The Fairmont Kea Lani is a posh resort located on 22 beachfront acres in Wailea about 30 minutes from Kahului Airport. With a prime spot on Polo Beach at the start of the Wailea Beach Walk, three pools (including a water slide!), numerous restaurants, an award winning spa, and plenty of golf, tennis, shopping, and dining nearby, you’ll be torn between reading and sleeping the day away in a beach lounger and taking advantage of all of the fun!
I received a discounted media rate during my stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani as well complimentary breakfast and cabana rental. But of course, I only recommend my absolute favorites to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Hulaland possible.
Fairmont Kea Lani Review
From the moment we pulled up, it was a first class experience. The portico and lobby are so grand and sweeping, and they perfectly frame the ocean in the distance. We got checked in very quickly, and our room was ready early so we went right up and they had our luggage delivered before we even finished looking around the suite!
We also had a special delivery! Macarons and a bottle of sparkling wine from Maui Wine! Every time I’ve stayed at a Fairmont, we’ve gotten a special surprise, so when you check in make sure they know if you’re celebrating something special. Also, you’ll get text messages from the concierge checking in on you throughout your stay so don’t be afraid to mention it to them as well! They really go out of their way to make each and every guest feel so special.
RELATED: Not very familiar with Maui? Read up on the lay of the is(land) and where to stay plus my favorite condos, luxury resorts, and boutique hotels and my area specific guides (including where to stay, eat, and things to do) for Wailea, Ka’anapali, the north shore, and upcountry plus my review of staying at the Four Seasons Maui.
The Fairmont Kea Lani is Hawaii’s only oceanfront all-suite and villa resort which makes it a perfect option for families or couples who want more room to spread out. Pricewise, it’s on the lower end of the surrounding resorts in Wailea, but you practically get double the space!
Since all of the rooms are suites, that means there’s a separate living area with a pullout couch, television, and mini bar. Also, there are two different doors to the bathroom (through the bedroom and also through the living room) so if there’s anyone sleeping on the couch, they won’t have to go traipsing through the bedroom to get to the bathroom.
I was also blown away by the view from the balcony! We had a full on ocean view. While there are a few garden or mountain view rooms, it seems like the resort is laid out so that the majority of the rooms have ocean or partial ocean views. This is also a unique feature among the other resorts in Wailea.
There are three different pools at the Kea Lani including an adults only pool. And I spent time at all of them! Two are connected by waterslide (so fun!) plus there’s a swim up bar.
I also spent a full day at one of the cabanas at the adults only pool. They’ve since been completely refurbished, but even before it was GLAMOROUS. The private cabanas cost $199 for the day and come with padded lounge chairs, a cooler with drinks (we chose water and guava juice but soda was also available), fresh pineapple, trail mix, and fruit platter, and mochi ice cream. We also had an attendant that checked in on us every so often and who we could order additional food and drinks from.
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Overall, I would say the pool area at the Fairmont Kea Lani is good for a wide variety of guests. It’s good for families but it’s not the best family pool in Wailea (that would go to the Grand Wailea and the Wailea Beach Resort) and the adults only area is nice but it’s also not the best in the area (try Four Seasons or Andaz instead) but it’s solid on both fronts. So if your priority is 1) not just kid friendly but wildly appealing to kids, or 2) a posh adults only experience, then there’s probably a better choice in the Wailea area, BUT if your travel party has a wider mix of ages (younger or older kids, young adults, grandparents, etc) then the Fairmont Kea Lani definitely has something for everyone.
During our stay, the resort was undergoing some construction which impacted the dining options, but the Makana Market and Café was scheduled to open soon which will give guests the added option of quicker/more convenient food and sundries. It’s the place you’ll be able to grab something quick for breakfast or lunch/snacks if you’re just hanging out at the beach or pool.
Ama is the pool bar (they also have casual seating) and it’s a similar menu to what the poolside attendants offer. I had a great mahi mahi sandwich and we also tried out one of the cocktails of the day (each day they had a special one at a discounted price).
We also did breakfast one morning at the Kea Lani Restaurant. It’s an amazing buffet with a selection of American, Hawaiian, and Asian favorites. Besides an omelet station and choices of pancakes, waffles, French toast, breakfast meats, eggs, etc., there’s a wide selection of local fruits and topping stations for chia pudding and oatmeal as well as a meat and cheese board with salmon. There were soooo many baked goods (the mango bread was some of my favorite) and in addition to POG juice (passionfruit, orange, and guava) they had fresh squeezed lillikoi nectar. There were so many Asian offerings that honestly weren’t too appealing to me for breakfast (I did have wontons!), but it was pretty cool seeing what other cultures eat for breakfast.
Besides the more casual options, there are also a couple of more upscale restaurants. Ko is the resort’s signature restaurant. It’s open for lunch and dinner and blends flavors from the island’s plantation days. Nick’s Fish Market is one of the island’s best seafood restaurants and it has an impressive wine list.
Also, the Fairmont Kea Lani is very food allergy friendly (two of my friends I was traveling with were gluten free). Make a note on your reservation if you’re dining at Ko or Nick’s and at the other restaurants inform your server when you’re seated. They have provisions for cooking food separately as well as providing extra gluten free options (like pancakes, waffles, and French toast made to order at the Kea Lani Restaurant).
The Fairmont sits on Polo Beach in Wailea. It’s a beautiful beach but it can get a little windy (especially in the afternoon). The south end of the beach (go out to the beach and walk left) has some lava rock formations that form tidepools and are home to urchins, crabs, and other sea life when the tide goes out. I suggest wearing shoes so you can scamper around the rocks safely.
One of my favorite parts of staying in Wailea is the beachwalk. This 1.5 mile coastal trail starts at Polo Beach (where the Fairmont is located) and winds its way along the cliff past Wailea Beach (Four Seasons & Grand Wailea) and ends at Mokapu Beach (Andaz Maui). The trail is usually bustling with runners and walkers (especially in the morning) and it’s a great way to see the most beautiful parts of Wailea.
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I didn’t get a treatment during this trip, but I did take a mini tour of the spa since it has recently won awards as one of the best spas in the world. It also has some very innovative treatments including a WaveMotion massage, which uses a special table that tilts, rotates, and rocks to create a weightless feeling. There are only five in the world so it truly is a unique experience! Overall, it doesn’t have the most impressive facilities/grounds of any spa in Wailea (that would be Spa Grande at the Grand Wailea), but the treatments are supposed to be top notch (I have a friend who used to work there).
Like most high end beach resorts this size in Hawaii, there are a lot of extra activities you can participate in (some free and some with additional fees). Offerings change all of the time and you should get a sheet with weekly offerings when you check it, but here’s an idea of what is often available: fitness classes (including paddleboard yoga, barre, and bootcamp classes), fish feeding at the koi pond, nightly torch lighting ceremony, Hawaiian canoe experience, hula and ukulele lessons, mixology classes, Mermaid University (where kids ages 7-12 can participate in mermaid lore, learn to swim with a monofin, etc. Private sessions are available for an additional cost), Tiki Tuesday in the Luana Lounge, a resort tour that details the local flora and fauna, Hawaiian language lessons, a photography scavenger hunt, and MORE.
Want to read more about where to stay on Maui? I’ve written a ton of posts that will help. I’d start with my 15 favorite resorts and hotels on Maui. Also, you’re going to want to decide between staying on the south side or the west side so this post about Wailea vs Ka’anapali is golden. Read about my favorite luxury resorts, boutique hotels, honeymoon resorts, family friendly resorts, and condos (many under $100/night!). If you’ve narrowed down the area of the island you want to stay, but need help picking a specific hotel, read these posts about where to stay in Wailea, Kihei, Ka’anapali, Lahaina and Kapalua, and Hana. And if you just want more details (more! More! more!), read my reviews of staying at the Four Seasons and the Fairmont Kea Lani.