Review: Westin Nanea Ocean Villas – Maui (PANDEMIC Edition)

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas are located on Maui’s western coast along Kaanapali Beach. I booked two 2 bedroom suites for 10 nights at this hotel using my parents’. vacation rental weeks which we haven’t used in ages due to the pandemic. It’s a long story but they pretty much got conned into buying a timeshare they are stuck with at the moment. 

The property itself is the newest Westin property on the island, albeit 5 years old now. I’ve come to prefer this property because of the ample parking in the self parking garage across the street and the newer, more modern looking rooms. The first time I was in the area, I actually stayed at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Villas and since then there have been two additions: the North property and the Nanea property.

Getting to the hotel:

The drive to the hotel is just under an hour from Kahalui Airport depending on the time of day. I’ve found traffic on Maui to be pretty bad as of late given that many people are now working from home on the island. We arrived just around rush hour so that’s perhaps why it took us an entire hour.

Arrival: 

We picked up some groceries on the way to the hotel using the Safeway App (I ordered all the groceries ahead of time) so our minivan was loaded with baggage. As soon as we pulled up, the valets at the hotel got our car unloaded. They even have some black bins and a refrigerated room to store the groceries in the event that our room wasn’t quite ready yet.

Check in was a swift process. We just had to present the following screen from the Safe Travels Program proving that we were indeed exempt from quarantine for each of our party of 7 (it’s under the airplane tab on the main menu). I had this ready for presentation already so it was a non-issue.

Parking is free on the property throughout a vacation owner’s stay, but there is no real elite recognition available despite being a Marriott Lifetime Platinum. So there is no free breakfast, bonus of 500 points at checkin, or upgrades for that matter. Not that it really mattered much to be honest.

It was just past sunset at the time of our check in so all the tiki torches were already turned on. They are always a nice sight to see on an otherwise “ordinary” beach resort in America.

COVID Changes to the Resort:

This was my first hotel stay since the start of the pandemic so I did notice some changes to the hotel to account for it.

  • Plexiglass separators at reception and concierge desks
  • Hand sanitizers everywhere (replenished regularly)
  • Restrictions of elevators to guests only from the same party
  • No housekeeping throughout the stay.

One thing I must say is that masking on this property was magnificent. Every employee, outside or inside was wearing a surgical mask or higher and never did I see any of them take it off for one instant. This is something I have to applaud as other places I’ve seen people have it below their noses whenever they felt like it.

2 bedroom Suite (Resort View)

 

Both of our rooms were located adjacent to each other in the main building of the resort. The rooms were mirror images of each other and not connected. I kind of like that connecting rooms wasn’t an option because noise from other rooms seems to penetrate the walls more easily in those kind of rooms.

Walking in, on the left hand side of the room was a full kitchen with a large pantry and an island which doubled as a dining table and a countertop. The stove was electric and there was a standard sized dishwasher as well as a microwave.

In the living area there was a sectional sofa and a large screen television. Unfortunately the tv didn’t have any streaming services installed on it, which is an absolute bummer in this day and age. I was pleased to see that the remote had been sanitized and wrapped in a plastic covering. I think more hotels should do this regularly not just due to COVID-19.

There was a large outdoor balcony facing the resort pools which had a large dining table. My dad enjoyed working from that patio in the mornings when the sun wasn’t beating down on the area. You can actually see the ocean off in the distance as well. It was too dark to take this picture when I arrived, but here as an image of the room from the hotel website of the layout to give you a better idea of what I’m referring to.

(Photo from HOTEL WEBSITE)

Adjacent to the kitchen is one of the full baths in the room. It has a door going to the main living space and the bedroom. The washer and dryer are located inside the closet in this bathroom. Laundry detergent, soaps, and other amenities were well stocked in the room and additional supplies were available for free on request.

There were two identical bedrooms within the room and each featured a king sized Heavenly bed along with a lounge chair.

One of the bedrooms was attached to the master bathroom, which featured a soaking tub, walk in shower, and double vanity. And of course the room had plenty of the nicely scented Westin White Tea and Aloe soaps and shampoos. I still find them to be one of my favorites.

Overall, the room was extremely clean and the hotel wi-fi was super fast throughout our stay. So I have absolutely zero complaints about the room.

Hotel Grounds and Kaanapali Beach:

The property overall wasn’t too crowded while we were on the island. It’s possible that this is the case because we came right before most kids were on spring break. The property itself is located right on Kaanapali Beach so getting to the beach was pretty much just taking the elevator down and walking a few steps from there.

I personally am not much of a beach goer but if there was a beach I adore, it’s prob Kanapali Beach. Yes it’s touristy at times and crowded, but the views at sunset never seem to disappoint. We did pretty much nothing but take some walks along the beach and watch sunsets throughout our stay.

Sunset on Day 2 of our stay

 

A little story about my camera:

One of the mornings during my stay, I was too lazy to drive somewhere for sunrise photography and settled on trying to photograph some surfers on the beach at sunrise. In my experience, the beach doesn’t see too many crazy waves so I thought I would get a unique shot.

Anyway, I was photographing a surfer from the edges of the beach (well away from the water) when a huge wave like no other hit me and my camera super hard. I fell over surprised by the ferocity of the wave and my camera and tripod were being dragged away to sea.

Scrambling to my feet, I was luckily able to grab a tripod leg before it drifted too far and salvage the body of the camera, but it was too late because the camera and lens were pretty much totaled. It was truly a sad end to my Sony A7R3, which has pretty much made me the photographer I am today.

Here is the last image it took before the wave took it:

Anyway, I’m rambling about this story because I want everyone to be careful when dealing with the ocean. I have seen plenty of sneaker waves sweep people away before (especially at Reynisfjara in Iceland). It’s all fun and games until a wave gets you. Always keep an eye on the water while out and make sure you keep your distance when the sea is rough.

Bottom Line:

We had a wonderful time staying at the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas as always. The location was great (it’s also on the drier side of the island), staff were wonderful, and all the COVID-19 protocols were being adhered to throughout our stay.  The one thing missing was perhaps what I mentioned earlier: having streaming service apps on the televisions to make it easier for guests to watch content.I would never hesitate to return. Oh yeah I must admit though that I have a serious soft spot for this end of Kaanapali Beach because I have so many memories from our trips here.

Epic Kaanapali Beach Sunset taken in November of 2017

 

Trip Report Index:

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Westin Nanea Ocean Villas – Maui

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