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“Fabulous Fairmont… Once I got past the sticker shock”

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Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
“Fabulous Fairmont… Once I got past the sticker shock”
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We recently visited the Fairmont Kea Lani for a 5n stay at the end of April. This was our first time to Hawaii. We decided on the Wailea area in southern Maui as we wanted to participate in several off-resort excursions (Sunrise over Haleakala and a snorkel trip to Molokini), and it seemed easier to get to these sites from the southern end of the island rather than the Kaanapali/Lahaina area. We decided on the Fairmont as I am a Fairmont President’s club member (from a previous business trip), and we found a package deal on-line that our travel agent, Mike McHugh at Dream Makers Vacation Services, was able to meet.

The ease of our trip started prior to arrival. After making our reservations, I received several emails from the resort concierge service, thanking us for choosing the Fairmont and offering help for any portion of our trip. We requested and received information on the excursions we were interested in and had wonderful interactions with the concierge. Our flight was scheduled to arrive around 10am, so I requested an early check in via the concierge, as well as a room on the top floor. Check in was smooth, our requests for early check in and top floor were granted, and we received an upgrade to a deluxe oceanview suite (thanks again to our travel agent, Mike!), room 604. We had a wonderful view of the resort pools/grounds with the beach in the distance, past all of the villas.

Our suite was beautiful and spacious—small kitchenette in the entry-way, a sitting room with TV/couch/desk, a large en-suite bathroom with double vanities, deep sunken tub, walk-in shower and a WC. Bedroom was good-sized, w/King bed, TV and his-and-her closets. We didn’t really unpack, as we were only here for 5d before heading to Oahu (business meeting for me).

The resort was absolutely stunning. Grounds were well maintained. There were more than enough chairs around the pools, although a lot of chairs were on the grass rather than the patios around the pool. We actually preferred the chairs in the grass, as the patio tile was blistering hot while the grass was not. We spent all of our time on resort at the adults-only pool, which was quiet and more laid-back than the central pools that catered to families with children. We were surprised (and relieved) to find that the resort provided iced water (plain or with lemon), sunscreen (SPF30 and 50) and aloe gel at multiple stations around the pools. I had heard that bottled water was pricey, so it was nice to just grab a glass of water at the water cooler. Waiters were also constantly circling the grounds for ordering drinks or food at your chair.

This was our first “nice” vacation that was not at an all-inclusive resort, so I did suffer a bit from sticker shock. TBH, we spent more on 5n here than we have on most of our week-long all-inclusive Caribbean vacations. Dining around the resort was very pricey. We ate lunch at the Polo Beach Grille and Bar when we first arrived: $60 for a sandwich and a salad. Luckily, our package did include breakfast, so after that first day we ate a large meal in the morning, then didn’t eat again until dinner. The buffet was nice—a good selection of fresh fruits, cereals, breads and pastries, hot breakfast foods that were different every day, an egg/omelet station, and a small gluten-free section. They also had an a la carte menu, but we never chose that option. Because it was included in our package, I enjoyed the breakfast; however, if we had been paying full price ($34pp+tax/tip, or $80 for breakfast for 2), we would have skipped it. My husband felt that it was very overpriced. We ate dinner the first night at Nick’s Fishmarket, the onsite seafood restaurant, which was outstanding. Wonderful sunset views, wonderful food, and wonderful service. After the first night, we ate off resort for the rest of the week. We highly recommend Sarento’s on the Beach.

We participated in several activities while in Maui, and the hotel concierge helped to make those reservations. The sunrise trip to Haleakala was fabulous. We enjoyed the Molokini snorkel trip, although I wasn’t overly impressed with snorkeling in the crater itself. We also attended a local luau at the nearby Marriott hotel. We wanted to go to the luau in Lahaina or at the Grand Wailea, but both were sold out when we arrived. I suggest that if you want to attend one of those luaus, you book well in advance of your trip—both were sold out for more than 2 weeks.

We utilized the hotel shuttle service on several occasions in the evening. Very convenient to not have to drive ourselves. We just had the maître-d at the restaurant call the Fairmont and request a pick up when we were done with dinner. I visited the spa on a cloudy afternoon, a day after I did a little too much hiking around. I booked a package that included a body scrub and a hot stone massage. It was very nice, and the spa itself was well-appointed, but it was definitely overpriced. I could have booked similar services at home that would have cost less than half and lasted twice as long. I also visited the hotel shops. Found a bikini on the sales rack for 50% off at the Fairmont Store, which was a great deal. We purchased a few snacks and bottles waters at Café Ciao, though they were a bit pricey.

Because our flight out of Maui was in the evening, we requested a late check-out. Unfortunately, our room was already reserved for later in the day, so they could only extend our stay until 1pm. We were offered a courtesy room, but I didn’t feel like packing up all our stuff, then having to unpack it all again just for an extra hour at the pool. Check out was smooth—no unexpected surprises—and we opted to kill our last hours in Maui by stopping at the Shops at Wailea, where we stocked up on some last-minute souvenirs.

Overall, once I got past the sticker-shock, we had a wonderful time at a truly beautiful and luxurious resort.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms have the best views of the hotel grounds
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank klhoek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TrudyPeterson, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Aloha. Thank you for choosing The Fairmont Kea Lani for your first vacation to Maui! We are pleased that our pre-arrival concierge team was helpful in making all of your excursion arrangements - it sounds like you experienced some of the island's most popular activities. We appreciate all of your great tips for our future guests, as well as the feedback of your resort experience. Please know that all of your comments will be shared. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
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San Diego
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 18, 2013

My fiancee and I stayed here for 5 nights in mid-July and had an absolutely wonderful time. If it were possible to rate the Fairmont Kea Lani 4 & 1/2 stars, that would be ideal.

Resort Staff:

The staff is absolutely wonderful, every one of them will smile & say, "Aloha!" each time they walk past you or have any dealings with you. It's welcoming and does a wonderful job of making you feel secure. Every interaction with the staff was a pleasure, and it was obvious that this is something the resort really tries to encourage.

The Resort Grounds:

The grounds are fairly large, wonderfully manicured and include 3 pools (incl. one adults only pool), 2 hot tubs, and access to their own private beach. The pools are all exceptionally clean, and the swim up bar, while small (6 bar stools on the pool side), is a nice touch. There is also a slide, poolside basketball net, inner tubes, etc. for the younger crowd.

The Rooms:

It's an all suites resorts, so the rooms are large, but they're also very well kept. There are ultimately 4 rooms in the suite & a lanai with a chaise lounge & some patio furniture. The foyer has a closet that contains a safe, iron & board; the entrance also has a wet bar with fridge & microwave. The Living room has a large couch & ottoman and the TV here has multiple connections for audio & video inputs. The bedroom has it's own TV & the king size bed is quite comfortable. Very soft pillows though. Not necessarily ideal for a side-sleeper, but still very comfortable. The bathroom is pretty amazing with a stand-up shower & tub, as well as his & her sinks.

The problems with the room weren't deal breakers. The first was that the TV in the bedroom almost never worked. They had someone come to fix it, but it was still intermittent. I thought to myself, it's a sign that you're supposed to be outside in the beautiful Maui sun. But it still would've been nice to wind down my evening with a show or wake up to the morning news. Another minor annoyance was the sound. You can hear noises from the room above, the room below, out in the hallway. There are section of the hallway that have small tiles instead of carpeting. Any time a cart rolls over that tile you will hear it. And that seemed to happen far more often than necessary. In fairness, we were in the closest room to this type of tiling. It's probably better the farther away you are.

The Spa:

Had a couple's massage & it was magical. They brought us down to connecting cabanas right down by the beach and we listened to the lapping waves while getting our massages. (There are apparently other locations, I HIGHLY recommend pushing for the beachfront cabanas). My fiancee absolutely loves massages, I'm not usually a fan. Clearly I was not getting a good massage. Both of us agreed that this was a great massage in a completely relaxing setting.

Where the Farimont Kea Lani loses some points is the cost of it all. Everything from room to food & drink to the boutique is priced on the high end. This was to be expected and it's not as if you're going to find a better bargain at neighboring properties, but it's important to keep in mind that you'll be spending a lot of money.

All in all, I would undoubtedly stay here again. Wonderful experience overall.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Japhet11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TrudyPeterson, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Aloha. Thank you for your thorough review. It’s fantastic to learn that you and your fiancée had a wonderful stay. We're so glad that you took advantage of the romantic couples massage in our outdoor oceanside spa cabana - this is a highlight for many couples and it's wonderful you enjoyed it. That being said, we apologize for any inconvenience the noise from outside your suite and television may have caused. Please know that we will be checking the television again to ensure that future guests don't have a similar issue. Thank you again and we look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
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Tyler Texas
Level Contributor
57 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013 via mobile

This was our family's second stay at the Fairmont. We have the room layouts and accommodations perfect for our family of three. Our personal experience has been that the staff is very attentive, the destination ideal, and this hotel to be the perfect launching point for a Maui vacation. Not the newest, not the cheapest, but one of our favorite places in the world. Highly recommend the free outrigger canoe experience, book well advance though. Guides did a great job leading us to sea turtles, and we all jumped in. Resort has scuba lessons available (our son took scuba in the pool due to age), and the concierge arranged our surf lessons again. Great times, great memories, great place to stay. Only draw back is that the in-suite kitchen area isn't a complete kitchenette, but that's not a big deal. Highly recommend!!!

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
1 Thank destinationknown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TrudyPeterson, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
Thank you for returning to The Fairmont Kea Lani. We work hard to provide exceptional service and memorable experiences, so we are truly honored that the resort is one of your favorite places in the world! We hope to welcome you back again very soon. Best wishes and a warm aloha.
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Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
144 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2013

Spent four nights over the July 4th holiday here. The rooms are suites. We had an ocean view. The service is excellent. We chose the adult pool everyday. The hotel only allows you to save chairs for two hours which is great because it prevents people from laying their stuff on a chair and leaving for hours to do something else. The is food and bar service at the pool beginning at 11 am. The hamburgers are excellent at the pool. There is sun screen dispensers at every pool and water with lemon or cucumbers at all pools. A man does come around with big bowls of fresh pineapple to eat. We ate breakfast at the buffet every morning. The buffet includes everything you could imagine, a bit pricey but excellent. We ate dinner at Ko and Nick's - both excellent but pricey restaurants. Do make reservations as soon as possible. I worked out in the gym daily and it is a typical hotel gym but very clean. Cold water, towels and apples all supplied. Children under 16 not allowed in gym but one morning saw one parent who refused to comply. There is a nice market where you can get sandwiches, coffee and icecream. Newspapers are available here as well but one day behind if looking for the NY Times.
Join the President's Club because you get free internet and Newspaper. There is a complimentary shuttle that takes you down to the Wailea shops. We went one night to the Monkey Pod restaurant, which has affordable pizza's and happy hour (take the shuttle).
The hotel has 4 complimentary bikes you can reserved (free to President's Club Members). They are not in the best condition but can be fun.
There is a small beach and chairs and umbrellas available.
Our flight was not until 9 pm and check out was 1 pm so they offered us a hospitality room to shower and relax in for 45 minutes. They have 8 of these rooms and they are a first come basis. They clean the rooms after each use.
Each person is greeted with a Hawaiian Leis and punch. A nice touch. There is complimentary tea and water at all times in the lobby.

Room Tip: I believe our room was 538, excellent
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank TDHArizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TrudyPeterson, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, responded to this review, July 25, 2013
We’re thrilled you chose to stay with us and appreciate you sharing your experience with future guests. Thank you for your wonderful and very informative review. We hope to see you again soon. Aloha!
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NH
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2013

We stayed here for a week and loved it. We travel as a family to nice resorts about once a year. I have never experienced such great customer service. The entire staff was very helpful and aimed to please. We were particularly impressed with the front desk and concierge people. When I come to a place like this I expect things to be perfect and if they're not I'm not afraid to speak up. Adam and Sosa, the assistant front desk managers were terrific when I asked to speak with them about some minor complaints we had with the room. They were patient with me and addressed my concerns immediately. I couldn't have asked for a better response. Thanks guys! Thanks to all at the fairmont for exceeding our expectations! Hope we can return some day.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank threegirls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
white hall
Level Contributor
84 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2013 via mobile

The hotel is enormous with 2 large pools and essentially it's own private beech. Many, even upscale, resorts in Hawaii do not have any beachfront. The reastaurants are nice but there are several others within shuttle distance. There is a near by grocery and liquor store....perfect

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank amy c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2013

The Fairmont Kea Lani is a wonderful hotel with very nice facilities. The only thing keeping it from reaching the highest level are minor service flaws that could easily be corrected. Let me first say that Matthew Morris did a phenomenal job assisting me with my reservation and securing a great location for my suite. Call him at the hotel for assistance - he is awesome!

Maui and Wailea in general are busy places and the hotels here are larger and accommodate more guests than on the other islands (I also visited the Big Island - Hawaii and Lanai on this trip). As such, you must wake up and select chairs at the pool in order to enjoy them throughout the day. Unlike the Fairmont's sister property in Kona (Big Island) there are umbrellas available for all guests at the adult pool and the chairs are very comfortable.

But here, guests will notice minor service issues that may not be noticeable to some, but will certainly be noted by discerning travelers that are familiar with other hotels in Fairmont's class (Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental). Keep in mind that you are paying top rates and while some of these things sound picky, for a tiny investment, the hotel could likely provide them. Here they are:

- The pool staff is understaffed and I had to set up my own chairs each day
- There are no complimentary service items at the pool being passed out (such as ice water, cold towels etc...) The hotel does provide sunscreen and ice water along with Aloe, but at the adult pool, water could really be handed out.
- The nearest bathroom forces guests to walk through the Ko Restaurant or the breakfast cafe (a weird feeling to diners and to pool goers alike)
- One side of the adult pool borders that main dining hall and lots of noise and clanking can be heard especially during the breakfast hour. Not great for the one place that is supposed to be quiet on the property.
- The hotel did not provide water bottles at turndown service even though I had a Deluxe Ocean View Suite (my wife called and was told that water is only available for suites of a certain class. I thought I had a pretty good class already, especially considering that the sister property in Kona provided water to my lesser room category when I was there). Note that the valet does give out water bottles.
- Water pressure in the shower good, but not great (again minor, but makes a difference for me!)
- The hotel failed to deliver my WSJ newspaper each day
- The Spa is under renovation - set to become a Willow Stream in December and so the hotel is offering a discount on their massages, but is without spa facilities. Even with the discount, the treatments are more expensive then the Grand Wailea, for instance, for which guests also get a lunch voucher and use of top notch facilities for a similar, but slightly lower price.

Another oddity is the fact that the menu for Ko, the hotel's signature restaurant, is extremely expensive for lunch and nearly mirrors the pool menu. We were eating elsewhere for dinner, but wanted to try Ko for lunch, but were turned away by the fact that the food was so expensive and the menu was heavy for lunch. We, along with many other guests, ended up eating in the lighter cafe which served moderately priced and smaller sized lunches - perfect for those eating big dinners. It just seemed weird that Ko was technically open, but that no more than 4-5 diners could be found in the restaurant at lunch time. Perhaps a more affordable lunch menu would provide smaller portions and a better price point.

These are just the minor items that I noticed that I feel others would benefit from knowing about. The complaints are by no means to say that the experience is not great. I only want to add some commentary to what many other have written. The hotel is beautiful, the suites are great and the adult pool was, overall, luxurious. The hotel is an excellent place to stay and I will certainly return. My comments did not affect my trip in any major way, just minor notes that I feel could help the hotel reach its full potential.

Room Tip: Note that the hotel shuttle takes guests to other properties nearby, especially for dinner (Four Sea...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JShap88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TrudyPeterson, Guest Relations Manager at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, responded to this review, July 19, 2013
Thank you very much for your feedback. We appreciate your honesty and detailed suggestions, as we do strive to offer the highest level of service and accommodations for our guests. Although we do serve chilled towels and fresh pineapple around the pool, we are sorry that you didn't have the chance to experience it. We have passed along your kind words to Matt Morris, who is a tremendous asset to our hotel. Thank you again for your honest suggestions and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future. Aloha!
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Additional Information about Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Property: Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Address: 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753-8449
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Wailea
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#2 Business Hotel in Wailea
#3 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#3 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#3 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#3 Green Hotel in Wailea
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui 4.5*
Number of rooms: 450
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

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