Four Seasons Maui Rating: 5.0 Pearls
Maui, Hawaii, United States

Oyster Review Summary

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Pros

Cons

Bottom Line

An immaculate, art-filled property fronting Wailea beach, the Four Seasons stands at the pinnacle of the area's resorts, offering a slew of amenities, spacious rooms -- some with outstanding views -- and a top-notch staff. It's nearly perfect, except for an unexceptional spa facility, a cramped business center, and expensive, though excellent, dining.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A sophisticated resort with a hushed, exclusive air and beautiful public spaces, where guests are pampered to the extreme

The Four Seasons' expansive beachfront grounds
The Four Seasons' expansive beachfront grounds

In contention for best resort in all of Hawaii, the Four Seasons Maui packs amenities, luxe rooms, and the brand's vaunted hand-to-foot service into an immaculate, art-laden property with well-to-do and well-behaved guests. An eight-story U-shaped villa with a seemingly unending lobby, the hotel opens up wherever possible to take advantage of its oceanfront setting on a wide, sandy beach as well as its perfectly manicured lawns.

A hushed, stately air permeates; guests talk quietly among themselves at the three restaurants or sun silently by the pool. Artwork by both Hawaiian and international artists -- i.e. giant, striped head sculptures -- dot the property. A decent-size high-design main pool, draws a host of guests well past dusk. The nearby Wailea Golf Club's well-ranked courses draw serious golfers.

For the most part, the crowd consists of honeymooners and family vacationers out to relax, not show off. One gets the sense that anybody here could be somebody famous, or at least somebody powerful. Despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of over-the-top flash, the hotel draws its fair share of celebrity guests. During a recent stay, rumors flew that "No Country for Old Men" star Josh Brolin was staying at the hotel, and paparazzi were spotted hiding in the bushes in hopes of snapping a pick. In the interest of privacy, the hotel management only acknowledges celebrity guests who come for specific publicized events like the Maui Film Festival, which drew Pierce Brosnan, Dennis Quaid, and Claire Danes. The Four Seasons is such a celebrity favorite that even the fictional A-lister Vinnie Chase from HBO's Entourage has got his slippers here.

There are two staff members for every guest, and it shows. The poolside cabana staff refills guests' free (and automatic) glasses of ice water seemingly after each sip, and employees patrol the lounge chairs with cold towels and, yes, spray-bottles of Evian to spritz guests' faces.

So what's not to like? Expensive food, for one; the hotel's three on-site restaurants offer few meals below $30. And though the fitness center's cardio equipment sits in an indoor-outdoor area overlooking the flower-strewn grounds, the weight machines and spa facilities are tucked into one of the resort's dim corners. Similarly, the business center, though staffed by a helpful attendant, feels cramped.

 Service

Doting service from a ubiquitous, but inobtrusive, staff

The front desk
The front desk

The Four Seasons' comprehensive service -- it has two staff members for every guest -- places it at or near the top of the pile in Hawaii. The range of courtesies and deft execution are truly impressive. Extraordinary perks like a free kids' club (it's anywhere from $50 to $120 a day at other hotels) and free sports equipment rental place this resort ahead of the Grand Wailea and the Fairmont Kea Lani. While the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua closely competes with the Four Seasons on service, it still doesn't offer quite the level of attention.

The service excels in the details. During the astoundingly choreographed check-in routine, guests are passed seamlessly among three staff members: one offers a lei and mint-infused lemon tea, another handles check-in, and a third carries the bags and gives a room tour. At the pool, a staff member immediately pours a glass of water for each guest who sits down. Throughout the resort, the staff greets guests with smiles and a friendly "aloha." And even when room service took longer than expected to arrive (more than half an hour), the staff member who delivered it apologized profusely, saying the kitchen had been flooded with requests that night.

  • Lei greeting and mint-infused lemon tea on arrival
  • Arrival gift in room; it varies, but mine was a box of cookies and dried island fruits
  • Free unpacking service
  • Twice-daily housekeeping; turndown -- with no gifts
  • Pool staff walks around with cold towels and provides Maui's only poolside Evian spritzes; free treats like pineapple skewers and jello cups are sometimes served as well
  • The concierge desk, open 6 a.m to 11 p.m. and usually staffed with at least two people, rarely keeps one waiting more than a minute.
  • DVD library with rentals
  • Free hotel driver from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., porters available to drive earlier in the day
  • Free refreshments and sunscreen dispensers throughout the resort
  • 24-hour business center provides audiovisual equipment rental, in-room fax machines on request, and complimentary Japanese translation and interpretation
  • Staff provides blankets, as well as free coffee, tea, and banana nut bread in the lobby, for guests who get up early to see the sun rise at Haleakala

 Location

In resort-rich Wailea -- great golf, gorgeous beaches, luxury shopping, and near-perfect weather

The Four Seasons is one of the four luxury resorts in Wailea, a manicured, planned resort development that lines two spectacular beach-dotted miles of Maui's southwestern shore. Besides the beaches and the almost perfect weather -- rain rarely falls in this arid microclimate, and the temperature hovers around 85 degrees year round -- golf and shopping are the area's big draws.

  • Short drive from the Shops at Wailea, an open-air mall with high-end shopping and dining options, as well as grocery stores
  • Four highly regarded golf courses nearby
  • A long beachfront jogging or walking path spans several of the resorts; the Grand Wailea is at its midpoint.
  • Four-lane Wailea Alanui Drive is frequently crowded with slow-moving traffic.
  • Valet parking costs $20 plus tax. On-site self-parking is free.
  • 35-minute drive from Kahului Airport
  • Big Beach, La Perouse Bay, and other popular West Maui towns and beaches are anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour by car.
  • Mount Haleakala, the island's dormant volcano, and Hana are at least two to three hours by car, along beautiful but challenging, narrow highways.

 Rooms

Decent-size rooms with luxurious amenities and unique touches

Four Seasons' standard room with partial ocean view
Four Seasons' standard room with partial ocean view

The comfortable rooms at the Four Seasons are fairly average size for the price range, but still spacious. At 600 square feet, they're much smaller than the huge, family-friendly suites at the Fairmont Kea Lani, less recently renovated than those at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, and nearly identical in size to those at the Grand Wailea. But they have some unique details, plush linens, and extra service. The quarters combine the chain's trademark beige with welcome island-style accents like woven dark wood desk chairs, a picture of a shell necklace on the wall, and two-poster beds.

  • Arrival gift varies (mine was a box of cookies and dried island fruits)
  • Free unpacking assistance
  • Standard rooms have one king or two queen beds -- 100 percent Italian cotton linens, hypoallergenic feather pillows, and Sealy Posturelux pillow-top mattresses; pullout sofa; separate work desk; sleeps four adults or two adults and two children
  • 42" plasma flat-panel TVs with DVD players and 55 channels, including HBO and international news
  • In-room Wi-Fi costs $14 a day, but is fast and reliable.
  • Spacious bathrooms with separate showers and deep tubs; choice of six genres of music to play; L'Occitane en Provence toiletries; 100-percent-cotton custom towels by Sobel Westex; two Turkish robes; phone
  • Coffeemaker with free Four Seasons Hawaii coffee
  • Beach tote bag
  • Views range from mountainside -- overlooking Wailea Avenue -- to garden view, partial ocean, and ocean view; views of the ocean and sunsets are worth the upgrade.
  • Executive suites (830 to 865 square feet) sleep three adults or two adults and one child; top-tier Maile Suite is a 5,000-square-foot chamber with six balconies that sleeps up to five adults and four children.

 Features

Top-notch facilities and a dizzying array of free amenities

Tennis courts
Tennis courts

The Four Seasons piles on feature after feature, offering top-notch facilities and activities and often providing free equipment and access where other resorts might nickel-and-dime guests. And several features, like a putting green and its own grass tennis courts, set it apart from any of its neighbors.

  • Three pools, including an adult-only one, are comparable with those at nearby high-end resorts, although the Grand Wailea offers more dazzling water features for kids. The Serenity Pool features Missoni-designed cabanas that can be rented daily.
  • Wailea Golf Club offers three world-class golf courses (see Golf section)
  • Driveway-style basketball hoop; two grass tennis courts on top of the parking garage; free use of rackets, balls, and ball machine; free tennis clinics every day at 9:30 a.m.
  • Giant gardens with modern-art statues, tons of world-class art complimented by an available podcast audio tour; similar in scope to Grand Wailea's art collection
  • Putting green and a croquet terrain with free equipment rental
  • Game Room, popular with children, contains pool, pingpong tables, and many video games
  • Fitness center includes an indoor-outdoor section for its crowded cardio machines; unfortunately, the 24-hour weight room with top-of-the-line equipment is in a disappointing windowless corner; free fitness classes include yoga on the beach, pilates, and tai chi.
  • On-site spa has 13 treatment rooms and outdoor hillside huts for massages overlooking the ocean; the facilities -- lockers, robes, and vanity stations -- are free to guests (unlike at Fairmont Kea Lani) -- but the lounge has just two chairs and no hot tubs; serious spagoers will want to head to the spa at the nearby Grand Wailea.
  • The 24-hour business center, though staffed all day, is practically a closet; Internet is free, at least, and guests can print up to five pages for free.
  • Free loaner Kindles with waterproof sleeves pre-loaded with 40 popular books
  • Notary service and audiovisual equipment rental available

 Pools

Three excellent oceanview pools that are comparable to high-end neighbors

Adult pool with cabanas
Adult pool with cabanas

The Four Seasons' three pool areas are certainly luxurious, but other resorts, like the nearby Marriott and Grand Wailea, provide stiff competition with more elaborate water features. Nevertheless, all three pools boast impressive design features and overlook the ocean.

  • Main pool with giant center fountain and separate hot tubs for adults and families on each end
  • Family pool with a waterfall, a kiddie ledge with shin-deep water, and a short waterslide; not as extensive as the amusement park-style pool at Grand Wailea
  • 120-foot adult pool, behind a locked door, features a swim-up bar and a glass barrier through which you can observe the beach below; six cabanas ($300 a day) have flat-screen TVs, Internet, fans, and fresh fruit; comparable to Wailea Marriott's adult-only infinity pool.
  • Drink service available at all pools; swim-up bar at adult pool serves pizza and other bar appetizers.
  • As is the case at most Wailea hotels, there are no lifeguards on duty at any of the pools.

 Beach

Sits on a beautiful, broad crescent of sand shared by other nearby resorts and occupied mostly by vacationers

Guests get free use of outrigger canoes.
Guests get free use of outrigger canoes.

Wailea Beach, one of the finest beaches in Maui, is a crescent-shaped shore with light brown, powdery sand that stretches over one-third of a mile. The Four Seasons fronts a lovely section of the beach, which it shares with several other hotels.

  • Soft, fine-grained sand that's groomed every morning
  • Small waves suitable for skimboarding, body-surfing, paddleboarding, and Hobie Cat sailing
  • Good snorkeling on the southern edge of the bay, which has healthy reefs and occasional turtles
  • Like all of Hawaii's beaches, Wailea Beach is open to the public, but it draws far more vacationers than locals.
  • Drink service on the beach doesn't match what one gets poolside at the Four Seasons; guests must solicit the staff to access the free beachside cabanas and free outrigger canoe outings.
  • Other water activities, including ocean dives and kayaking, are available for an additional charge through Maui Undersea Adventures, which runs a scuba center near the beachside path.

 Golf

Four world-class golf courses, just a short drive away

Wailea Blue Course near the Four Seasons
Wailea Blue Course near the Four Seasons

Wailea is home to some of Hawaii's best golf. The Wailea Golf Club's three world-class, 18-hole courses -- two of them designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. -- overlook the town's beaches and resorts and offer discounted pricing to Wailea resort guests. The nearby Makena Golf Course offers even more challenging holes.

  • Rounds on each course range from $160 to $190 for resort guests.
  • Virtually every hole has an ocean view; the island's dormant volcano, Haleakala, provides the backdrop.
  • Golf carts are equipped with GPS as well as course tips and information; club rentals available
  • The Golf Club boasts the David Leadbetter Golf Academy; golf lessons available ($150 per class)
  • Equally stunning and more challenging, the Makena Golf Course, also designed by Trent Jones, is a five-minute drive south of Wailea.

 Family

One of the best resorts for families in Hawaii

Four Seasons' family pool with short waterslide
Four Seasons' family pool with short waterslide

This hotel opens its arms wide to families, with a free kids' club -- nearly unheard-of in Hawaii -- as well as a host of child-friendly accommodations and services. These amenities go a long way toward justifying the room rates, which are among the highest on Maui. Prices at the on-site restaurants can be painful for families, but they're not much higher than what travelers pay at other Wailea luxury properties.

  • Kids for All Seasons, the on-site club for ages five to 12, is one of the only complimentary programs in Hawaii; open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; a day at the Grand Wailea's Camp Grande costs $125, the Fairmont Kea Lani's club runs $85.
  • Family pool with a waterfall, a kiddie ledge with shin-deep water, and a short waterslide
  • Kids age five and under eat free at DUO and Ferraro's; all three restaurants and room service provide kids' menus
  • Pool dedicated specifically to families; gentle waves at the on-site sandy beach
  • Standard rooms, with pullout sofas and mini-fridges, sleep four.
  • Children's welcome program includes free cribs, high chairs, toiletries, and bathrobes; a room can be child-proofed in advance upon request; free DVD library provides more than 40 childrens' titles.
  • Babysitting services through The Nanny Connection require 24 hours' notice; $18 per hour for one child, $3 per hour for each additional child, three-hour minimum.

 Cleanliness

Spotless: manicured lawns, sparkling lobby, immaculate rooms

Twice-daily housekeeping ensures the rooms receive extra care, while the public spaces are kept pristine.

 Food

The three on-site restaurants are pricey, but offer excellent fare and views.

Alfresco seating at Ferraro's Italian restaurant
Alfresco seating at Ferraro's Italian restaurant

The three restaurants, all with open-air views of the ocean, serve high-end fare, but it's tough to get a meal for less than $30, unless you're under age five (in which case they're free at both Ferraro's and DUO).

  • Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck's Spago offers Hawaiian-inspired appetizers like ahi poke in sesame miso cones and more standard fare; entree, drink, and tip can easily come to $50.
  • Ferraro's Italian features high-end, but typical, resort fare, outdoor seating, and nightly music; lunch entrees from $15 to $22, dinner from $25 to $50.
  • DUO serves an extensive breakfast buffet ($35) and surf and turf dinners (entrees start at $32).
  • 24-hour room service offers segments of the menus from all three on-site restaurants; 18 percent gratuity is automatically charged on orders.
  • A paved path running through the Wailea resort complex makes it relatively easy to visit the restaurants of other hotels, and there are several dining choices at the nearby Shops at Wailea.

 Destination Weddings

Gorgeous outdoor weddings (and scarce rain), excellent food, luxe rooms, and phenomenal service -- but it doesn't come cheap.

Plumeria Point, an ideal place for a small ceremony
Plumeria Point, an ideal place for a small ceremony
  • Wedding Size: Up to 200 people
  • Extra Fees: Fee for fewer than 25 guests
  • Wedding Packages: The most basic, Plumeria Wedding Package includes a wedding coordinator, a marriage license appointment (even transportation to and from the appointment), an officiant, a soloist for the ceremony, two hours of photography, white folding chairs, a bridal bouquet, a boutonniere (or a lei), and flower petals for the aisle.
  • Reception Locations: On the oceanfront lawn (up to 200 people, in view of other guests) or in one of the ballrooms (10 to 300 people, in a private area)
  • Photographers and Videographers: Photography and videography charge per hour; the in-house wedding coordinator can also book alternative photographers and videographers at no extra fee.
  • Music: Options include a soloist (from $350 per hour), a live Hawaiian, classical, or contemporary band (from $5,000 for three hours), and a DJ with lighting and a sound system ($475 per hour); outside bands permitted at no extra fee.
  • Food: Three-course plated dinners charged per person; buffets options also available
  • Drinks: An additional fee per person, per hour, for a deluxe bar can replace the standard open bar options.
  • Cocktail Hour: Hors d'oeuvres charged per dozen, more elaborate displays, carved items, and specialty food stations available.
  • Cakes: Charged per person, though the price adjusts based on the design and the flavor, which ranges from a variety of sponge and butter cream fillings to "composition cakes" such as fresh mint and dark chocolate, Kona coffee and walnut, macadamia nut and caramel, and tiramisu
  • Flowers and Decorations: The standard packages cover the cost of most decorations, though a more elaborate bridal bouquet and table center pieces can become costly. Also, an additional archway or a chuppah starts at not-so-modest sums.
  • Extras: Luau entertainment
  • Spa Treatments: Hair styling and makeup application available through the Orchid Salon, located outside the resort
  • Honeymoon Suite: There's no special honeymoon suite, but many brides and grooms upgrade to the oceanfront suite
  • Airport Transportation: The resort does not provide a shuttle service.

 Bottom Line

An immaculate, art-filled property fronting Wailea beach, the Four Seasons stands at the pinnacle of the area's resorts, offering a slew of amenities, spacious rooms -- some with outstanding views -- and a top-notch staff. It's nearly perfect, except for an unexceptional spa facility, a cramped business center, and expensive, though excellent, dining.

Things You Should Know About Four Seasons Maui

Address

  • 3900 Wailea Alanui, Maui, HI, , US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Four Seasons Resort Maui Wailea
  • Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
  • Four Seasons Wailea
  • Wailea Four Seasons

Room Types

  • Club Floor Oceanfront Prime Suite
  • Club Ocean View Prime Room
  • Club Ocean View Room
  • Deluxe Oceanfront Suite
  • Four Seasons Executive Suite Garden View
  • Four Seasons Executive Suite Ocean View
  • Four Seasons Executive Suite Partial Ocean View
  • Four Seasons Executive Suite Prime Ocean View
  • Garden View One Bedroom Suite
  • Garden View Room
  • Lokelani Suite
  • Maile Suite
  • Mountainside Room
  • Ocean View Deluxe Suite
  • Ocean View Prime One Bedroom Suite
  • Ocean View Prime Room
  • Ocean View Room
  • Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite
  • Oceanfront Prime Suite
  • Partial Ocean View One Bedroom Suite
  • Partial Ocean View Room

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Hotel Wailea
  • Hotel Wailea
  • Maui, Hawaii
  • Rating: 25 Pearls
  • Distance: 0.8 mi

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 380
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Address: 3900 Wailea Alanui, Maui, HI, , US
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