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Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

Colorado
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Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

Hubby and I have stayed at the Fairmont x2 when we were young and childless :) We are now taking our 2 kids (14 and 10) back to Hawaii for the first time in mid-June. I am not sure that Wailea is the best area for visiting with children - honeymooners (as we were at the time), yes.

We have the opportunity to stay at the Grand Wailea using Hilton Honors points for half of our 6 night stay. Hubby is ALL about the GW - amazing pool for the kids, we're familiar with the area, enjoy the walkway between hotels... I'm not so sure. Review are saying the rooms look "tired," nickel and diming you for everything, and food is meh. My family also enjoys playing on the beach - swimming, building sand castes, etc - not sure the beach here is swimmable? My fear is that if we book using points, we'll get a room that reflects that, instead of one that a paying customer would receive.

On the flip side, we have the option to stay at the Westin Kaanapali Ocean Resort Villas in a 1BR, Island View room (no points). I know it has a pool and a slide, and appears to have a really good beach that's ideal for snorkeling and swimming (and sand castles). We have never stayed in Kaanapali, but we have spent time checking out the coves towards Kapalua for snorkeling. I don't know if we would receive a North room or a South room (and honestly don't think it much matters, since it's an Island View either way, and we're non-owners).

I think my hubby is enamored with the idea of going back to Wailea (champagne taste on a beer budget!), when the kids are going to want to hang out at the beach more than anything (many vacations to Grandparents in Cape Cod has proven this to be the case....).

Am I crazy to pass up the GW? (!) Is it better to be closer to Lahaina for meals/activities with 2 kids in tow?

Should add - we are spending 5 days prior to Maui on the Big Island, staying at Hilton Kings Land with access to the gigantic pool complex at the Hilton Waikoloa.

California
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1. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

I think the Westin Villas sounds great. And you'll have a washer/dryer ... and a shuttle to Lahaina and Whaler's Village. The Westin has at least three pools, a great beach.

NORTH CAROLINA
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2. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

Agree a condo with a kitchen and washer and dryer with kids in tow is so much better than a hotel room and the beach there will be great for snorkeling.

Minnesota
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3. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

I'd definitely go for the villas. I am spoiled now staying in condos and don't like to stay in hotels anymore...so much more space, privacy and love the washer and dryer. The Westin Villas are in a great area as well.

Nanaimo, Canada
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4. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

I've never stayed in either, but I don't like the "nickel and dime" scenario at the GW. $30.00 a day for valet parking, no choice. And then the $25.00 a day resort fee. I don't know if you still have to pay that when you are using points though.

You might not be able to get the kids out of the GW pools either!

washington
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5. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

The pools and beach at the Villas are terrific for kids that age and having a kitchen for those "snack-a-holics" is a real time and money saver. Check on redweek.com for owner rentals.

Colorado
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6. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

If this were solely *my* decision, I'd be all set with the Villas! :) Give me some pros to help my case:

Area - not right on top of high-rise central, more spread out (thought I saw a park on one side of the property, so no buildings right next door?)

rooms - this is a biggie - I don't think (?) we can "request" a particular room or building... we are SPG members, but there weren't any rooms left that we could afford with the points we have.

beach - easy snorkeling? (10 year old hasn't had a lot of experience), easy to swim vs getting nicked up on reefs?

restaurants - if we WANT to eat in we can, but we're close enough to Lahaina and other restaurants if we WANT to go out (this is a compromise - hubby thinks it just isn't vacation if we're cooking our own meals - breakfast not included!) - heck, they even have a shuttle!

I think I'm also going to copy this post and set it up in the main Maui forum - just to get feedback from those who enjoy Wailea, as well.

Thanks, as always, for input!

Minnesota
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7. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

The same people get this...we pretty much all just look at the Maui forum which gets all the posts...it would just create a duplicate post.

There are lots of nearby places and yes a convenient shuttle.

Tons of kids snorkel right out front...easy. Years ago it was different, but the shoreline has changed and easy in and out *unless* there is a bad swell which can't be predicted anywhere.

Kahekili park is right next door. And open field on other side that was never developed.

washington
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8. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

The Villas, north ans south, cover a lot of real estate hawaiirevealed.com/free-travel-info/maui/mau… but there are green spaces north and south.

3 restaurants plus two convenience stores on-site. easy walk down the boardwalk to Castaway Cafe or Duke's. The shuttles to Whaler's and Lahaina open up even more dining possibilities.

The snorkeling just in front of the Villas is some of the best on island with easy entry.

You can always request but your SPG status counts for zip. June will find a lot of owners with families who will get priority, but an early res will help.

San Diego...
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9. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

We have stayed at the GW several times. I wouldn't say exactly that they nickel and dime you but like most hotels they have fees. The resort charge gives you free internet , umbrellas and chairs on the beach and scuba lesson in their scuba training pool, so you at least get something for that. All parking is valet and they charge $25 per night. Big hotel lots of walking. Also think there is some construction going on might check on that. They seem to being having a lot lower rates than usual

The rooms are getting older, a lot of hotel food is blah, probably aren't going to give you the best room for points, but with a couple of kids and free nights, might consider it. It sits on a very nice beach.

We have 4 free nights coming up at the Andaz, not our 1st choice. too modern for us, but free is free and we can use those $$$ on something else. Like 2 return tickets

Kelowna, Canada
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10. Re: Westin Villas/Grand Wailea - which way to go...

I've not stayed in either but have you ever used google earth? You can use the street view feature and walk the grounds at the Westin Villas to see the pools etc. Then you can follow the boardwalk all the way south to Whaler's Village. It might help you make your decision.

PS: Even though I've never stayed at either...with kids I'd be tending more towards the Villas...save the Grand Wailea type stay for a trip when it's just you and your husband....especially if you've just stayed at the massive pool complex at Hilton Waikaloa on the Big Island

Edited: 17 January 2014, 16:28