Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Made up of 72 one-bedroom suites, Hotel Wailea is far calmer and more intimate than the area's 300-plus-room resorts.
It's also much cheaper than the many luxury resorts Wailea is better known for. That's because it is not located directly on the beach, and its single pool, Italian restaurant, and modest Japanese-style spa don't compare to the stunning features at nearby resorts. But when you take into account the small, in-room kitchens (with mini-fridges, so some may call them kitchenettes) and all of the great advantages of staying in Wailea -- consistently dry weather, the beautiful Wailea Beach, some of Maui's best golf courses, and upscale dining and shopping nearby -- the Hotel Wailea is an excellent value.
Plus, the hotel offers a free 10-minute shuttle to the beach and restaurants at one of the most luxurious resorts in Hawaii, the Grand Wailea, as well as to nearby shopping sites. And guests of Hotel Wailea can even bill their meals at the Grand Wailea directly to their room at Hotel Wailea.
In resort-rich Wailea -- great golf, gorgeous beaches, luxury shopping, and near-perfect weather
Surrounded by more luxurious resorts, Hotel Wailea is located 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.
No direct beach access; but there are two beaches within a 10-minute drive
Unlike most hotels in Wailea, the Hotel Wailea does not front the beach. But the nearby Wailea Beach, one of the best swimming and snorkling beaches in Hawaii, has soft, fine-grain sand that's groomed every morning, small waves suitable for skimboarding, body-sufing, paddleboarding, and Hobie Cat sailing, and good snorkeling opportunities along the southern edge of the bay, which has healthy reefs and occassional turtles.
The hotel's 72 one-bedroom suites were built in 1992 as member-owned condos. Since this time, the hotel updated all of the units with new furniture and electronics in 2009. But the result still feels like a converted condo -- the kitchenettes, bathrooms, carpets, and walls are still the same. However, each room received fresh carpet in 2010.
All units have the same layout, and all but six have exactly the same decor and amenities within -- they're only differeniated by their view. Six luxury suites have minimized kitchenettes to give more space to the living area, and have nicer furnishings -- but are otherwise very similar to the resort's other one-bedroom suites.
Basic, small-scale features
While most Wailea resorts are packed with enormous pool complexes and elaborate spas, that's not the case here.
Four world-class golf courses, just a short drive away
Wailea is home to some of Hawaii's best golf. Wailea Golf Club has three, 18-hole courses -- named among the top 15 golf courses in Hawaii for 2007-2008 by Golf Digest and the award-winning Makena Golf Course is less than five minutes drive south of Wailea, offering another high-level, ocean-view course.
Billed as "adult-friendly" -- small pool; no kid-specific features
Families are welcome, but the hotel bills itself as an "adult-friendly" resort. The low-key, quiet atmosphere, romantic on-site restaurant, and minimal amenities and services aren't nearly as well-suited for kids as Wailea's beefier resorts. On the other hand, this is one of Wailea's most affordable options, and the rooms can sleep a small family.
Squeaky clean; renovated in 2009
Hotel Wailea is spotless. And it's a good thing -- a dirty place that has a bidet in some of its guest rooms would seem a little incredulous. In addition, all rooms went under "soft renovations" of updated furniture and electronics in 2009.
Excellent, but pricey, Italian restaurant; basic continental breakfast (included in the resort fee) -- no on-site lunch options
The resort offers a single on-site dinner restaurant and continental breakfast (breakfast is covered by the daily resort fee). But there are no lunch options on-site, so you'll have to either stock your in-room kitchen or eat outside of the hotel.
More affordable than most hotels in upscale Wailea (where rain rarely falls), Hotel Wailea isn't directly on the beach, but its 72 kitchenette-equipped, one-bedroom suites cost considerably less than a more traditional guest room at most of the nearby resorts. Plus, Maui's best beaches, retail shops, and golf courses are just a 10-minute drive away.