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Ever since Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea opened in 1990, it has stayed ahead of the curve in terms of pampering guests. From its early days when it introduced poolside Evian spritzes to its 2009 debut of a $9 million adults-only Serenity Pool with underwater music, it has perfected the art of fantasy fulfillment.
These days, of course, extraordinary amenities and services are de rigueur at Maui’s upscale properties. But the 380-room Four Seasons Maui keeps distancing itself from the competition, and it did so again recently by launching a series of tailor-made experiences that are exclusive to the resort.
Mark Simon, marketing director for Four Seasons Maui, says the inspiration for the new programs comes from the firsthand “wow” stories the staff regularly shares with one another that, in turn, help them go the extra mile for their guests.
“We thought it would be good to offer some of these terrific ‘wow’ stories as idea starters for our guests,” Simon said. “Many times, we use personal contacts to create our highly curated guest experiences that simply could not be purchased elsewhere.”
Unforgettable ExperiencesThe result is called Unforgettable Experiences, a selection of made-to-order activities that connect guests intimately to the destination. The resort provides clients with suggested experiences, then customizes them for over-the-top vacations.
For instance, clients can immerse themselves in Hawaii’s coffee culture by traveling via a private helicopter to the neighboring island of Hawaii. There, they will take an exclusive owner-led, farm-to-cup tour of one of the island’s coffee estates, followed by brunch.
Photo buffs can book an excursion with professional fine-art photographer Daniel Sullivan, who leads guests off the tourist track. As Sullivan shares his knowledge of Maui’s landscape, he illustrates how to best capture it by camera.
From December to May, guests can go on a private whale-watching trip with the hotel’s artists in residence: Dan and John Cesere, well-regarded underwater photographers and two of Maui’s leading whale experts.
“These adventures might be expensive, but they are true to the words ‘Unforgettable Experiences,’” Simon said.
Serenity Pool After HoursAnother new sky’s-the-limit initiative at Four Seasons Maui is dubbed Serenity Pool After Hours. The base price of $5,000 includes dinner and exclusive use of the pool and its lavish amenities. From there, guests can tweak the experience with their own requests and preferences.
According to Kayla McCracken, event manager for Four Seasons Maui, one couple wanted an after-dinner massage under the stars while surrounded by a sea of rose petals and candles. On another evening, a local artist did a live painting of the clients as they dined. Guests have even asked for a pre-sunset helicopter ride and post-dinner fireworks, shot from a barge off the beach.
Then there’s the hotel’s new program — the Ultimate Dinner, a leisurely, multicourse, gourmet meal. Clients can choose from four on-property dinner locations: a beachfront lawn, an elevated tropical hideaway, a private nook in a grove of plumeria trees or the Serenity Pool.
As McCracken fine-tunes each Ultimate Dinner, she orchestrates noteworthy evenings ranging from romantic marriage proposals to multigenerational family reunions.
“Now more than ever, guests are asking us to create memorable experiences and out-of-the-box services and activities,” McCracken said.
Tennis With the ProsAs Four Seasons Maui’s team continues its quest to make dreams come true, it’s featuring two fall promotions, one for tennis fans and another for couples.
From Nov. 16-20, the Four Seasons Maui is hosting the 10th annual Wailea Tennis Fantasy Camp, which comes with daily instruction from a quartet of top tennis stars: Justin Gimelstob, Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Tom Gullikson. Participants take part in four days of drills, video analysis and singles and doubles action with the pros; a welcome party; and an awards luau. Packages start at $3,395 per person.
Couples Season, the second promotion, gives guests special pricing in the hotel’s restaurants, spa and boutique shops. They can take advantage of free hotel activities such as stand-up paddleboard yoga, cocktail classes and cooking demonstrations. They have access to the best room rates of the year, and they don’t have to pay a resort fee. Couples Season takes place from September to November, with nightly rates from $819.
Simon recommends that travel agents pitch all of Four Seasons Maui’s new signature offerings to picky clients who want to do something that no one has done before.
“Some agents have customers who want nothing but the best — something completely unique, regardless of the cost,” Simon said. “Agents can benefit from knowing they are satisfying a need for their most discerning clients.”