A Review Of The Four Seasons, Maui


The holidays are done. Kitchen counters and office desks reclaim us. What better time to daydream? How about a brief tour of luxury Aloha? Yes? OK then.

We’ll start with a Garden View,

Four Seasons Maui Garden View Room

and progress to, even better, an Ocean View. There she is, that vast palmed Pacific.

Ocean View Room Four Seasons Maui

The spot, by the way, is  the gorgeous Four Seasons in Wailea, on Maui. And, yes, we spent a few days there over the holidays. Having originally chosen a Garden View room, I found myself a) disturbed by road noise b) salaried, which I had not been at the time of reservation. The scene above is from an Ocean View room, somewhat obviously. The move was well worth the incremental dollars, and I eventually recovered from feeling embarrassed about being such a dang princess. I’ll just try to be a very kind princess.

All the rooms are comfortable, elegant, low-key.

The bathrooms comfortable, elegant, and gloriously over-the-top. How much marble do two humans need? A lot, evidently.

The food is perhaps the best hotel food I’ve ever eaten. From a breakfast buffet featuring fruit you forgot existed,

to dinner on the, um, dinner lanai at Ferraro’s,

to an evening at Spago’s lifted directly from Los Angeles, soundtrack, glamor, huddled celebrities and all.

One eats very well.

And the sun has a ravishing habit of setting just when one wades past the bread and olive oil deep into pasta and steak. I use the term wades, advisedly. The wine and cocktail lists provide the perfect excuse for holiday intoxication. As does the evening light.

Daytime isn’t bad either. The Four Seasons sits in the most clement part of Maui, so, as one of the extraordinarily nice staff told us, “It hardly ever rains in Wailea.” In other words, ignore Maui weather websites. Most days, the beach will look like this, first thing in the morning.

And like this, as you lie on your back for yoga. I know you are wondering, what about sand? One lays a towel down. No mats. Balance becomes even more difficult, or spiritual, depending on how you look at those things.

The sand will be groomed, waiting for the print of your feet.

Of course, should you tire of the sea, and the sand, there are swimming pools. Three of them, in fact. Coming from California, I confess I was originally a little blase about the pools, despite their almost Hearstian grandeur. Here’s the Fountain Pool. A little ornate for my tastes, but it’s bad behavior to quibble. Kids climb on the fountain and push each other off and climb back up again for hours. Rampant, unmitigated glee.

Here’s the smaller Waterfall Pool. There is an actual waterfall, just out of sight, but I found the cabanas and the pool guy’s morning labors more interesting.

However, even chlorine-hardened Californians drop their jaws at the Serenity Pool.

Complete with infinite view of the ocean and a hot tub. One can eat lunch under umbrellas. One can even, and I did, have a foot massage in situ. Lordy, lordy, lordy I had to work at recovering my eyeballs from their deeply rolled position when all was said and one. The cucumber slices placed on my eyelids helped.

I really should have known what we were in for from the amenity situation. When your hotel has not one, but two types of body lotion, you can assume they’re going to have a certain perspective on creature comforts.

Thank you, oh Four Seasons Maui. You were exactly what we needed. To you, and all your exceptionally friendly staff, “Mahalo.” That’s not cheesy, it’s Hawaiian.

All images: me. No compensation has been received. But @FSMaui is a very nice Twitterer.

40 Comments

  • 01/03/12
    6:36 am

    Reply

    Mouse said...

    take me with you!

    01/04/12
    7:13 am
    Lisa said...

    I know, right?

  • 01/03/12
    6:48 am

    Reply

    A Gift Wrapped Life said...

    Oh this sounds so fabulous! I love when resorts just smother you with care. Happy to hear of your wonderful break. Happy New Year. XO

  • 01/03/12
    6:52 am

    Reply

    one soul said...

    If one is doing princess in Maui, one should do it well. You did. As ever. Inspiringly so!

  • 01/03/12
    7:04 am

    Reply

    Lee Rosenthall said...

    How wonderful for you! I actually had the privilege of having lunch there when the hotel first opened in the early 90s. Lodging there wasn’t in our budget, but the lunch was fantastic. :-)

    We stayed at the lovely and understated Japanese-owned Maui Prince. (Dear Husband decided to upgrade to the ocean view as well; even with the smaller room, it was an excellent splurge in terms of value!)

    The only Four Seasons I’ve ever stayed at was the one in Seattle (we got a great deal on a lovely junior suite), and the food there, as well, was superb. Is there any other hotel chain as well regarded for its cuisine?

    For what it’s worth, I feel strong that folks who have money right now need to spend it, and those of us on tight budgets need to be conservative. Hawaii would be in dire straits without tourists willing and able to vacation there. As with most goods and services, I suspect the only hotels hanging on are the very best and the lowest budget chains. If a company can provide quality, then those who can afford to should spend their money there, tipping the staff generously for any jobs well done. (Four Seasons, BTW, is considered a very good company to work for, something I know I take into consideration before making any big purchases: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2011/snapshots/53.html)

    Happy New Year, Lisa!

    01/04/12
    7:13 am
    Lisa said...

    That’s really good to hear, that they are a good company to work for. It makes the behavior of the staff more authentic then. Thank you.

  • 01/03/12
    7:12 am

    Reply

    MJ said...

    Sounds wonderful! Love the deeply rolled eyeballs.

  • 01/03/12
    7:15 am

    Reply

    Duchesse said...

    Divine, romantic, comforting, beautiful… what could be better? (As my brother once said in Maui, “If heaven isn’t like this, I’m not going.”)

  • 01/03/12
    7:40 am

    Reply

    Jan said...

    What? No, I’m not envious…just ignore that bright green tinge to my face. :P

    Seriously, though – I’m so glad you got to go. It all looks so lovely!!

  • 01/03/12
    7:44 am

    Reply

    Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

    It sounds lovely! Thanks for giving us a glimpse of this gorgeous place!

  • 01/03/12
    7:46 am

    Reply

    Tabitha said...

    I went to Maui once and spent the entire trip begging to go back to California, I ended up doing just that and cutting Maui short by a week. If I lived where you do I’d never travel again.

  • 01/03/12
    7:47 am

    Reply

    Reggie Darling said...

    What a fabulous place to spend a mini vacation! Your photographs are beautiful, and give a really good idea of the place. I had dinner there many years ago, and was very impressed. Talk about “wow!”

    We spent three nights between Christmas and New Year’s at the Four Seasons in Boston. Worlds apart geographically, but managed consistently, with some of the best service on the planet.

    Thanks for a great review. Reggie

  • 01/03/12
    7:53 am

    Reply

    hostessofthehumblebungalow said...

    Oh this looks so relaxing.
    I love that infinity pool and look at all the fruit…
    The Four Seasons do know how to cater to the needs of the traveller…and very kind princesses :)

  • 01/03/12
    8:05 am

    Reply

    kathy said...

    So…..why do we come home from that place so exhausted. I’m really waiting for this post, as I’ve experienced it enough times that I’m never going to Hawaii again.

    01/04/12
    7:50 am
    Lisa said...

    I am thinking. I promise:).

  • 01/03/12
    8:32 am

    Reply

    WorthyStyle said...

    Sounds SO beautiful, and it must be a Four Seasons thing, all of that marble in the bathroom as I have experienced it too !

  • 01/03/12
    8:58 am

    Reply

    Dawn said...

    Ever since watching the Brady Bunch go to Hawaii when I was in second grade, I have dreamed of going there. And now nothing less than the Four Seasons will do!

    I have been fortunate to travel to some amazing places, but never Hawaii. Maybe this will be my year? I feel like this post is a sign :)

  • 01/03/12
    9:19 am

    Reply

    the gardeners cottage said...

    wishing you a wonderful new year lisa. thank you for bringing this little slice of heaven my way. hawaii and your blog. while i will prob never be able to afford to stay at such a gorgeous hotel it’s nice to know what one looks like from your point of view. xo janet

  • 01/03/12
    9:22 am

    Reply

    Jen said...

    If I could get on a plane and head there right now, I’d do it.

  • 01/03/12
    9:27 am

    Reply

    metscan said...

    A perfect place for a pre-honeymoon, perhaps ;)?
    This is a great way to get the best of the best places, seeing pictures, watching programs of far-away places : ).

  • 01/03/12
    9:46 am

    Reply

    Veronica said...

    Thank you so much for your wonderful comment on my blog and following. Well, well, I indulged in a good dash of daydream believing on your holiday tour, my oh my, many sighs of utter delight and pleasure later it feels like I was there as well! Thank you for that… now I will dip in my pool just to enhance the ring of your goreous pics and a verbal mosaic.

    Veronica

  • 01/03/12
    9:49 am

    Reply

    Veronica said...

    oh yes, and I am now also a subscriber by email! Love your writing!

  • 01/03/12
    10:39 am

    Reply

    Nelle said...

    Serenity Pool…now! :)

  • 01/03/12
    11:15 am

    Reply

    Cameron said...

    We honeymooned on the “dry side” of Maui, in Ka’anapali, and it was amazing. I think we actually had lunch at the adjacent (though I undersand now defunct) Renaissance Wailea one day, while pottering around the island, and it was certainly lovely on that particular section of coast..

    The Four Seasons looks divine, and they ought to have compensated you, should my ship come in, I’d book there on your recommendation alone!

  • 01/03/12
    12:22 pm

    Reply

    Ida said...

    What more can a gel want…you have it all.Ida

  • 01/03/12
    1:35 pm

    Reply

    Annie said...

    Breathtaking photos. My one and only stay on Maui was many years ago and of course I loved the island. Being in the young and impoverished category at that time I remember our digs were more of the a la backpacker/hostel variety.
    The Four Seasons looks positively scrumptious. Thanks for sharing your lovely holiday with us.
    xx

  • 01/03/12
    2:02 pm

    Reply

    Jane Doh said...

    Love how you caught the rainbows in the photos showing Kahoolawe!

  • 01/03/12
    2:38 pm

    Reply

    Mom on the Run said...

    DOTR surprised me with a trip the the Four Seasons on Maui for my 40th birthday, and Wailea became our “neighborhood” on Maui everafter. We’ve been there several times, but now take up residence in a condo in the Polo Beach complex, just to the left of the Four Seasons. It is fabulous….and DOTR’s Christmas gift was a week celebrating the big 5-0 later in this year. If I lived on the West Coast I’d definitely go more often!

  • 01/03/12
    3:20 pm

    Reply

    Mardel said...

    Ohh, that looks just fabulous. Just looking at the photos is almost a mini vacation.

    I think the Four Seasons is pretty consistent in their attention to detail and the care they take with their guests. The Four Seasons Boston is always my first choice, when I get a choice, in that city. And we’ve stayed at the two Four Seasons resorts on Lana’i, but they are both completely different. I’ve never been to Maui and now I want to go there as well.

  • 01/03/12
    3:37 pm

    Reply

    déjà pseu said...

    It’s stunning. Gorgeous. Our only stay in Maui a dozen or so years ago was up at the windy end, in Kapalua. Nice, but well, windy. Next time it’s Wailea.

  • 01/03/12
    4:19 pm

    Reply

    Karena said...

    Lisa a perfect reminder of a most desirable vacation a few years back. Truly paradise!

    Happy New Years and All the Best in 2012!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

  • 01/03/12
    6:37 pm

    Reply

    Mama Henley said...

    We honeymooned at the Four Seasons Maui and have been DYING to go back ever since!!! It was gloriously wonderful. It sounds like it is still so special. We were there in 1995. It would be GREAT to go in 2015 for our 20th!

  • 01/03/12
    6:57 pm

    Reply

    Jane said...

    I wondered where you were…..

    Didn’t know you’d up and gone to heaven.

    Happy New Year indeed.

    xo jane

  • 01/03/12
    10:05 pm

    Reply

    Terri said...

    Oh, the infinity pool. Too wonderful. I’d sit/swim in it until I was a wrinkled prune.

  • 01/04/12
    6:54 am

    Reply

    Maggie [The Freckled Citizen] said...

    I feel so relaxed and refreshed after a few minutes with these pictures! Mahalo to you.

  • 01/04/12
    10:17 am

    Reply

    Patsy said...

    It totally looks worth the bazillion hour flight from here….although if you were at The Four Seasons Boston, I’d buy you a drink!

  • 01/04/12
    1:06 pm

    Reply

    Muffy Martini said...

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! I feel like I went along with you– the mark of a well written vacation recap! Divine, my darling! You DESERVED this getaway. So glad to hear you enjoyed it.

  • 01/04/12
    6:06 pm

    Reply

    Susan Tiner said...

    Not ready for more festivities! I’m happy for you though :).

  • 01/05/12
    6:25 am

    Reply

    Latha said...

    Lovely! A big Thank you from snowy Michigan. I have been thinking about Maui in March and I think your post pretty much sealed the deal.

  • 01/05/12
    12:25 pm

    Reply

    Marilyn @ Pink Martinis and Pearls said...

    What a lovely place to rest one’s bones. We usually find our spirit at the Mauna Kea on the big island but I did take a peek at the Four Seasons. I’d love to stay there next time. Hawaii. sigh.

  • 01/05/12
    8:07 pm

    Reply

    Mez said...

    The Four Seasons looks stunning, very relaxing and I am just looking through a monitor!!

  • 01/07/12
    6:33 pm

    Reply

    Lynda said...

    Oh, my. I do believe my blood pressure dropped several points just from reading your charming descriptions and viewing your soothing photos.

  • 06/14/13
    11:49 am

    Reply

    Sharon said...

    For first-class snorkel sailing, the Ali’i Nui 65-foot catamaran is a diver’s dream.

    The internet is the best place to start, and if youre reading this, youre on the right track.
    The resort’s unique A-shaped design allows for each of the 290 rooms and 20 suites to feature ocean-view lanais.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] I have explained, the Four Seasons Maui is very beautiful. As I have also explained, my little family and I had a [...]

  2. [...] tires of knotted ends and sunburned shoulders. Here’s what I found myself yearning for, in Hawaii. This silhouette is going to look good on most everyone. (Of course, if you are traveling by [...]

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