Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea Turns 20

Luxury resort is turning 20 and still turning heads By: Marty Wentzel
Serenity Pool, Four Seasons Resort Maui // (c) Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Serenity Pool, Four Seasons Resort Maui // (c) Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
www.fourseasons.com/maui

In 1990, I attended the opening of Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. I still remember being wowed by its luxurious guestrooms with their oversize marble bathrooms; its food and beverage offerings that were simultaneously hip and sophisticated; its timeless architectural style that invited the outdoors in; and its superlative level of hospitality where guests never heard the word “no.”

Two decades later, following a recent visit, I am happy to report that the resort still offers all of those original attributes. Now, however, they are complemented by new amenities and services that have made a great hotel even greater.

What’s New
Fresh from a recent $50 million renovation, the 380-room southwest Maui hotel has improved upon its accommodations by adding such luxuries as 42-inch high-definition plasma televisions, alarm clocks with iPod docking stations and Braun Tassimo coffee/latte/tea/hot chocolate machines. Near its swimming pools, the resort now features relaxing tapas, which are small-sized versions of the body treatments offered in the hotel’s spa.

The renovation also produced a premium steak and seafood restaurant, Duo, which complements the hotel’s Spago Maui dining room and Ferraro's, an al fresco Italian eatery. The resort’s spa now offers three oceanfront outdoor Hawaiian massage hale (huts), authentically constructed in the traditional Hawaiian style without nails or screws. And, throughout its accommodations and public areas, the hotel features museum-quality paintings and sculptures, including works by some of the finest artists in the islands.

A Pool of Dreams
My favorite addition to this flagship Four Seasons — which is Hawaii’s first and only AAA Five Diamond and Mobil Five Star resort — is the new $9 million adults-only Serenity Pool. Tucked alongside the southernmost side of the resort in an area formerly known as Seasons Lawn, the exclusive saltwater pool is elevated for panoramic views of the ocean, the island of Lanai and the West Maui Mountains.

The Serenity Pool is surrounded by six 160-square-foot luxury cabanas with more amenities than I could possibly take advantage of in one visit. Available for a daily fee, each cabana comes with a flat-screen high-definition television with wireless headsets; Internet access; ceiling fans; mini refrigerators stocked with Evian spritzes and fresh fruit; a laptop-compatible safe; various magazines and games; and comfortable couches and oversize chaise lounges. When it’s time to emerge from the cabana to cool off, clients can hear the soothing sounds of Hawaiian music underwater, while a swim-up bar stands ready with specialty cocktails and signature cuisine.

Looking Ahead
Now that it is entering its next decade, how can the Four Seasons Resort Maui possibly get any better? According to the hotel’s general manager, Thomas Steinhauer, there’s always room for improvement.

“All of us consider ourselves stewards of a resort that has continually evolved to anticipate and meet the needs and expectations of our guests, who so often consider us their second home,” said Steinhauer. “I believe our success has come from 20 years of listening to our guests and our employees, along with our willingness to adapt, invest and continually improve our services and facilities. We will never accept the status quo.”

Special Packages
Coinciding with its 20th anniversary, Four Seasons Resort Maui is offering two of its most popular packages through Dec. 16. Clients booking four consecutive nights get the fifth night free; and, with the Experience More program, they get a nightly resort credit of up to $200.

>