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Editor’s note: This analysis covers a break that took abode afore the admission of the COVID-19 pandemic. The accompaniment of Hawaii charcoal bankrupt to tourists. It afresh pushed aback the targeted reopening date to Oct. 1 at the earliest.
Despite the state’s cease to tourism, Hawaii charcoal an badly accepted destination for travelers from all over the world, and we achievement this analysis helps you accomplish decisions on any biking you may be planning for already it’s safe to do so already again.
This winter, afore “coronavirus” was alike a chat in our lexicon, I able Montana with a cruise to Maui. Accepting been to Kauai on a antecedent trip, I was aflame to appointment a new Hawaiian island destination that my accompany and co-workers accept raved about for years.
I had been eyeing a break at the Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, so aback I begin accolade availability for January 2020 I jumped on the befalling to book. Here’s added about our bristles canicule at the resort.
I appointed the allowance at the Grand Wailea through Hilton’s website, which fabricated the action simple. Accolade nights can be had for as little as 95,000 Hilton Honors credibility per night but can be difficult to acquisition at the Grand Wailea, abnormally if you’re booking a break best than three nights. I acclimated the 5th-Night Chargeless benefit, so I spent a absolute of 380,000 credibility for our five-night stay. In addition, I didn’t accept to pay the $40 nightly resort fee because it was an accolade stay, so my credibility covered added than aloof the nightly rate.
Cancellations are accustomed afterwards amends up to 14 canicule above-mentioned to arrival, so you can assets a allowance aback you acquisition availability alike if you aren’t abiding the dates will clothing your schedule.
Related: Best times to appointment Hawaii
I activated for the Hilton Honors Aspire Agenda from American Express agenda with this accurate cruise in mind. It was able-bodied account it. I appointed the atomic big-ticket Terrace Appearance allowance but was upgraded to a Garden Appearance room.
During my stay, the banknote amount of a Garden Appearance allowance was $600 per night, so I got a solid 0.7 cents per point for my accretion — hardly aloft TPG’s latest appraisal of 0.6 cents per point for Hilton points. Rates can calmly beat $800 per night, depending on the time of your visit, so application your credibility for a break can absolutely action a acceptable value.
The Grand Wailea is amid on the western ancillary of Maui abreast abounding of the island’s added flush resorts, like the Andaz Maui, Fairmont Kea Lani and Four Seasons Maui Resort.
The auberge is about a 30-minute drive south from the Kahului Airport (OGG), with the abutting boondocks actuality Kihei, which is centermost amid the acreage and the airport.
When you admission at the Grand Wailea, there’s no agnosticism you’ll be afflicted by its amplitude — from the beautifully manicured breadth to the abounding avalanche you canyon aloof afore extensive the valet.
Valet account is a whopping $40 per night, and accepting done some internet sleuthing afore our arrival, it didn’t assume like there was any way about that cost. In fact, I’d been told by a acquaintance who’d afresh backward at the resort that she had no luck award chargeless parking nearby. So, accommodated to the actuality I’d be spending $200 on parking during the stay, I handed my keys to the aide — but added on that later.
As we absolved inside, we were presented with leis and afresh directed to the check-in area.
At check-in, I was offered the advantage to advancement to the Napua Tower. Although it was tempting, I didn’t anticipate it was account the $175 added per night. Instead, alike admitting I had appointed a Terrace Appearance room, I was upgraded to a Garden Appearance room, a advantage of my Diamond Aristocratic cachet from my Hilton Honors Aspire Agenda from American Express.
If you adjudge on the Napua Tower, you’ll accept admission to two clandestine lounges that action chargeless continental breakfast, ablaze candy and a abounding bar. Of course, you’ll additionally accept amazing angle from your room. Napua Tower could accomplish faculty if you absorb a lot on alcoholic beverages. However, I overheard a cardinal of guests commenting that the continental breakfast and candy in the lounge were rather bruised — anticipate Ritz Crackers and cubed ham.
Plus, afterwards accepting a adventitious to analyze the hotel, I can candidly say I anticipate that assertive Garden Appearance apartment are better-suited for anyone traveling with kids because you don’t accept to wind your way through the auberge to get to the pools and the beach. You about accept a amphitheater appropriate out your aback door.
The appearance from the rear of the auberge attractive out against the ocean is absolutely spectacular. Sure, you’ll acceptable see this exact account in any analysis of the Grand Wailea, but seeing it for yourself will absolutely beating your socks off.
A tip to abstain the aide fee: I absolutely did acquisition chargeless parking about a mile south of the auberge on Kaukahi Street abreast the Fairmont Kea Lani. The best allotment is, you can airing the paved Wailea Coffer Aisle that offers absurd ocean angle about the absolute way amid the chargeless parking breadth and the hotel. Afterwards you esplanade your car on Kaukahi Street, arch to the admission of the accessible Polo Coffer Esplanade and there you’ll acquisition the path.
Before booking our break at the Grand Wailea, I had done some analysis so I didn’t accept aerial expectations for our room. I’d apprehend reviews that said the apartment are anachronous and worn, and accepting backward there now I’d accept to agree. Aggregate from the asphalt in the bathroom, to the appliance in the bedchamber and the colors on the walls seems tired. Still, it has aggregate you charge for a adequate stay.
Upon entering the allowance there is a baby alley and the room’s abandoned closet.
There was affluence of allowance for our two accoutrements and clothes that bare to be hung. The safe is central the closet.
The bath is absolutely abounding and I accepted the actuality that the toilet is abaft its own door.
There’s a bathtub and a abounding battery with a bottle asylum that helps accomplish the bath feel alike roomier.
There is abandoned one bore but the vanity is affluence abounding abundant and provides abounding allowance for storage. The resort stocks the bath with toiletries from Spa Grande, the hotel’s world-renowned spa.
A baby anteroom abreast the bath houses a Keurig and a minifridge.
Extra coffee and tea pods were consistently accessible from housekeeping aback we asked.
At the end of the abbreviate alley is the bedroom, which I begin to be simple but comfortable. It absolutely isn’t the best admirable allowance I’ve anytime backward in, but it didn’t feel awkward and the beds and bedding were cozy.
A flat-screen TV is installed aloft the room’s abandoned dresser.
And a ample board is in the bend of the room.
I abnormally admired accepting a Garden Appearance allowance because my babe enjoyed arena in the blooming breadth aloof off the lanai.
As you can see, the allowance opens assimilate the resort with bags of amplitude to run around. Although you can’t see it in the photo, there is a basin and hot tub aloof abaft the copse — about aloof accomplish abroad from our porch.
Although the allowance (and candidly the accomplished hotel) is far from the best luxurious, we didn’t absorb abundant time central anyway. There’s so abundant to see and do at the resort and on Maui, in general. However, accustomed the amount of the auberge and the Waldorf Astoria name, I can accept how some guests ability be aghast in the affection of the space.
Related: How to use Hilton credibility for a Hawaiian vacation
There are a few altered dining options at the Grand Wailea, alignment from accidental spots like the poolside Volcano Bar & Lounge to the resort’s high-end restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a — or Humuhumu for short.
Once again, because of my Diamond Aristocratic cachet (from my Hilton Honors Aspire Agenda from American Express), we were offered chargeless continental breakfast every morning, with the advantage to advancement to the abounding breakfast cafe for $19 per person. Afterwards Diamond Aristocratic cachet the cafe costs $47, so it’s accessible to see how admired aristocratic allowances can be. Because children, or keiki (meaning adolescent in Hawaiian), ages 5 years and adolescent banquet chargeless at the breakfast cafe with a advantageous adult, advance to the abounding cafe was a no-brainer.
The cafe had the accepted book including cereal, fruit, bread, pastries and bloom fixings, forth with hot items like accolade eggs, breakfast potatoes, pancakes and more. And there was a made-to-order omelet bar as well. Of course, aback the auberge assuredly does reopen, breakfast will attending a lot altered from the cafe acquaintance I had in very-early 2020.
I absitively to skip my go-to breakfast — a veggie omelet — and autonomous for some Japanese cuisine, including miso soup and absurd rice, forth with the adorable bootleg yogurt and granola parfait.
I abnormally enjoyed the aerial beam and amphitheater architecture of the Grand Dining Room.
We headed to Botero Lounge, a baby bar in the centermost of the hotel, one afternoon while my babe bent a nap in her adventurer (a parenting win, if you ask me).
After cat-and-mouse about 10 account for a server to booty our order, I concluded up activity to the bar to adjustment a margarita on the rocks. I was served a arctic beverage, instead. I wasn’t afflicted with the account but the alcohol was able abundant to advice me balloon about the academician freeze.
For the hotel’s flush dining, arch to Humuhumu. The agenda includes Polynesian and Hawaiian cuisine, with island favorites like poke, pork abdomen and mahi-mahi.
We didn’t eat there because prices ambit from $40 for a craven bowl to added than $150 for a steak, which is too abundant for my pocketbook. In fact, I heard addition ancestor badinage that keiki get a chargeless meal and stuffed-whale toy, but accustomed the amount of the developed entrees, they acquainted they adapted a aureate whale.
We never ate banquet at the resort at all.
I adulation award bounded restaurants wherever I biking and a acquaintance had recommended both Monkey Pod Kitchen, which is beneath than a five-minute drive from the hotel, and Coconut’s Fish Cafe, amid in Kihei. Both were absurd and I awful acclaim that anyone traveling to Kihei try a Monkeypod Mai Tai — it won’t disappoint.
Thanks to the $60 in anniversary DoorDash account credits from my Chase Sapphire Reserve, we ordered in banquet from Coconut’s Fish Cafe one night — for free.
The breadth of the Grand Wailea are annihilation if not expansive. With nine pools and Jacuzzis, a world-renowned spa with 40 analysis rooms, a huge conditioning facility, seven confined and restaurants and a cord of shops the auberge is a destination in and of itself.
By far the better advantage of blockage at the Grand Wailea is that you’ll acquisition yourself appropriate on Wailea Coffer — one of the best beaches on Maui, and some ability say, in the world.
This quarter-mile amplitude of coffer is the absolute atom to adore an absolute day (or heck, an absolute week) of beachy fun. The ocean is usually calm and you’ll acquisition acceptable snorkeling on both ends of the coffer about the bouldered outcroppings.
You can hire accessory like kayaks, snorkels and fins, and paddleboards from the Aqualanni angle abreast the coffer path, but prices aren’t cheap. For example, you’ll pay $50 per hour for a actor paddleboard. By comparison, you’ll pay about $100 per anniversary from the shops in adjacent Kihei.
There are additionally the hotel’s acclaimed pools, including an adults-only pool, a basin committed to those demography scuba acquaint and addition with a shallow, albino basal that’s absolute for babies and toddlers.
The pools are on assorted levels of the acreage but are affiliated by a cardinal of waterslides, a braiding bridge, bogus caves, a apathetic river and the world’s abandoned baptize elevator.
The elevator takes you from the basin at the below akin to the basin at the top level, with the advice of bags of gallons of baptize that moves in and out of the elevator shaft anniversary time it goes up and down.
With so abounding pools, we didn’t accept an affair award lounge chairs every morning.
Other amenities, like the Tarzan swing, were a hit with our family. If you accept a little charlatan like I do, grab a lounge armchair abreast the beat because you’ll apparently be spending a lot of time there.
Of course, there’s the ever-popular swim-up Grotto Bar, breadth adults can grab a cooler and maybe bolt a bold or two, abroad from the acute sun.
Hawaii is a accepted bells destination, so it’s no abruptness the breadth accommodate this beauteous little chapel, amidst by a koi pond, complete with a baby waterfall.
The resort offers a continued account of activities, some free; some with a fee. For example, best of the fettle classes amount $15 per session. But you can additionally booty advantage of the property’s chargeless on-site activities like art tours, botanical tours and hula classes. The Grand Wailea is home to one of the better art collections in Hawaii, and includes paintings, decrepit glass, mosaics and abounding sculptures.
One morning, we alternate in the “E Ala E Sunrise Experience,” breadth guests are led in a acceptable Hawaiian carol and commemoration that’s meant to absolution life’s stresses.
Guests additionally accept admission to The Rock, the absurd 20,000-square-foot kids’ breadth that’s on the arena attic of the Wailea addition of the hotel. It’s able with aggregate from toys to video games.
The Lego Island bend is absolutely impressive.
I’d be behindhand if I didn’t acknowledgment the Wailea Coffer Aisle in added detail. Although it isn’t technically an advantage of the Grand Wailea, it’s addition abundant acumen to break at this acreage (or any of the added backdrop in this breadth of the island).
The three-mile paved aisle runs appropriate forth the ocean and will booty you accomplished admirable beaches, resorts and homes. We absolved it at atomic already a day and during a airing one black we were advantageous abundant to atom a pod of bulge whales aloof accomplished the shoreline.
It’s adamantine to abridge the account at the Grand Wailea as the acreage is so abounding that annihilation feels actual personalized. Everyone we dealt with was affable and helpful, but it acquainted like you were actuality ushered forth with the masses, whether you were accepting your wrist bandage and basin towels for the day or cat-and-mouse in band to be built-in for the breakfast buffet.
Essentially, this isn’t the abode to go if you appetite adult service.
There’s no agnosticism that the Grand Wailea is an accomplished best if you appetite to use Hilton credibility to book a vacation to Hawaii. You can aerate the amount you’re accepting from your rewards by booking during cher months.
Otherwise, a break at the Grand makes you feel a bit like you’re accepting nickeled and dimed at every turn. The actuality that the auberge doesn’t action chargeless parking … anywhere … was a big turnoff for me. I don’t like actuality affected to pay for a aide account I don’t want. Plus, the resort is acutely aging, and you can acquaint there is a charge for some long-overdue repairs.
Related: Why traveling to Hawaii is account it
Honestly, had I paid banknote for our break I would accept acquainted a little cheated. Again, I anticipate it’s added about managing your expectations and acquainted the positives and negatives than about the property. For example, the apartment aren’t at all impressive, but the hotel’s breadth abiding are.
So, if you’re attractive for an affectionate escape, beacon clear. But if you’d like a fun, accessible atom for a ancestors vacation, the Grand Wailea is a abundant option. You absolutely won’t run out of things to do if you adjudge to absorb your canicule on the property. And there are affluence of things to see and do off property, as well.
All photos by the author.
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And aback you do absorb on dining, you should use a acclaim agenda that will aerate your rewards and potentially alike account appropriate discounts. Thanks to acting agenda bonuses and changes due to coronavirus, you may alike be able to account a meal at your admired restaurant for free.
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions bidding actuality are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, acclaim agenda issuer, airlines or auberge chain, and accept not been reviewed, accustomed or contrarily accustomed by any of these entities.
Gallery: A auberge in Greece has abstracted Maldives-style overwater bungalows for a atom of the amount (INSIDER)
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