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Marriott Maui, Our Recent Visit

csodjd

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My wife and I returned last night from 8 days at Marriott MOC. We had a nice 4th floor oceanfront room in the Lahaina building. A few thoughts/comments from our week there:

1. Food is a challenge. The biggest challenge probably. We went to the nearby Safeway last Saturday evening it it was both packed and had many shelves emptied. Restaurants around Kaanapali are booked weeks in advance. There are BBQs, of course, around the resort, but almost no tables for eating there. We cooked at the BBQs and ate in our room.
2. There are few food options at the Marriott just informal takeout mostly. However, a short talk to the Hyatt and you have additional options, including sitting at or by the bar and ordering food from a server who would bring you the food - like a regular restaurant experience.
3. The pool bar is open but as noted above there are no tables where you can sit near the bar. There are few tables here and there. A few by Starbucks. One by some of the BBQs. Even when we got drinks at the bar, several times we just took them up to our room to drink.
4. There is no room cleanup service, but they are very responsive at bringing towels, etc.
5. Mask use was pretty good. It's a bit hard because people are at the pool or on the beach. But coming and going from rooms, most were wearing masks.
6. No real problems at the elevators.
7. Golf courses were packed. Need to make tee times in advance.
8. Airport was packed. Arrive early. For our departure there was a long TSA line and another line for agriculture check of carry on bags.
9. Rental cars are a big problem. I paid about 2-3x what it cost in Oahu, and I was a lucky one because I had a car.
10. Because of how busy they are, don't plan on an early checkin. Rooms are not available in most cases until at least 2:00pm, sometimes later.

We only ventured to Whaler's Village twice and didn't even bother trying to get into a restaurant there, so I can't comment on what the wait times may have been.

This week they are implementing their 2nd level COVID test where you have to get tested upon arrival. I can only imagine that's going to really be a bottleneck upon arrival. Glad we came and went before that started. It was hassle enough to get tested in Oahu ($150pp) before flying over to Maui, after getting tested in the mainland before flying to Oahu.

Overall it was good, not great. Prior trips were better because we could sit at or near the bar and enjoy a drink, we could get into restaurants by reserving a few days ahead, and we could eat outside after cooking on the BBQs.
 
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ann824

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Thanks for update. I was hoping to see one before we go. We leave next Tuesday and are hoping they have not started the second test. Have they actually picked a day that it will begin? We have a car reservation we got through auto slash at Hertz. I’m just hoping we are able to get the car. We will be some of the first to get off of plane and we both have status with Hertz, so maybe that will help. Did you try any of the food trucks? Others have mentioned there were some food trucks that were good.
 

csodjd

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Thanks for update. I was hoping to see one before we go. We leave next Tuesday and are hoping they have not started the second test. Have they actually picked a day that it will begin? We have a car reservation we got through auto slash at Hertz. I’m just hoping we are able to get the car. We will be some of the first to get off of plane and we both have status with Hertz, so maybe that will help. Did you try any of the food trucks? Others have mentioned there were some food trucks that were good.
We were in row 1 of a morning HA flight over from Oahu. There was still a considerable line for the Safe Travel QR code check. About 15 minutes as I recall (a lot less than in Oahu) but enough that our bags were out waiting for us when we got to the baggage claim.

Our first stop was Costco, and we stopped right across their parking lot at a group of food trucks, which the two we ordered from here very good. We also stopped when driving through Kihei and that too was good.

They wanted to start the testing last Friday, but the airport wasn't ready. I know they are trying to get at it ASAP.

BTW, it was quite windy in Kaanapali. Far more than I'm used to. Spotty though - the day we spent in Lahaina it wasn't windy there at all. But in Kaanapali it was 15-25mph from sunrise past sunset. Forecast is for that to continue for a while.
 

zentraveler

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Thanks for update. I was hoping to see one before we go. We leave next Tuesday and are hoping they have not started the second test. Have they actually picked a day that it will begin? We have a car reservation we got through auto slash at Hertz. I’m just hoping we are able to get the car. We will be some of the first to get off of plane and we both have status with Hertz, so maybe that will help. Did you try any of the food trucks? Others have mentioned there were some food trucks that were good.
If you will have a car (and understand the concern) I can highly recommend the Times Market plaza just north of the Westin Honokowai TIMES | Times Supermarket (timessupermarkets.com). I thought it was much better than the Safeway (and has a pharmacy should anyone need one). It was much less crowded than the Safeway area, good parking, and there is a large area of several food trucks and picnic tables across the street that are open 4-8 or so also. Much more of a local and low key tourist area.

There is also a great fish shop up the street fish market and a surprisingly good ABC with an onsite kitchen and good salads and shrimp on the way to the fish shop/lunch place Map .

That whole Honokowai area, north a very short distance, was so much more peaceful than the Safeway plaza and Lahaina area imho.
 

csodjd

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If you will have a car (and understand the concern) I can highly recommend the Times Market plaza just north of the Westin Honokowai TIMES | Times Supermarket (timessupermarkets.com). I thought it was much better than the Safeway (and has a pharmacy should anyone need one). It was much less crowded than the Safeway area, good parking, and there is a large area of several food trucks and picnic tables across the street that are open 4-8 or so also. Much more of a local and low key tourist area.

There is also a great fish shop up the street fish market and a surprisingly good ABC with an onsite kitchen and good salads and shrimp on the way to the fish shop/lunch place Map .

That whole Honokowai area, north a very short distance, was so much more peaceful than the Safeway plaza and Lahaina area imho.
Agree. I seem to forget about that, and then drive right past it while exploring and say, we should come here next time..
 

zentraveler

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Agree. I seem to forget about that, and then drive right past it while exploring and say, we should come here next time..
Would recommend it. I really loved this little area. Honestly, I went every day. To the fish shop or the local "health food store" nearby. And just a little north of all of that on the Honokowai Rd is a very nice beach with lots of parking - at least during the week in the pre-surge Maui. The road goes by a lot of older Maui timeshares, rentals and local residences. The whole scene is under the radar imho and reminds me of what older, pre-large resort travel to Maui was like.

I missed it altogether on our previous trips and was delighted to find it. Not sure what it will be like in the post covid era, but have a feeling likely to be still a nicer experience than the more known shopping/eating areas. And after a few miles of driving on the road, it puts you back on the main road heading north. A sweet few mile interlude if one is not in a hurry.
 
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marmite

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If you will have a car (and understand the concern) I can highly recommend the Times Market plaza just north of the Westin Honokowai TIMES | Times Supermarket (timessupermarkets.com). I thought it was much better than the Safeway (and has a pharmacy should anyone need one). It was much less crowded than the Safeway area, good parking, and there is a large area of several food trucks and picnic tables across the street that are open 4-8 or so also. Much more of a local and low key tourist area.

There is also a great fish shop up the street fish market and a surprisingly good ABC with an onsite kitchen and good salads and shrimp on the way to the fish shop/lunch place Map .

That whole Honokowai area, north a very short distance, was so much more peaceful than the Safeway plaza and Lahaina area imho.
I wish I would have found your post earlier, I was nearing the end of our Maui trip (Sept), and finally discovered this area when I had to get my covid test for the flight home.

I thought the Times Supermarket was a great place that had all the things you'd usually buy along with good selection of alcohol, asian foods and Hawaiian brands. They had some interesting stuff that Safeway wouldn't have had. It definitely had more of a local-feel and both my husband and I said this would be our go-to grocery store on our next trip.

And wow, the Fish Market! I usually hit Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar (Lahaina) for their coconut shrimp, but this hole-in-the-wall had 7 huge coconut shrimp and fries for a paltry $14! Definitely just a takeout place (with zero-atmosphere if you sit at outdoor tables), but if you have a car this was wonderful for take-out. I will have to try their poke counter the next time!
 

zentraveler

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I wish I would have found your post earlier, I was nearing the end of our Maui trip (Sept), and finally discovered this area when I had to get my covid test for the flight home.

I thought the Times Supermarket was a great place that had all the things you'd usually buy along with good selection of alcohol, asian foods and Hawaiian brands. They had some interesting stuff that Safeway wouldn't have had. It definitely had more of a local-feel and both my husband and I said this would be our go-to grocery store on our next trip.

And wow, the Fish Market! I usually hit Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar (Lahaina) for their coconut shrimp, but this hole-in-the-wall had 7 huge coconut shrimp and fries for a paltry $14! Definitely just a takeout place (with zero-atmosphere if you sit at outdoor tables), but if you have a car this was wonderful for take-out. I will have to try their poke counter the next time!
I wish I would have found your post earlier, I was nearing the end of our Maui trip (Sept), and finally discovered this area when I had to get my covid test for the flight home.

I thought the Times Supermarket was a great place that had all the things you'd usually buy along with good selection of alcohol, asian foods and Hawaiian brands. They had some interesting stuff that Safeway wouldn't have had. It definitely had more of a local-feel and both my husband and I said this would be our go-to grocery store on our next trip.

And wow, the Fish Market! I usually hit Tommy Bahama Marlin Bar (Lahaina) for their coconut shrimp, but this hole-in-the-wall had 7 huge coconut shrimp and fries for a paltry $14! Definitely just a takeout place (with zero-atmosphere if you sit at outdoor tables), but if you have a car this was wonderful for take-out. I will have to try their poke counter the next time!
More and more on the islands I find these smaller local places that are not fancy in any way to be just great.That stretch is wonderful and so glad you liked it! Even that ABC store I found to be particularly uuseful.
 
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CalGalTraveler

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If you will have a car (and understand the concern) I can highly recommend the Times Market plaza just north of the Westin Honokowai TIMES | Times Supermarket (timessupermarkets.com). I thought it was much better than the Safeway (and has a pharmacy should anyone need one). It was much less crowded than the Safeway area, good parking, and there is a large area of several food trucks and picnic tables across the street that are open 4-8 or so also. Much more of a local and low key tourist area.

There is also a great fish shop up the street fish market and a surprisingly good ABC with an onsite kitchen and good salads and shrimp on the way to the fish shop/lunch place Map .

That whole Honokowai area, north a very short distance, was so much more peaceful than the Safeway plaza and Lahaina area imho.
These stores and restaurants are within walking distance of the Westin Kaanapali (WKORV, WKORVN) and Nanea resorts. e bought fresh fish to bbq at the resort from the fish market. If you don't mind packing groceries you can walk there via the boardwalk and avoid a car. Alternatively, rent a car for one day when you arrive to buy groceries at Costco or Times on the way in, return the car and then walk to Times and the fish market etc when you need to top off supplies.

There are also food trucks in the evening across the street from the Times Market.

I like this end of the beach because you can walk to Dukes for a high end meal, or walk to casual. I will have to try the ABC store next visit. The Westins also offer a free shuttle to Lahaina and Whalers so no car needed.
 
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rickandcindy23

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If you will have a car (and understand the concern) I can highly recommend the Times Market plaza just north of the Westin Honokowai TIMES | Times Supermarket (timessupermarkets.com). I thought it was much better than the Safeway (and has a pharmacy should anyone need one). It was much less crowded than the Safeway area, good parking, and there is a large area of several food trucks and picnic tables across the street that are open 4-8 or so also. Much more of a local and low key tourist area.

There is also a great fish shop up the street fish market and a surprisingly good ABC with an onsite kitchen and good salads and shrimp on the way to the fish shop/lunch place Map .

That whole Honokowai area, north a very short distance, was so much more peaceful than the Safeway plaza and Lahaina area imho.
I do agree that Honokowai is a quiet and more residential area with a lot of locals. We love it there. That is where Hono Koa is located, and it's our favorite place. Not going until February. I am so anxious to be there again. Three weeks of heaven.
 

Tucsonadventurer

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So if you are vaccinated do you still need testing. We just scheduled a Jan trip and I haven't been following it
 

marmite

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So if you are vaccinated do you still need testing. We just scheduled a Jan trip and I haven't been following it
Hawaii changes it's covid protocols for gathering sizes, restaurants etc. next week, you need to be either vaccinated or have a recent test to dine indoors at restaurants. U.S. flights are considered domestic, and US citizens don't need to be tested IF they're vaccinated. I'm from Canada, so am considered "International", and needed to test on the way to Hawaii and on the way back to Canada. Things are changing fast -- hopefully what I've told you is true by the time I finish writing it!
 

Henry M.

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So if you are vaccinated do you still need testing. We just scheduled a Jan trip and I haven't been following it
I went to Maui in September. No test was necessary for the fully vaccinated.

I connected through DFW. American Airlines had a a pre-clear station at gate D28. We went there, showed our Safe Travels screen and our COVID vaccination cards, and they put some wristbands on us. With that, we just walked off the plane and proceeded directly out of the airport building. We didn't have any baggage so went directly to Hertz.

At Hertz, there was a long line, but an employee came around and pulled those with Gold status or above out to just go get the car. The agent at the booth where you leave the Hertz area checked the Safe Travels screen to see that you were screened and exempt from quarantine. It was all very easy if you were vaccinated. No testing involved at all, either coming to Hawaii or leaving.
 

Tucsonadventurer

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I went to Maui in September. No test was necessary for the fully vaccinated.

I connected through DFW. American Airlines had a a pre-clear station at gate D28. We went there, showed our Safe Travels screen and our COVID vaccination cards, and they put some wristbands on us. With that, we just walked off the plane and proceeded directly out of the airport building. We didn't have any baggage so went directly to Hertz.

At Hertz, there was a long line, but an employee came around and pulled those with Gold status or above out to just go get the car. The agent at the booth where you leave the Hertz area checked the Safe Travels screen to see that you were screened and exempt from quarantine. It was all very easy if you were vaccinated. No testing involved at all, either coming to Hawaii or leaving.
Thank you. This will be a treat. We had 2 visits to the islands during COVID with all the anxiety of getting test results back in time. Now on to car rentals
 

Henry M.

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I went there Dec. 2020 and stayed through March. I still remember the stress waiting for the test results. Glad that time is over for me. September was a breeze, especially with the pre-clear at the mainland airport.

If you can manage to have status at a rental company, things are not too bad anymore. At least prices aren't as crazy as earlier in the year.
 
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