Maui’s Wailea resort area is chock full of luxury resorts. While many of them offer similar rooms, amenities and service, they each maintain individual personality.
At the Fairmont Kea Lani, the personality is one of harmonious balance. The resort is expansive enough to offer a wide array of amenities and services, but not large enough to feel like an impersonal vacation factory. The facility is modern, but with enough well-loved features that would easily be familiar to repeat guests. It’s all threaded together by a veteran staff’s warm, relaxed hospitality delivery.
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Kea Lani, which mean’s “heavenly white” in the Hawaiian Language, is built in the Moorish revival style that immediately evokes Waikiki’s Royal Hawaiian. That iconic property may forever be O’ahu’s pink palace, but Kea Lani is easily distinguished as Maui’s white palace.
The expansive, breezy lobby is filled with historical murals depicting early contacts between Hawaiians and Europeans. While cool tiles and soaring horseshoe archways and soft, recessed light evokes languid nights of the 1920s.
An all-suite resort, the smallest room on property, is an arena-sized 860 square feet, offering plenty of space for families or groups. Entryway pantries have mini-fridges, coffee pots and kettles, and baths are of similarly generous size with twin sinks, soaking tubs and walk-in showers adorned with Fairmont’s signature Le Labo Rose 31 bath amenities.
Oceanfront, two and three-bedroom casita-style villa accommodations include full gourmet kitchens, barbecue grills and private plunge pools. Additional amenities include valet parking, buffet breakfast, chilled water and fruit juice replenished daily, and basked of goodies including fresh-baked banana bread and ocean vodka.
Ko, the hotel’s signature restaurant, named using the Hawaiian word for sugarcane, is a culinary homage to the island’s plantation heritage, deploying flavors and cooking styles that are Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and Portuguese, and Continental.
Inventive cocktails and pupu (appetizer) selections include ahi (tuna) presented skewered and seasoned with a hot stone over which the diner can sear the fish to their desired result. Guests can also look forward to an alfresco buffet or a la carte breakfasts with island flavors such as ahi or crab cake benedict with wasabi hollandaise on taro English muffin, Maui Gold pineapple or fresh papaya, Portuguese sweet bread french toast and Kona coffee.
A hearty breakfast is a necessary fortification for resort activities like the Hawaiian Canoe Experience—a popular outing that has guests paddling an outrigger canoe in the Pacific Ocean fronting the hotel to see turtles lazily paddle through the crystal clear waters.
Guests can also learn Hawaiian, take a self or docent guided tour of the indigenous and Polynesian-introduced plants in the hotel’s gardens, learn hula or ukulele, or a host of other options. Those activities are scheduled for specific days of the week, and hotel staff can help guests plan their weeks in advance. Reservations are recommended in particular for the more popular activities like the Canoe Experience.
When it’s time to relax poolside, there’s a waterslide, both family and adult pools with swim-up bar and cabanas available for daily rental, which come with an iced cooler of snacks and preferred soft drinks, which attendants aren’t shy about replenishing throughout the day.
For guests not booking cabanas, pool attendants are on hand to help guests find and dress pool chairs, move shade umbrellas, and send over servers. On the beach, guests can use fins and snorkels and towels and rent beach chairs and umbrellas (attendants do the heavy lifting).
True to its name, this charming resort is certainly many kinds of heavenly, with plenty to offer any Maui visitor, from solo travelers to honeymooners to families of all sizes with children of all ages, in a style immediately charming to first-time visitors while comfortingly familiar to longtime Maui fans.
Rates start around $630 per night and vary with seasonal demand.
The Resort Charge is $40 per room per day plus tax and includes self parking for one vehicle, daily fitness classes, pool and beach amenities such as sunscreen and after sun care, unlimited calls to Canada and the U.S. Mainland, internet access, children’s welcome amenities, bottled water, snorkel equipment, kids club access, Hawaiian Canoe Experience, and weekly cultural activities. Kids Club and Hawaiian Canoe Experience require reservations and a no-show fee applies.
This resort is so gorgeous it’s difficult to stop taking pictures, from the beach to the gorgeous guest rooms and expansive resort pools, everything begs to be photographed and shared.
Le Club AccorHotels.
Good To Know
Conditions at Polo Beach can vary—observe the colored flags indicating ocean conditions before entering the water; hotel staff cannot give out some ocean amenities when conditions are flagged as hazardous.
Le Club AccorHotels members may receive additional benefits and services, which are explained at check-in.
Self-Parking is included in the resort fee; valet parking is available for an additional nightly charge.
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