Best Luxury Hotels in Hawaii – The Grand Wailea Resort
Emily Dickinson’s poetic verse splendidly describes Wailea on the Hawaiian Island of Maui; and it seems as if those responsible for crafting the majestic Grand Wailea Resort understood that simply being a part of unassailable beauty is a virtue on to itself.
The Grand Wailea Resort is a divine and luxurious complement to the beauty of Wailea, and most assuredly has earned its reputation as one of the best luxury hotels in Hawaii.
Where is the Grand Wailea Resort?
The property is located in Wailea, which is located at the beachy, soft-sanded southern leeward coast of Maui (Google Maps) – about 30 minutes from the Kahului Airport, and about 45 minutes from the other outer areas of the island.
The Grand Wailea Resort’s entry does not disappoint. It was certainly the most grand of all the hotel entries I experienced in Hawaii. It is regal, luxurious, and absolutely stunning.
The Grand Wailea Resort was the largest property I visited in Hawaii, and the grounds are resplendent – replete with lush vegetation, sumptuous natural stone, intricate water features, ocean views, and dazzling architecture.
Perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Grand Wailea Resort is the number of pools, water features and water slides. The feature pool is the Hibiscus Pool, which is the resort’s adult pool – so named for the giant Hibiscus flower inlaid on the pool bottom, formed with over 630,000 pieces of Mexican glass mosaic tile.
Of all the resorts I visited in Hawaii, the Grand Wailea Resort featured the most super-cool water and pool experiences for kids. If we weren’t touring right before our dinner, I would have spent hours swimming!! My explanation and pictures will not do the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool justice – amazing!!
It includes four jungle pools, four intertwining water slides, a whitewater rapids slide, a Tarzan pool with rope swing, a sand beach, six waterfalls, multiple caves, three Jacuzzis, the world’s first water elevator (Yes, that’s right – Click Here for a YouTube Video), the Lava Slide, the Anapuka Slide, and a swim-up bar. Did you catch all that? It’s a serious sight to behold, and if you take your kids to the Grand Wailea Resort, you will be the parent of the decade!
How cool is that!?
The Spa Grande
I’ve been extremely fortunate to visit some of the most beautiful resorts and spas in the world, and it’s rare when I am completely surprised by a certain design or layout. Well, the Spa Grande’s resplendent elegance absolutely blew me away. You feel as if you’ve been transported to a spa in the heart of Venice. The architecture and stonework is completely breathtaking.
Please note that the Spa Grande is part of the resort’s Grand Refresh through approximately the end of 2015, so if you visit, the Spa Grande may not be entirely accessible.
I am certainly no expert when it comes to reporting on a resort’s wedding features, but I would be remiss in not making note of one of my most favorite (and perhaps the most impressive) features of the Grand Wailea Resort – the Seaside Chapel.
The Seaside Chapel, its Gazebo, and the ocean backdrop is quite simply the most picturesque ceremonial setting I have ever seen. It is serene, peaceful, engaging, and magnificent – and must be experienced first-hand.
As you would expect, the Grand Wailea Resort includes a number of varied and exemplary dining options (Click Here for more information). I especially like that kids under 5 eat free at certain restaurants, and that there is a special $35 “Kids Dine All Day” program for kids 6-12, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
We were incredibly fortunate to enjoy dinner at the Grand Wailea’s signature restaurant: Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (I tried to pronounce this a couple of times, and quickly abandoned ship!). Let’s just call it Humu! 🙂
Humu is named after the Hawaiian State Fish, also known as the Reef Triggerfish. Humu is a Polynesian Thatch Roof restaurant set in a million-gallon saltwater lagoon filled with tropical fish. It is quite something.
You can see the view of the spearfisherman in the foreground of our unforgettably sublime view – one of the most picturesque and peaceful views I’ve ever enjoyed in my lifetime of travel. I’ll never forget it.
The Humu menu is a most luxurious, creative, and sublime assortment of food – Hearts of Palm Dumplings, Haiku Tomatoes, Carpaccio of Japanese Hamachi, Abalone Chowder, and on, and on. Wow.
We gleefully sampled a variety of menu items, and I can still smell and taste the carefully crafted dishes. Oh, and the soft ocean breeze lightly sweeps across your table the entire meal. Divine.
When I visit properties, I always feel a certain force or energy. I know it’s a little touchy-feely, but it’s true. And in reviewing my notes and pictures of my experience at the Grand Wailea Resort, I am reminded of the peace, tranquility, and gratitude that I felt my entire visit.
I can still see my wife and my parents laughing, taking in the soft sea air, and marveling at the place they found themselves experiencing. I remember thinking that there are moments in life where nothing else matters; that certain times are meant to be cherished because in the end, it is these times with our loved ones that provide life’s greatest joys, fulfillment, and meaning.
Emily Dickinson is right. Beauty simply “is”, and sometimes we just need a peaceful time and place to remind us of that. I hope you take the opportunity to visit the Grand Wailea Resort and experience that feeling for yourself. I promise that you will not regret it.
The Grand Wailea Resort – Contact and Social Media
I can’t thank enough the Grand Wailea Resort for it’s incredible generosity and hospitality. You treated my wife and my parents as most welcome guests, and I am forever thankful. I also thank you for the use of some high resolution images, and information about the property. Thank you.
I eagerly look forward to visiting in the future and spending a lot of time in the pools!!!
Last, and as always, these opinions are entirely my own, and I thank you so very much for taking the time out of your busy lives to read this article. Mahalo.