I'll preface this review by saying that this is a luxury resort, and as such is luxury priced. If you're looking for a cheap vacation, this isn't the place for you. It's expensive, but very worth it. I will definitely visit again.
My wife and I decided to take our first vacation with our 4 month old first child, and decided on Maui. We know and trust the Fairmont brand, and the staff was great during the booking. We arrived on mothers day, my wife's first, so I asked them to do a bath with flowers and chocolates, etc. for arrival since we were getting in late. I also told them that she wasn't drinking much alcohol, so no thank you to the champagne. The concierge took a food order as well so that we would have food waiting for us upon arrival.
We arrived and the staff was great, quickly getting us and our tired baby up to our room, which was huge. Having the food ready for us helped ease the strain of a long day of traveling. The bathroom was beautifully setup for the bath, and to my surprise, in place of the champagne that I turned down, they had a bottle of sparkling cider. I was supremely impressed by this since I hadn't mentioned it, and it showed that the concierge was listening to me, and then used initiative to put something special together. Concierge staff gets an A+ from me as they went above and beyond. It's not uncommon to have a concierge satisfy your needs, but to go so far as to provide things you didn't even know you wanted, is a rare thing.
We spent a lot of time at the pool, and the food was good, especially the Bento Box. The staff was always quick and friendly, and the pool was very well laid out with separate areas, plenty of umbrellas, and an adult pool so that those of us with kids don't bother those without. Since this was my first vacation with a child, I appreciate keeping the two groups separate! I know the Fairmont doesn't charge a resort fee, and thus charges for cabanas and extras like that. Maybe it's a personal thing, but I'd much rather pay a resort fee, and then have access to cabanas for free. Personally, it wasn't worth $150 to rent a cabana, but they were quite busy, so maybe that's just me! The constantly refreshed ice water, plenty of towels, and aloe vera, as well as sunscreen were very nice touches that made it easy to spend a long time at the pool without constantly running back to your room. Overall, a very well done pool area.
The food was excellent. We had a lunch at Ko which was outstanding, and dinner at Nick's which was the best meal we had in Maui. We shared an order of the Ahi, and the Opa, and both were fresh as can be, and cooked to perfection. This might be blasphemy to some, but I liked it just as much as Mama's Fish House. Again, the staff was excellent in both restaurants, and service was quick and attentive.
We also did a lot of room service, which had a great variety and was very good. Our favorite was the Dim Sum platter which was our 2nd favorite meal after Nick's. The staff was excellent, they always had more than enough of everything, and when ordering they always thought ahead of things we wouldn't have thought of.
The last place we got food was in the cafe. I don't remember what it was called, but they had ice cream, coffee, and about a dozen food dishes like caprese salad, italian sandwich, pizza, roasted vegetables, etc. They also had a pretty well stocked fridge with drinks, cheese, yogurt, salami, and other good snack food. Finally, they had a bakery that put out fresh baguettes and bagels, and a well-stocked wine and liquor section. The staff was friendly, quick, and the shop was very well stocked.
The only negative food experience was the breakfast. If you don't get the buffet then it takes a while to order food. I think that's just a function of most people ordering the buffet, but it took us a good 20 minutes to get an omelette and a granola, and the table next to us had the same issue. Definitely not indicative of the dining experience for the rest of the resort, so I think it was just an anomaly.
They have onsite car rentals which is great because we only wanted to drive around one day rather than having a car the whole time. Pricing was less than $100 for the day, and you don't have to hassle with parking or anything since the car is handled by the valet. They also have an onsite shuttle that will take you to the shops in town, and anywhere else close. We didn't use the shuttle, but saw it in use many times.
They were renovating the spa and several shops, so we didn't get a chance to see them. Not sure how long is left in the renovation, but it would be nice if there was somewhere to buy makeup and that kind of thing if it's going to be a while. I know my wife forgot some piece of makeup and really would've liked a chance to replenish it.
Housekeeping is one of those things that is constantly neglected in reviews, and I wanted to give them kudos. We had a lovely lady who cleaned our room each day and was very quick and considerate. She would tiptoe around when our baby was sleeping, and then play and laugh when she was awake. Towards the end of the trip we were disappointed not to see her on the weekend!
Overall this was just an amazing trip. Every single need and want was taken care of, and was usually identified prior to our even noticing. The staff was excellent from start to finish. Specifically, we dealt with, and were very pleased with, the concierge, valet, bellman, housekeeping, wait staff, pool staff, and room service. I travel a lot for both business and pleasure, and this is one of my top travel experiences. I will definitely visit again, and recommend the Fairmont Kea Lani with no reservations.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the essence of Maui at Fairmont Kea Lani, Hawaii's only all-suite and villa luxury resort. Nestled on the golden sands of Wailea's Polo Beach, this award-winning oceanfront paradise redefines luxury with a state-of-the-art spa, island inspired cuisine and authentic cultural experiences. Fairmont Kea Lani is the ideal island getaway with four unique restaurants, three swimming pools including an adult-only pool, a comprehensive fitness and wellness program and unrivaled access to the best adventures across the island. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Kea Lani Maui Hotel Wailea
- Fairmont Hotel Wailea
- Fairmont Maui
- Fairmont Wailea
- Wailea Fairmont
- The Fairmont Kea Lani
- Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui Wailea