Maui Marriott refits at 72% occupancy

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KAANAPALI, Maui -- Imagine an upscale hotel here under heavy demolition and renovation, with no restaurant and no pool and still running at 72% occupancy.

That was the scenario at the Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club, which underwent a $70 million renovation from July to December of last year, according to general manager Stan Engeldorf.

"We pretty much demolished this place. We had no pool; no breakfast, lunch or dinner, and we were serving food out of the ballroom," said Engeldorf during a recent tour of the property.

"We [stayed open] because we wanted to keep our customers. We were very honest and candid with our guests. We told them, 'You leave at 8 a.m. and don't come back until after 4 p.m., or it'll be noisy.' "

The hotel has three wings: the Maui and Lanai wings, with 391 newly refurbished rooms, and the Molokai wing -- which was not refurbished -- with 215 hotel rooms and 50 time-share units on the top three floors.

Kids are attracted to the shipwreck playground at the Maui Marriott Resort & Ocean Club's 3.5-acre pool. The hotel also has a 3.5-acre pool with a slide and shipwreck playground, four tennis courts on the beach, a fitness center, some shops and several dining options.

There is Va Bene, an Italian restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner; the Nalu Sunset Bar and Sushi, which offers Hawaiian-style sushi in the evening and live Hawaiian music; a deli called the Beach Walk Market Place and Pantry, and the Marriott Luau, which costs $72 per person and averages about 440 guests per night.

All hotel rooms have a queen-size sofa bed and either two double beds or a king-size bed.

A maximum of four persons are allowed to stay in each room.

The construction is about to begin anew April 23 on the Molokai wing as the hotel prepares to convert more hotel units, floor-by-floor, to time-share units.

The whole hotel may one day be converted to one giant time-share resort if sales go well, according to Engeldorf.

Hotel room rates in five categories through Dec. 25 range from $329 to $539 a night.

The rates for the refurbished rooms are the same as those that have not been renovated.

There also is a presidential suite that goes for $1,499 a night.

The hotel offers a Paradise Plus package that includes accommodations, a rental car or daily breakfast for two for $319 a night in a standard room, $349 a night in a deluxe room and $379 a night in a junior suite.

For additional information and reservations, call (800) 228-9290 or check out the property's Web site at www.travelweb.com.

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