Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Maui Introduction
Aloha from Hawaii! This is mainly a vacation for me, so I won’t be posting regular content while here, but I did want to take an opportunity to share my initial impressions of the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort, where we’re staying for our 7-night vacation. For those who don’t know, I was able to redeem Marriott Rewards for this stay, and decided to purchase a Hotel+Air package for a 7-night stay certificate and 120,000 Alaska Airlines miles for 360,000 Marriott Reward points. Though a lot of points, it actually represents fantastic value given the paid rates for this property over spring break.
While I’ll have a full review up when I’m back, I wanted to share my initial impressions of this property, as I know there’s a fair bit of interest from readers. A quick summary of what’s good and what’s not so good:
- Arguably one of the best oceanfront locations in Wailea, with easy access to two beautiful beaches and shopping
- Stunning common areas, especially the open-air lobby and pools
- Being able to redeem points for the stay
- It seems very family friendly, if that’s your thing
What’s Not Good:
- The rooms don’t feel clean (we’ve been in three so far, all with housekeeping/maintenance issues)
- It’s expensive!! Paid rates aside, everything costs money here, including resort fees, dining, rentals, etc.
- Service isn’t consistent. While some of the staff have been wonderful, some have been just the opposite
- It seems very family friendly, if that’s not your thing
Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Arrival
We arrived to the hotel by taxi at around 10pm and were helped right away by one of the front desk agents. There was no mention of our Marriott Gold status at check-in (not that I expected much given this is a resort, and lounge access/breakfast isn’t included), and were informed we had been assigned a ‘Garden View Room’. I asked if there was anything else available, and she was able to get an Ocean View Room, which represents a two category upgrade. Nice, I thought.
We made our way up to the 5th floor where our room was located. Have you ever checked into a hotel room and could tell it wasn’t clean? Despite traveling for an entire day and being exhausted, I knew this room felt gross. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious the room hadn’t been cleaned thoroughly. There were some bodily fluid splatter in the bathroom near the toilet, some hairs in the tub, and the shower curtain was beyond disgusting.
Now, I get it. Price point isn’t everything, and one needs to set their expectations accordingly. I can’t just say ‘for $800 I expect a room to be spotlessly clean in every corner’ when The Four Seasons Resort down the road charges $1,400 per night (where this would never happen). Still, I don’t think mouldy shower curtains and dirty bathroom floors are acceptable at any hotel.
I went downstairs and explained my concerns with the front desk agent. She said no other rooms were available, though she could put us in the ‘Garden View’ room originally assigned, and a new Ocean View room would come available the following day. I dislike changing rooms, though decided to accept this offer since we were staying for a week and the improved view would be nice. Interestingly enough, though, our ‘Garden View’ room had exactly the same partial ocean view as the other room, and was actually located on a higher floor, which left me a bit confused to how they categorize their rooms.
We’re now settled, and I must say that after seeing three different rooms, I’m not overly impressed. Each room had either cleanliness or maintenance issues (or both), and I’m now convinced this is more a systemic problem and not a ‘one-off’ as described by the front desk agent. While much better than our first room, this top floor unit has crooked handles on the cabinets, a huge chuck out of the minibar closet, and discoloured/stained grout on the floors.
Also, despite begging for a quiet room in pre-arrival emails, we were given an ocean view directly above the service entrance, which is plagued by delivery trucks reversing into the loading bay with the always pleasant ‘beep beep beep beep beep beep’…..
I guess the view somewhat makes up for it, though I can’t stress how annoyed I am by the reversing trucks (we’re currently living opposite a construction site and I hear this noise all day, 6 days a week).
The room itself is nice enough in terms of style and function. We have a room with two queen beds, which are very comfortable, and feature good-quality linens and pillows.
The bathroom has a bit of an odd layout (maybe a sign of how old the building is) with the sink outside of the toilet and bath/shower. The finishes are nice, with marble and wood, though the cleanliness could be improved a lot.
Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Common Areas
Thankfully the common areas are stunning, which is probably where most people will spend the bulk of their time. The entrance is grand with an open-air lobby and soaring ceilings, with beautiful ocean views.
The property is massive, and I haven’t had a chance to see it all yet, but what I have seen is impressive. The guest rooms are in a variety of buildings (called Hales) around the property, with our room in the largest one closest to the lobby on the 8th floor.
The pools and ocean views are amazing, and there is plenty of seating throughout to take in a beautiful sunset, relax by the pool, or people watch near the oceanfront path. While the property doesn’t have direct beach access, it is the closest resort to the waterfront with easy access to two beaches on either side (maybe a 5 minute walk max).
Breakfast at the resort is expensive, but not as much as I was expecting. Buffet prices out at around $33 per person, with a standard ‘American Breakfast’ costing around $24. Food was really nice, and the views were incredible.
Marriott Wailea Beach Resort Bottom Line
I think it’s a little bit too early to decide whether or not I would recommend this hotel for someone looking at point redemption options in Hawaii. While I’m often preaching about getting the most value out of points, it should never come at the cost of an experience. As it stands now, we’ve wasted part of our first day and changed rooms twice, which is never fun on holidays. The staff have been decent, though I did have to reach out to management to voice my concerns, not the other way around. As a point of comparison, I rented an Airbnb condo down the road in Kihei on my previous stay for $139/night, which was also 5-minutes from the beach and felt much cleaner than this 5-star resort….
Just for reference, I was offered a dinner for me and ‘my friends’ (just another example of lack of attention to detail – I made multiple references to Brad as my partner, not my friend) to make up for the issues, though I’m not sure I’ll take them up on it. Instead I asked they ensure a seamless stay for the next 5 nights, to which they said they would try their best. Today the Director of Housekeeping will be overseeing a deep-clean of our room, which is appreciated.
Look back next week for a full review of the property!
Have you stayed at the Marriott Wailea Beach Resort? How did your first impression compare with mine?