Posted in Hotels

Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea – Hotel Review

My husband and I recently stayed at the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea Maui. When I began planning our trip to Hawaii we only intended to visit Oahu, but during my search for affordable airfare, I found a cheap flight to Maui. That got me thinking why not visit both islands. Since the hotel we wanted to stay at in Waikiki required a 5-night reservation for reward bookings, we would only have 2 nights left that we could spend in Maui.

We had a Free Hilton Night Certificate and some points that we could use when booking a hotel. Wanting to get the most value from our Free Night Certificate, I started looking for a high-end Hilton property. The Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea looked fantastic, so I booked a two-night stay.

When we arrived, we were warmly greeted. During check-in, I was given a traditional flower lei and my husband received one made of Kakui nuts. A very nice touch. The expansive open lobby was amazing filled with flowers, statues, artworks, and beautiful water features.

It was a long trip for us to Maui from Michigan, so after checking in and catching our first sunset on the lobby veranda we were ready to head up to our room. Our original reservation was for a Standard Ocean View Terrace Room but because of our Hilton Diamond Status, we were upgraded by 3 room categories to a Deluxe Ocean View King.

I always get a good night’s sleep when I stay at a Hilton because they have the best beds. They are so comfortable and there are always plenty of fluffy pillows. The room included a large closet with a small safe, a pair of comfy waffle weave robes, a luggage jack, and an ironing board with an iron. The room was spacious and furnished with simple “beachy” items including a small sofa, a table, and a pair of chairs. The dresser had enough drawers for both of us and also housed a mini fridge. It wasn’t fancy like one might expect from a Waldorf Astoria property, but it was comfortable and we had everything we needed.

The bathroom was very nicely appointed. There was plenty of space, it was very clean and everything worked properly. Since my husband is 6’1″ and I am 5’0, one of my favorite features was the adjustable shower which slides up and down on a track to change the height. Brilliant.

There were plenty of fluffy towels and vanity space for the two of us. The hotel also provided an adequate supply of honey mango Waldorf Astoria Spa bath amenities. If you wanted to use the deep soaker tub, there were extra towels and a box of Bath Bliss Lemongrass and Green Tea bath salts.

When I write hotel reviews, you will often hear me grumble about a lack of counter space and/or bad lighting. This bathroom had plenty of counter space and an open cabinet next to the vanity that provided even more storage. The switches were a bit wonky, but once we figured them out I was pleased with the many different lighting options available. Leaving the light on in the separate toilet area made for a great night light and the vanity lighting was just right for doing hair and makeup. This bathroom setup was a home run for me.

We were so happy that our room had this big oceanfront lanai. We spent a lot of time there when we were in our room. The views were stunning. No need to hang wet items over the deck railing because the little wooden rack they provided worked perfectly for drying our wet swimsuits.

One big reason people come to the Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea is the fantastic pool complex. It consists of 9 pool areas that connect via a series of slides and include waterfalls, a lazy river, a grotto bar, and a water elevator. The 25,700 sq ft pool space is 2,000 ft long and contains 770,000 gallons of water. Wow!

The Hibiscus pool is a very large adults-only pool with 2 jacuzzis and an elegant waterfall. It is surrounded by pool chairs that are free for guests to use as well as cabanas and casabellas that may be rented for the day. I enjoyed using ocean-facing lounge chairs at the Hibiscus pool as well as some that were covered with palapalas when I needed some shade at one of the smaller pools. We had no trouble finding open seating at any of the pool areas. My husband really enjoyed exploring all of the slides and the lazy river at the pool complex. We got a lot of use out of our pink floaty ring!

Sadly, since the property is undergoing some renovations, the Grotto Bar and the Water Elevator were closed during our stay.

The hotel property is oceanfront with perfect pink sand and offers a long quiet stretch along Wailea beach. The sunsets were spectacular and the mountain view was pretty cool as well. The hotel offers beach chairs that can be reserved, beachfront cabanas, equipment for water activities, and various classes.

The hotel complex is huge. There are several restaurants, bars and shops spread out throughout the resort and it even has an onsite oceanfront luau Our short visit did not allow us enough time to take in the show or dinner at their fine dining restaurant, Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. That just means there are still things to do on our next trip.

One thing we really enjoyed was breakfast at ‘Ikena. The buffet was not cheap at $50 per person but we had a Hilton $50 per day food and beverage credit that cut the cost in half. This buffet was fantastic. It had a made-to-order omelet station, salads, chia pudding, pastries, cereals, fresh fruits, charcuterie, warm malasadas, and a rotating selection of hot foods. Everything was delicious and the service was top-notch.

Each day we had breakfast at a table on the veranda overlooking the ocean. Breakfast at ‘Ikena was a great way to start the day. Even if we hadn’t had a credit, I think we would still have splurged for this breakfast.

Sadly we missed the Rose brunch on Saturday. Drat!

This pool was one of our favorite spots to hang out in the evenings. I love the green lighting against the night sky. Once the sun sets, most people head in to get ready for dinner or whatever they have planned for the evening. We did things a bit differently sexcept for in the hot tub one night, we had this gorgeous pool area with the ocean view all to ourselves. Paradise.

A Few Negatives

NOTHING here is cheap. If you chose to rent a cabana it would set you back $1200 a day. Yikes. One dinner with drinks for 2 at HumuHumu could do some real damage to your wallet, so although we had breakfast onsite, we ventured out for other meals elsewhere because it was so much cheaper.

Parking at the Grand Wailea is $65 per night and there really isn’t any way to get around that. Because we booked our room as a reward stay, the $65 didn’t bother us as much as it would have if we had been paying cash for our entire stay.

I realize that they were doing a major renovation of the property, but it was disappointing not to be able to utilize some of their most popular features like the Grotto Bar and Water Elevator.

There is a certain standard you expect when booking,, a Waldorf Astoria which is the king of Hilton properties. Although the bathrooms are perfect, I do hope that during their renovations they show their tired rooms a little love.

Our Takeaway

We were able to book this hotel stay using a Hilton Free Night Certificate for the first night and 110,000 points for the second night. The regular room rate at the time of booking was $1,200 per night. The Waldorf Astoria Grand Wailea charges $65 per day for parking and a $50 per night resort fee. Since we booked a reward stay, the resort fee was waived. We also received a $25 per person per day Hilton Food and Beverage credit. That was a total savings of $2,550 for our stay.

If you have a Hilton Aspire card, it includes both Resort ($250) and Property ($100) credits that could be applied during a booking at this resort.

We only had a brief 2 days to explore this massive resort and it just wasn’t enough time to see or do everything. But we did get a taste of the resort and what we did experience was amazing. The hotel has fantastic pools, beaches, food, and really great service. This was the perfect place to go and just relax in luxury for a few days.

Booking with rewards really helps keep the costs under control for a stay at this gorgeous resort. I definitely plan to go back again but would like to stay a little longer next time.

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