My husband and I took our three children (aged 7, 9, and 10) to the Fairmont Kea Lani for spring break. We stayed there from March 21st to 31st, 2013. We had been to Wailea before without our kids and stayed at the Four Seasons. Since we were bringing the kids, we wanted a resort more suitable for children. We hit the jackpot with the Fairmont Kea Lani!
If you are travelling without kids and want a more intimate, adult oriented resort, stay at the Four Seasons (It’s PHENOMENAL; I have reviewed it on Trip Advisor as well and it was the shortest review I’ve ever done because the resort is PERFECT). If you are travelling with children, or if you like a resort with lots of families and the kind of energy families bring to a resort, or if you are a loyal Fairmont customer, stay at the Fairmont.
Where do I start? The Fairmont Kea Lani honestly exceeded my expectations in every way. The resort itself is gorgeous. The architecture of the buildings, the grounds, the layout, the interior spaces are all very beautiful and functional and you never have to walk very far to get from one spot to another.
The price point for this hotel is bang on. Even at $500 a night for a family of five (which is what we paid), it was a fabulous price for such an outstanding hotel. There are more expensive suites or you can shell out a ton for a villa at this resort, but even with the least expensive room, which is what we got, you enjoy the full luxury of the hotel, you get the same outstanding service, and the least expensive rooms are FABULOUS (see my comments below). I always base my reviews on value for money, and this resort, for the price we paid, gave overwhelming value. In a nutshell, don't be scared away by the price. It's worth it!
Customer Service: I will start by saying that I love the Fairmont for their wonderful hospitality and excellent customer service. You will get this in spades at the Fairmont Kea Lani. The staff are all exceedingly professional, friendly, and attentive. Whenever we needed something sent to our room, it arrived within minutes of calling (seriously!).
The Fairmont Kea Lani is comprised entirely of suites and villas so is an ideal family resort, especially for a family of five, like ours. Our suite fit us all very comfortably. There was a wet bar with a fridge, sink, and microwave, which was all we needed. The bathroom was massive, with a separate enclosed toilet, so very conducive to a large family. The beds are very comfortable (of course they are! It's the Fairmont!). The pull out couch is best for kids or teenagers who don't need a super comfy bed.
We stayed in room M95, which I wouldn't normally mention but for the fact that we chose the least expensive room option and it turned out to be one of my favourite rooms at a resort. The room faced onto a quiet side street and had a wonderful view of the ocean through the trees and beautiful hotel landscaping. It was awesome! Serene, quiet, really beautiful! Sitting out on the balcony was an absolutely relaxing pleasure at any time of day. There was never any noise, only the birds and the wind and the ocean. I have posted a photo of the view from this room with this review.
A tip...book way ahead of time and look for specials. You will get a much better rate if you book months in advance and the Fairmont offers great specials. We got every fifth night free and stayed ten nights, so two free nights equaled $1000 saved for us! The Fairmont has an amazing cancellation policy, so you don't lose anything by booking early. They will take a deposit, but it is fully refundable upon cancellation. Also, if you come across a special after booking, they will honour the special. Just call them. This is what I mean by Fairmont customer service. Truly excellent. No hassle. No problems. Sign up for Fairmont e-mails so you don't miss the specials when they come up. Also sign up for Fairmont President’s Club. (which is free). You’ll get points for your stay and other perks like free WiFi.
Another thing about customer service that I have to mention is that the Fairmont wrote to us prior to our arrival and asked us for information that would make our stay better, including if anyone had any allergies or special dietary needs, or if anyone was celebrating a special occasion during the stay. I don’t eat gluten or dairy and let them know. They immediately sent me a reply saying that all of my food would be handled by a manager and enclosed their special menus. I was thrilled! I told them my daughter would be celebrating her 9th birthday during our stay and on her birthday, a BEAUTIFUL tray of cupcakes arrived at our room with a birthday card from the manager. Needless to say, my daughter was over the moon. It’s the little things like this that make the Fairmont stand out for me.
Cleanliness: This resort is SPOTLESS. The housecleaning staff are stellar. Our room was always spotless and housekeeping comes twice a day.
Pools: The resort is set up in such a way that you can always find a beautiful place to sit, whether it is right beside the pool, or on the grassy areas around the pools. There is not a bad seat. If you want a seat by the pool, you need to grab one EARLY, especially during the busy times at the resort, but if you're not fussy, seriously any spot will do and there are lots of lounge chairs. The chairs are very nice and comfortable too. The kid’s pools are great. There are two pools (one above the other) connected by a very fun waterside. The waterslide is monitored by a lifeguard. My kids never tired of the waterside. There is a basketball net in the lower pool. The cabana at the lower kids’ pool sells floaties (which they blow up for you), goggles, etc. The pools were full of kids and my kids made friends every day. They had a blast.
The adult pool is the ultimate in serenity. It is huge! If you love swimming lengths, like I do, this is your dream pool! It must be 25 m long and it is deserted in the morning and in the evenings. I did lengths every day either in the morning before 8 or 9am or in the evenings after dinner and in ten days there, I had to share the pool only once! Paradise!
Towels are plentiful, sunscreen, water, and lemon water are also available at stations by every pool. You don't have to think about much at this resort. There is also poolside food service at all the pools.
Beach: The beach is gorgeous Polo beach. Beach chairs, umbrellas, and towels are provided to guests. The beach is shared with the Polo Beach Club, which is next to the Fairmont. Like all Hawaii beaches, it is a public beach, so a bit busier during weekends, but I didn’t find it to be as busy on weekends as neighbouring Wailea beach, which is a highlight beach on Maui. Polo beach is lovely and wonderful for swimming. I had read reviews that the beach has some rocks, but I didn’t notice a single one! The beach is all gorgeous sand in and out of the water. Like all Hawaii beaches, you have to always be aware of the ocean. If you are unsure, ask a beach attendant. In the ten days we were at the Fairmont, I never once noticed a flag on the flag pole at the beach, which I thought was odd, as the Four Seasons posted a flag 24/7 indicating ocean conditions. While we were there, it was typical trade winds wave action, which made the ocean very fun, but this beach has had rip tides, so always be aware of what the ocean is doing, and if in doubt, ASK! I don’t say this to worry you, but I really feel that too many people don’t respect the ocean enough. This is the open ocean! Just be cautious.
We were there during a very busy season, so the beach was packed! We didn’t want an umbrella, so we had a fabulous spot in front of the ocean, where my kids could play in the sand and run in and out of the water. I personally found the set up of the beach chairs with umbrellas very cramped and not at all appealing as people were set up immediately next to their neighbour in row upon row of chairs and umbrellas. Not my thing. But, I love the sun, and the ocean breeze is wonderful, so if you don’t want an umbrella, you’ll have lots of space to yourself in the front row. I’m sure during less busy times, sitting with an umbrella is wonderful. In fairness to the resort, there truly isn’t enough room to spread everyone out, so the cramped quarters can’t be helped during high season, but I really didn’t like it.
Dining/special diets: We didn’t dine in any of the restaurants at the resort because my kids are just too restless to sit in a nice restaurant (and the restaurants all looked so NICE!). We did make use of room service and frequented the café a ton. I don’t eat gluten or dairy and the hotel was incredibly accommodating (see my comments above). Room service was wonderful - very prompt and the food was absolutely wonderful. If you have special dietary needs, like I do, don’t be afraid to invent your own meal. They will do anything for you at the Fairmont. Room service sets up a beautiful table with linens etc. on your balcony. When you are done, a quick call has them come to clean it all up immediately. The resort café is awesome. It’s a café/bistro/deli/grocery store. They have wonderful take out meals at any time of day. It was so handy for our active family. They will also gladly get you gluten free bread from the main kitchen. It’s as simple as asking. They have great take out pizza, which is perfect to take to the pool or beach to feed active and starving kids.
Outrigger Canoe experience: This is free, but is so popular that it is booked solid way ahead of time. Book your canoe experience WAY ahead of time. If you want to go, book it when you book your room (call the hotel or send them an e-mail). It’s for adults and kids ten and over with an adult. We didn’t get to go because it was booked, but I know people who did and it is well worth it.
Spa/Kid's Club: There is a spa at the resort, which I didn’t use, so can’t comment on, but the resort is building a new Willow Stream Spa so the spa should be phenomenal once complete. There is also a kid’s club, which we didn’t use, but it served as a good threat to my children when they were acting up, LOL.
I can’t say enough good things about the Fairmont Kea Lani. You can’t go wrong with any Fairmont, but this one is particularly wonderful, especially for families. Thank you Fairmont Kea Lani for a perfect vacation!
One last comment…Being Canadian, I LOVE the fact that both the Fairmont and the Four Seasons, the two hotel/resort chains that I love the most, and that both stand out for me as luxury resorts with exceedingly fabulous customer service, are both Canadian based companies! I guess there is something to the super polite and courteous Canadian stereotype☺.
Unless you are dying for a full on view of the ocean and don't mind paying for it, the least exp...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.