Kaanapali Alii Remains a Maui Classic

The resort makes some enhancements and proves a point.

By: By Marty Wentzel

The Details

Kaanapali Alii

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Classic Resorts recently unveiled some appealing new enhancements to its Kaanapali Alii resort on Maui, demonstrating its belief in the value of luxury condominium resorts.

For starters, the Alii upgraded its oceanfront swimming pools. A second freshwater pool and whirlpool spa were also added to the resort’s center courtyard, along with an expanded children’s pool. Guests can also enjoy a new pool pavilion with flat-screen televisions and lounge furniture, creating an alternative gathering place when the sun gets too hot. 

Kaanapali Alii recently upgraded its resort with new pools, a fitness center and a spa.// (C) 2010 Classic Resorts

Kaanapali Alii recently upgraded its resort with new pools, a fitness center and a spa.// (C) 2010 Classic Resorts

At the same time, in response to increased guest demand for health-oriented vacations, the resort opened a fitness center across from the porte cochere. The new 3,000-square-foot facility features large picture windows, cardio equipment outfitted with televisions, flat-screen televisions strategically placed around the gym, high-tech resistance equipment and a yoga and stretching area.

As the final touch of its enhancement project, the resort has opened the new Alii Spa. There, clients can choose from such specialized body treatments as a sports massage (50 minutes for $150), an aromatherapy massage (25 minutes for $75) and a hot stone massage (50 minutes for $145). Also available are facials that incorporate organic ingredients such as fruits, vegetables and herbal skin care products (50 minutes for $135).

Making a Statement
Lynn Higashiguchi, who serves as Classic Resorts’ sales and marketing director, said Kaanapali Alii represents the Hawaii-based company’s ability to manage a large property.

“The Alii is a well-established classic resort built at a time when quality and workmanship were the focus,” she said. “The Alii has an upscale Hawaiian-style charm that newer properties don’t have. Our guests notice these details and come back year after year.”

Another selling point is the Alii’s staff, she added. Many employees have been with the Alii for a long time, and guests seek them out when they arrive to reconnect with them.

“For instance, recently our star bellman, John, was greeted by some guests who asked for his autograph and teased him about being famous,” she said. “Then, they explained that they had read a feature about him in our return guest e-mail noting that he had been chosen as employee of the year.”

A Good Fit for Families and Friends
Families — including reunions — are Kaanapali Alii’s biggest market, although it also does well with groups of friends traveling together and couples who travel alone or with friends to celebrate an occasion. In each case, said Higashiguchi, clients choose the resort for its space — each one-bedroom unit measures 1,500 square feet, while two-bedroom accommodations are 1,900 square feet — and overall value.

“The Alii represents what the majority of upscale travelers are looking for in a luxury condo,” said Higashiguchi. “They like its direct oceanfront location, and they appreciate how it combines the services and feel of a resort hotel with the space, luxury and value of a luxury condo.

“Classic’s other Maui properties cater to different types of travelers,” she said. “Oceanfront Lahaina Shores offers affordable studios on Front Street in Lahaina, while the townhomes of Puunoa Beach Estates provide a very exclusive vacation experience on a hideaway beach.”

Adding Value Across the Board
At all of its properties, Classic is offering free nights, as well as gift cards, grocery arrival packages and other benefits. The Stay and Play package includes a fifth night free and a $200 American Express gift check, while the Hawaiian Miles package allows guests who stay five nights or more to earn 10,000 miles with Hawaiian Airlines.

For agents, its Classic Rewards program continues in 2010 with cash, free nights, a travel agent appreciation month and the option to have Classic pay for a welcome amenity with a card from the agent. Agents looking to pitch the Alii to their clients should “do the math,” as Higashiguchi put it.

“With their clients, agents should make comparisons between the Alii’s condominiums and the alternative of booking multiple hotel rooms,” she said. “Compare square footage and in-room amenities. The Alii offers a 24-hour front desk, daily maid service, room service, a fully equipped kitchen, separate living and dining areas and a full-size washer and dryer. Finally, they should have their clients think about how good it feels to have the privacy of a luxury condominium right on the beach.”