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Old Jun 26, 06, 12:40 am   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
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Arrow Sheraton Maui, Ka'anapali, Hawaii [Master Thread]

Hi all... I'm posting this in the *Wood forum instead of the trip reports forum since it's all about my experience at the Maui Sheraton. I'm writing this from the hotel room as I wrap up the last night of my stay.

Overall my impression of the hotel is a fairly good one. I'd give it a 7 on a scale of 1-10 (10 being best). It's pretty centrally located in the Ka'anapali area, and isn't too far from great restaurants, beach actvities and other attractions (i.e. golf), and the hotel is pretty quiet. They've done a few things that I'd like for them to change - but who am I?

I arrived at the hotel after a half-hour drive (or so) from the airport in Kahului (airport code OGG). It's very easy to find. But when I arrived my room wasn't ready. This is something I think the hotels and airlines need to figure out, since most flights into OGG from LA, San Fran, Chicago or other major airports come in between 10am and 2pm. Checkin isn't until 3. I arrived around noon, and was told I should hang out. Since my bathing suit was in the suitcase and I didn't want to drag out everything, I decided to grab some lunch. The desk staff made up for it by buying me a drink - a nice gesture. They also took down my cellphone number and said they’d give me a call when the room was free.

Thinking I had 3 hours to kill, I went down to the pool-bar and had a sandwich and checked the place out. Before I could finish lunch, my phone rang and my room was ready. YES!

I got to the front desk and she informed me as a *wood Gold guest, I’d been upgraded to an ocean-view room. Perfect. I collected my keys, my bags from the bellman and found my way to the room.

The room is pretty standard. It has a King bed, a smallish TV (no local NBC affiliate or HBO, for some reason), the commode is too close to the toilet paper roll, meaning you have to sit at an angle, if you know what I mean. Also, the shower is setup so that the bathroom door will not completely open to 90-degrees. It only opens about 60-degrees or so. On the bright side, it has a refrigerator and free internet access (part of the $17/day “resort fee”, so not really free). My ocean-view is a partial ocean-view, if I go onto the balcony and cringe my neck to the left. I can see ocean, so they didn’t lie, I guess.

Anyway…. The pool areas are packed with kids and adults alike, and there is direct access to the beach from the pool area. That means there’s sand and more sand in the bottom of the pool from kids coming and going back and forth. There’s plenty of waitresses serving drinks and snacks, and I really didn’t have any trouble finding a chair to lay on. Towels are distributed in a central location and you can get as many as you like, so long as you fill out a form scaring you into returning them or else you get a $25 fee. The pool attendant told me to scribble some stuff on there. Nobody was going to charge me anything. Nice.

The restaurants in the hotel were a bit disappointing. Not a lot of variety. There’s one that claims it has the best salad bar on Maui. I think my local sizzler has a better salad bar, so if this claim is true, there’s tons of opportunity for a salad bar investor here in Maui!

I only ate one meal at the hotel restaurant. Instead, I opted for heading a short walk down to the Whaler’s Village, where the restaurant selection and nightlife were a little more appealing. The Westin Maui is right next to the Whaler’s Village, and after visiting that property for dinner (signing privileges there for Sheraton guests), I should have stayed there instead. The pool was better, the pool chairs looked more comfortable and plentiful, and the bar scene was easier to enjoy. I had several tapas at the Westin pool bar one night and flirted with a few nice ladies – one who just LOVED to drop the F bomb. Interesting.

I ordered room service tonight, ordering a club sandwich. The sandwich was ordered on wheat, and came on white. It says on the menu it comes with avocado, but there was no avocado on the sandwich. Also, I ordered mayo on the side and they brought extra ketchup – no mayo!!??!! Then the guy tried to argue with me over whether a service charge that they put on there was indeed a tip or not. I said it was, he disagreed. I told him he got my sandwich wrong, no mayo and they didn’t give me an option of turning down the service charge, so it was all the tip he was going to get. I’m still waiting for a callback from the manager about this. I wasn’t going to make a big deal about the sandwich, but I did want the mayo. I didn’t expect to get a hard time about what was a tip and what wasn’t.

Overall, the room isn’t all that bad. I’ve read previous items on Flyertalk about the hotel being overrun with kids. There’s lots of them, but they’re pretty manageable. And I’m shocked at how quiet the hotel is in general. I never even heard the doors closing of my neighbors. If you have points to blow on a free vacation, like I did, the Sheraton Maui may be a good selection. My next trip will be to the Westin though! ;-)
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Old Jun 26, 06, 6:47 am   #2
 
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We stayed at both the Sheraton and Westin on Maui last Spring. This was our 2nd visit to Maui and we spent 5 nights on Kauai before heading to Maui. I had enough Starpoints for 2 nights and used them at the Sheraton and paid cash for 1 night at the Westin(I really wanted to check out their pool!). We are a family of 4 with 2 teens. First we checked in at the Sheraton. I had warned my family that I had only booked one free room and we would probably be stuck in the back of the hotel. I was very surprised to learn that they upgraded us to an ocean view Ohana suite. Not only that, but we were treated very well by the staff. Yes, there were kids around, but the place is so big and the "feel" is so relaxed that you really don't mind. The beach and snorkeling are fantastic. I did not want to leave..... Then we checked into the Westin where we definitely did not get an upgrade. That would have been OK obviously - but the room felt very run-down and the whole place just was not on the same level as the Sheraton. Yes, the pool was fun - but not enough to make up for the overall lack of quality at the Westin. Bottomline...I would pay money to stay at the Sheraton again - I would not even pay points to stay at the Westin.
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Old Jun 29, 06, 3:03 pm   #3
 
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This really should be consolidated with one of the many existing Maui Sheraton/Maui Westin threads.

Some observations:

(1) Not all mainland flights arrive 10-2pm. There are quite a few that leave the West Coast in the afternoon and early evening, plus others that connect through Oahu. So I would imagine they get arrivals all day long. Balance that against SPG elites who request late checkout (which is not always available at resorts, but often granted, at least to 2pm) and you can see why rooms may not be available before 3pm for everyone.

(2) If you read the existing threads, you will see that many (myself included) recommend specifically requesting Building 6, where all rooms have direct ocean views. This building is also quiter than the other ones closer to the lobby, though it is more of a hike from the pool.

(3) The pool area was not very crowded during our stay, but I would imagine the occupancy levels and clientele are different in November and June. The consensus (again from other threads- and I concur) is that the Westin has a better pool area and the Sheraton has a better beach. YMMV.

(4) Food at the hotel is overpriced, as is true for most of the resorts in Kaanapali and even many of the restaurants in Whalers. Better value can be found in Lahaina, or even better down in Kihei.

(5) Overall I would give the property an 8/10 - subtracting 2 points for some noise issues at the pool (running leaf blowers throughout the prime afternoon hours is unacceptable ) but otherwise very satisfied with our stay. The workout room is pretty mediocre for a resort, moreso when you consider the mandatory resort fee.

Additional Note: If you are planning to stay for 5+ nights and want to save some coin, try to get on the SVO list for the current offer of $749 for 5 nights plus an Avis car and a $100 dining cert. That works out to $100 per night plus tax, which is a steal even compared with other promo rates.
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Old Jun 30, 06, 12:51 pm   #4
 
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We loved this hotel, just left June 25th and had a great stay. We arrived
about 5:00pm and it did not start off too well. We were informed I had
been upgraded to a partial ocean view. We are a family of three and the room had one king bed. I asked for a roll away and they said there would
be a $75.00 charge per night for that. I am Gold and said I thought an upgrade should include enough bedding but the receptionist wouldn't budge.
I then asked for an upgrade to a better room with points- sorry she said,
nothing avaliable. We had had a long day so I took the mountain view , no
upgrade room. The room was small and looked out on the side of the mesh
tennis courts, the bathroom was very motel 6.
Next morning, I went back to the reception desk and asked about an upgrade,
different lady, most helpful offer me several choices, we took a family suite
ocean front for an exta $150.00 a night (she offer points but it was not a good deal) and loved it. Great view, the hotel staff
were friendly, snorkeling right off the beach with turtles and all kinds of fish.
Beautiful grounds and pool. Easy walk to the shops and dinning. We will be
back. We stayed in room 1110 and it was a great room except it was a
handicaped room , I wonder if all the ground floor family suites are?
Can't wait to go back!!
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Old Jul 3, 06, 4:29 pm   #5
 
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My family of 3 stayed there last August and just loved it. When I reserved I requested a roll away and was told that there is a fee but they would waive it for me. When I spoke to another agent to confirm reservation she said that they don't usually waive the fee and that they would not ever do it again. Anyway no problem at the hotel with the roll away or fee. We were in bldg 4 which is quite a walk but fantastic location, great view and very nice spg room with large bath with double doors. We loved the beach and location. Restaurants marginal but lots in the area within walking distance. Would definately stay here again but have bought a timeshare at the Marriott down the beach so will be there from now on!
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Old Aug 2, 06, 3:11 pm   #6
 
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Sheraton Maui - Consolidated Room/Suite Information

I'm headed to the Sheraton Maui in a few weeks. I've compiled the info below to try and sort out what type of room/suite upgrade and location I should shoot for. I pulled the information from related threads and the hotel's site.

Any recent first-hand advice on the type of upgrade I can hope for/expect as a plat on an award stay? The pool is not a priority for us -- we'd rather sit on the beach or lounge in our room, checking out the views. Hoping to avoid noise, crowds and kids as much as possible.

It sounds like buildings 5 and 6 would be the best bets, so I guess I'll beg for one of the Deluxe Ocean Front suites, although I don't have high hopes of getting it. What should be my second choice? Anything (other than the garden view) I should avoid?

Thanks for the help, and I hope these lists help others.
-Ursa

Suite Options
Suite Name.............Quantity....Building

Ohana......................20.............1
Junior.......................10.............2
Ocean.......................5..............3&4
Deluxe Ocean Front.....8..............2,5&6
Ali'i...........................1..............Unk nown

Room Options
Room Name...........Quantitiy....Building.....Features

Ocean Front...........76..............3&4.............Vi ews:Ocean, Black Rock
Ocean View............112.............3...............Vi ews: Kaanapali Shoreline, pool
Mountain View.........36..............3...............Views :Mountains, golf course
Garden View............50..............3..............."a uthentic Hawaiian furnishings"
Deluxe Ocean Front..104............5&6.............Microwave ovens
Deluxe Ocean..........84..............2...............Non e listed

Building Information
Building 1 (Hale O Ka 'Ohana) Rooms 1101-1210 - No information
Building 2 (Hale Lahaina) Rooms 2101-2521 - No information
Building 3 (Hale O Ke Anuenue) Rooms 3101-3634 - Short walk to the pool, limited privacy, lots of stuff (lawn, swimming pool, restaurant) between you and the ocean
Building 4 (Hale O Ka Nalu) Rooms 4103-4611 - Limited privacy, lots of stuff between you and the ocean
Building 5 (Hale O Na Hoku) Rooms 5101-5111 - No information
Building 6 (Hale O Ka Moana) Rooms 6101-6526 - Faces Black Rock. Quieter, 5-8 min. uphill walk from pool
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Old Aug 2, 06, 3:18 pm   #7
 
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First off, the Sheraton Maui is a beautiful resort and I loved every minute of being there. I think no matter what room you have, you will have an amazing stay at the resort. And don't forget to visit Mama's Fish House while on Maui for by far the best fish dining experience on the island.

As for room upgrades, I found the hotel staff very accomodating. I am SPG Gold and actually booked my stay through Costco, so prepaid (at a much lower rate than Starwoods' advertised rates) and was not earning SPG points. The room I booked and paid for was a Mountainview Room. When I arrived at the hotel, I gave my SPG Gold card to the front desk and was upgraded to an Ocean Front room. Not a deluxe or suite, but we thoroughly enjoyed the Ocean Front and the great breeze on the balcony. I can imagine that if you are Platinum, you will be upgraded to a much better room. Unless the hotel is completely sold out, I think your chances of being upgraded are extremely good. The hotel is really top notch in service and taking care of their guests.

Enjoy your stay!
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Old Sep 8, 06, 9:28 pm   #8
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Any other comments/comparisons/recent experiences between the Sheraton and the Westin? Although one must take TripAdvisor reviews with a large grain of salt, the recent reviews there of the Westin are quite negative, but fairly positive for the Sheraton. Also, any thoughts re: upgrade possibilities for an SPG Gold on a late March award stay?
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Old Sep 9, 06, 9:54 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactuspete
Also, any thoughts re: upgrade possibilities for an SPG Gold on a late March award stay?
I'm a Gold and stayed there on my honeymoon in October. We were upgraded to a partial ocean view on the 6th floor. It was actually a pretty great view from our lanai. I was expecting to be disappointed by "partial ocean view", but in fact it was quite the opposite.
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Old Sep 11, 06, 7:50 pm   #10
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Sheraton Maui awards -- any way to avoid the surcharge?

I'm not thrilled with redeeming Cat. 5 points for this hotel, but the room rates on Maui are now so high ($400+, worse than Europe!) it looks like almost a deal. One annoyance, however, is that they seem to have almost no availability (even six months in advance) for "standard" rooms. So they charge an extra 1500 points per night for upgraded rooms. Mind you, these aren't oceanfront rooms, just ordinary-sounding "golf" or "mountain view."

Seems a little dubious -- especially since as a gold, I think I'd likely wind up in one of those slightly better rooms anyway. I assume the property is allowed to play this game?

FWIW, the Westin Maui seems to have a similar strategy.
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Old Sep 11, 06, 8:06 pm   #11
 
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you can always take your chances and not pay for the upgraded room and hope for the best in terms of getting upgraded when you get there.
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Old Sep 11, 06, 8:07 pm   #12
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If standard rooms aren't available, it's not a game.

I don't know how the room cats go though.. Sounds like you probably have to book, instead of counting on an upgrade, as they'll be sold out. So the question is what they want for Ocean View rooms. If that's what you're looking for?

(Extra 1500 per night at a Cat 5 - 12K-16K actually seems lower than the usual 2500 BTW)
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Old Sep 11, 06, 8:15 pm   #13
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Well, the issue is not having standard reward rooms available -- perhaps making what would otherwise be a "standard" room in most hotels (like a golf view) a higher level room category and charging an extra 1500 points for it. Truly premium rooms categories (like oceanfront or suites) are considerably more points at this hotel.

I have previously seen SPG award upgrades for oceanview rooms (usually 1500 points), but this is my first encounter with having to pay more for seemingly "ordinary" room categories.
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Old Sep 11, 06, 8:50 pm   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iahphx
I have previously seen SPG award upgrades for oceanview rooms (usually 1500 points), but this is my first encounter with having to pay more for seemingly "ordinary" room categories.
You sure they were priced that low? Seems that whenever I look at a Cat 5, the increments are in blocks of 2500 instead of 1500.

If they indeed made a change like that, it would sure seem to be fishy to me..
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Old Sep 12, 06, 6:29 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri
You sure they were priced that low? Seems that whenever I look at a Cat 5, the increments are in blocks of 2500 instead of 1500.
This is my first experience with a Cat. 5 upgrade, so you could be correct in that regard. For Cat. 4 upgrades, 1500 points has gotten me significantly better rooms, generally at least junior suites, executive floor or oceanfront.

As I said, I have never seen a charge -- as appears to be the case here -- for NOMINAL room improvements, yet alone where there are no standard rooms available for rental several months in advance.
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