I would really like to know who these people are that are writing all these positive reviews. We've been here 4 full days, I'm sitting on the beach as I write this, and everyone I've met here is irate (including everyone sitting around me right now). My experience here has been so disappointing that it got be to write my first review ever on Trip Advisor even though I use it all the time and travel constantly.
This is what a stay at the "Grand" Wailea consists of, if you want a chair to sit in, either around the pool or at the beach you have two choices, you can either:
1) Rent a cabana, at $400 a day, buy you have to book it at least 2 weeks in advance. They are currently all sold out through April 10th.
2) Get up at 6:00 am, to get in line by 7:00 am to get a wristband and a beach towel. This gives you the right to have a chair by one of the pools. However, if you leave for more than 20 minutes, your chair will go on the "watch list", if you don't return soon after, you lose your chair. If you want a chair on the beach, you have to get in another line, at 7:00 am the line is about 15 minutes long, at 7:15 it's half an hour, in this line you get a "pink slip". This pink slip gives you the right to stand in another line, also at least 15 minutes long to actually get a beach chair (no one could tell why it takes 2 lines to get a beach chair, it's just the way it is). You only get one chair for each person in line, so don't think one person from a family can go down and get chairs for the whole family.
If get in line after 7:30 am you have no chace to get to get a chair by one of the pools or the beach. They will instead give you a chair on the large lawn area. This consists of lines of chairs 4 or 5 deep and about 30 or 40 wide.
The competition for beach chairs is so intense people working here told me that fist fights regularly break out for them. Which may be why they have a lot of very large security people working here.
Other than the beach chair situation, which is truly ridiculous, the resort is quite average. In fact it kind of reminds me of a Carnival Cruise Line vacation (which I also hate). Long lines for everything, very mediocre food, faux luxury, poor service and they hit you up for extra money every chance they get. But being that Carnival Cruise Line is the most successful cruise line in the world, people must love it and those same people may the people writing the positive reviews here.
This is our 5th visit to Hawaii and we loved it every time before, granted that each time we stayed at a Four Seasons, but I thought a Waldorf Astoria property would be at least close in terms of the level of service; it's not. I'm hardly a snob, for the past 20 years I've stayed in hotels/resorts 50 - 100 nights a year in everything from a Hampton Inn to the Four Seasons, most of the time in Marriott properties. I believe everything in life is based on expectations and based on my expectations this may be one of the worst stays I've ever had. If my expectation was to be staying at a Marriott resort, I would probably be just merely disappointed.
As for the water park, which is the sole reason we came here, it's just ok, probably worth an extra $50 a night in terms of value. The Fishpipe if you want to use (also just ok) it is an extra $15 per person per use.
As I was writing this the guy next to me told me he comes to Hawaii every year and will never, ever stay here again. He said the best time he's had since he got here was when he left the property and went to a public beach.
- 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