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“The Beautiful Beach Makes Up For Dated Rooms”

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2013

We stayed for three nights here the first week in December. It was really quiet compared to other times during the winter, which was nice.

Highlights:
- Lei greeting upon check in
- Nice umbrellas and beach chairs
- Beautiful beach with a gentle break
- Well kept grounds and pool area
- Cold bottled water handed to us every time we picked up the car from to valet to venture out

Lowpoints:
- This was a girls trip. When I booked the room, it was just my friend and I, but we invited our sisters at the last minute. I didn't remember seeing the warning at booking about charging for additional guests. I was charged $50 for each adult per night after the first 2, so this increased our expense here by $300. I was really surprised by that and there was no negotiating my way out of it.
- No self parking option. The valet charge was $30/day. When you add tips, this gets pricey.
- I was really disappointing in the condition of our room. The decor was dated and somethings didn't work, like the bedside phone. The bathroom was a nice size. New carpet, drapes and bedding would go a long way.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank C-LynJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,399 - 4,405 of 6,558 reviews

Reviewed January 23, 2013

We just spent the most relaxing, wonderful week at the Grand Wailea. We have stayed there many times before and have always loved it, but this time was especially good. Everyone from the front desk check-in to the bell men (especially Derek, who always seems to go out of his way to make guest feel welcome) made our visit extra special. The pool and beach staff were extremely helpful and friendly. My only negative on this property is the restaurants. Did not love any of them or the menus. There are several restaurants off property in walking distance that are better in my opinion. Our room was clean and beautiful. The Grand Wailea is truly Paradise to my husband and me.

Room Tip: We have stayed in many areas of the hotel and really love them all. The Chapel wing is one of our fa...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Andrea C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Quite beautiful, and the people were very attentive and service minded. Staff remembered our names several days after checking in, and all were hospitable. The property is beautiful, and the Grand Lu'au was not to be missed. Excellent all around!

Room Tip: Upgrade to the Napu Tower, and receive breakfast daily, and complementary drinks and snacks nightly.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DothanEvents
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

We checked-in yesterday for a 10 day stay. I last stayed at the Resort in July 1999. Since that visit, the resort management has come under the Waldorf brand. I was expecting less crowds because Janaury is off season. Instead of lots of families the resort caters to big Corporate meetings. The hotel was quite busy with numerous Corporate events. Our room is on the 9th floor which is the top story in Napua Tower with a nice ocean view. The room looked a little worn out and the carpet pretty dirty. I was hoping to get an upgrade to the club being a Hilton Gold member but was told the entire club was sold out because of the big Corporate event coming to the hotel. The Hotel charges an extra $25 per day as a resort fee (in room coffee, internet, fitness room, 2 bottles of water on arrival). I consider this a joke, these services are already included in standard fee at most hotels around the world. There is another daily fee for mandatory vallet for you car. There is no self park option. The hotel location is convenient, there are a number to good resturant choices within walking distance. Breakfast was very expensive; nearly $45 for 2 people with no coffee or juice. A better alternative is Burgar joint in Wailea Shops nearby. We had lunch today and saw a sign for a $5.99 breakfast special which was equivalent to what we got at Grand Wailea. In summary, the resort is a beautiful facility but be prepared to be unabashedly fleeced. Rating s/b 4 but I marked down because of the gouging and dirty carpets.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Steve B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

I travel quite a bit- for fun and for business. I don't like to repeat destinations since there are so many wonderful places to see on my bucket list. This hotel is an exception. The first time I went was during the Christmas holiday season. The white lights in the trees are a stunning invatation to arrive and visit. There was a full size gingerbread house being made by a chef and children and families were gathered around to watch the progress and nibble on samples.
The pools and water slides are a day of fun for myself and my daughter- we just love them. Swinging from a rope into a pool, the whitewater rafting type pool, the gentel lazy susan pool, we just go from one to the next and literally spent about five hours just playing in the water.

While I relaxed with a pool side massage soaking in the ocean view and smells (in the quiet area) I was rechardged to keep going. The food is good and is pool side too. It is not cheap as you would expect but you only live to experience some great moments in your life and you have to make the best of them when they are present. This is one of those hotels- worth every penny you spend. I have been three times so far and will return once again. Oh, did I mention the swim up bar? Heavenly.

Oh, when my kids were younger, they also loved the kids camp for a day or two so we could go golfing. Local golf courses are all different and have great views, challenging holes and can play to the blacks tees or the beginner. One of our best meals was at Gannons on the Wailia golf course. I would recommend the Blue Course of Wailia for the beginner as the fairways are wide and forgiving. For a real challenge, play the Makena golf courses. The Makena South has stunning views of the ocean . I believe this hotel is listed on the world's best hotel lists and I agree with that- it is one of my top favorite desinations in the world.

Room Tip: The garden rooms are cheaper but if you are making a first trip to Maui or you live where you do not...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank swimdiva
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Last time we stayed in Maui, we stayed at the Westin Maui in Ka'anapoli (north west coast). Not being able to get into the Westin Maui again for this trip (we enjoyed it and its location), we chose the Grand Wailea (south west coast) this time. We chose both hotels for one (main) reason - both hotels are nice hotels, but (and this is the clincher) for children, both hotels have the most amazing water slide multi-pool complexes on Maui. As far as kids are concerned, both hotels will provide endless hours of happiness day after day at what are truly world-class pool complexes.

What else does Grand Wailea have going for it? Well, quite a lot. To start with, the hotel has sweeping entrance grounds where the trees are lit up at night with those tiny light bulbs, so when you go out and return at night, it has this beautiful ambience from the lit-up trees. The entrance lobby to the hotel is also beautiful with flowers everywhere and several pools with hawaiian outrigger canoes and beautiful statues. It is quite an entrance and makes you immediately feel that you are at a ... grand hotel. The staff were always friendly and welcoming to us.

Shopping - The hotel also has a section of one floor off the main entrance that has numerous shops seelling a range of (mainly) clothes, but all sorts of other things. It's nice having those shopping options on-site. However, the Grand Wailea is literally next door to the main shopping complex in the area, The Shops at Wailea. I got my car the first time to drive up there (not realising how close they were to the hotel), then realised it's bascially a 100 metre drive away, so you can walk there from the hotel! It has an ABC Store (so you can buy soft drink, wine, Champagne, souvenirs etc) as well as a range of high-end boutiques (LV, Chanel, Baron & Leeds etc), as well as surf wear shops and Tommy Bahama (shop and restaurant - we ate dinner there one night and it was pretty good) etc. So your shopping options at Grand Wailea and nearby are excellent.

Pool - see my comments above. But, in case you are in any doubt, the pool complex at Grand Wailea is magnificent, with lots of slides, a lazy river, a Tarzan's leap (swing rope and you let go in the middle) and big, big pools. Grand Wailea and the Westin Maui have the best pool complexes in Maui, so if that's important to you (or your kids, they are probably your best options in Maui.

Food - this is where Grand Wailea let us down a little. The signature restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (the kids will have fun trying to learn to say that one!) has the most amazing setting - think a beautiful thatched roof open-air restaurant sitting in the middle of its own mini-lake / moat with koi (goldfish) swimming around and its own pool where they keep the lobsters / crayfish that you can eat there. It really is an amazing looking place. The food, however, while pretty good is not brilliant. It's pretty good. 2 years ago during our last visit, we found this place by accident and it looked so nice that we ate dinner there. The food was much better that time - maybe new chefs in the last 2 years? Anyway, for an amazing looking place, the quality of the food was not the brilliant food that we had expected. Also, down at the amazing pool complex, the food that you can buy near the pool was positively terrible. Really poor quality ingredients too - the food didn't look good and it didn't taste good. It left you with the feeling that (by the time you're down at the pool complex swimming and sliding) the hotel has "captured" you there and doesn't need to try very hard with the food they sell there. And it showed. By contrast, the food poolside at Westin Maui during our visit 2 years ago was much better. Poolside dining was a huge disappointment at Grand Wailea. We didn't try the new Alan Wong Amasia restaurant (but later in the trip in Honolulu, we went to his original restaurant - Alan Wong - in Honolulu. It was very good. But I can't comment on his Amasia offering at the Grand Wailea, because we did not eat there). Breakfast - we were there at the busy Christmas / New Year time of the year ... but ... the breakfast area was way too small for such a large and busy hotel (and way understaffed) for the level of customer demand. There was a significant wait everyday for a seat and they really needed twice as many servers as they had. These guys were great and they tried heroically, but there just weren't enough of them. For my mind (having stayed at some great hotels around the world) that's just poor management. Good management would identify that problem in a second and try to solve it. This is meant to be a Waldorf Astoria resort after all, but breakfast service was very amateurish due to management not fixing this problem. Yes, it's a busy time of the year, but management know that already, right?

Beach - Grand Wailea sits right on Wailea beach. Whilte not huge, it's big enough and sort of shares the beach with the Four Seasons next door. Wailea Beach is quite beautiful, the waves were small while we were there, so it was a great swimming beach. So, both pool and beach options are terrific at Grand Wailea. We also drove down to one of the Maui locals' fav beaches, Makena Beach, maybe a 15-20 minute drive south. Be aware - Big Makena Beach is really nice -a wide beautiful sandy Maui beach. Go there if you want to go to a beautiful Maui beach. Little Makena beach (next door and separated by land from Big Makena) is a ... clothing optional beach if you know what I mean!

The rooms - do your research. Grand Wailea is big, really big. It sort of has a 4 legged spider shape (look at the map on the hotel's website). Because the land slopes down to Wailea Beach, the back 2 "legs" of the spider are quite elevated and have better ocean views. I actually took the good advice of other Tripadvisor reviewers and requested a 9th floor (which is the top floor) King Ocean View Deluxe in the Haleakala Wing. I think that's the best ocean view in the hotel, having stayed there, but you also get good views of the beautiful courtyard gardens and koi in the streams in the gardens as well as the great ocean views (with views of sunset over the ocean - just beautiful). It can be a bit of a walk from reception, but that didn't really bother us. A word of advice. Some reviewers talk about getting roomsbin the exclusive Napua Tower, which is right above the reception area (so a really short walk from reception). It's an exclusive "executive club" type experience - so you get breakfast, afternoon tea evening cocktails, like some other fine hotels around the wolrd offer on "Club" floors. From my research, it seems that (because Napua Tower is long and narrow) that the regular Napua Tower rooms face side ways, so that you are looking at other hotel rooms in the "spider legs". You can go on the balcony and look towards the ocean, but (it seems) you would need to do that to see the ocean. Only the super-expensive grand suites front "narrow part" of the Napua Tower seem to face directly at the ocean. From my perspective , a regular room in NapuaTower (given they are much more expensive than rooms in the other wings of the hotel) if that is the view from those rooms is a bad return on the dollar, if the only thing you can see from your couch is other hotel rooms. So, do your research and make sure you know what you're getting. My tip is go for the Haleakala Wing if you can get it. Any room on levels 7, 8 or 9 should deliver great ocean views, with the higher up being better.

Fitness room - awesome. So much equipment, it's a great gym. But unlike high quality Asian hotels, they don't give you bottled water, which seems a bit cheap. They should change that.

Spa - saw it and it seems nice, but did not use it this time. Just be aware that the hotel has one.

Concierges - great and there are lots of them.

Parking valets - great and prompt. As is often the case in Maui, there's no self-park option. You pay the price and it's valet parking only. Unless you plan to stay in the resort, you really need to rent a car in Maui to get around.

Finally, on NYE, Grand Wailea put on a fireworks show from barges sitting just off Wailea Beach. I heard some Maui locals saying a few days later that was the only major fireworks show on Maui that NYE. That's a nice touch and well done to the Grand Wailea for doing that. It was a good fireworks show, too. The guests at the neighbouring hotels (Four Seasons and Fairmont Kea Lani) also would have been able to enjoy the show. If you're in Maui next NYE, maybe ask your hotel whether there's a fireworks show near/at their hotel (if you care about that).

In conclusion, we had an enjoyable stay at the Grand Wailea and I would go back, because kids love this place. For children, it's hard to go past the Westin Maui and the Grand Wailea due to their fantastic pool / water slides complexes and the fact that they are generally very good hotels. I had a few grumbles about the food quality at Grand Wailea (and the breakfast shambles), but it does not take away from the fact that, overall, this is still a very good hotel. I wouldn't give it five stars because it doesn't have the additional overall "amazing factor" that some other hotels I have stayed at (such as Halekulani in Honolulu and the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo - see my reviews for both those great hotels) have got, but this is still a very good hotel which kids will love and which adults will very much enjoy. If I was travelling without kids, next time I might just try out the two hotels next door - Four Seasons in Wailea (next to Grand Wailea) or the Sheraton Black Rock in Ka'anapoli (next to the Westin Maui). I have not stayed at them before, so cannot comment on them. Neither of those have the amazing pool complexes, but I'm not a kid anymore and can now enjoy a holiday without a water slide!

I hope you have found this review helpful.

Room Tip: Haleakala Wing, 9th (top) floor has great ocean views. If you choose exclusive Napua Tower, make su...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank One_Small_Step1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

This must be one of the best resorts in all of Hawaii, not just the island of Maui. Great location, very nice beach and many things to enjoy while staying there. It is expensive, but that is expected in a place like that in Maui, look for deals or group rates, otherwise it will be very expensive. Listing all the good things about the resort will take pages and pages. The beach is particularly wonderful whether for swimming, water sport, or just reading a nice book while laying on the sand. It is also family friendly. The only reservation I have is the customer service, in several stays, I did not experience any major problem but they will not get of their way to accommodate you. As long as you stay with the basic things and no particular needs you will be fine.

Room Tip: Try to get get an ocean view room
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank mungo777Omaha
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 96753-8443
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Amenities:
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:
#3 Business Hotel in Wailea
#4 Family Hotel in Wailea
#4 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#5 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Wailea
#6 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#6 Green Hotel in Wailea
Price Range: $536 - $1,273 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 780
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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