With some hesitation, we ventured beyond the civilized, five star confines of the Four Seasons with hopes of being wowed by what $50M in beautification can do. After all, we cover destination weddings and honeymoons on a regular basis and Maui is always a popular pick. We discovered that Grand Wailea dumped $1.6M into the Wailea Canyon Activity Pool – a kiddie wonderland with seven waterslides, a baby beach, waterfalls and caves – that feels a lot more Las Vegas for youngsters than a luxe stay in paradise. “Pool” and “activity” in no way translates to an adult experience, unless it involves late night, preferably booze-fueled skinny dipping.
On three attempted visits, we couldn’t get past the boisterous Disneyland-like pool scene and nixed our full-blown site inspection plans. We did hear via the Wailea grapevine that Spa Grande is better than ever, the updated guestrooms are absolutely fab, although the culinary program needs some TLC. But despite our best Positive Mental Attitude, we couldn’t get over the high kid/family factor.
Yeah, we get that it’s summer break and all, but there was just way too much screaming/whining/crying for our peace-seeking, childless-by-choice comfort. When we vacay, we want total relaxation, romance and adult-only fun – especially when paying luxury accommodation rates. Subject us to a Saturday afternoon excursion at IKEA with a few Bloody Marys under our belt and we can barely muster up the energy to practice patience. We certainly don’t want our all-about-us time to require such desperate measures.
Maybe we’ll give Grand Wailea another shot when the rugrats are back in school, when water wings aren’t the pool accessory de rigueur. Maybe Grand Wailea is throwing down the cash to cater to a more family friendly demographic (it succeeds in spades). We’re completely okay with that. In the meantime, when in Wailea, we’ll stick to the Four Seasons or The Fairmont Kea Lani for the sake of predictable pampering and no kids running by the pool.
Right now, rooms start at $369 per night.