Maui is a small island but there are more than a handful of options when it comes to places to stay. It’s easiest to think of the island in regions and then go from there. The east end of the Hawaiian island has maybe one hotel (this would be the Haiku/Paia area) while the north and west ends are dotted with popular resorts and boutique hotels.
While the resorts scattered around Ka’anapali and Wailea are beautiful and have their own bragging rights, our favorite stay during our time in Maui was at the Fairmont Kea Lani. There are several reasons for this and we’ve focused on each one of them below. If you’ve never stayed at a Fairmont, I’d highly recommend doing so. They are found all over the USA & Canada and are owned by the Accor Hotel hospitality company which has hundreds of hotel brands all across the world.
The Fairmonts do a great job in the luxury field, providing beautiful accommodations, impeccable service and fantastic dining options and this holds true for their location in Maui . Here are our top reasons for staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani.
For other Fairmont property reviews, check out the Fairmont Austin.
Reasons to Choose the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui
Amazing restaurants on-site
The Fairmont Kea Lani has 4 restaurants on-site as well as a market/cafe and bar. We tried three of the restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner and were impressed with every one.
Kō – For dinner, head to Kō for some of the best food imaginable. Kō has repeatedly been voted Best Hawaii Regional Cuisine and focuses on classic dishes with an island twist.
Every single dish we tried was fantastic. For starters, the Lavender Honey Macadamia Nut Shrimp was perfect as was the Ahi on the Rock, You Sear It. The tuna was not only delicious but its presentation and delivery were surprising. As you can see in the photos below, the dish came with a hot stone so that you could sear your tuna to your liking.
For our entrees, we chose the Grilled Lamb Chops and Paniolo Bone In Rib-Eye. Again, both were spectacular; sometimes lamb meat is grisly but these lamb chops were perfect. We had friends with us that evening and their dishes were equally great: Coconut Chicken Red Curry & Lemongrass Coconut Broth (local fish). It was a wonderful evening and if you want a great celebratory or romantic dinner, don’t miss out on this Maui special.
AMA Bar & Grill – AMA is a great place for lunch if you’re hanging out poolside for the day. The nachos were amazing and if you love pineapple (and photos), be sure to order your cocktail in a pineapple! Also, if you’re trying to eat light and healthy, try the beet salad.
Kea Lani Restaurant – We’ve always been fans of breakfasts at the Fairmont. The buffet is our favorite and includes fruit, cheeses, oatmeal, waffles, pancakes, juices, cereals, vegetables, eggs benedict and an omelet bar where someone makes your omelet literally in front of you. Favorites for breakfast were the waffles with fresh whipped cream, pancakes, eggs benedict and omelets.
Proximity to the beach
The Fairmont in Maui sits a few steps back from the beach. You can actually see the ocean from your hotel room and the walk to the beach is surrounded by beautiful plants and flowers. The staff are really talented in maintaining the landscaping and we were constantly admiring the grounds. Sunsets at the beach were a highlight with one that was particularly stunning.
We’re architecture lovers so the Fairmont’s building structure really impressed us. We loved the unique balconies, some with flowering window boxes and the rounded towers. The hallways were open to the outside so it made you forget you were in hotel but rather made you feel like you were at a luxurious home away from home.
Most of the resorts in Wailea are all located in close proximity to each other. The Fairmont is about a mile away from most resorts making it feel extremely private and secluded. The photo below is the beach in front of the Fairmont and to the right. There’s a small walking trail in that direction that leads to all the other resorts so if you want to go for a nice stroll, we’d highly recommend it.
Great photo ops
If you’re looking for a property where you can get some great photos, then this is it. There are so many nooks and crannies with great lighting or perfect backdrops that it’s fun to just wander and take photos.
You can’t go wrong with a suite especially if you’re staying in Maui for several days. We couldn’t believe how spacious the room was: the bedroom was separate from the living area and the bathroom had two doors, one leading to the bedroom and one to the living room in case you had guests visiting.
Canoe experience – Though we didn’t take advantage of it, the Fairmont Kea Lani offers a unique canoe experience where an expert takes you out on the water and shares fun history with you about Maui.
Parking – Unlike other neighboring hotels, the Fairmont includes parking for one vehicle and does not charge a daily rate.
In-suite water – So important for those of us who forget to stay hydrated on a tropical vacation.
Access to reef-safe sunscreen – A simple touch but so important for those who have forgotten sunscreen or may not know to buy reef-safe sunscreen.
And that wraps up the top reasons for staying at the Fairmont Kea Lani. As I’m sure you can imagine, this hotel is quite large and has several different sections complete with pools. So if you’re looking for a place where you can get lost in and enjoy nature, then definitely check it out.