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“Honeymoon at Grand Wailea was magical”

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #6 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 6 September 2006

We had our honeymoon at the Grand Wailea and were overwhelmed by the service (Ritz Carlton comparable) and resort property. The service from the door captain to the reception to the housekeeping was excellent. Our wedding was on the same day as our check-in and they went out of their way to get us an early check-in. Their service throughout was fantastic and the property was impeccable. The pool was even more amazing with a Raging Waters-like slide and swim up bar. I highly recommend this astounding resort for honeymooners and vacationers!

  • Stayed: September 2006
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3  Thank phworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,124 - 6,128 of 6,611 reviews

Reviewed 5 September 2006

We had an awesome 8 day stay at the Grand Wailea! We were a family of 4- kids 9 and 5. We had a deluxe garden view that faced the pools and part of the ocean, we couldn't believe it. I got goosebumps and chills when we saw our view, the kids were ecstatic! Heaven!

The pools- A+, my kids loved all the waterslides, the tarzan rope was my son's favorite, the water elevator was very cool. Yes, this is a FAMILY resort and for families, it is awesome! If you are on your honeymoon, I suggest you stay on the chapel wing away from the pool area and kids and hang out at the adult pool. We went into the 4 seasons and that is a nice place to stay for a honeymoon but not as entertaining as GW for the kids.

The food at hotel- Cafe Kula B-/C+, great since it is close to the pools but lunch items are fair in quality. Breakfast was better. We ate lunch and dinner at the Wailea shops or in nearby Kihei where prices and food quality were better.

Housekeeping, Valet, Check in- out- A+ When we came back to the room one afternoon, the maid had arranged my daughters American Girl dolls in a cute fashion holding hands. She was thrilled!

We also LOVED all the art that was displayed throughout the hotel and gardens, just gorgeous. The beach was also great and my kids had a blast making sand castles and burrying themselves in sand.

It is a little pricey but as the below review says, if you know that ahead of time, then you will be alright. Those who have negative reviews, I believe they did not educate themselves about the resort and had different expectations. Again, it is a FAMILY resort and every dollar was worth it as it was the BEST vacation our family has had yet. We plan to go every year, we were all so sad when we checked out that we HAVE to go back. :)

To the below reveiwer, how did you get a room for $300 a night? Do you have a membership? that is a great rate, can you please post on tripadvisorforum. We will definitely be back each year if we can get rates like that! Grand Wailea Dreamin' Aloha!

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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    • Cleanliness
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13  Thank huladolz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2006

My wife and I stayed at the Grand Wailea for six nights, July 28-August 3. This was our second visit to this property, the first being in January 2005. We are in our early 40s and we did not bring children.

Overview: The Grand Wailea is a Hilton-owned hotel (as of August 1, 2006) located in the Wailea resort area on southwest Maui, which is the sunniest part -- and hence the most expensive part -- of Maui. The hotel is approximately 30-40 minutes from the Kahului airport; it is just outside the town of Kihei. Renting a car at the airport is a necessity as there is no “shuttle” service or public transportation to the resort area.

Price/Value: We paid $656/night for a “full ocean view“ room, this being the high-season rate. It is difficult to make a distinction, however, between the “full“ and “partial” ocean view rooms in that most rooms are set back several hundred feet from the beach and are to some degree blocked by palm trees. Our supposed full-ocean view room only obliquely viewed the ocean. To see the ocean required standing outside the room on the left side of the patio: “Ah, THERE’S the ocean!” In our opinion, there are very few genuine “full” ocean view rooms -- as in dead-on, sight unobstructed views of the ocean.

Upon check-in we were delighted to find out that we had been upgraded to a Napua Tower room, which is closed off from the other floors by a card-activated gate and includes complimentary continental breakfast (eggs, breads, and fruit, no meat) each morning and a complimentary (!) “happy hour” in the evening.

Additional charges include valet parking of $15/day and a “resort fee” of $20/day. Taxes ran about 4.5%.

Accommodations: The Grand Wailea was built in 1991 and in some respects the rooms need upgrading, such as the low-end bathroom sink and shower fixtures that would not have looked out of place in an interstate motel. The air conditioning was the biggest issue -- the rooms do not have digital thermostats but rather the cheap dial and switch controls -- you don’t get to set the room temperature. Further, although not intolerable, it seemed if the a/c was having some difficulty cooling the room.

This being said, the room was otherwise very tastefully appointed, comfortable, with ample space. Our room had a roll-away couch and coffee table. Each room has bathrobes and high-end toiletries and towels. There is an in-room high-speed internet connection for your laptop with unlimited use, the cost of which is covered under the resort fee.

Service: The best part of the hotel, it seemed to us, was the staff. Everyone, from the valet to the maids to the poolside waitresses to the front-desk to maintenance (after checking in we found our plantation doors stuck) was efficient and polite. The one exception the whole time was service one afternoon for lunch at the Bistro -- the server was incompetent, but still pleasant. Oh well.

Restaurants: The Kincha Japanese restaurant was closed for two of the days we visited (it is always closed on Tuesday and Wednesday) and the seafood restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (not making that up), was booked both times we tried to get in. Consequently, the only Grand Wailea restaurant at which we ate was the Bistro, for dinner one day and for lunch another. The Bistro overlooks the pools and is essentially bar/grille type food: sandwiches, pizza, salads, and some basic seafood selections. We paid $17 for a hamburger, $16 for a personal pizza, $9 for soup, and $24 for a seafood salad. The main restaurants will run roughly $60/person, exclusive of alcohol, for dinner.

Amenities: There are two very large and well-maintained pools at the Grand Wailea, one of them being adults-only (which evidently is actually enforced) and the other being all-ages, highlighted by a water slide and grotto. We were able to get good location pool lounges only because I went down each morning at 7:00am and “saved” two lounges with beach towels. One good thing: the towels and chairs are included in the resort fee. I understand that some resorts charge for chairs/lounges and towels. A cabana, however, will run you $225/day.

The less crowded beach is shared with the adjoining Four Seasons and was quite scenic and enjoyable.

Other amenities include snorkeling, a “Camp Wailea” for kids, and an attractive chapel for weddings, with an actual Sunday morning service here for guests .

Clientele: Most guests ranged from the 30s-50s, with a good number of families with young children, some retirees, and, of course, honeymooners. We saw very few singles, teens, or twentysomethings. The resort is definitely not a “party” atmosphere. Other reviews have bemoaned the large number of children. While there are lots of kids, we didn’t feel that it was a Disney-like atmosphere or that children were overly obtrusive.

Area attractions: Adjoining the resort are the Shops at Wailea, containing high-end shopping such as Tiffany’s and Yves-Saint Laurent but also containing the obligatory t-shirt shops and two convenience stores. Within the Shops are four restaurants: Tommy Bahamas, Cheeseburgers in Paradise, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and Longhi‘s Italian/Seafood, at all of which we ate and enjoyed. Literally minutes away in the town of Kihei are fast-food restaurants, pharmacy, and a variety of “local” restaurants. We had some excellent Mexican food at a Moose McGillycutty‘s. There is also a Safeway in Kihei, located on the Piliani Highway on the way to/from from the airport. My wife and I stopped in to stock up on soda, juice, munchies, and some alcohol -- doing this saved a lot of money. (And it’s the principle of the thing: we take it as a personal insult to pay $3.50 for a Snicker’s from the mini-bar.)

The town of Lahaina is about 30 minutes up the coast from the resort. The drive offers a striking view of the Maui coastline and of nearby islands. The town of Lahaina itself used to be the island’s primary port and was the royal seat of government, and currently is something like an “old town” downtown area, offering a diversity of restaurants, shops, and entertainment fronting the ocean. The town is nearly all walkable.

Forget the “road to Hana.“ It is literally an all-day drive, is unnerving and decidedly not relaxing, and is mostly all green forests. On our first visit to Maui, we started on it but ended up turning around and coming back. A better drive (shorter, safer, and more scenic) is to the crater atop the 10,000 foot Haleakala volcano, under whose shadow the Wailea area is located.

Summary: We plan to continue vacationing in Maui and will likely stay in Wailea again, although we may give either the Four Seasons or the Fairmont a try. Depending on what time of the year you go and in what type of room you stay, understand that at the Grand Wailea you will spend something around $1000/day total, excluding airfare and any shopping.

Bottom line: The Grand Wailea is indeed wonderful, but horribly expensive and not without flaws.

Hope this helps! Feel free to email with questions.

Stayed: August 2006
14  Thank Profnickd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2006

I was worried about staying here after all the bad reviews but we had a great time. We would definitely stay there again

We chose this resort for 4 reasons
1. When we were in Hawaii last and we visited it (it was a Grand Hyatt then) we loved the hotel and said that if we ever go back to Maui we would stay there
2. Friends of ours moved to the Wailea area and we wanted to be close to them
3. We knew the kids would love the pool
4. The price was right at $300 per night compared to other hotels in the area for the same dates (Aug 18-27, 2006)

We had a terrace room which was great we had a view of the mountains on the left and to our right a slight ocean view through the palm trees. The rooms is large and comfortable with plenty of space for 4. We did notice that the room was starting to show a little wear but not enough to bother us. I do know they are going to start renovating them soon

For anyone that has stayed there on their honeymoon I hope your travel agent didn't steer you there as it is a family resort with a lot of kids but it depends on your style of hotel. Friends and family of ours that have stayed there without kids also loved the hotel because they liked the large pool area and the slides. I am sure if you are going when school is in session you will have a lot less kids at the resort. Also if you don't have any kids why not utilize the adult only pool? I spend some time there on my own and loved the piece and quiet

Restaurants - we tried Kincha's for dinner and Bistro Molikini for lunch one day. Both were very good, even though they are overpriced. We didn't like the food or quality of food at the casual Cafe Kula at all and only got fuit, snacks, etc there. We stayed away from the hot foods

Yes the service at the pool was slow or non existent at times but since we only really needed it when we had lunch we went over to the tables at the pool area instead of eating at our seats. We actually preferred this as there was shade and they always had ice cold water available if you wanted it

Do I think all the food is overpriced? yes definitely since cheeseburgers were $15 each but I have to tell you that the quality of the cheeseburgers at the pool area was a lot better then the Cheeseburger restaurant at the Shops at Wailea and theirs started at $11 each. No we didn't eat cheeseburgers each day I am just using this as an example

We did go to Safeway and purchased water, soda and a few snacks for the rooms so that we didn't have to purchase it at the resort. I find that the kids are always hungry after getting back to the room from the pool or beach and having snacks in the room for them was definitely worth it.

Unfortunately we didn't get to go into the ocean a whole lot because it was pretty rough and the kids really couldn't handle it for long so we were glad we had a large pool to enjoy.

Check in / Check out - both were fast and everyone we dealt with was courteous

Valet / bell service - Both were quick and no problems whatsoever. We were there for 9 nights and after a couple of nights the valet people knew us pretty well. Valet always asked us if we needed directions or recommendation for restaurant, sights, etc each time they brought our car around. The only time there was ever a wait for the car was during peak dining time when a lot of people were leaving the resort but after the first time experiencing this we would call for the car at least 30 minutes before we were ready to leave the room and it was always waiting for us when we reached the front of the resort

Botero Bar - was a lot of fun but I think a lot of it had to do with our friends that live in Maui knowing the bartenders there, which made it more fun and personable

The only thing that I noticed is that pick up of room service trays people left outside their door was left out for quite a long time but the one time we ordered a snack from room service, we called for pick up of the plates and they were there within 5 minutes. I do have to say that the food through room service was very good, arrived piping hot and was presented beautifully

Things that bothered me, this is not the hotel's fault, is the people who let their kids run all over the place without being supervised. Again the people who leave their trash everywhere including the edges of the pool.

Yes they nickle and dime you to death at this hotel but being from the NYC area most hotels in NYC are the same where they charge for everything. If you don't know that going in then you haven't done your research. If the high prices of everything at the hotel will bother you then this is not the resort for you. They bothered me a little but I knew it going in and went out for breakfast instead of eating at the restaurant and only ate one dinner in the hotel because we wanted to try Kincha's.

Maui is not cheap in the least even eating breakfast at Denny's is a lot more then what you would spend back at home and we eat at Denny's for breakfast maybe once every two years at home so it isn't a place we utilize often

We did find that most of the lesser expensive restaurants in the area didn't have good service at all. If you wanted better food with good service you had to eat at the higher end places. We found through our friends of ours that the reason for this is the lower priced restaurants have a higher turnover of wait staff then the higher end restaurants where people tend to stay put longer

Other places we ate at
Cafe O'Lei - twice - first night great service and great food, second night service not good at all but food was still great

Tommy Bahama - twice - very good food and service

Spago - anniversary dinner - great service, great food, well worth the price.

Joe's Wailea at the Tennis Club - great service, food was good.

Stella Blues - twice for breakfast, once for lunch - good food, good service, priced resonably for the area

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
16  Thank happytraveler2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 August 2006

My husband and four children have a great time anywhere we go, but to travel more than a five hour flight to the Grand Wailea is just simply not worth it, (We had an 11 hour flight} there are better resorts out there for your family. I was thrilled when we walked into the lobby, for the hotel itself is stunning. We almost got the giggles walking to our room, it took at least 15 minutes of non stop walking. The room was so beautiful, and the view was pretty off the little balcony. The bathroom is without question one of the most beautiful I have seen. The walk to the pool is breathtaking. However, I could not believe the pool when I saw it, I almost burst out laughing. It reminded me of a combination of Willie Wonka and the Flintstones. It is nothing like the reviews, or maybe we are spoiled, but I would never want to bring small children to this pool. You would need to be with them constantly, for you cannot see them most of the time, due to the fake plastic rocks all over the place, and the water can be very deep at times. My children are old enough to swim alone so I took a walk to the beach. Why stare at fake brown boulders when there is an ocean nearby? The beach was pretty, and the trail that takes you to the other resorts was beautiful. Too bad they didn't build the beautiful hotel right up by the beach, and design a more open and inviting pool, the poor design is what causes the stress of finding a chair, keeping an eye on your children, and the hopeless chance of getting food service. If you want ideas for a great pool and don't mind a long flight check out Atlantis in the Bahamas, or if your looking for a beautiful beach the Mauna Kea on the Big Island or the Montage in California. Or, better yet, skip spending 800 or more a night and take your kids to the Wisconsin Dells! Don't get me wrong, the actual hotel is lovely, and Maui is a great place to visit, but the pool at the Grand Wailea is back in 1980.

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank lov2vacationl
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
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 Business Hotel in Wailea
#4 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Wailea
#5 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#6 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#6 Green Hotel in Wailea
#6 Family Hotel in Wailea
Price Range: RM2,197 - RM5,742 (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, HI

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