Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea - Hotel Review
A Study in Opulence in Maui
by Jeff Hoyt
Some travelers demand the best and are willing to pay for the privilege. Those lucky enough to experience the first-class accommodations and service at this opulent Maui institution will agree that this beachfront resort falls into that elite category.
Sure, visitors can relax by the pool at virtually any Hawaiian hotel. But here, relaxing means that the staff will set guests up in their desired spot, even in a cabana with an ocean view, covering their chaise lounges with towels, spraying them with Evian, and bringing them complimentary lemon water, fresh pineapple and cold, scented washcloths in addition to a complete food and drink menu. Many of the cabanas are convertible, with a top that can be raised or lowered for shade. Besides the main pool, which is open around-the-clock, there is a kiddie pool, complete with a rock waterfall, and a pair of Jacuzzis, and the 4,000-square-foot, adults-only Serenity Pool. Forget your sunscreen? There are two strengths available at various poolside stands. We didn’t ask, but we can only assume the helpful staff would be happy to rub it on our backs.
The rooms, many of which have ocean views that include Lanai and West Maui, are large and incredibly well-appointed. The oversized marble bathrooms feature two sinks, L’Occitane products and ten channels of music, from classic rock to classical. The lanai, big enough to house two chaise lounges comfortably, even features a drying rack. Upon request, the hotel will provide hot water bottles, picnic baskets and newspapers from more than fifty countries, including Bulgaria and South Korea.
DUO, the resort’s signature restaurant, features beef (including Kobe) and fresh seafood at dinner, and a romantic open-air patio. Although guests don’t usually come to the Four Seasons in search of bargains, the $30 DUO breakfast buffet is a good deal. Fresh lilykoi (passionfruit) and guava juices are a great way to start the day, and Maui onions add zest to an omelet. Other dinner choices include Wailea’s only true beachfront restaurant, the open-air Ferraro’s, which features an Italian cucina rustica menu, and Spago, which offers Wolfgang Puck’s fusion menu of Hawaiian and Californian cuisines with Pacific Rim flavors.
Guests can work off those calories at the fitness center, which also has an ocean view; on the sand, where early morning yoga classes are offered; or at Unforgettable Events, which are week-long fantasy camps for yoga aficionados, cyclists, tennis players and surfers. Similarly, massages can be enjoyed in the world-class spa, which features Kate Somerville products, or in an ocean-side hale, where one can hear the sounds of the waves breaking and feel a fresh sea breeze as troubles are kneaded away.
The well-heeled clientele runs the gamut from honeymooners, families (there is an outstanding kids program and game room) and retirees. On our last day there, while soaking in the pool, we saw a man who resembled Newt Gingrich wander by. It turned out the former Speaker of the House was on the island to promote a book. And where else would a worldly man like Mr. Gingrich be found but at the Four Seasons?