While the white structure is Moorish in design, once you enter the lobby at Fairmont Kea Lani, Wailea there is no denying that you are in Maui. Huge windows framing the palm trees and the pathway to the beach, and the bright and breezy open-air lobby filled with Polynesian art welcome you.
Maui was a destination I visited with Mr. Suburbia a few years ago, in fact, it was our first trip together. 20 years later, we finally made it back with the kids. Most of Maui felt like just how it was years ago, especially the road to Hana but Wailea was all grown up with many fancy hotels and resorts.
Read on to see 6 Reasons Why I Love Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea, Maui, and why I think you and your family would love it too:
1. Beautiful Resort & Location
Wailea is known for its pretty, soft-sand beaches and stunning views of the islands of Kaho’olawe and Lanai as well as the West Maui Mountains. There are five resorts (Andaz, Four Seasons Resort…) that are connected by a lushly landscaped, 1.6-mile oceanfront walkway. It’s beautiful to go for a morning walk or evening stroll. One of my favorite things about Wailea is that it is less crowded than other beach towns in Maui.
Cook pines and gently swaying palms usher the way to the resort, where the atrium with a bamboo garden, gorgeous sky-lit fountain, and staff in Hawaiian shirts and wide smiles welcome you with aloha to the oceanfront paradise. Fairmont Kea Lani which means “white heaven” in Hawaiian is a very special place. The all-suite and villa luxury resort and spa are among one of the best in Maui’s coveted Wailea.
Although the 22-acre Fairmont is a large resort (part of the Accor brand collection), they do a nice job of maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. The property ranks among Maui’s best luxury resorts – including nearby newbies’ Andaz, Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and the Grand Wailea.
2. Huge Suites at Fairmont Maui are perfect for families
The Maui Fairmont is a sophisticated and smart choice for both families and couples. The well-designed (860 to 1100 sq.ft.) suites have two queen beds (or a king with a sofa bed in the living area) making them comfortable for a family of four. Yes, we had just one room and it worked well for us. The rooms have a fridge, microwave, coffee machine, and a nice outdoor lanai to enjoy morning coffee or evening champagnes.
Our welcome amenity included this lovely pink Maui Sparkling wine 🙂
For bigger families visiting Maui, the two and three-bedroom Villas are a great option. With 1800 and 2200 sqft of residential living space, a full gourmet kitchen, dining area, private courtyard with plunge pool, it is perfect for a multi-generation family holiday in Hawaii.
At this luxury resort in Wailea, you will also find:
- 24-hour fitness center and free daily classes
- Luxury spa and a beauty salon offering range of treatments
- Fun kids’ club and organized activities like a Hawaiian canoe experience
- Free WiFi
- Two bottle of water daily
The almost addicting Le Labo products (if you know you know) can be found in the bathroom, which includes a nice soaking tub, walk-in shower, and dual pedestal sinks.
The Fairmont Maui resort has a classic and elegant design, with lots of warm earth-tone decor and marble flooring, and plush rugs throughout. It is difficult to miss the sweet scent of white plumeria when wandering through the lush grounds. You will find lily pads, colorful hibiscus, red lehua flowers, and purple Hawaiian lily. Overall, the property is sophisticated with an island-style vibe.
3. Lomi Lomi Massage: At Willow Stream Spa
Designed by architect Jose Luis Ezquerra (who uses a lot of white domes in his design), Fairmont Kea Lani has many Moroccan-style elements but there is nothing Moroccan about the massage experience. You will have to read this post about our Hammam experience in Morocco to see why it was not one of Mr. Suburbia’s favorite experiences.
Lomi Lomi massage is great to relax sore muscles (from all those Maui activities). This ancient Hawaiian tradition symbolizes transformation and helps let go of old ways. The long rhythmic strokes of the gentle lomi lomi massage enhance circulation, release blockages and helps restore balance.
We enjoyed Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massages outdoor by the pool in a private cabana. It was pure bliss! We then went to the Willow Stream Spa to try out the Hawaiian Rain Experience Showers (there are 3 of them) and to relax at the heated stone bench and footbed.
The 3 Hawaiian Rain Showers were:
- Ua Noe Morning Mist
- Ua Nāulu Afternoon Rain
- Ua Hekili Evening Storm
I liked the afternoon rain room the best. The resort as a whole is very discreet, laid-back, and way less chaotic than most other resorts in Maui, Fairmont Kea Lani is perfect for a family holiday. There was no loud evening entertainment which sort of makes for a relaxed atmosphere. You can have a drink at Luana Lounge or have dinner at one of the 3 restaurants in-house.
4. Restaurants at Fairmont Kea Lani, Wailea, Maui
Fairmont Kea Lani’s signature Restaurant Kō was our favorite. Led by Executive Chef Tylun Pang, it features award-winning cuisine inspired by the vast collection of ethnicities brought together during Maui’s sugarcane plantation era. The appetizers and the honey butter were delicious, so were all the other dishes including my scrumptious vegetarian curry.
The menu at Kō Fairmont features a menu that highlights the fresh local produce, meat, and seafood and authentic recipes that have been passed down for generations served with a contemporary twist. The restaurant also serves breakfast in the morning. Ask for the POG, a mix of fresh Pineapple, Orange, and Guava juices. Oh, the pineapple is to die for!
Nick’s Fishmarket Maui is another restaurant we really enjoyed. I don’t eat seafood, so I’m always reluctant to go. All I end up eating is a salad. But the menu here includes a couple of great dishes for vegetarians. Ask for them. My avocado dish was oh so delicious and beautifully plated. I wiped my plate clean!!
The rest of the family enjoyed the Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi served with Kaffir Jasmine Rice, Baby Bok Choy, and Coconut-Chili-Lime.
The best part of the view but the dessert was a close second! Strawberries Panzini. 25 Ulupalakua Ranch Strawberries were Flambéed Tableside with Grand Marnier and served with Hawaiian Brown Sugar, Devonshire Cream & Chocolate Sauce. Simply stunning to watch them make it and delicious to try!
There is also a small store inside where you can buy sunscreen and snacks. We got sandwiches, salads from the MAKANA Market + Cafe for our picnic at Hana. Plus they have 24-hour room service but the service was pretty slow.
5. Pool & Cabanas at Maui Fairmont
There are 2 pools: an adults-only pool and a kid-friendly pool with a waterslide. Oddly, the swim-up bar is at the family pool. Nevertheless, you can always order drinks and snacks from the pool staff. The pool area and gorgeous gardens and grounds are packed with loungers. If you want a cabana book them ahead, like way ahead. Seems like they are booked a year in advance!
6. Polo Beach Sunsets in Wailea
At Fairmont Kea Lani are steps from Polo Beach in Wailea. Polo beach was originally called “Dead Horse Beach.” I’m not exactly sure why! The actual name of the beach is “Ke One o Polo” which when translated means “The sand is not thick.” Yep, there are plenty of lava rocks and the sand is soft.
There are loungers set up at Polo Beach. Guests can borrow or rent various pool toys, and sign up for scuba lessons and the likes. You can also sign up for an outrigger canoeing experience. In the distance, you can see the Molokini Crater, West Maui Mountains, and the Lana’i islands. We would spend a couple of hours by the beach, then pool and back to the beach at dusk. Sunset is gorgeous from Polo beach!
In case you are wondering, my dress that perfectly matches Maui is by Bl^nk London (they ship worldwide) and is also available at Anthropologie.
See a visual story here.
See Fairmont Kea Lani Maui for current prices and additional information.
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