Our family has spent a lot of time in Hawaii over the years. We have spent time in Molokai, the Big Island of Hawaii and the North Shore of Oahu at Turtle Bay Resort. This time we decided to switch things up entirely and spend a week at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea.
Where is the Fairmont Kea Lani?
The Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea is located on Maui’s sunny southern coast and Hawaii‘s only all-suite and villa luxury resort.
With award-winning service for guests of every kind – from business travelers to honeymooners looking for a romantic getaway or family members celebrating an anniversary together; there truly is something here that will meet everyone’s needs.
How to Get to the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea
The Kahului Airport (OGG) is the closest airport to the gorgeous Fairmont Kea Lani resort in Maui. It’s only 17 miles away and takes about 30 minutes by car, depending on traffic conditions.
Popular Attractions Nearby
Nearby attractions include Makena Beach, and Wailea Beach Path, and Kihei is just a quick drive away. However, there are so many fun things to do on Maui, and the Fairmont Kea Lani is perfectly situated to explore the island.
Haleakala National Park is 52 miles away, Maui Ocean Centre is 14 miles north, Maui Arts & Cultural Center is 26 miles northeast and Tedeschi Vineyards, Keokea is 2 miles southeast.
Map of Fairmont Kea Lani Maui
History of the Fairmont Wailea
The Fairmont Kea Lani is one of Hawaii’s most luxurious resorts. The resort’s architect, Jose Luis Ezquerra was inspired by the traditional architecture found in Mediterranean regions and the Middle East to give it an authentic flair that can’t be found anywhere else on this island paradise.
The resort is reminiscent of Hawaii’s royal past as it gives an opulent feeling when staying in these awe-inspiring accommodations.
The Fairmont Kea Lani opened its doors in 1991 and was renovated in 2014.
Property Amenities at Fairmont Kea Lani
The wonderful amenities include three swimming pools, one adults-only pool, a swim-up bar, a waterslide, a state-of-the-art spa, a fitness center, six dining venues, a kids club, and a private beach.
10 Reasons Why We Love the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea:
Imagine sitting on your private balcony, sipping a cocktail and watching the sunset as you listen to crashing waves. This is what stays in mind when guests stay at Fairmont Resorts; they don’t want anything less than perfect.
A tropical atmosphere awaits with sleek modern design features such as palm-blade ceiling fans that provide an airy feel while still keeping cool enough during the hot months. Guests can also enjoy plunge pools or barbecues by their villas’ courtyards making it more relaxing outside.
1) The Staff
We have stayed at many Fairmont properties all over the world, so we anticipated the service to be fantastic, and they most certainly lived up to our expectations. Right upon our arrival at the Fairmont Kea Lani, we were greeted with Lei’s and necklaces and a warm welcome from the staff.
At this resort, you’ll find the perfect balance of comfort and adventure, and the staff are available to help make your stay as fun and active as you wish it to be. There are water sports available for renters including snorkeling in addition to sailing expeditions – all of which can be arranged through the staff.
In order to stay active while on vacation, they also have an energy ambassador who will help guide guests toward various ways they might enjoy their time at the Fairmont Kea Lani.
2) The Pools and Waterslide
One of the top things we look for when researching hotels is their pools and outdoor amenities. Traveling with young boys is fun but challenging and our main priority is keeping them busy and trying to tire them out. The pools at the Fairmont Kea Lani are a slice of heaven.
There are three pools in total. The upper pool with a pool bar and an entrance to the waterslide. The lower pool with the kiddie pool and the exit of the waterslide. The adults-only pool, which we were lucky to enjoy while the kids went to Kids Club.
We booked a room by the pool which turned out to be a wonderful choice (and another reason why we loved this hotel so much) because we were able to easily access our room without having to go up and down the elevator or walk out to the villas.
We also didn’t need to pack a big pool bag, we could just walk a few feet to our room and refill drinks or get snacks when the kids got hungry.
We spent the majority of our time at the upper pool while the kids did laps on the waterslide. They couldn’t get enough of it and we happily lounged poolside while they enjoyed their freedom in the tropical sunshine.
3) The Private Beach
Finding a beach at a hotel that is just as good if not better, than their pool is not always easy to find. The beach at the Fairmont Kea Lani is wonderful and is accessible by a beautiful pathway that leads out of their well-maintained grounds.
The waves aren’t too big so the kids can play in the ocean or just spend hours digging on the beach.
The staff will happily set up lounge chairs and an umbrella for you, and while you will need to head down early in the morning to reserve the best spot, I never had trouble getting one later in the day. The beach is flanked by volcanic rock on both sides of the beach which gives it a secluded feel.
4) Keiki Lani Kids Club
I’ll be honest when I say that a Kids Club is required on our list of must-haves when booking a hotel for our vacations. It allows us to have a bit of a break and enjoy some quality time alone for an hour or two.
The Keiki Lani Kids Club is fantastic and one key thing to point out is that they handled my son’s nut allergy and epi-pens very professionally, making me feel safe about leaving my kids there.
There was a different outing every day to various parts of the hotel grounds and endless options to play with inside.
Of course, the Nintendo Wii video games were a favourite for our boys but I appreciated how the staff balanced the time they spent playing video games with other activities during their time there.
5) Rooms Next To The Pool
The best part of our vacation at the Fairmont Kea Lani was because we were upgraded to a room located right next to the upper-level pool. It made a vacation that was already pretty fantastic even better.
Our boys spent the majority of their time at the pool so it made things very easy because we didn’t have to pack a gigantic pool bag or navigate the elevators every time we wanted to go back to the room.
The rooms located next to the pool come with their own patio and a beautiful view of the ocean. We would wake up and have our morning coffee there and often spent happy hour there too. The rooms are incredibly spacious, the smallest at the Fairmont Kea Lani is 860 square feet!
The Fairmont Wailea has ocean-view suites, partial ocean view, garden view suites, two bedroom oceanfront villas and their signature ocean view villas. We are big fans of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and their accommodation choices will fit any travelers’ needs.
My only complaint is that the beds are two double beds and not queen-sized beds. I am 6 feet tall and my husband is 6 foot 2 inches tall so a double bed doesn’t allow much room for both of us.
A queen-sized bed would make a big difference in my opinion. There is a pull-out couch so it is an ideal room setup for families.
6) Dining Options
Kō, the resort’s signature restaurant offers guests a unique dining experience with incredible views of both the ocean and sky.
The menu draws influences from all regions that have contributed to this island’s rich history-including its sugarcane plantation era and speciality cocktails made with fresh fruit juices straight from Hawaii’s farms.
Kō is an unforgettable dining experience for foodies. Serving up fresh-caught seafood alongside favorites like filet mignon, Kō offers guests a menu full of great-tasting dishes combined with unmatched views over wave after blue ocean waves.
To make your night extra special go ahead and reserve a private cabana near the Tranquility Pool where you can enjoy select items from their extensive list without ever having to leave paradise.
At AMA Bar & Grill, you can enjoy a Hawaiian dish next to the upper lagoon pool or make your own picnic at the beach with Makana Market & Cafe. Our family loved eating at the casual AMA Bar & Grill.
When we were able to pry the kids away from the pool, we sat down to eat with views of the ocean and a kids menu that served vegetables and fruit that the kids would actually consume.
The morning breakfast buffet was truly spectacular and an event in itself. We did not eat there every morning as it is quite expensive for a family of four but you certainly get your money’s worth.
I don’t think there is a food item that isn’t available on the breakfast buffet and the fruit was mouthwatering fresh. If you enjoy a good breakfast, I highly recommend splurging on this one.
7) Hawaiian Canoe Experience
Outrigger Canoe Paddling has been around for centuries. It started in ancient Polynesia and then became popular on these islands, so much that it helped to sustain life back when there were no cars or boats.
The Hawaiians used paddles connected by ropes which allowed them transport amongst themselves while also fishing – all thanks to an integral part of their culture called “outriggers.
Learn the basics of paddling, and you’ll be able to channel your inner Hawaiian. With a unique history that dates back centuries ago in this activity for fun or adventure – plus advance reservations required- space is limited!
It is recommended to book this activity prior to your hotel stay due to its popularity. The Fairmont Kea Lani offers these tours Monday through Friday for guests 10 and older.
The Hawaiian Canoe Experience is free of charge to hotel guests, but a no-show charge of $65 per guest will be applied if you cancel within 24 hours.
8) Watch The Tiki Torch Lighting Ceremony
The tradition of ending the day by blowing out the pū (conch shell) has been around for centuries. Every evening at the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, all the torches in the resort are lit up to signal that it is time to end this celebration and say goodnight with an oli chant.
If you ask my kids what their favorite part of staying at the Fairmont Wailea is (aside from the waterslide!) they will tell you it is running behind the person lighting the tiki torches. This is such a signature event at the Fairmont Kea Lani and one you and your family will enjoy each and every night.
9) The Spa
Experience the award winning Willow Stream Spa for a pampering experience like no other. This spa offers an extensive menu of treatments in 13 treatment rooms and three outdoor cabanas, including signature items such as Kea Lani Massages that feature macadamia and kukui nut oils with lemongrass scrub, a mud bar where you will find yourself in a cleansing bliss or relax on one the heated lounge chairs while sipping your favorite drink.
I don’t often take advantage of the hotel spa, but Willow Stream at the Fairmont Kea Lani is one that I do!
10) The Babysitting Service
Ok so technically this isn’t a service that the Fairmont Kea Lani provides themselves but The Nanny Connection offers a babysitting service with affordable rates and will come to the hotel so parents can have a night to themselves. Or at the very least stay up past their kid’s bedtimes!
The Nanny connection charges a $25 Daily Non-refundable Booking Fee, $17 per hour cash to the nanny for 1st child and $3 more per hour for each additional child. They do not charge any travel fees which is a bonus. Their rates are island-wide with a 3-hour minimum.
Final Thoughts on the Fairmont Kea Lani
All in all, I cannot recommend the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea enough for a vacation with your family. You will have an enjoyable, pampered experience and leave feeling rested and rejuvenated, even with kids.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, FOX, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more. When she’s not traveling, she can be found at hockey arenas all over BC cheering on her two young sons.