Looking for a decent condo at a good price in a great location? You may want to consider Kamaole Sands - providing you do your homework.
In May of 2005 we stayed 10 nights at the Kamaole Sands condo complex in sunny Kihei. Previous reviews of this complex were rather mixed to say the least - with some people really liking it and others disliking it intensely. The problem seemed to be that some of the units are in need of refurbishment, while others have been updated and are in great shape. Almost everyone agrees the location (in South Kihei near Wailea and across the street from beautiful Kamaole 3 beach) is great and that the grounds are very nice indeed. Approximately half the units at this complex are lived in full-time by their owners. The other half are used as vacation rentals, many of which are managed by Castle. This is where the problem comes in. Some of the units have been recently refurbished while others have not. According to the front desk, the management company has been "leaning" on the owners to re-do their units. Many of them have, but some others have not. So... if you book here through a travel agency (which will book through Castle) you don't know for sure which you will get. Of course if you get a unit that needs repair you can always complain, and I suspect that Castle will move you to another unit if it is available - repeat "if it is available".
There is another way to improve you chances of getting a refurbished unit. You can book your place directly through one of the many "rental by owner" type websites. Just be sure that they state that THEIR unit has been refurbished recently. This is the approach I took. Of course, you don't know for sure if they are really telling the truth, so what I did then is a web search for "Kamaole Sands" and the particular unit number we were looking at. In our case, our unit "5-101" had a review HERE on Tripadvisor and the review was great. Place was clean and recently re-done - so we went for it.
Happy to say the unit was exactly as advertised. It was clean and in great shape. It was a ground floor unit so the view was nil but it had a surprising degree of privacy since the back patio was partly bordered by a screening hedge. Like most rentals, it was fully furnished with everything you need - dishes, silverware, etc, etc etc. The floors were tiled throughout - which made for pleasantly cool footing and lighting was excellent. It had cable for the TV's - a 25 inch model in the living room and a small (19 inch?) in the bedroom. There was even a built-in safe - which was NOT mentioned on the website. As I've mentioned, the grounds were beautiful, with banana trees and flowers everywhere. There is a decent pool for adults and a smaller kiddie pool as well as 2 hottubs. Some folks have complained that there is road noise near building 10, but our location (building 5) at the rear fo the complex was quiet and we awoke each morning to what sounded like a jungle as the morning birds greeted a new day.
Best of all (and this is typical of "rental by owner" units) it was a lot cheaper than the units offered by Castle. We were there "off-season" and paid $99/night for a 1-bedroom/2 bathroom unit. Considering the great location of the complex and the very pretty grounds, we felt this was a steal.
One final note:
Some visitors look down their nose at the town of Kihei and the truth is, that next to the fancy Ka'anapali/Kapalua and even more ritzy Wailea, Kihei comes off poorly. But the fact is, 98+% of places in the US will compare poorly to those beautiful (and expensive) resort areas. They cater to the rich and famous - and look it. Kihei caters to middle-class visitors. It's is not a bad place. It's neither unclean nor unsafe - it's just a regular middle-class town, like many others across the country - except it's on the beach and in Maui.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Kamaole Sands is set amid tropical gardens with waterfalls and ponds, across from a scenic Maui beack park. One-, two-, and three-bedroom suites have full-kitchens and washer/dryers. Amenities include tennis courts, a swimming pool and kids wading pool, jet spas, barbecue grills, and a weekly Mai Tai party. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Kamaole Sands Hotel Kihei
- Kamaole Sands Maui/Kihei
- Castle Kamaole Sands
- Kamaole Sands Resort