After hearing about Hawaii over the years and watching Magnum and Hawaii Five-O, it had always been a place on my bucket list to visit. I was not looking forward to the 18 hour flight so broke up the journey via Los Angeles.
On arriving at Maui airport we were greeted with Hawaiian music and a necklace made of beautiful purple plumeria flowers. It was nice to feel welcomed to such a wonderful community.
We made our way via car to our hotel, The Westin Kaanapali. We had booked a suite with Ocean view and were paying $600 a night. When I arrived in the room I could just about see the ocean in the far distance. In fact it was like a pin prick in the distance. When I questioned the manager about the room category we had booked, I was informed that we could see the ocean hence why the room was classed as an ocean view. I would have laughed if I had not been so irritated. I saw many rooms that were closer to the ocean that I would have personally classed as an ocean view, but was informed that they were for the owners only!! I was a little taken aback and asked who the owners were? I thought this was meant to be a hotel? I was then informed that half of the hotel was for time share guests. I eventually got moved to a better room, but this left a bitter taste in my mouth as I had no idea that I was sharing my vacation with time sharers. It did not feel very luxurious, but more like a tacky cheap American resort. It was also not advertised on Starwood’s website that this was a time share hotel.
As we were on the other side of the world though we had to try and make the best of the vacation and situation. The next morning while walking around the resort it became very apparent that the hotel’s main focus and target market were the “American owners”, rather than the hotel guests like us who were paying double the price on average per night to stay at the resort. It became very irritating as every day on route to the beach we saw exercise classes and events being hosted by the hotel for the “Owners”. They were made to feel like they were the more superior guests. They even walked around the hotel like they were actually owners of the hotel lol. There was no special treatment as a Global Platinum guest like myself. It is weird as in the UK only the lower-class would have a time share option. Many of the “owners” at the hotel were Americans without a passports, so they had never left America and were a little rude and ignorant to anyone International.
One day my husband and I went to the beach for a swim.When we returned to our sun loungers our towels and my $1000 Pucci kaftan was thrown on the floor and another couple was sitting on our beds. I was not happy and asked the lady on our beds why would you do that as there are so many empty loungers. Her reply was because “I am an owner and you are on the best beds and left them”. I was in total disbelief that someone would do that in a five star resort, it was classless. I got the hotel manager and while she was standing there, this crazy lady started to shout at me that I was “white trash” and she could understand why Henry VIII killed his wives if they were anything like me. She was crazy and to be honest, so was this resort. I would not recommend it at all as luxurious and five star. A hotel needs to focus on what they want to offer. If it is supposed to be a luxury hotel, then they need to back it up with all the services. If they just want it to be a timeshare hotel, then they should just offer it to these kind of people and stop allowing the hotel guests in, or lower the category to 3 or 4 stars. As you can’t have it all.
Anyway on a happier note, let’s talk about Hawaii. It is a beautiful place to visit and there is a lot to do. We went whale watching which was fabulous. We got so close to the whales and dolphins it was spectacular.
We also took a road trip to Hana and saw many beautiful rain forests and waterfalls. We learnt to surf and we went to a luau celebration on our last evening which was a great way to end our trip.
Hawaii is a fantastic place to visit, but it is so far from the UK I probably would not go back again as I want to see so much more of the world still. If you ever get the chance to visit just do it as the Hawaiian people are are wonderful, and you can have many great experiences. Just make sure you choose the right hotel : )