MAUI, Hawaii – On the heels of our recent coverage of the third annual Hawaii Travel Exchange, Travel Agent took a tour of one of Maui’s best luxury resorts, The Fairmont Kea Lani, and came back with a host of selling points.
We stayed in room no. 304, a Deluxe Oceanview Suite. It came with a king bed; two flat screen televisions, one in the bedroom and another, larger one in the living room; and a spacious balcony, offering ocean views and overlooking most of the resort. The best rooms here, however, are any of the Kilohana Suites, the property’s signature suites.
While all of the more than 400 rooms at the Fairmont are suites, the only difference with the Kilohana Suites is that they offer more space. While these rooms have 1,000 square-feet of space, all other rooms top off at 860 feet. We got to take a peek at room no. 302, which offers a wrap-around balcony with 360-degree views. Each of these rooms includes a pair of binoculars for clients hoping to catch a glimpse of some humpback whales. Agents should note that December through February is said to be the best time period for whale watching with February being the best month for it.
Agents shouldn’t ignore the Poolside Suites either, which are perfect for families, considering they offer easy access to the upper lagoon pool and waterslide, as well as the swim-up bar. Also for families, agents should recommend any of the property’s 37 Villas at The Fairmont Kea Lani ,which are made up of a mix of either two- or three-bedroom rooms that are either Oceanfront or Oceanview. They include a living room area with a queen sleeper sofa and a full entertainment system with a Blu-Ray player, a Nintendo Wii, various board games and wireless high speed Internet access.
We were able to check out villa no. 18, a two-bedroom Oceanfront Villa, which basically serves as a private townhouse, offerings everything from stocked refrigerators to washer and driers. Our favorite feature of this room, however, is the roomy patio that includes a gas grill and plenty of privacy from the other villas. Clients who would like to have their fridge stocked before they arrive should fill out a check list of desired food items about one week before they check in.
Each villa comes with a free amenity, a gift basket filled with such items as local cheese, pancake mix, potato chips, pineapples and more. Agents can arrange for in-room dining, including wine-pairing dinners. For in-room dining, we suggest the fish of the day, lobster tails or the filet mignon. Each villa also comes with a full basket of fresh towels. Luxury car rentals are also included in the room rate.
The property’s massive spa includes separate men’s and women’s locker room facilities, each with marble steam rooms and a remodeled spa lounge. Agents should book treatements for clients roughly three months in advance. The most popular treatment is the Lomilomi Massage, which uses ancient Hawaiian traditional forearm strokes to apply medium pressure. Essential oils are selected to reflect the flora and fauna of the Islands.
As far as dining goes, look no further than Kō, which means, “sugarcane,” in Hawaiian. It showcases the culinary history of the sugarcane plantation era. The menu includes Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese dishes, many of which are actually island family recipes that have been passed down for generations. Executive Chef Tylun Pang, who recently penned the cook book, “What Maui Likes to Eat,” uses the island’s fresh produce, beef and seafood to give the authentic recipes a farm-fresh, contemporary twist. Since it’s opening in April, it has received a number of awards, including Best Resort Restaurant on Maui. We recommend the lobster tempura and the mashed sweet potatoes.
We were told that the resort’s primary markets out of the U.S. tend to be California, mainly San Francisco and Los Angeles; Seattle and Portland. Some international markets include Canada, mainly Vancouver; Australia and New Zealand.