Monday, April 19, 2010

Wailea Wrap-Up - a quick summary of the options

I am going to go right down the line here, and give a quick blurb about each of the really beautiful family-friendly resorts. There is much more to cover then what I have written here, and I will work on individual posts about each property (and indeed, all of the Wailea properties) in the coming weeks. Each property mentioned below has a Kids Club, and multiple restaurants on property, as well as a beach. These are all oceanfront resorts.

The Wailea Beach Marriott Resort and Spa

This is a great resort, recently renovated with several pool areas, a fantastic spa, large rooms, several really good restaurant options, a Starbucks in the lobby, and a WONDERFUL LUAU. All luaus are not created equal. The location is also very convenient, located right by the Shops at Wailea, an upscale shopping mall with a multitude of restaurants and shops, and a few convenience stores with reasonable prices on carry-out food, sunscreen, towels, beach toys, etc. There are a few areas that stll need updating (the children's pool area, for instance) but all in all I would recommend this resort highly - it is priced well and the recent renovations make the Marriott a solid choice.

The Grand Wailea Resort and Spa

Woah Nellie. Between the Spa Grande and that water park they call the pool area, your entire family will be happy at this resort. There is lots to do, and lots of kids to play with. There is a kids club and an adults only pool - which is good because otherwise it is pretty much all kids, all the time. The pool area is pretty extreme, with a very extensive collection of waterslides and even an underwater elevator (which I can't bring my claustrophobic self to ride but my son described as "WICKED" which I believe is a positive review). There are a LOT of people staying here just for the pool, and I don't blame them - but be prepared. It is very crowded and chaotic during school vacations.

The spa needs a whole separate paragraph. It is gorgeous, and I cannot say enough about it. It has two floors, and the entire (huge) first floor is divided into a women's side and a men's side. Each side features pools, soaking tubs, waterfall showers, steam and sauna rooms, jacuzzis, and a lounge area with tea and fruit. Be prepared for nudity and all that comes with it. Seriously. Be prepared. Even if you choose to wear a suit, I can guarantee many people will not.

While the resort itself is very impressive, the rooms and bathrooms are good sized, but this place is really all about the pool and the spa - they will blow you away.

The Four Seasons

The Four Seasons is, well, The Four Seasons. Impeccable, understated luxury. Almost everything is included in the cost of your room, they do not nickle and dime you. They have a wonderful kids club, a nice beach, excellent restaurants, and a lovely exercise room. I adore The Four Seasons, but it is so understated that there really isn't anything to rave about except how elegant you feel when you are staying there. Just saying "We're at The Four Seasons" has a nice ring to it, doesn't it ?

The Fairmont Kea Lani

I want to remain impartial, and really - all of the resorts in Wailea are gorgeous in their own right.
The Fairmont Kea Lani is my favorite.

The first and most important detail, as a parent, is that this is an ALL SUITE resort. Yes, one bedroom suites. They also have villas with 2 and 3 bedrooms, and those each have a private plunge pool, washer and dryer, complete kitchen, a barbeque grill and a patio. What all of this means is that whichever room you get at the Kea Lani, from the moderate suite to the three-bedroom ocean front villa, your kids can sleep in another room.

That's right. You are going to get your own room on vacation.

I'll let that sink in for a minute.

OK, moving on. Each suite has a bedroom, a large living room and a spacious patio area with table, chairs, and chaise lounge. Each suite has two televisions, a wet bar with empty refrigerator, and an enormous bathroom. Enormous. Huge. There are several restaurants that are excellent, and the Caffe Ciao deli, which has all sorts of salads and specialty items. They have a nice pool area (an adult pool, a baby pool, and then a pool complex with upper and lower pools and a waterslide connecting the two) and an excellent beach.

So that's my assessment, my honest opinion of the Wailea Resort options for families. I will add links to radio shows that McCoy Travel Radio broadcast from the resorts in the next few days.

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