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From the moment guests first enter the lobby of The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas until the time they check out, the Hawaiian culture will embrace them. That was my takeaway from a recent site inspection of the new resort, which makes its debut April 15.
Initially, four wings with a total of 190 villas are available for booking at the resort, located in North Kaanapali Beach. All public spaces will be up and running by mid-April, and four additional wings with 200 villas will come later.
A Focus on History and HeritageDuring my tour, I learned the resort will showcase the local culture within an atmosphere of “nanea” (Hawaiian for relaxation). For its overall inspiration, it has chosen the “hinai” (traditional fish basket), said Makalapua Kanuha, Westin Nanea’s director of culture.
“The hinai symbolizes the gathering of time-honored island stories as well as stories that visitors accumulate during their stay,” Kanuha said. Decor throughout the resort will echo the hinai theme, from the crisscross design of the lobby ceiling to woven basket-style lampshades in the villas.
As we paused by the site of the resort’s cultural center, Kanuha described its innovative offerings, such as displays of Maui art and artifacts and workshops with specialists.
“The cultural center will be more than just an amenity,” Kanuha said. “It will be an authentic experience, a part of our DNA.”
For instance, clients can take part in Hawaiian language classes with native speakers. They can also learn about celestial ocean navigation with a crew member from Hokulea, Hawaii’s modern-day voyaging canoe, which has circled the globe using centuries-old sailing techniques.
“We hope that by the time our guests leave, they will have lots of cultural nuggets to take home with them and share with friends and family,” Kanuha said.
Fulfilling Needs Inside and OutWestin Nanea’s villas have been created with all the creature comforts, like fully-equipped kitchens, washer/dryers, living areas with queen-size sofa sleepers and private furnished lanais. Clients can choose between one-, two- and three-bedroom accommodations.
Water-loving guests will find plenty of options for fun, too, thanks to the property’s beach, lagoon swimming pool, sand-bottom pool with a water slide, plunge pools, whirlpool spas and children’s splash pad.
The resort’s main restaurant, Mauka Makai, draws its name from the Hawaiian words for “toward the mountains” and “toward the sea.” Fittingly, its menu focuses on farm-to-table dining with an emphasis on fresh island ingredients. At Kauhale Market, which sells food and local products, clients can buy fixings for in-room cooking or outdoor barbecuing.
Westin Nanea guests will have access to amenities at the adjacent Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas, home of Spa Helani.
Target MarketsChris Rabang, general manager for Westin Nanea, told me that the resort’s most obvious focus will be on families and multigenerational travelers.
“Those markets will help us through the traditional seasons like spring break, summer and the holidays,” Rabang said.
During the off-season, he said he anticipates interest from small groups, such as destination weddings and golf groups.
“Also, I think that couples who are traveling together will enjoy our two- and three- bedroom villas,” Rabang said. “Because we are being branded as The Westin, the consistency in product, service and amenities throughout the resort will add a familiarity for those wanting a condo/villa experience.”
The rate begins at $539 per night for a one-bedroom villa. The property’s introductory offer, Discover Nanea, includes a $250 resort credit, a spa treatment credit, a free in-house resort activity for two and a welcome amenity. The package begins from $779 for a two-bedroom villa for a minimum four-night stay.