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Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

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Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

My wife and I are planning our Anniversary trip for five nights to Maui in June 2011, and we want to stay in Wailea. We are trying to choose between the Fairmont Kea Lani or the Four Seasons Wailea, and definitely want an ocean view room since this is her first trip. The Four Seasons is about a $1000 more for the same number of nights. Is the Four Seasons really that much better than the Fairmont Kea Lani, and worth the extra money? Thank you.

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1. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

The main difference is in the service and in the cabana culture. The 4S has several pools, including a beautiful adults only infinity pool in a secluded spot on the hotel grounds. Waiters and massage therapists thread their way among the cabanas set around the pools, offering cocktails and pedicures. Cabanas, except for a few high tech wonders around the infinity pool, are included in the room rate. Some people live for the pool scene; such people would love the 4S.

The service at the 4S is also really good; in fact, it's some of the best I have had in the US. You will be beautifully cared for there. That said, I don't think the rooms, the bathrooms, or the landscaping are particularly impressive. Don't get me wrong. The rooms and bathrooms are quite nice and well appointed, but there is nothing special about them. They are very comfortable, however.

The food was excellent when I was there last June. The breakfast buffet was one of the rare buffets that actually had high quality, tasty food. The hotel did not go for quantity over quality. Cocktails and dinner at Spago were first class when we ate there. Lunch at the outdoor restaurant by the pool was terrific.

Others will fill you in on the Kea Lani. I had dinner there (great) and enjoyed the grounds, but I know nothing about the rooms.

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Spago
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2. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

Thank you for your indepth look at the Four Seasons. We're not into spending countless hours on the beach or countless hours at the pool. We enjoy time at both, but since this is my wife's first trip to Maui, we'll probably be taking in a variety of whatever the resort and the island has to offer. Relaxation and romance will be at the top of the list for the for the experience. It definitely sounds like the Four Seasons offers the opportunity for both. Anyone know if the Fairmont Kea Lani offers the same atmosphere for relaxation and romance? Thank you.

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Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
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3. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

I know this might sound odd to some people on this forum, but we prefer the Kea Lani to the Four Seasons. I won't deny that the FS has a higher level of service, we have stayed at other FS properties and were married at a FS, but I prefer the ambience and rooms at the Kea Lani. My experience with the Kea Lani was that the service was wonderful (though granted not as excellent as the Orchid on the BI). The rooms are fabulous, with a large living room, separate bedroom, huge bathroom, and double lanai. The lanais at the Kea Lani have a large table with four chairs plus chaises to lie on.

I don't think you can go wrong with either property, but I personally just found the atmosphere at the Kea Lani to be far more relaxed and less pretentious than at the FS.

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4. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

Rach727,

Thanks for your input. It was very helpful. From what I have read, it is the service at the Four Seasons that wows most people. While I don't mind spending the extra for the Four Seasons for the same type of view, it sounds like the Fairmont Kea Lani is perfectly suitable for lending an atmosphere of relaxation and romance. Thanks again for your opinion.

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Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
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texas
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5. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

Larry, we love the 4s. However, just wanted to let you know that an "ocean view" room at the 4s probably isn't what you may be imagining. It's not a direct view, it may be that you walk out onto your lanai and have to lean over the railing to look left or right to see the ocean. Or you could get lucky and get a ocean view in the middle of the "U" shape and be facing the ocean, bu t even then you are going to see the courtyard and the ocean in the background, it's not going to be like you are right up on the water w/an ocean view.

You can see the layouts of the hotels here

http://wizardpub.com/maui/mausouthmap.html

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6. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

Well written, Txtravelinmom. Due to the awkward design of the 4S building, most ocean views are not great.

Frankly, although I greatly respected the 4S as a well run, well staffed, hotel, I did not really enjoy it. I say this to encourage Larryr to follow his inclination toward the Fairmont and not to feel that he cheated himself by not booking the Four Seasons.

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7. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

Save the money and go with the Fairmont. We like the quiet and less crowded feel of Polo Beach located behind this resort as compared to Wailea Beach behind the FS that is shared pretty closely with the Grand Wailea and has 10 times the people.

Imagine what you could spend the extra $1000 on you say you'd save!

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8. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

Thank you all for your input. It has been very helpful. I have read so many outstanding posts about the Four Seasons, and I did not want to feel like I was cutting costs to stay at a resort that would not afford the best possible atmosphere to celebrate our Anniversary. After reading all of your remarks, I think the Fairmont Kea Lani will provide the atmosphere for relaxation and romance that we are looking for in our stay. I'm looking at Mama's Fish House for a special dinner during our stay. Any other recommendations for someplace good for another special dinner? Thank you again for all of your comments.

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Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
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9. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

The Kea Lani is nice. Very nice, Really, really nice. Extra special nice.

But it ain't the Four Seasons by a very long stretch.

The Four Seasons has been one of the top 3 or 4 hotels in Hawaii for years now and for good reason. The service and ambiance are amazing.

Is it worth $200 a night more? That is a bit of a tough call. For a special anniversary, yeah, maybe, but not definitely. That $200 a night could buy some great meals.

You would have a great time at the Fairmont, but you would talk about the Four Seasons experience for years.

If the extra $1,000 isn't a stretch for you, I think it is worth it. If you think the $1,000 is better spent going to meals then go that way.

Edited: 06 February 2011, 09:15
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10. Re: Fairmont Kea Lani Or The Four Seasons Wailea

I have to disagree with Scott on this one. The service at the 4S is extraordinary; the ambiance is not. The hotel building is not exactly an architectural triumph. I found it graceless, and the awkward design cuts into most of the ocean views. Although the infinity pool is beautiful, and the service at the other pools is terrific, the latter themselves are not very attractive. I know I harp on this whenever the subject of the 4S comes up, but they put the world's ugliest fountain (the WUF) smack dab in their main pool. We all flinched every time we passed it on our way to the beach.

The gardens were OK but nowhere near as beautiful as those at, say, the Orchid on the Big Island, or the 4 Seasons at Manele Bay. There was no sense of being in Hawaii, unlike the feeling at the Mauna Kea, the Mauna Lani, the Lodge at Koele, or, again, Manele Bay. As I wrote above, the rooms and bathrooms, while supremely comfortable and very pleasant, were nothing special.

Yes, I do still talk about our stay at the 4S on Maui, but mainly to complain about the lack of style and the totally absent sense of place. I wanted to like the resort, and I really respected the wonderful, professional, staff, but I will never go back there.

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