Kaanapali Beach Hotels | Tropical Havens in Maui's Top Beach Resort

Picture yourself toasting the start of your vacation with a glass of champagne on your private balcony or indulging in a couple's massage as a soft Hawaiian breeze floats in off the sea.

Just north of Lahaina’s historic whaling village lie the sparkling white sands and luxurious hotels of Maui’s Kaanapali Beach, a destination that should top the list for honeymooners, romantics or anyone seeking a memorable ocean-side sojourn.

With its west-facing view of the expansive Pacific Ocean and lush mountains behind, it’s no surprise that Kaanapali Beach was once a retreat for Maui’s royals. Today, there’s no shortage of things to do in this beloved Hawaiian locale. You can snorkel among schools of colourful fish, then dine on authentic Polynesian cuisine at a beachside restaurant by candlelight. Kaanapali Beach hotels are sensual on the inside and adventurous on the outside—so order a Mai Tai and say “Aloha” to this stretch of oceanfront heaven.

A Kaanapali Beach Hotel for Golfers and Stargazers

For beach-loving golfers, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is the place to be. Located on 40 acres of beachside property and adjacent to two 18-hole golf courses, a stay here means you can go from sandbar to sand trap in minutes. Two more 18-hole options can be found at Kaplua, just 15 minutes away by car, and there will be six lagoon-style pools waiting back at the resort (just steps from the beach) when you return for a post-putt cool down.

If you’re honeymooning, shed your shoes in your sun-kissed suite and greet the tropical outdoors from your private lanai. Rooms here come with photo-worthy views of the ocean, mountains, golf course or tropical gardens from balconies and verandas (some rooms have more than one). Upgrade to a Regency Club room for access to an exclusive lounge, where you’ll find complimentary breakfast in the morning and appetizers in the evening. To dial up the romance on your first night in paradise, have your personal concierge run a bath for two in your deep-soaker tub, complete with a bottle of bubbly.

You’ll have endless ways to spend your stay, like rocketing down the 150-foot waterslide before winding down in the whirlpool. For something extra special, book a nighttime stargazing experience on the rooftop for a memorable lesson in reading the heavens—the special Romantic Tour includes sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries! Animal lovers will want to skip their sleep-in to attend the hotel’s feeding of its resident black-footed penguins; and as for your own feeding times, there are several on-site eateries and a beach luau to satiate your appetite. For Asian-Hawaiian fusion food, try award-winning Japengo, a beachfront spot plating up local specialties like soy-lacquered pork belly and Kaua’i shrimp. Or if you’re craving some good ol’ American red meat, try Son’z Steakhouse for your pick of U.S.D.A prime steaks.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

Top rated
8.9 Excellent (3034 reviews)

Black Rocks, White Sand and Starlit Romance at this Kaanapali Beach Hotel

The Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa is the grand dame of Kaanapali beach hotels, as it’s been romancing guests for upwards of 55 years from its sparkling white-sand beach beneath a towering black rock cliff. Nearly all the rooms and suites have views of the ocean and the nearby Lanai and Molokai islands. If you check into a renovated space you’ll get to unwind on a private balcony bedecked in wooden island touches. Slide open the wide glass doors to let in the sea breeze and take in the azure expanse below. To start the day with something special, order a mouthwatering breakfast from room service and eat it in the sunshine from your balcony. Bliss.

From Frank’s Haute Dogs to ROCKsalt International Restaurant, the cuisine at the Sheraton is varied and bountiful. For a romantic wine-and-dine, book the Dinner Under the Stars experience. Imagine savouring filet mignon with your loved one beside a soothing waterfall, in a perfumed garden or under the roof of a beachfront bungalow. You’ll have three different menus to choose from—”heart”, “my love” and “heavenly star”—each made of four or five courses with tender steaks, fresh seafood and other island specialities.

Spend the morning discovering all the twists and turns of the 142-yard lagoon-style pool before retreating to the Spa at Black Rock, which uses natural products drawn from ocean plants and Polynesian essential oils to pamper blissed-out guests. Try a Palua Couples Massage in a room specially designed to allow the gentle Maui breeze to drift through and calm the mind. Then, end your day with a jaw-dropping viewing of the hotel’s iconic sunset cliff diving ceremony, a hotel tradition since the establishment opened its doors in 1963. Recreating a famed moment in the life of Maui’s past King Kahekili, a diver lights torches along the cliff’s edge before swan diving into the dark water below. It’s mesmerizing to watch, but don’t try this stunt on your own!

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

7.7 Good (2780 reviews)

A Kaanapali Beach Hotel Where Adventure, Relaxation and Authentic Culture Await

On a quiet enclave on north Kaanapali Beach is Royal Lahaina Resort, where guests can kick of their sandals in a beach cottage or sleep in the sky in the 12-storey Lahaina Kai Tower. In the latter, watch nature bathe sky and sea in technicolour glory at sunset from your romantic private balcony, then see the sun rise again over distant mountains from your wide, plush bed. Custom teak furniture and locally inspired art add to the authentic feel of the rooms and suites, so you’ll be swaying to the island beat in no time.

Make the most of the Pacific sun with a splash in the beachfront pool or a bubbly outdoor hot tub session, or go nocturnal with a spot of night tennis. If you want to really wow your partner, get a bird’s-eye view of the island from a helicopter or board a boat to get up close and personal with a pod of whales. Guests looking to add a bit of culture to their stay will want to take in the Myths of Maui Luau—you’ll be captivated by traditional Hawaiian, Samoan and Tahitian dances while a shell lei is placed on your shoulders, then indulge in roasted pig and an open bar. After your thrills, book a romantic sunset cruise with your sweetheart and see Kaanapali Beach in a whole new light.

Talented therapists and aestheticians at Alana Spa will help you adjust to laidback island time with a Pokahu hot-stone treatment or the Makai Experience, an outdoor, ocean-view massage. For skin that’s had a bit too much sun, ask for a massage enhancement service like the refreshing aloe cooling treatment. Or to cool your tastebuds instead, mosey over to the Royal Scoop for locally made ice cream in a variety of tropical flavours, plus delectable smoothies and speciality coffees. You can also swing by the Royal Trading Company for fun beverages and snacks to bring back to your room for a private nosh, as well as island-crafted gifts and themed souvenirs.

Royal Lahaina Resort

8.0 Very good (8966 reviews)

Luxe Suites and Spa Indulgences: a Kaanapali Beach Hotel for a Pampered Stay

At the northern end of Kaanapali Beach, you’ll find the decadent Honua Kai Resort and Spa made up of two hotel and condominium buildings and steeped in spa luxuries. Total relaxation awaits at Ho’ola Spa, where you can dabble in contemporary island treatments from Malie Organics, Hawaii’s premier luxury beauty brand. Newlyweds and couples who’d like to re-ignite the spark should try the Honeymoon Spa Package, where you’ll be lathered up in tropical body butter in a side-by-side massage until you’re feeling fully relaxed and rejuvenated.

Get comfy in a studio, one-, two- or three-bedroom suite, where in-room laundry and Bosch kitchen appliances give you the conveniences of home—but with some tropical flair! Think fresh-cut bird-of-paradise flower arrangements in your bright seating area, and clear views over swaying palms and ocean waves. You can whip up your own take on Hawaiian cuisine in your gourmet cook space with fresh ingredients from the nearby supermarket while you look out over your island worktop to the glistening sea.

If you’d rather dine out, head to Duke’s Beach House. Named after iconic Hawaiian surfer Duke Kahanamoku, this beachfront eatery plates up responsibly-sourced seafood and local treats like banana and macadamia nut pancakes while you sit surrounded by surfing memorabilia and photos of the Olympian, movie star and local hero. For lighter bites, pop into charming coffee bar and deli Aina Gourmet Market, which takes on the 100-mile concept of preparing only seasonal, local delights. You’ll be helping the island economy by purchasing snacks that support small-scale farmers and other Maui entrepreneurs. Sip on a delicious coffee that’s 100-percent island grown (at O’o Farm) and lovingly roasted in micro lots.

For your daily dose of fun, head to the resort’s water slide. There’s space to splash for the whole day, what with gushing man-made waterfalls and a three-acre network of pools. If saltwater and surf are your more your thing, the white-sand beach is right at your feet. Set your sights ocean-ward from your spot on the sun-soaked sand, and you just might spot humpback whales in the distance.

Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (7383 reviews)