Wailea is the more upscale resort area on Maui, and somewhat more convenient from the airport than the Kaanapali resort area. There are a number of hotels here, including the massive Grand Wailea, which has its fans for its great kids facilities, the largest spa on any of the Hawaiian islands, and a lovely wedding chapel. The Shops at Wailea, a retail and dining complex, was opened some years ago, completing Wailea as an all-encompassing resort area. Close by is the town and resort area of Kihei, which is lower-end condominiums, but with lots of markets, restaurants and some shopping. Among our favorites resorts in Wailea are:
The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Kea Lani is in Wailea, which always has the best weather on Maui. We’ve always had a special relationship with the staff here, and our relationships ensure our guests get VIP’d whenever possible.
The hotel is an all-suite property, most are the same size except the larger Kilohana suites on the corners, with wrap around balconies.
The regular suites are priced based on location - Fairmont category (least expensive) located on lower floors with no ocean view. Deluxe have ocean view as they are on higher floors. Living room has sofa bed, tv, coffee maker, mini fridge, microwave. Bedroom has tv. Suites are perfect for families as parents can have privacy. (It’s convenient to get some food at the deli on property and heat it in the microwave in the suite.) Large marble bathroom has doors from both living room and bedroom.
Kea Lani Villas are great - 2 or 3 bedrooms located closer to the beach, with living room, kitchen, plunge pool, bbq. The Kea Lani has three pools - one for adults, the other two are family pools on two levels, connected with a 140 ft waterslide.
Children's program available $75 per day. Tip: you can book lowest priced suite for a family, and request the room be ground floor near family pool. That way kids can run in and out of the room without going into the main building and up the elevators.
The beach has service - they do charge for umbrellas ($35 per day). They have an outrigger excursion every morning, complimentary. There is no resort fee. They charge for the cabanas by the pools - can do this prior to arrival as they go fast. ($150 - they can be reserved up to one year in advance.)
The property could use some upkeep. They are working on re-doing the restaurants, but will not be refurbishing rooms until 2010. The new spa was reopened a couple of years ago. Still - this is the best value for families due to the amount of space and privacy the suites offer.
Four Seasons Wailea, Maui
This is a beautiful property. Feels like a resort in the city, as it's right in the middle of Wailea - between Kea Lani and Grand Wailea, with condos on the hill behind. They are redoing the lobby bar so that is screened off, and a new adult pool is under construction. It is a long narrow pool along the left side of the building as you face the ocean, so you can see it from the suites. (Should be completed by Spring 2009) There is minimal noise during the day, and the hotel is offering credit to those who are inconvenienced, or will move the clients to the other side.
The Four Seasons Wailea is filled with interesting art, and the furnishings are much improved to what I remember from years ago. Marble bathrooms are large. Contemporary, comfortable, elegant. No charges for chaise lounges, cabanas, umbrellas, kids club 5 - 12, outrigger paddling, etc.
Beach is great - stretches down toward the Grand Wailea. The beaches in the Wailea area are in a series of curves (this is in contrast to the one long beach up in Kaanapali, which stretches from Hyatt all the way up to Sheraton where Black Rock is.) The restaurant DUO was amazing! Great food and service. Also they have Spago on property. This is the only Four Seasons hotel not in Asia which has a gold floor.
All hotels here have complimentary resort shuttles around the Wailea area.