Our first 5 nights on Maui were spent at the Sheraton Maui, on Kaanapali Beach. The property is very large, with hundreds of rooms of different types. We were booked into an oceanfront room. The hotel offers free valet parking for your first 24 hours, a very nice touch which we took advantage of. The checkin was smooth, and we started the long walk to our room. We were in building 4, directly overlooking the beach and Black Rock, which is about a 10 minute walk to the parking lot, maybe 6 or 7 to the lobby.
The room itself was not what we were hoping for, or expected from an ocean front room at a Sheraton Resort. First of all, there was no closet. Instead, they provide you with an armoire. Unfortunately it’s not tall enough to hold very much. That meant that the ironing board was just leaning against the wall next to it, and even knee-length dresses puddled on the bottom of it when hung. There were no bath robes provided, although we later found out that we would have been given some if we had asked! The fridge is hidden inside the armoire. Unfortunately it was really loud and made it harder to hear the sound of the waves (we had the same set-up in Kauai and didn’t have this problem at all).
The bathroom was large, but the space was very poorly used. There was a single towel rack, with no counter at all. That meant that they had to put the hand towels over the handicapped accessible handrail that was next to the toilet. The only place to put anything down other than the toilet was a small recess in the wall next to the sink that was the size of a medicine cabinet without the door. This is where they’d shoved the Kleenex, shampoo, conditioner, washcloths, etc. So, basically the only place to put your clothes was on the toilet. The sink had no cabinet around it at all and it wasn’t a pedestal sink, so there was just exposed plumbing. In fact, there was some sticker that had been on the front of the sink when they first bought it and it was still there! It was as if they had just given up and couldn’t be bothered to try to make things more than just functional. There were cracks in tiles, the shower never drained properly and had mildew and at base of the tub all the caulking was gone. The caulking under toilet needed to be redone and was mildewy. Rather than a regular door, the bathroom had a sliding door which you open by pushing on the door itself (there is no door handle). The door was gray from use, and hard to open and close quietly. We can imagine it would be very hard for people with arthritis or small children to use at all.
Our balcony/lanai overlooked the ocean and a good chunk of a tree which blocked a fair bit of our view, and blocked the view of the people next to us (also ocean front) almost completely. When Ian complained, the alternate “ocean front” room offered was much further from the ocean, so we decided to stay where we were. We enjoyed listening to the surf every night, and even though there was no screen on the sliding door the curtains kept what few bugs there were out. Our balcony was right over a corner of the beach in front of the resort property. There is no smoking allowed on the Sheraton property. So, they have an ashtray set up at the edge of the beach. Unfortunately that meant it was right under our room, which meant that we constantly had cigarette smoke wafting into our room and out on our balcony. The lanai is equipped with a table and 2 very uncomfortable metal chairs. We took the back cushions off the chairs inside the room and used these, which made them much better. There is no light out there at all, so we dragged an indoor floor lamp over so that we could enjoy our dinner out there one evening. When we arrived there was a puddle of dead ants from an old spill – this never got cleaned the whole time we were there. (We were in room 4313 – the room next to the one we had is 4314. The ones directly above should have better views and less smoke too – 4413 and 4414.)
When we arrived we were told that there was a compulsory $20/ day resort fee which covered, among other things, the parking and internet access in the rooms. When we arrived, the internet wasn’t working. Ian called and was told to check if the router was unplugged. It was, and he had to reach behind the bed (which wasn’t clean) to plug it in. Then we were able to connect, but it’s not wifi- you have to be connected to the router for the access to work. The internet was always cranky – you have to reconnect after each day and even then sometimes it wouldn’t work.
The in-room safe was broken when we arrived, but someone came very quickly to fix it.
At check-out time, Ian started listing some of the problems with the room. He only got about half way down the list before they agreed to refund the daily $20 “resort fee”, and promised to look into an upgrade for us at our upcoming stay at the Sheraton in Kauai.