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“Excellence”

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Ho'olei at Grand Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
Highland, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellence”
Reviewed November 5, 2013

Great service and staff if you travel with a big group or family this is the place for you. Will shuttle you down from your place to the pool at grand wailed. We loved it and will be back again. They greeted the kids with toys and greeted us with lays it was an amazing experience thank you.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank gameface1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
121 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

The rental process:

We went to Maui with another couple we have travelled with before. It was a toss up between a hotel or a condo, and we did a lot of research for the different options available. I really liked the idea of splitting the cost of condo, as opposed to each couple having to pay for their own hotel room. The idea of a cooking area also factored into my decision process.

I contacted the Owner, Geoff, via VRBO (listing #424421, I think) quite early in our vacation search process. The listing really looked too good to be true (it's not). I want to say he called me within an hour of my on line submission. He told me he and his family owned six units at Ho'Olei and another at the Grand Wailea beach condos. He was very nice and straightforward. He also texted a link to his web site, which makes it much easier to look at his properties than to go searching through VRBO.

From here, I turned over the negotiations to the husband of the other couple. He is a buyer for a large retailer, and does negotiating for a living. To make it a short story, Geoff simply doesn't negotiate on his units. His opinion is valid and honorable: He has a lot of repeat guests, and doesn't want to upset them by giving someone else a lower rate. We looked at a few of the other rentals in the same property who claim to beat anyone else's price, but they were already booked - and maybe $10/night less than the rate we were already getting. If you're a freak about getting the best deal, then you can look at some of the other listings on VRBO. But, I don't feel like we lost anything by not getting a slightly cheaper rate. All in (rate, taxes and cleaning fee) we paid slightly less than $370.00/couple/night for the unit - and worth EVERY penny.

The unit:

There were several units available when we went in October. I chose unit 69-2 based upon its proximity to the pool and the pictures of the view off the deck. I got some spectacular sunset photos from this deck. Please note, there is a bit of a climb from the pool to the unit. If you are elderly or infirm, it may be wise to look at a unit lower on the hill.

Once all fees are paid, and you are getting close to your trip, Geoff sends instructions about how to get into the complex, how to open the garage door, and information on amenities to make your stay better (we didn't use the Maui Grocery option, as we are finicky shoppers, but I think it's a deal for the 20% surcharge to have the groceries waiting for you and all put away when you arrive).

You enter the unit through the garage via what can best be described as a mud (sand?) room. We found this entry to be very helpful. It has a sink for cleaning items off, and a stacked full size washer and dryer. These, we discovered, were a little noisy, but worked just fine. From there, you enter the lower hall. Here you have access to the master bedroom, and second bedroom (also with its own bath), the elevator to the second floor (yes..., an elevator in the unit) and the stairs to the second level. There is also a terrace area, which is accessed and shared by the two lower bedrooms.

On the second level, you walk into an open kitchen/living room combination, with sliders all across the front. The third bedroom/bath is located on this level, over the garage. There is also a half bath up here.

I can't begin to describe how happy we were when we arrived to see what palatial place we had rented. The counter tops are beautiful granite. The appliances are high end (twin Sub Zero refrigerators and freezers), built in oven and microwave next to the refrigerators and a gas stove top in the island. All the glassware, plates and silverware you need are in the unit. There is a nice Apple computer for internet usage. I tried to access my webmail on it, but had a hard time for some reason. No bother, as I brought my own computer and access to the wifi is easy and secure.

A little better breakdown of the unit:

The master bedroom is of decent size, with a terrace shared with the other bedroom. What makes this bedroom truly spectacular is the bathroom. I imagine the writer of "Fifty Shades of Grey" stayed here while writing the book (I haven't read the book, but I'm sure you now have an idea of what I am talking about). No matter how may trunks of hair and makeup supplies your wife brings with you, she will not be able to fill the counter top with the twin sinks. Yep, it’s huge. The walk in shower is almost as large. But, the coup-de-grace is the large tub with the infinity pool style overflow around the top edge. You can couple this with ceiling-located water dispenser, and you have the makings of an adult movie. Sorrily, my wife and I did not experience any of this, as I lost a bet with the husband of the other couple and they got first choice of sleeping arrangements. So here's the first tip: If you are traveling with another couple, make sure to determine bedroom assignments before arriving. If not, there may be bad feelings from the very start.

The second bedroom was about the same size as the master, but with the smallest bath of all the bedrooms. It also has slider to share the terrace with the master bedroom.

My wife and I opted for the back bedroom on the second floor. It's rather large, with two queen beds and the second largest bath of the three bedrooms. There is no tub, but the shower is plenty large, and has some jets which spray horizontally. There is no deck or terrace off of this room, but that didn't bother us at all. One weird thing about the unit is the A/C system. It's broken into two zones, but not the way you would think. Instead of breaking the zones into "Upstairs" and "Downstairs", it's broken up into "Bedrooms" and "Everything Else". This meant the master bedroom downstairs had control of the AC of our bedroom upstairs. My friend is such a polar bear, we had to bring blankets from the other bedroom to help keep ourselves warm at night.

The kitchen is wonderful, but there are some tips to learn from our mistakes. The gas burners have a vent directly behind them that rises up when a button is pressed. The vent does not turn on just by rising up. Make sure to press one of the other buttons available after is in position (my stupid mistake). There is a hidden drawer in the same drawer as some of the plates. This drawer contains all the steak knives and some other utensils. This would have been nice to find at the beginning of our trip, instead of 36 hours before departure. We actually bought a spatula because we couldn't find this drawer.

The lanai is large with a table for six or more people, plus a love seat and coffee table. There is also a fantastic Wolf gas grill and a small refrigerator. The refrigerator isn't that big of a deal, but the grill was wonderful. We bought some Prime steaks at Costco, and this grill did a fantastic job of searing the meat at high temperature. It was one of our best meals while on the island. It's also a convenient place to cook bacon (and keep the smoke and smell out of the condo).

All of the bedrooms have flat screen TV’s and the living room has the largest one, with an entertainment system (dvd play, ipod dock). We didn’t use any of these during our stay. This might be a must for kids, though.

My one negative for the condo (and no fault of the owner), was the lack of outlets. If you travel with a lot of electronics like I do (two phones, three cameras, ipod, ipod player, laptop and a few other things), finding outlets should not be an issue. I was really surprised there wasn't an outlet on the large kitchen island. Again, this is no fault of the owner. It is just something to be noted for a visit.

The grounds:

Please make sure to look for a map of the property on the web. It's very well laid out. Just understand it's built on a hill. The higher condos in the back of the property have views of the ocean (which is across the street), but are also more of a hike if you are walking. The grounds people work hard every morning to keep up with the debris of everyday living. The pool area is beautiful. There are two hot tubs and the pool has a waterfall with a little grotto under it. The workout room looked nice, but we didn't use it while there. There is a tent for massages near the pool. You can reserve it, if you would like it.

Tips for a better stay:

I don't know what I was thinking when we reserved the condo, but I didn't think there would be as many young kids staying there. This is kind of silly, as it makes perfect sense for families to stay here. Still..., I didn't expect it.

Please don't forget about the hidden drawer in the plate drawer. It holds a lot of utensils and the steak knives (at least in our unit).

Costco is a gem. The Maui Gold Pineapples are much cheaper here, as compared to buying them at the airport. You can take them to the UPS shipping center and get them packed for under $10 (we brought about eight of them home in checked luggage for about an $8.00 packing fee. We didn't have to pay fees for checked luggage). The steaks at Costco seemed to be better in Maui than in Atlanta. Wine is also a great option here.

Bring packets of condiments you might not use a whole lot of. If you're going to eat hot dogs during your entire stay, then buy your ketchup and mustard at Safeway on the island. However, if you’re like a lot of travelers and will only use a small amount of condiments during your stay, pack a double lined baggy of ketchup, mustard and mayo. I also recommend you bring salt and pepper, too. We brought coffee, but I think it would have been better to just buy it there. My wife is a bit of an addict, so we brought it with us.

Make sure to sign up for a free Safeway membership before you check out of the grocery store. Safeway is located all over the island. You will notice the price differences on most all of the items. Signing up is painless and will keep you from spending and extra $100 - $200 during your visit. Booze is also reasonable here, so long as you sign up before you check out.

Others have said it is a "must" to pay for access to the Grand Wailea services. I just don't see any value in it whatsoever. The heavy upcharge gets you access to the pools (you already have one on this property), and beach chairs with towels. You can still use the beach access the hotel has without paying this fee. I don’t recommend using the link provided by TA. Search VRBO instead.

If you like to jog, like my wife does, there is a sidewalk along the beach which can be accessed through the Grand Wailea or other public beach access points. It's important to note you can use the beach of the Grand Wailea completely unfettered, if you don't use their chairs or towels (bring your own).

For such a spectacular condo, we would have expected better pots and pans. However, I can see an expensive pan disappearing quite often. It's sad, but I'm sure it's true.

Be warned... The maid service does not appear to clean the grill or its accouterments. These we a little gross when we got there, and we left them a little better of a state.

Lastly, after reading this exhaustive (exhausting) review, my friend chided me that I left out that the unit has two-ply toilet paper. It has two-ply toilet paper.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Snoweman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
114 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
Reviewed September 15, 2013

Our family wanted access to the Grand Wailea but had heard that the rooms at the Grand Wailea were a bit dated and that the resort itself was incredibly crowded. We didn't see the rooms but can attest that the resort is a bit of a zoo; difficult to find a pool chair and overcrowded to the point of being annoying. Everything was also overpriced -- $18 hamburgers, shaved ice was $8.00, twice as much as at other hotels. Those prices are just offensive for poolside food. Also, the pool bar and water slides shut down at 5:00 -- way too early. The Grand Wailea itself was a bit of a disappointment.

BUT, the Ho'olei was outstanding. We rented a three bedroom villa with a private elevator and garage and several outdoor patios, or "lanais." The villa was spacious, modern, well appointed with every conceivable luxury, and comfortable beyond belief. One of the nicest places we've ever stayed.

The Ho'olei has its own pool, a saltwater pool, that was large, nice and quiet. We went there every day for at least an hour. Very different crowd and atmosphere from the madness of the GW. Fewer serpent tattoos and heavy set women in skimpy bikinis, if you catch my drift. Very nice, elegant atmosphere at the Ho'olei, and we would strongly recommend it.

Room Tip: Get a room down low, near the entrance, so you can walk to the GW.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Adam K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 3, 2013

We had the pleasure of staying at this fantastic property in late August. We were in unit 75-6 and it was beautiful! The condo is decorated tastefully and the property overall is extremely well maintained. The shuttle service to the Grand Wailea was easy and all the drivers are so professional. We were a party of 5 and having the full kitchen and bbq on the lanai was great. Being able to have breakfast in our robes with the fantastic view was priceless. All the staff are extremely nice and want to make sure that your stay is nothing but perfect. I highly recommend this property for anyone traveling with kids or a larger party. Worth every penny!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Malimama S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Williamsburg, Virginia
Level Contributor
92 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed August 30, 2013

We rented two deluxe condos at this property to accommodate ourselves, our two sons and their families as a celebration for our 50th wedding anniversary in August, 2013. The condos have many luxury features, although each is decorated differently since they have individual owners. The view from the large lanais was outstanding. The staff were very pleasant and helpful. We had a wonderful time staying here and since we rented these condos through the Grand Wailea Hotel, we had full access to their outstanding facilities.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BarbaraMD59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norcross
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We took our entire family - two adult daughters, their husbands, a toddler granddaughter, and ourselves - to Maui. We booked a three bedroom condo on the top tier of the complex. It was amazing. The furnishings were gorgeous. The kitchen was more luxurious than my own at home. Each family had their own space, yet the layout facilitated great family time. We especially enjoyed the lanai and the fantastic view of the ocean, Molokai, Lana'i, and the surrounding area. We enjoyed having easy access to the Grand Wailea beach and the easy drive to the Makena beaches for snorkeling. The pool area was lovely and we especially enjoyed the pebble-bottomed shallow area, which was perfect for entertaining our granddaughter.

Room Tip: The top tier of condos gets you away from any road or pool noise and offered the best view.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Norcrosstravelgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zug, Switzerland
Level Contributor
37 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

We had one of the most relaxing holidays of our life... the villa was huge (we had 3 bedrooms villa, with huge living room, beautiful lanai, excellent fully equipped kitchen) with beautiful view.
We could use all the facility of the Gran Wailea hotel (make sure this is included in your package) without being the full day in the crowded hotel. We usually spent the morning at the Grand Wailea (difficult to get a seat at the beach, but the grass area close to the beach is also very nice and fully serviced) and the afternoon in the more calm swimming pool at the Ho' oleo.
Staff at the Ho' olei were extremely friendly and they gave us good suggestions for excursions (snorkelling at Molokini crater is a must) or kids activity (surfing school at Kihei beach).
The Grand Wailea is only 7 minutes walk and they also provide a very efficient/free shuttle service (you can call and they will pick you up at your villa).
We got early check in for free and late check out for an additional fee which was reasonable and gave us an additional day in paradise!

Room Tip: Try to get a villa high on the hill... it will take 5 minutes longer to the Grand Wailea but it is w...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank vp65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Ho'olei at Grand Wailea

Property: Ho'olei at Grand Wailea
Address: 146 Hoolei Cir, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753-5478
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 8 Specialty Lodging in Wailea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Ho'olei at Grand Wailea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 120
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Blending the outstanding amenities of Maui's most celebrated oceanfront resort with the charm of tropical residences, Ho'olei at Grand Wailea is located adjacent to the world-class Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort on Maui's southern shore. Each of our two-story villas is a private world of luxury – boasting finely appointed interiors, modern kitchens, private elevators, attached garages, and exclusive services. Bask in glorious western ocean views or the picturesque beauty of the Wailea Blue Golf Course, which surrounds our accommodations on three sides. Soak up the sunshine on pristine Hawaiian beaches or enjoy countless water sports - from scuba diving to whale watching. Enjoy privileged access to championship golf and the luxurious spa at the nearby Grand Wailea. Ideal for extended stays, family reunions, or weddings, our vacation villas offer comfortable luxury in a lush mesmerizing setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ho`Olei At Grand Wailea Hotel Wailea
Ho'Olei At Grand Wailea Maui

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