12 Mar Travel Planners Who Choose Maui Get A Helping Hand From “Kaanapali Connection”
Travel Planners Who Choose Maui Get A Helping Hand From “Kaanapali Connection”
Corporate gatherings and other large groups are wise to come to Kaanapali, which embodies the old Hawaiian idea of ‘ike papalua (ee-kay pa-pa-loo-a). ‘Ike means knowledge and understanding. Papalua is double. So ‘ike papalua implies a sharper vision, a breakthrough of understanding, something achieved by clearing the mind and the body while focusing on the future.
KAANAPALI, MAUI, HAWAI’I – Kaanapali, the original master-planned resort community on Maui, is bigger and better than ever, with an ever-increasing variety of choices. Each of the properties—six resort hotels and five luxury condominiums—has its own unique identity, and each one is in friendly rivalry with the others to provide an abundance of options.
While this variety is delightful to single travelers and families, it presents a challenge to travel planners who are responsible for large orchestrations—meetings, conventions, and incentive groups. Planners work under tremendous pressure to see that every detail goes smoothly. If a planner is unfamiliar with Ka’anapali, the resort’s abundance can be intimidating.
If only Kaanapali had its own staff of planning professionals who could work with outsiders and help them explore the resort’s options and coordinate the various properties.
Well, of course, it does. Kaanapali Beach Resort Association consists of top professionals who know the planning business, the travel industry, and Maui itself inside and out. They are in daily contact with the marketing teams of three leading properties within the resort. They know how to work with the abundant resources of all three properties to tailor-make the experience of any group, from as few as ten rooms to numbers in the thousands. Their commitment is to streamline the efforts and ensure the success of travel planning, and they even have a name for this commitment: the “Kaanapali Connection.”
By doing resort-wide planning, “Kaanapali Connection” offers tremendous flexibility in customizing programs to the unique needs of each client. Each of the three properties involved in this “Connection” is a world-class, award-winning resort in its own right. Each one sits right on Kaanapali Beach and commands spectacular views of sea, neighbor islands, and dazzling sunsets.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa encompasses 40 acres of tropical gardens, waterfalls, and a half-acre swimming pool with a 150-foot lava tube water slide. Three magnificent towers comprise 806 rooms, five restaurants—including an authentic lu’au called Drums of the Pacific—and seven lounges. For groups, the resort offers over 100,000 square feet of function space. This includes three large ballrooms, five suites, and a Grand Promenade for receptions of up to 800 people. Outdoor function spaces can be adapted for as many as 5,000 guests or as intimate a group as 20. The resort completed $1.6 million ballroom renovation project in October 2004 transforming its largest facility to include 18-foot by 14 foot picture windows.
Sheraton Maui Resort, a second element in the “Connection,” occupies 23 acres that incorporate the historic Pu’u Keka’a, or Black Rock promontory, a place of mythical significance in old Hawai’i and the site of Kaanapali’s nightly torch-lighting and cliff-diving ceremony. This property consists of six towers, none higher than six stories, 510 rooms and suites, two restaurants, two poolside bars, and one indoor lounge. Its 142-yard-long swimming lagoon has lava-rock waterways and a heated outdoor spa. Conference facilities include more than 12,000 square feet of indoor function space—the 6,650-square-foot Maui Ballroom with soaring ceilings and delicate Hawaiian prints, four function rooms of various sizes, a boardroom, and an intimate meeting room. Outdoors the property offers more than 18,000 square feet of function space, especially the oceanfront lawn with its breathtaking views, also a more secluded garden lawn suitable for up to 250 people, and a 5,000-square-foot pre-function courtyard.
The third player is the elegant The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, on 12 acres with two 11-story towers. All the rooms of this upscale resort were recently renovated, and they feature the Westin’s signature Heavenly Beds and Heavenly Baths. The “pool” here is really an aquatic playground consisting of five free-form pools, waterfalls, Jacuzzis, and two waterslides, one of which is 128 feet long and delivers a 23-foot-drop rush. This property includes 42,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. The Valley Isle Ballroom has capacity for 1,000 people; the Valley Isle Lounge is ideal for receptions and large functions. Nine break-out rooms come with motorized roll-down viewing screens and built-in coffee stations, and as with the other properties this one has smaller boardrooms and meeting rooms. Outdoor areas include the Aloha Pavilion, which is expandable to 14,000 square feet.
Collectively, the “Kaanapali Connection” puts planners in touch with more than 170,000 square feet of function area. The tremendous diversity of these facilities—from intimate executive suites to grand oceanfront venues—guarantees an appropriate fit for every function. All these are modern and elegant areas set apart from public areas. In their use of technology, they are state-of-the-art, with advanced audiovisual equipment, dataports for internet connections, and excellent multi-media technical support.
Because this is Kaanapali, the guests of any group program receive the full spectrum of resort services, such as access to full-service business centers, multi-lingual concierge staff, same-day laundry and valet services, and ready assistance with activity bookings, car rentals, and the like. If there are youngsters involved, guests can take advantage of the well-run and fun children’s programs at each of the properties.
In addition to all this, there is the fundamental thrill of being in Hawai’i. All guests delight in gathering at sunset by the sea, comfortable in light clothing, for a traditional Hawaiian festivity—for an authentic lu’au under torchlight with dancers, or perhaps a cookout in the style of the paniolo or Hawaiian cowboy.
Planners should note that in addition to its resort hotels, Kaanapali includes five luxurious condominium or villa type properties. These accommodations give meeting planners another important tool to work with. When executives travel with their families, they often prefer one of these home-away-from-home situations. Villas are more spacious than the typical hotel guest room, and they come with fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers, barbecue grills, and recreational gear. It’s like renting a luxury seaside home—a versatile choice that many clients will appreciate.
All groups like to mix ample amounts of pleasure with their business, and Kaanapali is loaded with opportunities for pleasure and play. Recreational attractions include 36 holes of championship golf, numerous tennis courts and a tennis ranch, and of course everything associated with the sea—snorkeling with dolphins and turtles, boogie boarding, diving, whale-watching cruises, and kayaking, to name some.
Also, the spas at all three “Connection” properties provide extraordinary opportunities for fitness, health, and sensual pampering. Spa Moana at Hyatt Regency Maui is architecturally splendid, sitting right on the ocean with glass looking out at all that blue. It offers a full-service salon, wet and dry treatment rooms, an open-air exercise lanai, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and dozens of different massages, facials, and body treatments. The Spa at The Westin Maui has 16 treatment rooms, a workout facility, a beauty salon, a yoga studio, and its own menu of sumptuous treatments and massages.
Life at Kaanapali also provides ready access to dozens of superb restaurants. Three examples, one from each of the three “Connections” properties, will illustrate the range and theatricality of choices. At Swan Court, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, fine dining transpires along the shores of a placid lagoon in which swans drift. The Westin Maui’s signature “tropica” restaurant is positioned seaside in the open air, serving fresh island fish by torchlight with splashing waterfalls, live Hawaiian music, and a magician wandering from table to table. The Sheraton Maui Resort has its Teppan-Yaki Dan, contemporary Japanese cuisine performed martial-arts style, right at the table.
The desire to shop is fully satisfied at Kaanapali Resort, not just at the centrally located Whalers Village but also at various points in the individual properties. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort’s store called Moa Moa, for example, is a kind of “Pier One Imports” of Hawai’i-made goods. Maui’s artisans set up displays every day in the lobby of The Westin Maui Resort & Spa. Situations like these and numerous shops at Whalers Village cater to the understandable appetite for keepsakes of the visit to magical Maui. Other shops offer tropical clothing designs so guests can adjust their wardrobes to be more compatible with Maui’s balmy weather. Whalers Village also includes some of the most renowned names in international fashion—Louis Vuitton, Georgiou, and Clio Blue, to name a few.
All this, and no one has even left the resort! The island of Maui has many rewards for day-trippers from Kaanapali, including Haleakala National Park, lovely ‘Iao Valley, the famous road to Hana, and so on. What’s unique about staying in Kaanapali is the quick proximity to Lahaina, just three miles away.
Lahaina means more shops, more restaurants, art galleries, nightlife, vivid remnants of Hawai’i’s fascinating history, and a harbor that gives access to many seagoing adventures. On Maui, rental cars are usually a necessity for visitors. But guests at Kaanapali need no rental car to move back and forth between the resort and Maui’s most famous little town. There are plenty of shuttles making the short trip.
The best of these “shuttles” is the unique Lahaina-Ka’anapali & Pacific Railroad—yes, a choo-choo train, the only one on the island. A century ago, in the heyday of sugar cane, when much of the island’s arable land was put into sugar production, the plantations used railroads to move their harvest to the mill. Today, just one track remains. This colorful little attraction, with its singing conductor and its “paniolo” buffet, is a must do.
For all the reasons suggested above, Kaanapali is simply the best place to be on the island of Maui. And Maui—according to the readers of our leading travel magazines, who express their opinions in annual polls—is simply the best island destination there is.
With the assistance of the “Kaanapali Connection,” any travel planner can go for the best. And succeed.
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.
Ka’anapali 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 Ka’anapali 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.
Ka’anapali Ali’i, 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 Ka’anapali Beach, 2481 Kaanapali 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 Ka’anapali 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.