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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
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6,374 - 6,379 of 6,873 reviews
Reviewed September 19, 2006

My wife and I visited the Grand Wailea Resort 9/14 through 9/19. Before I had time to take my sunglasses off, we were greeted by a friendly young lady who treated us like long-lost cousins. She asked how we were, where we were from, if we needed anything, and so on. After a brief explanation of how the resort was laid out, she took my car keys and directed us to the registration desk. Again, we were treated like family. My wife took care of the paper work while I checked out the menus for the resorts restaurants. Everything was taken care of and the bellhop was waiting on me before I finished reading the third menu!

Our bellhop, Robert, was equally gracious. He pointed out some of the Resorts features as he led us to our room. By the time we arrived at our room, I felt like he was part of our group. He promptly took care of our bags, filled the ice bucket, gave us a rundown of the evening’s events and left us with few questions about what to do.

The room had a great view of the pool area. I was thinking it might be too loud but it never was. The condition of the room was better then what I had read about and much better then I expected from staying at other beach resorts. People complain about rooms at beach resorts having certain smells or conditions. When you consider the number of people that go in and out of these places fresh off the beach or out of the pool, dripping wet, and leave wet clothing on the floor, bed or sofas, you have to expect a certain amount of degradation. This is one of the few resorts that have been absent of these musty odors. It was in good order and very clean. In fact, our room was tended to at least twice a day.

The Bistro restaurant was good. We had to wait 10 minutes one day during the peak lunch hour but that gave us enough time to get a drink at the bar and visit with other guests. The prices at the Bistro may be high if you compare their prices with other local restaurants. However, here is how I look at it. Resorts on the mainland tend to be higher then regular restaurants on the mainland (it’s the same in Maui). Given that this is in Maui where everything is a bit higher, I don’t think the Bistro is that much out of line. All of the wait staff were prompt and very cordial.

If you go to the Grand Wailea and miss the spa it would be like going to Maui and not watching at a sunset! The service at the spa is second to none. The attendants were there to make you feel welcome, comfortable, and pampered. We were never rushed or made to feel like our time was up.

The pool is fantastic. There are different areas depending on your style. There is a quiet adult area for those needing to relax. A kids area for those with little ones. A whole host of little spots to lounge that surrounds the massive pool complex. The water slides that connect all of these pools together are a must for everyone. Best of all, none of the pool areas ever seemed crowded. There were always lounge chairs available even though some scabs do what you should not do…..place towels on a chair to reserve it and then go back to your room. The pool attendants were quick to assist with drink and food.

We are looking forward to another trip.

Stayed: September 2006
12  Thank Airplane_Lag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2006

Stayed 9/8 to 9/18/06. The resort is gorgeous and the rooms are quite large. We had no smells whatsoever. We had tiny ants in the bathroom but they seemed friendly and didn't bother us so we didn't report them. We were given an ocean view/front room in the Lagoon wing. We talked to another couple that were over by the Chapel wing that did mention a smell to their room but it sounded like they reported it and were moved. We understand a full renovation is coming and the rooms could probably use it but nothing was detracting at all.

Maid service came at least twice a day to tidy up and check the room supplies. One couple mentioned their room got missed one day but 1 phone call got them taken care of. We found the entire staff to be extremely friendly. Always smiling and saying "hi". Those that complained that the staff was rude or unfriendly probably walked around with scowls on their faces not offering up smiles or greetings of their own. We said "hi" to a number of people and got the cold shoulder back.

It's a large resort so you're going to do some walking. Anyone complaining about that failed to do any research and should stay at a small, boutique hotel. Likewise, those that thought the beach was too far away and the hotel should be set closer are not only lazy but impractical. Probably the same people that complain about kids but stay at a hotel that clearly advertises water slides and a camp specifically for kids. Common sense, people.

We don't have kids but found the water slides and pools to be quite fun and clean. The hotel was nearly deserted for the first several days, which was quite nice. It was booked full by the end of our stay and it did seem pretty crowded but big resort = big crowds if they are doing something right and it wasn't bad. We always found the right amount of shade and chairs around the pools. There isn't any shade at the adult pool unless you rent a cabana but again, we always found shade at the other pools. There were always servers at the main pool but service was much slower at the other pools. I think the amount of servers depended on occupancy, which would make sense since there is a lot of ground to cover. There was some wallpaper coming off in the main pool bathroom but considering the moisture in there, I'm not surprised.

We walked over to the Four Seasons and were surprised at how cramped it felt. Nice but the pool was a joke compared to the Grand and the main fountain wasn't even running. Wouldn't stay there. Sure some of the Grand's beach chairs and equipment could stand to be replaced as the elements have been weathered quite a bit but nothing that would detract from one's vacation.

The one thing we continually bemoaned were the food prices. Maui's expensive - no matter where you go. Expect to pay double if not triple what you are used to back home. $7.50 for OJ in the main dining room for breakfast. We bought snacks for the room at the grocery store. We enjoyed Roy's, Fred's and Sansei. (All in Kihei). We ate at Kimo's in Lahaina twice. Really enjoyed Joe's Grill at the tennis courts just above the Shops at Wailea. They have an early bird special from 5:30 to 6:30. (buy 1 get 2nd entree free) Great views of the sunset. Also really liked Kincha's at the hotel. Didn't have reservations but were seated quickly at the sushi bar and my husband enjoyed his cooked dinner as much as I enjoyed my raw food. Ate twice at Tommy Bahamas early on and wouldn't recommend it.

The one "gripe" we had/have. Turn off your stupid cell phones!!! Whether it was poolside or in restaurants - people fail to realize how loud they are talking or are too rude to care. People are not staring at you because they are in awe of you or your conversation. They're giving you the stink eye to get a clue and shut up!

We had a wonderful time and would stay there again if we have kids. Nothing against the Grand. We just like to try different places. We shook our heads at the older couple that didn't like the table they were offered for breakfast in the Maui Dining Room and stood disgruntled in the middle of the room while the staff quickly cleared the table they deemed fit for them. As if there is a bad seat in that restaurant! Our order that morning was slightly wrong and the waitress immediately offered us both the full buffet at no charge and apologized profusely, which we thought was a very nice gesture and a nice end to a perfect vacation.

Don't let all of the negative "glass is half empty" people scare you away. Some obviously go with a chip on their shoulder just looking for things to complain about.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
14  Thank jenntl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2006

We go on one major holiday a year. This year we spent a week at a condo at the Grand Champions in Wailea and a week in the Grand Wailea. The condo was a 10 minute walk to the beach. So was our room at the Grand Wailea was a ten minute walk to the beach by time we snaked through the hotel and the hugely crowded pool area. The best beach in the area is Big Beach at Makena State Park just south of the Grand Wailea about 3 miles.

The rooms at the Grand are very Grand and worth the price but for the price I would like a little more than direct beach access. We had an amazing view of the ocean and all the weddings, and the pool crowds, and the beach. I recommend you get your chair early in the morning or pay big $$$ for a private cabana. That was not in our budget. As it was at the end of the week there we had racked up more than $3000 in room charges in addition to our room charges. You pay for everything here when we were done we had spent close to $11,000.00

We had as much fun in our condo the second week and the whole week including meals cost way less than our room charges. I searched, "vacation rental by owner" and found several sites that catered to vacation rentals.

The one really big plus of the Grand Wailea is the effectiveness of the pool area to keep children busy all day long. The kids meet other kids there and they form "instant life long friendships" that really gave my husband and I some alone time.

I must recommend the adult Hibiscus Pool......stunningly beautiful.

We did a seaside private dinner which they set up for us to watch the setting sun. Had it been a little more remote and less busy it would have been perfect.

I would definately go back to the Grand Wailea but I will also book more vacation condos in the future. We may be able to do more vacations per year with what we saved.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank OVRSAX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2006

I've been to Maui a few times and usually stay at the Fairmont in Wailea. A few weeks ago, we decided to try the Grand Wailea since we heard it was the best hotel on the island. From the outside, the hotel looked very promising. The exterior was beautiful, the pools spectacular, and the beach access unbeatable.

But from the moment we pulled up to the valet, we realized that the hotel was simply a body without a soul. As we pulled up, we had to wait a minute or so before we were "greeted" by a valet. In fact, we had already unloaded our bags before one of the valets finally showed up. As we walked into the lobby, the female greeter uninterestedly placed leis (sp ?) around our necks. She didnt even bother smiling. I contrast this with the warmth and friendliness that greeted us everytime we arrived at the Fairmont. We arrived at the hotel at approximately 3:30pm, which is about half an hour past the official check in time. However, our room was still not available and we were asked to simply wander about the hotel and were told that we would get a call on our cell phone when our room was ready. Half an hour later we still had not received a call and decided to go back to the front desk. After waiting a somewhat lengthy time to finally speak to a front desk person, we were told that our room was ready. Where was that phone call?

When we got to our room, we were fairly unimpressed. The bathroom looked dated and the overall size was smaller than the rooms at the Fairmont. The pool area is truly the gem of this hotel. There are something like 10 pools and various slides and water attractions. However, if you're an adult, you might find the number of screaming kids a bit overwhelming. The hotel had a feel comparable to your average waterpark. Nevertheless, my friends and I still enjoyed the pool. The easy beach access was also a positive as it was just a few steps from the pool area.

My biggest complaint about the hotel is the service, or lack thereof. There was none of the island love, or general hospitality that you would expect from a 5 star resort, or more importantly a hotel that costs 500-900 bucks a night. The staff members rarely smiled, they seemed bothered when you approach them with a question, and generally seem out of place at a high-end resort. None of the little touches were found at the Grand Wailea.

For example, at the Fairmont, smiling pool side employees would frequently walk around handing out fresh pineapples. At the Marriott Ihilani in Oahu, they had a jolly guy walking around the pool spritzing cool water on the feet of hotel guests. Those little things are so important when you pay the kind of rates you pay at the Grand Wailea.

The capper to our 5 day stay was the jack hammering that started at 7:30AM during the last 2 days of our stay. Imagine if you will, waking up in paradise to loud jack hammering...at 7:30 in the freaking morning. When we complained during the last day, they told us that they had left letters in our rooms telling us of the jackhammering. First, we didnt get a letter. Second, who cares if you they left a letter? Why not wait until a more reasonable time to start causing that kind of noise. Fortunately they decided to comp us one night which made the experience slightly more bearable.

My last memory of the Grand Wailea was back in the valet. After the valet pulled up the car for the final time, he sat there and watched as my friends and I struggled to place the bags in our trunk. No offer to help. Needless to stay, I will never again stay at this hotel. I've warned my friends who are planning trips to Hawaii to stay away from this place. If this was a normal 200 dollar a night hotel, I really wouldnt have cared. But paying Grand Wailea rates for Motel 6 service is just unacceptable.

  • Stayed: September 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
12  Thank JabaNoBacka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2006

The grounds were magnificent, service was wonderful, but the rooms were just fair. Our room was in terrible need of udating. The room needed to be painted and wallpapered. The carpet was smelly and sticky. Our shower had a slow drain problem and the sliding louver doors got stuck off the track. (Maintenence was there within minutes of the call!)

They were in the process of putting mattress toppers on the beds during our 7 day stay. The first 2 days neither bed had a topper. On the 3rd day one bed got a soft new topper. We called on the 4th day to inquire about the other bed. On the 5th day we got the other topper. Poor implementation.

Room size and amenities were very good. We had a chance to inspect some of the other rooms on the island. We found that some were not as nice (Sheraton) but some were much nicer.

They need to invest in some room renovations to get the 5 star rating.

Stayed: September 2006
10  Thank yupoldbull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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