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Royal Lahaina Resort, Kaanapali

Editor's Pick
2780 Kekaa Drive
Kaanapali , Hawaii
Tel: 800 222 5642 (toll-free)
Tel: 808 661 3611's insider take:

The Royal Lahaina was one of the first hotels to open on Maui in the 1960s, and it occupies a still-isolated two-mile stretch of world-famous Kaanapali Beach (a three-minute walk north of Black Rock). Until a multimillion-dollar renovation in 2007, the look here was in line with the hotel's kitschy-cute Trader Vic's bar. Now, the 328 rooms in the hotel's 12-story Lahaina Kai tower sport mod minimalist decor in dark wood, crisp white, and orange. Seventy-five percent of them also have unobstructed honeymoon-worthy ocean views, which are best enjoyed from your small balcony. The 114 family-friendly cottages, public spaces, and restaurants (try the Kahlú'a pork quesadillas and ahi tacos) are still charmingly stuck in the Brady Bunch era, although more renovations are planned for 2010. What hasn't changed is the friendly service (much of the staff has been here for 30 years), and nostalgic types can book the property's villa (really just a humble three-bedroom house) to fantasize about the Lahaina of 50 years ago, when you could still build like this, with a lawn that ends right on the beach. The Royal Lahaina isn't the slickest choice in the Kaanapali area, but given the resort's small scale, relative seclusion, and rates starting under $250, it may be the smartest.—Cathay Che

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.