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“Absolutely beautiful, but crowded beach & pool areas, overpriced”

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Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Ranked #7 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 19 April 2009

We stayed at the Grand Wailea 10 to 12 April 2009 for two nights over Easter Weekend. The hotel is a beautiful work of art, the grounds are a botanical garden and the rooms are clean, spacious and comfortable; but beware as the beach and pool areas are very crowded and the service in these areas is very poor. Our experience of the hotel was very much as described in considerable detail by the previous reviewer Girlstar 128. I wrote this review to re-affirm the realities set out by Girlstar 128 as our experiences were very similar. Beware if you stay on a Hilton Honours free room reward ( which we did) as my credit card got billed for the cost of the room after we checked out of the hotel and the first I knew of the double billing for the cost of the room was on my credit card bill as the hotel never had the courtesy to notify me of an illegitimate post departure charge - great practice for a 4+star hotel ! I now have to waste time correcting their mistake.

From a very seasoned traveler's perspective, overall the Grand Wailea beach and pool areas are like an overcrowded 3 star hotel in the Dominican Republic charging 4 and 5 star prices. We liked the hotel building, the hotel grounds, the room and the dinner we had at the Molokini Restaurant but because of the overcrowding, we would not go back. Having seen the cost of the room charged to my credit card, the Grand Wailea in our experience is over priced for what we got.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank JnJ_Montreal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,688 - 5,692 of 6,491 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2009

We recently spent 4 nights at the Grand Wailea during Spring Break. The grounds were nice, the rooms were a decent size, the pools were fabulous, and the beach was great, but this is what you need to know before you book this hotel:

1. If you are travelling with kids and would like to spend time at the family pools, you need to get down to the pool area to "reserve" your chairs before 8am. We arrived at 8:30 one morning and all the good chairs were already taken. Word of caution - there are signs posted that people are not allowed to "reserve" chairs before 7am and any chairs left unattended for more than 1 hour will be forfeited.

2. Before you can use the pool, you need to line up at the Activity Center to get a wrist-band. Even toddlers need them. The color of the bands change every day, so you will need to line up every morning. This made us feel like we were at a 3-4* all-inclusive rather than at a 5* luxury hotel.

3. Service at the pool area is virtually non-existent. One day, we spent about 4 hours in loungers by the pool, and not once were we approached by a server. We had to walk to the bar area to get water and drinks for ourselves. In fact, we saw more security staff than servers. At one point, I made the mistake of asking a security man if we could get an umbrella over our loungers (thinking he was a pool staff), and he snapped at me. A few minutes later, I saw him get into an argument with another guest b/c she had left her chairs unoccupied for more than one hour and couldn't find her personal belongings.

We are used to having staff at other hotels set up chairs/towels for us, and having servers circulate with cold towels, water, etc., so this lack of service was very surprising to us. At the prices they charge ($8.50 for a very small frozen lemonade), they should be able to provide a few more service staff for the pool area.

4. One morning, we decided to sit on the beach rather than by the pool. In order to get lounge chairs set up on the beach, my husband had to stand in line for over 30 minutes. There were only 2 staff members setting up chairs/umbrellas, so we saw lots of guests pick up their own chairs and carry them onto the beach. Again, this was very surprising for a 5 star hotel.

5. When we pulled up to the front entrance (to check-in), we had to stand there for 2-3 minutes before someone helped us with our luggage. Again, this was very unusual for a 5* hotel.

In summary, the pools, beach and grounds were very nice, and the service at the restaurants was good. Like a previous reviewer stated, if you like mega-resorts and you don't mind walking 15 minutes to the self-carpark or being treated like a guest at a 3-4 star all-inclusive, then this is the resort for you. However, if you have stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani or the Four Seasons are are used to a higher-level of service, then you will be disappointed with your stay here. Personally, I would take a smaller/simpler pool and smaller beach area for better service, but then again, service is something that's important to me when I pay to stay at a 5 star hotel. Next time, I will definitely stay next door.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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1  Thank Girlstar128
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2009

Wow, my wife and I are completely homesick for the GW. This truly was an amazing stay. Here are some facts and a little background on what we can compare this Hotel to:
We have traveled to many countries including: Italy, Greece, Turkey, China, Moscow, Israel, France, Thailand, Hong Kong, +++ and we live in Southern California near Laguna Beach so the bar is quite high. The GW was really the most beautiful place we’ve ever stayed at. This IS a 5 star resort. But what made it great was the friendly staff and amazing pool. When you travel, if you choose to stay at a 5 star hotel you expect 5 star service. The people were just amazing. Michele in reservations and Shannon at the front counter are just two examples of Perfect service. Yes you are going to pay a little more money for food and other items, but what do you expect when you are in such a place. My wife and I absolutely loved the pool. We spent most of our time here just hanging out and talking with our 1 year old. The $14.95 burger at the pool was super tasty, the spa is a must visit. We love to travel and actually do not have tons of money, but we like nice things. So we saved and were able to make the trip here. We can’t wait to go back. Great to bring kids too. The pools are separated for kids and adults so either way is perfect if you don’t want to be around the children. Just get there and relax. The Hotel it self is just beautiful. You can see the pictures all over the internet and they are accurate in beauty. But you could have a beautiful place and terrible service, but here you get the whole package which is very important when you take a vacation. Thanks to everyone at the GW!!!

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled with family
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Thank TheeBabydotcom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2009

Visited Hawaii for 4th time and had MOST ENJOYABLE vacation at this Resort. Great, dsicounted group rates for on-site meeting ~$300/night. Beautiful grounds, beach, pools, and common areas. Excellent rooms and Fitness Center. Restaurant, housekeeping, and Bar service was disappointing but beautiful setting and amenities more than compensated. Would gladly return.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled on business
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Thank MPH_AA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Grand Wailea recently and couldn't have asked for a more perfect experience. We splurged and enjoyed watching the sunset from our ocean view room in the Napua Tower which comes with some fabulous amenities (great complimentary breakfast, cocktails and pu pus and use of a couple of Apple computers with great big monitors.) Spectacular spa experience (anti-aging facial and a deep tissue massage). We like kids but were delighted that there was a separate pool for adults when we wanted some quiet relaxation. Food, service and atmosphere at Humuhumu for dinner were outstanding. No complaints! Loved IT! GO!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank MadsteveLosAngeles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Address: 3850 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753-8443
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Wailea
#4 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
#4 Family Hotel in Wailea
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Wailea
#6 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#7 Green Hotel in Wailea
#7 Spa Hotel in Wailea
Price Range: ₹ 31,463 - ₹ 84,074 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 780
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, is the ultimate destination for a fabulous Hawaii vacation, perfect for families, spa goers, honeymooners, golfers and active vacationers. Situated on 40 acres of lush, tropical Hawaiian gardens, Grand Wailea opens onto Maui's beautiful Wailea Beach, voted one of the best beaches in America, with elegant and newly-renovated accommodations, indulgent spa treatments, fine dining and thrilling recreational options. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Wailea - a Waldorf Astoria Hotel Wailea
Grand Wailea Maui
Grand Wailea Resort Maui
Grand Wailea Hawaii
Grand Hotel Wailea
Grand Resort Wailea
Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort Maui

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