After reading numerous iffy reviews of the hotel, I was a little nervous about staying here during a recent conference. If this is you, not to worry! This hotel is beautiful!
My husband and I stayed 7 nights, and had the "opportunity" to see two different rooms within the hotel (A slight glitch in our reservation for our first night put us in the Napua Tower.) Agreed, these are the nicer rooms, but our subsequent stay in the Molokini wing was still very nice. Are there differences? Yes. The soaps, etc. are the same product, but the packaging is nicer and larger in the Napua room. The bathrooms were essentially the same, but the tile was nicer in the Napua room. Of course, the view was better in Napua, but we still had a slice of ocean view in Molokini. And, we then had a chance to see the sunrise over Haleakala. Other than that, they are very much the same.
The best thing about the rooms? The refrigerator! As I will discuss next, the food at this resort is totally not memorable.
You will love the open-air design of this hotel. So breezy, so tropical. It feels as if you are outside all the time.
Most of the pools are connected via short slides, which makes it fun for people of all ages. Really clean.
The grounds are stunning! Be sure to avail yourself of the gardens tour, Thursdays at 10am with the head landscaper, Jim. It's free!
Not cheap! We bought one of the "supersize" drink holders--a pineapple or a tiki-- which initially costs $22, as opposed to the regular-sized $15 ones. It sort of makes financial sense to do it if you plan to have more of their drinks, as each refill will then "only" cost $15. But, we watched them make a regular one and a tiki one, and the same amount of alcohol went into both, just more mixer and ice in the tiki. Still think it was a good idea to get one. You kind of want a tropical drink poolside now and again.
**We bought liquor at the ABC store in the shops at Wailea nearby and sometimes mixed our own drink in the room and brought it to the pool/beach (FYI: alcohol is prohibited on the beach).
We arrived late Saturday, and the only available food option was Amasia. I say skip it. Overhyped and overpriced. I do not remember anything we had, and the little we did order was ridiculously expensive.
We had appetizers at Bistro Molokini--also unremarkable. We sat at the bar, and the bartender had zero personality. He was not rude, but certainly not friendly, all business. Not a tiny bit of repartee.
** Best tip I read from another poster here: BUY YOUR TICKET THROUGH COSTCO.COM. Much cheaper. Half-price of what our conference was charging, and also less than what the hotel charges. You'll be glad you did because, although going to a luau is, in my opinion, a must-do on Maui, the food was mediocre. The performance was good. Not out-of-this-world good, just good. The fire knife dance was the best part. (They setup the luaus in two separate locations on different nights. I am not aware of the reasoning behind why/when one spot is used or the other. But, if it is near the wedding chapel, and you only want to see the show, you can easily sit on the grass outside the ring of tables and watch. The other location is a bit more protected from view of onlookers. Had I known this, I would have done it. But, there is no way, that I know of, to know in advance where the luau will be.)
Only ate once on property: croissant bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches from the market on site, Cafe Kula. $12.50 each!
**So, breakfast became granola from ABC stores and almond milk from our fridge.
Water was not warm (70-something in February), and not as crystal clear as I had hoped, so snorkeling just off the Wailea's beach was only so-so for us. Others may disagree, but this was our experience.
Spaaaaaaaah! Just do it. Do the terme hydrotherapy circuit and showers. Nice!
**Look for the Maui magazine in your room. There's a full-page ad for the spa with a package deal. I am sure it changes from time to time, but the deal when we were there was terme and massage for two, including lunch at Bistro Molokini, $325. I did the Hele package(advertised on the back of my luau brochure, $135 for the terme and a 50 minute massage, no lunch. My husband then went, so we spent $270 without the lunch).
There are separate areas for men and for women. Swimsuits are optional in the baths, FYI. I did see one woman sans suit, and at the time I didn't know there were separate areas, so I thought she was taking quite the chance that only women would be there!
*Japengo at the Hyatt in Kaanapali was fantastic! Beautiful setting, overlooking the ocean. Best food we had all week. Great sushi! Go!
*Ruth's Chris Steakhouse is nearby at The Shops at Wailea. We are big fans and have been to many locations of theirs. Always good.
*Took a whole island helicopter tour through Blue Hawaiian Helicopters--do it! Best part of our trip.
*Take a drive out of the property to the right to see the lava fields. Very cool! Looks like the moon.
Overall, lovely hotel. Needs a little updating, but it is much nicer than others have posted about. Enjoy!
- 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
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- Grand Resort Wailea
- Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort Maui