Artistic Seasoning

 The ‘art of Hawaii’ adorns the Four Seasons Maui

By: Marty Wentzel

Julie Cline knows the evolution of Hawaii art like the back of her hand. So when Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea decided to create a one-of-a-kind collection of Hawaii artworks, the Oahu-born-and-raised curator was the perfect choice to spearhead the project, part of an overall renaissance of the luxury property.

Since November 2005, Cline has dedicated herself to the creation of the art collection, which tells a visual story of Hawaii’s culture and history from its statehood in 1959 onward. She personally selected works by local artists for each of the 380 guestrooms, suites and public spaces.

This is the first Image
Painting called "Wave Warrior"
by Don Hardy.
“This isn’t just hotel art. It’s serious work,” said Cline during a preview of the unparalleled collection. “Some of the artists are emerging, others are people with worldwide reputations and they come from many cultural backgrounds. For that reason, it’s not Hawaiian art, it’s the art of Hawaii.”

Combining paintings, sculptures and photographs representing classic as well as modern styles, the Four Seasons public collection numbers 285 pieces, with an additional 2,200 works in the guestrooms and corridors. Cline ordered a handmade frame tailored specifically to each piece of art, rather than using anything prefabricated. Clients can wander through the hotel and view the collection on their own and there are plans to train a docent to lead tours of the works.

New art is just one of the changes at Four Seasons Resort Maui. The AAA Five- Diamond property has invested over $50 million to keep ahead of the competition. “Normally what one does in a resort of this caliber is update the soft goods every three or four years, rather than waiting until the product deteriorates,” said Four Seasons Resort Maui general manager Thomas Steinhauer. “In this case, we looked at it comprehensively, updating the resort’s design, look and feel.”

Repeat guests will immediately notice the rejuvenation of the rooms, which provide HD-ready 42-inch plasma televisions connected to DVD players with photo card slots. Alarm clocks host iPod and MP3 players, writing desks feature pop-up electric panels with outlets and easy access to high-speed wireless Internet. Guestroom bathrooms, always notable for their size, now boast new lighting, fixtures, marble tile, dark wood vanities and all-glass shower enclosures.

The property has also figured out a way to make poolside service even more decadent. Clients can now request, through pool attendants, private poolside spa “tapas,” shortened versions of full treatments.

Happily, one thing that hasn’t changed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is its classic design, with terraces leading from gardens to the pool to the beach, and open-air public areas remaining breezy in the open air. Agents can assure their discriminating clients that recent changes inside and out have only improved what has long been a spectacular resort.



Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Nightly Rack Rates: Guestrooms run $440-$880; suites $825-$11,500; club floor from $990.

Commission: 10 percent