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“A truly grand experience, in many ways.”

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 July 2014

We went to the Grand Wailea for the third week of June, but stayed a few days over into 4th of July week; for our first week, the resort felt serene and uncrowded; but as soon as schools let out for summer and the holiday week began, it became raucous and noisy literally overnight! Depending on the timing, the Grand Wailea can feel posh and romantic -- or like DisneyWorld.

If you do have kids in tow, they will go crazy for the elaborate series of lagoon pools with water slides. We strolled into every hotel in Wailea and along Ka'anapali Beach, and you really can't beat the water attractions at the GW, including an in-pool bar, grottoes, waterfalls to swim through and a lazy river. Great fun! There is also a glorious adult pool that was crystal clear and spacious, with artistic tiling and a fountain, and a breezy sports bar/restaurant attached (Molokini) that has decent (although pricey) grub.

Best things about the Grand Wailea: beautiful landscaping around the resort, with koi ponds, fountains, waterfalls, gardens, bridges, mosaics. A showy, open-air lobby, with Botero sculptures, pools and art. The shops and art galleries, pricey but fun to stroll through. Dinner at Humuhumunukunukuapuaa restaurant, designed to look like thatched huts in a lagoon stocked with big fish. The bed (comfy, feather), bathroom (big tub, glass shower) and balcony. A big, modern fitness center. The pools. A great team of concierges. Downside: the room was showing a bit of wear around the seams; especially the carpeting and sofa.

In Wailea, we did a short hike through the lava fields and the woods at La Perouse Bay, an easy drive. It's also fun to stroll over to the Four Seasons, the Fairmont and the Andaz along the beachfront walk. Grab a fancy cocktail at the Four Seasons lobby bar, but don't eat there; the bar food was flat-out awful on the night we went, not fresh and way overpriced.

In fact, you're better off avoiding the fancier restaurants at most of the Wailea resorts; most feature insane prices and kitchen staffs who phone it in, hiding behind the reputations of big-name chefs who are mostly absent. In fact, food all over the resort is wildly overpriced; instead, there are great, cheap fish taco joints in Kihei and local markets; we stocked up on breakfast food, and used our in-room refrigerator. Oddly, the best meals we had on the resort grounds were not from the "award winning" restaurants but from the pool menu, the Molokini bar and one lovely late-night meal from room service, with fresh smoked salmon and warm rolls.

Kate at the concierge desk gave us smart, thoughtful restaurant choices, including Cuatro, in a Kihei mini-mall, serving delicious seafood (make reservations).

We also loved Matteo's, on Wailea Ike Place, right near the GW. This restaurant is an obvious labor of love for its charming Italian owners, and has a fine dining feel at reasonable prices, plus a wine bar offering 3-oz. tastes; we enjoyed it so much, we ate there twice. A hidden gem!

We had great experiences with all the staff (a tip of the hat to Noreen at the front desk for helping us find a nice room, and to the valets and bell hops), and the hotel offers beach towels, water and umbrellas at valet. You can stay on the grounds for your entire trip, but we did the road to Hana, and sunrise plus the Sliding Sands trail at Haleakala (both excursions involve rising at early hours to drive -- and hike -- in often precarious conditions, but well worth it).

Tips: The beach in front of the hotel is nice, but fast currents and drop-offs make it challenging for a less experienced swimmer, especially later in the day when the winds and tides pick up. Ka'anapali Beach -- as well as Big and Little Makena, a 15-minute drive south from the hotel -- have clear, shallow turquoise waters (Little Makena is a nudist beach, so be forewarned).

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank SoMinty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,352 - 3,358 of 6,616 reviews

Reviewed 1 July 2014

My wife and our adult children stayed here for 6 days in June. First, the good;
The hotel is beautiful. Meticulously maintained and landscaped. Plenty of restaurants and activities. The sandy beach is very nice with plenty of equipment to rent. Renting a cabana is good if you plan to spend all day at the pools. And, there are lots of pools, water slides and related activities.
Second, some things to consider;
This is a family oriented resort. There are lots of small kids here, even at the grotto bar. The day starts very early. The clatter of very noisy housekeeping carts, maintenance machines and waking kids starts at 6:00 AM. The rooms are not well insulated, so you hear everything for the surrounding rooms. Restaurants close at 8:00 PM, bars close at 9:00 and there is no after-hours entertainment. We looked all over the grounds trying to find a place to just sit and play cards at night, but there was nothing available.
In short, this is a great resort in a beautiful setting, but is much more suited for families with young children than for adults, or adults who like to get up early and go to bed just after sunset.

Room Tip: Don't waste money on the fancy view rooms. All of the views are fantastic and you won't spe...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank Oldstyle_53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2014

We enjoyed this hotel. It is beautiful. It's a large property so be prepared to walk a lot each day. The beach and pool are great. This is a big family resort. My only criticism is that the cost of food was shocking. For example, at the pool for lunch, I ordered two apple juices for the kids, one kids meal hamburger, a hot dog, some tacos, and two Mai Tais and with Tip it cost me $120. We ended up eating out side of the resort for many of our meals. But all in all it was a great property if you are prepared for the costs. The taxi driver on the way the hotel is located in the Beverly Hills section of Maui. So perhaps the costs fit the bill? Just be prepared to spend more money than you anticipated.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
1  Thank Joe R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014

Let me start by saying that the front desk staff was fantastic and the beach attendants were some of the hardest working employees I have ever seen. We arrived after 12:00am tired after a long day of traveling and the the person who checked us in was great. The beach staff is a tireless group who go way out of their way to welcome and provide great local knowledge to the guest as they set up chairs and umbrellas. Please tip these guys, I can't tell you how many people didn't give them a dime, amazing.

Overview -

1. If you want a spot on the beach you need to arrive poolside by no later than 7:30am to reserve beach chairs and umbrellas. There will be only one person taking reservation and the line will be at least 10-15 guests deep. Has to be the worst system I have ever seen for a hotel with 700 plus rooms.

2. To swim in the pool or sit poolside you need to have a wrist band on. The line for the wrist bands were always 5-10 people long. If you were lucky there were two staff members working. I waited at least 10 minutes everyday before 10am to get mine. The line goes away after 10am but if you're not poolside by 7:30am to reserve chairs by the pool, you will not get one. They say they have a 30 minute rule if a chair is unoccupied for that timeframe but I never saw that rule enforced one time.

3. The gym is very nice and and doesn't miss a beat.

4. We stayed in a room that was in a great location right across from the upper pool. This gave us easy access to the beach/gym/pool. The room was in the 1000 block, if you have kids, this is where you want to be. Two minutes to pool, 5 minutes to beach. Some rooms in the hotel are at least a 10 minute walk to get to the pool and 15 minute walk to get to the beach.

5. The room felt like a hotel room in Vegas that was the nicest on the strip 25 years ago and now needs to be imploded on New Years Eve on live television. The rooms are dated and are really showing signs of age. We had mildew in our shower and the room wasn't that clean. On the up side the beds are really comfortable.

6. The pool has one bathroom..... The pool has one bathroom.... There is never a line at the bathroom.... You can barely walk around the pool there are so many people... The pool has one bathroom... I will let you form your own decision on where people are going to the bathroom. Did I mention the pool has one bathroom?

7. The food and drinks are expensive but I'm from San Diego so I'm used to high prices for bad/good, service/food/drinks.

8. The pool staff that patrols the pool slides like to blow their whistles. Especially one girl who is president of the "no fun" club. She has a scowl on her face and is so over the top. For the most part they are very nice and I can see why they have to keep the kids somewhat in line.

9. This is not a hotel for your honeymoon or if you are traveling without kids... This place is a zoo. The pool becomes the daycare and the parents are drinking or off on a tour somewhere around the island. I love kids and my kid had a great time in the pool. If you don't have kids and you want peace and quiet and a relaxing vacation, do not stay at this hotel. The Four Seasons is where you want to stay. It is priced almost the same and the service/rooms and hotel grounds are fantastic. I have stayed at both, The Four Seasons in the grand scheme of things is much, much better.

10. Please see #9 one more time....

11. I have been to Maui at least 50 times in my life and know the island very well. If you need advice on beaches or anything please shoot me an email.

12. Please see #10 one more time.

13. The zipline tour on Haleakala was fun for the family. The kids that run it do a great job and are very friendly. The views are incredible and worth the trip. It was my first time zip lining so I have nothing to compare it to but it was fun and we had a range of ages from 7-73 and everyone enjoyed it.

14. The grounds are starting to show wear and tear.

15. The bartenders are nice.

16. The hotel hallways are really beat up and need paint and refurbishing.

So if anyone wants more information, an answer or my opinion please shoot me an email. I always see how the hotel managers respond to the posts but never leave their emails. What a wonderful opportunity to get real feedback and constructive criticism. I hope they do but I feel like the hotel might be on the market. It just doesn't feel like they are sinking money back into the hotel on improvements and more staff. The hotel doesn't seem like it is focused on the retail client. This is a hotel for large conventions and award trips for big corporations.

Like I mentioned, if you idea of a wonderful vacation is cruising then this hotel will be a perfect fit for you. I'm still a little dizzy from turning left, right and around dodging people while staying here, there are so many people in such a small area.

Grammar and spelling wasn't a concern while writing this review..

Mahalo and Aloha

Room Tip: ask for the room closest to the pool and beach. ask for a room furthest from the pool if you don'...
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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22  Thank thekid26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014

We held our wedding and reception at the Grand Wailea. The wedding coordinator, MaryAnn Bowman, did an excellent job with every detail of the event. Also, the food staff was the best we have ever experienced. They greatly exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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Review collected in partnership with Waldorf Astoria
Thank Amanda C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

This is my third time staying at the Grand Wailea. I am a Hilton Diamond member, but did not expect an upgrade because the hotel was full. I was blown away to receive a triple upgrade to the Napua Tower. The room and perks with being in this part of the hotel is a wonderful experience.

For the first time, I spent a considerable amount of time at the beach. It is extremely relaxing and the views are like none other! Dinners at Amasia and Hummahumma were also superb.

The only downside was getting a rash on both arms after my spa day; likely from one of the jacuzzi's. While a bummer, it did not ruin my last 2 days.

Without a doubt I will come back to the Grand Wailea, but may try the spa at the Four Season's next time.

  • Stayed: June 2014
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1  Thank shermanparadise2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2014

The grounds are immaculate and very well maintained. The hotel is very large and some rooms are far from the beach/pool. Get to the beach/pool early if you want a seat or go after lunch. The pools have several waterslides and are great if you have kids. The time change means many are at the pool or beach very early and the whole island is mostly asleep by 8-9pm. Maui is for relaxing not the nightlife.
The rooms are nice, but not 5 star, and could use a little TLC to get to a true five star Waldorf standard. We booked a Napua room, but switched at arrival to be closer to the beach and check in earlier. I’m Hilton diamond and the staff was very nice and accommodating. They had a suite available (not usually available for upgrade) for us two days after checking in but we ended up staying in our new room closer to the beach and pool.
We ate at Humu, Amasia and Molokini and enjoyed all three. Food is not cheap at any of the hotel restaurants so plan accordingly. My wife has Celiac and all three were very accommodating to her, but I spoke with all three before we arrived to set reservations and inform them of her allergy. If you have food allergies Maui is probably the most accommodating place I’ve seen. Maui Brick Oven in Kihei is 100% gluten free. Nick’s in the Fairmont is one of the best restaurants on Maui and worth every penny. Service and food are both 5star.You can also find some good cheaper restaurants in town (Coconuts Fish Tacos is worthy of the hype). The luau was good (the food and drinks were ok) but spring for the extra premium to avoid the lines at check in.

Room Tip: The beach is very far from most rooms. Stay in one of the wings near the beach if you don't want...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Hfst04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753-8443
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Wailea
#3 Business Hotel in Wailea
#4 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Wailea
#5 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#6 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#6 Green Hotel in Wailea
Price Range: £410 - £1,053 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 780
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is the ultimate destination for a fabulous Hawaii vacation, perfect for families, spa goers, honeymooners, golfers and active vacationers. Situated on 40 acres of lush, tropical Hawaiian gardens, Grand Wailea opens onto Maui's beautiful Wailea Beach, voted one of the best beaches in America, with elegant and newly-renovated accommodations, indulgent spa treatments, fine dining and thrilling recreational options. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Wailea - a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Wailea
Grand Wailea Maui
Grand Wailea Resort Maui
Grand Wailea Hawaii
Grand Hotel Wailea
Grand Resort Wailea
Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort Maui

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