Kaanapali Beach Hotel Maui
Located about halfway between Kapalua
and the old whaling town of Lahaina
on the western coast of Maui, Kaanapali Hawaii isn’t a town at all. Its permanent
population, not including tourists and the workers in the Kaanapali
hotels and resorts, hovers around 2,000 people. Until relatively recently,
there was little here other than vast cane and pineapple fields, a small sugar
wharf, and the short rail line to the sugar mill in Lahaina, now available for
scenic tours. However, Kaanapali Beach is what the area does have, and at more
than one mile long it is one of the best beaches on the island.
Kaanapali Hawaii is strictly a resort area—planned and purposely built as such
along the stretch of sandy Kaanapali Beach by a company called Amfac, which
stands for American Factors. The roots of this resort community lie in Hawaii’s
history as a region known
for its huge sugar cane plantations and the production of sugar. The company
of Amfac was founded in 1849 and was one of the Big Five, the five companies
that dominated the industry and all Hawaiian commerce for nearly 100 years.
The only one of these companies still in business as an agricultural firm is
Alexander and Baldwin, which operates the Kauai Coffee Company on the island
of Kauai, the country’s largest
producer of coffee.
After Hawaii became a state in 1959, the sugar industry declined. Tourists discovered the attractions of the islands, and Kaanapali vacations have been popular ever since. The most venerable of the resort hotels built during this time is the Royal Lahaina, which dates to 1962 and is known throughout the islands for its sumptuous Maui luau.
The tract of land owned by sugar plantations and located behind the stretch
of beaches was twice the size of Waikiki
in Honolulu on Oahu—and ripe for
development. These beaches are much more inviting than any of those found in
Lahaina. The pattern of developing relatively barren tracts of coastal land
begun at Kaanapali Hawaii has since been repeated all over the islands. You
will find it at Kapalua and Wailea on Maui and Kohala Coast on the Big
Island of Hawaii.
There are numerous things to do in Kaanapali because of the resort complexes.
These include hiking
or strolling along the Kaanapali Beachwalk that stretches for nearly two miles
between the beaches and resort properties, passing restaurants and other dining
venues, art galleries and crafts shops, and the island’s most extensive shopping
complex. All the Kaanapali hotels have services to help you book any of the
popular outdoor adventures, from deep-sea fishing
and parasailing, to whale
watching cruises and Lahaina tours. There is world-class golf available,
numerous venues for Maui
weddings, luaus galore, exciting nightlife,
and, of course, beaches. Take a walk up the beach to Black Rock Beach for the
in the area, or to Hanakaoo Beach for more secluded sunbathing. Kaanapali vacations
provide just about everything you might want of a destination.