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“2nd Visit as good as the 1st”

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We decided to stay at the Grand Wailea, the one repeat hotel from our first trip (2008). A lot has been said about this particular hotel on the forum and the reviews, but my wife and I really enjoyed it. Yes it is expensive, but I can’t imagine how much work goes into running an establishment of its scale. One noticeable change from our stay in 2008 is that they no longer have a self-parking option and there is a required fee for valet. That being said, the GW had the most accommodating valet staff that I’ve encountered anywhere. Every time we called down for the car it was waiting with cold water bottles supplied and the valet offering towels, proactively asking if we needed directions, and it even appeared that they had done some small clean up. I was impressed and happy with the service, especially when carting tired kids in/ out of the hotel.

One item to mention is on the first day, we got down to the pool around 530 (sun still setting) to find a virtual ghost town. The entire pool scene closes at 5pm, which is fine, but we just wanted a couple towels. Signs say the pool area is open until 10pm, but I guess no services. No matter. We just wanted to get in and enjoyed some pool/ hot tub time. It was the official- vacation had started! On our dripping wet walk back to the room I noticed some rooms had pool towels drying on the balconies. I made a mental note to keep some extra towels around the next day in case we decided to take a post-5pm dip.

Must mention Rose, who greets/ hands out leis at the front entrance. She was great with our kids and offered them special leis each day. They still talk about her.

Overall, we enjoyed it just as much the 2nd time around and I would definitely stay here again. Great pool area, great spa, great food, great service, and a good room.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank tjtjtj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Aloha,

This wonderful review touches on something we've been thinking about recently; how to get pool towels for the pool after the towel desk closes. While I don't have a solid answer for that today, I want our guests to know that we are working on this. For now, here are some suggestions: Our towel desk may be closed at 5, but we still have pool attendants around until about 7 PM that would be more than happy to get you towels. Guests may also elect to bring towels from their room down to the pools. Suggested to me by our Director of beach and pool is to call housekeeping (white courtesy phones are located all throughout the property) and they will bring you towels. One suggestion I thought of comes from this particular review; our valet desk also keeps a stash of towels for guests going off property that might need beach towels. The valet desk would be happy to supply towels also. However, we are looking into a solution that would service guests that are already at the pool and not involve the guest walking back to their room or to the valet stand. We are so glad this reviewer brought this up. This gives us a perfect opportunity to review current policies and see where we can make improvements to enhance our guest's experience.

Warmest aloha!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

We have spent seven Spring Breaks in Maui with our children and extended family and always stayed at local rental condominiums. Every year, we have made a trip over to the Grand Wailea for 'fancy drinks' and a walkabout the grounds. This year, we decided to split up our trip and spend a few days at the Grand Wailea in order to see what the whole experience was like.

Well, it wasn't as wonderful as we hoped and considering the amount of money spent on resort fees, taxes and the room rate, for $4000 for four nights, I did hope for more.

The staff there is lovely. They are very welcoming and cheerful, as are most islanders who work on Maui! No one had to do anything out of the ordinary for us so I can't comment on 'exemplary" service but I have no complaints about the restaurant, towel or fitness centre service.

But I do wish that someone had spoken up about how to navigate the 'busyness' of the resort in order to take in everything. It wasn't until the third day that I figured out that we had to reserve the lawn chairs in the front of the resort/on the beach and it had to be done by 8:00 a.m. 8:00 a.m. On our holiday. We had to line up to get our resort wrist bands- and the line was slow for that. Again, at check in, no one informed us of this... I was grateful to see a line up and figure it out myself. We never had access to pool chairs but I was able to sit where the little beach by the pool was and have some 'rest' on the little chairs.

Our extended family could not book at the hotel and they stayed at the rental condo again. I wanted to invite the children (3 cousins) over to play in the pool but it was going to cost $95 per person for this luxury. Now, I understand that the hotel wants to keep the resort numbers manageable but 'guests of guests' should have a different rate- maybe 50% off of the regular $95 fee. The hotel missed an opportunity to showcase itself to two other families (and get more revenue from things like drinks, lunch, etc.)

We enjoyed our stay in the sense that we finally got to see the inside (the rooms are average- the beds are comfortable, there is free wi-fi, the toiletries smell nice, the bathroom is waaay too big and that space could have been used in the main space for a couch or seated area) and enjoy the opulence of the Grand Wailea. I can't imagine we would stay at the hotel again, given the fact that the line up and overuse of the amenities which attracted us to the Grand Wailea were unusable for our trip. I am certain we would try another hotel instead.

Room Tip: We were on the 9th floor and had a nice view facing the ocean.
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Maureen R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 26, 2013

Aloha Readers and Reviewers,

It seems we did miss an opportunity to showcase our hotel and for that we are very sorry. We did not meet the expectations this reviewer had when choosing Grand Wailea, This review is fair and honest and we appreciate that. Our valet and bell staff are consistently given high marks for assisting and offering tips to guests on how to navigate their way around the hotel but this review brings to light a possible shortcoming with how information is provided to our guests. I would like to assure all of you readers that we have taken these comments to heart and we are reviewing how information is provided to our guests so that no one is made to feel as this reviewer did.

A hui hou!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

We just returned from a week at the GW, and were fairly disappointed with our experience. We came here on spring break with our 3 kids, who are 8, 10 and 12. As others have noted, the property and rooms are very dated and somewhat run down, but that would not have been an issue if our overall experience had been better. We did have two maintenance issues with our room which were corrected promptly. We have gone to many top shelf resorts, and are well aware of how expensive it gets, but the GW is over the top, and what you get for your money makes you unhappy about spending it. If you go during spring break, which is almost anytime in March or April, be prepared to wait in line. For everything. We waited in line for the restaurant that served the breakfast buffet, then waited in line to be seated. Then waited in line for omelets, then waited in line for waffles and/or pancakes. Then we waited for orange juice and/or coffee. The quality of the food there was pretty poor. Then waited in line for wristbands, towels, paddleboards, beach chairs. Of course we realize that the hotel would be busy, but the staffing was completely inadequate. Then we get to the issue with the pool and the pool chairs. I have run into the same situation at other big resorts, but NEVER like this (see the comment below from the pool worker). During Easter weekend the chairs by the pool were gone by 7:30 am and most days were gone shortly after that. And you can't leave them for more than an hour, which I understand should be helpful for keeping more chairs available, but it also makes you paranoid about leaving to go swim on the other side of the pools, going to the beach, or grabbing lunch. I also had a woman yell at me for taking "her" chairs which didn't have any personal items on them and had been "tipped" for over an hour. This was pretty much the case the entire week we were there. You needed to get up at 6:30 to go stand and wait for the pool to open at 7 to get your chairs. Beach chairs and umbrellas went quickly as well. We were lucky (?) enough to score a cabana one day that a woman was cancelling right in front of me in line and we also got another set of reserved chairs (Cassalita's?) for a few days which added about $1400 to our bill. For chairs. The lines for the big slide and rope swing were usually too long for my kids to want to wait. They had much more fun in the ocean.

Food was very expensive and not good. We did like the Cafe Kua, which was cheaper and had better food. We ate off the resort for most of our dinners and a couple breakfasts. I saw one reviewer talk about how great the concierge was. We tried to get one to help us with a dinner reservation the second night we were there (we were open to going anywhere), and they basically said everywhere was busy and they couldn't help us.

As for how expensive the add ons and food get, expect to spend $100-$200 per person per day on extra charges if you stay here.

One morning as I was waiting for the pool to open, one of the workers said the pool situation was the worst he'd seen in 20 years, and they were changing the rules this summer so that you needed to get your wristband before you could get into the pool area and get chairs. I can't imagine how big those lines will get. He also said if I had any suggestions about how to help it, I should let them know. I do have a few:

1. More staff. Lines were not just long first thing in the morning, they were long all day for towels and wristbands. Have more than 1 person making omelets and pancakes. Have more waitstaff around the pools. Have more than one person signing out beach chairs in the morning. Have more staff in general. And while the staff were polite, they weren't friendly or very happy to be working there. That was mostly pool, beach and wait staff. One exception was a woman waiter with long black hair and a Spanish accent - she was very friendly. Front desk, bell staff and valets were great.

2. When your hotel is at capacity, don't sell day passes. I was appalled to learn that many people at the pool when it was crowded beyond belief were there on day passes.

3. For the 6 weeks of highest traffic for spring break, consider opening your adult only pool to everyone, or lower the age restriction. That pool and all its chairs were barely used the week I was there. I realize this could be a problem for a few potential guests, but it would go a long way towards easing your crowd issue.

4. Remove some of those cabanas. Yes, you get $400 a day for them or more, but they take up way too much real estate around the pools and there just isn't enough room with all of them.

The last time we were in Hawaii we stayed at the Four Seasons, but chose the GW because of the pools and that it was supposed to be a family resort. We won't come back, and I spoke to many other people staying there during our stay, and none were planning on returning. We did speak to a manager at the hotel about our issues, and they said they would "take it up the chain". I will say I was somewhat offended by the management responses to the bad reviews here, as they seem quite dismissive and defensive. One even told the reviewer that maybe they shouldn't travel during spring break. That's when I have an opportunity to travel, so I'll just stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank eap111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Aloha Reviewers and Readers,

This review provides some really good suggestions; all of which will be reviewed and discussed. We certainly want to improve the experience our guests have while visiting us. Thank you very much to the reviewer for providing these clear and well thought out suggestions.

I would like to apologize if I have offended anyone with my responses. My intention was not to ever tell anyone when the should or shouldn't travel and I am very sorry for how it was interpreted. We really do want our guests to have an experience of a lifetime and my tip to allow us to help customize a guest's stay seems to have missed the mark. Some guests do not like when the hotel is in a lower occupancy period and remark that the hotel feels "empty", other guests do not like when we are full and remark that it's too crowded. As each guest has a different expectation for their Hawaii vacation, we'd be honored to help customize your stay to best fit your ideal vacation.

A hui hou!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

This is the second time I have stayed at the Grand Wailea and both stays have been really great. Went here this year during Easter break. The place was packed with families, but the overall ambiance of the place exudes peace and quiet. The beach and pools were filled with happy kids, but I was still able to find a quiet spot which was really needed.

We were upgraded to the Napua tower during this stay, but I am not sure if this would have been worth it if I had paid for this club level access. The food presentations were lacking, but the beer and liquor were sufficient. The breakfast buffet while good needs to have better variety. The same things were served up for three straight days.

The room and bathroom was large with ample space for everyone. While the resort is not new, the Grand Wailea management has done a pretty good job of maintaining the rooms and resort grounds. The staff were excellent from the valet to the front desk and of course housekeeping.

Waldorf Astoria has managed to keep Grand Wailea "grand", and I am grateful that this Maui icon resort has lived up to my expectations.

Room Tip: Request for a room with a wider balcony. If you want a quiet room, request a room not facing the po...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank balti_less
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Thanks for the complimentary review, especially in regards to our staff. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us. We appreciate the loyalty, the repeat business, and the compliments. We hope to see you here again soon!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

4th visit in 20 years. This is a spectacularly beautiful hotel but its trips down bankruptcy lane during the recession have taken a toll. Stained and worn carpeting in room. broken cabinet door on refrigerator. Room housekeeping very late one day-- room still not touched at 5pm. Public areas, garden and pools remain gorgeous. We were here during spring break and knew there would be crowds. Plenty of chairs by the adult pool in the morning, free beach yoga, dolphins and lots of whales make getting up early a great idea. Nearby public beach and black sand beach are not crowded. Amasia restaurant in hotel is fabulous, other restaurants are ordinary. Many good or great restaurants in Mauii, if you have a car use it. Walk to nearby shopping center for restaurants as well. If you want ocean front room you need to book ocean front- not ocean view. Almost every room in hotel has a glimpse of ocean. I was able to get a great room at a very good price by booking with my flights through USAir vacations.

Best in room toiletries and the Spa is amazing

Room Tip: Book Napua tower, there is a private lounge with light breakfast and afternoon refreshments compleme...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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Thank snwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Aloha Readers and Reviewers,

While the bankruptcy didn't impact our daily operations, we do understand that perception is everything. We'd like to reassure all of you that we are not in bankruptcy and we have new owners. We are still managed by Hilton and will continue to provide our guests with outstanding True Waldorf Astoria service.

We are committed to making continous quality improvements and we will look specifically at the rooms mentioned to ensure they meet our standards as it sounds as if this room falls short. We have a "Rooms Perfect" program in which we go room by room, floor by floor touching up minor paint chips, tightening knobs and handles, and ensuring that each room meets our standards. We are grateful to this reviewer for letting us know!

We love the tip to whale watch or join in one of our morning beach activities before the pools open. Thanks, reviewer!

With warmest aloha!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

We arrived at 11:00 pm and were concerned about service but were happy to find valets, bellmen, front desk staff all available and happy to take care of us. We were surprised to find that the was no self parking, only valet service which was $30.00 per night. We got checked in and as a Gold Hilton Honors Member, had our resort fee of $25.00 per night waived as well as received a voucher for $40.00 off a dinner meal and 1,000 extra Hilton Honors Points for spending at least $50.00 at a property restaurant. The bellman took us to our room, which was quite a walk to our wing, and described many of the amenities of the resort. Our room was away from the elevators and on the top floor so it was fairly quite and sleeping was not a problem. We didn't use the pool or the spa facilities so can't really comment on them. As we did use our vehicle everyday we got to know the valets quite well. They addressed us by our name, provided bottled water each time we got the car, offered towels if we needed them and actually had discussions with us regarding our events for the day and making recommendations when they had something to add. There is a nice walkway along the ocean front which goes for about a mile until you reach just a beach walk that goes on further. No real amenities along the walk unless you want to stop in one of the hotels along the way. We ate at many of the restaurants on property, which are all very expensive, with varied experiences. Some were very good (Alan Wong's Amasia), some good (Bistro Molokini and the Grand Dining Room (order off the menu not the Buffet)) and some a little disappointing (Humuhumunukunukuapua'a and Cafe Kula). As stated by most the food is very expensive but you have to understand you are at a high end resort, the disappoint came from sometimes poor service or food preparation/taste. There is twice a day service to the rooms with a morning cleaning and an evening turn down with fresh towels if necessary or requested. We did go off property a few times for meals, to get other options and better prices. Upon check out our bill had no problems and the staff was friendly, courteous and efficient. I had a gift card to offset some of the cost and there was no problem applying it to our bill. Overall we would probably stay here again but would probably not frequent the on property restaurants as much as we did opting to go off property more often.

Room Tip: Ask for a room away from the elevators, on a higher floor (only 9 floors on our wing) and definitely...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ron26067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Another great mention of the Hilton Honors program! Its free to join and you can earn points many different ways. Enjoy members-only benefits on your very next stay.

Thanks for the positive mention of our valet service. I will be sure to share this review with the valet team. I know they will be thrilled to be recognized publically!

We are saddened that this reviewer did not enjoy the cuisine here at some of our restaurants. We very much appreciate the feedback, however, and comments like these help us to decide the direction we need to go to make improvements. We are thrilled that they enjoyed our newest restaurant, Amasia!

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Reviewed April 8, 2013

The Grand Wailea is a fun hotel for the whole family. We live in Kihei and have paid to take many family vacations just down the road. The water features at one of their pools are hours of fun. The view, beach and ocean area are ideal. (We locals were sad to see them build two hotels on this beach, the Four Seasons being the other. We have a family Christmas Card pic from when this was a deserted beach). Not so any more, but that is the hotel's gain and the island people's loss.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GWExec, Guest Relations Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded April 15, 2013

Aloha Everyone!

First, I'd like to thank this reviewer for the compliments! This reviewer mentions something here that we appreciate being shared: the public beach fronting our hotel.

Many of our recent reviews express dissatisfaction in our beach chair policy. We aren't happy about it either, especially because it impacts the enjoyment of our guests. This review provides a perspective from a local resident who recalls a time when this beach did not support 2 large resorts. We now have restrictions placed on us by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) on how much space we can occupy with hotel owned equipment on this public beach. These restrictions are in place to allow residents space on this beach as well and we hope all of you understand. We also encourage the general public to share their views with the State of Hawaii's DLNR as we think some of the restrictions should be revisited, reevaluated and reassessed.

Warmest aloha, everyone!

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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 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#4 Family 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: $541 - $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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