Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Community > Trip Reports
Reload this Page >

Summer is a state of mind; Kaanapali, Maui, via Alaska Airlines with my 13 yr old son

Summer is a state of mind; Kaanapali, Maui, via Alaska Airlines with my 13 yr old son

Reply

Old Nov 5, 17, 2:28 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Summer is a state of mind; Kaanapali, Maui, via Alaska Airlines with my 13 yr old son

Summer is a state of mind: Kaanapali, Maui, USA via Alaska Airlines with my 13 year old son.

YVR-SEA-PDX-OGG (paid – 2 for 1 Alaska Airlines companion fare)
OGG-SEA-YVR (paid – 2 for 1 Alaska Airlines companion fare)




In this report:

Alaska Airlines: Vancouver - Seattle
Alaska Lounge SeaTac C Gates
Alaska Airlines Horizon: Seattle - Portland
Alaska Airlines: Portland - Kahuilui
Sheraton Maui
Kaanapali, Maui
Lahania, Maui
Kapalua Bay, Maui
Alaska Airlines: Kahuilui - Seattle
Alaska Airlines: Seattle - Vancouver


Background:

After our beach holiday to French Polynesia, it was time for a vacation with my son. He had spent the earlier part of the summer traveling to Tofino and Calgary with his mom. In the spring, I asked him where he wanted to go. He was keen to return back to Maui, where we had spent a family holiday together with MrsWT73 when he was seven.

Since the Bellingham, Washington to Maui, Hawaii flights are seasonal, we ended up flying from Vancouver via Seattle / Portland. We used an Alaska 2 for 1 companion fare that was about to expire that we had received courtesy of the Canadian Alaska Airlines Mastercard.

For the hotels, I just read the reviews and picked the Sheraton Maui as a solid Starwood property with a lounge that we could access for free thanks to SPG Platinum benefits. Here we go on another family adventure!


Links to my previous reports:

Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia via Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui Business Class (AS, Y, FJ J, NZ Y, VT Y, TH J, AA J), June 2017
Mileage Running to New York via Delta Airlines First Class for Alaska MVP Status (DL J), Dec 2016
Havana and Varadero Cuba via Westjet Holidays from Canada (WJ Y) Nov 2016
Malta (and the island of Gozo), Venice, Italy and Oktoberfest in Munich, via Air France Business Class (AF J, LH Y) Sept 2016
South Africa, Namibia, Victoria Falls, Mauritius & the UAE via Emirates First, Qatar Business (QR J, EK F, BA J, SA J, SW Y) April 2016
Dodging Volcanic Ash: A family trip to Bali / Singapore with my 11 year old (DL J / OZ J / KL J / JL J) July 2015
RTW#3 (J): Vietnam, Maldives, and Tackling India’s Golden Triangle. (AC/OZ/SQ/AI/TK), May 2015
Experiencing flying as a "Non-Rev", Australia Wine and Beaches, (AC J/Y, QF J) November 2014
Alaska Airlines First Class to Las Vegas, and a stay in the Aria Sky Suites “Penthouse” (AS F), August 2014
Family trip to Kenora Lake of the Woods Ontario via Air Canada Business Class (AC J). August 2014
Cathay Pacific First Class to New York, a sombre visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum & 4 days of eating in NYC. (CX F) May 2014
RTW #2 (J) The Khors of Oman- via Japan, Poland & the UAE. RTW in Biz (NH 787, OZ, TG, EY, TK, LH). April 2014
South Africa, Safari in Maasai Mara Kenya, & Mauritius (UA J, SA J, XAK, LX J, AC J) Nov 2013
A family trip to Westin Playa Conchal, Liberia Costa Rica, (UA Y) Aug 2013
Buried Treasure: UAE Empty Quarter and Beyond to Huvadhoo Atoll, Maldives (UA Y, EY J/Y, Q2 Y), Nov 2012
The Time Share Presentation: Spain / China / Thailand. (AC J, OZ F, TG F, LH J/F, AC Y, May 2012
A visit to Macchu Picchu and Valle Nevado, Peru and Chile. (AC J, LA Y) Sept 2011
Travel after the Revolution of January 25, 2011. Egypt. (MS Y) May 2011
A Step Back in Time: The Twilight of Burma, a visit to Myanmar (MI Y) Sept 2010

Last edited by worldtraveller73; Nov 25, 17 at 12:21 pm
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 2:35 pm
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Alaska Airlines
First Class (U)
YVR-SEA (Vancouver International Airport – SeaTac Airport)
AS 964
August 18, 2017
Booked: Boeing 737-900
Flown: Boeing 737-900
Departure: 06:02 AM
Arrival: 6:47 AM

We had to be up at 2:30 AM to get out the door for the 6 AM flight today. When I went to get him up, son was really groggy and wanted some “iphone time” to get up slowly. Oh boy. This is what family traveling has come to. Not likely 13 year old!! We tossed him in the car and away we went.

We sped in the car to the jet set long term parking in YVR. I made an advance booking via the YVR webpage and got a discount with the BC Automobile Association card. We took the shuttle bus and arrived to the dark airport building at 4:00 AM. We wheeled into the Alaska gates immediately under the Fairmont Vancouver Airport.





As family travel trips go, they are never completely organized. I tried but we couldn’t check in on line as the previous administration had turned over son’s passport after their summer trip only for me to discover the night before departure that it only had 3 months of validity left on it prior to expiration. I attempted on line check in but the Alaska computer would not accept the expiration date – claiming the document was expired and not valid for travel. I spent the evening of the night before searching to see if we would be denied boarding via a government or Alaska policy since you usually need 6 months left on the document. However, on arrival to the counter, all was okay at the Alaska check in desk and they never even mentioned it. MrsWT73 was pre-upgraded at the 48 hr mark to First Class (with a totally empty cabin) courtesy of her Alaska MVP status, which allow unlimited First Class upgrades. As an MVP, I wasn't even considered since Alaska doesn't extend traveling companion elite upgrades for non status passengers like my son.

We headed through to the secure side and US Customs Pre-Clearance in Vancouver. CASTA Security and Global Entry were a total mess today. It was the worst than I had ever seen it. There were easily over 100 people in the GE line. The line extended past the kiosks and finally got organized around 4:50 AM. That’s us in the Trusted Traveler lane on the left – yuk!





I later learned CASTA screening only opens at 4:30 AM and CBP opening with light staff. Many travelers were delayed thanks to about 200 people in the regular line. Awful! Despite this, we made it through CBP without any issue. Whole process form check in to gate too well over 60 minutes with fast track check in, nexus security screening and global entry. If a regular traveler leaving YVR in the early morning, come early as a result of the extra time needed.

We headed over to Gate 73, which is a sterile transit gate at YVR. The last time we headed out this gate, it was the gate for our Cathay Flight HKG-(YVR-JFK) a few years back. The indoor ferns were not as lush on our last trip through…









While we were waiting at the gate, I was called to the podium. Thankfully due to my MVP status, myself and the son received an operational upgrade to First Class. The friendly gate agent cautioned me and said “usually we don’t do this but we have people we want to fit on in the back”. Alaska doesn’t normally upgrade non status passengers along with the MVP’s but son who had no status was without status was on the same ticket as I.

We boarded with the earlier groups and settled into the First Class Cabin.









On board, there was the usual Alaska form of a pre-departure beverage consisting of a small bottle of Dasani water. We were also offered a bonus PDB beverage of orange juice or coffee, which seems to be unusual for the Vancouver – Seattle route. Usually, we get nothing.





There was no other in flight service on the short 27 minute flight down to Seattle.

We had a long taxi out to runway 26 L made longer by construction to runways. A smooth take off with some gorgeous sunrise views over mount baker.







We were out an parked at the N Gates in the North Terminal at SeaTac before we knew it at 7 AM.



Took the train over to the main terminal.

We went and looked at the options for breakfast in the food fair at the central concourse. Not much there but a beautiful picture window.



We ended coming back to an overpriced Wolfgang Puck in the C wing but very tasty with reasonably fresh artisan bread.

I went and looked at the Sub Pop store just off the C wing. Sub Pop is famous in the Seattle scene as the founding indie record label for Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney. It’s now backing Flight of the Concords among other bands. It was a cool piece of airport tenant trivia for all passengers traveling through Seattle.

worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 2:43 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Alaska Lounge
C Gates
SeaTac Airport.


With a three hour layover, we went over to the brand New Seattle Alaska Lounge at Gate C16. It opened on June 30, 2017. As of the date of our visit in late August 2017 that it wasn’t even on the airport directory maps. With no other lounge options other than buying a day pass at the United Club or the South Satellite Delta Club (we weren’t eligible for the American Express Centurion Studio), I sprung for entry and bought day passes for 3 at $45 each. As always, there were friendly Alaska managers at the reception. I paid for this with the Alaska Mileage Plan Credit Card and earned 4 points per dollar on an eligible Alaska purchase.





Once we settled inside, we found ourselves in a really nicely decorated “L” shaped space. Most of the seating space was against the windows, in a nice bright environment.











The food area was situated about halfway down the lounge. It had the usual Alaska pancake machine, along with some light breakfast snacks. Snacks were the operative word here – there wasn’t enough to replace a meal here. The muffins were enjoyable ; tasty and non Costco – like!













There was also a fancy espresso machine. Who’s going to complain about Starbucks Latte’s?





At the back of the lounge, was a large ceiling to floor water feature waterfall. The space led to the bar and bar stool area.











There were a few Washington beers available on tap, in addition to MrsWT73’s favorite of prosecco. The Alaska no tipping policy was also advertised.







There weren’t too many seats but we were able to move to the window seats about only about 20 minutes. There were some gorgeous plane spotting opportunities here – nicest of any lounge that I had remembered. It was much better than the old windowless dungeon United Red Carpet Club in the basement of the North Satellite Terminal.



Overall, a great lounge space with limited food options. Don’t come here for the food, but come for the local micro brew beers, a comfortable atmosphere with great natural light and the no tipping policy. It was easily worth another visit. MrsWT73 and son kept happy!
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 2:46 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Alaska Airlines
Economy Class (T)
SEA-PDX (SeaTac Airport – Portland International Airport)
AS 2077
August 18, 2017
Booked: Bombardier Q400
Flown: Bombardier Q400
Departure: 11:04 AM
Arrival: 11:50 AM

In order to get down to Maui with an afternoon arrival, we had to depart on the Portland flight. As a result, we had another short hop over to Portland. When I came time to leave the Alaska Lounge, we headed down for the Horizon Shuttle to PDX. It was my very first Horizon shuttle flight. I wasn’t really sure what to expect other than it is a shuttle flight in the usual prop plane. We ended up leaving from Gate C2, which is right across from the awesome Beechers’ Cheese vendor.





Boarding the shuttle flights today was outside via the covered walkways on to the apron. Nice clean facility and they had lots of travelers coming and going.







Double boarding doors today with rows 1-10 boarding via the front doors stairs and the balance boarding via the rear door stairs. The boarding process with both doors made things go much quicker. I left the rollie on the “A La Cart” gate check immediately outside. We settled in on board into some smallish seats.



As we got under way, we were offered a drink of juice, water or free local wine or beer. It was a strange combination as no coca cola or other soft drinks for otherwise available.



We were straight into Portland with no real waits. We disembarked off at the A gates. We waited for the cart followed by a brisk walk towards to the Gate C3 thanks to a tight connection. MrsWT73 forgot the boy’s sandals on the Horizon Air flight. Took them out of the exterior pocket in the carry on, then left them in the overhead bin in her rush to get off of the plane. Whoops!



In summary, a reasonable flight with an odd beverage combination. Juice, water or craft alcohol. LOL.
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 5:32 pm
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Alaska Airlines
Economy Class (T)
PDX-OGG (Portland International Airport – Kahuilui International Airport)
AS 809
August 18, 2017
Booked: Boeing 737-900
Flown: Boeing 737-900
Departure: 12:22 PM
Arrival: 3:10 PM


We had a quick 32 minute connection thanks to some mild flight delays. We headed over to Gate C3. Unfortunately, no time left today to check out the Portland Alaska Lounge, which would have been among the last in the system to visit. Yes – per the boarding sign, we are the last team to arrive to the gate.





On board, MrsWT73 had been moved up to Premium Class thanks to MVP upgrades. When she got to her Premium Class seat, a man was sitting there with his family. He offered up his sole First Class upgraded seat to her as he wanted to sit with his family. She left pretty darn quick, leaving son and I in the back of the cabin.

We were in main cabin row 11, which is missing a window. It wasn't so bad since we were near the front in the area reserved for elites. The original main cabin seat my wife was occupying was never re-assigned so we got a spare seat which we quickly occupied.





Like most Alaska flights, we were button’ed up really early – 20 minutes in advance of the departure time with the doors closed. Prompt!

We left Portland with a westward departure along the Columbia river behind Jet Blue.









The first lunch service started within 45 minutes of departure. It was a ginger chicken bowl by tom Douglas. Who is he? It wasn’t bad. We both had one.



Although I was so tired that I forgot to take a photo of the actual meal and dug right in. A solid 7 out of 10 for a buy on board meal.









I went to sleep after this for about 2.5 hours. It was abit uncomfortable against he fuselage but made it work. Lots of kids around today. Only one water service throughout the whole flight. Either that or I slept through it. Got lapped on the way there by a Delta airlines 767?





I missed the next service as junior was happily occupied on the Gogo Inflight entertainment watching movies. Unfortunately, no internet was available as we were over water were it isn’t supported.





In the last 90 minutes of the flight, Alaska offered a complimentary mai tai (Trader Vic’s) which was pretty sweet tasting until the ice cooled off. It was a nice touch to end a series of flights.



As we approached Maui, we took a U turn into OGG. It was nice to see the airport from the air along with the beautiful coast.







We were out quickly and into the outdoor air but horribly dated concourse corridors of Maui. I don't know what is with the state of Hawaii but it has some really old airports despite all the visits that it gets! You'd think they've had put an airport improvement fee in the plan but yet here we are. Having said that, it’s always a great relief arriving to Hawaii in daylight hours.



We passed by some very dated internet terminals; it’s been a while since I’ve seen anything like these!!



Putting all three flights together, it was a pretty long trip adding on the morning segments and the early morning wake-ups. We were pretty knackered near the end in these small planes. Despite our milk run route, Alaska remains a pretty solid choice for service from the West Coast to Hawaii.
nequine likes this.
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 7:34 pm
  #6  
757
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: St. Paul, MN
Programs: Delta GM, IHG Gold, HH Silver
Posts: 308
Great report so far! I've taken many of those SEA-PDX flights with Horizon Air when I used to connect in SEA a ton for work. I'm amazed that AS also operates a 737 on the YVR-SEA flight ... wow! That's a huge jet for such a short flight.

Looking forward to the rest of your report!
757 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 8:36 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 1,298
Tom Doulgas is a Seattle restaurateur. His first several restaurants - Dahlia, Lola, Serious Pie - are all really good. His last few spots have been duds.
MonThruThurs is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 5, 17, 10:38 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: MidSouth
Programs: AA; Delta GM
Posts: 705
Loving this trip report! Can't wait for more. Great photos! :-)
aquamarinesteph is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 6, 17, 6:00 am
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF Silver, UA 1K, AA 2mm LT PLT
Posts: 19,166
Great report and pics as always. Had to laugh at MrsWT73 leaving "pretty darn quick" on the seat swap. She's no fool.

Originally Posted by worldtraveller73 View Post
... He offered up his sole First Class upgraded seat to her as he wanted to sit with his family. She left pretty darn quick, leaving son and I in the back of the cabin.
kathykathy likes this.
SFO777 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 17, 9:15 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Originally Posted by 757 View Post
Great report so far! I've taken many of those SEA-PDX flights with Horizon Air when I used to connect in SEA a ton for work. I'm amazed that AS also operates a 737 on the YVR-SEA flight ... wow! That's a huge jet for such a short flight.

Looking forward to the rest of your report!
Thanks again 757. I find that the first and last flight of the day between SEA-YVR, YVR-SEA is on the 737. The rest of the day they use Q400's. We haven't missed the MVP upgrade to first yet on the 737's.

Originally Posted by MonThruThurs View Post
Tom Doulgas is a Seattle restaurateur. His first several restaurants - Dahlia, Lola, Serious Pie - are all really good. His last few spots have been duds.
Good to know MonThruThurs. We will have to keep that in mind for our next trip into Seattle and a night out.

Originally Posted by aquamarinesteph View Post
Loving this trip report! Can't wait for more. Great photos! :-)
Thanks aquamarinesteph. More coming up . . .

Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Great report and pics as always. Had to laugh at MrsWT73 leaving "pretty darn quick" on the seat swap. She's no fool.
Yep SFO777 - we've created some monsters. At least mine publicly announces that "she doesn't ride in the backs of planes" Hee Hee.
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 17, 9:31 pm
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
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 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. We hopped a bus over to the 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.




Sheraton Maui
O’Hana Hale Family Suite
Kaanapali, Maui


We decided on the Sheraton Maui after reading the on line reviews. With the fact that they had a club lounge, better online ratings than the Westin Kaanapali and at a lower family price point than the more upscale newer Kaanapali offerings, it was a decision made easy.

Starwood 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”; totaling 9 points per dollar AND 1,500 points from SPG Amex for a stay at a qualifying resort property. We were off to a great start there.

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. There was a busy but competent valet staff taking care of things at the front end. 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 queue and were helped after about 5 -7 minutes.

After the expensive French Polynesian, Fiji Adventure, I had booked a simple resort room (lowest category available). I thought that we would chance it and use 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.











Otherwise, there was a nice open air lobby. It was usually pretty busy. The best feature were the ocean views. The line at the front desk was pretty typical of our experiences.









After the check in process, we led ourselves to Room #1109 in the O’Hale building. Room #1109 was a room on ground floor. It had a large living area immediately opposite two double beds.







There was ample bed space for a young teenager and us and much better than a base level room.







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!





There was a massive bathroom that was about 25% of the floor space. The room also had the updated Sheraton “Le Grand Bain” toiletries.







The room also featured a wet bar along with a refrigerator. We promptly stuffed it full of beverages. The hotel was also kind enough to provide lots of 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 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).





A nice walk out lanai leading to nice 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 but 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.
nequine likes this.
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 17, 9:40 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
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 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.









Since most weren’t hungry we had a snack dinner 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 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 a elementary school bench area for those than want to be outdoors.


The next day, and for the entire duration of our six day stay, we took breakfast as the Platinum Breakfast benefit. The breakfast on offer was a full 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 plat 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.









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.





We took a lounger spot 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 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.











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. I really enjoyed being situated here for a week long family holiday.













We managed to locate some shaved ice – a treat which Hawaii is famous for. It was one of the things that the boy remembered from his last trip so we made sure to indulge at the first available opportunity!











After the walk, we returned to the hotel. We settled in and had some great views and enjoyed the water. 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.













nequine likes this.
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 17, 9:50 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
Programs: Aeroplan, Alaska MVP, Marriott Platinum / Lifetime Gold
Posts: 4,161
Black Rock Snorkel
Kaanapali, Maui

Over the course of our stay, we had some snorkeling through Black Rock. 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!!













Another day on the loungers. Pure bliss. For dinner, we drove up to Duke’s near Honua Kai Resort. We got a bit lost getting there but happened to catch an absolutely beautiful sunset.







For those that have and haven’t visited, Duke’s is a great Hawaiian franchised restaurant. We’ve visited several times and have always had a good product out of their establishments. I enjoyed a tiki themed mai - tai.



Son practiced his endorsed face. . .



So far- a fantastic trip and a much needed family break with a little bit of everything for everyone. It's too bad the house reef is looking a bit more tired these days. But the frequent sighting of turtles more than made up for it. My son didn't realize how lucky he had it with the amount that we had seen.
nequine likes this.
worldtraveller73 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 8, 17, 11:08 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: IAH
Programs: UA Junkie / Hyatt Diamond (fine, Globalist)
Posts: 42
Great report so far! Just got back from Maui in early October. Do most Maui resorts charge for lounge chairs on the beach? In my limited experience, only having been twice, our resort did not.

We also stopped at Costco for wine, beer, and some surprisingly good poke after arrival. Buying local beer at $9 a six pack, was much more reasonable than $9 a can at resort prices. We brought a cheap and small soft cooler that we would fill with ice from the hotel daily and bring by the pool and the beach.
UnitedWeStand is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Nov 9, 17, 3:24 pm
  #15  
Four Seasons 5+ BadgeSPG 5+ Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Germany
Programs: Some
Posts: 7,611
Great! I always tried to see a turtle in the water but never was successful so far.
offerendum is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread