Recently, the Hotel Wailea has been undergoing renovations, transforming the suites into modern and fashionable hotel rooms that preserve the Hawaiian style but without overdosing on the wicker and wood. Modern touches include flat-screen TVs, WiFi (included in the resort fee), espresso machines and kitchenettes equipped with Wolf and Subzero appliances.
The rest of the resort has a very retro feel, so much so that we were convinced this was a secret hideaway for celebrities in the 1950s. We could imagined the Rat Pack hanging out here. All this nostalgic feels was helped along by the hotel's retro logo and the 60s-era teal blue Willys jeep parked in front. So we were surprised to hear that the resort was actually built in the early 90s as a private members-only hotel for Japanese businessmen. But on closer look, the paths and waterfalls that line the property still offer hints of its Japanese heritage.
Currently, the hotel is undergoing renovations to its pool area and lobby but all the construction should be finished in time for the grand reopening on September 1. In the meantime, you can head up to the hotel's incredible Italian restaurant, Capische?, whose well-prepared dishes and killer cocktails are only eclipsed by the stunning ocean views from the terrace. If you have an important celebration during your trip in Maui (i.e. anniversary, big birthday, honeymoon,etc.) , Capische? is the perfect setting for it.
In short, at the Hotel Wailea the rooms are bigger, the amenities are plusher, the property is quieter, and the room rates are slightly cheaper. We found a suite available in mid-August for $375 a night. There's also a $25 resort fee.