An October 2002 trip
to Maui by jphennessey
Quote: For those that can afford it, the Wailea area in Maui offers one of the best, most luxurious versions of the American paradise of Hawaii.
From the Kihei harbor, it's possible to book a trip aboard one of the Trilogy catamarans, which are skillfully sailed to some of the best snorkling spots around, based on the prevailing winds.
For those interested in nature at some of its most exotic, a drive up to the extinct volcano of Haleakala should not be missed. Haleakala is probably the only park in the US that starts at over 10,000 feet, and extends 26 miles down to the ocean. From the observation post at the top, it's possible to see an overview of the many smaller cinder cones within the interior of the extinct volcano, which are displayed in vibrant shades of red and gold, depending on the mineral content of the rock constituents.
Also famous on Maui is the Road to Hana. Hana is a small town approximately 60 miles from "civilization". The road leading there includes an improbable number of turns (somewhere in the hundreds) which help you snake your way through a lush rainforest, complete with dozens of picturesque waterfalls.
The road to Hana is exceedingly picturesque, but don't count on having a romantic dinner once you reach your "goal" in Hana. There's essentially no restaurants in Hana, so it's best to bring along a some picnic supplies rather than try finding something there.
Hotel | "Four Seasons Wailea"
Having been lucky enough to stay at two other 5-star resorts earlier this year, I can say with confidence that the staff at The Four Seasons excels in every respect. This is one time that all but the most jaded traveller will have to admit that they're getting their money's worth, when it comes to the room quality, amenities, and service.
My room, which purposely one of the worst in the hotel, was still 650 square feet with a non-trivial lanai and a bathroom containing both a full-sized tub, glass shower, a large, two sink marble vanity, separate toilet (room) and L'Occitane soaps and shampoo products refreshed during each of the twice daily maid visits. The resort recently invited Wolfgang Puck to open a Spago's restaurant on site, to complement the Pacific Grill on the pool level, both of which are excellent.
Speaking of which, the pool itself and the surrounding grounds are meticulously maintained in the pre-dawn hours by an unusually friendly maintenance staff. Overall, I've never seen such a thoroughily pleasant and accommodating staff, and the guests in the group I was working with mentioned it frequently in their comments also.
Note that this is not necessarily a place for families. They are better served at The Grand Wailea next door, which offers a similar degree of luxury, with children in mind as well. Also, the spa part of the Four Seasons resort is undergoing renovation, and is set to reopen this Winter. In the mean time, there's some reasonable (sub-$350/night) rates for rooms that are normally over $500/night. Their oceanfront one-bedroom suites go for $1,900/night, in case you're a recent lottery winner or otherwise encumbered with excess cash.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on November 14, 2002
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
3900 Wailea Alanui Drive
Maui, Hawaii 96753
Boca Raton, Florida