The crescent-shaped Napili Bay in west Maui looks out to the islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i. The less-crowded, relaxed area is where the Napili Kai Beach Resort (5900 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, HI 96761; 808-669-6271) is located. While it’s a deluxe resort with the most gorgeous ocean view from the lanai that I’d ever seen, Napili Kai Beach Resort has a causal and relaxed ambiance. I loved it. I was surprised at just how comfortable and spacious, yet upscale, this place really was.
My one-bedroom suite was huge, with a full kitchen, living room with a sofa bed, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, two bathrooms, and a beautiful view onto the crescent-shaped Napili Bay and the islands of Lana’i and Moloka’i. They also have studios, hotel rooms and two-bedrooms suites (most with a kitchen).
The resort had a coral reef for snorkeling right in front of it, four swimming pools (the room I was in looked out at one of them), a spa, a fitness room, a large ocean view whirlpool spa, and two 18-hole putting greens. The resort offers free morning drinks and a daily cultural activity at the beach cabana.
Happy hour: At a restaurant with a view
The beachfront restaurant and bar—Sea House Restaurant under the direction of Chef Alex Stanislaw—was the perfect place for happy hour outside on the patio overlooking the ocean. The staff was so nice, quickly accommodating the line of people that kept forming (even those of us that decided to come at the end of happy hour). It’s received many awards for its sunset happy hour, and I could see why.
I was in love with my appetizers—seared ahi, Maui Beach Balls and calamari tacos—which together were basically enough food for dinner. The Maui Beach Balls were a mix of rock shrimp, mahimahi, corn, and cheeses. YUM! I also loved the breakfast at Sea House because of the incredible frittata I ate and the relaxed, quiet ocean view that went along with it.
Hawaiian culture: Napili Kai Foundation kids
Every Tuesday evening, the children of the Napili Kai Foundation present a 45-minute program of Polynesian song and dance on the Napili Bay Beach Resort’s property. It’s a cute show, and honestly, it was just as awesome as a real Hawaiian luau. The children even did some of the same types of song and dance found in a real luau. They stole my heart (especially the little boy that gave me a flower lei after the performance), and more importantly, this is a pretty unique show that many other hotels can’t claim.
Tip: If you’re around on a Wednesday night, I hear there’s a great concert called the Masters of Hawaiian Music Slack Key Show at the hotel. It features the true greats of Hawaiian slack key guitar music. This concert series has produced Grammy-award winning CDs in the Hawaiian music category for several years.
Adventure: Scenic coastal walk and cliff-jumping
It was really important that I took some time to stroll around the area so that I could see many different ocean views. I could have walked forever along the coastal walk that begins at the hotel (ask the front desk for the map). I walked so far that I reached a hidden cliff where locals were snorkeling and doing cliff-jumps. Clearly, I jumped right in with them.
“The kind of place where you can forget the rest of the world exists”
Being a view person, I found no better and more-relaxing view than the view from my very own private lanai (balcony) at Napili Kai Beach Resort. It was the perfect spot for coffee in the morning, a drink at sunset and even sunbathing during the day. As one of the hotel staff said to me, “This is the kind of place where you can forget the rest of the world exists.”
By the end of my stay, I definitely agreed (and my room was away from the crowds on the beach). Look at the view above! It does really feel like your own world.
In part 2: Wailea.