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“Paradise on Hawaii”

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Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed June 8, 2006

We just returned from our honeymoon at the Fairmont Kea Lani. We're in our late 20's early 30's and like to go out. From the minute we arrived we felt like we were in paradise. Our flight arrived at 4pm and after reading the reviews here we stopped at Costco on the way in for a few essentials! By the time we arrived at the hotel (about 6pm - it's a 35 minute drive from the airport) the sun was beginning to setand they had just lit the torches around the grounds. We checked into our beautiful room on the 3rd floor, over looking the ocean and the community next door, poured a nice drink (they sell liquor in the supermarkets here!) and headed off to catch our first sunset on the beach.

We stayed at the resort for six days before heading off to Honolulu for a couple of days. It was nice to see something else of Hawaii, but we should have spent the whole time at the Fairmont!

Here's a simple list of our comments and tips!

1. Make the most of the facilities in the room. Not just to save money, but so that you can do things on your own terms/times! Buy liquor, soda and snacks from Costco or Safeway
2. A cooler bag for the pool/beach is a good idea!
3. Go to Mama's Fish House for dinner in Paia
4. Get a PuPu appetizer at the PuPu Lounge in Kihei
5. Buy the book - Maui Revealed
5. Get up at 2am and take the 2 hour drive to the top of Hanakulani and watch the sunrise - DRESS UP WARM!!
6. Skip the 8 hour road to Hana drive for a 1 1/2 hour helicopter ride from Blue Hawaiian
7. Rent A Car
8. Keep going down the road in Wailea to drive over a old lava flow
9. Eat at Nick's Fishmarket in the Fairmont hotel
10. Eat at Freds Tacos in Kilei
11. Go to the Irish Bar in Wailea
12. Drive to Lahaina and eat at Kimo's overlooking the water
13. The "Old Lahaina" Luau is supposed to be the best but is 45+ minutes from Wailea, but books up a month in advance and is too far to drive after a few drinks. The one at the Renaissance is great

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
24  Thank soccerman22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,359 - 4,365 of 4,764 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
Atlanta, GA
Reviewed June 5, 2006

I stayed at the Kea Lani for 8 nights. Everything went smooth from check in to check out. Loved the adult pool, and the hotel room was great (had a garden view, which was actually garden, ocean and mountain view) The grounds are immaculate and the pool/beach staff could not have been nicer and more helpful. The same is true for the concierge staff. The only problem I encountered was when I was dealing with the concierge manager! She was complaining about customers making reasonable request in front of me. I thought this was very unprofessional.

The beach was great, not too crowded, but they did charge for umbrellas, FYI. I though it was a great vacation and would recommend it. The breakfast is very good, however the restaurants in the hotel are not as good as others on the island, but are priced comparably. The wait staff for anything relating to food was off as well. I would pass on the restaurants at the Kea Lani and go next door to the four seasons for dinner. The Kea Lani is a good place to stay, I had a great vacation! The staff is friendly, helpful and made the trip great.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 4, 2006

I've been reading reviews of this hotel for months. So, when it was finally our turn to take our dream vacation, I admit I was a little nervous. We were so unbelievably surpised by how much we loved this hotel. I truly don't understand all the bad reviews. I suppose everyone has different expectations and taste. But, we were more than happy with our accomodations. We paid for an ocean view room and we were upgraded to a deluxe ocean view. Definitely ask for a renovated room We had a gorgeous suite. We had such a beautiful view of the pool area and the ocean, as well.

Housekeeping was perfect. Never had better service anywhere, when it came to cleaning our room. We heavily tipped them for their efforts. We didn't order room service because prices were indeed over-priced . We went to the market and bought breakfast muffins, cereal and milk. For dinner, we went out. We even went and got pizza at Shaka Pizza. Not bad pizza for Hawaii.

I will say that if you want a quiet, romantic vacation then you should go to the Four Seasons. Though we saw lots of couples and they all looked happy. We were there with our very well behaved 5 year old girl and she met lots of kids her age. We met lots of really nice families and we all went down the slide and hung out in the pool and sipped on mai tais together. We had a wonderful time.

One little complaint I have is the sliding doorway to the balcony. There's a lip that sticks out and we all tripped on it at least once. My husband thinks it was there to prevent noise, but really, there's got to be a better way. Other than that, we had a perfect stay. We will return for sure. My daughter is still crying about having to leave .....I am too!!

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank SachaMR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 2, 2006

We stayed at the Kea Lani from May 13 - 20th. I can't' say enough about how great our experience was. We had a party of four (me, husband, 20month daughter, 80 yr olld mom).

We had a pool suite which is perfect for families as you can walk out of your room right to the pool (no dealing with elevators or long hallways which is great when you have kids). The room was huge and the bathroom exceeded my expetations. The tub was huge but we didn't use it. The shower was wonderful especially for washing our 20 month old daughter. We had 2 double beds in the bedroom and a pull out sofa in the living room. The sofa bed was terrible but I called housekeeping and they brought up an eggcrate mattress pad and then it was fine. There was plenty of closet space and the entertainment center was the best set up I've ever seen in a hotel. Full stereo/dvd/vhs set up. The wet bar/micro/fridge area was small but useful enought to heat up left overs and make baby meals. It's not a full kitchen so we didn't expect full utensils, dinnerware, etc. It also had a coffee maker with enough coffee for all three adults each morning.

We rented a cabana for the whole week. I booked it a month in advance which is necessary to make sure you get one. It's $75 a day which when considering the price of the room is not bad (the Four Seasons is free but a comparable room is over $1000 a night). The cabana staff was wonderful except for one day is was less than stellar but I spoke to one of the managers and they comped us a free day. Again, they took great care of making sure we were satisfied. The upper pool is quieter than the lower pool and the kiddie pool is great. We didn't go to the adult pool. The pool bar and restaurant are located in the upper pool. It was nice being able to just walk a few feet out of our room to the cabana.

The beach was nice but it rained the day we went down there so it wasn't enjoyable for us. We stayed at the pool. You can rent an umbrella for $30 a day (again it might be free at other hotels but they include it in the higher room rate).

We ate at Cafe Ciao most nights and the food was superb. We ate at Nicks one night and of course it was excellent as usual. Nicks is your average 5 Star restaurant with excellent service, great wine list and fab food. We spent the $20 for the photo just for fun!!!

The best part of our trip was when we called for a late check out on Saturday. As presidents club members we get a late check out anyway but since our flight wasn't till 10pm we wanted a later check out. They allowed us to check out at 7pm that evening without any extra charge (I've paid extra at other hotels for late check out).

The walk to the Shops was a bit of a hike and I would only do it again if we were in better shape. The hotel has a driver that will take you anywhere in the area for free so we used that for trips to the Shops.

All in all our experience was positive and we will be booking another stay for 2008. We stay at Fairmonts frequently and have always had great service and an excellent experience.

This hotel, even though it is all suite should not be compared to a timeshare where you get more of a condo so don't expect full kitchen set up. It's just a much larger hotel room with some nice conveniences. If you want a condo experience then rent a villa or stay elsewhere. If you want an excellent hotel experience and want to be treated royally then stay at the Kea Lani.

One more piece of advice. Bring your own ethernet cable!! Internet was great but it worked best with our own cable.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank diva452
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2006

I would love to say that this place lived up to our expectations…but it didn’t. I think it’s because we had such a fantastic time at the Hapuna Beach Prince/Big Island that it was hard for this resort to live up to it.


While driving from the airport we were very disappointed in Maui. All we saw were strip malls, grocery stores and what we like to call “suburbia”. Traffic was bad, and drivers were rude- people honking horns, driving fast, cutting people off….the big island was SOOO much more peaceful…relaxed….

Upon arriving, the entrance to the Fairmont disappointed also. At Hapuna you drove for like a mile to get to the resort- it was very set back and along the way you saw the golf course, flowers, greenery….just a nice drive to the resort. At the Fairmont you drive RIGHT to the entrance- no leisurely drive to the resort. It was right off of a main street. You could see the balconies of the resort from the street… which for us was disappointing. We felt right in the thick of things.

We pulled up and our luggage was immediately removed by a bellman which was nice. my husband went and parked the car- valet was 18 a day here and we just didn’t see the point in paying it. It would have been nice to have it free…we were after all paying over 400 a night for a room and we were spoiled at our previous resort (Hapuna Beach Prince) with free valet. We knew this coming in to the resort though so while it wasn’t a surprise to us we didn’t realize just how much we would miss it.

Upon check in I informed the Fairmont that it was our Honeymoon…I got a congrats….end of story. Once again, I knew the Fairmont didn’t do anything special for HM er’s but having gotten a nice bottle of champagne at the HBP and a free upgrade we were once again spoiled.


The room was FANTASTIC overall J We loved the size of the room! HUGE!

The bathroom was very nice but once again didn’t live up to the HBP. We didn’t like not having a door on the toilet and while at first thought the open air shower seemed like a great idea- having used it for 4 nights, we didn’t like it. The reason was that we liked to have our room air conditioned like most people…however, when you take a shower most people like to have the warm air of the shower surround you. With there not being a door the cold air is right there…I often got cold while taking a shower- not fun. Also- there wasn’t enough space to put all our shower stuff so I had to step over to the ledge of the soaking tub to get some of my shower products- also made for colder showers. The shower pressure and hot water was great though! The deep soaking tub was nice- my husband and I soaked in it once with bubble bath- lots of room. The double sinks are also nice to have.

We had a renovated room and the furniture was brand new. The bed was the most comfortable we have ever slept on- so comfy that we plan on calling the hotel this week to find out what kind of bed it is- we want to buy it!

We went with a room without a view b/c we didn’t want to spend more than 500 a night. When booking we didn’t think the view would matter but having come from the Hapuna Beach Prince premium oceanfront room- it mattered….A LOT. Once again, we weren’t surprised…we knew what we paid for but we were just spoiled by the other room- which was 200 bucks less a night too.


The beach was nice, but once again, can’t compare the Hapuna Beach….the beach was rather small and the sand wasn’t as soft. We didn’t spend much time here.

The pools are the one area that outbeat the Hapuna though! We rented a cabana one day and the service was SUPERB. We were catered to the whole time….we felt like royalty- 75 bucks but I HIGHLY recommend it! We ordered one about 4 weeks before we left to make sure we got one.

The slide was fun and even though there were children around- the adult pool was just that- only for adults and therefore very quiet and relaxing! So relaxing that I fell asleep in our cabana for an hour.


We didn’t really eat here much- we got lunch by the pool one day which was one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever had…for 18 bucks it better be

We also went to Café Ciao a lot for snacks and sandwiches. We would have gone to nicks but the views couldn’t compare to the other places we had gone- you don’t see the ocean- just the pool area so we didn’t see the point in spending 200 bucks on a meal without a good view. I’m sure the food is superb and the service is supposed to be beyond compare but we decided to skip it.

We also missed our “free” breakfast that we had at the prince hotel- sure we could have gotten the breakfast package here but it was very high in price.

On a side note- Yes, you can order pizza and have it delivered….just pick up the phone book in your room- at first it was hard to find b/c they put it in a fancy case- no yellow phone book for this place! Heeheehee….Ours was in the side drawer next to the bed.


To be fair, we REALLY scrutinized EVERYTHING here. Having come from the Hapuna Beach Prince, which was fantastic, it was easy to be VERY picky at the Fairmont. The things we didn’t like were nitpicky….the view (we knew what we paid for), no free valet (once again, we knew this), the shower (had we not had such a great shower at HBP we would have loved this shower), the views at the restaurants (we knew this too before booking), the beach (once again hard to compare to HBP)…..anyways, you get the point. We had a great time here, we just had a better time at a resort that was much less $$$ and we felt that we got so much more for our $$$ at the previous resort.

In the end, it was our fault. We just didn’t know that we would miss things like a “free breakfast”, a view, free valet, an amazing beach, a room with a view….we wanted the feel of a “true 5 star resort” and I thought that if we skipped out on some of the above items that we could get the “fancy” feel without the high cost. Had we done valet and the breakfast package with a room with a view we would have easily hit 600 a night…double what we paid at the HBP.

We came here for the beauty of the resort, the size of the suites and the pools- particularly the availability of an adults only pool and the things above didn’t disappoint us- it was the other things that we didn’t know we wanted that we were disappointed with.

Would I recommend the resort? SURE WOULD!…but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone that couldn’t afford the room with a view, the breakfast package, the valet….basically, if we had 600 a night to spend we would come back to this resort and I bet we would LOVE every inch of it…but we went to a 5 star resort on a 4 star budget and ended up disappointed.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank asmit4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2006

Just returned from staying 7 nights and we will not be going back to the kea lana for the following reasons:
1. Our "ocean-view" room for which we were paying $630/night was facing a neighboring condo complex with only a view of the ocean if you leaned out over the balcony. We switched rooms after check-in to get a pool/ocean view room.
2. The room smelled funny but we couldn't place where the smell was coming from (smelled like poo or vomit at times). We finally determined that the smell was coming when you sat on the couch in the living area, and it was on our clothes as well. Apparently, someone had either vomited or gone to the bathroom on the couch (probably a child) and it was never properly cleaned, so there was a lingering odor everytime you sat on the couch. We had them actually exchange the couch for another one, but the replacement, although clean from smells, had numerous stains on it (don't venture to guess what those were). Can't believe that a "5-star" hotel would let something like this happen, very disgusting. Felt like a Days Inn.
3. The room service is over-priced and the food just isn't that good.
4. When dining down in the Cafe, my girlfriend asked if they could make her some chicken noodle soup and the waiter replied that they could but it might take 10 minutes or so. After about 20-30 minutes, they delivered her soup and after tasting it she realized it was nothing more than Campbell's soup from a can. When we questioned the manager, he said that the waiter should have told up about that (which he didn't), whereupon when we questioned the waiter, he made up some story about how the chef messed up, and they had to run out and buy some Campbells soup, but they wouldn't charge us the $15 for it. Come on, is this a luxury hotel or a Motel Six!
5. The sink in the bathroom didn't drain and when the maintenance guy came up to unclog it, there was tons of hair stuck in the drain (not from us).
6. The carpet, furnishings, bedspread are all original (at least 10 years old), smelly and need to be replaced or upgraded (the pillows are hard as rocks).
7. They charge you extra for everything (parking, pool shade, beach umbrellas), absolutely riduculous given what we were paying for the dirty, smelly, room.
8. This hotel is probably more suited to families with young children, not for romantic couples looking for nice rooms and accomodations.

On our last day, we walked over to the Four Seasons and it was like night and day, that is the place we are staying on our next visit. Other than that, our day excursions to Kaanapali, Hana, Moma's Fish House for lunch were awesome. We just didn't look forward to returning to this "2-star hotel at best" each evening.

Apparently Fairmont bought this place two years ago, and I guess they decided to get the most out of the room furnishings and not invest much money into sprucing the place up. It is a worn hotel and needs a major facelift. It felt like more of an Embassy Suites than a five-star luxury hotel on Maui. Be forewarned...book at the Four Seasons.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank MJRLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 25, 2006

We greatly enjoyed our stay despite a few problems. The Kea Lani is in the Wailea area of the island, which was much nicer than most of the other resort areas we saw. The Wailea is very upscale, while nearby Kihea seemed to be a cheap hotel row crawling with teenagers and unpleasant drunken locals hanging and hollering out of their cars. The Fairmont property is impeccably maintained, and the views are spectacular. All public spaces were beautiful and connected to nature, and very clean. The pool areas were clean, open and offered free lounges and umbrellas. There are cabanas available for daily rent, and they had the audacity to charge for an umbrella on the beach ! The kids loved the slide, and spent most of the day in or around the pools. We did not take advantage of the "kids program" and we were not aware prior to our arrival that there was an age requirement for admission. We did use a local babysitter one day for our three year old, and she was awesome ! $16/hour seemed a bit steep, but since he loved his time with her it was well worth it. Upon check-in we were assigned a room with 2 twin beds, a side-angle view of the ocean and a direct view into the neighboring condos' living rooms. Not exactly what we expected as a married couple that still sleeps together. When we expressed our disappointment to the front desk agent, it was apparent that he was not interested, because an alternative room shown to us was on a lower floor with a view of the pool and an outdoor dining area. He also said that we were not guaranteed any specific bed arrangement, even though our reservation through Apple Vacations designated a king bed and ocean view. Never heard that excuse. Despite the offer, we opted to wait until the next morning after some guests had checked out, to see if there were other room options. Indeed, a very helpful and concerned Luz found us a great room that met our expectations, and did not require a mile walk to the pools etc. Housekeeping was great and friendly, but there were some negatives on the room: the balcony floors were so filthy that the bottoms of our feet were black after walking outside for a minute.......there were no utensils/plates etc needed to take advantage of the fridge/microwave/coffeepot set up in the suite. We were encouraged to call room service for that stuff, which was interesting because every time they brought food up to the room there was a $4 charge, but they were happy to walk a fork or spoon up for free ! Otherwise, their food was way overpriced, but tasty ($6 lemonade at poolside...$16 sandwiches...$4 room delivery charge plus automatic 18% gratuity...$5 single scoop ice cream....$22 breakfast buffet....etc). Dont know how this place compares to others in the area, but we met many return visitors who couldve gone anywhere yet claimed the Kea Lani was the best of all. We ranked this place 4 stars because of the lovely proprety, the overall positive vibe there, and the state of relaxation we left with after our 6 day stay.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Address: 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753-8449
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
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
#2 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#2 Green Hotel in Wailea
#3 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#3 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
Price Range: $456 - $2,211 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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