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Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
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Reviewed 11 January 2008

We recently stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui for four nights. I will say that despite the long flight (we flew from Washington, DC), Hawaii is one of the most relaxing places to visit. We have also been to the Big Island and both trips were wonderful. We didn’t do as much sightseeing this time as we truly just wanted to relax and enjoy the amazing weather. Below is my feedback:

** Location **
The location of the Four Seasons is superb. The other parts of the island are windier and the beach is actually better in Wailea (my wife use to live in Hawaii so this is coming from her). There is also a high-end shopping center right next door that had a Gucci, Dolce Gabbana, Fendi, etc. Great place to go to get out of the sun and do a little shopping. The restaurants at the hotel were excellent so not much need to leave, but there are other hotels nearby (Fairmont, etc.) if you wanted to eat elsewhere. As you’ll notice, most of the high-end restaurants in Hawaii are located in hotels.

** Pool **
The pool was great. Most areas get sun all day. The only minor complaint is that the pool doesn’t overlook the ocean when you layout. There is a grassy area that overlooks the ocean so we spent our time split between those two areas. They have work-outs you can do in the early morning in the pool (water aerobics of sorts), which is a nice way to kick start the day. If you tip the people down at the pool first thing in the morning, they will save your spot throughout the day if you wanted to step away for a run, eat lunch, etc.

** Gym **
I thought the gym was awful. It was locked away in a little room with no windows. Very small. They had treadmills outside, which was nice but why not run outside in that case? They did have a great running path along the beach which every runner/walker should definitely use. That made the gym issue a non-issue.

** Spa **
We got massages outside which I actually would not recommend. It is right by the kiddie pool and the walkway by the beach, so between the kids hollering and the people walking along the path, it wasn’t that relaxing. And it was quite hot. It would be better to use the spa services indoor, which are great.

** Rooms **
We booked a partial ocean-front room but we ended up with a full ocean front room. The rooms are fairly standard by the bathrooms were quite large. The balconies were also a great size to have drinks at night or breakfast in the mornings. It really is amazing to look at the ocean every night and morning. It was very peaceful and relaxing.

** Beach **
The beach was wonderful. The waves were small so not great for someone who would want to do serious surfing or boogie boarding. They have outrigger canoe trips in the morning that I would highly recommend. We were there during the whale season and were told, that if lucky, you can see the whales up close in the morning (we didn’t but we did see them when we were going for a run one of the mornings). The beach is shared with a few other hotels so you can walk along the beach and do a little people watching while you swim in the ocean. The water temperature was perfect.

** Food/Restaurants **
We left the hotel only once to eat out as we had all our meals there. Because you are not going to Maui for nightlife or people watching, don’t expect to do anything but be pampered and relax. Otherwise you will get bored 

All in all, it was an amazing trip and a wonderful hotel. I really don’t have anything negative to about our trip or the Maui Four Seasons.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
17  Thank fstraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2008

We usually love the Four Seasons, but not this time. We arrived Dec. 4, 2007 & following the storm that hit Maul the power was out Dec. 5 & 6 at the hotel. Check-in was slow although we were upgraded from Garden View to Ocean View (far off in the distance from one side of the balcony.) We realize the hotel cannot control Mother Nature & we did sympathize with them, however, there was little done for the hotel guests in way of compensation or to help alleviate the situation. On the 5th the hotel passed out playing cards (usually given to children at check-in we were told) since none of the amenities could be used. Also lots of bottle water passed out.

While playing cards in the Lobby Lounge we ordered Bloody Marys...no Bloody Mary mix at this bar at that particular time. The hotel staff recommended staying put due to power outage, flooded roads & traffic jams which left us with only Duo restaurant serving food which was a cold sandwich buffet, green salad & ice cream to the tune of $25 per person, no drink included. We complained that the price seemed excessive since it was the only option available & they removed the charge.

Our biggest complaint or concern revolved around the Lobby Lounge. On Dec. 5 while the power was out we ordered a Corona & a glass of red wine. No menus were passed out & bills were hand written. The bill was $8 for the beer & $15 for the wine. We thought the prices were a bit high but that is what one expects at the Four Seasons. However, I looked at the room service menu, the poolside menu & later, the Lobby Lounge menu & in fact, the beer should have been $6.50 & the Red Diamond wine $11 (can buy a bottle at my local grocery for $7.00) We questioned the waiter who of course was not the waiter we previously had as to the discrepancy. He couldn't explain it & offered to correct our bill. At check-out we discovered that the drink charge had not been corrected, but we had actually been charged a second time at the incorrect amount. So now a $17.50 charge had become $52.00 (w/tip). Of course, when explained to the woman checking us out she promptly removed both charges. It made us wonder " was the Four Seasons or the waiter taking advantage of the guests while the power was out or was it an honest mistake' ? We'll never know. In a letter from the manager he acknoweldged the removal of the charges as doing us a favor, when in fact it was totally a hotel or wait staff errror. He also offered a complimentary 1 night stay in a Garden View room if available on a future stay. Nice gesture but highly unlikely to ever be used .

On their behalf, the hotel is beautiful, the game room is nice, internet availiablity is a nice amenity, as well as the business center, leis on arrival, & the conceriege had great restuarant recommendtions. We were offered a bite of fruit & ice water at the pool when the weather finally improved although the lounge chairs were wet from all the rain.

Room service came very late in the day a couple times which was a bit irritating, but nothing horrible. We had to call room service 3 times just to get a knife & the bed wasn't as comfortable as we would have expected. Minor issues, but it all added up. In the past couple months we have had reason to stay at a Hampton Inn & Hilton Garden in smaller towns with only those chain hotels available & in both instances overall service & value was much better. For the price of the Four Seasons we would have expected them to rise above the situation and at least have offered a free drink or possibly a few bucks off the price of the room....at least it would have felt like they had a bit of compassion for those that endured the 2 day power outage. It appears the only compensation anyone received that we knew of is if a complaint was lodged. It looked like a 5 star resort but they sure fooled us.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
39  Thank Nonewnames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2008

Opening:

To its credit, The Four Seasons franchise has managed to accomplish one thing that is poignant in my mind: hire well trained, friendly and professional staff who care about one thing; the customer’s comfort. The exemplification of this achievement was reached at The Four Seasons Resort, Wailea, Maui. Here’s why….

Location:

Those who have been to Maui know that it is genuinely an island paradise. An island paradise with a kicker, the weather can be freakishly tempramental in some parts and astonishingly perfect in others. Wind, rain, overcast conditions curse some parts of the island, while remaining seemingly oblivious in others. Wailea is a small part South & Central of the Island that is protect by mountains and is inside a bay. Alas, the weather is beautiful and the garden surroundings are equally well manicured and exclusive.

The Checkin:

After renting a jeep at the airport through the hotel (which was flawless in execution) we drop into the grounds of the hotel after I got us lost in the mountains at 9.30 at night for a good two hours. I don’t know what it is, but whenever I rent a car in a foreign country,
I take on the persona of Clarke Griswald. Let’s just say that if it wasn’t for the stars in the clear sky and the fresh air, my Beverly D’Angelo would have been unimpressed, alas our first introduction to the serene Maui environment rescued me from my own geographic embarassment. When driving into the Four Seasons you can’t help but be
instantly struck by the careful attention to detail. The perfectly cleaned gleaming white walls of the exterior of the buildings, the meticulously manicured tropical gardens, the soft glowing lights positioned in and around the greenery and palm trees. All this creates
a terrifically lush, warm, and magically exclusive setting. Bell staff
were a mix of locals and mainlanders, all very friendly, who showed us pearly grins as they took the car and disappeared with the bags through the separate bell desk area. On approaching the lobby you get a feeling of relaxation and calm. Almost as if the sprawling white marble, fresh flower arrangements and eclectic furnishings which melt into the open air setting fail to intimidate, but rather subtley impress with elegance. Desk staff were very professional, drinks were soon in our hand and lays (while I think a little tacky, but hey, when
in Hawaii go with the flow) were placed around our necks. Alas, at this point I wasn’t even remotely tempted to hang myself with the lay
– surprisingly for anyone who has read some of my previous reviews…!

The Room:

We stayed in an ocean front king room on one of the top floors. It was
very well done. The rooms were modelled with a twist of caribean influence such as large plantation shutters, clean white lines throughout, large generous cane and solid timber furnishings. Again, somehow this hotel managed to create a sense of opulence without overdoing the grandure – very smart. A critique though, and this is a double edged sword. Choice is generally a difficult balancing act; I personally like to choose from a bar fridge’s contents and ‘rate’ the hotel against what’s in there. The best I’ve seen so far HAS to be the
Soho House in New York City, incredible variety and a wild imagination
from the staff who put them together. In the case of the Four Seasons,
they don’t actually stock their bar fridges or cabinets. You have to pre-order what you would like. I’m not a big fan of this approach as first, it obligates me to a buy at a high price. Second, I like to pick and choose randomly. No big one, but the service was not for me in this case. Brand new, initialled bath robes were beautifully boxed
and placed at the end of the large (and super comfortable bed with big
fluffy duvet and ample pillows of various size and shape to ensure a good sleep). The balcony was at a slight angle from the beach, rather facing in towards the hotel. So it was more like a ‘beach slighly askew front room’ than a true beach front. Lighting, centrally controlled thought out – offered soft, medium and bright settings and either one appealed to whichever mood you were in. Yes, you can tell, I am being very picky here, as these guys had me scratching for negativity rather unsuccessfully….. Damn…

Bathroom:

In a word, massive, and not at the expense of the room size either, both were huge. A very large bath tub (no spa jets) with an equally large shower (perfect for two if you get my drift…). The in-room music system was a very cool touch by the engineers. Basically you use two knobs, one for volume and one for your selection of music (classic rock, classical, jazz, contemporary, native…whatever) and it plays a surprisingly good mix of music in surround sound. Marble and wood finishings were heavy and well constructed, no expense was spared
here, it was obvious. Water pressure fabulous, controls easy to work, an abundance of fresh/fluffy towels and a critique: I would never have
used L’Occitane products in the hotels. Those who are familiar with the brand may like them. I find them pungent, over-creamy and lacking charm. A surprising choice by management as I wouldn’t have been surprised to find a signature brand like Bulgari in there (my favourite bath products).


The food:

Here is where we enter the danger zone. The food at this place was, hand on my heart, was ridiculously good. Incredible freshness of ingredients, amazing variety, prices on the expensive side but worth it. Truly worth it. If you want to enjoy fresh fish, salads, favourites like crab cakes, pizza, sandwiches, wraps, fresh juices – it’s all there and it tastes divine. We didn’t have a single bad meal, bar one, which I’ll get to. I personally cannot stand buffet’s, breakfast buffet here though was never crowded and offered almost endless choice of fresh food. Pastries are baked fresh onsite and taste amazing, fruits are all freshly prepared, breakfast chefs make wonderful creations of omelettes, wafflings and pancakes. A few critiques though – food at such a consistently high level spoils guests, why take the level down by using concentrated juices for table
service and why use tea bags rather than fresh teas? Again, I am striving for negativity and failing to find it, yes, I am aware, I now
look petty. Now, the bad meal. Wolgang Puck has a restaurant within the hotel and I have to say I’m not a big fan of his cooking. Particularly since he sold out with a chain of airport pizza restaurants, I mean, how can you maintain a solid credibility as a five star chef with such a monstrosity? If I were him, I would also disregard my aforementioned critique as I count my millions to be sure, however when you see the food quality at a key restaurant in the
hotel as bad as it was, it does make you think that he has sold his standards down the river. We ordered (as we usually do) five or six different starters or mains to get a good sense of the menu. While the
restaurant had a great bar (particularly for cocktails), excellent staff, an indulgent wine list, the food was simply over done in terms of subtlety of taste, texture and flavors. Way too many rich sauces and dressings for my liking. The italian restaurant ‘Ferraros’ was incredibly good, as was the poolside restaurant. Overall, plenty to talk about here and a positive experience.

Concierge:

Almost to the point where they were excessively helpful. That’s a good thing, sure. But I always left padding down my pockets to see if one of them hadn’t mugged me while the other was charming me…! Alas, they were on the up & up and I was pleasantly surprised by their knowledge of not only the ‘standard’ spots for tourists to go, but fanstastic local restaurants (in other words they don’t blindly guide you to their own and partner’s restaurants which I appreciated) and creative things to do. Example: we wanted to do an island hop. That was our statement: “We want to do an island hop and here’s how” (we were specific to say the least). Within around 20 minutes they had flights booked, rental cars arranged, an itinerary with directions prepared together with picnic baskets (complimentary) full of fresh turkey wraps, bottled water, diet coke and fresh fruit, all in a chilled bag – very stylish, very classy service. Hat tip to them. P.s. All of the golfers out there will be very happy with their knowledge of local courses, pro shops, and instructors/professionals. They’ll be able to get you the best tee off times and a shuttle to the courses which is complimentary – in short, golfer’s paradise.

Conclusion:

For $850 per night for such an amazing room, with a jeep included in the rate, this place deserves to be number one on my list of places to
go. I will be back as often as I can, this place has me completely sold and I would not contemplate staying anywhere else. Again, anyone who has read my previous reviews will be thinking I am on a prozac, zoloft, zanex cocktail and who knows I might be, but it would be thanks to this hotel. Great job. They also have fantastic poolside service, it is well thought out, efficient and makes relaxing in the sun easy. Another important point, while there are some families staying here, you don’t get the sense that it is a total zoo full of rampaging litte ones and rebellious teenagers. The hotel was very smart in ‘segregating’ many of the areas kids like to go and to eat. So we never got the feeling that our meal was ruined, our poolside stay was annoying or our ears were ringing from screaming babies. Now if you go across to the Grand Wailea, you’ll see the difference between smart management (as is the case with the Four Seasons) and more wholesale management in this regard.

Prognosis:

Stay here. You’ll be relaxed, happy, refreshed and healthy at the end of it. These guys could easily charge double and you’d still get value
for money.

Where instead:

The Grand Wailea next door, but it’s a distant second.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
23  Thank Johnny_No_Lies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2008

It was amazing - beautiful rooms, the beach was the best (sand, water, everything). Service was amazing.

The Good:
- Rooms (clean, big, new)
- Service - concierge desk is very helpful. You call ahead of time and your car would be waiting for you outside when you get downstairs
- Beach - wow. Microscopic soft sand, nice water, reef to snorkle
- Free rentals for snorkles, boogie boards, unbrellas. Free water brought to you by the beach and pool.
- Amazing foot massages by the pool, nice spa
- Duo restourant is great - very tasty - we went back 3 times. Pricey though.
- If you let them know you have a special occasion, champaigne and treats would be left in your room.
- Notify the hotel you are bringing a kid, and you will get a toy, cookies and the child's name spelled out with spongy letters in the bathtub. Also, kids get tiny bathrobes too - so great.
-Bathroom needs it's own review - HUGE! All marble, comfy bathtub, separate shower, amazing shampoo, soap. Even radio! I want one like this at home!

Minor issues:
- Spagos restourant - don't waste your money, go to Duo's.
- I called in advance letting the hotel staff know that we are arriving at 12 PM so if possible to have a room ready for us then, not at the usual 3 PM check in time. They made us wait until 3 PM even though on the phone they said 12 would be fine. I had a 5 year old with me who needed to nap after early wake up and flight, so that was not good. I am sure they had rooms open, so I don't undrestand why not give us that perk.
- Requests for upgrades are mostly declined, don't believe what you read on getting those easy. Not only us but others were declined several times.
- This hotel is pretty expensive.
- Pool cabanas are free but always taken - get them early or you will be sitting under the hot sun.
- We had to get out of the water several times due to shark warnings.
- Last day there the waives were huge - they covered my standing up 6ft husband with my 5 year old sitting on his shoulders - that's pretty high for a waive.
- Maui itself is a bit boring if you like nightlife/shopping/great food - not much to do there. Not too many nice restourants either, so leaving the hotels ground was not too fun.

Overall though - best vacation stay we ever had!

  • Stayed: June 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8  Thank VictoriaLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2008

Stayed at the Four Seasons Maui for 5 nights in an Ocean View Premium. At over $500 a night, you expect a reasonably good view of the ocean. Not here. Our balcony mostly overlooked the other rooms with a slice of the ocean. The resort is in a horseshoe shape, so most of the rooms have views of the other balconies. The only way to get a 180 degree, uninterrupted view is to shell out more than $2K a night. Sounds appropriate considering most of their top customers are the Hollywood types escaping here for weekend trips.

The room itself wasn’t impressive. The décor was a tad staid with the usual tropical tapestry and cane furniture. The bed was not the most comfy, the space was tight, and the balcony seemed more Mumbai than Maui. The bathroom was spacious (big enough to be its own room) and nicely done in marble and gold fixtures, but expected. I wish they had incorporated more Hawaiian elements – little details go a long way to show that thought was put into bringing the essence of the surroundings into the room. The Post Ranch Inn and Inn of the Anasazi both are fine examples.

What’s hot: The breakfast buffet at Duo was the best food and the best deal amongst all the restaurants. The ocean front cabanas, with the fantastic bar menu and poolside services, were the best part of the hotel and where you should spend most of your time. The views are pristine-- manicured lawns, white beach, blue water, and mountains in the distant. The snorkeling is superior right at the beach. In fact, it was better than Mokolini crater. The equipment is free, a nice little perk. You can rent Kayaks inexpensively which is a great little adventure without having to drive somewhere. Overall the property is stunning very well maintained. The lobby bar overlooking the ocean and pool has a great view, is the best place to relax at anytime (much better than spending time in your crummy balcony).

What’s not: Mostly the food was OK, including Spago. The pool and grounds are manicured and beautiful, but very much resemble Beverly Hills or many of the high-end properties along the California coast. There isnt too much Hawaii here. In fact, Hana Hotel, is the only place in Maui that captures the essense of the island. Our room wasn’t cleaned until 4:00pm and when Vur threw a fit, we only got a box of six truffles. Lots of brand flaunting and bling, the pool area is a “scene”, so if you’re the low-key, private, vacationer, you’re better off going to a secluded spot by the beach or staying somewhere else.

In short, this is a great resort to come with family or if you're used to the luxe amenities and services, or if you want to see and be seen.

Stayed: November 2006
3  Thank amidu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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