When visiting Maui, most families stay on the west coast, where the sun and sand are key.
Between Kaanapali, Kihei, and Wailea, there are dozens of hotels, resorts, and condos to choose from, and many have emerged from the pandemic years with new offerings.
So what’s new and noteworthy for upcoming trips? In south Wailea, the Fairmont Kea Lani has undergone a major renovation, redesigning each of its 413 one-bedroom suites and 37 two-story villas.
The project was recently completed, just this month on January 6, and the results are impressive. As Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury resort, there is much to love about what the property has to offer families.
Let’s take a look at the new renovations:
A new beginning for every room
The renovation project of the 5-star Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel is called the Hoomaka Hou Transformation, translated as “A New Beginning”.
The aim was, of course, to refresh and modernize each room, but also to incorporate more local culture stories into the design and details.
This follows a destination-wide push in Hawaii, with the new suites and villas “designed to capture a sense of place and share our island’s history, with elements that encapsulate the resort’s storied location.”
Think natural color patterns that reflect the hues of the coastline, ocean and foliage; textures, furnishings, and artwork that blend ancient Hawaiian tradition and craftsmanship with modern elegance and convenience (for example, traditional fish baskets made into light fixtures); and functional room layouts that create gathering spaces where families can not only coexist, but thrive.
There are 9 types of large one-bedroom family suites, which differ by their floor plan (860 or 1100 square meters), view (sea or garden), and location of the accommodation (corner, ground floor, etc.). They are all suitable for a family of four, with either two double beds or a king-size bed and a sofa bed.
The villas are even larger, with the ability to accommodate a larger (perhaps multi-generational) family, or even two families traveling together. The two and three bedroom options offer between 1800 and 2200 square feet of living space with a full kitchen/dining area and a private courtyard, plunge pool and barbeque grill within sight of the ocean.
They are just steps from the beach and are especially convenient for families with young children. Villas can be stocked with groceries and other items prior to your arrival should you wish.
With the ‘Restaurant of the Year’ 2022
The renovations at the Fairmont Kea Lani add to what is already a very local and culturally focused real estate experience.
For example, Kō Restaurant highlights dishes from Hawaii’s plantation era, which brought workers and thus culinary influence from around the world to the islands, mixing Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean, and Japanese flavors. On the menu, you’ll find spinoffs of Philippine Spring Roll, Vietnamese Bao Bun, Japanese Kobe Beef, and Hawaiian Seafood Lau Lau, to name a few.
What makes the dining experience even more special is that the diversity and blending of cultures on the menu is also reflected in the staff, who provide insight into how their native culture and cuisine have blended with Hawaiian and Pacific cooking styles (the spring rolls). reminded a server of his grandmother’s recipe). In other words, be sure to ask for recommendations.
Not surprisingly, Kō, meaning “sugar cane,” was recently named Restaurant of the Year 2022 by a local Maui magazine. Located poolside, it’s a place you might want to visit even if you’re not a guest resides.
Not done yet
Later this year, the second phase of Hoomaka Hou’s transformation will begin with the lobby renovation of the Fairmont Kea Lani.
Already large, open and welcoming with water features, bamboo gardens and live music, the new lobby will strive to continue the luxurious arrival experience while making it more functional as a meeting place for guests throughout the day.
This includes the creation of an interactive Hawaiian cultural center and the addition of another food and beverage outlet, under the direction of the property’s new executive chef, Michael Lofaro (formerly of the Grand Wailea).
The concept is still evolving, but it will follow the resort’s brand of combining modern and traditional Hawaiian dishes. Given Chef Lofaro’s mighty food quest powers, there’s no doubt the meals will feature colorful backstories. Expected ETA is the second half of 2023.
Elsewhere on the property, don’t miss the outrigger canoe snorkel adventure, one of many active cultural activities. It departs directly from the beach and is a great family outing to spot sea turtles. Other family and kid-friendly activities include nighttime torch lighting, an evening show, and poolside cabanas.
Ready to go? Check out any of the current deals including a 5th night free, 20% off your stay, free breakfast and more.