Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani Spruces Up and Keeps Green

The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, launches a major upgrade while blazing eco-friendly trails

By: By Marty Wentzel

The Details

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Rack Rates are priced from $399 per night. During this fall’s remodeling, clients get discounts of up to 50 percent off, with rates from $199 for a one-bedroom suite.

Commission: 10 percent

Once it opened in 1991, Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, has always been an innovative hotel, with its white Moorish domes, all-suite configuration and high-end villas. Now, thanks to an upcoming renovation and progressive eco-friendly efforts, the property is further distinguishing itself from the rest of the resorts in southwest Maui.

Remodeled guestrooms will feature new furnishings, paint and decor. // © 2010 Fairmont Kea Lani/Michael Gilbert

Remodeled guestrooms will feature new furnishings, paint and decor.
// © 2010 Fairmont Kea Lani/Michael Gilbert

Starting Aug. 30, the 450-room luxury hotel will embark on a $15.5 million renovation aimed at making a great product even better.

“We are not out to change the hotel, but we do want to upgrade it,” said Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, general manager Christof Luedi. “Our upcoming renovation is the first of three scheduled projects that will also include the future remodel of Ko, our signature restaurant, and Spa Kea Lani.”

Renovation Details
Luedi and his team put considerable effort into selecting the final designs and picking the right time for the upgrade.

“The hotel continually undergoes renovations in order to offer the level of amenities and service our guests expect,” Luedi said. “In fact, many of these upgrades are completed behind the scenes without the guests’ knowledge. For this project, however, we specifically targeted dates which are historically the slowest of the year. And, as the economic situation improves, the resort will be well positioned to offer newly refreshed accommodations and amenities.”

Guest feedback played an integral part in the renovation plans, Luedi added. For instance, all rooms will feature flat-screen, 50-inch, high-definition televisions, practically a requirement among today’s discriminating travelers. The property is keeping the microwaves, mini-refrigerators and other kitchen conveniences that add value to the accommodations — and the new sofas that are installed will still be sleepers.

All accommodations will be improved upon with new furniture, paint and decor. The resort’s 37 villas will also get a full kitchen makeover with stainless-steel appliances, new wooden cabinets and redesigned dining areas with banquettes and stone countertops. The renovation of all suites and villas is scheduled to be finished before the 2010 holiday travel season. The hotel will remain fully according to a strategic schedule designed to minimize any disruptions for guests.

Meanwhile, from Aug. 30-Oct. 28, the hotel will replace all three pool decks with quartzite, a stone that reflects heat while providing safe footing. Quartzite will be installed at the adults-only pool, the upper and lower lagoon pools and Polo Beach Grille and Bar. During the renovations, at least one swimming pool will always remain open.

Environmental Innovations
Over the past nine years, Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui has successfully implemented more than 50 environmentally friendly initiatives. Programs include recycling containers in every guestroom; low-flow shower heads and toilets; energy-efficient lamps in every suite and villa; biodegradable trash bags; reusable packaging; recycled batteries; linen washing reduction; and beach clean-ups.

One of its most trendsetting moves is the installation of the new Eco-Mode thermostat in all guestrooms. Connected to the hotel’s database, it automatically turns on when a guest checks in and shuts off when a guest checks out. The smart thermostat detects when a door is opened, signaling motion detectors to scan the room. If no motion is detected, the temperature adjusts five degrees higher. It also shuts off when doors to the lanai are opened and it monitors humidity.

In March 2005, the resort installed a laundry water recycling system that has saved more than 50 million gallons of water with an average recycle rate between 80-82 percent. And, many of the hotel’s employees have made a personal commitment to environmental conservation in their own homes.

When it comes to the resort’s food and beverage menus, the hotel’s executive chef works with local farmers to develop dishes using fresh Hawaii-grown ingredients from land and sea, such as Surfing Goat Dairy cheese, Maui Lavender honey, Maui cattle, Hamakua mushrooms, Waimea heirloom tomatoes and sustainably-harvested fish such as Kona kampachi and moi.

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, now uses a variety of disposable food containers made from cornstarch, recycled paperboard and sugarcane bagasse. It gives food scraps to local pig farmers, and each week it recycles 200 gallons of cooking oils into bio-fuel. And — remarkable but true — the wait staff at Ko restaurant wears stylish pants made out of recycled bottles. Thanks to these and other efforts, the forward-thinking resort received the Hawaii Green Business Award in March 2010 in a ceremony held at the State Capitol building in Honolulu.

By the end of this year, clients who stay at Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, can rest assured on two counts: Not only will the hotel look and feel better than ever, but it will continually strive to protect the island it calls home.

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