Built by a Japanese multimillionaire at the pinnacle of Hawaii’s fling with fantasy megaresorts, the Grand Wailea is the grand prize in Hawaii vacation contests and the dream of many honeymooners. No expense was spared during construction: Some $30 million worth of original artwork decorates the grounds, much of it created expressly for the hotel by Hawaii artists and sculptors. More than 10,000 tropical plants beautify the lobby alone, and rocks hewn from the base of Mount Fuji adorn the Japanese garden. A Hawaiian-themed restaurant floats atop a man-made lagoon, and light filters majestically through the stained-glass walls of the wedding chapel. Guest rooms come with lavish, oversize bathrooms and plush bedding. But for kids, all that matters is the resort’s unrivaled pool: an aquatic playground with nine separate swimming pools connected by slides, waterfalls, caves, rapids, a Tarzan swing, a swim-up bar, a baby beach, and a water elevator that shuttles swimmers back to the top. If this doesn’t sate them, an actual beach made of real golden sand awaits just past the resort hammocks. The Grand is also home to Hawaii’s largest and most resplendent spa: a 50,000-square-foot marble paradise with mineral soaking tubs, thundering waterfall showers, Japanese furo baths, Swiss jet showers, and many other luxurious features. Dining options include Humuhumunukunukuapuaa, the aforementioned floating restaurant where you can fish for your lobster straight from the lagoon. Minimalists may scoff, but the Grand Wailea’s extravagance is worth experiencing even if you don’t stay here.
3850 Wailea Alanui Dr.
Our Rating Neighborhood Wailea Phone 800/888-6100, 808/875-1234 Prices Double from $543; suite from $1,049; Napua Club Room from $599; Hoolei Villas from $1,036. Membership rates available. Extra person $50 ($100 in Napua Tower). Daily resort fee $30. Valet parking $30 Amenities 6 restaurants; 4 bars; art and garden tours; babysitting; children’s program; concierge; concierge-level rooms; use of Wailea Golf Club’s 3 18-hole courses; fitness center and classes; 5 whirlpools (including one atop a man-made volcano); adults-only outdoor pool; 2,000-ft.-long pool with a swim/ride through grottoes; room service; scuba-diving clinics; shuttle service to Wailea; Hawaii’s largest luxury spa and salon; racquetball court; use of Wailea Tennis Center’s 11 courts; watersports equipment rentals; free Wi-Fi Units 780 Web site Grand Wailea