OK, first things first: The Grand Champions is NOT on the beach. It's walkable, but the quickest way takes you to Wailea Beach right through the Marriott and the parking lot of the Shops, so it isn't the most scenic thing in the world. That being said, the Waliea beaches have great views, but they are small and crowded, and from Grand Champions one can get to the REAL, Hawaiian-style beaches; Big Beach, Little Beach and Poolenalena Beach in a jiffy. If you're not going to go to one or ALL of these, why bother to go to South Maui at all?
My wife and I had no chance to get away over the Holidays, so this trip was short notice triage for us. We really needed it! Somehow we found a cheap flight. Finding a place to stay was more difficult. This is high season, Whale Watching time, and with only two weeks notice, everyplace was either full or way too expensive. We tried Hotwire...and lo and behold, we saw it: 3.5 Stars in Wailea for LESS money than anything remotely comparable in Kihei or Kaanapali. So we went for it, a 1 BR condo, and ended up at Grand Champions.
When we arrived, we found a nice, big living room, full kitchen, a view of the pool, and a very nicely sized bedroom. Great! When I looked around the corner of the living room, though, I found....the MASTER bedroom, and another full bath! They gave us a two bedroom, and a HUGE one, for the price of a 1-bedroom minus about a 44% discount! This place was BIG. Honestly, it was absurd. We had well over 1000 sq. ft. for just the two of us, in a place that could comfortably sleep six with room to spare....two big bedrooms and a king size sofa bed.
Some condos feel like hotel rooms, only with added kitchens/kitchenettes. Not this one. This felt like somebody's home. The furnishings were tasteful and distinctive. The kitchen was excellently equipped. And in the closet was everything we could possibly need; beach chairs, coolers, umbrellas, mats; when one needs to buy or rent this stuff it gets expensive, but it was all provided in our place. There were even family board games. There were books to read on the bookshelf. This was good stuff!
So, don't worry about beachfront. The best beaches in S. Maui don't border hotels/combo complexes (with the NOTABLE exception of the Makena Surf, that is, but this is more than double the price of Grand Champions). Stay at Grand Champions, hopefully booking on Hotwire/Priceline, save a bundle of money, drive 5 minutes, and have a great time.