Sheraton Maui Sparkles After Refresh

When a hotel has been in business for over five decades, it’s gone through a lot of change. Resort properties have a tendency to expand as tourism demand grows. They also have a tendency to remodel every few years to keep up with improvements in technology and changing guest tastes.

In the original registration lobby of the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, there are several photographs adorning the walls of the time in the 1960s when the resort was newly open. Guest rooms at the time still had expansive lanais like they do today, but the photos also show the florals and sunburst bedspread and wallpaper patterns; popular at the time, but perhaps too busy for the modern guest.

I recently stayed at the resort in the exact same room category as I had the year before, so I could get a feel for the refresh. Many of the changes aren’t wholesale; they’re simply a replacement of the existing furnishings with newer materials, but the difference is certainly noticeable.

Prior to the refresh, guest rooms at the resorts were sporting the warm earth tones favored by Starwood for the Sheraton brand in the mid-2000s. Now owned by Marriott International, Sheraton is in the middle of a brand-wide refresh. Soft blues, greys, and whites are now on the palette, as are more eco-friendly materials.

While bath-shower combinations favored in brand hotels the world over have been going out of vogue in favor of large soaking tubs or step-in showers, the decision to keep shallow bath-showers in a significant number of guest rooms at this resort was a nod to the large number of families with small children.

My junior suite was also particularly suitable for families, for it had both a murphy bed and a pull out sofa bed in the living room, in addition to large closets, a refrigerator, and microwave.

In addition to refreshing guest rooms, the resort has also transitioned its signature restaurant into a new concept called ROCKsalt.

Named in an homage to Pu’u Keka’a, or Black Rock, near which the resort is built, the restaurant features a mix of small and large plates with a focus on local ingredients and Hawai’i Regional Cuisine preparations. Guests looking for a traditional dining experience can feast on a sumptuous bleu cheese rib eye, while those who prefer to graze can indulge in habit-forming brussels sprouts or comfort food cornbread.

The restaurant also does a typical resort breakfast buffet, but the real treat lies on the cooked-to-order menu in the Seared Ahi Benedict, made with Molokai Sweet Potato Hash and drizzled with wasabi cream and sweet shoyu. Spicy-sweet is a difficult combination to perfect, but the chef here has done it so well it’s difficult not to lick the plate.

The Takeaway

The Sheraton Maui has managed to find the sweet spot for resorts that guests like returning to time and again: updating what needs updating, but keeping the core experience and amenities just as polished and well-executed as they were on the visit that spurred the decision to return.

The Math

I’ve seen rates as low as $275 plus taxes and resort fee. The resort fee is $25 per night plus tax and includes: unlimited local calls in Maui, up to 60 minutes of credit card and 800 number calls, unlimited WiFi, PressReader app, with access to international publications, signature logo tote, adult pool floats, valet parking for the first night, and scheduled shuttle service to The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali, The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka’anapali, and Lahaina.

Instagrammable Moment

The sun rises behind the West Maui Mountains in the morning, but it’s worth getting up early to catch the cotton candy colors the reflecting sunlight projects on the western skies.

Loyalty

Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards, which will unveil a new combined program name next year.

Good To Know

The resort’s Club Lounge has now closed; Platinum Elite members can select a full daily breakfast buffet as their welcome amenity. The space, now called the Hoku Rotunda, is still worth checking out, as it has one of the best views of the property.

At only a few dollars per day more than self-parking, the valet parking fee is a good value.

Fractional ownership sales are in-progress at the hotel; be sure to check whether offers of activities or events offered free or at a significant discount have a sales presentation requirement.

Accommodations and some meals were furnished in preparation for this story.

The author acknowledges the importance of Hawaiian Language diacritical marks such as the kahako (macron); however, some have been omitted for web browser compatibility.

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