Why Now Is the Time to Visit Ka‘anapali

Why Now Is the Time to Visit Ka‘anapali

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While most of Lahaina, Maui, remains closed after last year’s destructive fires, its northern neighbor of Kā‘anapali is more than ready and able to welcome visitors. And at OUTRIGGER Kā‘anapali Beach Resort, which officially became part of the OUTRIGGER brand just a few weeks before the fires, that welcome includes not only beloved traditions of the island’s most Hawaiian resort but also new incentives to visit Ka‘anapali.

“Now is the time to come,” says Meghan Lee, the resort’s director of sales and marketing. “If you were thinking Maui this summer, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.”

Outrigger Kaanapali Beach Resort aerial

At the relatively unharmed northern edge of Lahaina, just south of Kā‘anapali Beach Resort, reopened attractions include Old Lāhainā Lū‘au, Lahaina Cannery Mall (home to the Lahaina Plantation Museum and a weekly arts fair, free hula shows and other cultural events), and tours and tastings at Maui Ku‘ia Estate Chocolate Factory, as well as two waterfront restaurants, Aloha Mixed Plate and Māla Ocean Tavern.

Kā‘anapali Beach Resort has even more to do, Lee notes. “At Whalers Village, all the shops are filled and restaurants are doing great specials with really yummy food,” she says, “and every resort is doing different things to help the community and have guests too.”


That includes OUTRIGGER Kā‘anapali Beach Resort, where “the cultural component is unmatched, and it’s even more meaningful than ever before,” Lee says. The resort offers up to six cultural classes a day that go beyond the typical orchid lei-making found at many hotels, including pānānā (ocean navigation), ma‘awe (weaving plant fibers), ‘ōlelo (Hawaiian language, including place names and proverbs) and kāpala (stamping bark cloth with plant-based dyes.) 

Even the classic hotel activity of lei-making takes on a special dimension when you visit Kā‘anapali Beach Resort. “We go out and forage the ti leaves and we talk about the best way to remove the leaves from the tree and how to pick flowers from the puakenikeni trees,” Lee says, “since the landscaping is very lush and puakenikeni is the signature scent of our resort.”

Kukui Nut Lei

Guests of the resort’s previous incarnation as Kā‘anapali Beach Hotel will be glad to know OUTRIGGER has maintained revered traditions such as restringing the kukui nut leis of returning guests and serenading all departing guests. “Every year that you return, a dark kukui nut is restrung with a white kukui nut,” Lee explains.  “And after the lei departure ceremony, at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, the entire resort stops, and every one from the front desk to landscaping and managers meets in the courtyard. We follow the lead of our cultural team and we sing and those who dance hula dance, and we have guests who come  up and dance with them.”

At a recent Aloha Friday kanikapila (music session), “I looked out and there were so many white leis,” Lee says. One was worn by a woman in her 30s with two small children “who had tears in her eyes” as she embraced one of the resort’s associates named Malihini, according to Lee. “She said, ‘I have so many fond memories of Malihini in my childhood that I was so excited to share this with my children,” Lee recalls. “It meant so much.”

Maui Brewing Company

Once a month, the resort also offers livestreaming of the Aloha Friday kanikapila on its Facebook page, where you can also watch it later on video. The next sessions will be June 21, July 12 and Aug. 16 at noon Hawaiian Standard Time. Those who visit in person can also enjoy nightly entertainment at Maui Brewing Co., the resort’s beachfront restaurant, she adds.

OUTRIGGER’s limited-time Sustainable Summer offer, which Lee calls “a really attractive deal,” allows guests to book recently refreshed rooms at up to 30 percent off, starting around $300 a night, excluding taxes and fees. She also recommends the Escape to Maui offer, which includes lodging, daily breakfast buffet for two at the resort’s Hele On indoor-outdoor restaurant and a $100 activity credit, which can be applied to a zipline tour, catamaran cruise, helicopter sightseeing or other exciting experience booked through the concierge desk.

Drinks at Maui Brewing Co

Currently, prices for OUTRIGGER’s oceanfront rooms, “where you can’t get any closer to the ocean,” are comparable to the mountain- or garden-view rooms at some of its rivals on Kā‘anapali Beach, Lee notes. That’s expected to change, though, after the resort undergoes a $65 million renovation that will create one-bedroom suites by the end of the year and “a whole new aquatic playground,” among other new amenities, later next year.

Those who are considering taking advantage of this summer’s deals will find “the beaches are empty and the mai tais and craft beers are flowing,” Lee says. “You can do lots of activities, or you can just lie by the pool all seven days, but just come and have a good time.”

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