Hotel Wailea Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Maui, Hawaii, United States

This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Not directly on the beach
  • Resort fee

Bottom Line

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.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Quiet property with large one-bedroom suites and half the amenities of most Wailea resorts -- for about half the price

Capische Italian restaurant
Capische Italian restaurant

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.

 Location

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.

  • 10-minute drive from the beach (the hotel also offers a free shuttle to the beach at the Grand Wailea resort)
  • 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
  • Four-lane Wailea Alanui Drive is frequently crowded with slow-moving traffic.
  • 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.

 Beach

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.

Polo Beach is closer to the resort (in front of the Fairmont Kea Lani resort, about a five-minute drive away), but it's also much smaller and the public access is less convenient.

  • No direct beach access
  • Free, 10-minute shuttle to Wailea Beach available at certain times of day
  • Free snorkel gear, paddleboards and other water-sports equipment available

 Rooms

All large, one-bedroom suites with new flat-screen TVs and big bathrooms

A one-bedroom ocean view suite
A one-bedroom ocean view suite

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.

 Features

Basic, small-scale features

The pool
The pool

While most Wailea resorts are packed with enormous pool complexes and elaborate spas, that's not the case here.

  • Tiny, but clean, bean-shaped pool -- but no drink service or even a towel stand
  • Fitness center
  • Free access to the spa's modest, Japanese-style whirlpools, saunas, and showers
  • Business center with PC and color printer
  • Free shuttle to beach at Grand Wailea, one of Maui's most prestigious (and most expensive) resorts, as well as to shopping in Wailea

 Golf

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.

  • Three ocean-view courses at the Wailea Golf Club, including the par 72, 7,000-yard Gold Course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
  • Makena Golf Course, also designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is set between the mountains and the ocean
  • Golf carts are equipped with GPS as well as course tips and information.
  • Club rentals available
  • Golf lessons available

 Family

Billed as "adult-friendly" -- small pool; no kid-specific features

The kitchen
The kitchen

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.

  • Every guest room is a large, one-bedroom suite with a king-size bed and pullout sleeper-sofa.
  • Small kitchen in every unit
  • No rollaway beds
  • Small pool on premise doesn't have toys or kid-friendly features.
  • No kids' club or activities -- unlike most of Maui's resorts
  • Free cribs available upon request
  • Romantic, adult-oriented on-site dining
  • No direct beach access -- it's a 10-minute shuttle ride away

 Cleanliness

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.

 Food

Excellent, but pricey, Italian restaurant; basic continental breakfast (included in the resort fee) -- no on-site lunch options

A meal at Capische Italian restaurant
A meal at Capische Italian restaurant

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.

  • Capische? Italian restaurant, arguably one of the most romantic restaurants in Maui for its garden setting and ocean views, has earned Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence for four consecutive years. The bar area was renovated in 2009, accenting the decor with wooden countertop and more open space.
  • Continental breakfast -- coffee, Passion Orange Guava Juice, tea, fruit, bagels, seaonal fruit breads (included in the daily resort fee)
  • Room service available at certain times of day
  • Small, in-room kitchen equipped with two-burner stove and mini-fridge
  • Nearby upscale dining and groceries at Shops at Wailea
  • Free shuttle to restaurants at Grand Wailea (meals can be billed to your room at Hotel Wailea)
  • Room service available

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About Hotel Wailea

Address

  • 555 Kaukahi Street, Wailea, HI 96753

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Resort Wailea

Room Types

  • Luxury Suite
  • One Bedroom Garden View Suite
  • One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
  • One Bedroom Partial Ocean View Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 72
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Maui, Hawaii
Address: 555 Kaukahi Street, Wailea, HI 96753
(See Map)
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