Maui is known for its many extravagant resorts, but only one can be the best. Based on service, amenities, and overall grandness, one resort, in particular, stands out. So save your dollars, save your Hilton points, and book yourself a lavish stay at the Grand Wailea Resort. Let’s dive into what makes Wailea’s largest resort so unique and why we deem it the resort war winner.
1. The 25,700 square foot pool area with waterslides and the world’s first water elevator.
While the Grand Wailea as a whole is certainly extravagant, the best example of the resort’s grandness is found in the enormous pool area. The Wailea Canyon pool is the most impressive of the two on-site pools. This 25,700-square-foot pool complex comprises nine individual pools connected by waterslides, caves, lazy rivers, and the world’s first water elevator. The Wailea Canyon Pool also features a Tarzan pool with a rope swing, three jacuzzis, a sand beach, six waterfalls, and a swim-up bar, complete with TVs that routinely broadcast sporting events. Naturally, the Wailea Canyon Pool appeals to families with children and is the resort’s always-bustling hub for action. Meanwhile, the quiet adults-only Hibiscus Pool usually claims the attention of couples, retirees, and solo travelers.
2. The Polynesian fare at Humuhumunukuapua’a.
Humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa is Grand Wailea’s signature restaurant. This open-air eatery presents one of Maui’s most unique dining settings. The thatched-roof restaurant is perched on stilts over a saltwater lagoon teeming with brightly colored fish. The entire space is crafted from ohiʻa wood from the Big Island and features tasteful decor that underscores the elegant Polynesian ambiance. Humuhumu serves upscale takes on local fare at dinner: freshly caught fish, Huli Huli chicken, mac nut crusted catch with lilikoi emulsion, and surf and turf are decided favorites. Humuhumu is also open for breakfast and is regarded as one of the top brunch spots on the island.
3. The luxe treatments at the largest spa in Hawaii.
Grandness seeps into nearly every aspect of this epic Wailea resort, and the spa is no different. The Grand Wailea is home to the largest spa in Hawaii— a 50,000-square-foot facility with 40 treatment rooms. The lobby is covered in Italian marble with a Venetian chandelier, setting the tone for the spa’s elegance. The facilities feature a hydrotherapy circuit, multiple saunas, a Japanese Furo bath, and more. Each of the luxe treatments incorporates Hawaiian ingredients— like the Honey Macadamia Nut Indulgence: a luxurious mask, massage, scalp, and foot treatment with bee propolis and macadamia nut oil.
4. The immersive cultural activities and on-site luau.
The Grand Wailea makes it easier than ever for guests to connect to Hawaiian culture. A series of authentic, immersive cultural activities are offered throughout the resort. Guests can climb aboard an Outrigger Canoe for an unforgettable paddling journey from Wailea Beach or wander the property with the resort’s cultural practitioner as they share Hawaiian stories, history, and traditions. Alternatively, crafty visitors can learn how to play the ukulele, dance hula, or create a lei or kukui nut bracelet. Kids can get in on the action with the Grand Passport, where they can earn stamps and stickers after completing educational activities around the resort. However, the Grand Wailea Resort on-site luau is the most glamorous of the resort’s cultural activities. This weekly event features world-class Polynesian entertainment and a three-course meal of traditional fare.
5. The elegant rooms.
Even the lowest-priced room at this sprawling resort is deluxe. Rooms start at 640 square feet with various views of the property (be sure to book an oceanview room). The digs here are bright and airy, with wood furniture and private lanais. Meanwhile, the bathrooms are nothing short of elegant, featuring large soaking tubs, separate showers, marble floors, and luxe Spa Grande toiletries. To further your luxurious experience, book a suite in the resort’s Napua Tower, where guests have private access to an impressive continental breakfast, cocktails, afternoon tea, an adults-only “chocolate decadence” service, and hors d’oeuvres.
6. The stunning grounds.
The resort is situated on 40 acres teeming with tropical gardens, elegant fountains, and amenities galore. The breezy, open-air lobby sets the tone for the rest of the property. Wooden canoes doubling as overflowing garden beds sit in a large reflecting pond. Larger-than-life Fernando Botero sculptures are scattered throughout, comprising only a small piece of the resort’s impressive art collection. A picturesque chapel is perched near the water, backed by lofty swaying palms and ocean views (hello, epic wedding venue). Nature balances the opulence— with fragrant plumeria trees and manicured tropical foliage planted around the resort— reminding guests that they are indeed in the Hawaiian islands.
7. The prime beachfront location.
The Grand Wailea’s lush grounds spill out onto the heart of Wailea Beach— arguably the most lovely, user-friendly beach in the area. Guests are afforded premier beach access, with chairs and umbrellas available upon request. Not to mention, the beach and resort face west, which translates into epic sunset views. Looking for a change of scenery? The Grand Wailea is situated in the middle of Wailea’s resort row, bordered by the Four Seasons and the Wailea Marriott. Guests can explore nearby restaurants and beaches via the 2-mile Wailea Beach path, work on their swing at one of the area’s many golf courses, or get some shopping done at the plush Shops of Wailea.