The landing into Maui is just beautiful. The plane glides over the mountains and the clouds before landing at Kahului Airport. It’s my first visit to Hawaii and I couldn’t have asked for a better welcome.
The Wailea beach resort is located on the most beautiful Wailea and Ulua Beaches in Maui. The resort is surrounded by over 20 acres of lush tropical gardens which are dotted with majestic palm trees. I honestly couldn’t believe how beautiful the resort is – it is situated literally on the shores of the beach.
There is a lovely garden at the entrance. The check-in area is an outdoor counter next to the gardens, you get a beaded necklace as a welcome and a drink. There’s a beautiful Aloha sign in the garden, a life size chess set and a lovely fish pond set among the entrance gardens.
Now like most U.S. resorts you have to pay a resort fee on top of the daily room rate. The fee which is $35 per night is meant to cover a list of amenities which includes two complimentary Mai Tai vouchers. Now I have mixed views on this fee, I get that the nature of resorts is that they go through so many towels each day that you need a fee to cover the laundry costs, but some of things listed for the fee should be complimentary like Wi-Fi. Having said that the Wi-Fi is super-fast and some of the discounts / complimentary items have actual value (like the movie nights, discounts on paddle boards, yoga lessons etc.).
The rooms and suites are across the number of complexes and span over multiple levels. The rooms have a modern beach décor, light white and grey colours. The room has the most amazing view over the pool and the beach.
If you want to stay inside (and why would you?) there is a widescreen TV which has cable and Netflix (where you can use your Netflix Login to watch it on the big screen). Included in the resort fee is local and domestic calls which proves super useful and saves me the resort fee when I have to reschedule my flight out. There are the usual amenities such as tea & coffee making facilities, ironing board, bar fridge and an extensive room service menu.
The view from the room is amazing:
The room is quite spacious:
The balcony offers the most incredible view:
The bath amenities are amazing, I love the fresh and floral notes and they are some of the best. The beautiful marble bathroom tops and shower area add to the beachie feel.
The resort has an unbelievable number of pools, including two oceanfront pools, an adult only serenity infinity pool and four waterslides. A couple of the pools have whirlpool Jacuzzis. There are a range of Poolside Cabanas which offer waiter service and include a $50 food & beverage credit, fruits, bottles of water, snacks and give you a prime viewing position.
Maluhia Serenity Pool
The Maluhia Serenity Pool is an adult only infinity pool overlooking the ocean. It’s beautiful and bit quieter than the other pools. The beauty of the palm trees, the reflection of blue skies and clouds and the stillness really calms the soul.
I book a cabana by the pool which has the perfect view of the pool and the Pacific Ocean. The tropical sun casts a radiant glow over the island as refuge is sought under the shade of the cabana.
The Mai Tai and Malibu cocktails are the perfect tonic for the tropical sun as the afternoon draws on. There is something a little too dreamy about sucking sensuously on pieces of fresh tropical fruits in a hollowed pineapple with the lavender honey yogurt and nibbling on the organic banana bread to pass the time.
Soon the unmistakable beauty of Maui captures your attention as the glimmering waters of the serenity pool parlays the sun’s reflective glow and just below lies the deep expansive Pacific Ocean which sparkles in all its infinite splendour. Faced with an enviable choice of ocean or pool, the decision is made to dull the senses with a few more cocktails and finish with a refreshing swim at sunset.
The Ohi Pool is the other infinity pool, with a main upper deck and lower deck pool. The lower deck pools have hot tubs and are the perfect spot to sip Mai Tais.
The main deck has plenty of chairs:
Sunsets are particularly magical on the lower deck:
Humble Market Kitchin
For dining, the Humble Market Kitchin is the main attraction. The restaurant has panoramic views and is perfect for breakfast or a sunset dinner.
This place does a beautiful breakfast in the morning. There’s a beautiful selection of juices, hot foods, eggs, salads, fruits, cold cuts and pastries / desserts. You have a choice of an A’ la carte or the buffet (continental or full buffet).
I prepare myself a selection tasting plates from the buffet and enjoy a view on the terrace. There is a wonderful selection of roast potatoes, burrata tomato & smoked salmon, egg salad & sweet potato, french toast bread & butter pudding, garlic fried rice and a rustic frittata bake. I paired with locally blended Hawaiian coffees and beautiful freshly squeezed island juices.
When the Hurricane was approaching, it poured with rain that night and virtually every restaurant in the island was closed. It was so frustrating, but they thankfully kept Humble Market Kitchin opened and I headed there for dinner.
I start with the lovely HMK Dumplings
I am here all the way from Australia and what did I have? Australia Lamb – that’s right. I enjoy the lovely charred rack of lamb with a Hawaiian Coffee Porter Demi-Glace.
Since it’s my birthday, I am provided with a complimentary dessert for good measure.
KAPA Bar & Grill
This is a little more casual; its an open-air restaurant which is beside the main pool area. There is a selection of snacks and more substantial offerings which can be ordered there. The servings are decent and it’s the perfect spot to unwind after a swim.
Definitely go for the shrimp and wings when you’re there:
The bar has the perfect view of the pool and ocean:
A little tip, if you tell them you’re drinking it at the bar they serve it in a more stylistic plastic cocktail glass rather than a plain plastic cup if you tell them you’re taking it to the pool. I just ordered at the bar and when the server was distracted took it across to the pool.
There is also the Mo Battah Food Truck which I didn’t get to try which offers some Hawaiian style street food and a Starbucks (if you’re inclined that way). On the outer edge of the resort, there’s also Whale’s Tale which is a coffee / juice at this bar overlooking the beach.
I always find unplanned events make for an eventful vacation! Due to my lack of interest in world affairs I had no idea that a Hurricane was headed for the Hawaiian coast before my stay.
When I arrive in Maui I get to the hotel and find an information letter on my bed telling me that Hurricane Lane will hit the coast of Maui and the situation is being monitored. It’s pretty sunny and the weather is beautiful, so I’m pretty relaxed that nothing’s gonna happen.
In the meantime, through my phone receives a state-wide alert (through the cell network) of the hurricane and a state plane flies above head with a warning siren – it is nuts. I leisurely continue about my day sipping cocktails by the pool and think nothing of it. That evening all the pool beds get dismantled and I spend my time in the Ohi pool getting drenched by the pouring rain with a bunch of cool peeps. I am surprised at how the weather changed so quickly, but I assume it’s all good as my flight out of Maui is in a couple of days.
The next day I take a stroll along the beach and its gloomy but not rainy. I meet a guy on the beach and tell him I’m off to Montreal. He’s from Montreal and says I ain’t leaving as he reckons the airlines will cancel flights tomorrow. Sure, enough I get back to my hotel we get warned to sleep away from the windows and buckets are provided in each room to fill for emergency water.
I then find out my flights have been cancelled. This was the worst flight to have cancelled, the connection between Maui and Montreal was a nightmare to plan as it required a series of connecting flights and only the flight I booked actually worked without a long layover. I had to meet a friend in Montreal and couldn’t push the trip back any further.
I have not option cut my stay short by a day and get on a flight that night from Maui to LAX and then connected to Montreal. With the flights sorted I resumed my life of nibbling on snacks at the KAPA Bar & Grill (which is oddly the only spot opened on the island at that point) and lounging by the pool with Mai Tai in hand with a fellow stranded traveller.
I loved this resort. The pools were amazing, the room was beautiful and the place had a mix of laid back vibe with all the modern amenities. The staff are friendly, I made some friends with other guests, there’s plenty of activities to do and you’re right on the beach. If you’re like me, grab a cocktail and lay by the pool and sip away the day. It’s such a wonderful destination.
The commitment to guests during the hurricane was second to none, the restaurants in the resort stayed opened (while most other closed) and I was accommodated at every stage even when I had to cut my trip short by a day. I truly felt relaxed and actually never really left the resort (other than on one day when I took a stroll along the beach). The resort fee proved worthwhile as I had to make a number of calls to sort out my flights and the cost of doing so on my mobile would have certainly been more than the fee.
The resort is quite large and expansive, so I’ve compiled a little video diary of some of the highlights of the time there which will give you a better feel of the place. Hope you enjoy it.