First let me start off by saying that our week trip was in the middle of October so the property seemed like it was only at 70-75% capacity. We arrived at 3:45pm and pulled our car into the mandatory, $30 per night valet line and were promptly met by a valet person who took our car and helped us unload our luggage. He informed us that "someone else would be bringing our luggage to our room" which I took as a hint that I was obligated to tip him. Okay, it's the start of the vacation so let's make sure things kick off on a positive note. ($5 tip to the valet guy)
Next, please note than when checking in, there are two lines, one for regular guests and one labeled for members. Being that this is a Waldorf Astoria property, I was looking for the VIP Gold/Diamond desk but there isn't one here. A small Hilton Honors sign is tucked away on the far right side of the counter but we didn't see it until after we went through the regular line which wasn't busy. By now, it was about 10 to 4pm and the desk agent said that our room wouldn't be ready until 4:30 and that they would call us when it was available. No offer for an upgrade and our request for a ground floor room in the Lagoon Wing (closest to the pool) was also not available. Apparently those rooms are pretty popular but she did put us on the first floor of the Lagoon wing.
TIP: There is a refrigerator in all rooms and you can arrange for a microwave to be brought to your room for $7 a day and a $5 delivery charge. It's worth it so stop at the Safeway as you're coming into Wailea and load up, especially if you have kids.
Tip: All rooms have a pull out Queen sofa so keep in mind when booking rooms.
We decided to take our 5 year old down to the pool so he could check it out and within 5 minutes of him getting into the pool, we got a call that our room was ready. We spent about 10 more minutes down there and then went up to grab our keys. We have stayed at the GW many times before but the bellman was kind enough to give us another overview of the property. Once he got all the luggage into the room, he asked us if we would be needing turn down service that evening and I just let him know that we would need linens for the sofa bed. He gave me a confident "Let me take care of that for you" response and proceeded to call whoever to ask for linen delivery to our room for the sofa bed and for it to be made up. I know these guys work on tips so I just smiled and gave him a little extra knowing full well that the resort gives nightly turn down service to all rooms and that the linens for the sofa bed were probably in the closet, which they were. =). All you have to do is leave a note for the housekeeping staff to make up the sofa bed and they will. You are paying top dollar here after all.
Okay, our room was 1057 on the first floor of the Lagoon wing so if you can't get ground floor, I definitely recommend first floor. If you can get close to the stairs, even better. Rooms are very spacious, the bed is amazing and the bathroom is huge.
Pools: If you are picky about having loungers under one of the few umbrellas or palapas, right on the edge of the pool where you can watch your kid exit off the water slide, then you will need to show up at 7am to reserve from the 6 or so available loungers that fit into that description. Otherwise, we didn't have an issue getting a couple of regular loungers together but keep in mind, it is October and the slow season.
Hibiscus Pool - yes they were actively working on refurbishing the adult's only Hibiscus pool but we didn't really notice it as we were always on the Lagoon side. If you are a couple seeking an adults only pool setting, they won't be done with the repairs until mid November. You can, however, go and get a voucher for 2 beach loungers and umbrella which is included in your $25 per day resort charge.
Snorkeling tip: The very best snorkeling on Maui is right off the beach between the Fairmont and Four Seasons which is why you see all the snorkeling tour boats there. Second best is the black reef right in front of the Four Seasons which is a short walk from GW. No need to book expensive snorkeling cruises as everything is right there. There are a few equipment rental shacks right at the resorts as well.
Wi-fi is also included as part of your daily resort charge and seemed to work well from many areas of the resort and our room.
We ate off property almost every night. The Shops at Wailea are right next door and they have quite a few choices including a gormet Cheesburger place, sushi and others. They also have a general store as well as an ABC store in case you need provisions.
TIP: As you are walking to the Shops at Wailea, if you look off to the right across the street, there is a great pizza place called Manoli's. Great pizza, outdoor seating and reasonable.
Staff at GW were always nice and helpful but that's to be expected at any hotel of this level.
Things to do: If you have kids between 5 and 10, check out Maui Zipline. They have a great zipline course that allows kids 5 and older. If you take the road to Hana, download the Gypsy Road to Hana tour on your iPhone. It is GPS enabled so as you drive, it recognizes where you are and automatically starts talking and telling you the background on all the important sights. Most rental cars have an MP3 input jack in the stereo so bring the cord that connects your iPhone to the car stereo and you are good to go. Also we got a convertible for about $35 a day through hotwire and it was totally worth it, especially doing the Road to Hana. Lastly, we have done the Luaus at both GW and next door at the Marriott (Te Moana) and prefer the Marriott one a lot more. The stage is situated in a much better location and it seemed to be a better show, with better food. TIP: Have your spouse go reserve your seats as soon as you get there, even while you're standing in line to get your tickets/vouchers. This luau sells out quick so make sure to call to make your reservation before you go.
Although I wasn't a fan of the $30 mandatory valet charge, $25 resort charge and no real special attention that I could see for HHonors Gold and Diamond members, it's still an incredible hotel. If you have kids, it's all about the pool here as well as the pristine beach.
Hope this info helps. Have a great trip.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hilton Hotels Direct, Orbitz, TravelUp, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Cheap Tickets, Hotwire, HotelsforEveryone, HotelQuickly, Cancelon, Evoline ltd and getaroom.com so you can book your Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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