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When the Royal Lahaina Resort’s cottages were built in 1961, they were some of the first visitor accommodations on Kaanapali Beach. In the ensuing decades, heaps of hotels and condos have sprung up along the northwest Maui waterfront, but the cottages have remained unique — thanks in part to their proximity to an uncrowded half-mile stretch of sand.
“Most of the resorts on Kaanapali Beach are large, branded hotels,” said Jerry Sager, regional director of revenue management for the resort. “Our cottages take you back to a simpler time, reminiscent of Hawaii’s plantation era. Guests can unwind and rejuvenate in a truly peaceful setting.”
These days, Royal Lahaina is back in the spotlight following an extensive upgrade of its cottages and other facilities. The resort also features a 12-story tower built in 1971, with 441 guestrooms and suites.
Renewed CottagesDuring my recent visit, Sager said that this was the first complete renovation of the cottages since their debut. The project covered everything from roofs and drywall to furnishings and flooring. Pristine interiors sport a contemporary Hawaiian vibe, with earth tones offset by floral prints. Some units open to the resort’s lawns and gardens, while others hug the shore. One of the Royal Lahaina’s top-of-the-line cottages, the Royal Beach House, comes with its own yard, pool, hot tub, barbecue and gated beach access.
Occupying one- and two-story buildings across 27 acres, the 122 cottage rooms and suites appeal to a variety of client types, Sager says. Cottage options range from hotel-style units to specialty suites with kitchens. The cottage accommodations are doing particularly well with couples seeking a romantic getaway, clients requesting residential digs and multigenerational travelers looking for their own place to come together.
As we strolled the grounds, Sager waved to a few repeat guests he had seen on previous visits. Some clients make a point of meeting friends at the property annually, he told me, and sometimes they build the rest of their calendar around those precious Maui vacations.
“We find that a lot of our adult guests grew up with Royal Lahaina, having spent family holidays here since they were children,” Sager said. “More and more, we see these adult guests now bringing their children and grandchildren to the resort to share in that same experience.”
Health and Wellness NewsOther improvements at Royal Lahaina include a new 1,000-square-foot fitness center with treadmills, ellipticals and a recumbent bike, each with a television monitor. The workout space offers two multigym training systems; an assortment of dumbbells and weight benches; and a stretching room with exercise balls and yoga mats.
Last August, the resort introduced Alana Spa, which features a range of indulgences. One of its signature massages, the Castaway, is fully customized to meet client needs. Facials and body experiences are also available.
Since the spa provides services for both women and men, it has been finding favor with groups such as wedding parties, Sager says. It’s also a hit with couples, who can book his-and-hers treatments in an intimate, open-air suite, with snacks and leisure time afterward. Future plans include the addition of treatment areas and services to the spa.
Despite its changes and modernizations, Royal Lahaina has clearly retained its timeless aura, especially in its cottages. Black Rock, a lava promontory that juts into the sea, acts as a natural barrier between the resort and the busier strip of hotels to the south.
“Our cottages provide guests with an immediate connection to the surroundings of this magical island and a special spot where couples, families and friends can relax together and create lifelong memories,” Sager said.
Virtual Tours, Romance PackageTravel agents who want to familiarize themselves and their clients with Royal Lahaina can take 3-D tours of its accommodations via the hotel’s website.
“Guests and travel professionals can explore our specialty suites with a high-definition walk-through as well as dollhouse views,” Sager said. “Additionally, they can view the spaces in virtual reality.”
Nightly rates for the Royal Lahaina’s cottages range from $215 to $645, with specialty cottage suites ranging from $285 to $5,000.
The Royal Romance package, with bookings from $499 per night, includes a buffet breakfast for two each morning, admission to the resort’s Myths of Maui Luau, one private oceanside dinner for two and a $150 food and beverage credit per stay. The package, which requires a five-night minimum, is available through Dec. 20.
The DetailsRoyal Lahaina Resortwww.royallahaina.com