We just finished a two-week stay at the Whaler. This was our third time staying at this property. The unit we rented was 579 in the South Tower. As with the previous times, we found the unit through VRBO, and dealt directly with the owner. The unit was a nicely furnished one-bedroom with stainless steel appliances. It also had an in-unit washer and dryer. The owner had also equipped the unit with beach chairs, swim masks and fins, sand pails and shovels and boogie boards.
We find staying at the Whaler a much better value than say the Westin (which we have also stayed at) in terms of space, and the flexibility of preparing a meal or two in the condo. To me, the only thing that you give up is the spectacular pool that most hotels have. If you like swimming in the ocean, as we do, then you're not giving up anything.
Our only criticism was construction related. There were construction vehicles and construction noise going on the south side of the south tower. Although the construction was limited to 8:00 am to 5:00 am, it still made sitting out on the lanai less enjoyable. The other issue was parking. Due to the construction, the Whaler has temporary lost about 40 parking spots. It was almost always impossible to get an indoor spot. But also the outdoor overflow parking lot was sometimes full too. On 5 occasions, the Whaler sent us to park next door at Whalers' Village. Although the Whaler provided us with a free parking pass for Whalers' Village, we were still required to move the car from the Whaler Village parking lot by 9:00 am the next morning, or we'd have to pay extra. If you added up the time to scour the parking lot for a spot, then find out there isn't something available, then get a parking pass for Whalers' Village, then park over there, and then retrieve your car the next morning, and then re-park it -- was about a 25 minute exercise! My request to have parking fees refunded fell on deaf ears.
It appears that the construction is about 2 to 4 weeks from being completed, so it is unlikely that you will encounter the same problems if your stay is from May onwards.
As mentioned before, this was our third stay. Twice on the north side of the north tower, and this time on the south side of the south tower. The north side units have a nice view of Black Rock. However, the units do not face the sun, and we found them to be dark. And, depending upon how high up you are, you may face into the rooms at the Kaanapali Beach Hotel next door.
This time, we faced Whalers Village. The unit had sun on the lanai for pretty much the entire day. Our unit was on the 5th floor, and our view was not obstructed by the buildings over at Whalers Village. Plus the Westin is far enough away that you really felt like you had some privacy on your balcony. However, a few times, depending upon how the wind was blowing, you could distinctly smell the smoke and cooking smells that were vented through the roof of the Hula Grill next door. If you're staying on the south side of the south tower, I wouldn't want to be any lower than the 5th floor, and certainly the higher the better. If we return to this property, I would probably pick the south side of the south tower again.
Our favourite activities on this trip:
*Trilogy sail boat trip (and snuba) at Lanai
*Flyin' Hawaiian zipline
*Kayak whale watching expedition
*Kupuhana Magic Show (for the kids)
*Lahina Grill (pricey but worth it)
*David Paul's Island Grill (a close second to Lahina Grill)
*Colleens (in Haiku)
*Sea House (great breakfasts)
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC