More about Mana Kai Maui
Wonderful Maui Vacation, thanks to the Mana Kai!!
Just returned from the Mana Kai! We were there for March Break with our Kids ages 13 and 8. Hubby and I have stayed in West Maui on previous vacations, and this time decided to try Kehei. It was absolutely WONDERFUL. An Oceanfront condo was of our highest priority. I was a bit leary about staying at the Mana Kai, because it was described as an "older" building. Believe me, we are not Grand Wailea type travellers, but want something clean, large and comfortable without spending our tax return on a daily condo rate. We got everything and MORE at the Mana Kai!! Our 2 bedroom condo was a DREAM!! The kids got the "hotel room" with a King size bed, their own bathroom, TV and mini fridge..so they were THRILLED. BTW, the previous reviewer got a Hotel Room, NOT a one-bedroom, so don't be confused. The open Kitchen was CLEAN, spacious and had evey untencil you could think of. The Living area had a CD Player, DVD, huge TV, pull-out sofa (if you needed it), and more lounging chairs; and our Bedroom had another King Bed, Dressing Room, and large Bathroom. The decor was tastefully done, and again...CLEAN! Fresh towels everyday, vacuumming, etc. The cleaning staff out did themselves, and I was happy to say this to the Head of the Housekeeping. The LANAI was to die for!! It was HUGE even with all the patio furniture. Our Condo was on the second floor above the Pool, which gave me concern at first, but never proved to be a problem whatsoever. The pool is heated and cleaned daily at 0700. Glorious...even for my kids who are competitive swimmers!! The VIEW down the Beach is a picture that will never leave my mind. Gorgeous Sand, and snorkelling just STEPS away, with TONS of fish! It is truly one of the best beaches I have seen and been to in Maui. I felt completely comfortable letting my kids run and boogie board down the beach, while hubby and I had "quiet time" on our lanai, because I could see there every move. Since we were there over Easter, the only "busy" day on the beach was Easter Sunday...but other than that, there was never more than up to 20 people there. There were some reviewers complaining that the Mana Kai was showing it's age, but upon our arrival, they had just finished a complete exterior painting to the entire restort, so it certainly didn't look like it was over 30 years old. The Staff were very friendly, and helpful and really made you feel like the Mana Kai was your second home. The little convienant store was great for fast lunches ( Best Hot Dogs in Maui; according to Maui Revealed Book...and they were right!!). The Sunsets were glorious and I loved hearing various travellers blowing their Conch Shells while the sun went down..with a drink in hand, of course!! There were all age groups and families staying at the Mana Kai. Everything from Honeymooners to Seniors, and Families of all sizes in between. The Mana Kai is an excellent bang for your buck. If there was "ANY" downside, it would be that I wish there were some outdoor grills. The 5 Palm Restaurant is average...but overpriced in my opinion. I asked my family if they would like to return to the Mana Kai someday, and it was a definate YES. I spend my days back home dreaming of our return. Many thanks to Judy, for all your input on the Mana Kai!!
Very nice condos, bad hotel rooms
The Mana Kai Maui operates in two modes. They have hotel rooms that face the parking lot and the main floor walkways. These are dark, noisy, and offer no views. Depressing. The condo units are another story. They are bright, airy, and look out onto lovely grounds and beach. The condos are rented from the owners through an agency, but the front desk fully supports them with replaceable beach towels, friendly service, daily clenaing/maids, and reserved parking slots in the lot. There are luggage carts to help you load/unload. Each condo/hotel room pairing shares a dedicated foyer and number off the main walkway. The condo is the "A" unit and the hotel room is the "B" unit in their numbering scheme.
Although condo owners have flexibility in their own decorations/furnishings, there is some overall standardization by the condo agency as evidenced by the fact that we saw signs indicating a finish to a property-wide upgrade on tile floors and carpeting in all units. They were also installing high-speed internet in the condo units while we were there. Our unit (709A) was lovely, with no musty or mildew smells, with chairs and table on the balcony, and soap/shampoo in the bathroom. There is a television and radio/CD player. The property has 8 floors and I recommend asking for as high a floor as possible.
Facilities include a gift shop, activities booking desk, very clean pool, and an upscale (overpriced) restaurant with great views. A walkway goes to the public beach behind the hotel, which has nice clean sand and a good local reef (you need to snorkel early before the regular afternoon winds and surf kick up). A puclic rinsing tower lets you clean sand and salt water off before reentering the lobby (which also sports a nice reef fish tank).
There is an upscale restaurant next door (Sarento's On The Beach). There is also a Best Western next door that has an outdoor banquet area for group events. We heard two party activities that were somewhat loud, but everyone is good about not letting noise go late. Things are always very quiet by 10:00.
Our room had a fan, but no air conditioning. You can leave your sliding glass doors open and lock the screen door to the balcony. It's not theft-proof (you can simply slide the screen to one side and walk in), but you'd have to clamber over balcony railings in full view of everyone outside, so I put the probability as very low and never worried about it. The surf is loud at night. Some people might be bothered, but it's a constant "white noise" that becomes part of the background.
The condo units face south-southeast, so you won't see the sunsets from your balcony. But the views you do see are excellent.
The location is extreme south Kihei. You are almost at the border of the Wailea area of fancy ultra-luxury resort hotels (Four Seasons, Marriott, Grand Wailea, etc.). A couple of minutes drive gets you to the Shops at Wailea for high priced shopping (they have replicated Rodeo Drive with Tiffany's, Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, etc) and dining (Longhis, Cheeseburger and Mai Tais, Ruth's Chris). Driving north gives you a lot of options for lower-priced dining and gift shopping. There are quite a few very good public beaches and parks close by. Scuba/snorkeling trips leave from the nearby wharf, which is about a one-minute drive from the hotel and can be walked if you're not carrying much gear.
We liked this property a lot and would stay here again.
Still a great place
Just returned mid November 04. Mana Kai has a great personality, moderate price, great beach and snorkling, and wonderful for children as well. Saw many repeat vacationers,
and less crowded than northern island most of the time. Beach extends south to Wilea area.
Not that great
The only thing the Mana Kai has going for it, is the location. It is right on the beach and what a beach it is. Wonderful sandy bottom and good boogie boarding. The condos however were very run down. We splurged for a 1-bedroom full ocean view and got a glorified studio. This was no 1-bedroom. It was tiny, tiny, tiny and had many bugs. There was also an undetermined "critter" living with us. We saw his/her droppings all around the kitchen.
If there are bugs and critters in one unit, they are in the entire building. We did have the ocean view but the building is on an angle so we could not see the sunset or the moon set from our room. It was great for sleeping at night, but hardly the ocean view I was expecting. This was our 6th time on Maui and the first and last time we stay at the Mana Kai. We scoped out other condos on that same beach however. Did I mention the beach was amazing?
The best vacation ever!
I remember the day I arrived. It was like it was yesterday. My family and I walked in our room and our jaws dropped after looking out the huge sliding doors which led to the lanai that watched over the long stretch of beach. It was the most beautiful view I have ever seen! We had the deluxe oceanfront room and it was very nice and well kept-up. After I went to check out the bathroom, which is what I do at every place I stay at, (very, very nice by the way), I layed on the bed and listened to the waves crash on the beach. It is a very soothing sound, and nice to fall asleep to. My favorite thing to do was watch the gorgeous sunsets as the sun went down behind the island of Lanai' and listen to the waves crash into each other. The sky is so clear at night that all you can see is billions of stars. I have never known a place to be so bright and lit up at night. Snorkeling is awesome restaurants are great, and shopping is a must.
Beware of 1 Bedroom Accommodations
Reading some of these reviews, I can't believe they stayed in the same place I did! To be fair, the condos facing the beach may be really wonderful. But, I was in a one-bedroom unit facing the parking lot. Only view I had was of people walking by my window at all hours. Had to sleep with the windows closed, despite the beautiful weather, because the conversations outside and the sounds of cars kept me awake. The unit was one of the smallest hotel rooms I have ever seen. I was cramped by myself, and can't imagine staying there with someone else at the same time. Bathroom was fine, but tired. Great location for walking to the beach and watching the waves, but too rocky for swimming right there. No hotel staff after 10 pm, so if you need anything, forget it. Staff wasn't very helpful even when they were available ... obviously not geared for being either helpful or particularly pleasant. Luckily, I was only there for one night, or I would have been on the phone finding something else PDQ. I was there on a business trip, so my expectations were lower. But, they didn't even live up to these lowered expectations. And if I had been there on vacation, I would have been depressed and angry. As I said earlier, the condos facing the water may be perfectly lovely, but beware of the one-bedroom accommodations!
Good hotel, Excellent location and beach
Some background info on us--my husband and I are 27. This was our first trip to Maui. We went for our first anniversary. About the hotel--it was an excellent value. During our 5 night stay there, they were running an internet special for $70 a night for a hotel room. We booked it before we arrived, and because it was so cheap, we weren't expecting much at all. On the phone they told us the room was really small and had no view. Yes, the room was small, but the location of the hotel was absolutely excellent. Our approach was, if we're going to be at the beach, snorkling, doing the Road to Hana, etc. why did it matter if the hotel room was small? The room actually had a good view of the ocean, but you could still see the whole parking lot too. However, we were forewarned about that when we called, and again, consider the price. The room was clean and had a small fridge, which was good for drinks to bring down to the beach. The hotel is on the beach, unlike many others in Kihei that were actually across the street from the beach. There is a large grassy area where you can lay on lawn chairs and it looks directly out over the beach. There's also a bar, convenice shop, and fairly good restaurant on the first floor. The beach was the BEST one we went to in Maui. It had good snorkling and it was NOT crowded. I cannot overemphasize that. We stayed at one of the big, expensive resorts and found that beach to be really really crowded and therefore less pleasant all around. We would definitely recommend this hotel. The location was awesome and it was a good value.
Friendly hotel, small room
We stayed at this hotel from April 23 to 26/05. We were a bit disappointed in the size of our hotel room. It is very small - in fact quite cramped, but clean. However, since we were only there long enough to sleep, it was sufficient. The hotel lobby is very nice and the beach, in my opinion, was better than Waikiki and much less crowded. The staff, especially the activity person, and the restaurant staff, were very friendly and more than happy to answer questions and offer information and advice when asked. The front desk closes early (around 8:00pm when we were there) so check in early, if possible. There is no charge for local calls, which is a bonus, and parking is free. The convenience store in the hotel is great for snacks or small souvenirs. Overall, if you don't mind a tiny room, the hotel was good. I would probably stay here again because of the friendliness but I go for the condo the next time.
Mana Kai Beach, Kihe'i