I’ve only stayed at resorts three times in my entire life. The very first time I stayed at a resort was on a trip to Hawaii twenty years ago. So when we finally got the chance to take our teens to Hawaii, I knew we’d really have to stay in a resort to give our teens the Hawaii experience I remembered.
This is the part where I’m supposed to start gushing about how everything at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa was perfect, and heavenly, and paradise!
But I’m not going to do that.
But I’m still going to show you why the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is the BEST place to stay. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close.
I’m probably never going to end up getting freebies for promotion, because gushing is just not me. I’m a perfectionist…
and very, very few things are perfect!
One of my problems might be that we can’t afford to pay enough for things to be perfect. Resorts are usually not the cheapest places to stay on a vacation, and a family of three tall teens means we need two rooms. My better-half is very budget conscious, so price was definitely one of my considerations.
Yeah, for that reason alone I should probably learn how to gush and get some freebies.
For my sake.
But my conscious just won’t let me do that. If you read my reviews, I want to help you have the best trip possible. And reading scores of reviews on TripAdvisor and looking through hundreds of travel photos, traveler as well as professional, gave me realistic expectations.
So this review is for people like me, who will have the best trip possible if their expectations are realistic.
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
While I’m not going to tell you it was perfect, what I am going to do, is show you why the Hyatt Regency Maui is the BEST place to stay on Maui.
1. The lobby
I know, sounds crazy to say that the lobby’s important, doesn’t it? But when you’re going for the Hawaii resort experience, the lobby is your first impression. The Hyatt Regency Maui’s open air lobby really has a great feel with the central open atrium with lots of orchids and other tropical plants.
2. The grounds
The grounds and tropical plants were amazing! Without being so big that you dreaded walking through them to get to the beach. The gardens were immaculately manicured (The grass was cut with weed-eaters. I saw them doing it!) and made for a very pretty walk. My teens really enjoyed the swinging bridge; we toured other resorts and according to them it’s the best swinging bridge of all the resorts.
3. The birds
The swans, flamingos and other water birds had a pretty Japanese garden and path all to themselves and were always fun to walk through. Parrots on perches and large cages, in the open air lobby, were rotated to different locations every day. There were short shows where kids could interact with them. The penguins (a species adapted to the tropical weather, not the antarctic ones) may have had the least space, but they looked healthy and were fun to watch.
4. The lei greeting
Everyone gets leis upon check-in, with fresh flower leis for the ladies. I kept this part a secret until we arrived. I could tell our teen girls were especially pleased and surprised by this. (See my tip for keeping your lei fresh for multiple days.)
5. The non-view rooms
Yes, I said the non-view rooms. The non-view rooms have a view of one of Maui’s mountains. Yes, we were also looking over the solar panels. And yes, we could hear the drums of the Pacific luau at night, but it added to the Polynesian atmosphere for us.
6. The palms on the beach
Maui doesn’t have any super-wide, super-long beaches, but the lawn and palms near the beach are really nice and shady. (See, even in a list of the best features, I have to be accurate and tell you the negatives! I just can’t help myself.) To be accurate, the best parts of the beach are to either side of the Hyatt Resort area, more in front of the Hyatt time-shares, but it really all feels like the same property.
7. The Macy’s
What? You might find that the most ridiculous thing ever. Before our trip I read a review where someone said that as soon as they got directions that the elevators were “right past the Macy’s” they “died a little inside.” Not having a lot of experience with resorts, I wondered about having a shopping mall right in the hotel. But it turns out that all of the resorts have at least a few shops, and having a Macy’s meant we were able to replace a forgotten hat easily for a very reasonable price- on sale! – and with my Macy’s card discount and coupons (which I had left at home but they looked up for me.)
8. The staff
The staff was incredibly friendly. I had gotten a Hyatt Credit card to upgrade my World of Hyatt member status, hoping to get upgraded upon check-in. That kind of thing has never worked for me in the past, so I thought the credit card might help.
It didn’t work for me this time either. (Honesty, honesty!)
But when an upgrade wasn’t available, they very quickly gave us free valet parking, which my husband said was worth way more than a room with a better view.
Our staff the day we rented a beach cabana was also friendly, courteous, and not at all perturbed that while we bought lunch from them, we also had some of our own canned drinks that we put in the cabana cooler.
9. Refrigerators in the room
One of the great things about this resort was that while you could take advantage of resort convenience for things like drinks and snacks, they never made you feel self-conscious about obvious money saving measures like hauling in packs of cold drinks and bags of groceries with your luggage to stock the 2 mini-fridges they provided in the room. We also bought, and brought into the resort, milk and some other supplies for breakfast.
10. The location on the beach walk
We walked the entire beach sidewalk, all the way up to the Sheraton Maui, and this end, the Hyatt Regency end, is way less crowded. It was positively peaceful in comparison. And it was really nice to be located on the beach sidewalk. That said, when you walk anywhere near the ocean, please DO keep an eye on the waves. On the upper end of the beach walk (the other end, not the Hyatt Regency end), the sidewalk was wet like the waves sometimes cross it. And we saw a lot of people swimming in the ocean even though there was a surf warning. The size of the waves was a intimidating the night we walked, and you always want to respect the power of the ocean. (Thanks to the smart algorithms of Google, I heard about pretty much every tourist accident and death after we visited Hawaii for at least a month in my Google News alerts. Thank you Google. Not!)
11. The beach rentals
Because my red hair means that I have pretty much the opposite of a Polynesian complexion, we’ve never spent an entire day on the beach. Until now. A beach umbrella just won’t give enough shade, but a four-sided tent will! We thoroughly enjoyed being able to lounge by the beach while we were provided with meal and drink service to our cabana and complimentary cold water, a fruit plate, and the most amazing fresh pineapple I have ever had.
We checked out beach rentals at other resorts on Maui and NO ONE had a cabana in as great a location as the one we rented at the Hyatt Regency Maui. Check out my guide to the different type of beach rentals at the Hyatt Regency Maui.
12. The location
In Maui there are basically two main resort locations, West Maui and South Maui. The Hyatt Recency Maui is in West Maui and this means that it’s located in close to water excursion launch points. Water activity lessons, like surfing, are a short walk down the beach. This is something I wish we had done with our teens. If you’re not sure which part of Maui would be the best for you, check out my Quick Guide to the very different 3 areas of Maui.
13. The pool
The pool was fantastic! And even though the resort was full, it didn’t seem too crowded. There was a really neat grotto area where you could hang out in the SHADE (super important when you have red hair and a fair complexion) and play catch or something. There’s a short water slide that’s good for a few rounds, waterfalls to swim under (without the fear of falling rocks that you get with natural waterfalls), and other fun stuff for the kids.
14. The prices around the resort
Lots of the reviews I read complained about the prices around the resort. But, given that we were at a resort hotel, the prices didn’t seem exorbitant to us, especially if you took the location on a remote island into an account, not to mention that the name of the island was Maui. Considering this, we didn’t find charges such as $2.29 for a bottled soft drink or their prices for fruit juices to be out of line.
I will admit I don’t eat out a ton and food always seems overpriced to me at a coffee shop, but I think a slice of quiche at their coffee shop was around $7; I would expect to pay at least $5-6 at any hotel coffee shop. Lunch served in our cabana did cost around $100 for five people by the time we paid tips.
The Hyatt Regency Maui isn’t perfect – but it’s close
High expectations can really ruin a vacation. Like I said before, unless you’re willing to pay what-ever-it takes, things are rarely going to be perfect. So that you have a realistic expectations, here are the not-so-great things we encountered.
Because I’d read tons of reviews and done lots of research, I knew before we arrived that we weren’t staying at the most expensive resort on Maui, that the rooms wouldn’t be recently renovated, and that some travelers had found mold the showers. (In contrast, when we paid to stay in the most expensive Universal Orlando hotel we were expecting perfection – so when we found the bedrooms nice, but dank smelly halls and mold in the bathroom, I was decidedly NOT happy.)
Really, mold in showers isn’t uncommon for locations the beach. I know, because unlike my children (and my husband!), I always notice if there is mold in the showers. And I notice it often. On at least half our vacations. In this case there was some mold when I arrived, but a call to housekeeping took care of it quickly to my satisfaction. (Taking care of it to my satisfaction doesn’t always happen.)
There was also some construction noise while we were at the Hyatt Regency Maui. In particular, my son was not happy about the jack hammer that we could hear the one morning that he wanted to sleep late. But you really can’t complain that the rooms haven’t been recently updated and at the same time resent constructions noise. I think I was aware of the construction when I made the reservation. (Construction was going on at more than one resort on Maui and I researched so many that it’s hard to remember.)
One other thing – and this is a tiny little thing – but at upper end hotels I’ve come to expect high quality bath products. And when I say high quality, I’m not too demanding. I mean I’m really impressed by something like Bath and Body Works. At the Hyatt Regency, they had their own branded bath and body products for their spa. But they were made in China. That didn’t exactly scream high quality to me.
The end result though, was that the good FAR outweighed the negatives.
The Hyatt Regency Maui is where we would stay again!
I couldn’t help myself. I put so much time and research into deciding where we stayed I had to confirm if I made the right decision, so whenever I could I peeked inside other resorts along the beaches.
We stayed at two other locations – in South Maui and East Maui. And during our beach walks I checked out the grounds and beaches of every resort we passed.
I have absolutely no regrets about where we chose to stay. For me, that’s really saying something.
We had the most wonderful time at the Hyatt Recency Maui and if we went back it is where we would want to stay! We were able to stay three nights, but I would recommend at least four nights, three days.
Like I said, even after seeing most of the resorts on Maui I would stay again at the Hyatt Regency Maui, and I would stay longer! But it’s not perfect, so see my tips to make your stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui the best ever.
My family paid for our own trip including accommodations, food, and entertainment. I received no compensation for writing this post. Opinions are my own and may vary from your experience.