Hotel/Resort Review: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea – Wailea, Maui (Hawaii)

This is one in a series of seven reviews for seven hotels and resorts I stayed at during a recent trip to Hawaii (Maui and Oahu) in the month of May 2012. This is part of a continuing series of my impressions and experiences staying at various hotels and resorts while traveling to attend concerts worldwide. This review is for the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii.

Property: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Location: Wailea, Maui (Hawaii)
Address: 3900 Wailea Alanui, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753
Phone: (808) 874-8000
Room Type/Class: Ocean View (Rooms 312, 386)
Date: May 16-17, 2012
TripAdvisor Page/Reviews: LINK
Booking Source: CapitalOne Miles via Travleocity
Overall Rating: 5/5 [Note: Score is totally subjective based on price, location, and comparison to “like” properties within same area and price range]

As with the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa, this is one of the seven properties visited in this trip that I had stayed at previously, though it has been several years since those visits.  Unfortunately, the room rates at the Four Seasons Resort Maui have increased substantially in the past few years, so I actually used miles/award travel to book this stay for my one night stay at the hotel.

Having said all of that, with all of my travels in and out of the United States, the Four Seasons Maui remains my all-time favorite place to stay – it is simply spectacular and incomparable.  It is a Four Seasons resort, with the expected level of service, comfort, and amenities, and, in addition, it is in Maui (my favorite Hawaiian island) and beachfront on Wailea, with my favorite beach on Maui.  So if money or cost is no object, I give my highest recommendation for staying here – it will not disappoint.

As one would expect, the Four Seasons offers valet parking (as well as self parking), and the cost for valet is an additional $20/night.

With this trip, and my one night stay in order to review a different property each night, the staff at the Four Seasons were kind enough to accommodate an early check-in and late check-out, which I greatly appreciate.

Even if you do not stay at this property as a guest, I highly recommend a visit to one of several on site restaurants and exploring the grounds.  It is a gorgeous hotel with amazing views and decor.

I did end up having two different rooms during my stay, so will describe and include photos of both.  The reason for the two rooms is that in the late afternoon with the first room, whoever was staying in the room above had multiple people jumping up and down for hours.  As I was on a skewed schedule and trying to catch a couple hours of sleep at the time, I had contacted the front desk and they were quick to accommodate me by relocating me not only to another room, but a room in another building.  As one will find in staying at a Four Seasons, their level of service cannot be beat, and they always go above and beyond without a quibble.  And if a job requires one person, they are just as likely to send two, as with my move (with my one piece of luggage!), they sent to bellhops to assist in showing me to my new room.

So Room #1 was actually much nicer in the rooms I had stayed in with visits in past years, though I remember at my last stay with them they were undergoing renovations.   This first room was pretty spacious, and included two beds, a couch and coffee table, a full desk, and a walk out patio that opened to a large lawn area.  The room also included an empty mini-fridge and electronic sage, was well as a coffee maker.  The large bathroom featured a large soaking tub, standing shower with glass doors, and double sinks.

Backing up a little bit, and illustrative of the Four Seasons touch… the first time I had returned to Room #1, waiting on the coffee table were some incredible desert dishes… never requested, never billed for them.  They just tend to give out little things like this, which makes for such an enjoyable experiences.

Walking over to Room #2, I had an expectation of the same room in a different building (when I spoke with the front desk over the phone, I told them the kind of room or level or room was not of importance, as I was traveling alone and staying just the one night).

Upon entering the room, and as you will see in the photos, it was a completely different style and layout of room, and I assume an upgrade, as it was larger and featured not one but two separate walk out balconies – one with loungers, one with a table and chairs.

In the entry area was a glass top table with four chairs, then a family room style area with television,  couch, and coffee table, and a separate sleeping area with a large king-sized bed.  The adjoining bathroom was enormous and also had the soaking tub and stall shower with glass door.

But for me, the rooms are secondary to the grounds, the resort common areas, the pool area, and of course the beach.

I would highly, highly recommend trying the full breakfast buffet, which is of course expensive (I don’t remember the exact charge as my final bill shows with tip, but including 20%+ tip it was about $38).  It is just spectacular, and I even included some photos in this review, which still do not do it justice.  I had the buffet at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa the following morning and there is absolutely no comparison.  Even if you are staying at another resort, it is worth the trip to drive over to experience this breakfast buffet – it will be the best that you ever have.

The main pool for the resort is actually modestly-sized compared with some of the neighboring resorts, such as the Grand Wailea adjacent.  But that is in some ways, from my perspective, a good thing, as it is a much more relaxed environment.  There is also a child-designated pool, and up on another side of the property, a (new to me since my last visit) infinity pool with built in bar which is an awesome addition.

One of the biggest draws to the property for me are the very comfortable and covered cabanas.  Unlike other resorts which charge $40-$80+ a day for such an amenity, at the Four Seasons this is included in the cost of the room.  Also, looking at my bill, the Four Seasons is the only resort of the seven I stayed at with this trip that did not charge a resort fee.

But my suggestion is to spend the first full day with a stay at the Four Seasons just having the buffet, and spending the day in one of the pool adjacent larger cabanas.  There are also some isolated cabanas going up the hill with spectacular views, but they are not as spacious and comfortable as the ones around the main pool area (and many do face the ocean, but not being as elevated as the isolated ones, the views are not as good).

You will receive as much attention from staff as you would like when using the cabanas, which includes direct service of food and drinks off their menu (photos also included in this review of the menu and some of the drinks).

There is also the restaurant adjacent to the pool area – Ferraro’s – and making use of this is a nice way to break up the day and have a different vantage point.  And, like with the DUO breakfast buffet, the food is just incredible.  I have also included a few photos of two of my favorites – a chicken quesadilla and a turkey club with turkey bacon.

For me, Maui is about relaxing, and no other property better facilitates this than the Four Seasons.

The foundation for this, though, is the beach and ocean adjoining the rear of the property.  It is my absolute favorite “relaxing” beach on Maui (with Black Rock adjoining the Sheraton being my other favorite, for “activities”).  The sand is seriously like baby powder on your feet, and the ocean has gentle waves and is warm like bath water.  It is just spectacular.

You will see from my photos that you are rewarded with stunning sunsets.  And that one night, I also was lucky enough to witness an authentic Hawaiian wedding ceremony on the beach at sunset.  Does it get more romantic than that?  Even if I have to enjoy it vicariously, who can beat it?  It is actually a public beach, but I’ve always found it to be sparsely populated, and if there is a hint of wind, practically deserted.  Funny enough, it seems like the sands is even cleaner in front of the Four Seasons than in front of the neighboring Grand Wailea side, but maybe it is my imagination, though given my experiences, I wouldn’t be surprised if Four Seasons staff are out on the beach in the middle of the night sifting for the smallest of debris.

In any event, this is just a spectacular resort, and I wish everyone could experience it at least once, as the stay is definitely what you make of it, but holds opportunity for some really wonderful and unforgettable experiences.

Below are photos I took of the resort and the two different rooms (the first one assigned, and the second one switched to as described above):

Room #1

Room #2

Jason DeBord


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