11 Mar Kaanapali Goes Out Of Its Way To Be A Place Where Families Play
The word ‘ohana, or family, is one of the most frequently used native words in Hawai’i today. The ‘ohana is the bedrock of social life. Without strong family ties—respect for the kupuna (elders), harmony among partners, and aloha for the keiki (children)—we risk disconnection from the earth itself. Ka’anapali honors and supports the best in every ‘ohana.
KAANAPALI, MAUI, HAWAI’I – We don’t usually think of luxury resorts as being kid-friendly and family-focused. But Ka’anapali, Maui, goes all out for families, not just to attract them but also to provide them with experiences that make for bonding and lifelong memories. This family feeling suits the basic personality of Ka’anapali Resort—energetic, upbeat, and democratic, a community that makes room for everyone.
Kaanapali provides these benefits for families: a wide range of choices, a sense of shared adventure, numerous programs designed specifically for children, and various packages that help keep costs under control.
Families need a variety of choices. A good family vacation has to be good for everyone, in an age range that could run from toddlers to retirees. This range is what you find in the Kaanapali community every day. With its eleven major properties united by a bustling three-mile beach walk, the resort offers something to do at every turn. On one side of the beach walk is beautiful white sand and the clean tropical Pacific Ocean. Neighboring islands shelter this stretch of coastline, so swimming here is safe and easy. The range of choices on this side of the beachwalk includes snorkeling (sometimes in the company of sea turtles or dolphins), bodyboarding, whale-watching, and sandcastle-making. No one tires of the beach.
Across the beachwalk you find a world of fantastic swimming pools, a veritable water park. Family members who want to shop will find about seventy varied and interesting shops in Whalers Village alone, not to mention the free Whale Museum. Several superb spas offer work-out facilities and places for pampering, manicures, and massages. The resort also includes two championship golf courses and a plethora of tennis courts. Kaanapali Golf Courses offer a Junior Golf Program in the summer months and have special rates for junior golfers throughout the year. Without even leaving the resort, a family can stay happily occupied for a long time at Kaanapali.
Most families, though, take advantage of the fact that they are visiting Maui, universally regarded as one of the best islands in the world. Here is where the sense of shared adventure comes in. Each day trip from the resort provides an opportunity for a family to discover something new together. The town of Lahaina is chock full of history, and the harbor is packed with boats. From here, families can get out into the channel, go see the whales or visit other islands, snorkel, scuba dive, or do some sport fishing. They can ride the Atlantis submarine.
The short trip from the resort to Lahaina is easy for families. No need to rent a car for this—Kaanapali provides a number of shuttles to and from town. In fact, if you drove you would miss out on the “Sugar Cane Train,” which is a colorful adventure. The Lahaina-Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad, Maui’s only rail line, features a historic old open-air steam train that chugs along the gorgeous sea coast. A singing conductor tells the story of the train, a lone survivor of the past century when sugar plantations used private railroads to move their harvest to the mill. The Sugar Cane Train even has a special “dinner train” excursion with a Hawaiian-style barbecue and entertainment. This is a great way for families to learn some island history while having fun together.
Other discovery trips that families enjoy include the Maui Ocean Center (a high-tech aquarium specializing in Pacific sea life), Haleakala National Park (with its awe-inspiring volcanic crater), and the winding drive to Hana with its waterfalls, jungle, and wild shores. Maui offers discoveries in the world of culture, too—not only Hawaiian culture and history but world culture as well. The island has many small museums and one world-class arts facility, “the MACC,” or Maui Arts & Cultural Center.
When a family goes on vacation, the main question is usually this: “Is there something for the little ones to do?” The various properties at Kaanapali have put a lot of creativity into answering that question.
The hotels have programs specifically for the “keiki,” that is, the under-12 crowd—for example, Camp Hyatt (at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa), the Westin Keiki Kamp (at the Westin Maui), and the Keiki Aloha Club (at Sheraton Maui Resort). These are “clubhouse” situations with qualified counselors giving experiences in Hawaiian arts and crafts and other fun activities. Nominal fees cover supplies and meals.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel takes a different approach with its Aloha Passport For Kids. At check-in, guests 12 and younger receive a passport, which they are encouraged to take to various “destinations” around the property with family members. At each destination the child learns something about Hawaiian culture then receives a gift and a stamp in the keepsake passport.
The Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club offers child care and provides a great aquatic playground—its 3.5 acre Super Pool with a special keiki area called Shipwreck Deck. Also noteworthy are Hyatt Regency Maui’s family adventures that can include teens and parents, too, for example scuba lessons, catamaran sailing on the 55-foot Kiele V, and a rooftop astronomy program called Tour of the Stars.
The five condominiums of Kaanapali are very family-friendly because they provide kitchens, private lanais, space, and the feeling of home-away-from-home. Maui Kaanapali Villas gives young guests an “ASTONishing Kids” card that entitles them to free meals, merchandise, and admission to activities such as the Atlantis Submarine and the Hawai’i Nature Center. These “ASTONishing” pups also get to use nearby Camp Kaanapali, a clubhouse loaded with games and books.
Kaanapali Alii, a beachfront condominium, provides families with at least 1,500 square feet of space including kitchen, two full bathrooms, and washer-dryer. Its no-charge Ali’i Kids Club comes with a goodie-bag, visor, free meals, and invitations to activities ranging from lei-making to a high-tech tennis camp.
In addition to providing this general festival of fun, Kaanapali resort helps families keep a lid on costs. Every property has some kind of family package. There are no additional room charges for parents who bring their children, and most of the properties offer discounts on meals. For example, Hyatt Regency Maui is so committed to families that it cuts in half the price of children’s meals and of additional rooms for the kids. The Westin Maui has a Family Splash Package with a cookies-and-milk welcome and a daily breakfast buffet. Sheraton Maui Resort does Kids Under 12 Eat Free and a family package called “’Ohana Suite Package” offering guests a room that was built specifically for families.
Kaanapali’s slogan—“where the world comes to play”—would ring hollow without the presence of children. Family vacations matter. They give parents and kids a chance to share good times, to see each other in new ways, and to have experiences that become part of the legend and lore of the family story. Done right, family fun brings serious benefits to the home clan. Kaanapali is committed to helping families do it right.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, 200 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina HI 96761-1985. (808) 661-1234; fax (808) 667-4497; reservations U.S. & Canada (800) 55HYATT; packages (800) 772-0011. www.maui.hyatt.com.
Kaanapali Beach Hotel, 2525 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina HI 96761-1912. (808) 661-0011; fax (808) 667-5978; toll-free (800) 262-8450. www.kbhmaui.com.
Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club, 100 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 667-1200; fax (808) 667-8300; toll-free U.S. & Canada (800) 228-9290. www.marriott.com.
Royal Lahaina Resort, 2780 Keka’a Drive, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 661-3611; fax (808) 661-3538; reservations (800) 22ALOHA. www.2maui.com.
Sheraton Maui Resort, 2605 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina HI 96761-1991. (808) 661-0031; fax (808) 661-0458; reservations (800) 782-9488. www.starwoodhotels.com.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, 2365 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 667-2525; fax (808) 921-4699; reservations (808) 921-4655. www.westinmaui.com.
Kaanapali Alii, 50 Nohea Kai Drive, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 667-1400; reservations (800) 642-6284. www.classicresorts.com.
Maui Kaanapali Villas, 45 Kai Ala Drive, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 667-7791; fax (808) 667-0366; 24-hour toll-free reservations U.S. & Canada (800) 92-ASTON [(800) 922-7866]; 24-hour worldwide direct reservations (403) 444-4136.
Outrigger Maui Eldorado, 2661 Keka’a Drive, Lahaina HI 96761-1993. (808) 661-0021; fax (808) 667-7039; toll-free US, Canada & Guam (888) 339-8585. www.outrigger.com.
The Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, 6 Kai Ala Drive, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 667-3200; fax (808) 667-3201; toll-free (888) 488-3535. www.starwood.com/hawaii.
The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach, 2481 Ka’anapali Parkway, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 661-4861; fax (808) 661-8315; 24-hour toll-free reservations U.S. & Canada (800) 92ASTON [(808) 922-7866]; 24-hour toll-free reservations (403) 444-4136.
Kaanapali Golf Courses, 2290 Ka’anapali Parkway, Lahaina, HI 96761. (808) 661-3691; fax (808) 661-0203; toll-free (866) 454-GOLF. www.kaanapali-golf.com.
Lahaina-Kaanapali & Pacific Railroad, 975 Limahana Place Suite 203, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 667-6851; fax (808) 661-8389; toll-free (800) 499-2307. www.sugarcanetrain.com.
Whalers Village Fine Shops & Restaurants on Kaanapali Beach, 2435 Ka’anapali Parkway, Lahaina HI 96761. (808) 661-4567. www.whalersvillage.com.
Kaanapali Beach Resort Association
34 Kupuohi Street Suite 304A
Lahaina, Hawai’i 96761
Digital images available upon request.
Images & text © 2005. Kaanapali Beach Resort Association.
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