Grand Champions is a condominium complex about a quarter of a mile away from the beach in an upscale part of Maui. It is not a hotel, and I don't think any kind of 'star' grading system to describe the facility to compare it to hotels is really that meaningful. There's no front desk, the concierge is in an office a quarter of a mile away, and there is no lobby.
Booking: We found Grand Champions on a last-minute search engine (cheaptickets.com) that combined airfare and hotel. I understand you can book through Destination Resorts or from condo owners as well.
Getting there: It's about half an hour from the airport. A car is manditory, as it doesn't have a lot of the facilities that a hotel has. Some packages will actually include the car, so look around. You will be assigned one parking space during your stay.
Checking in: You don't go directly to Grand champions on arrival. You have to go to the management company office, about a quarter of a mile away in an outdoor mall. If you arrive after hours, there is a phone outside the office, and it connects you to a security guard who will give you keys, a flashlight, and a map.
Location: Grand Champions if a condo complex, about thirty units long and six units wide and two stories high. It is situated perpendicular to the ocean, so most of the upstair units will have a 'partial ocean view.' Ekahi, also managed by Destination Resorts, seems to have it's units facing the ocean, and is on a steeper hill, giving a better view. On one side of the complex is the Wailea tennis club, and it's actually kind of pleasant sitting on the balcony watching people play, with the ocean as the backdrop. The other side of the complex is a long fairway, which is nice, but on the other side of that is some massive construction project. Some of the other reviews mentioned this, but it wasn't clear to me before I came what this entailed. They seem to be building something really big there. Maybe it's a hotel or a subdivision, not just a little landscaping or pouring a sidewalk. The is a long, black tarp fence that runs along the far side of the fairway that hides what's going on, and the noise was really intense: multiple trucks beeping as they back up at once, a big crane, giant air hammers...you get the idea.
Getting around: A car is a must. Even walking to the mall a short distance away is difficult because there aren't sidewalks or curbs on the busy street. There are notices to not walk accross the golf course. The beaches in the area are really nice. It seems like a lot of the public beachs on Maui are right next to busy streets, so the big hotels in the area buffer you from the road. Joe's Bar and Grill is part of the Tennis club and is good, but most places are not accessible by walking. I read on their web site that the Wailea 'Town Center' is nearby, but this is nothing more than a few shops, an ATM machine, and a gym. There is a neat general store in the mall where Destination Resorts has their office. Safeway is a few miles away.
The Unit: The first unit was along the fairway/facing the construction. Clean, white carpet, upholstered furniture, ceamic tiles on the floor and counters. It was airy, odorless, mold-free, and clean. Nothing fancy, but nice. The Lanai is about six feet by twelve, clean and tiles. Laundry machine is in a closet outside. The kitchen comes with full-sized refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. It has cookware, utensils, but no seasoning. The unit is very spacious. At night, it was very quiet, breezy, but by morning, the construction crews had started up and I literally found myself wearing my noise-cancellation headsets! I tried to get over to Ekahi, but that was no longer an option, and eventually the management found us a place on the other side of Grand champions facing the Tennis Club. It was much quieter on that side, though there is also some kind of construction /truck traffic there. The second unit was about the same quality. NIce, not great. On the plus side, it's very private, and you don't have to deal with a lot of the nuisances that you would have to in a moderately priced place to stay.
Recommendation. Overall, I liked Grand Champions. The unit was really big, and comfortable. It feels like you're staying at someone's house. You are left alone, which we like. A housekeeper comes daily, and we wound up cooking once in a while, and hanging out a lot. It was relaxing, but not pampering. For this part of the island, it was very inexpensive. I suppose for the same amount of money, you could be right on the ocean on a different part of the island, but on the occasions we did wind up next to those hotels, we were quite glad we were able to escape back to Grand Champions.
Construction is going on all over the island, not just here, so you may get exposed to it no matter what. All the gardens with the hotel also require substantial upkeep, so you will be exposed to lawnmowers and weed wackers and blowers -- it has all become a part of Maui. As I said before, the main road runs right along the coast, so your hotel may get a lot of street noise. With that said, I think next time, I'll stay at Ekahi, which was about $30 more a night at the time of my booking ($60-$100 more once you get here). If that stretches your budget, this is not a bad place. You will want to maximize the location within Grand Champions, however. Units 155-188 and 65-94 are along the fairway/construction. Units 31-64 are on an island and surrounded by parking lots. Units 144-153 face the ocean, Units 107-142 face the tennis club, units 1-30, 95-106 face towards the back (not sure how their view might be).
Happy travelling! Maui is beautiful! I hope this info is helpful -- I wrote this for fun, and I'm not responsible for the acuracy of any of it's contents.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Wailea golf resort with a country club feel is centered on 11 acres, amid the 18-hole Wailea Blue Golf Course. Select from garden or ocean view suites or golf front villas along the 6th, 7th and 8th holes, with ultimate views of well maintained fairways and sun-drenched strokes. Within this country club condo resort, you'll also find the world-class Wailea Tennis Center and stadium. The resort features two pools, two whirlpool spas and barbecue grills; and is located near The Shops at Wailea and popular Mokapu and Ulua beaches. Each 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom suite features a fully equipped kitchen, living/dining room area, private lanai and en-suite washer/dryer. Amenities include in resort credits for dining and spa services at nearby resorts, parking, hi speed Wi-Fi internet access, phone calls, housekeeping every third day, and a Maika'i grocery discount card. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Wailea Grand Champions Villas Hotel Wailea
- Wailea Grand Champions Villas Maui