Depression really set in when our last day on Maui arrived. I started to adopt island life and the relaxation it provided, and I was dreading returning to the hustle and bustle of city life. Fred and I definitely had a busy day ahead so we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our last day as much as I would have liked. In fact, we had four more hotels to view.
Stop 1: Marriott Wailea
The Marriott Wailea had everything we wanted in a hotel. It was not as opulent, or dare I say "grand", as the Grand Wailea but it definitely had an understated modern style that really suited us as a couple. It had formal elements without feeling too stuffy. The lobby felt comfortable, and the views were magical. The hotel was right on the water so I imagined my guests walking along the beach at sunset. Another pro was its close proximity to The Shops of Wailea, which was within walking distance. This would provide our guests additional amenities such as shopping, dining and other entertainment options. While the group rate was a bit more than other hotels we would view that day, the hotel still became a top contender.
Stop 2: Hotel Wailea
This hotel was one of my favorites. It was a boutique hotel, which I tend to prefer over chains. It had such ambiance, style, personality and cool touches, like an amazing ceiling construction and lobby area that I would have loved to take photographs in. It also offered full suites with mini kitchens at a very fair group rate price. Our only problem with this property was its distance from the beach. I loved the idea of our guests being able to step out of their rooms and walk right up to the water. Though the hotel offered shuttles to the beach, The Shops of Wailea and other beach-front Wailea properties, the convenience factor was still a big con. However, we still added this hotel to our top contender list.
Stop 3: Makena Beach Resort
This resort was massive and about a 5-minute drive from Wailea, where our wedding would take place. Though this resort had many amenities potentially available to our guests, I hated the idea of them being confined to the hotel if they did not have a car. The resort was also going through lots of renovations during the time we visited. I will be honest. Everything looked a bit dated to me, which is probably why they were renovating. It was hard to determine what the hotel would look like after renovations were completed so we decided this probably wasn’t a good fit. We wanted to make a sound decision for our guests without any doubt. This hotel did not make our top contender list.
Stop 4: Maui Coast Hotel
This hotel was also about 10 minutes from Wailea in Kihei, the area we stayed in. However it offered the most reasonable price for our guests. It was a nice hotel but it did not offer nearly as many amenities as the others we saw. This also did not have the appeal of the hotels in Wailea. I think ambiance and location played a big role in this. The rooms were very nice, updated and comfortable but this was more of a hotel I would stay in on a business trip, instead of a dream Hawaiian vacation. Sadly, the Maui Coast Hotel did not make our top contender list.
After viewing all of the hotels, we packed up and prepared to return to Chicago. Upon arrival back home, we decided our final hotel contenders were the Grand Wailea, Marriott Wailea and Hotel Wailea. The final assessments were:
1. Grand Wailea-
Pros: Gorgeous, Luxurious, Amazing Amenities, Right on the Water, close to wedding site
Cons: Most expensive group rate
2. Marriott Wailea-
Pros: Beautiful property, great amenities including Shops of Wailea, Right on Water, close to wedding site
Cons: Not as luxurious as the Grand Wailea. Not as reasonable as Hotel Wailea's group rate
3. Hotel Wailea- Pros: Lovely and unique property, private, full suites, nice amenities, great group rate, close to wedding site
Cons: Not a waterfront property. Shuttle to beach and other Wailea area places
Fred edited all of the videos he shot with his flip cam of each of the hotels. We shared all of them with our family and allowed them to vote for their favorite. Now we are sharing our top contender videos with you! Which hotel would you have picked for your guests? Let me know! I will share our final pick next time.