BEST FOR Complete privacy and seclusion, lavish living and excellent hilltop bay views
DON’T MISS The resort’s art tours and guided visits through its botanical gardens
PRICE Internet rates for a one-bedroom villa start at $895.
CONTACT Ho’olei at Grand Wailea, 146 Ho’olei Circle, Wailea, HI 96753 Phone 808-856-2000. hilton.com
VERDICT While Grand Wailea and its Hilton Honors affiliation through Waldorf Astoria are exciting, families and couples traveling together should not miss the flexibility afforded by the villas thanks to their ample living and kitchen areas. They, too, come with Hilton Honors points earning.
BACKGROUND Wailea, situated on the island of Maui, is a popular spot and awash in luxury hotels, but this gated resort community provides the bonus of its tiered hillside location offering exquisite sunset views. These fully-furnished, duplex homes are located within a residential complex adjacent to its sister property, the Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort.
WHERE IS IT? It is directly across the street from the Grand Wailea, which means guests here have access to all of the main resort’s amenities and facilities. Free shuttles are available (via phone or text) to take guests to the main resort’s pools and restaurants or area shopping within minutes.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? You won’t find another resort so rich in service and décor as Grand Wailea. Its Waldorf Astoria partnership is just another assurance that service here is second to none. Beautiful Hawaiian art and statuary line the grounds, but it’s the Colombian Botero statues in some of the public spaces that draw the most attention.
ROOMS Each of the 120 villas are three-bedroom units, but can be reserved for one, two, or three bedrooms as needed (For example, mine was a one-bedroom with the other rooms locked off.) Since each unit is individually owned, the décor will vary. However you can expect all the same luxe amenities as the main resort, like rainfall showers, mango-scented toiletries and oatmeal-laden bars of soap. All accommodations feature comfortable bedding with duvets, strong air conditioning and rooms with ceiling fans, laundry facilities and full kitchen and dining areas (including barbecue stations on the furnished terrace). Another special perk: Guests can pre-order groceries to have fridges stocked even before they arrive.
FOOD AND DRINK For those who eschew the kitchen and choose to dine across the street at the resort, all its standard hot spots are available. It all begins with the famous Humuhumunukunukuapua’a, named after the state fish and well-known for its fresh seafood, exquisite Asian fusion dishes and a surprisingly strong vegetarian menu. Villa guests are welcome everywhere including the coffee shop, main breakfast buffet, Botero Lounge where live music and sushi are a big draw, and swim-up Grotto Bar in one of the pool’s caves.
LEISURE FACILITIES Grand Wailea excels in this department with everything from scheduled fitness and cultural classes to an enormous spa well-known for its Hawaiian therapy treatments. Don’t miss the Healing Waters of Maui hydrotherapy circuit offering various baths designed to renew and refresh the skin and body.
MEETINGS AND FITNESS Wireless Internet is complimentary, and ample meeting space draws plentiful conference groups.