Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
A laid-back, stylish resort on pristine beach
What it is
A stylish and locally rooted family-friendly resort on the southern tip of Maui’s luxe strip.
What it isn't
A boutique property that offers intimate seclusion nor is it a place to find a Spring Break-style scene.
What we think
Scattered around 22 calm, kid-friendly beachfront acres, the Fairmont Kea Lani is a complex of a dozen or so buildings that house the property’s 413 suites and 37 villas, six dining options, three pools and miles of winding paths. The buildings are all brightly whitewashed, with tiled arched doorways, domed ceilings, and have subtle embossed designs on their curved lanais; it’s Greek Isle-lite and offers a much appreciated alternative to the beach’s row of concrete box hotels. The interiors of the all-suite property follow the island chic standard of other Hawaiian hotels though: large bladed, plantation-style ceiling fans, dark wood furniture mixed with over-stuffed couches and armchairs, local art and a decidedly earth-toned palette. The lobby's elegant and has an acknowledged sense of place, thanks to the local antiques, airy vaulted ceiling and heaps of local flora. The real highlight is the open view of the beach and of the main restaurant, Kō. It’s namesake pays homage to the tradegood that changed the face of Hawai’i: Kō means sugarcane. In a clever twist, fusions of Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Portuguese dishes reference the home regions of those who were brought to the island to cultivate and harvest the crop. The 9,000 square foot Willow Stream Spa, voted 2014 and 2015’s Best Spa in Hawai’i by Travel and Leisure, sits at the center of the resort. Its adults only pool is a wonderful, complementing alternative to the waterslide-connected, kid-friendly lagoon pools on the other side of the property, but it’s the spa’s tailored menu that make the place such a gem. Guests are encouraged to explore the varieties of Maui rain in special showers, indulge in the offerings at the pālolo (mud) bar or book massages that rely on local ingredients like macadamia nut oil and Hawaiian sea salt.
You're here because
In booking a big Hawaiian resort, you expect 24 hour service, multiple dining options, gorgeous views of the sunset, and luxe digs: the works. The Fairmont Kea Lani firmly checks these boxes, but also offers a good dose of style and a welcome awareness of its sense of place.
From the villa’s private plunge pool, you lean back and look out over the beach. The sun beams down on the warm golden sands, glittering waves just off the shore gently roll over the reef, you can see other guests meandering through the manicured lawns, stopping for shade under the spare palm tree.
In the southern reaches of Maui’s resort community, the Fairmont Kea Lani claims 22 acres of Wailea’s exclusive oceanfront. The hotel is right on the golden sands of Polo beach, between Wailea and Palauea beaches. The coral reef directly off of Polo Beach is a hotspot for snorkeling and diving. The resort is roughly a half hour by car from the regional Kahului airport.
Restaraunts & Bars
Kea Lani - Breakfast
Ama Grill - Contemporary and classic Hawaiian dishes
Ko - Eclectic plantation-inspired cuisine ranging from Japanese to Filipino
Nick's Fishmarket, Maui - Seafood with a Mediterranean flair
Caffe Ciao Deli - Trattoria with homemade take-away
Keiki Lani Kid's Club
Hawaiian Canoe Experience
Seasonal activities (Examples: lei making, balloonology, family stargazing)