The volcanic island of Maui, Hawaii, has long been a go-to for families seeking adventure with a hefty slice of beach on the side, and when you factor in the elegant surroundings of Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, a trip to paradise takes on a whole new meaning.
With the most fantastic swimming pools and splash zones on Maui, there’s no better way to enjoy your island paradise than an exhilarating ride down Grand Wailea’s Lava Tube. The slide is one of the hotel’s most popular features for kids, for good reason. With a 30-foot drop and 262 feet of foaming slides, guests have been known to reach speeds of up to 22 miles per hour.
Meanwhile, the newly refreshed Wailea Canyon activity pool comprises nine individual pools on six different levels. A river of gentle currents and whitewater rapids carry you through a variety of tropical zones including a Tarzan pool with rope swing, five water slides, waterfalls, caves and a grotto-based swim-up bar. It even has its own sandy beach.
Alternatively, Wailea Beach is just on your doorstep, with stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling gear and boogie boards just begging to be hired. Rated one of the best beaches on Maui and one of the top beaches in the world, Wailea Beach is perfect for soaking up the Hawaiian sun or finding your next water adventure.
Make your stay into an educational experience too. Kainoa Horcajo, Grand Wailea’s Director of Culture, was born and raised on Maui and, to this day, continues to study under the guidance of highly respected kupuna (elders). Join him for a tour as you visit sites of cultural significance around the resort and learn more about their stories.
Join a sunrise E Ala E experience with a traditional Hawaiian chant and rejuvenation of mind and body or embark on a day-long journey of ritual and well-being through the Kaulana Ke Kino experience. Top off the day with the Grand Luau at Honua’ula for a mesmerizing performance that cannot be beat.
Enjoying the local flora and fauna? There are also botanical tours of the grounds led by Jim Heid, Grand Wailea’s Director of Landscaping. During a leisurely stroll, he’ll extol the virtues of all the native Hawaiian flowers, plants and fruits found on the estate, explaining their significance to the island – a must for any budding naturalists.
Unlimited natural bounty awaits explorers of all ages. Set off on a Maui adventure for a picnic lunch at Twin Falls (just 30 miles away) where a gentle hike leads to majestic waterfalls, perfect for an afternoon of swimming and rock jumping.
To ramp up the adrenaline, your personal concierge can arrange a private helicopter tour of Maui’s dramatic volcano craters. Want to get up close? Reserve a boat excursion to snorkel Molokini Crater or embark on a whale watching tour.
Make sure you’re back in time for sunset though; there’s nothing more mesmerizing than watching the sun sinking over the Pacific Ocean at Wailea Beach.
Treat the family to Hawaiian flavors at HUMUHUMU, the resort’s thatched-roof Polynesian restaurant. Set above a glittering lagoon, with live music in the evenings, this buzzing eatery recently underwent a major revamp.
Award-winning Chef Alvin Savella conjures finger-licking plates of grilled mahi mahi and succulent steaks with a zesty Polynesian twist. Best of all, keiki (children aged five and under) are invited to eat for free.
Prefer to stay barefoot by the pool? The boulder-strewn Volcano Bar & Grill is equally child-friendly, delivering fresh salads, delicious sandwiches, flame-grilled hamburgers and Mai Tais long into the afternoon. And for snacks, smoothies and gelato later on, there’s Café Kula tucked in-between the hotel’s boutiques.
No vacation is complete without something special to take home as a souvenir.
Local artist-made keepsakes can be found in Grand Wailea’s gift shop Makana, Gifts With Aloha, or you can find a selection of other toys and games at Pineapple Patch, the hotel’s keiki store.
For something to hang on the wall at home, works by some of Hawaii’s most celebrated artists are on display in the Napua Gallery, and Pink Lilia is the place to go for maxi-dresses and tasseled sandals to pep up your wardrobe.
In case you’ve forgotten any holiday essentials, there’s a Quiksilver store selling everything you could possibly need for the beach.
REST AND RELAXATION
Recently recognized as a ‘Four-Star Spa’ by Forbes Travel Guide, Grand Wailea’s Spa Grande is one of the best in Hawaii.
Featuring 40 treatment rooms, a hydrotherapy circuit, Redwood sauna, eucalyptus steam room, Japanese bath and an extensive treatment list of Hawaiian and western therapies, one could easily lose several hours, if not days, here.
Try the ‘Healing Waters of Maui™ Termé Experience’: a series of five baths designed to soothe tired souls. Or the ‘Pala’au Journey’ (pala’au meaning ‘to heal with plants’): a deeply nurturing session that starts with a Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage followed by a full-body cocoon using natural products made on Maui.
What about the children? Don’t worry. They’ll be having a whale of a time at The Rock, a ‘mini-resort within the resort’ designed for kids of all ages. Teens can enjoy their own lounge at The Spot, complete with a snack bar and video gaming room.
Families can enjoy The Rock’s Open House daily ‘Ohana Activities. Cue Hula dancing, lauhala weaving, ukulele lessons and more.
Book your own marvelous Maui vacation at Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort.