At Middle Age Miles, we’re committed to helping you achieve your travel dreams and get great value for your travel dollar along the way. We recently received an interesting offer from Westin and American Express for a 5-night stay at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas on the west coast of the island of Maui, Hawaii. We wanted to evaluate this offer for you in case you’ve received it and are considering it, and we also wonder whether other people who did not receive this offer might be able to take advantage of it. To be clear, this is not a sponsored post – we received nothing from Westin or Amex for this article. Rather, Maui is one of our very favorite places to visit, and we thought an article would be informative and helpful to our readers.
I received this mailer a few days ago. It contained a single-page letter (front and back) with the offer, details, and a preferred invitation number (not pictured; it was at the bottom of the front of the letter), along with a small brochure for the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas.
The offer is a Westin Vacations package for 5 nights at the Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas, in an Island View Studio Villa (the property’s base room), plus some additional benefits, for $798.
Details of the offer include:
- The offer must be purchased by September 26, 2018.
- You must pay with an American Express card.
- The package is for 2 adult guests and up to 2 children.
- The Island View Studio Villa includes a king-size bed and a full-size sleeper sofa. Although not specifically mentioned in the offer, the villa also includes a kitchenette with a standard-sized refrigerator.
- The package includes a $75 resort certificate redeemable for activities, dining, shopping and/or spa services at the resort. The certificate excludes parking and alcoholic beverages.
- The package includes an Avis credit for up to $185, for up to 6 pre-paid rental days in an intermediate-sized vehicle. The credit applies only to the base rental rate (that is, you’ll have to pay taxes, fees, and any extras like insurance).
- Blackout dates apply, and room reservations are on a space-available basis. The offer does not list blackout dates.
- The stay must be completed by October 31, 2019 (so you have more than a year).
- There is an option to pay $498 now to accept the invitation, and pay the remaining $300 when you reserve your stay dates.
- Once the reservations are made, any changes are subject to a non-refundable fee of $100.
- Reschedule requests must be made at least 60 days before arrival; otherwise, the package and payment are forfeited.
So, there are some limitations on the certificates. But any way you slice it, $160 per night for a nice resort villa in Maui with direct beach access and pools is a very nice price. That said, of course you should shop around to see if this is really a good deal for your specific dates before booking this package. Also, given that this is a pre-paid package with a strict forfeiture policy, you need to be sure about this one before you purchase it.
You may want to note that this property is a time-share property. This is a non-hooked offer, meaning that it does not commit you to attend a sales presentation. But be prepared to say “no, thank you” a lot, as you’re very likely to be asked if you’re willing to attend a sales presentation during your stay.
The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas certainly looks like a nice property. It seems to have been built in the early 2000’s but probably not remodeled since then (at least not significantly).
According to the offer letter and my follow-up research, amenities at Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas include:
- Direct beach access to Ka’anapali North Beach
- An 8,000-square-foot pool with waterslide
- 2 outdoor whirlpool spas
- A poolside bar and grill
- A beach and pool activity center
- Volleyball, basketball and kid’s activity areas
- Outdoor eating areas with grills
- Tennis courts
- A fitness center with sauna and steam rooms
- A general store and deli
- A Westin Family Kids Club
- A business center
- A late-departure lounge
Here are a couple of pictures of the property, from its website:If you’re considering this offer, I strongly encourage you to visit the hotel’s website and read the reviews. I personally don’t put a lot of weight on aggregated reviews, as they tend to be outliers and I’m never sure of their authenticity, but it’s at least interesting to see the issues that people report about a property.
The base-room Island View Studio Villa is a very nice-sized 480 square feet. It includes a king-size bed, a sleeper sofa, and a kitchenette with a standard-sized refrigerator. The room certainly looks nice, although not all that Hawaiian, in the photos on the hotel’s website.
The Westin Ka’anapali Ocean Resort Villas are nicely located on the west coast of Maui, roughly halfway between Lahaina and Kapalua. It’s roughly a 45-minute/30-mile drive from OGG airport.
I can tell you from experience that this is a nice part of the island, and it would be a good location for a stay. Facing west, you’ll have a great sunset view from the Westin Villas property. The Westin Villas are also long-walkable to the Whalers Village shopping center, and that area includes several Ka’anapali restaurants and hotels, including the Sheraton and the regular Westin hotel. The walk is along a boardwalk that makes for a pleasant stroll, and also happens to be a good route for a scenic morning run along the coast.
We still have a few questions about this offer, including:
- What are the blackout dates for this offer?
- Would we receive Marriott Rewards points and elite night credits for this stay?
- Would we receive our Platinum Premier elite status benefits such as breakfast, late checkout, and a room upgrade based on availability?
- Is it possible for other people to get this offer even though they do not have a Preferred Invitation number at this time?
We’ve reached out to Westin Vacations with these questions, and we’ll update this article later based on what we learn from them.
I would also have a question about whether it would be possible to pay for a room upgrade to a one-bedroom, a two-bedroom, and/or an ocean view, and what the cost would be for such an upgrade. Again, if we get an answer to that question, we’ll update our article accordingly.
All in all, this seems like a very attractive offer that presents good value. My biggest hesitation in taking it is that between Philly’s work schedule and some other travel plans that we have brewing for 2019, there’s not really a good time slot for us to go – or at least that we could commit to going this far in advance.
Finally, this offer could also pair very nicely with the great airfare sales we’ve been seeing to Hawaii of late, for even better value for a Maui vacation. A fare war to Hawaii is really raging right now, presumably spurred by the impending start of Southwest service to the Islands.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our analysis of this interesting Westin/Amex offer – and even more so, we hope you can plan a trip to Maui soon! It’s truly one of our favorite places, and we’d like everyone to visit and enjoy it once, or twice, or a few times in your travel adventures. To make sure that you keep up with all of our analysis on travel offers and our thoughts on fun travel destinations for great value, please Like and Follow us on social media at:
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