Hotel Wailea was once a budget hotel in upscale Wailea, but a complete renovation in 2014 turned this property into a luxury stunner with all the trimmings of a stylish boutique hotel. Each of the rooms are one-bedroom suites with private outdoor spaces; some have distant ocean views. Guests can eat Mediterranean food at Capische?, which has a chef's table and uses organic ingredients, or The Cabanas, a poolside bar. Kids under the age of 16 aren't allowed here, making for a peaceful and romantic property that appeals to honeymooners. One caveat -- Hotel Wailea isn't directly on the beach but a Mercedes-Benz limo brings guests to a nearby beach club with free chairs and bottled water. The nearby Four Seasons Maui is a good bet for families with kids.
Made up of 72 one-bedroom suites, Hotel Wailea is far calmer and more intimate than the area's usual 300-plus-room resorts. The 15 acres of meticulously landscaped garden groundsinclude a rock-lined foot bridge over a pond with a small waterfall, tall palm trees, and flowering tropical plants. A cute gazebo overlooks the Wailea shoreline and Pacific Ocean below. The semi-open air lobby is accessed up a set of stairs in a luxurious pavilion. The day's events and wine list are written with drawings on a chalkboard propped next to the reception desk, decorated with metal embellishments on the front panel. Kids under the age of 16 aren't allowed at the Hotel Wailea so the property has a quiet and serene vibe that's popular with honeymooners and couples.
In resort-rich Wailea -- great golf, gorgeous beaches, luxury shopping, and near-perfect weather
Surrounded by other 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 (the hotel is a 10-minute drive from the beach, and offers a free shuttle there and back). 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. The Shops at Wailea, an open-air mall with high-end shopping and dining options, is a short drive from the hotel, and there are four highly regarded golf courses nearby. Kahului Airport is a 35-minute drive from the hotel.
One-bedroom luxury suites with kitchenettes and private outdoor spaces
The hotel's 72 one-bedroom suites were originally built in 1992 as member-owned condos. Since then, they've been completely updated into mini-luxury retreats with kitchenettes, private outdoor spaces, and full living room spaces. The decor is soft and relaxing. Think: lightwood floors, oatmeal-colored sectional sofas, and wicker chairs. Bleached coral and tribal art add beachy accents. Kitchenettes don't have stoves or ovens but there are mini-fridges, microwaves, and full sets of dishes. The bathrooms are stocked with Molton Brown toiletries. Soaking bathtubs, rain showerheads, and plush robes add to the zen-like feel of the suites. Each of the suites has a terrace set with sophisticated furniture. Views vary from garden grounds with the ocean in the distance, to the back of neighboring suites. Wi-Fi is free.
Unlike most hotels in Wailea, the Hotel Wailea does not front the beach. But the nearby Wailea Beach, one of the best swimming and snorkeling beaches in Hawaii, has soft, fine-grain sand that's groomed every morning, small waves suitable for skimboarding, body-surfing, paddleboarding, and Hobie Cat sailing, and good snorkeling opportunities along the southern edge of the bay, which has healthy reefs and occasional turtles. The hotel provides a free Mercedez-Benz shuttle to a beach club with free chairs, towels, and bottled water.
Gorgeous pool area, small fitness center, and free Wi-Fi
While most Wailea resorts are packed with enormous pool complexes and elaborate spas, that's not the case here. However, the available features are upscale and beautiful. One standout is the outdoor pool with a large pool deck set with chic furniture and a whirlpool. Sun loungers and umbrellas are ample, and there are free cabanas that have comfy couches and shade. An outdoor firepit adds ambiance and guests can order cocktails from the adjacent bar. Fruit-infused water is available for free.
While the fitness center is modern and spacious, with lots of natural light, it doesn't have much in the way of equipment aside from a few cardio machines and weight bench. A punching bagand stability balls are available, too. It's difficult to imagine getting much work done here, but there is an expansive meeting room and Wi-Fi is free throughout the property. Staff can assist with arranging excursions and recommending restaurants.
The Cabanas is the poolside bar/restaurant where guests can order handcrafted artisanal cocktails made with simple syrups and fresh juices along with light fare in the afternoon. Capische? is one of Wailea's best spots for romantic dining. The Mediterranean-inspired restaurant focuses on using organic ingredients and local fish. There's an excellent wine list, but the restaurant is only open for dinner and breakfast, which costs extra. A limited room service menu is available and food is delivered in to-go boxes