Scenes from Wailea (South Maui)





Just before Halloween, Hudson, Skyler, and I tagged along with Aron to a work conference in Maui. It was held at the Grand Wailea—an enormous, beautiful resort that sits on a fairly newly developed stretch of coast, South of Kihei.

With Aron working part of the time, and having visited Maui fairly recently, we gave ourselves permission to stick close to the resort and take it easy.





The Grand Wailea—and pretty much all of the resorts along this bit of Maui’s southern coast—is pretty extravagant: extravagantly lovely and extravagantly expensive. Because the conference was held there, rooms were available at a big discount, so we couldn’t pass up a chance to check it out.

We decided to take a garden view room and the woman helping us alluded to the fact that we were moving to a much more desirable location for most people… because of the shorter walk. I was about to ask what she meant, when Skyler suddenly projectile spit-up all over the place, but it was pretty clear after a day of getting lost. Aron and I both agreed that the property was actually a bit large for our preference.

Still, I feel like a jerk complaining about anything. Almost everyone we spoke with seemed to express the opinion that it was one of the most beautiful hotels they’d ever seen in their lives. It was really stunning. Moreover, Maui is really stunning.


We were a bit nervous about spending nearly a week with four of us to a room, but luckily there are large balconies, “lanais,” for hanging out on after the kids are asleep. (Just bring some bug repellant.) We put Skyler in one of the hotel’s pack-and-plays beside the bed and Hudson slept in the Bjorn travel crib halfway into the hall closet. (He has a history with closets, after all.)





The activity pool at the Grand Wailea has at least a dozen different features. There are nine pools, actually, connected by a lazy river with waterslides and waterfalls. There was also a baby beach pool and an adults-only pool. The chairs around the pool would get filled by around midday, but with the two little ones, we never sat still for long enough for this to really be an issue.



Of course, it always seems slightly crazy to be at the pool when the ocean—warm and clear—is just a few steps away.


I probably had the best turn snorkeling, spotting a few turtles just off shore…


While Aron had a turn juggling.




When Aron would go to the conference, I’d usually try to make breakfast last as long as possible before doing my own juggling act with pool toys. There were families everywhere, so it was a common sight.



Actually, the hotel had a nice kids’ club (“The Rock”). We spent some time at its Lego tables and at the kiddie pool there—but there were far more diverse activities for older kids.

Some other kid-friendly notes: Kids’ lunches by the pool are served with a bucket and shovel—so be sure to order there on Day 1 rather than buying a set at the gift shop. Also, all of the restaurants hand out little stuffed animals to kids—a nice touch, especially before bed in a new place.




We opted to check out the Tropical Plantation on one afternoon. We were the only ones on the tram tour around the grounds, getting a private tour and demonstration of how to split a coconut. The tour has potential, but I’m very sorry to say that I’d give this one a pass.


It did, however, afford us the chance to closely examine some extremely large garden spiders. (Yikes!)



After the tour, we drove into Paia and had dinner at Paia Fish Market (delicious!).

We also enjoyed lunch at Longhi’s at the Shops at Wailea (a short walk from the hotel), dinner at Monkey Pod (a short drive), and dinner at the Fairmont (a slightly longer, but gorgeous walk from the hotel along the coastal path).


Dinner at the Fairmont was at their restaurant, Kō, and it was one of our favorite meals on this visit.



We look forward to visiting again soon!

P.S. We did more exploring of the island on our last trip. Read our Maui Travelogue from last summer. (I can’t believe how much younger Hudson looks!) Also, family travel tips.

Related posts:

Travel Guides

Browse By Category