WAILEA, MAUI Sure, there are several hotels to choose from in
Wailea, one of Maui’s handful of exclusive coastal enclaves
featuring world-class resorts, but how many have presidential
suites, like the Four Seasons’, going for $8,200 per night? Sound
out of line? Hardly. According to Mark Simon, director of
marketing, such an offering merely reflects the Four Seasons Maui’s
careful dedication “to satisfying our guests to the nth degree.”
The Four Seasons is an AAA Five-Diamond, Cadillac of a hotel in
which both the Hollywood and corporate elite have regularly
traveled since its opening in 1990. On a recent hosted visit, the
luxury could be felt the moment we entered the palatial, Zen- and
stone-themed lobby. The lobby opens up to a massive view of the
ocean and the beach, framed by a fountain and tiered lines of
cabanas and chaises. Nothing seems 10 years old; it all seems brand
As at other Maui resorts, an array of activities await clients
on the beach, including surfing, sailing, kayaking, parasailing,
windsurfing, boogie-boarding, snorkeling and bicycling. Most of
these are available at Maui Watersports’ beach center at the Four
Seasons (www.maui watersports.com).
Three 18-hole championship golf courses are also available to
guests across the street, beyond Wailea Analui, at the Wailea Golf
The hotel has hikes, workouts and other fitness/wellness
activities, too. It also hosts local athletic events such as a
“lite” version of Hawaii’s famed “Ironman” triathlon known as the
“Aluminum Man” race.
Or clients can just sunbathe, surf, swim or lounge on the
hotel’s white sands. Meanwhile, Maui’s natural beauty beckons. To
the west are the spectacular shoreline, white sandy beaches and the
islands of Kaho’olawe, Lanai and Molokai. To the east and northeast
lie two of Maui’s greatest tourist treasures Mount Haleakala and
the road to Hana.
Tally up the Four Seasons’ other assets and you have a major
player in Maui: a newly renovated spa; a new 1,000-square-foot
fitness center; a richly equipped computer gaming salon (as if
endowed by Bill Gates) and an impressive “Kids for All Seasons”
daily activity center and program for children ages 5-12.
The spa is small relative to the hotel’s size, but cost some $3
million to renovate. It boasts an array of treatment rooms and a
healing garden of local herbs and flora. Guests can use an elegant
couple’s suite for soaking or exfoliating under masks of native
Hawaiian roots and herbs. Thatched huts offer views and sounds of
the ocean for further enhanced massage, facial or scalp
A proviso: the treatments cost, cost, cost.
The hotel sits on 15 acres and features 380
rooms and 75 suites; 85 percent of the guestrooms offer ocean views
from a deck or balcony with chaise lounges. Be sure to check
though, as some of these abut service driveways or employee parking
and feel less secluded and quiet.
Rooms feature amenities such as mini-refrigerators, coffeemakers
and even coffee grinders with free Kona coffee beans (though
housekeeping forgot to replenish the complimentary filter
Television, VCRs, DVDs and, most notably, complete Bose audio
systems (not clock radios) can also be found in rooms, along with
small but eclectic CD collections.
Bathrooms feature stand-alone bathtubs framed in steel and
glass, underpinned by elegantly tiled floors.
The Four Seasons’ eateries are also impressive, and each has an
open-air, often oceanfront, seating option.
Ferraro’s, the flagship haute restaurant, showcases authentic
Italian cucina rustica. Spago is where patrons enjoy world-famous
Chef Wolfgang Puck’s cuisine, utilizing fresh Hawaiian ingredients.
Finally, the Four Seasons’ meat-and-potatoes equivalent, the
Pacific Grill, has a thorough breakfast buffet (including omelette
and waist-high children’s stations), Hawaiian regional cuisine and
evening entertainment provided by a slack key guitarist.
The hotel also has a special 8th floor concierge level and Club
Room that exude a dedication to privacy and security, as well as
luxury. Absolutely no guests from other floors are allowed in the
Club Room. It’s just down the hall from the Presidential Suite,
designed expressly for CEOs and heads-of-state hence, its towering
price tag. It’s a great place to hide out as an occasional coup
In fact, the Four Seasons is a great place to send any upscale
client to hide out and enjoy the good life.