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“Crowded, Costly, Constrcution at the beach, Convienent” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #6 of 7 hotels in Wailea
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Crowded, Costly, Constrcution at the beach, Convienent”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2006

We go on one major holiday a year. This year we spent a week at a condo at the Grand Champions in Wailea and a week in the Grand Wailea. The condo was a 10 minute walk to the beach. So was our room at the Grand Wailea was a ten minute walk to the beach by time we snaked through the hotel and the hugely crowded pool area. The best beach in the area is Big Beach at Makena State Park just south of the Grand Wailea about 3 miles.

The rooms at the Grand are very Grand and worth the price but for the price I would like a little more than direct beach access. We had an amazing view of the ocean and all the weddings, and the pool crowds, and the beach. I recommend you get your chair early in the morning or pay big $$$ for a private cabana. That was not in our budget. As it was at the end of the week there we had racked up more than $3000 in room charges in addition to our room charges. You pay for everything here when we were done we had spent close to $11,000.00

We had as much fun in our
condo the second week and the whole week including meals cost way less than our room charges. I searched, "vacation rental by owner" and found several sites that catered to vacation rentals.

The one really big plus of the Grand Wailea is the effectiveness of the pool area to keep children busy all day long. The kids meet other kids there and they form "instant life long friendships" that really gave my husband and I some alone time.

I must recommend the adult Hibiscus Pool......stunningly beautiful.

We did a seaside private dinner which they set up for us to watch the setting sun. Had it been a little more remote and less busy it would have been perfect.

I would definately go back to the Grand Wailea but I will also book more vacation condos in the future. We may be able to do more vacations per year with what we saved.

  • Liked — The pool, the food, the spa, closness to beach, and the artwork
  • Disliked — The crowds......way to crowded. This is a large expensive property
  • Tips/Secrets — Try a vacation condo and save some money.
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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San Diego
1 review
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2006

I've been to Maui a few times and usually stay at the Fairmont in Wailea. A few weeks ago, we decided to try the Grand Wailea since we heard it was the best hotel on the island. From the outside, the hotel looked very promising. The exterior was beautiful, the pools spectacular, and the beach access unbeatable.

But from the moment we pulled up to the valet, we realized that the hotel was simply a body without a soul. As we pulled up, we had to wait a minute or so before we were "greeted" by a valet. In fact, we had already unloaded our bags before one of the valets finally showed up. As we walked into the lobby, the female greeter uninterestedly placed leis (sp ?) around our necks. She didnt even bother smiling. I contrast this with the warmth and friendliness that greeted us everytime we arrived at the Fairmont. We arrived at the hotel at approximately 3:30pm, which is about half an hour past the official check in time. However, our room was still not available and we were asked to simply wander about the hotel and were told that we would get a call on our cell phone when our room was ready. Half an hour later we still had not received a call and decided to go back to the front desk. After waiting a somewhat lengthy time to finally speak to a front desk person, we were told that our room was ready. Where was that phone call?

When we got to our room, we were fairly unimpressed. The bathroom looked dated and the overall size was smaller than the rooms at the Fairmont. The pool area is truly the gem of this hotel. There are something like 10 pools and various slides and water attractions. However, if you're an adult, you might find the number of screaming kids a bit overwhelming. The hotel had a feel comparable to your average waterpark. Nevertheless, my friends and I still enjoyed the pool. The easy beach access was also a positive as it was just a few steps from the pool area.

My biggest complaint about the hotel is the service, or lack thereof. There was none of the island love, or general hospitality that you would expect from a 5 star resort, or more importantly a hotel that costs 500-900 bucks a night. The staff members rarely smiled, they seemed bothered when you approach them with a question, and generally seem out of place at a high-end resort. None of the little touches were found at the Grand Wailea.

For example, at the Fairmont, smiling pool side employees would frequently walk around handing out fresh pineapples. At the Marriott Ihilani in Oahu, they had a jolly guy walking around the pool spritzing cool water on the feet of hotel guests. Those little things are so important when you pay the kind of rates you pay at the Grand Wailea.

The capper to our 5 day stay was the jack hammering that started at 7:30AM during the last 2 days of our stay. Imagine if you will, waking up in paradise to loud jack hammering...at 7:30 in the freaking morning. When we complained during the last day, they told us that they had left letters in our rooms telling us of the jackhammering. First, we didnt get a letter. Second, who cares if you they left a letter? Why not wait until a more reasonable time to start causing that kind of noise. Fortunately they decided to comp us one night which made the experience slightly more bearable.

My last memory of the Grand Wailea was back in the valet. After the valet pulled up the car for the final time, he sat there and watched as my friends and I struggled to place the bags in our trunk. No offer to help. Needless to stay, I will never again stay at this hotel. I've warned my friends who are planning trips to Hawaii to stay away from this place. If this was a normal 200 dollar a night hotel, I really wouldnt have cared. But paying Grand Wailea rates for Motel 6 service is just unacceptable.

  • Liked — Pool
  • Disliked — Service
  • Tips/Secrets — Dont go
  • Stayed September 2006, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2006

The grounds were magnificent, service was wonderful, but the rooms were just fair. Our room was in terrible need of udating. The room needed to be painted and wallpapered. The carpet was smelly and sticky. Our shower had a slow drain problem and the sliding louver doors got stuck off the track. (Maintenence was there within minutes of the call!)

They were in the process of putting mattress toppers on the beds during our 7 day stay. The first 2 days neither bed had a topper. On the 3rd day one bed got a soft new topper. We called on the 4th day to inquire about the other bed. On the 5th day we got the other topper. Poor implementation.

Room size and amenities were very good. We had a chance to inspect some of the other rooms on the island. We found that some were not as nice (Sheraton) but some were much nicer.

They need to invest in some room renovations to get the 5 star rating.

Stayed September 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gilroy, CA
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2006

On the positive side, it was a beautiful property. The rooms were very nice, the pools were fun and the ocean was warm. The odd thing about the place for us was that it was really about money and attitude. While many on the staff were excellent and nice, there were too many rather snooty people working there. The resort wants you to pay more for a covered chair or cabana by the pool, pay a lot for food and drinks, and pay for nicer rooms, so that it becomes the demand to spend becomes a bit distracting. All in all, we left tan and rested, and that counts.

  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2006

We had our honeymoon at the Grand Wailea and were overwhelmed by the service (Ritz Carlton comparable) and resort property. The service from the door captain to the reception to the housekeeping was excellent. Our wedding was on the same day as our check-in and they went out of their way to get us an early check-in. Their service throughout was fantastic and the property was impeccable. The pool was even more amazing with a Raging Waters-like slide and swim up bar. I highly recommend this astounding resort for honeymooners and vacationers!

  • Liked — Service
  • Disliked — $20 Per Day Resort Fee
  • Stayed September 2006
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Danville, California
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2006

We had an awesome 8 day stay at the Grand Wailea! We were a family of 4- kids 9 and 5. We had a deluxe garden view that faced the pools and part of the ocean, we couldn't believe it. I got goosebumps and chills when we saw our view, the kids were ecstatic! Heaven!

The pools- A+, my kids loved all the waterslides, the tarzan rope was my son's favorite, the water elevator was very cool. Yes, this is a FAMILY resort and for families, it is awesome! If you are on your honeymoon, I suggest you stay on the chapel wing away from the pool area and kids and hang out at the adult pool. We went into the 4 seasons and that is a nice place to stay for a honeymoon but not as entertaining as GW for the kids.

The food at hotel- Cafe Kula B-/C+, great since it is close to the pools but lunch items are fair in quality. Breakfast was better. We ate lunch and dinner at the Wailea shops or in nearby Kihei where prices and food quality were better.

Housekeeping, Valet, Check in- out- A+ When we came back to the room one afternoon, the maid had arranged my daughters American Girl dolls in a cute fashion holding hands. She was thrilled!

We also LOVED all the art that was displayed throughout the hotel and gardens, just gorgeous. The beach was also great and my kids had a blast making sand castles and burrying themselves in sand.

It is a little pricey but as the below review says, if you know that ahead of time, then you will be alright. Those who have negative reviews, I believe they did not educate themselves about the resort and had different expectations. Again, it is a FAMILY resort and every dollar was worth it as it was the BEST vacation our family has had yet. We plan to go every year, we were all so sad when we checked out that we HAVE to go back. :)

To the below reveiwer, how did you get a room for $300 a night? Do you have a membership? that is a great rate, can you please post on tripadvisorforum. We will definitely be back each year if we can get rates like that! Grand Wailea Dreamin' Aloha!

  • Liked — The awesome pools and waterslides, the views, the beach, the artwork
  • Disliked — prices at the restaurants but we enjoyed eating elsewhere
  • Tips/Secrets — Soak it all in, the Grand Wailea is Heaven!
  • Stayed August 2006, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2006

My wife and I stayed at the Grand Wailea for six nights, July 28-August 3. This was our second visit to this property, the first being in January 2005. We are in our early 40s and we did not bring children.

Overview: The Grand Wailea is a Hilton-owned hotel (as of August 1, 2006) located in the Wailea resort area on southwest Maui, which is the sunniest part -- and hence the most expensive part -- of Maui. The hotel is approximately 30-40 minutes from the Kahului airport; it is just outside the town of Kihei. Renting a car at the airport is a necessity as there is no “shuttle” service or public transportation to the resort area.

Price/Value: We paid $656/night for a “full ocean view“ room, this being the high-season rate. It is difficult to make a distinction, however, between the “full“ and “partial” ocean view rooms in that most rooms are set back several hundred feet from the beach and are to some degree blocked by palm trees. Our supposed full-ocean view room only obliquely viewed the ocean. To see the ocean required standing outside the room on the left side of the patio: “Ah, THERE’S the ocean!” In our opinion, there are very few genuine “full” ocean view rooms -- as in dead-on, sight unobstructed views of the ocean.

Upon check-in we were delighted to find out that we had been upgraded to a Napua Tower room, which is closed off from the other floors by a card-activated gate and includes complimentary continental breakfast (eggs, breads, and fruit, no meat) each morning and a complimentary (!) “happy hour” in the evening.

Additional charges include valet parking of $15/day and a “resort fee” of $20/day. Taxes ran about 4.5%.

Accommodations: The Grand Wailea was built in 1991 and in some respects the rooms need upgrading, such as the low-end bathroom sink and shower fixtures that would not have looked out of place in an interstate motel. The air conditioning was the biggest issue -- the rooms do not have digital thermostats but rather the cheap dial and switch controls -- you don’t get to set the room temperature. Further, although not intolerable, it seemed if the a/c was having some difficulty cooling the room.

This being said, the room was otherwise very tastefully appointed, comfortable, with ample space. Our room had a roll-away couch and coffee table. Each room has bathrobes and high-end toiletries and towels. There is an in-room high-speed internet connection for your laptop with unlimited use, the cost of which is covered under the resort fee.

Service: The best part of the hotel, it seemed to us, was the staff. Everyone, from the valet to the maids to the poolside waitresses to the front-desk to maintenance (after checking in we found our plantation doors stuck) was efficient and polite. The one exception the whole time was service one afternoon for lunch at the Bistro -- the server was incompetent, but still pleasant. Oh well.

Restaurants: The Kincha Japanese restaurant was closed for two of the days we visited (it is always closed on Tuesday and Wednesday) and the seafood restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (not making that up), was booked both times we tried to get in. Consequently, the only Grand Wailea restaurant at which we ate was the Bistro, for dinner one day and for lunch another. The Bistro overlooks the pools and is essentially bar/grille type food: sandwiches, pizza, salads, and some basic seafood selections. We paid $17 for a hamburger, $16 for a personal pizza, $9 for soup, and $24 for a seafood salad. The main restaurants will run roughly $60/person, exclusive of alcohol, for dinner.

Amenities: There are two very large and well-maintained pools at the Grand Wailea, one of them being adults-only (which evidently is actually enforced) and the other being all-ages, highlighted by a water slide and grotto. We were able to get good location pool lounges only because I went down each morning at 7:00am and “saved” two lounges with beach towels. One good thing: the towels and chairs are included in the resort fee. I understand that some resorts charge for chairs/lounges and towels. A cabana, however, will run you $225/day.

The less crowded beach is shared with the adjoining Four Seasons and was quite scenic and enjoyable.

Other amenities include snorkeling, a “Camp Wailea” for kids, and an attractive chapel for weddings, with an actual Sunday morning service here for guests .

Clientele: Most guests ranged from the 30s-50s, with a good number of families with young children, some retirees, and, of course, honeymooners. We saw very few singles, teens, or twentysomethings. The resort is definitely not a “party” atmosphere. Other reviews have bemoaned the large number of children. While there are lots of kids, we didn’t feel that it was a Disney-like atmosphere or that children were overly obtrusive.

Area attractions: Adjoining the resort are the Shops at Wailea, containing high-end shopping such as Tiffany’s and Yves-Saint Laurent but also containing the obligatory t-shirt shops and two convenience stores. Within the Shops are four restaurants: Tommy Bahamas, Cheeseburgers in Paradise, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and Longhi‘s Italian/Seafood, at all of which we ate and enjoyed. Literally minutes away in the town of Kihei are fast-food restaurants, pharmacy, and a variety of “local” restaurants. We had some excellent Mexican food at a Moose McGillycutty‘s. There is also a Safeway in Kihei, located on the Piliani Highway on the way to/from from the airport. My wife and I stopped in to stock up on soda, juice, munchies, and some alcohol -- doing this saved a lot of money. (And it’s the principle of the thing: we take it as a personal insult to pay $3.50 for a Snicker’s from the mini-bar.)

The town of Lahaina is about 30 minutes up the coast from the resort. The drive offers a striking view of the Maui coastline and of nearby islands. The town of Lahaina itself used to be the island’s primary port and was the royal seat of government, and currently is something like an “old town” downtown area, offering a diversity of restaurants, shops, and entertainment fronting the ocean. The town is nearly all walkable.

Forget the “road to Hana.“ It is literally an all-day drive, is unnerving and decidedly not relaxing, and is mostly all green forests. On our first visit to Maui, we started on it but ended up turning around and coming back. A better drive (shorter, safer, and more scenic) is to the crater atop the 10,000 foot Haleakala volcano, under whose shadow the Wailea area is located.

Summary: We plan to continue vacationing in Maui and will likely stay in Wailea again, although we may give either the Four Seasons or the Fairmont a try. Depending on what time of the year you go and in what type of room you stay, understand that at the Grand Wailea you will spend something around $1000/day total, excluding airfare and any shopping.

Bottom line: The Grand Wailea is indeed wonderful, but horribly expensive and not without flaws.

Hope this helps! Feel free to email with questions.

Stayed August 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#5 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#5 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Wailea
#5 Family Hotel in Wailea
#6 Green Hotel in Wailea
#6 Business Hotel in Wailea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is the ultimate destination for a fabulous Hawaii vacation, perfect for families, spa goers, honeymooners, golfers and active vacationers. Situated on 40 acres of lush, tropical Hawaiian gardens, Grand Wailea opens onto Maui's beautiful Wailea Beach, voted one of the best beaches in America, with elegant and newly-renovated accommodations, indulgent spa treatments, fine dining and thrilling recreational options. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Wailea - a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Wailea
Grand Wailea Maui
Grand Wailea Resort Maui
Grand Wailea Hawaii
Grand Hotel Wailea
Grand Resort Wailea
Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort Maui

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