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Northwest Maui's new property combines luxury amenities with the comforts of home

By: By Marty Wentzel


Castle Molokai Shores and Castle Kaluakoi Villas

Ke Nani Kai, Paniolo Hale and Wavecrest Resort (managed by two companies):
Molokai Resorts

Molokai Vacation Rentals

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Click here to read about the opening of the Paia Inn on Maui’s North Shore.

Since travel agents are always on the lookout for new properties to sell, the most recent arrival to northwest Maui will make them very happy indeed. Honua Kai Resort & Spa, which opened in late January, is a highly appealing newcomer that provides the services of a luxury resort and the conveniences of a condominium, all at competitive rates.


The resort has an outdoor pool with ocean views. // © 2009 Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Located just north of Kaanapali Resort in North Beach, Honua Kai is opening in stages. The existing Hokulani building consists of 318 units, a fitness center, a children’s club and an outdoor swimming pool. Late 2009 will bring the opening of Duke’s, a 4,200-square-foot beachside restaurant. In January 2010, when a second structure called Konea opens, it will feature 310 guestrooms, a lobby cafe, two pools, another kid’s camp and a 7,000-square-foot spa.

Each high-rise building sports a U-shape to maximize ocean views. Unlike mega-resorts on the island, the overall design of this property leaves plenty of breathing room across its 38 acres.

During a recent tour of Honua Kai, I noticed that the guestroom lanai railings are glass, providing uninterrupted views of the ocean. What’s more, sliding-glass walls open fully between the living area and lanai, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor experience akin to a wall of air.

Each unit’s kitchen comes with a Bosch refrigerator, stove, dishwasher and microwave, along with a starter kit of supplies like coffee packets, linens and dishwashing and laundry soap. Units also feature 42-inch flat-screen televisions, Blu-ray disc players, iPod stations and stacked washer/dryers.

Complementing the condo-style lodgings are hotel services, including a concierge, valet parking, daily housekeeping and room service.

While there are supermarkets in the area, clients need not leave the grounds when they want to pick up groceries. The resort’s Aina Gourmet Market offers a selection of meats, produce, wines, gelato, paninis and salads.

One of Honua Kai’s many selling points is its proximity to the beach, just steps away from the resort’s grounds. Guests can snorkel, swim and scuba dive right off the beach.

General manager Ed Sowers, known for his dedication to travel agents, told me that he’s ready to do what it takes to help agents sell this new gem of a property.

“We have built our pre- and post-opening marketing strategies with a strong focus on the travel industry,” Sowers said. “We have two highly experienced general sales agencies on the mainland who call on, and work closely with, retail agents and wholesalers. Additionally, we provide agent training with our partners and attend numerous trade shows.”

Perhaps now is the opportune time to tell clients about Honua Kai, which is promoting reduced rates for fall travel. Based on what I saw there, I’m ready to go back and spend more time as it comes to fruition.