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“Maui for Whale Watching”

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Aston at Papakea Resort
Ranked #25 of 32 Hotels in Lahaina
Lemont, Illinois
Level Contributor
136 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Maui for Whale Watching”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2012

This was the second time staying here. We were in F building (Oceanfront) on ground floor. The unit was nicely furnished. It had everything we needed. Housekeeper Natasha was very friendly. We didn't know in advance that the unit would be ground floor, and the steady stream of foot traffic between the lanai and the ocean was a little disconcerting (we would have preferred an upper floor unit with a balcony and will get one of those next time). The grounds are immaculate. We used the grills near the pool for cooking dinner. Troy the Consierge was very helpful in setting us up with a whale watching trip as well as a day trip to Lanai. His suggestions were right on. The internet and room safe cost was included in the daily resort fee. The front desk staff was helpful and efficient. We will stay here again.

Room Tip: Upper floors will have fewer people walking by bedroom windows at night and early morning (quieter).
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank pk1363
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

I was hoping for a lovely resort right on the beach. It is on the beach, but not really accessible for playing in the ocean or for just lying out and enjoying the view. In order to find a place to do this you needed to walk about 10 - 15 minutes south to find a beach that was accessible. The room - nothing to great! OLD! The bathroom was the biggest disappointment not sure what you would call our bathtub as there was only half a tub? Barely room to turn around in the shower, on the other hand if you need a washer/dryer and full kitchen this is the room for you. However, the maid does nothing, but give you clean towels and make your most uncomfortable bed with the flattest pillows around. Great patio to do happy hour as they have no restaurant or bar on the property. A little disappointing, but you pay for what you get.

Room Tip: If you want a place on the beach make sure there is access to get to it, not a walk further down to...
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank tootssurfdude
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daveatpapakea, Manager at Aston at Papakea Resort, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
Aloha,

I am the general manager of the Aston program at Papakea and we always strive to make our guests and I always write that if you are not happy then come see me. The bath tubs unfortunately are what the builder put in and they were designed for bathing children. Some units have taken them out and just built a shower. The Kaanapali beach starts at about half way on our property and goes all the way to Black Rock about 2 miles of beach to walk. We have three reefs in front of the resort which make for good snorkeling but not the best swimming but that is how much of West Maui is.

I want to again tell anyone staying in an Aston unit that is not happy either stop by the front desk or call the front desk and ask for me.

Mahalo,

Dave Schneider
General Manager
Aston at Papakea Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Prince George
Level Contributor
26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 March 2012

We rented through Chase N Rainbows which was all well & good, recieved awesome service through them and our room was as we had hoped for and expected. Where the Papakea was severely lacking was the front desk service. I did not find them to go out of their way at all, only doing the bare minimum in service and no more, hardly short of rude. Don't bother asking for change for the internet use in the office, they don't have it, they will tell you to go get your credit card which means a minimum $5.00 charge. Also be aware if you use your in room phone, you get charged $1.00 every time you push that '9'. We had trouble phoning out of the country and also had little help from the front desk, it took many tries to phone out and it was eventually Chase'n Rainbows that found me the info the front desk was unable to give me to phone out. The young man in the office promised to take off 4 of the charges as he said he could tell the numbers were incorrect, but in the end, they were charged to my credit card.I was not impressed. And its not about the money, its the uncaring attitude that bites!
This place may be nice in the sunshine, but while we stayed here it was
extremely windy, where we'd drive towards Lahaina a few minutes or even walk down the beach and the wind died down. Be aware also, its not as close to Lahaina as it appears, bit of a drive with a speed limit of 35. On the up side, grounds are kept beautifully. Would I stay again? No Way! To me service sets the tone for my vacation, and this place for me, just didn't have it!

Room Tip: Stay elsewhere!
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lovestotravelE34P66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daveatpapakea, Manager at Aston at Papakea Resort, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
Aloha,

I am the manager of the Aston at papakea and we manage the front desk. This review is just out of line and I have a hard time believing this is not an advertisement for a small management company. I challenged the review with Trip Advisor as we never get complaints about front desk service. We have change we get replinished every day. The Aston units on property have phone instructions in the units we can not be responsible for what small management companies put in there units. The speed limit from here to Lahaina is 40 MPH not 35 as stated just like to keep things honest.

Mahalo,

Dave Schneider
General Manager
Aston at the Papakea Resort
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
47 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 March 2012

The theme of this review is “What they say and what they mean….”

I originally booked at another place (after a lot of research), but we had to change our travel dates and this was the best available alternative. When I saw the reviews I was really worried because they varied so widely. The reviews on Tripadvisor for this location are VERY confusing. People who book through Aston are writing reviews in the same place as people who book through individual owners. It is hard to discern which reviews are for Aston properties and those that are for individual owners. I was also concerned with the name “Aston”. We booked a previous trip to Maui through a travel agent who put us in the Aston Maui Lu which was horrible hotel (maybe they have since renovated….hopefully). This stay was much better…..way beyond better than the Aston Maui Lu.

4 of us stayed at the Aston Papakea in March 2012 for 5-nights. I booked our entire trip for 4 through American Airlines Vacations (it was about $3,500 total for 5-nights with an Intermediate SUV for the car). Upon check-in we were assigned to condo C406 (2 bedroom/2 bathroom was what we booked). It was nicely updated with tile floors, and granite counters. The condo had two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a loft. Each of the bedrooms contained a queen size bed and the loft had two twin beds. We had no need for the loft, but you could comfortably fit at least 6 people in this unit. The ocean view was quite nice (not a strain your neck kind of view). You could see the ocean from the patio and living room as well as from one of the bedrooms. The bedrooms and loft area were quite dark. It would help if the ceiling fans had lights on them as well. The ceilings were dark which is probably why the bedrooms felt dark, especially in the evenings.


On one of the days we returned in the evening to find a note that indicated the unit was scheduled for pest control treatments. There were some health warnings on the flyer and I did not feel comfortable having the unit treated while we were there. I found it odd that they would actually schedule this while guests were staying in the unit. I called the number, but it was in the evening, so I had to leave a message with my cell phone number. The person never called me back so I put the Do Not Disturb card in the lock all day hoping that this would keep the pest control people out. It kept housekeeping out and I assume it also kept the pest control people out. It would have been nice if someone called me back to confirm that the pest control would be rescheduled so we didn’t have to go the day without having the room cleaned.

We didn’t use too many of the resorts amenities. The grounds seemed like they were well maintained and appeared very clean. Parking wasn’t an issue but I think it could be a problem if they are at full capacity. I didn’t use the pool or hot tub so I can’t comment. FYI – be prepared to pay $10 per day as a resort fee. This included a few things that we did not need or want but some things we did (e.g. internet and parking), so the $10 was not too bad. It was annoying that the $10 per day fee did not include the use of the safe (huh?). I have traveled quite a bit and I have never seen a hotel/resort charge extra, especially over and above the resort fee, for the use of the in room safe. I think the extra charge was $2.50 per day. It was not electronic and required a key.

They have a morning orientation from the concierge that includes breakfast. I use the term breakfast loosely since it is just these small (really small….itty bitty) muffins, fruit, juice and coffee. The lady, Sarah, gave a nice overview of the available activities she could book as well as tips and advice on what to do during your stay. There was also a prize drawing, so it was worth it for the chance to win. I think it lasted maybe an hour. It is NOT a timeshare related event. The talk was only about activities and there was no pressure to book the activities through her either. We ended up booking a couple things for the convenience. We booked a helicopter tour as well as a snorkeling trip (via Pacific Whale Foundation). One issue with the snorkel trip was the charges. I want to be clear that we never gave anyone a chance to rectify the situation (so, they may have very well refunded the money upon request). We were busy and I didn’t want to waste time discussing and potentially arguing about this. When we got to the Pacific Whale foundation to check in for the snorkel trip we inquired about renting the underwater camera. My husband asked about the special rate. The girl said that only members of the foundation got a special rate. Ok, whatever, we thought the brochure said we got a special rate but we didn’t have the brochure with us. Then on the boat we were informed that the wetsuit top rental was an extra $10. Ok, whatever, we thought it was included but again we didn’t have the brochure with us. When we got back to the hotel room sure enough the brochure said we should get a special rate on the underwater camera rental (we spent $35 instead of $40 b/c we had our own memory card), and FREE wetsuit top use. Like I said, we never ended up going back or talking to the concierge about it because we didn’t want to waste time talking about maybe $20. So, my advice is to take the brochure with you! Or maybe it is time to update the brochure if it really isn’t included.

The helicopter ride was fun, but I wouldn’t do it again. It really is SO expensive for 45 minutes. A good chunk of the time was spent crossing the ocean and back to see Molokai. The waterfalls were beautiful and it was good to ride in a helicopter once. When we landed we were told that the audio wasn’t working on our trip so we couldn’t purchase the DVD ($50) even if we wanted to. I think this was actually a good thing so we weren’t even tempted to spend more money. I in no way would have purchased that DVD but others in our group might have wanted to. When they tell you to wear dark clothes they mean it. They should actually tell you to ONLY wear a plain black shirt if you don’t want reflections from the glass in your pictures. I had thin white flip flops on and I could even see them in the glass reflection, so I kept my feet tucked as far under the seat as possible.

Warren and Annabel’s was great. My husband and I are in our early 30s and we went with his parents (70s). We all loved it. I am NOT a magic person but this was great. Being so close is really interesting and the jokes made us laugh. I appreciated the clean comedy that everyone could enjoy. We had magician/comedians named John and Dana. Both were really great and I would recommend the show. We ordered two appetizer platters to share between the four of us and that was fine. Maybe not enough to consider it a full meal but we had a big lunch so it was plenty. We went for the 5pm check in and that was good since you really don’t leave until 9. The late show probably would have been too late after doing activities during the day. When they say it is cold and to bring a sweater they mean to wear long pants, a sweater and a winter coat. We were all wearing light sweaters and we were still COLD!!! After we left we noticed some people were provided blankets but we somehow missed out on that offering.

We also did the drive to Haleakala and Hana. Both are LONG drives so be prepared. We left for Haleakala a little earlier than we needed to but we were able to get a parking spot right at the summit. I think once that parking lot fills up you have to park at the lower spot next to the ranger station, so you are not at the summit for sunrise. It was cold and we knew it would be cold so we put on as many layers as possible. The view was beautiful but we had clouds/fog rolling in and out. After the sun comes up, that is it and everyone takes off pretty quickly after. There are a few other nice lookouts on the way down. The rangers were helpful with suggestions about which lookouts to stop at and recommended a place to get some pastries on the way back. The road to Hana is the road to Hana…I don’t really have any tips for that one except to use the Maui Revealed book for the best stops. We went up and back, but I have heard a lot of people saying that it is not a big deal to take the back road to make a loop. Apparently the tour bus uses that road and I would think if a tour bus can drive that road an SUV would make it just fine. However, the concierge said that if you break down back there the tow fee is astronomical and there may not be cell service.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JenD23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 March 2012

Our problem with Aston started just when we reached there.After a long flight we were tired but the only thing that kept us going was thet we will finally get our 1 bedroom OCEAN FRONT suite.To our dismay,the girl at the reception said that an Ocean Front was not avialable n we will have to stay in an ocean view for that night.Also,this is when we had got the reservations done way back in july 2011.This meant that we cud not unpack that night as somebody will have our stuff moved the next day to the new room,when we were out sightseeing.We finally got our ocean front the next day,which,i will be honest,was truly ocean front with awesome views of lanai n molokai islands.The landscapw is also very pretty with tall trees and koi ponds etc.the room wasnt the best of all,but the view was great.The dining table was shaky,the utensils dirty and scratched,and the bed was so light that it made noise even at the slighest of motion.the bathroom tub was small and sometimes the towels were also dirty.all in all,nothing very great.The day we were to checkout,i was not well n we had our flight a little later in the day so my husband called up if we could just stay a little beyond the checkout time,like 2 hrs.Our request was denied saying that they are booked.We checked out at the normal time and my husband also asked for an email explaining why our room was not ready even after booking sooo much in advance.but we have received no emails of apology or whatsoever.Needless to say we will neither go back nor reccemmend it to anyone.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Nikita060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Daveatpapakea, Manager at Aston at Papakea Resort, responded to this review, 28 March 2012
Aloha,

It is unfortunate that given our best efforts we had to place this guest into an ocean view room for one night. We did however adjust the rate and had our staff move their belongings for them. Mistakes do happen and my philosophy is how do we do our best to take care of the guest when a mistake does happen. I am pleased to say this happens very rarely and we do our best to have it never happen.

Mahalo,

Dave Schneider
General Manager
Aston at the Papakea Resort
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aston at Papakea Resort

Property: Aston at Papakea Resort
Address: 3543 Lower Honoapiilani Rd, Lahaina, Maui, HI 96761-9416 (Formerly ResortQuest at Papakea Resort)
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Lahaina
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#21 On the Beach Hotel in Lahaina
Price range (per night): $276 - $493
Hotel Class:3 star — Aston at Papakea Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 364
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A garden paradise on "The Magic Isle." This picturesque oceanfront resort is nestled amid 13 acres of lush tropical landscaping and expansive lawns bordered by flower-lined paths. The resort offers a variety of on-site amenities and activities - with restaurants, galleries and shops of Lahaina and Kaanapali Beach just moments away. Facilities Use and Cleaning Fee: A daily facilities use fee and a one-time housekeeping fee $89 (plus tax) will apply. Daily housekeeping is available for an additional fee. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aston At Papakea Hotel Lahaina
Resortquest Papakea Resort
Papakea Resort Maui
Papakea Maui
Aston At Papakea Resort Maui/Lahaina

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