This will be a long and in depth report, so I am sorry ahead of time if I bore you! I will try and touch on questions that I had before we left and also the good, best, bad and ugly! Of course, remember these are my observations and my opinions!
So, we are a family of 5 from Boise, Idaho. Mom (me), Dad and 3 daughters ages 20, 12 and 10. This trip our 20 yr old had mid-terms (her junior yr. in college) and didn't get to go and YES, she was mad! But we will save that for another post!
We travel to Hawaii 1 or 2 times a year, but this was our first visit to Maui. We adore The Big Island and normally stay at the 4S in Kona or at Kona Village Resort, but due to the tsunami that hit a few yrs ago, Kona Village Resort has not re-opened. This year I decided to surprise everyone with a new place to go. I did LOTS of research and decided on 4S Maui. I thought about Lanai, but decided it wasn't kid friendly enough, but I did plan a day trip to Lanai and will review that later. We normally go during "off season" We have been in Kona during holidays, Christmas, Easter, Spring Break and all have been nightmares. So we pull our girls out of school for a couple weeks twice a year and go to Hawaii. Teachers don't like it, but hey....will our girls remember 5th grade math or trips with the dolphins in Hawaii....that's a no brainer.......We enjoy going the first 2 weeks of December, but this year, due to my husbands work schedule we had to take a couple of weeks in October.
Flight from Boise to LAX and LAX to OGG was fine....nothing special to report...
Got into Maui at 4:30pm. Prior to arriving I had been in constant contact with the concierge at the Four Seasons. I had gotten a car lined up to pick us up and get us to the resort. He was there waiting for us with lavender scented cloths for our faces and ginger tea in the car...Nice touch from the 4S. We encounter many "little touches" and they mean a lot! We were in the 5 o'clock traffic so it took us a bit longer than normal to get to the resort. In Kona it takes 7 mins. so this was a long time to us. Took us about 45-50 mins to get there. Nobody's fault, just the time and traffic.
As soon as we pulled up to the resort, our doors were opened and we were greeted with smiling employee's that already knew our names, lei's and ginger tea. They got our bags from the car and immediately got us in the elevator. We by-passed check-in at the lobby. I had booked the 8th floor, which is the Club Floor. I went round and round with this idea...Should we book it...Should we not......SO GLAD I DID!!!! I will give reasons to book it and reasons not to! First you by pass the lobby lines. You get to the 8th floor and are greeted by your own concierge (remember we are from Idaho, so we are not the hoity-toity type), this was quite shocking to all of us, she knew our names, our daughters names and ages, what they liked, etc....We were asked if we would like a drink and some appetizers before going to our room...Ummmm, sure!!! The drinks were STRONG and you can call your brand of vodka, gin, whiskey, bourbon, tequila, etc...they will make ANYTHING, along with 20 types of beers to choose from and all this is FREE with the Club Floor!
Now, remember that just downstairs the same martini I just got is 17.00 and the beer my husband got is 10.00. The soda our daughters got are 8.00 each. Here is my point, if you drink, even moderately then the Club floor is worth the extra $$$$. You can get drinks and food and take them to the pools at anytime. We would get drinks and take them to the beach and pool all the time. The concierge team of Shauna, Kimberly, Pat, Margaret and Josh never made you feel stupid or dumb that you wanted a drink or food to take to the pools. They would box it up in a pretty box and bag and off you would go. They would do the same with drinks. They would put them in plastic cups (for the pool area) and off you would go. They have a GREAT wine list to choose from, too! The drinks are much stronger than the ones at the Lobby Lounge or any of the restaurants. Once you have a "favorite" drink, the moment they see you it is in your hands! So that is a BIG plus for the Club Floor! Another plus for the club floor is the food that is served, almost all day long. The breakfast is basic breakfast with 1 hot dish, they always had some sort of raw fish dish, too. 6am-11am Then they have a "tea" time which is 1 or 2 in the afternoon. This is an array of finger sandwiches that were delicious! They had a variety of types, egg salad, turkey salad, chicken salad, cucumber/aioli, and scones and jam they also always had out some Maui chips to snack on all day long. 1pm-4pm Then the even pupus were even better! You could make your entire dinner up there, so you had to be careful to not eat too much if you had dinner reservations somewhere! The pupus were different every night. Sometimes it had a Thai theme, Japanese theme, Burger theme, BBQ theme, Sushi/Shashimi theme, Crab/Shrimp/Lobster theme....and it was ALL incredible! Besides having a theme for the night, they had wonderfully fresh veggies and dip, Maui chips, a sushi dish, 5pm-7pm and then if that's not enough, from 8pm-11pm was an array of desserts with a new homemade ice cream daily..Makes my mouth water thinking about it! So, in my humble Boise opinion I would always opt for the Club Floor!
The concierge group also took special interest and care of our daughters. They were never "put out" by them coming and asking for soda's or chips. They always remembered their names and made them feel special. My husband and I felt extremely comfortable allowing our girls to roam the property together and going to and from the 8th floor to get drinks and food. Our girls are 10 and 11 and were so comfortable roaming around alone and after the first day, that is what they did! They especially loved Ricky and Lucy the parrots that are near the fountain pool and they even got to pet Ricky (I think) and have him perch on their shoulders.
On a side note, one of the personal concierge guys was named Josh...Well, in talking with Josh he is from Boise and his parents live 5 miles from us!! He went to a high school that is just down the street from us! We thought that was so cool and fun to talk with him about Boise! He thought it was cool too!!! He went on to say that there are very few families from Boise that come there!
I want to touch on the gym at the resort. It is not a world class gym, but it has everything that you need...Treadmills, elipticals, bikes, and stair climbers. It also has weights and weight machines. The gym is an open air gym, which is wonderful. Because of our time difference, I was up and wide awake by 3AM almost every morning. So I would get my workout clothes on and head to the gym. The first morning I got to the gym and noticed the treadmill wasn't on, I tried to turn it on but it wouldn't turn on, so I used the house phone and called the front desk. They said they were sorry many times and sent someone down immediately. He got there, turn the treadmill on for me. He went on to say that they turn them off from midnight to 6AM, but he asked if I would be down there around this time daily. I replied that Yes, I would and he said, "ok, I will take care of that for you!" Every morning after that, I got to the gym within 30 minutes of my first time, and wouldn't you know it, the treadmill was turned on, a towel hanging on the bar for me and a bottle of water waiting for me.........Like I said earlier....Its the little things that make you want to come back! Incredible employee's! After our first week I opted for the running path up and down the beach. It is a 3-4 mile run and its simply gorgeous around 5AM. I got some of the BEST pictures of the sunrise I have ever seen...All alone on this path! Take a morning walk if you get the chance, its breathtaking!
Next thing I would like to touch on are the Bellmen and the car staff:
These guys are INCREDIBLE! Simply put, they are the best. They are funny and full of great stories while you wait for your car. If they see you taking pictures, they offer to take one for you so everyone can get into the photo. They ask about you and your family and really do pay attention to what you are saying. One time Johnny, our bellman when we got to 4S asked our girls about being out of school and where is their homework, our girls showed it to him and wouldn't you know, the next time he saw the girls he asked if the map of the US was done yet..........REALLY? He remembered what the homework was and what needed to be done.......WOW! Yet another time, we were asked if we would mind sharing a car to the Fairmont for dinner with another couple? Of course, we would love to...Well, they come over to me and whisper in my ear, "Mrs. Miller you will have to sit in the back seat with your daughters, is that a problem?" Ummmm, no its fine. Point being, they asked me first and if I had said I don't want to sit in the back with the girls, they would have gotten us our own car. Glad we sat with this other couple anyway! They were from Australia and so fun to chat with on the short drive. Our girls loved their accents and they in turn said they loved the girls accents. Which our girls thought was funny. After that night, whenever we ran into the same bellman that asked if I mind riding in the back it became a joke! He was our bellman that escorted us to the car on our last night when we left and he was a HOOT! We got all the bags in the car, and he asked if we all had our ID's and I couldn't find my drivers license. Well, it was packed in the suitcase in another purse. He got all the bags out of the car, and helped me go through the bags and find it!!!! Then to top it off, he says, "Ok Mrs Miller because of this error on your part, you MUST get into the backseat!!!!" Once again, the little things!
Now the beach boys: I have NEVER seen guys work harder in my life......They tote those big lounge chairs around like nothing. They never complain and after the first day they knew exactly what we wanted...2 loungers, 2 little chairs and 2 tables. They would see my husband, and say, "Good Morning Mr Miller I have you all set up down at the beach" These guys are worth their weight in gold. They change your sandy towels on your chairs without being asked, they watched our belongings while we went to lunch, they refill water, muffins, pineapple, etc ALL the time and they do it all with a smile! They have all types of sunscreens available at the beach too! I had lost my sunglasses in the ocean one day and I told the guys and no kidding 3 ran down to the water, dove in and swam around for 30 mins looking for my sunglasses.....They didn't find them, but they made a valiant effort! Once again, the little things! They knew our daughters names and one afternoon the water was really rough and they were in the ocean alone. They guys went down and called them out and told them the water was super rough and its time to get out and go to the pools. The girls boogie boards had gone pretty far out and they needed to retrieve them, and of course the boys went out to get them saying, "girls we will get them its too rough for you"
Pool Attendants: This is a great topic because of the variety of people that work the pools. We had experiences with quite a few of the pool people but 3 were standouts. Shane, Ryann and Evelyn. They went over and beyond in service. ALWAYS remembering our names and ALWAYS looking over our girls. Evelyn would see the girls and lead them to a cabana that she had set up for them. Shane was by far my FAVORITE pool attendant! LOVED HIM!!! I wish he could read this! I did write 4S about his service of excellence! Along with a list of others, too! He went over and beyond what his duties were. We got to know him on a personal level and he is terrific! Just cant say enough about him!!!! Ryann (Ryann with 2 N's) was hilarious and always joking with us! I would be amiss if I left out Matt, the Manager over pools. He took the time to chat with me about what an excellent staff he has and after our chat whenever he saw me or my husband he would always call us by name and come over and chat for a few minutes. Making us feel special! Again, the little things! The pool food is incredibly good and priced reasonably. Our girls always ordered lunch at the pool, they thought it was cool!
The kids pool is really made for little kids, the slide is tiny. There is a fun waterfall and our girls enjoyed that, but the pool is really for the toddler type kids. They do have sunscreen stations at all the pools along with water available with sliced fruit to flavor it at all the pools. This is a plus if you forgot sunscreen.
The Serenity pool is really quite pretty, but not worth waiting in a line at 6:30AM. The loungers are all in rows, kinda like a movie theatre. My husband and I did go up to see it, got into the pool, went to the swim up bar for a few drinks, got our drinks and walked to the edge of the infinity pool. It is a breathtaking view, and we did spot our daughters playing on the beach! That was fun to watch them. I sat on the "bubbly" steps, just cuz I had to say I did it!! But in my opinion its over-rated and the fountain pool and the cabanas at the fountain pool are just as good and the guests at the fountain pool are much more friendly. They guest at the Serenity pool seemed "standoffish" and "stuffy" and like they were trying to be better than the person next to them.........ICK........So we went back to the beach and fountain pool and never looked back....Although, we are taking our oldest daughter and her fiancé to 4S and I am sure we will spend time up there with them........Well, maybe.......
Our daughters got lunch every day at the pool. It was good food and very affordable! Our daughters also got the Keiki massages at the pool. They LOVED this and now are hooked on massages......lol It was not very expensive and lots of fun for the girls to feel special like a grown-up.....
PERFECT...........Did I say PERFECT....I have read reviews of people saying that their room wasn't done at 3 in the afternoon. We never experienced anything but perfection. We did use the 4S App. and you can request a time you would like your room cleaned at, which would alleviate the problem of it not being done. I think they are magic fairies because I never saw a cart or the ladies anywhere! Our room was beautifully cleaned and they even lined up our shoes in order under the coffee table in the living room area. They also took the time to fold the girls jammies and shorts and shirts and arrange some stuffed animals, on the bed, that were given to the girls from 4S. They left my sunglasses (a new pair I bought after the ocean took mine) on a 4S cleaning cloth and cleaned them for me, plugged my IPad into the docking station so it was charged for me...Once again, the little things! The night time turn down service was great, too. They would leave slippers next to your bed for you and stories for our daughters to read.
The Outrigger Program:
This is a free program that you just sign up for through the concierge. It is an incredible program and one not to be missed. I signed up for it 30 days before our visit and I would suggest that everyone sign up ahead of time. It is always packed. We signed up to go out with them 5 times and every time we learned something new and did something new! Robert, Kevon and Gary were super sweet and so full of knowledge! After going 3 times they told us to bring snorkel gear for our next times and they would take us out farther to find more fish and turtles! Well, boy did we find the fish, eels, octopus and lots of turtles. We got some incredible under water pictures too! These guys are just incredibly sweet!!! I cant wait to see them again and go out on the Outrigger! If you stay here, be sure to try it.......and please remember to tip these guys! Which leads me to my next topic............
This is a sticky topic for many, but I am going to talk about it. I tip everyone that provides me with a service.....period! We tip the Outrigger guys everytime they took us out. We would tip each one of them, not just one of them. There are 2 with you on the Outrigger, so we would give each guy a tip. We would tip the pool attendants separate from the tip on a lunch tab or bar bill. The tip on a bar/lunch bill at the pool is put together and they divide it. If you get exceptional service you can give them a tip and tell them that it is JUST FOR THEM. We did this quite often! We would tip the beach boys every time they brought us chairs, towels, etc...Not when they brought around water, but when they did the manual labor, etc...Housekeeping should be tipped on a daily basis too. They staff probably changes, so if you wait to tip at the end of your trip you might not get it to your daily housekeeper. I would leave money on the desk with a note: FOR HOUSEKEEPING. They wont take it without a note. Bellmen and car guys, we tipped them on every ride we took, coming and going....I was taken to the Shops at Wailea 3 or 4 times and I would time when they took me and when they picked me up, likewise when we were taken to restaurants or other resorts. I tipped my "gym guy" that turned the treadmill on and left towels and water for me. Its just important for all these service people to know they are important and their service is appreciated. This is something that we saw go "undone" way too many times by guests that thought they were too good to find it in their hearts to tip. Made me really sad when I saw how hard these people work.
One last thing I want to touch on is how even people you don't know who they are make your visit special.......This is about Social Media:
So, I am big into Facebook and Twitter. I follow Four Seasons Maui on both social media's pages. And leading up to our visit I would comment on pictures, or post pictures of us getting ready, etc...I never knew who the social media person was, but I knew that they took a special interest on our visit! I once posted that we were coming in October during Breast Cancer Awareness Month and said that I was a breast cancer survivor. Wouldn't you know, the one time we went to the Lobby Lounge to get drinks and I ordered the 4S Think Pink Drink, the bartender came over and served it to me and said it had been bought for me from the director of social media......WOW, the little things! I post a picture of myself with the drink and the social media person posted back...."So glad you liked it" I asked to meet this person. I had to meet the person I have been interacting with for a year! We tried to connect many times and it just didn't happen, finally on our 2nd to last day, my husband and I were having drinks up at the 8th floor and this ADORABLE, BUBBLY girl walks over and introduces herself........She was just as I imagined....DARLING, SWEET and full of the Four Seasons smiles and kindness. So glad I can now put a face to the posts! I have since been in contact with her about planning our next trip there....It has been booked! How could we not go back to this paradise!
Tiki Torch Lighter guy is fun....Our girls followed him a couple of nights around the resort lighting the tiki torches....Wish I had gotten pictures of them with him....I will get those pictures next time!
We were able to watch a wedding every single day we were there at our resort. Infact, our daughters were invited to one that they were watching from behind some tree's on the 3rd floor garden area. The groom saw them watching and invited them over to join them...so very sweet! Thank goodness the girls were dressed for dinner in cute dresses! They even took pictures with the bride and goom...how cute is that!!!
The rooms are huge and the bathrooms are BEAUTIFUL...(I will add pictures) I don't know what kind of beds they have, but they are the most comfortable ever! You can request all sorts of different pillows to sleep on. I tried a buckwheat pillow and LOVED it! The bathroom has a sound system that you can pick from 7 different types of music to play while you shower and get ready for your day......How awesome is that!!! My girls would pick hip-hop and I would change it to Hawaiian for my turn in the bathroom! Fun extra!! Another nice touch was when we first got there, when we entered our room there was a personal hand written note to my husband and myself with a bottle of champagne (that we forgot to bring home with us :() and some starfish cookies, fish gummies, sponges that spelled out our daughters names and a cute stuffed owl for them....Really nice touch!
Gorgeous hotel.....incredible staff.....always smiling and there to make your stay just awesome!
We did walk to the Grand Wailea for lunch and it was a bust.....food was cold, slow service..Plus, the staff in general is so unfriendly. Nobody said hi to us and asked if we needed help with anything. The one day that it rained on us and it was a DOWNPOUR, we were at the Grand Wailea, we had called the 4S for a ride back to the resort and they said it would be a few minutes, so we decided to walk around the resort. When we came back to the where we would get picked up, there were at least 8 bellmen, and not 1 of them asked us anything.......Not if we needed our car, were waiting for a car, needed a cab, or even a hello.....they said NOTHING. It was a BIG wakeup call to the kind of service you get at Four Seasons. We told our driver about it and he says that he hears that all the time about GW. Actually, the property reminded me of a big cruise ship that needed a makeover badly. The staff needs to be trained on customer service, too!
At 4S, you are greeted by everyone and they all ask if they can be of assistance to you! Even when walking down a hallway, they all say, "Aloha, have a great day" If they are coming out of the elevator, they hold the door for you and make sure you get in. There is just nothing bad I can say about this resort. And I am VERY picky!!!!
The sand on the beach was like VELVET....Just a sidenote....The sand in Kona is very coarse, so this was really neat for us....
I have done restaurant reviews of the places at 4S, and also the neighboring hotels restaurants. Some are good and some not so much......But they are my personal thoughts on our stay!
If you have any questions don't hesitate to send me a message and ask. That is what I did prior to our visit and so glad I did. Those women totally helped me plan a great vacation with lots of little bonus tips!!!!! Thanks Alyce and Yuki! Hope you both read this review!!!!
Safe to say that I have already booked our next visit and we are bringing our oldest daughter and her fiancé......Hmmmm, this mom is already thinking beach wedding, and this time our daughters wont be behind a tree watching...........
Spend the extra and book Four Seasons for your next trip!!! You wont be sorry!!!!
- Also Known As:
- Four Seasons Resort Maui At Wailea Hotel
- Four Seasons Resort Maui At Wailea Hotel Wailea
- 4 Seasons Resort Maui At Wailea
- Four Seasons Maui
- Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea
- Four Seasons Wailea
- Wailea Four Seasons
- Four Seasons Resort Maui At Wailea
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