Maui has a history of having perhaps the best luxury resorts in all of Hawaii and Luxury Travel Advisor was lucky enough to get an inside look at the two hotels often credited with maintaining that reputation. We also got a sneak peek of the latest luxury resort that is expected to be a game-changer on Maui.
Situated in sunny Wailea, Maui, The Fairmont Kea Lani is an all-suite resort with everything in place for an impressive getaway for both couples and families.
|The living room of this suite at Andaz Maui is perfect for families.|
We stayed in room No. 304, a Deluxe Ocean View Suite. It came with a king bed; two flat-screen TVs, one in the bedroom and another, larger one in the living room; and a spacious balcony, offering ocean views and overlooking most of the resort.
While we highly recommend booking these for couples, the top rooms here, however, are any of the Kilohana Suites, the resort’s signature accommodations. While all of the 400-plus rooms at the Fairmont are suites, the only difference with the Kilohana Suites is that they offer more space. While these rooms have 1,000 square feet of space, all other rooms top off at 860 square feet.
We took a peek at room No. 302, which has a wraparound balcony with 360-degree views. Nice Touch: Each of these rooms includes a pair of binoculars for VIPs hoping to catch a glimpse of some humpback whales. Note: December through February is said to be the optimum time for whale watching with February being the best month for it.
Luxury travel advisors shouldn’t ignore the Poolside Suites either, which are perfect for families, considering they offer easy access to the upper lagoon pool and waterslide, as well as the swim-up bar. Also for families and VIPs advisors should recommend any of the resort’s 37 villas at The Fairmont Kea Lani, which are made up of a mix of either two- or three-bedroom rooms that are either Ocean front or Ocean view. They include a living room area with a queen sleeper sofa and a full entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player, a Nintendo Wii, various board games and wireless high-speed Internet access.
We were able to check out villa No. 18, a two-bedroom Oceanfront Villa, which basically serves as a private townhouse, offering everything from stocked refrigerators to washer and dryers. Our favorite feature of this room, however, is the roomy patio that includes a gas grill and plenty of privacy from the other villas. Note: VIPs who would like to have their fridge stocked before they arrive should fill out a checklist of desired food items about one week before they check in. Nice Touch: Each villa comes with a free amenity, a gift basket filled with such items as local cheese, pancake mix, potato chips, pineapples and more. Note: VIPs can arrange for in-room dining, including wine-pairing dinners. Tip: For in-room dining, we suggest the fish of the day, lobster tails or filet mignon. Note: Luxury car rentals are included in the room rate for all villa guests.
The resort’s massive spa includes separate men’s and women’s locker room facilities, each with marble steam rooms and a remodeled spa lounge. Advisors should book treatments for VIPs roughly three months in advance. Hint: The most popular treatment is the Lomilomi Massage, which uses ancient Hawaiian traditional forearm strokes to apply medium pressure. Essential oils are selected to reflect the flora and fauna of the Islands. Tip: For the Lomilomi Massage, tell VIPs to request Joni Meadows. For further spa inquires, advisors should contact Lennette Clark ([email protected]; 808-875-2220), director of spa/retail.
As far as dining goes, look no further than Kō, which means “sugarcane” in Hawaiian. It showcases the culinary history of the sugarcane plantation era. The menu includes Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese dishes, many of which are actually island family recipes that have been passed down for generations.
|The Master Bedroom at Andaz Maui overlooks the ocean.|
Executive Chef Tylun Pang, who recently penned the cook book, What Maui Likes to Eat, uses the island’s fresh produce, beef and seafood to give the authentic recipes a farm-fresh, contemporary twist. Since it’s opening in April, it has received a number of awards, including Best Resort Restaurant on Maui. Hint: We recommend the lobster tempura and the mashed sweet potatoes. Advisors should contact Dillon David Dray ([email protected]; 808-270-5487), assistant food and beverage manager.
Note: We were told that the resort’s primary markets out of the U.S. tend to be California, mainly San Francisco and Los Angeles; Seattle and Portland. Some international markets include Canada, mainly Vancouver; Australia and New Zealand.
For other inquiries, luxury travel advisors should contact Leisure Sales Manager Erin Frank ([email protected]; 808-270-5407).
The Ritz Carlton Kapalua
Sitting on the gorgeous D.T. Flemings Beach in this resort (www.ritzcarlton.com) works for both active couples and families who really appreciate a good landscape since this is one the best-kept resorts in all of Maui.
|The 1,000-Square-Foot Kilohana Suites are the signature accommodations at Fairmont Kea Lani.|
For families, we would recommend advisors book VIPs in any of the one- or two-bedroom Residential Suites. The best suites overall, however, are the Royal Pacific Suite and the Residential Royal Pacific Suite. The Royal Pacific Suite is on the top floor of the hotel with direct frontal views of the Pacific Ocean and includes two Italian marble bathrooms with separate showers and a jet bathtub and private balconies with oceanfront views. The Residential Royal Pacific Suite is also on the top floor and has many of the same amenities as the Royal Pacific Suite. Tip: Since there is only one of each of these rooms, advisors should book these for VIPs at least six months in advance. Note: Butler service is available in all rooms upon request.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Kapalua includes 15 treatment rooms and two private couples’ cabanas. Like it is at the Fairmont and most other resorts in this area, the most requested treatment here is the Lomilomi Massage. Note: VIPs 16-17 years old may receive facials and guests 15 years old and younger may receive manicures, pedicures, makeup applications, haircuts and styling. Luxury travel advisors should contact Spa Manager Lauren Avila ([email protected]; 808-669-6200).
For guests looking to do some shopping, there are four stores on property and the historical Lahaina Front Street shopping area is just a 20-minute drive away. Tip: A resort shuttle is available for VIPs looking to head that way.
|Fairmont Kea Lani Ko restaurant showcases the culinary history of the sugarcane plantation era.|
Note: For VIPs looking to avoid big crowds, the PGA Tour event, Hyundai Tournament of Champions, takes place in January; the Celebration of the Arts festival kicks off in April; the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival takes place in June and the Xterra Championships are in October. All the events are said to draw scores of tourists to the resort and the surrounding area. Fun Fact: The resort was recently featured in Extra’s Mansions and Millionaires segment on NBC.
The resort is about an hour away from the Kahului Airport (OGG), which flies to the mainland, and five minutes away from the Kapalua Airport (JHM), which is for interisland flights only. Tip: Luxury, private car service is available to and from the airport.
For all other inquiries, luxury travel advisors should contact Head Concierge Heidi Denecke ([email protected]; 808-665-7200).
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort
Luxury Travel Advisor toured the grounds of the soon-to-be-unveiled Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, a five-star resort slated to open in the Wailea section of Maui by the summer of 2013.
Advisors can book the property beginning late winter. Note: This will be the first resort at this location since the Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort closed in 2007.
Andaz Wailea will have roughly 300 rooms and suites, ranging from 456 to 2,321 square feet and including seven three- to five-bedroom villas. Note: Seventy percent of all rooms face the ocean. Among the suites will be two Premiere Suites, which are one-bedroom rooms that can connect and form a two-bedroom suite. Nice Touch: Each Premiere Suite comes with a soaking tub in the center of the room, offering VIPs an impressive ocean view while they soak. Butler service will also be available.
There will also be a total of five pools, with four of them leading into each other. In fact, three infinity pools all end up in one relaxing lagoon pool. The fifth pool is separate and will serve as the resort’s adults-only swimming pool.
There will be two restaurants here, including the recently announced Morimoto Maui, named after executive chef and former Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto, perhaps one of the most well-known celebrity chefs out there. We were told the second restaurant remains unnamed at this point.
There will be a 15,000-square-foot spa, gym, lobby lounge and meeting space. The spa will have 10 treatment rooms, including one couples’ room. Andaz Wailea will house a 4,650-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate up to 200 people.
Note: There will be transfers available to and from the airport in high-end, luxury vehicles. We were told the type of luxury vehicle has not been chosen yet by the resort.