The Kaanapali area of Maui is the most popular on the whole island for vacation-goers and the concentration of luxury hotels and resorts proves it.
Aqua Aston has two incredible hotels in Kaanapali: the Mahana and the Shores. Despite only being located less than half a mile from each other, both hotels provide guests with a slightly different vacation experience.
In this comparison guide, we’ll be looking at all the unique features of the Aston Mahana and the Aston Shores to help you decide which one is best suited for your vacation needs.
The Mahana is located right on the oceanfront, which means all of its rooms come with a gorgeous ocean view.
In terms of the interior, the Mahana offers a variety of comfortable suites that are well equipped for even the longest of stays. Most of the suites come with a fully equipped kitchen, a washer/dryer and a separate dining area.
This means you aren’t forced to go out and pay for restaurant food every night if you don’t want to.
The Shores isn’t quite as close to the ocean. Only some of its rooms offer the same view as The Mahana. However, the rooms that don’t have an ocean view do face the hotel’s charming garden.
The interior at the Shores also offers many of the same amenities in some of their suites, but also provides some more basic, cheaper options. Their basic hotel rooms have everything you’ll need for a short-term visit and the more extravagant suites offer the same amenities as the Mahana’s.
The décor inside all of the rooms and suites at the Shores follows an interesting style. The furniture has an old fashioned aesthetic which could be a positive if that’s your preferred style.
However, we have to conclude that the décor at the Mahana fits a more modern aesthetic and comes off as more luxurious.
Amenities and Services
You probably won’t want to stay in your hotel room for your whole trip, so having plenty of activities to take part in nearby is essential for an entertaining stay.
The Mahana has an activities desk where staff will arrange activities for you and recommend places to visit in the surrounding area.
On-site, the Mahana has a swimming pool, shuffleboard court, tennis court, and jet spa to keep you active and entertained. You can even request barbecue grills to cook a meal on your room’s own balcony.
However, the selection of things to do is even better at the Aston Shores hotel. The Shores has the same activities desk setup as the Mahana, with a shuffleboard court, two tennis courts and two jet spas.
The Shores offers on-site cultural experiences and you can take part in hula lessons, ukulele lessons, yoga classes, and many more.
Not to mention, the fitness center that is shared by both hotels is located on the premises of the Shores, saving you a ten minute walk if you’re already staying there.
It’s pretty safe to say that the Shores wins out over the Mahana in terms of the variety of things to do while you’re staying there.
Dining options at both the Aston Mahana and the Aston Shores are pretty limited overall. The Mahana doesn’t have any on-site restaurants.
On the other hand, the Shores does have one on-site restaurant: The Beach Club Restaurant & Bar. The Beach Club is open most hours of the day—serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You’ll be treated to an all day happy hour cocktail menu on Fridays and discounts on selected wines on Wednesdays. As well as the great discounts The Beach House offers, it also provides a pretty diverse range of American comfort foods and some more exotic cuisines.
In general, both hotels fall pretty short in terms of their on-site dining options. However, there are plenty of local bars and restaurants only a short walk from each, leaving you with plenty to choose from.
So, we’ve established that both the Aston Mahana and the Aston Kaanapali Shores provide a pretty similar vacation experience. With them being located so close together, both hotels offer great access to the idyllic Kaanapali beach, as well as a variety of local hotspots to explore.
Overall though, we think the Shores provides a better overall experience for its guests.
Despite the questionable décor in some of The Shore’s rooms and suites, the accommodation does give you a variety of options over size and price to cover everyone’s needs.
The variety of services and activities the Shores offers is undoubtedly better than the Mahana. This doesn’t mean the Mahana is useless, however. It still provides a lot of the same services and amenities as the Shores, just without a few of the cool extra ones like the range of cultural experiences and classes.
- Best location: Aston Kaanapali Shores (but only because the Mahana is slightly closer to a noisy supermarket)
- Best rooms: Aston Mahana
- Best activities: Aston Kaanapali Shores
- Best dining: Aston Kaanapali Shores
- Best overall: Aston Kaanapali Shores
Hopefully this has given you a better insight into which of these two hotels will give you everything you need for your next trip to Maui.