Hotel Wailea



Would I recommend it

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There is no shortage of lodging options in Maui and the choices can be overwhelming no matter what price point you’re looking at for a stay on the island. We found Hotel Wailea on American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and it exceeded our expectations. 

Main property

The property is gorgeous and peaceful. It is actually an ex-Japanese retreat center so the rooms are dispersed throughout the property and it is littered with koi ponds and of course, views of the pacific ocean. 

Ocean view suite

We booked an ocean view room and loved it. The separate living room and kitchenette provided a place where we could relax or even entertain, and bathroom was stocked with my now favorite Molton Brown amenities – fiery pink pepper!! (I put this body wash on my Christmas list every year now). The lanai was the perfect spot to start our days with breakfast and end our days watching the sunset. Check out the view:

a view of a neighborhood from a high point of view

Since we were in town for a wedding, we actually didn’t eat dinner on property, but breakfast and lunch were delicious. The gym has one of my favorite views of any gym in the world and there is also an aerial yoga studio, which was a fun activity I recommend trying.

The one downfall of this property is that it’s not the beach but the main pool is a great place to hangout. We took a mai thai cocktail making class at the pool bar, which was really fun. They also provide complimentary transportation to the beach (less than a 5 minute drive) where guests have reserved seating, towels, snorkel gear, etc just for guests of Hotel Wailea. We spent one afternoon there but are more pool people and preferred the service at the pool. 

Their promo video is worth a watch and one of the more authentic hotel videos we’ve seen – it gives you a really good feel for what the experience would be like staying there. 

Maui recommendations

I love maui because it can be as relaxing or adventure filled as you want. Here are some of my top recommendations:


Mama’s Fish House – Astronomical prices (and that’s coming from someone used to paying San Francisco prices) but a trip to Maui is truly not complete without a trip to Mama’s. Just make sure to book a reservation far in advance!

O’o Farm Tour – skip the pineapple farm tour and head here instead. Even for someone not super into agricultural tourism, this place catered to everyone, and I felt like I learned a lot about what, why and how they grow what they grow here. Throughout the tour you get to pick food that contributes to the lunch they make you overlooking the beautiful countryside. They also roast their own beans too, coffee lovers rejoice! 🙌🏼

a table with plates and napkins on it

Ed Robison Snorkel & Dive – my aunt dives all over the world, so when she recommended Ed I knew I’d be in good hands. I’ve done his snorkel trip with my family and it was the perfect balance of sea life education and up close action with lots of fish and sea turtles! 

If you’re a diver, I can’t recommend this team enough. I ended up diving on a day with mostly staff and had a blast – I’m still a relatively new diver and they made me feel so comfortable. We saw some amazing creatures like a reef shark, sea turtles, cow fish and an octopus!


Hotel Wailea is my number one hotel choice on Maui. Even though it’s not right on the beach, it has amazing ocean views and a great pool. Plus, you can be driven to the beach if you want. I’d hedge your bets and book a base room through AMEX Fine Hotels and Resorts to try for an upgrade at check in. This property really excels in service and the location is phenomenal – everything in Wailea is within a short drive and really anywhere you’d need to go on the island is accessible from here. I’d definitely recommend getting a rental if you plan on exploring.

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