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“Very Disappointing” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #5 of 7 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 27, 2013

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.

Room Tip: Get room on a high floor, you have a much better view.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank 1HonestMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Public Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
We are very aware of the public beach issues. There are 3 resorts fronting the beach in front of our hotel that this reviewer is mentioning, although I am not sure he is aware that the beach in front of the hotel is a public beach as he mentions the gentleman next to him stated he left and went to a public beach. This reviewer was in fact sitting on a public beach while he wrote this review. While we'd love to have complete control over the public beach in front of our hotel, we are required to comply with the State of Hawaii's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) as are the other 2 resorts fronting this same beach. Because this is a public beach, we are not permitted to dominate all of the beach space. Additionally, there is a very high tide and we are limited on sand space. We do in fact have A LOT of beach chairs and umbrellas, we just cannot place them all on the beach due to these DLNR restrictions. We are honestly trying to accommodate as many guests as we can and we are truely sorry for disappointing anyone.

It is also true that we require each person wanting a chair to be present. It is unfortunate that we have to do this, but too often in the past, one person would check out multiple chairs, place personal belongings on them and then be the only one to use them through out the day. If, as this reviewer says, it is a challenge to get a chair, please understand why we cannot assign multiple chairs to a single person. We'd like to be fair to everyone wanting chair.

This review does provide a great opportunity for me to offer you a travel tip. When planning a trip to Hawaii, or anywhere, for that matter be sure to consider what time of year you are planning to travel. If you looking for quieter, low key environment, consider booking when its not a peak time. Spring break will probably mean that where ever you go, there will be lots of families and hotels will be experiencing very high visitor volumes. While I don't agree that our hotel is comparable to a Carnival Cruise, we are certainly enjoying high occupancy levels consisting of families with children during this year's Spring break.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Brooklyn
Level Contributor
142 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

If you need swanky decor with lots of marble and people in white uniforms, this place is for you. Lovely grounds, great pools, decent restaurants. The beds are super-plush, the bathroom is big enough to bathe a llama, and the balcony is good enough to spend the whole vacation on. But the restaurants are hit-or-miss for the food and always a sucker-punch with the prices. The pools are dominated by kids, even the so-called adults-only Hibiscus Pool, and the beach is public anyway, so why do you need the hotel. It is really very nice, but not spectacular.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Anisoj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
86 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

When we walked into the Grand Wailea on our first night there to check-in, I thought it was the most beautiful hotel I had ever seen. At night, with the lights sparkling, the water all around and the beautiful decor, the hotel is really gorgeous. We were warmly welcomed with flower leis and our check-in was smooth.

I have to say, though, that the hotel is VERY expensive. $4.50 for a small glass of coke with no refill. $10 for a box of Captain Crunch. If you are planning to just stay on the resort, plan on bringing lots and lots of extra money. Even with a resort fee, there was an additional baggage fee in addition to the tip ($40 in our case) and all we did was use the bellhop. There was a housekeeping fee on top of the already high room prices. Want to use a ball at the pool? Pay up. Cabanas were ridiculously overpriced and very few were in use when we were there.

That said, the service was good (although I would have preferred the turn-down service later than 5:00 pm which is when we were getting ready for dinner and not ready for turn-down). The property is well maintained. And it IS beautiful, from the multiple pools to a lovely beach. If you have little kids, be advised that you will have to be with them constantly because the pools all have slides that go between pools, so there is nowhere to sit where you can keep your eyes on your kids the whole time.

We were somewhat disappointed that the pools closed at 10 p.m.

Really enjoyed the spa with the special baths. Yoga on the beach at 7 a.m. was also a nice benefit.

Room Tip: The resort is HUGE. Our room had a beautiful view of the ocean (in the distance) but it was a hike...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BunnyGirl1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Public Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, March 27, 2013
Aloha! We do start our turn down service at 5 PM.

Did you know we love customizing details of your stay? If 5 PM is too early for turn-down service, please let us know what time you'd like service and we will add it to your reservation! It is our goal that each guest has the experience they have been anticipating for their Maui vacation. There are many ways we can customize your stay. Just let us know how we may help.
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Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 25, 2013

I travel often and typically don’t have the time or energy to write up hotel reviews. However I decided on the long flight home I would take the opportunity to submit my first review on Trip Advisor, mostly because of my level of satisfaction at a recent stay at Waldorf Grand Wailea (March 13-22).

This is actually the second time we have stayed at this amazing resort, so I knew going in it was going to be another fantastic stay and I was not disappointed with the results.

I am a HHonors Diamond member, used points for this stay, and was very surprised at check-in they upgraded us to Napua Tower. Typically, even for Diamond members, it is rare to get upgraded to this tower. I am pretty sure that because I made my reservations so far in advance (last September) that maybe I was put on waiting list with some priority due to early booking if such a room would be available at check-in. (When we stayed here two years ago using points w/Diamond status - we did get upgraded to an ocean-view room)

As standard Diamond member, the daily $25 resort fee was waived. Also received $40 off dinner at the Humuhumunukunukuapua restaurant, two free drinks (at the same place), 20% savings from spa, 2500 bonus points if you spend $125 or more at the spa, and 2000 bonus points if you dine at one of the restaurants during your stay.

The perks of Napua Tower are plenty – very large room, which also contains a refrigerator which is great if you want to buy groceries off-site, etc. The best perk is the Eighth Floor Lounge – where they serve breakfast every day from 7-10AM. It is advertised as a continental breakfast, but it is much more than that as every day there was a different option of a hot meal as well (eggs, pancakes, waffles, etc). Also great smoked salmon which is my favorite. In the afternoon from 2PM-4PM they offer tea, coffee, and awesome cookies. The best, though…is the cocktail hour w/Hors d’oeuvers nightly from 5PM-630PM. Open bar with PREMIUM alcohol…and awesome food, snacks, etc. There is also a personal concierge on that floor for you…in addition to a computer/printing station which is complimentalty. I am not sure the price difference between staying in the Napua Tower vs. standard rooms, but if you have the option to pay for an upgrade to Napua Tower, I would estimate it is easily worth $150 a night more, for a family of four.

The rest of the resort speaks for itself…from reading the reviews they are pretty much spot on..amazing pools, awesome beach. GREAT for KIDS…and there will be TONS OF KIDS here…always are and it is really poised as a kid-friendly family resort. As for some of the negative reviews – let me take an opportunity to counter them…

First, Maui is an expensive place. It is a very small island. Please don’t complain about $15 drinks or $9 beers. If you are that uptight about cost of drinks you can purchase alcohol at nearby ABC Stores or grocery stores which are located close to the resort. The Shops at Wailea which contains several restaurants, shops, etc is located just a 10 minutes walk away. However the food and drinks there are not much less than the resort.

The resort offers free chairs/umbrellas at the beach. If you are not in line to check them out by 9AM you probably won’t get one. The Grand Wailea only has about 100 chairs/50 umbrellas. Keep in mind the resort also shares this beach space with Four Seasons and also the Marriott. Also it is one of the most amazing beaches in Maui, it is secluded, intimate, scenic, beautiful. Also keep in mind the weather in Wailea is always the best in all of Maui due to location being southernmost. While there was ‘rain’ in the forecast every afternoon during our entire stay, it never rained once. Sunny and 85 degrees every day, maybe some cloud covers for a few hours in the afternoon but otherwise if you want the best possible weather in Maui stay in Wailea.

Pool chairs also fill up fast, however if you are looking for chairs the pool staff will ‘find them for you’… they will move towels from chairs that do not appear to be occupied. But you have to ask. They did it for us every day…

Wife got a massage at the Spa, she has traveled all over as well and commented the Spa at Grand Wailea is the BEST EVER.

This review is getting too long (sorry) so I will end it now. Any questions drop me a line. Enjoy your stay, we will be back next year!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank David J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Public Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this review, March 26, 2013
This fantastic review brings up the Hilton Honors program and all of its wonderful benefits as well as offering some really great tips for the stay. He is absolutely correct about our beach and pool staff. They are always on hand to help you find chairs in your preferred location and you don't need to do anything more than ask.

Thanks, again for the wonderful review and we look forward to your return!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maui
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2013

Despite calling ahead and telling the manager that we would be tired and not want to change rooms , when we arrived at the hotel we were escorted to two filthy rooms with a dank smell surpassed only by the stained carpet.
We then spent the next hour hearing how sold out the property is and eventually when my family simply was too worn down shown to a room on the second floor with a view of the trees and the music of the elevators
It is sad to see this once wonderful property in its present state and sadder yet to pay premium prices for this

Room Tip: Nothing help - tips don't work and management is disengaged
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ken H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesterfield, Missouri
2 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

This was our second time at the Grand Wailea...we came back when our kids were just a bit older so that they could really enjoy the pools. Yes, it is an expensive place but the pools and views made it all worth it for us. We were pleased with the service and didn't notice any issues that some others have pointed out (and didn't really notice a change from the last time...). The Wifi (included with the resort fee, presumably) worked great and handled 5 devices at one time! The food at our HumuHumu dinner was OK, but the views of whales breaching at sunset made up for it. I'm a Hilton Diamond member and aside from the room upgrade (we already had booked an ocean view) didn't notice alot of extras like some other Hilton's pile on. We did pre-order cabanas for 4 days, since it was spring break time, and although they are crazy expensive made our days totally relaxing. We would definitely return...and hopefully get upgraded to the Napua Tower next time! :)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Melpatbenev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
19 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2013

Beautiful resort! We stayed here for a week as in incentive trip. Our kids loved the beach and the pools. The grounds were lovely. We had a breakfast buffet each morning that was wonderful. We sat on the patio overlooking the ocean. Our room was very spacious. We stayed in a suite with two bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen. Loved the coconut shampoos and lotions that are provided. They sell them in the gift shop for a pretty penny. Valet parking was kind of a pain because of the wait but there were a lot of people there for this incentive trip. I didn't want to leave when the week was up....

Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank Kim H
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

Property: 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 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#4 Family Hotel in Wailea
#4 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Wailea
#5 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#5 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#5 Green Hotel in Wailea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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