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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.0

Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Massive resort with direct access to gorgeous Wailea Beach 
  • Two enormous pools, with the best water slides and activities on Maui 
  • Upscale rooms with spacious bathrooms and outdoor balconies 
  • Four restaurants, two bars, a coffee shop, and room service  
  • The largest spa in Hawaii (50,000 square feet) and one of Maui’s best 
  • Modern fitness center with daily group exercise classes 
  • Kids' club, teens' club, and a family game room 
  • Grand Luau held on site, plus tours through the hotel's art collection
  • On-site wedding chapel, along with 22 banquet, meeting, and boardrooms 
  • Accessible to other hotels and restaurants via Wailea Beach path 
  • Napua club tower offers a private lounge and personal concierge service 
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout

Cons

  • Hefty daily resort fee, parking fees, and charges for “extras” 
  • While the resort is certainly grand, it isn’t necessarily luxurious
  • Property’s massive size (and crowds) can be overwhelming  
  • Couples may find the resort too family-oriented 

Bottom Line

Hands down the most amenity-packed resort on Maui, the Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort is a destination all its own. With 780 rooms, two massive pools, four restaurants, and a 50,000 square foot spa, the Grand Wailea wows with its grandiose scale. The property attracts all kinds of travelers, from families with kids to honeymooners to travel bloggers to corporate types, so guests can expect nonstop crowds at any time of year. While the resort is certainly upscale, its not as luxurious as its neighbors, the Four Seasons and the Fairmont. Plus, fees for mandatory valet parking, kids' club access, and “resort amenities” are piling on extra fees to already pricey nightly rates.  

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Scene

A grand resort stuffed with features, although it isn't quite as luxe as its neighbors 

Set on 40 acres of prime beachfront property, the Grand Wailea is the biggest -- and in many ways, the grandest -- hotel in Wailea, south Maui’s posh resort community. An outpost of Hilton's Waldorf-Astoria luxury brand, the Grand Wailea provides opulence in spades. Large-scale Botero sculptures surround its open-air lobby pavilion, impeccable gardens look plucked from the rainforest, and dazzling fountains glisten on expansive green lawns. And the sheer amount of amenities on offer here also reflects the property's lavishness -- it's the most amenity-packed hotel in Maui. Those looking for a hotel that has everything won’t be disappointed, but given the hotel's massive sprawl, guests can expect long walks to reach just about anything.

While the Grand Wailea is undoubtedly, grand, its larger-than-life scale doesn’t translate to luxury on all fronts, and hints of the resort’s age (it opened in 1990) surface from time to time. Travelers familiar with the Waldorf Astoria brand may not be impressed by the Grand Wailea. Some guests complain of stained carpeting, cracked pool tiles, and dated bathrooms. Rooms are nicer at the Four Seasons, restaurants are better at the Andaz, and service is more impressive at the Fairmont. Plus the Grand Wailea’s constant crowds may interfere with relaxation, and its family-friendly atmosphere may be too kid-centric for romantics (expect tons of little ones by the pools). That said, plenty of guests feel the property's tremendous Wailea Canyon Activity Pool and its spa complex are in a league of their own.

Location

In posh Wailea, directly on Wailea Beach 

Like its name suggests, the Grand Wailea is located in the posh resort community of Wailea. Known for expensive hotels, designer shopping malls, and high-end dining venues, Wailea is south Maui’s premier resort area, and the Grand Wailea counts big names like the Four Seasons, the Fairmont, the Andaz, and the Marriott as neighbors. Besides ritzy accommodations, Wailea is also recognized for its world-class golf courses, beautiful beaches, and consistent sunshine. For those who can afford it, Wailea is a near-perfect paradise. The Grand Wailea was actually one of the first hotels to be built on Wailea Beach, so it occupies prime real-estate in the center of its famous beach. Neighboring hotels and restaurants are accessible via the Wailea Beach path, but travelers will want to rent a car if they plan on exploring the island. The hotel is a 30-minute drive from Maui’s Kahului Airport. 

Rooms

Upscale rooms and suites, with nice amenities and spacious bathrooms 

All 780 rooms at the Grand Wailea feature sleek decor, with blond-wood accents and Hawaiian inspired artwork. Beds are dressed simply with white cotton quilts, and they're topped with striped pillows. Pale yellow walls are dressed up by crisp white crown molding and brightly colored canvas artwork. Large entertainment consoles provide storage and serve as a backdrop for wall-mounted flat-screen TVs. Additional upscale amenities include iHomes, Keurig coffeemakers, and mini-fridges stocked with bottled water. Closets hold terrycloth robes, slippers, electronic safes, and ironing equipment. Bathrooms are gorgeous overall, with marble floors, deep soaking tubs, and separate glass-enclosed showers -- though some bathrooms are showing signs of age. The granite vanities are stocked with the hotel’s own Spa Grande toiletries, hairdryers, and back-lit mirrors, but unfortunately they only have single sinks. Toilets are tucked away in their own private vestibules. All of the Grand Wailea’s rooms have large outdoor balconies with cushioned teak furniture. Rooms offer various views of the property -- from the ocean, to the well manicured grounds, to the back parking lot. 

There are a variety of room types at the Grand Wailea. Standard rooms are classified by their view type (ocean, garden, or “terrace,” aka parking lot vistas). Standard rooms measure a whopping 640 square feet, and have one king or two queen size beds. Rooms with king beds are equipped with an additional loveseat, though it’s not a pull-out couch. Suites are larger spaces with separate living and sleeping areas, though they have the same amenities as standard rooms. The hotel’s Napua Tower is an exclusive club-level tower with larger rooms and suites (standard rooms start at 715 square feet, suites measure 1,300+ square feet). Napua Tower guests have access to a private lounge that serves free continental breakfast, afternoon tea, evening hors d’oeuvres, and something called “chocolate decadence” at night. Napua Tower guests also receive free round-trip transportation to and from the airport, are treated to private check-in upon arrival, and have access to a personal concierge. 

Pools

Maui's coolest pools, but they're always crowded 

The Grand Wailea is perhaps best known for its incredible pools. The 25,700 square foot, 770,000 gallon Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is a sight to behold. The freeform colossus is described by Waldorf Astoria as “epic,” and we couldn’t agree more. Every water activity imaginable happens around this family-friendly spot. The Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is actually nine individual pools that span six levels and are connected by a flowing current. A large central area is great for swimming and pool volleyball, while a sand-bottomed zero-entry space is great for little kids and toddlers. Water cascades over impressive fake boulders that create swim-throughs to secret grottos and swim-up bars. There’s a Tarzan-style rope swing, five intertwining water slides, whitewater rapids, and a water elevator -- a contraption that transports guests from one pool level to another. The pool’s Lava Tube water slide catapults riders through an enclosed slide at 22 miles per hour. The Fishpipe is a hamster-wheel type mechanism, where guests can slip and slide across its constantly rotating surface. The Fishpipe is the only pool activity that charges an additional fee. 

Guests looking for a calmer pool experience can head to the hotel’s gorgeous Hibiscus Pool, named for the 630,000 mosaic tiles that create gigantic hibiscus flowers on the pool floor. The Hibiscus Pool is reserved for guests ages 18 and older. While its atmosphere is more subdued than the Canyon Pool, it isn’t necessarily quiet -- the adults here can be rowdy too. The pool is surrounded by lounge chairs and rentable cabanas, and has two jetted hot tubs on either end.  

Beach

Prime access to gorgeous Wailea Beach 

The Grand Wailea has the most central location on Wailea Beach, a crescent-shaped shore with light brown, powdery sand that stretches over a third of a mile. The water’s small waves are great for body surfing and paddle-boarding, and the southern edge of the bay has healthy reefs where sea turtles like to swim, so it's a popular snorkel spot. The Grand Wailea offers all kinds of ocean-centric activities, like snorkel excursions, stand-up paddle boarding, scuba lessons, and guided kayak tours -- though additional charges apply. Like all of Hawaii's beaches, Wailea Beach is open to the public, but it draws far more vacationers than locals.

Food

An array of dining options, plus room service 

There are four restaurants, two bars, and a coffee shop at the Grand Wailea. Humuhumunukunukuapua’a isn’t a typo -- it’s the name of Hawaii’s state fish and the name of the signature restaurant at the Grand Wailea. Humu (its nickname) is located in a gorgeous open-air setting that overlooks the resort’s pristinely kept gardens and expansive koi pond. Its menu features local seafood prepared with Hawaiian and Polynesian cooking methods. Guests can expect hamachi carpaccio, ahi poke, and ulu risotto starters, along with crispy Mahi, and seared Ahi main courses. There’s also a selection of beef, lamb, and poultry. The restaurant’s thatched-roof bar serves excellent seasonally inspired cocktails.  

Additional on-site restaurants include the Grand Dining Room, which serves a la carte and buffet breakfast, and Bistro Molokini, a poolside spot that serves light bites and bar snacks during lunch and dinner hours. Bistro Molokini is a sit-down establishment where guests are expected to dress appropriately. By contrast, Volcano Bar and Grill is an outdoor venue where guests can dine in their swimsuits. Volcano Bar and Grill has outdoor seating near the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool and serves casual fare like burgers, salads, sandwiches, and sushi. Grotto Bar is the hotel’s awesome cave-like swim-up bar, while the Botero Lounge is its upscale lobby bar. Cafe Kula is a coffee shop/mini market where guests can order coffee and espresso beverages, sample gelato, and pick up snacks and drinks like chips, pretzels, cookies, bottled water, and soda. The hotel also offers room service, but it isn’t 24-hours. 

Spa

The largest spa in Hawaii, and one of the best in the U.S. 

Spa Grande, the Grand Wailea’s massive 50,000 square foot spa, is the biggest spa in Hawaii and is often lauded as one of the best spas in the country. The complex has a whopping 40 treatment rooms and exclusive features, like a healing hydrotherapy circuit, an ancient Roman baths-style jetted tub, a Japanese furo bath, a Swiss jet shower, and multiple saunas. Some of the spa’s most popular treatments include the Pala’au Journey (a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage followed by a cocoon body wrap), the Personalized Facial (a custom facial tailored to individual customers), and the Grand Ocean Body Ritual (a foot massage followed by an algae or mud wrap and an aromatherapy scalp massage). All of Spa Grande’s products are made with Hawaiian ingredients. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended. Large-group after-hours reservations are available upon request. 

Fitness Centre

Not on the same level as the property's spa, with extra fees for group exercise classes

The Grand Wailea’s fitness center is adjacent to the spa. It’s equipped with modern Precor cardio and weight machines, but feels small for the size of the hotel. The fitness center’s dark-wood paneled walls and lack of windows make the room feel stuffy and basement-like. So while Spa Grande is certainly one of the best spas in Hawaii, its fitness center falls short. An array of exercise classes -- morning meditation, beach yoga, group cycle, Zumba -- are available daily. All but yoga incur extra fees. 

Weddings

A popular spot for destination weddings and large group events 

The Grand Wailea is one of Maui’s most popular destinations for weddings and large events. The hotel has 22 banquet, meeting, and boardrooms, the highlight of which is the 28,000 square foot Haleakala Ballroom and its adjacent garden. Group event organizers receive access to personalized online group pages that allow them to share meeting agendas, manage guest lists, and reserve A/V equipment rentals. Wedding celebrants receive perks like photography and salon credits, post-wedding spa treatments, and discounted accommodations. The Grand Wailea has its own wedding chapel with Hawaiian-themed stained glass windows, an adjacent koi pond, and gorgeous garden surroundings. Additional wedding venues include the hotel’s botanical gardens, its beach courtyard, and its private lagoon. 

Family

Tons of family-friendly activities, but most incur additional fees 

The pools and aquatic activities alone make the Grand Wailea one of the best family resorts on Maui, but the hotel is chock-full of additional family-friendly amenities. The Grand Wailea has separate kids and teens clubs that cater to older and younger children with age-appropriate games and activities. The Rock is the hotel’s 20,000 square foot family center -- home to Camp Grande (the kids' club), The Spot (the teens' club), and the Ohana Hale (the family game room). Camp Grande offers full and half-day sessions with activities like scavenger hunts, sand art, and crab-hunting. Daily fees to attend kids camp activities are exorbitant, though multiple child discounts are available. The Spot has its own snack bar, an abundance of gaming equipment, air hockey, foosball, and ping-pong and pool tables. The Ohana Hale also has gaming equipment (with E for everyone games), soft toys, dollhouses, and a feature known as “Lego Island.” Aside from the kids clubs and game rooms, the hotel hosts daily poolside workshops like lei-making and puka shell necklace-making. The Grand Wailea’s own Grand Luau at Honua’ula is held several nights per week.  

Features

Resort tours and free Wi-Fi, but fees for other extras.

While the resort's headlining features -- its beach, pool, and spa -- tend to claim the guests' full attention, the Grand Wailea has a few more subtile amenties, including gorgeous botanical gardens and incredible museum quality artwork. Guests who want to learn about them can take advantage of the Grand Wailea’s free weekly resort tours. Besides the hotel tours, Wi-Fi is the hotel’s only freebie -- expect lots of extra charges like: daily resort fees, mandatory valet parking, kids' club activities, fitness classes, cabana rentals, and non-motorized water sports. 

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Things You Should Know About Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address

3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Hawaii 96753-8443, United States

Phone

(808) 875-1234

Also Known As

  • Grand Hotel Wailea
  • Grand Resort Wailea
  • Grand Wailea
  • Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
  • Grand Wailea Hawaii
  • Grand Wailea Hotel
  • Grand Wailea Maui
  • Grand Wailea Resort
  • Grand Wailea Resort Maui
  • Grand Wailea - The Waldorf Astoria Collection

Room Types

  • Ali'i Suite
  • Deluxe Garden Room
  • Deluxe Ocean Room
  • Deluxe Suite
  • Grande Suite
  • Molokini Suite
  • Napua Club Room
  • Napua Nani Suite
  • Napua Royal Suite
  • Napua Suite
  • Ocean Room
  • Terrace Room

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