Review: Residence Inn Wailea, Maui
July 11, 2018
The final stop on our Hawaiian escape took us to the island of Maui “The Valley Isle” which is the second largest Hawaiian island. Maui is most famously known for its incredible whale watching, massive surfing waves up to 70 feet (Peahi “Jaws”), Haleakala National Park, and Molokini crater, to name a few.
For our stay on Maui, we were situated in the area of Wailea which is about 45 minutes south of Kahului Airport (OGG). Wailea is home to an abundance of luxury hotels and resorts including Four Seasons, The Grand Wailea – Hilton, Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, and Andaz Maui. We opted to skip the resorts and stay at the Residence Inn Maui Wailea which was just up the street. We mainly chose this property due to its kitchen-equipped suites, free breakfast, no resort fee, and the fact that many reviewers boasted how family friendly this property was.
The Residence Inn Maui Wailea is a Category 8 property within the Marriott Rewards program and as such goes for 40,000 points per night. Like the previous hotels, this property took advantage of the weather by eliminating entrance doors and allowing a more open air, inside-outside feeling. The check-in process was a breeze and we were warmly welcomed with leis made out of shells. To top it all off, as a Gold Elite member, we were upgrade from our studio suite to a 1-bedroom suite with an ocean and resort view.
For our stay, we were given room 522 and it consisted of a full kitchen with an attached living room and walkout lanai overlooking the resort and the ocean, as well as a separate bedroom with a king-sized bed and large master ensuite. The suite was perfectly sized and the kitchen itself was one of the biggest I’ve come across in a Residence Inn property, let alone any hotel for that matter. With the amount of space the room had, it honestly felt like you were staying in a condo. The living room area had a T.V., a desk as well as a sectional sleeper couch and the adjacent lanai had two wicker chairs and a matching side table. Being caught up in all the excitement, I forgot to take pictures of our room (good excuse, Steve) but you can check out the Residence Inn Wailea website to get a feel of the size of the rooms and amenities.
The resort itself (I keep calling it a resort because it totally felt like one) was extremely family friendly and the amenities it offered are ones that families count on when travelling such as free buffet breakfast, a large outdoor swimming pool with multiple water depths, a hot tub, lawn games and activities such as corn hole, giant lego blocks, a putting green, basketball court as well as a an area with multiple (6) bbq’s for guests to use. The hotel also had tons of outdoor seating and lounging chairs, a fire pit for the adults to enjoy after hours, and an indoor/outdoor bar which served up small plates/snacks as well as a great variety of drinks (especially during happy hour).
The breakfast at the Residence Inn was perfect and offered a ton of variety. You usually had a different selection of 3 hot items including eggs, bacon, sausages (pork/chicken), hash browns, and a few other vegetarian options. It also had your typical selection of breads, pastries, cereals, juices, yogurt, oatmeal, waffles, and so on. One thing I particularly enjoyed and appreciated was they served warm tortillas alongside the hot items in case you wanted to make yourself a breakfast wrap/burrito (which I did daily!) and they even had topping such as shredded cheese, salsa and spinach alongside. Seating in the breakfast area as plentiful and in the rare event you couldn’t find anything indoors, you could always situate yourself outside on the patio.
The hotel also offered a free shuttle service to areas within 3 miles of the property in the event you didn’t have a vehicle. More on that, if you do have a vehicle, the hotel charges $25 a night for parking with in and out privileges. We did rent a car for our Maui stay only because we didn’t want to be confined to the hotel and immediate area and because we also had plans to drive to Kihei, Lahaina and to drive the infamous, albeit long and awesome, road to Hana!
Overall, choosing to stay at the Residence Inn Maui Wailea was perfect and I’m glad I chose it over the Wailea Beach Resort. Although it was the same cost in terms of points, the Residence Inn just offered more conveniences without the added costs compared to staying on a resort.
The rooms were huge, the food and beverage offerings were great, and the property amenities were perfect for families and non-family travelers alike. While the free night redemption rate of 40,000 points/night was a bit steep, it’s not uncommon for Residence Inns to be Category 7/8 in popular areas or large cities. Consequently, seeing that you are in Maui and Wailea in particular, it makes sense that this property would be classified asCategory 8. We did however redeem for 5 nights which meant we were able to take advantage of Marriotts 5th night free benefit, effectively reducing our per night total to 32,000 points.