to my account after the fact without explanation).
Our Ohana Suite had a nice walk out lanai leading to nicely landscaped grounds… along with a night time view from the outside of the spacious room.
Although the room wouldn’t have been a number one choice for a romantic weekend, it was absolutely perfect for a family trip. The placement on the ground floor was also super convenient to the beach and made it easy to get back there for drinks or other supplies during the beach visits. We felt well treated as SPG Platinum’s with many inclusions, despite the resort fee charges with items we never used.
Around the Hotel:
The Black Rock / Na Hoku Executive Lounge
After we settled in, we opted for pupus and happy hour at the Black Rock Lounge. The Na Hoku Executive lounge has recently been relocated from a view space into the back of the Black Rock Lounge. Access was gained via a check in reception agent in the lounge through our Platinum Status. There was kindly no up charge for the son. The hotel was actively selling buy ups at the front desk to “Executive Level” status for $30 per day for those that had arrived and was seeking Executive Club level privleges.
The lounge itself wasn’t a super inspiring space. It was functional in nature and didn’t offer any spectacular ocean views or sweeping vistas.
Since most weren’t hungry we had a snack dinner in the lounge on the first night. I had an Ahi Tuna Poke with a paid Maui Brewing Blonde Ale Beer.
It wasn’t a too exciting place but we did stop by once or twice during our stay. Junior liked the unlimited happy hour snack appetizers and the Cokes on offer. Regretfully, there is no real view from this spot and only a small outdoor seating area reminiscent of an elementary school bench area for those than want to be outdoors.
Coral Reef Restaurant:
For the entire duration of our six day stay, we took breakfast as the Platinum Breakfast benefit. The breakfast on offer was a full buffet breakfast. There were pastries, an omelette station, fruits, a miso station. The only surprising omission was that there was no cheese. It was explained via the front desk that there was to be an up charge for junior since elite Platinum benefits only cover two persons, although in practice it didn’t seem to be collected. It was another appreciated inclusion and I thank the hotel for this break on the bills.
The breakfast was fulsome and a great way to start any day in Maui. While it wasn’t a buffet containing salmon and caviar, it was broad enough and I ended up leaving each day fully satisfied.
Around the Property:
On the morning of day one, we went to lounge by the pool. The grounds have koi ponds near the restaurants, which fascinated my son.
The hotel offers access to a large sandy beach directly accessible from the resort. Over several days, we ended up on loungers on the grass. Throughout our stay, we didn’t have many issues getting an available lounger as long as we got to the chairs by about 10 AM. As with other Hawaii beach resorts, a lounger directly on the sand was a pay rental at $55 USD per day and chairs were at $45 per day. The chair loungers themselves were very comfortable and padded on top of the aluminum base. The loungers themselves were close enough to the water that you could see it quite clearly if you picked the right spot.
Walking the Kaanapali Beach Trail:
Later on during the day, we took a walk down the Kaanapali Beach Trail to situate a bit. I had never stayed in Kaanapali, and there was a perfect touristy beach walk just off the resort. It was pretty packed during the day but I did manage to get in a run during the week here in the morning while it was deserted. The sights are pretty spectacular in a touristy way. The Kaanapali strip of hotels was a pretty neat place to be for a family trip and I really enjoyed being situated here for a week long family holiday.
Nightly Black Rock Torch Lighting:
Over the days on the beach, my son especially enjoyed the surf with his new body board. I managed to catch the nightly torch lighting ceremony, which involved a person lighting all the torches then jumping off of Black Rock. There’s a similar variation at most Hawaii hotels, although I found the one we experienced at the Fairmont Kea Lani (on the other side of Maui) to be a bit more engaging and interactive with the kids.
Snorkelling at Black Rock House Reef:
Over the course of our stay, we had some snorkeling through Black Rock. The Black Rock consists of a house reef immediately in front of the water side of the hotel. We’ve had some great snorkeling throug hthis region over the years. Sadly, the reef was not looking as good or awesome as I once remembered it. May be it was a sign of traveling the world and seeing spectacular reefs but I was less impressed these days with this one.
There were sporadic sightings of yellow fishes, angle fish and the silver guys with the blue stripe. Those are the non- technical names – I am sure a marine biologist can correct me with the right names. The corals themselves looked pretty tired and dead. What there wasn’t in the in the way of plentiful fish, there were heaps of Turtle sightings. We had at least 5 separate sightings at the hotel from shore which was a surprising bonus. Kaanapali has topped the global list over Oman and French Polynesia in the frequency of turtles!!
The Bottom Line:
The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa was an excellent resort for a family trip. The grounds were quite spacious, and the price point was reasonable without it being over the top. Our Ohana Doubles Suite was very comfortable and the ability to have a lani that led directly to gardens was a really neat feature. The elite Platinum inclusions were an added bonus.
Hotel review is very old. Resort fee is $40 per day – includes many amenities not listed. Also, property does not have a club lounge (and hasn’t for a few years now).
When the pandemic personal and business travel slowed down, I decided to take all my online post content from Flyertalk and create my own website for the fun of it. Unfortunately, word press doesn’t allow back dating of posting dates so the date reads as is.
Despite the age, it’s still a great property in my view. Unfortunately, many of the Hawaii lounges seem to be staying closed for the foreseeable future. Hopefully we’ll see that change.
Thanks for reading Eric Rinderlee.