We stayed at the Grand Wailea April 27-May 2 (5 nights) for our 2nd anniversary. We are 25yrs old, but we enjoy laid back get aways - we arent much for bar hopping in Lahaina. Anyway, we booked a Terrace Room and were upgraded to the Garden View upon arrival (with no request). I was amazed at the view! I read on here before we booked that most rooms were the same, except for suites, the only thing different was the view. Since we were planning on spending most of our time at the beach/pool, I didnt think an incredible view was worth the extra hundreds of dollars/night. When we checked into the garden view I was so pleased with the Lanai and the beautiful gardens! Sure, it wasnt the ocean or the mountains, but the trees and flowers were beautiful! We arent much for hanging out on the Lanai anyway, so we still only sat out there a couple times. The room was great - very large. It had a couch and a kind size bed. The decorations were "island elegant". The bathroom was wonderful - a big tub and glass shower. The vanity area was large also. I read horrible reviews on here about the rooms being dirty and aged, but I didnt feel that way at all. Everytime we opened the door, we got a fresh whif of tropical soapy scents (sounds wierd, but it was really nice). I could tell the carpet was a little dingy and some tiles/grout in the bathroom was aged or cracked, but I didnt think it took away from the room a lot.
The staff were incredible. I read bad things on here about the staff, but we had the opposite experience. Everyone we passed said Aloha and briefly spoke with us about our day. When we were leaving we got a few "see you next years" which made us feel so welcome (of course we are paying big money for it...). The lei upon arrival was nice as well.
We valet parked the first day, so we didn't have to worry about finding the lobby or the parking garage. The bellman that showed us to our room was also exceptional - he told us all about the resort. What times things were open, what to expect where, etc. When we checked in we got a couple maps of the resort as well. We were in the front wing near the center Grand Dining room on the Molokai parking garage side. The parking garage wasnt as convenient as valet parking, but it sure wasnt as far from our room as other reviews make it sound. It was definitely worth saving the $15/day plus tip! PLus it was a very pretty walk! We didnt have trouble finding it at all - the garages are on both sids of the main entrance and are labeled either molokai garage or Kiehi garage I believe.
The resort has SO much to offer and looking at the map online it is kind of overwhelming, but i was amazed at how it didnt feel too big. We spent about an even amount of time at the adult pool, the beach, and the activity pool. The slides/lazy river/rapids are fun for adults too! We never had a problem getting beach chairs - at any time during hte day - but I know we werent there during the peak of the summer. I could see where it may be a problem then. The chairs are nice at the pool, with cushions on them. We didnt rent a cabana or anything because we were there for the sun! we just put on a lot of sunscreen and were fine!
The views all over the resort are just amazing though. The pictures dont even do it justice. We went over to the Four Seasons one day and it just didnt compare. The pool was nice and elegant, but it just wasnt as big - with a large resort like these, I'd like the big pool and beach area for all the people. Not to mention, there were no slides, etc. I didnt notice any kids at the Four Seasons, so maybe thats the difference, but kids werent a problem for us at the GW. If they get annoying, you can go to the adult pool.
We ate at the Grand Dining Room for breakfast one morning and it was delicious. The view was amazing, but of course the price was high also. I would never pay the $27/person for the buffet - I just couldnt eat my money's worth. Instead I just ordered regular pancakes for $13 and my husband had an egg, hashbrown, toast, sausage combo for $16. That was still real expensive for what we are used to, but definitely much cheaper than the buffet. I think when eating on the resort, you can either accept the high prices, make wise choices when ordering (if a bagel is too expensive then dont get the bagel! there are reasonable items on the menu), or you can eat off the property. We had the Maui Revealed book and ate at several places we found highly rated in there - that were cheaper - and we loved them. We also ate at the Volcano Bar, Bistro Molokini, and Cafe Kula. All were decent, nothing spectacular for the price, but you are paying for the convenience of eating on the resort I think. For us, we ate about half on the resort and half off. Drinks at the resort are high also - $12 for pretty much any alcohol drink. We knew that going in, so just budgeted for it and had fun. They are going to be expensive at any resorts. Even at the government resort on Oahu has $8 drinks I think. Drinks at the restaurants off the resort were cheaper - but hey a few more dollars for a drink in the pool was worth it - just not for a ton of drinks.
We did the scuba lesson and dive also and absolutely loved it. Donald was our dive instructor. The dive was off the shore - so nothing too scary, but we saw lots of colorful fish, reef, turtles, and eels. People were also snorkeling out above where we were also. Donald took a ton of pictures underwater of us. It was $50 for the pictures, but the 80 shots are priceless! He was an incredible instructor and dive guide. I would request him for sure! Of course the others may be great also... There is also a cove in front of the Marriott Wailea (which isnt a beach front resort by the way - its a rocky cove). This cove had 4 or 5 turtles swimming in it. We walked over and took pictures - it was great!
We did a couples massage at the Grand Spa also. This is hands down the best spa I've been too - and I am a frequent Spa goer at home and on vacation. We got to our Terme appt about 30 minutes early, and they just let us go in. So we got an hour and a half in the baths and then a 50 minute massage. Between the 2 we sat outside on the spa lanai in our robes for about 10 minutes. It was gorgeous - overlooking the adult pool and ocean! My husband isnt much for baths, as I'm sure most guys arent, but he loved the terme!! He may have enjoyed those more than the massage! The massage was great though - in a couples room - with hawaiian spa music and the windows open, so we could hear the ocean. Just perfect!
One last thing I would reccommend is the Warren and Annabelle show in Lahaina. It was a close second to our scuba dive at GW for our favorite on the trip. Its a magic/comedy dinner show thats incredible!! We went to the Luau at the Marriott Wailea. It was ok - the food was pretty good and the dancing/costumes/fire thrower was good. Kinda cheesy though, but I think a lot of the luau's are like that I guess.
Overall, I cant wait to go back to Maui. We will definitely stay at the Grand Wailea again. Its a perfect mix of adult relaxing atmosphere plus fun - all in luxury! Yes its very expensive, but if you know that going in and can afford it, just accept it and have fun. In comparison to the other resorts on Maui - its worth the money!!
I hope this helps - I read tripadvisor a ton for advice on our trip.
- 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