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The fabulous Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. My Review

The Westin Hapuna is a spectacular resort in Big Island Hawaii. The hotel has everything you need for your idyllic Hawaiian vacation. It’s a beach front property with excellent food and two lovely swimming pools.

The view from the lobby is out of this world! You get stunning views of the coastline. Truly bucket list worthy.


I stayed for one night with my family and loved the resort. The downside of staying for one night, was that my family were pissed they had to leave!

The hotel markets itself as 4*. But I would say that it’s closer to 5*. Even better, I got an amazing deal to stay here. I saved 60% on the cash rate, by buying Marriott Bonvoy Points.

This review is an in-depth guide. Know exactly what to expect when you visit. I took lots of photos. Each photo can be clicked, to open out the full slideshow.

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What I Liked

  • The view from the lobby is magnificent
  • Entry level room could accommodate my family of 4
  • Restaurant menu was reasonably priced
  • Beautiful sandy beach
  • High Quality Marriott Platinum Breakfast

What Could be Improved

  • Resort Fee of $37 + taxes. Totally unnecessary

The Location

The Westin Hapuna is located on Hapuna beach in Big Island, Hawaii. Hapuna beach is one of the nicest beaches I’ve ever been to. It’s a public beach and most of the visitors there weren’t staying at the Westin.

Big Island is the largest of Hawaii’s four main islands. Kona International airport is the main airport.

The Westin Hapuna is a secluded resort. There’s nothing within walking distance of the resort. A 30 minute drive from Hapuna airport. The resort is nestled on a hill, overlooking the sea.

Volcano National Park is a 2 hour drive away. Mauna Kea mountain is 1.5 hours away.

The Best Activities in Big Island Hawaii

Big Island, Hawaii is paradise if you love the outdoors. It has it all. Beaches, water sports, mountains, waterfalls and volcanoes. Below are some unmissable things to do.

Volcano National Park is a must see. It has the world’s largest active volcano. It’s an amazing place to visit. I suggest to go at sunset. When you’ll get the best view of the lava.

Mauna Kea mountain is another must visit destination. It’s 13,000 feet high. The view from the top is stunning. You can drive your 4x4 all the way to the top. Be warned. It’s cold up there!

You can tick off Big Island’s best attractions in a day, with a group tour. The highest rated tour can be booked here. It costs $242 and is rated 5* from 4,873 reviews. The tour lasts 1 full day. You’ll visit The Black Sands Beach, Volcano National Park, Thurston Lava Tube, Rainbow Falls, Akaka Falls and Waipi’o Valley.

One of the most popular tours on Big Island, is a night time manta ray adventure. Rated 5* from 3,888 reviews. Book here for $94. A local guide will take you on a short cruise to the manta ray. You’ll then dip into the water to watch the manta rays up close. All equipment is provided. Refreshments are provided too.

Big Island is home to some amazing waterfalls. You can book a 7 line zipline tour, over KoleKole falls! Rated 5* from 831 reviews. Book here for $230. It’s an experience you’ll never forget. Soar past thundering falls as you zip through lush greenery. Travel on one of the longest ziplines in the US, directly over a waterfall!

A Big Island helicopter tour can be booked here. It costs $699 and is rated 5* from 43 reviews. The tour lasts for 2 hours. Soar high above the island. View volcanic badlands, lush rain forests, and Kohalas Mountains.

 

The Booking

Hawaii is expensive. Like really expensive. Good resorts start at $500/night. Prices can go up to $2,500/night. The Westin Hapuna is no exception to this rule. I needed a hotel for one night. My initial plan was to find a cheap airport hotel.

I soon discovered that there’s no cheap hotels on Big Island, Hawaii! The cheapest hotel I could find was the Holiday Inn Express in Kona. It was going for $400/night. It will be a cold day in hell, before I spend $400 to stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

It took some digging. But I was able to book the Westin Hapuna for 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points. I purchased 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points from Marriott, for $480. The cash rate was $1,200/night. So I got a 60% discount on the cash rate.

If you’re not yet a member of Marriott Bonvoy. Then sign up here.

My base level room allows four people to stay. This was great, as I was visiting my family. Also, as a Marriott Platinum, I got complimentary breakfast.

Rather annoyingly, the Westin charges a resort fee of $37. This is in addition to the room rate. They gave a long list of ‘benefits’ that you get for the resort fee. It’s basically a bunch of things that you already receive. Or a bunch of crap that you don’t want. One listed benefit was a ‘pool and beach chair service.’ I find these fees to be totally unnecessary. The resort is charging $1,200 per night. They don’t need the extra $37.

The Resort

The Westin Hapuna is nestled on a hill, overlooking the sea. The combination of the hill and the sea, make for stunning resort views. The check in desk is located on level 8 and the beach is on level 1. The view from the lobby is breathtaking, with panoramic sea views. 


The resort has the following facilities:
  • Two swimming pools
  • Two jacuzzis
  • Fitness centre
  • Three restaurants
  • One coffee shop
  • Beach front hotel

This resort is exactly what you imagine, when you think of a Hawaiian hotel. It’s right on the beach. It’s got swimming pools and great views. It’s very secluded. There’s nothing in walking distance of the hotel. There’s no shops or grocery stores.

There are two separate swimming pools. An adult one and a kids one. Both pools are very similar. They are large pools with attached jacuzzis.

There are three restaurants and one cafe on sight. Piko coffee bar on the 7th floor. Ikena Landing serves American Food. Naupaka Beach Grill is next to the kids pool. Meridia is a fine dining restaurant.

We ate at Naupaka Beach Grill, as it’s next to the kids pool. It offers comfort food, rather than fine dining. Think pizza and burgers. The menu is below.




There’s also a coffee shop with grab and go food (Piko coffee bar). It’s possible to get a sandwich and a coffee for $15. I was impressed by this – kudos to the Westin.

The hotel could get away with not providing a coffee shop. The hotel is secluded. They could just offer their $45 breakfast buffet. This would leave little choice to guests. Either pay $45 or stay hungry. At breakfast time, the coffee shop was far busier than the restaurants. The below photo is of the Piko coffee bar.


The hotel markets itself as a 4* hotel. I would say that it’s closer to 5*. The public areas of the hotel are architecturally stunning. Hawaii doesn’t have many 5* hotels. They have a lot of 4* hotels that charge over $1,000/night! Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth, so this isn’t a surprise. 

The Room

I booked the room using Marriott Bonvoy Points. I was booked into the lowest category of room. This is normally the case, when you book with points. The hotel allows four people to stay in each room. We had two double beds.

This is quite common in the US. Where luxury hotels allow four people to stay in a hotel room. For me, this worked out great. As we stayed as a family of four.

The room itself was pretty nice. Although the décor was functional rather than luxury. It had the following features:

  • Located on the 6th floor
  • Obstructed sea view
  • Two double beds
  • Corner sofa with small table
  • Desk
  • Wall mounted TV
  • Coffee machine
  • Well sized balcony
  • Bathroom with shower and bath


The room was a good size. As a family of four, we just about felt comfortable in that space.

As a Marriott Platinum, I think I got an upgrade. I stayed on floor 6 (out of 9). There was an obstructed sea view. There was building between us and the sea. I couldn’t see the beach, but I could see the water behind that.

I don’t think that this was the lowest category of room at the hotel. The lowest category of room would have been on a lower floor, with no view of the sea.

The room had two double beds. They were both very comfortable. The mattress was very thick and firm.

The balcony was large. It was more like a small terrace. There was a day bed and a separate table. I didn’t spend any time there, however. We only had one day at the hotel. We spent most of our time by the pool and the beach.

 

 

 


I’ve stayed in a lot of hotel rooms with my family. This was more comfortable than most. We’ve squeezed into some pretty tight spaces! Holiday Inn Express Hotels often allow families to stay in one room. Their rooms are normally VERY small!

The bathroom was nice. There was a separate bath and shower. This is something that is very common in 5* hotels. Less common at 4* hotels.



The Breakfast

Breakfast was served in Ikena Landing restaurant. On the 6th floor. We arrived at 7am, and the restaurant wasn’t busy.

I got free breakfast as a Marriott Platinum. I was impressed with it. As Marriott Platinum, you get a continental breakfast for free. You don’t get access to the full buffet.

That being said, the Westin exceeded expectations with their breakfast. They pack a lot in for Platinum Elites. We were given the following:

  • Muffins and pastries
  • Fruits
  • Oatmeal
  • Greek Yoghurt
  • Granola
  • Toast
  • Tea and Coffee


I’m vegetarian. If I’d gone for the full buffet, I wouldn’t have got much more than that. Maybe some pancakes and breakfast potatoes.

We were sat to one side of the restaurant. I think that all platinum elites were placed together. There were two other tables that were occupied. And they were both platinum elites.

The fruit plate was awesome. Fresh and locally grown. The lychees were amazing. The papaya must have been the sweetest one I’ve ever tasted!

The granola was freshly made in the hotel. The oatmeal bowl was large and filled me up.

I also ordered some pancakes for my daughter. They cost $8. She couldn’t finish them, so I ended up eating half.

The breakfast menu is shown below.

 

The Swimming Pools

There are two swimming pools at the Westin Hapuna. They’re both pretty nice. There’s an adult pool and a family pool. Sadly, neither of the pools are infinity pools.

The adult pool is located on the 4th floor. The kids pool is located on the 1st floor, with walking access to the beach. Both pools are very similar. They are large pools, with a separate jacuzzi. The jacuzzis are heated.

Both pools were empty on the two days we visited the hotel. There were loads of loungers available.

I spent all of my time in the kids pool. Because I was with my kids. The beach is just two minutes walk from the kids pool.

The Beach

The Westin Hapuna is on a (public) beach. The beach was stunning.

The sea view from the 8th floor lobby is amazing. The beach is also nice, from ground level. It’s large, and beautifully sandy.

As it’s a public beach, the majority of the people weren’t guests at the hotel.

Conclusion

The Westin Hapuna has everything you want from your Hawaiian Vacation. You’re right on the beach, the pools are lovely, the views are amazing and the food was good. I can definitely recommend it.

It’s a solid choice if you’re a Marriott Platinum. I got an upgraded room and a decent breakfast.

I reviewed Marriott Waikoloa Ocean Club. Also on Big Island Hawaii. It’s a beach front property. With three swimming pools, four jacuzzis and a water slide. I stayed in a lovely 1 bed apartment, overlooking the sea.

I reviewed the Hawaiian Airlines Premier Lounge in Maui Airport. The lounge was recently refurbished and the coffee is excellent. You can also get access with a Priority Pass Card. However, the food options were very limited.

I also reviewed Marriott Crystal Shores in Marco Island, Florida. One of the best resorts I’ve ever been to. I stayed in an epic 15th floor apartment, overlooking the sea. They had a full daily activities schedule. They had swimming pools, a water slide, shuffle board and so much more. Take me back!

I hope you enjoyed my article and found it useful. You can sign up to my email list here, and keep abreast of my latest content.

 

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