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“Great for Quiet Vacation”

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Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
Ranked #3 of 8 Hotels in Wailea
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We loved the hotel, even though we were there during their restaurant renovations (which are apparently done now). Beautiful and quiet. Not that great if you are looking for things for your kids to do other than their water slide. Gorgeous pools, swim up bar, etc. Awesome beach, but has public access which wasn't a problem when we were there. Our kids were 12 & 13 and didn't have other kids to do things with, but loved the beach and pools. Decent sized balcony with patio furniture (not just chairs). Room had small fridge, microwave, sink & counter. Room was cleaned TWICE daily.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled with family
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Thank RebeccaCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 April 2012

My daughters and I just arrived home from a 4 night stay over Easter at the Fairmont Kea Lani. Check in was ok. We had booked through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts so a complimentary room upgrade is offered if available at check-in. When I asked about this upon arrival, the gentleman checking us in said I'm sorry, but its Spring Break in the USA this week, we are completely at capacity and have no additional rooms. I wanted to ensure my request of a quiet room was honored so I asked him about this. He said, just a minute and went to the back office for about 15 minutes before coming out and telling us he ugraded us to a partial ocean view from our garden room (although he had just explained that there were no additional rooms available??) The room we were upgraded into was no upgrade. We were one room away from the ice machine and storage room where housekeeping had their supply's, we had a view of the parking lot on one side and a tiny view of the ocean on the otherside when you were standing on the balcony. Our room was at the side of the hotel. Not the partial ocean view I was expecting!

The Fairmont Kea Lani was physically a lovely hotel. The exterior is "Art Deco" looking which many reviews has referred to as "Old/tired" looking. Yes, the hotel was built along time ago, but the Fairmont has done alot of upgrades. The hotel was similar to a South Beach hotel in Miami. The guest rooms and lobby were beautifully furnished and all is updated, its just the exterior that looks old.

On the first morning I noticed at 7 am that most all of the lounge chairs by the main pool area were reserved with guests names attached to the chair ( I had just finished a walk along the beautiful ocean front walk --it goes for miles along the ocean passing by the Four Seasons, Grand Wailea and condo's). I decided to go speak with a pool attendant to find out why all the chairs were reserved. He explained that guests can reserve chairs for a 2 hour period and if they want to keep their chairs saved, they can come back at the two hour mark and save them for another two hours (which basically makes these chairs unavailable for any other guests for the day as people would save them all day, go for breakfast, lunch, ect.... and keep saving them). The pool attendant also explained that if you want to reserve an umbrella, you can also do this but that umbrella's are usually all gone by 5:15am!!! I asked him about the beach. He explained its the same system, but that you have to line up at 8 am at the beach hut to reserve an umbrella (at a cost of $45 a day or $10 an hour), but you cannot reserve the chairs unless you are paying for an umbrella. By the second day, I found out you can call the beach hut a day before and pay to reserve your beach umbrella to avoid the line-up. At the Grand Wailia, the line-up started at 6:30am. I saw at least 50 people lining up each moring at this time to get towels and then the line-up would move onto their beach at 7:30 am to get loungers (how crazy is that - the fairmont system is a dream compared to that). It was so unbelievable, you would see people holding their starbucks and standing in a line bright and early every morning!

Frankly, I found the Fairmont's pool and beachnsystem to be completely unacceptable. At $600 a night my expectations are at the very least being able to find a place to sit by a body of water in Hawaii at my hotel and not have to pay to be protected by the sun or line up. We came to relax and this experience was anything but relaxing! I went and spoke with a hotel manager who apologized for the incovenience. She offered to arrange a beach umbrella and chairs for the following day, but we were there for 4 days. She ended up reserving 2 of the days for us, but that was having me ask for this arrangement. She explained that the hotel is at cacpacity over Spring Break and that they are aware of the lack of chairs and space at the pools and beach and that more chairs are on order. Many guests were sitting on chairs and grassy area's around the resort due to lack of space for the loungers by the pool and at the beach. At the beach you not only had to pay for your umbrella at the beach, you were also squissed up against the family next to you due to lack of space of the small beach.

I found the beach attendants unhelpful and irritating. One guy suggested me slipping a $20 before 8am to get chairs/umbrella and another explained that at 8am its almost impossible to get an umbrella as many guests call one year ahead to reserve front row at the beach!!! He explained that all the other guests who line up at 8 am will only got back row on the beach if there are any umbrella's left to reserve!

It was so crazy with guests fighting for chairs that although one of the mornings I reserved chairs and an umbrella by the adult pool, someone actually removed our reservation from our seats and placed their reservation on a lounger. I told one of the attendant who later found our reservation tucked under one of the cushions of the loungers. He explained that the family who moved it put there old reservation from the day before on the lounger with their belongings. The attendent moved their things and placed our reservation back.

Also, if you want peace and quiet, don't go during Spring Break. There were a million little kids at the main pool. It was noisy and unpleasant. The bathroom located near the pool area was never clean and I used it frequently. Maintenance staff should be cleaning it often. The floors were always dirty and counters wet.

The restaurant for breakfast was great. The food was delicious. Yes the prices are high, but that would be expected at any 5 star hotel. Cafe Ciao was excellent and offered a variety of food at more reasonable prices - but it's grab and go style - nice option to the more formal lunch at the pool which was very average and very expensive. Ko and Nicks Fish Restaurant were outstanding.

This hotel experience annoyed me to the point where I probley would not return due to the poor management around the pool and beach. Having stayed in New York this past July at the Fairmont (Plaza Hotel) and also having bad service, I think I'm done with Fairmonts. Please Fairmont, check out what's happening at the Four Seasons!!! Always perfect. From the staff, to the accomodations, service, service, service! Four Seasons treats there guests how they would want to be treated if they were a guest in one of their hotels - should be the golden rule!!! All is exceptional !! Having been to many of the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts there frankly is no comparison. Spend the little extra at the Four Seasons and you won't be disappointed!

Room Tip: face the ocean side of the hotel the front and left side of the hotel faces the parking lot.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank 8,885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
TrudyPeterson, Public Relations Manager at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, responded to this reviewResponded 24 April 2012

A sincere thank you for your candid feedback. We’re so sorry to hear that you were unable to relax during your stay and absolutely recognize that having a chair and shade is a large part of a vacation experience. We work very hard to provide the same amenities and attentive service during our busy periods, but it sounds like we fell short. We hope you will give us another opportunity to provide the service, and vacation experience, that you deserve. Thank you again.

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Reviewed 20 April 2012

We visited again in July 2011. I wanted to say our time was still fantastic. We traveled with kids and the resort is very accommodating to families. Great rollaway beds great mini fridge, sink area. We love the pools and beach

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank rose220068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

My husband and I spent 5 nights of our 11 on Maui at the Fairmont Kea Lani 4/7-1/12. We chose the Fairmont for our Wailea stay because we loved the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island so much when we stayed there two years ago, and because the Kea Lani is an all-suite resort. We felt that the extra cost (vs. the Marriott, GW or a condo) would be worth the extra space. When we booked, the FS room was priced at about the same as the Fairmont suite, so we chose extra space over the FS famous service.

We felt that the Fairmont Kea Lani suites, including the bathroom and lanai, are spacious, well appointed, clean and nicely decorated. The resort was very crowded while we were there due to the Easter holiday, and it was tough to get lounge chairs at the pool or beach on Easter Sunday - so we left the resort and went snorkeling instead. The next few days were more reasonable, as we suspect families went off to do excursions around the island, so we enjoyed some down time relaxing at the adult pool. The main pools generally seemed crowded all week.

Work was being performed on one of the two elevators near our room, making the elevator wait longer. Not a big deal to us, as we were generally not in rush to get anywhere. We were on vacation, after all. The distraction was during the day, when we would typically be out of the room doing something, and the noise from the elevator renovation was quite loud (our suite was the first one next to the elevator). We were on the phone making arrangements to extend our trip (we loved Maui that much!) and it was hard to hear, so afterwards I called the front desk to ask what the elevator repair schedule was for the rest of our stay. Very shortly we received a call back from Nick, the manager, and he was very gracious and apologetic, and he generously offered my husband and I free breakfast buffetts for our last two days at the resort! It was much appreciated, on top of the quick and concerned response. Normally this noise would not be a big deal as we aren't in our room much during the day while on vacation, but this was a day where we needed to make some calls to rearrange travel plans. We felt it was a very nice touch, and really enjoyed the buffett breakfasts.

We walked the paved path along the beach and checked out the Grande Wailea and Marriott resort properties. Both were nice, and each different from the Fairmont. We did not see a room in either of these other resorts, but walked around the common grounds. The GW is enormous, and very glitzy, which is good for those who want and like a property like this and the amenities that go with it. The Marriott was also nice, good location, nice grounds, etc. We probably would have been happy staying at any of these resorts in Wailea, and for our next trip the decision will most likely come down to price and the best deal at that time. We did not walk around the Four Seasons.

One thing we were concerned about is how pretentious the more upscale resorts of Wailea might feel. We are not hicks, we are just very down-to-earth, practical and unpretentious people. There was a bit of a feel of the "been there, done that" wait-on-me-hand-and-foot wealthy traveler attitude, but that was to be expected I suppose. It certainly did not ruin our vacation! We spent a lot of time exploring the island, not shacked up at the resort, so we enjoyed ourselves very much and then liked coming back to a spacious suite and not a small room.

My husband felt that despite the spaciousness of the suite, it was not worth the cost ($520/night during Easter holiday week). I was happy with it, and probably would have been equally happy staying elsewhere for less, but we were in Maui.

Lastly, we each enjoyed a lomi lomi massage at teh Kea Lani spa. I've had some great massages at upscale resorts and locations, and hands-down that was THE BEST massage I have ever had! Unbelievable...

Room Tip: The rooms on the P, K and M levels are on a quieter side of the resort, and close to the parking gar...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank LifeIzzGood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

The Kea Lani is a typical family-hotel. Children of all age will have no problem to find company. Approx. 410 suites in different sizes and 37 villas. The rooms are spacious with big balconies (we were lucky to get a sunny one), the furnishing is somewhat outdated, water from the tap comes sparely, that was really annoying.
The hotel area is very big, the center point are 2 family pools with water slide and 1 for adults only that is nice and quiet (apart from the morning ours as it is directly in front of the breakfast restaurant). The sunbathing areas are big enough, parasols near the adult pool were not available.

There are two main restaurants, the Fish Market only for dinner and the Kea Lani restaurant (the KÖ restaurant was not open). Breakfast in the Kea Lani is good (buffet) but the service was incompetent at least where we were sitting. We had to wait endlessly for coffee and the bill. Snacks are also available in the bar. There is a gallery with several shops, a deli, boutiqes, a Gym (rather small) and a SPA (rather expensive).

In this hotel category we would have expected complementary water as well in the suites as at the pools.

Parking was free (valet) for the first day, after that a self parking area can be used for free, it is only 120 steps from the lobby.

For those who are looking for peace and quiet the hotel should not be the first choice.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank voyager-liese
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Bottom Line - Fantastic resort all the way around!
Friendly helpful staff. Awesome location! Polo beach is friendly to play, swim, snorkel, sun bath. Rooms are spacious and up to date. Gourmet food prepared in a health conscience way. Relaxing - quiet. The best Wailea resort by far!

Room Tip: We liked the 1st floor with the Lani and grass...
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank pindrop
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 April 2012

Pro's Excellent Rooms, Great Adult Pool, Friendly and Attentive Staff. Excellent on Site Scuba.
Con's: We visited during Easter week and generally if you are not @ the pool by 7:00 am you can not get a seat at the Family pool.
Concirge booked Bike trip with 2nd tolowest ranked trip advisor company 9of 10. Maui Down Hill.
We would suggest you book your own bike tripsfor the Volcano Mountain Ride.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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Thank Reasonable01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Address: 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, Maui, HI 96753-8449
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Maui > Wailea
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Wailea
#2 Business Hotel in Wailea
#2 Spa Hotel in Wailea
#3 Family Hotel in Wailea
#3 Luxury Hotel in Wailea
#3 Green Hotel in Wailea
#3 Romantic Hotel in Wailea
Price Range: $673 - $1,784 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui 4.5*
Number of rooms: 450
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the essence of Maui at Fairmont Kea Lani, Hawaii's only all-suite and villa luxury resort. Nestled on the golden sands of Wailea's Polo Beach, this award-winning oceanfront paradise redefines luxury with a state-of-the-art spa, island inspired cuisine and authentic cultural experiences. Fairmont Kea Lani is the ideal island getaway with four unique restaurants, three swimming pools including an adult-only pool, a comprehensive fitness and wellness program and unrivaled access to the best adventures across the island. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Fairmont Kea Lani Maui Hotel Wailea
Fairmont Hotel Wailea
Fairmont Maui
Fairmont Wailea
Wailea Fairmont
The Fairmont Kea Lani
Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui Wailea

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