Updated: May 21, 2015
Grand Wailea Resort ReviewIf you know your way around Maui, you know that Wailea, on the southwestern tip of the island, has the best year-round weather and the least rain -- and that's why people go to Hawaii. This means that many of the most expensive resorts are in this area, and that includes the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel and Spa (part of the Waldorf Astoria family), which stakes out the primo beach location at Wailea Beach. This resort is shaped something like a crab or octopus - check out the aerial photo of the Grand (from their website) below to see what we mean. There is a huge pool complex, fountains, poolside bar and restaurant, almost 800 rooms, 4 spas, fitness center -- everthing you would expect from a world class tropical resort. In this guide, we will review the property, pools, beach, rooms, and other amenities of the Grand, including a look at room prices and reservations.
Grand Wailea Photo and Layout - Grand Wailea MapCheck out the picture above - that is the aerial shot looking at the Grand Wailea from the ocean. The resort sits on more than 40 acres. Looking at the photo, the lower left "leg" is the Chapel wing, while the lower right leg is the Lagoon Wing. The upper left is the Wailea wing, and the upper right is the Haleakala wing, with the Molokini wing being the "hand" hanging off the arm on the right of the photo. The octagon shaped building in the center, where the arms and legs attach, is the Napua Tower. Hopefully, the pool complex jumps out at you -- they spent a LOT of money on that! You can see there is a beach front footpath in front of the Grand Wailea, which leads all the way up to the Renaissance Wailea to the north and down to the Fairmont Kea Lani in the south -- a great place to take a walk or jog in the morning or evening, especially around sunset when the views are to die for, all along this stretch of lovely coastline. Just up the beach to the left of this photo is the Wailea Marriott, also home of the fancy shopping mall, The Shops at Wailea. The Four Seasons Resort is just next door to the right in this photo. Kihei is a good sized town just 5 minutes to the north. So from north to south, the resorts in the Wailea area are: Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort, Wailea Elua (condos), Wailea Marriott Resort, Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, Fairmont Kea Lani, Polo Beach Club, and Maui Prince (1.5 miles south of the rest).
For a nice, large, Grand Wailea Map, click here (it will open in a new window). You can get 360 degree views from a few different spots to really get a feel of what things look like. Here's a shot from the beach looking up at the Grand Wailea.
The resort amenities include almost 20 shops and 6 different restaurants -- everything from spa and body shops to Quicksilver beach wear to art galleries to jewelry stores. The breakfast buffet runs almost $30 per person, and dinner for 4 at one of the nice restaurants can easily add up to $200 or more. But many people come here for the spa treatments. Spa Grande has been voted among the top 10 spas in the US, and the massive 50,000sf facility can pamper you like you can't imagine (for a price of course!). How about a seashell massage, volcanic ash facial, honey steam wrap, terme wailea hydrotherapy, or ginger salt scrub? It's all here. If you are the type that likes to have your child entertained during the day or evening to have some private time with your spouse, you'll be happy to learn about there terrific children's (keiki) program. Day programs run over $80, while an evening out will set you back about $60 for the childcare services.
Grand Wailea room rates and reservationsOK, time for the big question.. How much are rooms at the Grand Wailea in Maui? How much will is cost for my Grand Wailean vacation? First, let's point out the official website of the resort - GrandWailea.com. You can stop by or call them at 800-888-6100 to get the latest information on room rates, amenities, and availability. The rooms here are all good size - 640sf for a standard room, which comes with either a king or 2 queen beds. You'll find tubs and showers in each bathroom, ceiling fans, private balconies, AC, and high speed internet access. Expect to pay $450-$800 for standard rooms per night. We checked room availability and prices for August of 2007 and found rooms ranging from $670 (deluxe garden view with king bed) to $830 for the deluxe ocen view with 2 queens. We found rooms in early Dec. priced at $500 to $800. If you are looking for something special, be sure to check out the Napua Tower suites -- you'll find everything from complimentary breakfast and afternoon snacks and drinks to a private lounge area, all with spectacular concierge service. Rooms here are about 10% larger than the standard rooms, but all the services that go with these room make them popular. The Deluxe Ocean rooms are found on the top floors of the Haleakala, Wailea, and Molokini wings. The top of the line are the 52 amazing suites here - STARTING at 1300sf! If that is too small, check out the 5000sf+ suites that are available - how does more than $10K per night sound for the Grand Suite? And yes, it does come with a grand piano. Like they say, if you have to ask the price... The Grand Suite is at the front of the Napua Tower, overlooking the reflecting pool. The dining terrace in this massive suite seats about 30-40 people! The Napua Tower suites come with the extra amenities enjoyed by the other guests there, as mentioned above.
Unfortunately, on top of the room rates, you'll find the resort fees all these places seem to charge - $20 per day, along with another $15 for valet parking. Nothing is cheap here, folks. Even a refrigerator will set you back $25 (**2014/15 update - on a more recent visit, rooms have been upgraded with large flat screen TVs and refrigerators - no charge any more) -- ask for one and they will bring it in for you -- but at least then you can store some snacks and drinks from a nearby store.
Grand Wailea Resort Beach and Pool PhotosThe beach in front of the Grand Wailea is the nicest in the Wailea area. It is rocky on the north and south ends, but sandy around the rest of this white crescent, all right at the doorstep of the Grand Wailea as you exit the resort property and step onto the beach. Unfortunately, there is a charge both for beach umbrellas and cabanas, but almost all of the Maui resorts have this annoying problem -- milking you for extra bucks, even though you have spent a small fortune to stay there. Now the pool area is like something out of a dream. There are 9 connected pools, with little rivers between some. Throw in some waterslides, swings, fountains, and a sandy kids wading pool, and you just can't go wrong spending day after day at this wonderful location. Add in the killer beach 30 yards away, and you have probably the best pool/beach combo on the island of Maui. Of course, the pool can often be crowded and noisy with all these kid-friendly activities, but again, the relative calm of the ocean and beach are right behind you. A lot of people have the standard complaint about lounge chairs around the pool - yes they can disappear early, yes it can be hard to find a place to sit, but during busy times, it seems to be that way at most of these resorts. A few options - try looking for spots on the grass or near the big waterslide, or consider hitting the pool early, then venturing out to a local beach during the busy mid-day hours, then come back in the afternoon. If you have the time, try the scuba lessons, held right in one of the pools on property. If you like it, you can get signed up for ocean scuba tours, as well as snorkeling or boogie boarding instruction or equipment. Here is a picture of the Grand Wailea pool area.
And here is a shot of Wailea beach, right in front of the resort.