I am a beach girl at heart, and always thought I'd want to stay at a hotel directly on the beach. The Hotel Wailea changed my mind. Set back from the string of large beachfront resorts, Hotel Wailea is perched 300 feet above sea level gazing down upon the Pacific. Nestled on 15 acres, the former members club still feels like a hidden enclave of cool. In 2014, new owners invested in a $15 million redesign. The 72 one-bedroom suites feel like chic bungalows with white oak floors, Sub Zero appliances, and Hawaii-inspired art.
It's easy to idle an entire day away by the pool. The hotel's no-kids policy means a super chill vibe 24/7. Guests can choose between umbrella-shaded loungers or bungalows with fans. The pool staff are beyond gracious. They are at the ready with water and a menu of cocktails, kombucha and coconut water. Free wine is passed around at 5pm (when the woman next to me said her white was too sweet the waitress suggested another to her liking without a second thought) and a menu of light bites including an awesome ahi burger are available most of the day.
One of my favorite aspects of Hotel Wailea is the many complimentary activities available to guests such as morning yoga, outrigger canoeing and mixology classes. The hotel shuttle can drop you anywhere in Wailea and electric bikes can be rented to cruise the South Maui coast. True adventurers can sign up for a beach safari or kiteboard lessons with Kiteboarding School Maui.
The new farm-to-fork restaurant, Capische, uses produce grown from the hotel's garden. Expect super fresh dishes such as farro and porcini crutsted ahi and an insanely good lilikoi tart for dessert.