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Hotel Renovations / Maui Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Hotels / Waldorf Astoria Collection / Hawaii Hotels / → All Tags
“Families look no further than the Grand Wailea”, we said last year when we listed our Must Stay Hotels for Wailea, Maui. The vast resort has an almost overwhelming list of pools, activity slides (including this, which looks terrifying) and other things on its 40 acres of grounds to keep the kids happy.
In order to keep things fresh as well, a major renovation project kicked off last October, which will last throughout this year. Those pools and activity slides were re-tiled in December, and all rooms are getting an overhaul – above, the end result.
There are some really Happy Feet over at the Hyatt Regency Maui! Who knew penguins liked the beach but this Kaanapali Beach resort has seven warm climate African Black Footed Penguins: Mai, Tai, Oreo, Nahu, Buddah, Zen and Momi.
Guests are invited to witness the morning feedings every day at 9:30 am where the penguins swallow their fish breakfasts head first so they go down smoothly (no gills getting caught that way). On our recent visit it was a blast to start our mornings watching them playfully zoom through the water to get their meal.
Six of the penguins were hatched on property, and range in age from seven to 11 years old. In captivity, they can live between the ages of 15 through 30. The resort’s oldest penguin, Oreo, is 29 years old, but still in tip top shape, able to catch fish in mid air at feeding time.
Following the feedings there’s a free wildlife tour throughout the property starting at 10:00 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In addition to the penguins, there are cranes, swans, flamingos and parrots.
Look for Roger, the blue and gold macaw who is actually a female and quite the character. She waves, hangs upside down and appears to dance. Rumor has it she loves women, especially blondes (she seemed smitten with my blond daughter so perhaps it’s true) and can say her name, pretty bird, hello and bye bye. Roger also has some pals -- Luna, R2-D2, Popeye and Shrek.
So if you’re looking for a vacation with the bonus of an onsite zoo, you’ll find it at the Hyatt Regency Maui. It left us with happy feet indeed.
Rooms in June start at about $319.
[Photos: LindaM / Hyatt Regency Maui]
Naturally, the resort fee--from a property who once prided themselves on standing out from their competitors by not having a resort fee--has caused a bit of a stir in the comments section. And it should.
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
Kea Lani means "white heaven" and the all-suite and villa Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui certainly is divine now that it's completed its extensive three-year, $70 million renovation. Improvements have touched nearly every aspect of the 22-acre Wailea property.
Above is how a one-bedroom suite at the property used to look. Just a bit too dated for our tastes. But keep reading to see how the place looks now!
Maui Hotels / Maui Lodging / Maui Coast Hotel / Kihei Hotels / Paia Hotels / Paia Inn Hotel / Lumeria Maui Retreat / Makawao Hotels / → All Tags
Paia Inn Hotel
On Maui, most of the mega-resorts are concentrated in two areas: Wailea south of Kihei, and in Kapalau and Kaanapali north of Lahaina. This week, as we zoom around Maui, we've kept our eyes and ears open for some alternative places to set up shop, boutique properties outside of these main hotel zones that put visitors in small towns around the island. Here are a few to check out if you want to switch things up on your next trip to Maui:
Paia Inn Hotel
The Paia Inn is appropriately located right smack in the middle of downtown Paia, a small, T-shaped town that sports one of the more liberal and laid-back attitudes on Maui. The 11-room Paia Inn has been raved about for quite some time by the press, and it has also been enjoyed by many a guest. The Inn echos the town's vibe with bamboo floors and boldly-colored local paintings. Rates start at $199/night and includes free wifi, beach chairs, and boogie boards.
Maui Hotels / Hotel Juices / Juicing / Drinks / Hotel Wellness / → All Tags
Maui Week has come to an end but before we get off the island (figuratively), here's one last way to make the most of your time there. In the meantime, don't forget to revisit our list of Must-Stay Hotels in Wailea, what to order at MiGRANT and MALA at The Marriott, what to stop in and see at the Andaz and where to get away from it all at the Hotel Wailea.
If you're a fan of juicing, then you've come to the right spot. Maui is all about the juicing. And it goes way beyond POG juice.
We picked up an interesting concoction at the Down to Earth organic supermarket when we left the airport called the Maui Cold Buster, made with pineapple and onion by Joy's Place (see below.) Yet while there are a ton of great local juice spots to hit up in Maui, you can also find fresh juices in crazy combinations inside the resorts in Wailea.
Maui Hotels / Hawaii Hotels / Maui Week 2014 / Hotel Renovations / Quiet Hotels / Resort Alternatives / → All Tags
Maui Week continues! On Monday, we gave you a list of Must-Stay Hotels for Wailea in Maui. Today, we're heading up the mountains for a different side of Maui. Don't worry, it's not too far from the ocean. Mahalo!
Your dream vacation to Maui probably involves lounging on a beach and sipping on a Mai Tai. What your dream vacation probably doesn't involve is getting up early to wait in line to reserve a beach lounge chair. Or dealing with screaming kids by the pool. Or waiting for an elevator in a sopping wet bathing suit.
While the resorts along the beach in Wailea offer easy access to the ocean and beach activities, along with several different pools to try, they aren't exactly the most tranquil spots in town. Enter The Hotel Wailea, a Small Luxury Hotel of the World.
Located in the hillside, about a mile from the beach resorts, the Hotel Wailea features 72 suites spread across a 15-acre property. Each one-bedroom suite has generous bedrooms, and living areas with sectional couches, along with outdoor lanais. All of them are extremely private and quiet and most have full ocean views. None of them require elevators to reach. Rather, you meander along winding pathways, admiring the waterfalls and koi ponds along the way.
Now, beach bums, don't fret. The hotel has complimentary shuttles to the beach along with a dedicated beach attendant, ready with complimentary water bottles, chairs and umbrellas. It's the best of both worlds.
Maui Week continues! On Monday, we gave you the Must-Stay Hotels for Wailea in Maui. Today, we're going inside one of them--The Andaz. Mahalo!
It’s no secret that HotelChatter loves the Andaz brand so when we rolled up to the Andaz Maui in Wailea we were not surprised at how much we wished we were actually staying there, instead of just visiting.
Fortunately, there are so many ways to enjoy the Andaz Maui without actually being a guest. So whether you’re staying in a different resort or renting a villa, here’s what you should pop in and try:
Yesterday, we gave you the Must-Stay Hotels for Wailea in Maui. Today, we're giving you a Must-Eat spot. Conveniently, it's in a hotel. Mahalo!
Chef Sheldon Simeon has done pretty well for himself after finishing in the top three of Season 10 of "Top Chef" and winning the "Fan Favorite" award. The Hawaiian native, who previously helmed Star Noodle in Maui not only opened his own restaurant, MiGRANT, at the Wailea Beach Marriott, he's also taken over the kitchen at the hotel's Mala restaurant.
So with the same chef overseeing both restaurants, what's the different? The Mala restaurant has a more formal restaurant set-up with a somewhat traditional menu while MiGRANT has a casual setting with a more creative menu. Ok. So which one should you choose? Allow us....
We stayed at the Marriott in May while celebrating a family member's big milestone, and when a dinner at Mala ended up being fraught with service issues, we were invited back to try it again, this time with Chef Simeon himself guiding us along his excellent culinary adventure.
The dishes that we had were a mixture of Mala and MiGRANT items but all were Simeon's creations, heavily influenced by local traditions and his own Filipino heritage. Here's what we sampled, and ultimately fell in love with:
Introducing our newest hotel guide--HotelChatter's Must Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. We started with New York, then switched it up to Palm Springs and now we're doing Maui. This is also a seasonal guide so the options may change depending on when you're going. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in Wailea, on the island of Maui? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?
Here are four different hotels to try in the resort nabe of Wailea, located on Maui's southwest coast. Since most of you are visiting for leisure purposes, the categories have changed ever so slightly to include families and kick out biz travelers. We've also made a note of the resort fees. Another note: It's high season for Maui right now so if the rates look a little too high, try again later in the fall but before the holiday madness.
Stay tuned this week as we'll be profiling these hotels below and more!
There is no shortage of great places to eat in the Wailea resort zone of Maui, especially not with a Fairmont, a Four Seasons, and a Waldorf-Astoria lined up next to each other.
But skip a little further down past these resorts to the Andaz Maui and one of the best meals of your vacation will await you at Morimoto, the eponymous sushi restaurant from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
The Andaz resort is pretty spectacular in itself, with about four different levels of public spaces, the first two which are pools and the second two which are restaurants, bars and lounge spaces. We'll have more on the Andaz and its rooms and spa shortly but today it's all about Morimoto.
The restaurant is located at the bottom of Andaz Maui, overlooking the main pool and the beach. This means it's easy to access from Wailea's Coastal Walk, which runs along the water and which everyone staying in Wailea uses everyday. There is both indoor and outdoor seating at the Morimoto but this is Maui, of course, you are going to sit outside. (That said, the inside is a lovely modern take on island decor.)
Now here's what we ordered when we popped in for lunch during our own vacation the other month:
When we think of visiting Hawaii, it is usually beaches and palm trees that come to mind, not crowds and concrete. But anyone who has visited the south side of Oahu knows that it is extremely different from the rest of the Hawaiian Islands in terms of its development. While any fool can surmise what we mean from the photo above, we decided to dig a little deeper and take a look at the numbers as it relates to the hotel scene.
Using the most recent numbers from the 2012 report, the Hawaiian Islands have 144 traditional hotels with a total of 43,151 rooms (not including B&Bs or hostels). The breakdown across the islands shows that Oahu has the most with 68 hotels and 26,186 rooms; Hawaii Island has 32 hotels with 6,785 rooms; Maui has 26 with 7,172 rooms; 15 and 2,660 for Kauai; and Lanai has 3 hotels with 348 rooms. According to the report, Molokai had no properties that qualified as a hotel.
The total number of units for the state of Hawaii, including hotels, B&Bs, hostels, rental condos and apartments, timeshares, and other rentable inventory is 74,650. Of that total, Oahu has 35,126 units; Maui has 19,659; Hawaii Island has 10,794; Kauai has 8,289; Molokai has 429; and Lanai has 353. This means that in terms of places to stay in Hawaii, Oahu and Maui harbor about 73% of them with 47% and 26%, respectively.