Hawaii bureau chief Katherine Nichols and her children visited
the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali recently. Her
he Hyatt Regency Maui Resort
& Spa caters to weddings and honeymoon couples, but families
are a third big market.
They account for 44% of all visitors to the island, according to
the Maui Visitors Bureau, and the competition to keep pace is
In 2002, the resort poured $26 million into the refurbishment of
its 806 guest rooms, including 31 suites and a Regency Club floor,
and built a new children's pool that became the highlight of our
The children's pool, an addition the resort completed in
December, is a place to play amidst volcanic rocks and 10-foot
water spouts. Only 18 inches deep, it is contained for safety by
rocks and a net.
Faux lava rocks separate the children's pool from the
nine-foot-deep adult pool and its 150-foot lava-tube slide.
On our way to breakfast and a morning at the Hyatt's day camp
for my 8- and 10-year-old children, we strolled past a strip of
shops, including the hotel's own Moa Moa, featuring a bamboo
bicycle, hotel logo wear and Hawaiian-style gifts in all price
Camp Hyatt starts at 9 a.m. and finishes at 3 p.m. ($60 per
child, including lunch; $35 a half day).
Recreation attendant Dennis Ramos greeted the kids with a
rundown of morning activities: swimming in the pool, tennis,
fishing and feeding the ducks.
On Mondays, camp participants (ages 5 to 12) leave the property
for excursions on the Sugar Cane Train, the Atlantis Submarine,
lunch at a Subway and a movie at the Imax Theatre. Thursdays are
spent at the Maui Ocean Center aquarium ($75 per child, including
lunch). Other days focus on outdoor and Hawaiiana activities at the
There's also an evening session, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. ($12 per
hour, per child, including dinner).
Next to the pool sits an arcade that will surely drain a few
quarters from every parent's pocket.
In an especially creative move, counselors take digital photos
of the children during the activities, then post them on a private
Web site (with a password given only to parents) for families to
download and share with friends when they get home.
While the children were at camp, I visited the top-of-the-line
Spa Moana, which offers a full array of treatments.
Still, the resort plans to add 3,200 square feet to the
3-year-old spa, beauty salon and fitness center, although an exact
date to begin construction has not been set.
The oceanfront fitness center is small, but the resort intends
to change that and compensates for it now with fitness classes like
the beach boot camp, which is a session of high-intensity aerobics
in the sand.
More than 150,000 square feet of flexible meetings space is
available. Three full-time staffers arrange about 300 weddings per
year and can set up for just about any group size in almost any
location on the property.
Renovations include new rest room/hospitality facilities near
the pool. Large, clean bathroom stalls now have an adjacent
dressing room, private showers and lockers large enough to hold a
"We want to accommodate those guests who are flying out at 11
p.m.," said sales manager Melissa Nelson.
Rates range from $345 to $850 per night. Special Aloha rates
start at $275.
To book, call (800) 233-1234 or log onto www.maui.hyatt.com;
for air-inclusive packages, visit www.hyattvacations.com.
Star Service Review: Hyatt Regency Maui Resort &
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, anchoring the south end of
the hotel strip, next to the Marriott, three miles north of
Lahaina, remains the Kaanapali kingpin.
Thanks to renovations over the last four years, this property is
now much more sophisticated. The improved landscaping and
impressive Pacific Rim art collection bolster the new look in and
around the public areas, while the subdued style in the
accommodations reflect Hyatt's dedication to providing a romantic
retreat as well as the utmost in quality.
The new reception area is tucked in a corner of the vast
open-air lobby -- small for such a huge hotel, but with a staff
that keeps waits to a minimum.
Dining options are generally expensive and include an
underground northern Italian room for dinner only, an open-air
steak and seafood restaurant and Swan Court, which wins awards for
its Continental and Pacific Rim food. A modest, though likewise
pricey, food court sits beside the pool.
A library, game room, health club, six tennis courts and
water-sports facilities are scattered about. The revamped
conference space on the ground floor of one of the accommodations
towers has a capacity of 3,000.
After nearly 20 years of neglect, the accommodations are on the
road to recovery. They are in three connecting buildings: the
nine-story Atrium Tower, seven-story Lahaina Tower, and eight-story
Napili Tower, the last preferred by most for its greater quiet and
Rooms at this Hyatt are also among the largest in the islands.
Smart-looking, rattan-strung plantation furniture, local art and
low-pile carpeting lend an air of refinement. Gone are the glowing
floral fabrics of the past, with muted backdrops now
The sitting areas provide armchairs and ottomans. Mahogany
dressers have replaced bulky armoires, giving the rooms a more
spacious feel. Among the nice new additions are plump mattresses
topped with traditional Hawaiian quilts.
Baths are larger than average, with dressing areas, vanities
cloaked in travertine, good lighting and plenty of mirrors.
Sliding glass doors open to small furnished lanais, and most of
the rooms afford at least partial ocean views. Gardenview rooms
below the sixth floor often take in only rooflines and parking
This hotel is once again at the top of the heap in
This review was adapted from Star Service Online, a sister
publication of Travel Weekly, located on line at www.starserviceonline.com.