Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Review Part 2

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

In part one of this review we focused on the 2-bedroom ocean front villa we had in the Lahaina Villas building of Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club. Here, in part 2 we’ll concentrate on the grounds and amenities at the resort.

One of our favourite things about the resort is that you feel like you’re on vacation from the moment you arrive – the whole feel of the place and the smells that hit you as you get out of your car scream “vacation!”. It’s hard to put the sensation into words but you know you’re in Hawaii the moment you arrive – and that’s a very nice feeling to have.

The resort sits right on Maui’s Kaanapali Beach and the size of the plot on which it sits (which is huge!) gives the resort a feeling of space and light. Marriott’s flagship timeshare resort used to be a hotel before Marriott decided to convert it into timeshares. The original building sits in the middle of the resort forming a U-shape facing the ocean while two newer, purpose built, buildings (Lahaina Villas & Napili Villas sit either side.

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Aerial View Courtesy of Kaanapali Resorts

As you look at the picture above, the Lahaina Villas are to the extreme right of the main building with the Napili Villas on the extreme left.

The U-section of the resort, formed by the main building, houses the large pool and the children’s playing area:

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Aerial View of Pool

To the right of the pool, as you look at the ocean, is the Beachwalk cafe which includes a Starbucks (which is amazingly expensive!) as well as a food & soda bar. The food available is standard pool-side resort fare – sandwiches, pizzas etc… Enough to keep hunger away just don’t expect gourmet!

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

It’s not a bad place to catch up on some work (if you have to) while still enjoying the views:

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

The main pool is huge and, considering the popularity of the resort, it needs to be. It’s made up of a number of sections that flow into one another with hot tubs, a kids “wet play area”, a water slide and a waterfall all included.

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Main Pool

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Main Pool

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Main Pool

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Main Pool

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Main Pool

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Kids Play Area

In addition to the main pool, the two newer buildings at the resort also have their own smaller pools and hot-tubs. This is one of the features we most appreciate at the Ocean Club  – it’s nice to be able to walk out of your building and not have to negotiate the rest of the resort before jumping into a hot tub. It’s even better not having to negotiate the resort on the way back!

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina Villas Pools

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina Villas Pools

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina Villas Pools

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Napili Villas Pool

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Napili Villas Pool Area

The grounds of the resort are beautifully maintained and it’s something that we, as owners, love to see. There are staff constantly patrolling the grounds ensuring that any litter is removed promptly and the maintenance team can be found tending to the plants and pools every day without exception.

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Grounds

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Grounds

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Grounds

Even the lobby area has manicured trees and flowers:

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Grounds    Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Grounds

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lobby Area

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Grounds    Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Grounds

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lobby Area

If the pool area is crowded (which can happen during peak times of the year) there are plenty of sun loungers to be found around the rest of the resort. The area in front of the Napili Villas, in particular, has a vast amount of space:

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club - Grounds    Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Napili Villas

If you’d like something more comfortable and private than a sun lounger, you have the option of parting with $47 for a day’s cabana rental. The cabanas in front of the main resort and the Lahaina Villas were already familiar to us…

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Traditional Cabanas

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – View of Lanai from Cabanas

…but we don’t recall seeing these cabanas (in front of the Napili Villas) before. Either these are a brand new addition to the resort or we were remarkably unobservant on our visit last year!

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Napili Cabanas

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Napili Cabanas

Just in front of the cabanas is beautiful Kaanapali Beach and, as beaches go, we love it. For some reason it’s never crowded no matter how busy the resort is. And, although some entry points to the water can be rocky (kids should probably wear water shoes) the sea is beautifully clear and full of fish (we even saw a few Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles very close to shore).

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Kaanapali Beach

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubKaanapali Beach

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Kaanapali Beach

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

 Kaanapali Beach

One of the big bonuses of staying at a timeshare resort is that you can be independent of the restaurants and snack bars and prepare your own meals – either in the full size kitchens the 1-bed and 2-bed units come with or by using one of the numerous grills that are found dotted around the resort:

Marriott's Maui Ocean ClubMarriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Grills

We visited during spring break and, even though the resort was nearly full, we never had to go far to find a free grill.

If you don’t feel like preparing your own meals but you also don’t feel like wandering far from your room the resort has an on-site restaurant – the Kaanapali Grill. This replaced the previous on-site establishment (Longboards) late last year. Longboards was never a favourite of ours (over priced mediocre food) so we were looking forward to trying out the new option.

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Kaanapali Grill

We visited the restaurant on our first afternoon at the resort and, to be truthful, the experience was underwhelming. The food wasn’t bad but hardly memorable and we’ve had a lot better at Leilani’s and the Hula Grill (both 15 minutes walk away at Whalers’ Village) for a similar price. The choice of drinks was good but the service was very slow – and we were one of only 3 small groups in the restaurant at the time. In addition, for reasons we’re not entirely clear on, the restaurant doesn’t allow you to charge your meals and drinks to your room – credit card or cash only. This was a first for us. Does anyone else know of a resort restaurant that doesn’t allow you to charge meals to your room?

For lunch or dinner on the first day, after hours of traveling, the Kaanapali Grill will probably suffice but there are much better options not that far away.

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Kaanapali Grill Breakfast Menu

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

Kaanapali Grill Lunch Menu

Marriott's Maui Ocean Club

 Kaanapali Grill Dinner Menu

Leaving aside the disappointment that is the Kaanapali Grill, this is a truly fantastic resort. It’s our favourite of all the Marriott timeshares we’ve visited (and we’ve visited quite a few). We have never regretted purchasing our units here and each time we leave we find ourselves planning our next visit. The combination of the great units (see our photos here), the beautifully maintained grounds, the friendly staff and the proximity to Whaler’s Village (restaurants, bars and shopping) makes it a perfect vacation location for us and we love sharing it with out friends and family.

For details of rentals and resales available at Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club click on these links:

Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Original Section
Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Napili Villas
Marriott’s Maui Ocean Club – Lahaina Villas

3 COMMENTS

  1. […] Continue reading at Vacation Smarter. […]

Comments are closed.