Monday, January 28, 2013

Review - Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Five glorious days on the island of Maui.  After 9 days of enjoying the Big Island and Oahu, we spent our remaining 5 days on the island of Maui at the Grand Wailea.

I had a difficult time decided where to stay in Maui.  Should we rent a villa, stay at a hotel, timeshare..should we stay in Wailea, Lahaina, or somewhere in between????  I decided on the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea, primarily because our of Hhonors status and the additional perks we would/could be offered.

The property is lovely, but at times appears to be in need of a little facelift.  Our room (in the Napua tower) was 600+ square feet of pure luxury.  We had an extra long balcony with a lounge chair/chaise, two oversized cushioned chairs and a table.  The lounge chaise was a nice addition to the balcony and I managed to 'lounge' quite a bit!!

The walkways and some of the buildings needed a fresh coat of paint and a good scrub.

Upon arrival we were met with a lei greeting, quickly checked in, and out items delivered to our room.  The large marble bathroom had a separate water closet, large soaking tub, separate glass shower and large two sink vanity with oversized shampoo, conditioner and soap.  I'd go back just for the shampoo and conditioner :-)

The Napua tower does have several perks over the other rooms.  There's a wonderful daily continental breakfast that includes cereals, fresh fruit, a few hot items, pastries, toast, and a variety of beverages.  In the afternoon there is tea and cake service.  In the evening, there is an open bar with heavy appetizers in the lounge area.  I had a little love affair with the Wailea sunset with malibu rum instead of spiced rum.  Yum!

There were a few things that left a bad taste in my mouth...and they are primarily related to the use of the swimming pools.

  1. If you want a guaranteed shade location for the full day, you have to reserve a 'cabana' for $300 a day. Yes, $300 a day.  For $300 you get a cabana, two (maybe 4) lounge chairs in the shade and 2 (maybe 4) reserved lounge chairs in the sun.  
  2. Each day, you have to go down to the pool, obtain a new bracelet (each day is color-coded), then take your towels (assigned to you and you can be charged if not returned) and find a place around the pool to claim as your own.  
  3. Now, you cannot leave your items unattended for more than one hour; otherwise, they will (threaten to) take your belongings and your chairs can be given to someone else. 
Really?  REALLY?  If I'm paying upwards of $500 a night to a Waldorf Astoria property, I do not want to be bothered with a plastic bracelet to 'permit' me to use the pools.  And, if I want to set my towel down along with a magazine at 8 a.m., walk the beach and come back at 9:30, I expect my chair to still be there.  Sigh.

A few pictures.  Although, I sure didn't do a very good job of capturing the moment digitally.  I did, however, did an amazing job of experiencing the moment and making memories :-)

 The view from the lobby.

Nightly turn down service.

The resort entrance was already decorated and lit up for the holidays.

You can get married at the chapel on the property.

The leis from our greeting at the Grand Wailea.  

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