There is a reason why this particular hotel gets the best ratings and is one of the best hotels in North America. It's all to do with the excellent service that the staff provides for every guest that enters their property. No matter who you are, whether you are just having dinner or on your honeymoon, the staff are polite, helpful and always smile. It makes a world of difference when the service is this good.
The "good" stuff:
- The staff. Really, I can't stress this enough.
- The property grounds are always spotless, yet you don't ever see anyone cleaning or pruning the gardens.
- Great pool service, clean pools, great cabanas, complimentary classes, children's toys and scuba diving taster.
- Beach service is just as good. They'll set up your chairs and umbrellas, come round with mini muffins, water and fruit. 1 hour free snorkel hire. The sand is so soft and there's no debris to be aware of. If you can swim out far enough there is a reef with lots of colourful sealife.
- Chamber maids do an excellent job. They leave plenty of towels, bathroom amenities, water.
- Free tea and coffee outside DUO's in the mornings.
- Concierge are efficient and have some great recommendations for whatever you may need.
- There is an empty fridge in the room, so feel free to stock it up.
- Use of a beach tote was very helpful when it came to days out. Valet will provide you with extra towels and bottled water.
- We ate in all the restaurants and thought that Spago's was probably the best. They change the menu daily depending on the produce they get. The food was delicious, the service was not too intrusive and the views of sunset are priceless.
The "not so good" stuff:
- Paying for wifi. Surely a hotel of this standard would have free wifi for their hotel guests? It seems silly to be that you are charged daily plus an internet tax!
- I saw a few ants in the bathroom. They were tiny so I can understand that they may get in .
- The safe in our room didn't work properly for the first day so we called for maintenance to come and take a look. Thinking that the battery was flat they changed it quickly and left. The next day the same thing happened so they changed our safe to a different one. Very quick and efficient. Third day....again, the safe wasn't working. We just ended up locking our valuables in a suitcase.
- Food and drinks by the pool weren't as good as they should have been for the prices that you pay. Alternatives are to eat at the restaurants or go to nearby Wailea shops and grab something there.
- Renting a car. We splashed out on a convertible Mustang which is great with the roof down. Visit some of the quieter towns on Maui, explore other beaches. Valet at the hotel is $20 per night. Valet to other restaurants are around $8-10 (free with validation). Shopping malls are free with validation.
- Bring your own snorkel gear and visit the many beaches on Maui. Long beach, Turtle Beach (where you will definitely spot a turtle or two).
- Sunrise bike tour to Mount Haleakala. We booked through the Concierge and it was a great experience and lots of fun.
- Drive to Hana. If you're brave enough to drive this then ask Concierge and they will provide you with a cd detailing places to visit on the drive to Hana. Do not attempt the unpaved roads, it isn't nice and a lot of car rental companies will not cover you if you breakdown along this stretch of road. Bring plenty of food, drinks, suncream. You'll need flipflops, trainers, towels and swimwear. Bring a waterproof camera too because there are some beautiful hidden waterfalls along the way.
- Make reservations for the restaurants early sometimes a week early if you are going during the peak season. Sunset is the most popular times for meals because the views are so beautiful.
- Try and make time for the outrigger canoe programme. It's informative and great fun. Again book way in advance as it's so popular.
- If you're not keen on surfing then you could try paddle surfing. It requires some good balance but it's lots of fun and a great work out. The hotel hires them out for $35/hr.
And lastly, just enjoy it. I know I did and I will certainly be back!