Westin Maui's Beach Tower set for renovation

KAANAPALI, Hawaii -- The Westin Maui here will begin renovating 458 rooms in the hotel's Beach Tower sometime in the fourth quarter, according to Epi Rabanal, director of leisure sales for the hotel.

The hotel finished a $16 million renovation to its 300 Ocean Tower rooms in December.

The Westin Maui is the only hotel that Starwood Hotels & Resorts owns and manages in Hawaii.

The 87,000-square-foot pool area at the Westin Maui in Kaanapali has five pools, two waterfalls and a hot tub. Also in December, the Westin opened a $2 million ultra-modern beachfront restaurant called Tropica.

This restaurant features delicious food in a cosmopolitan atmosphere not found in many places in Hawaii.

The restaurant is so new and so different from most hotel restaurants that passersby on the promenade that runs the length of the Kaanapali resort area could get the impression it's a place of fine dining at high prices.

In fact, the restaurant is very reasonably priced and, once inside, the atmosphere is casual.

The view from the new Tropica restaurant at the Westin Maui.Prices for appetizers range from $6 for a lobster clam chowder to $12 for the Deconstructed Crab Cake Dynamite.

A wood-burning oven produces pizzas priced from $12 to $18.

The main dishes run from $18 for a roasted pork loin in banana leaf with Big Island hearts of palm and a Hana fern salad, to $32 for barbecued Kona lobster with caramelized peppers, Kaanapali corn flan and fried rice.

The restaurant can accommodate groups, as well, in two side-by-side, stainless-steel structures that resemble volcanoes.

In addition to the new restaurant, the Westin Maui has two other major restaurants, Koa Ala and Ono's Bar and Grill; a sushi bar, and a place that serves continental breakfast.

For reservations or additional information, call (800) 937-8461 or check the Web at www.westin.com.

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