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Reviewed 20 July 2015

This review is based primarily in my comparison to other similar properties (e.g. Four Seasons, Ritz, etc.). Thus...while I think a subset of folks will love this hotel...I found it to be aggravating and would not stay here again. In full disclosure, I am a Hilton Diamond member...which probably influences my opinion as well. I am always "torn" on an experience I got for "free." But I try to put myself in the position as if I paid $ for the room.

So when I think Waldorf...I think the best. But with this hotel...it's more like a Hilton with a lot of extra fees. Be prepared to be nickel and dimed to death. In comparison to a Four Seasons...where I never feel like I am being asked for every nickel and dime. The price at the resort should reflect the level of service. At the GW...the price is just the barrier to entry...everything else will cost you $.

Let's start with the positives:
- The resort is lovely overall. The landscaping (while lacking in some TLC)...is overall very nice. The views are great (as long as your room isn't in the outer ring). The property is nice. For what its worth...they filmed "Just Go With It" here. That novelty lasts about 1-2 minutes. :)
- The pool is amazing...if you have children. It is literally a water resort level quality pool. My kids (12 and 14)...got bored here after a few hours. But I am sure younger children will love it for days. There are two long water slides...with a lot of little slides between the different pools. There is even a lazy river. This would a good place for a family with young children. There is an adult pool...which was decent. Overall..the pools at this resort are the best part.
- The staff was friendly. Although...this is table stakes for a place like this.
- Rooms. Well mine was recently renovated...so it was good. But that's about all I can say for it. More on this later. I was in a room we affectionately called "steerage"...since I don't think they would give it to a paying customer.
- Location. It's on a nice part of Wailea Beach...and the resort is literally right next door to a mall with lots of dining and shopping options (which you will want after getting crushed by the high prices here). My family ate dinner at this mall every night..and we did all of our shopping here as well.
- National Car Rental. They are right on the property...which was very convenient.
- Concierge. We booked a zipline tour through them. Good experience. We did the 5 line Piiholo tour. We enjoyed it. Very expensive though.

Cons:
- Pool area seating. Oh. My. What a mess. Here is the deal...my guess is roughly half of the pool seats are cabana seats. For $150-$1000 you can rent these for a day. Seriously?! Like the hotel price isn't enough. Or...the resort fee isn't enough. They charge another $150+ for a cabana (price varies by location)? You literally have to get to the pool by 8am...maybe 9am...to get free chairs by the pool. This was probably my greatest source of frustration. I have been to resorts like this many times...and I am ok with cabanas. I get that people may want to purchase this type of "upgrade." But when half of the seats are set aside for this...I felt this was excessive. Worse...by my estimation...over half of these cabana seats were unoccupied during my stay. So those seats just sit there...and the price doesn't go down as the day goes by. Ugh.
- Resort fee. More on this below...but it certainly doesn't "pay" for a chair at the beach.
- Beach chairs. Yup...they cost money.
- Outer ring rooms. Look at a hotel map. There are essentially two rings that emanate from the lobby area. If you aren't on one of the top floors on the outer ring...you will have the proverbial "garden view". You may...get a sliver of ocean...but that's it. Get a high floor. Same thing for the inner ring. The bottom rooms may look right at the pool. Get a high floor.
- Lack of dining options. There are really only 4 places to eat...with some of them only open during certain hours. We never ate at the humuhumunukunukuapua'a. The bistro was ok, albeit expensive. The cafe is ok. And the buffet by the main lobby...is way over priced for what you get. I do not recommend the buffet.
- Extremely slow valet. Pleasant staff...but in no hurry. Give yourself at least 15-30 minutes of lead time. Yup...they are that slow.
- $30 for a roll away bed. Ugh.

One particular bone to pick...the dreaded resort fee. Is anyone else on this earth incredibly frustrated by these ridiculous fees? It's not just that they hit you with these after you check in...but the list of "stuff" is questionable. I wouldn't pay for most of this stuff. It's the proverbial Time Warner or Comcast "bundling" approach. Provide me with a bunch of junk I don't want. I think the hotel chain that rids themselves of these heinous fees...just might be the one that gets my business. This fee gets you these things (my snarky comments follow):
- A tropical flower lei greeting upon arrival (could have gone without this)
- Two bottles of water on day of arrival placed in the guestroom (seriously...this is all? The Four Seasons gives you unlimited water)
- Welcome Drink, a seasonal elixir (non-alcoholic), at the designated check-in area (I have no idea what this is/was. I certainly was never offered a drink)
- Unlimited local, toll-free, and credit card calls (no access fee)(don't care...its 2015...I have a cell phone)
- Coffee & tea in guest rooms (that's awfully nice of them...to do something every other hotel in the free world does)
- Participation in yoga classes (don't do Yoga)
- Admission to twice-daily SCUBA clinics (already PADI certified...don't need this)
- Use of Kona Lanai Hardtail Mountain Bikes (based on availability)(never used)
- 24-Hour business kiosk with free boarding pass printing (never used)
- Beach umbrellas for use on Wailea Beach (subject to resort’s inventory) (never used; notice...beach chair isn't anywhere in this)
- Participation in weekly scheduled Culture, Garden, and Art Tours featuring the works of Botero, Leger, and Chihuly (huh?!...I have no idea what this is)
- In-room high speed internet access (up to 2MB), with wireless capability and internet for multiple devices (about the only thing I used...it is was really slow)
- In-room safes (this is seriously included in the resort fee?)
- Mini Refrigerator in all guestrooms (I get these for "free" in a Hampton Inn)

As you can see...the fee is laughable...at best. And when you consider this is supposed to be one of Hilton's top properties...it's extremely aggravating. Thank goodness I had this waived because I used Hilton points. But buyer beware for those not using points.

Ok, well there you have it. I have never stayed at the Wailea Four Seasons, Andaz, etc....but they probably are better. This hotel ranks 6 of 7 in Wailea for a reason. I would consider those properties before the GW. If you have young children...who like to swim and play in the water...the GW may be a good property for you. Otherwise, I recommend looking elsewhere.

Room Tip: Get a high floor; try to get in one of the rooms closest to the ocean (I call these the inner ring).
  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank UsingCommonSense
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2015

This Maui resort has a gorgeous open air lobby / grand entrance. Gardens, pathways, and landscaping are well-maintained and lovely. Restaurants have fabulous views. Beautiful beach with golden soft sand and just-right waves for big kids. Sunsets are to die for. And then there's the rest...

My family of 5 stayed in connecting rooms at this expensive resort. The rooms were plain but clean. The maid service was good- no complaints there. Good sized bathrooms but the doors to the bathroom and the doors to the closet all open in the same area and make the entryway to the hotel room quite tight.

Cabanas: ugh. Where do I start? These are the most expensive and worst cabanas that we've ever rented (compared to Ritz-Carlton, Atlantis Bahamas, & Aquatica (yep, that's right) just to name a few). The service was inconsistent: sometimes we had a fabulous host (Kresta) but sometimes we had nobody. The lounge chairs were jam-packed underneath the cabana and there was a little safe on a table. Also, we requested a particular location for our cabana before our stay and every day during our stay but no one seemed to acknowledge said request until my husband cc'd the PR manager as well as the hotel manager. The managers immediately responded to our request and our cabana was in a great spot for the rest of our trip (between beach & lazy river). FYI- we are not a demanding family but when you pay $500+ per day for a cabana, you should receive outstanding service and at least an explanation for why your cabana is on the other side of the property from the cabana you requested.

So, all that being said about the cabanas, if you don't rent one, you're in trouble. People line up early to grab and save lawn chairs. Additionally, the lawn chairs are crowded, crowded, crowded. You can't even walk between the rows and they're stacked 3-4 deep in most places. Honestly, the arrangement of the chairs, cabanas, etc. made me feel a bit claustrophobic during my stay.

Food: average but expensive. Not impressed.

Fitness Center: Precor equipment- which I like. Lots of treadmills, free-weights, etc, however, it's too warm in the room! More importantly, there are no bathrooms, showers, or changing rooms in the fitness center.

Pools: the kids loved all the pools, water slides, tarzan rope swing, water elevator, etc. The pools are getting a tad time-worn though- just saying. Additionally, I wish there were more bathrooms around the outdoor property.

Overall our family had fun at this resort but, in my opinion, the price wasn't worth the service/goods received.

  • Stayed: June 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Alycia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2015

Our review for family of 4 with two kids 13 and 9, stayed 8 nights.

First the good - if you have kids they will love the pool area. Staff was very friendly throughout the resort. That's about where it ends.

Our room experience was disappointing to say the least. When we checked in, we were told the room we requested (with two queens) was unavailable, so our only option was a handicap accessible room. No big deal we thought - keep reading. We get to our room, and our amazing travel agent left a gift basket with wine and fruit and some snacks. Unfortunately this caused a deluge of ants - ants which we dealt with our entire 8 day stay. We didn't bother let anyone know because we didn't want them spraying our room and then having to sleep in it. We had also already unloaded our baggage so would have been a hassle to change rooms.

Next issue - the shower. Every single time someone in our family of 4 took a shower, water leaked out under the door all over the bathroom floor. It was really unbelievable. We literally had to stand in puddles sloshing around to get ready and constantly request more towels to mop up the mess. Not what you'd expect from this type of resort.

Housekeeping was inconsistent. Some days we got 3 towels (for family of 4), and one day we got no housekeeping. We had to request towels at night after being out exploring Maui all day - we were all exhausted and needed showers, but had to wait over an hour for 4 towels to be delivered.

Finally - one thing I thought was odd...we went to the Grand Luau on the property, and everybody who isn't staying at the hotel gets the valet parking validated. But for those staying on property? No such luck... confirmed by the nice lady at the hotel desk.

So would we stay here again and recommend to our friends? We're on the fence - when we come back with our kids? Maybe. This experience for us was definitely nowhere near the Waldorf experience we're accustomed to.

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Mascar11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GWExecutiveOffice, General Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2015

Aloha Mascar 11,

Mahalo for your review and feedback. We regret that we were not able to provide you with the quality of service you deserve during your recent stay, and I apologize for the issues you experiences with housekeeping and your shower. We are always looking for ways to ensure that each guest experiences the very best we have to offer. I hope you will consider giving us another chance in the future to demonstrate our commitment to satisfaction in all areas of the guest experience.

Mahalo,
Tom Donovan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2015 via mobile

This is my third stay at Grand Wailea, and probably my last. I have stayed at many Waldorf Astoria properties, and this one is hands down the worst. Grand Wailea was built in 1991 I believe, and I honestly do not think they have updated the place since then. The pool is in disrepair, and the pool deck is falling apart a well. As I started to notice the state of the hotel more and more, it became evident that someone is clearly not paying attention. Simple items like burnt out lightbulbs, dirty pool chairs, dirty elevators, etc all go unnoticed apparently. Housekeeping was poor as well, as at turndown we had to make our own pull out bed. They simple laid blankets and sheets on the couch for us. If you are a discriminating traveler, I would strongly suggest the Four Seasons next door. We ate there three nights, and found its grounds much, much nicer for generally the same price.

Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
4  Thank mattmayse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GWExecutiveOffice, General Manager at Grand Wailea - A Waldorf Astoria Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 6 October 2015

Aloha Mattmayse,

Mahalo for your review and for returning to Grand Wailea. I appreciate your candor in your review of your stay. We take feedback from our guests very seriously, and resort appearance is an area of our hotel that we are actively examining. Our renovation of our standard rooms is now complete and we are currently working on other parts of the resort, including the pool deck areas and suites. I welcome any additional comments or suggestions you would like to share, and I hope you will try our hotel again in the future.

Mahalo,
Tom Donovan

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 July 2015

This hotel is just beautiful. From the grounds to the room I had no complaints. The room was a nice size with a great bathroom and just very pretty. The service in the hotel was high class. Expect to pay a lot, and as with most resorts, the restaurants aren't cheap, but we enjoyed our meals both by the pool at the Volcano Bar and Grill and at Bistro Molokini for dinner. Good drinks, too! We also had a wonderful anniversary dinner at Humuhumunukunukuapua'a (what a mouthful that is!), but I will review that separately. We were amazed by the size of the pool, and all its features such as waterslides, lazy river, tarzan rope, waterfalls, and swim-up bar. It was the best pool I've ever been to, but that said, it would possibly be almost too big for some people. I felt lost half the time (we only stayed 2 days so I didn't have a lot of time to get to know my way around) and I wasn't comfortable letting my kids just go where they wanted, for fear I wouldn't find them for hours! The other thing is, pool chairs are hard to come by and fill up. Many of them are reserved in advance (this must be what other reviewers mean by expensive chairs. If you want a cabana it is very expensive). There are certainly free chairs, but good luck getting one if you don't start early. That was the only downside I can think of to this hotel. It was a wonderful experience.

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
1  Thank tiare988
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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