Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The only resort in Makena, the 310-room Makena Beach and Golf Resort is a less-crowded alternative to popular.
Located in Makena, just south of Four Seasons and the Fairmont, the 310-room Makena Beach and Golf Resort offers a quieter, more secluded resort experience. , its golden-sand beach with turquoise-blue waters, is a popular site for weddings and home to some of the best snorkeling on the island. The resort's nearby 18-hole golf course — closed until early 2014 for renovations boasts the highest elevation on Maui's South Shore, affording players stellar views of Mount Haleakala and Kahoolawe, Molokini, and Lanai islands.'s strip of luxury resorts like the
But while the Makena Beach and Golf Resort (formerly the Maui Prince) was once the crown jewel of Wailea, it's now showing its age. In the rooms, guests will find crisp white 250-thread-count linens, a featherbed, and pleasant light-wood furniture -- plus old tube TVs, Sony clock/radios and Clairol lighted makeup mirrors. The resort has fallen on hard times, recently undergoing foreclosure proceedings after the last owners, Prince Hotels, defaulted on the mortgage. Management was taken over by Benchmark Hospitality, which also runs Turtle Bay Resort in Oahu, and the hotel was renamed Makena Beach and Golf Resort in September 2009. The hotel underwent some renovations in late 2011 and early 2012, and now rooms have new carpeting, granite countertops in bathrooms, and new cherry wood furnishings.
But even before the latest financial troubles, the amenities at the Makena Beach and Golf Resort paled in comparison to the glittering spas, expansive kids' clubs, and multiple pools of Wailea's other big resorts. The massage room and are just revamped guest rooms, as is the cramped fitness center. The small pool lacks a waterslide. What it does have going for it is direct access to one of the best snorkeling beaches in Maui, five restaurants with tasty food, and nice extras like a free area shuttle. But if you can score a better room rate at the Wailea Marriott, book there for the more modern rooms with flat-screen TVs and the five pools.
A wide range of services, though less than at Wailea's top luxury resorts
Service stops short of the personal-escort-to-the-room kind of treatment the Four Seasons and the Fairmont offer, but guests can expect the extensive breadth of services that's customary at a large resort, such as porters and poolside wait service. Like many other Maui hotels, the Makena Beach and Golf Resort charges an annoying resort fee, but it is lower than what some competitors charge.
Just south of Maui's resort-rich, in more rugged Makena
Makena Beach and Golf Resort lies just south of Maui's southwestern shore and is one of the most desirable resort destinations in Hawaii. 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. Because Makena Beach and Golf Resort is the only hotel in Makena, it's quieter and more isolated than Wailea's strip of hotels. But that also means hotel guests don't share their fantastic snorkeling beach, , with guests of other resorts., a manicured, planned resort development that lines two spectacular beach-dotted miles of
All 310 rooms have at least a partial view of the ocean.
After renovations in early 2012, rooms at Makena Beach and Golf Resort are decorated in a contemporary island style similar to other Wailea luxury hotels -- crisp white linens on the bed, light wood and , and pale accent throws and pillows. But old tube TVs and worn bathroom tiles reveal that the renovations stopped short of the $60 million overhaul at the Wailea Marriott. That said, if you score a cheaper nightly rate here than at the Marriott, it's a trade-off worth considering.
Right on Maluaka Beach (aka Turtle Beach), one of the best snorkeling spots in Maui
As the only hotel in Makena, Makena Beach and Golf Resort doesn't have to share its beach with any other resort -- unusual for Wailea. No five-minute walk to the beach here, like at the Wailea Marriott. Hotel guests enjoy direct beach access (i.e., no crossing the street) to the golden sands of Maluaka Beach, considered one of the best snorkeling beaches in Maui.
The Makena Beach and Golf Resort's features, while extensive, fall short of what guests will find at competing area resorts.
Great views and tough shots on the highest-elevation course on Maui's south shore.
Wailea is home to some of Hawaii's best golf. As the highest-elevated course on Maui's south shore, Makena Beach and Golf Resort's Makena Golf Course — closed until early 2014 for renovations — gives players stunning views of Mount Haleakala, the island's dormant volcano, and the Molokini and Lanai islands. Like the Wailea Golf Club's Emerald and Gold courses, the 18-hole Makena course is designed by famed golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. But the 6,914-yard Makena, with its narrow fairways, is considered the most challenging of the three.
The Makena Beach and Golf Resort has a kids' pool, and kids' menus, but with a small pool, no waterslides and a small space for the kids' club, it can't hold a candle to the multipool majesty and extensive kids' activities at other Wailea luxury resorts (Grand Wailea's 20,000-square-foot kids' camp, Fairmont's impressive kids' fitness programs)., a
Clean but showing wear-and-tear
Overall clean rooms and common areas, but wornand scratched-up doors call out for a renovation.
The five restaurants aren't cheap, but on par for a Wailea resort.
Four on-site restaurants, a morning coffee stand, and a clubhouse restaurant at the golf course offer a tasty range of Japanese, Pacific Rim, and classic American cuisine. Prices are high compared with the cheap dining in the nearby town of Hakone, where combo sushi platters reach the mid-$30s -- but that's pretty typical for .-- especially
A quieter, less-crowded alternative to nearby Wailea luxury resorts, the 310-room Makena Beach and Golf Resort boasts a great snorkeling beach, five restaurants, a golf course, and weekly luau. The small and tiny pool pale in comparison to what you get in Wailea, but room prices can be lower too. And since rooms and public spaces were renovated in 2012, the hotel's upgraded style and comfort make it an attractive option.