Monday, July 02, 2007

Chillaxin' in Maui

For our vacation this year, we returned to Hawaii. Although we've been to Hawaii in 2002 (Oahu & the Big Island), this time we decided to change it up by visiting two entirely new islands. First stop: Maui.

The Maui Five: Steve, Jen, Doris, Tim and James. (07/05/07)
The Maui Five: Steve, Jen, Doris, Tim and James. (07/05/07)

Maui is the second largest of the eight major Hawaiian islands, and the third most populous. It is often called "the Valley Isle" because of the narrow plain between the 10,000-ft.+ Haleakalā volcano and the West Maui mountains.

An amazing Maui sunset. (07/05/07)
An amazing Maui sunset. (07/05/07)

For the Maui leg of our vacation, we stayed at the Grand Wailea, on the Southwest coast. The Grand Wailea has to be one of the Top 3 resorts on the Island. It was simply amazing.

Our room at the Grand Wailea. (07/02/07)
Our room at the Grand Wailea. (07/02/07)

We were there at the same time as our friends Doris and Jen. Doris is the meeting planner for a major technology company that was having a sales incentive meeting there. Even though we're not affiliated with the company, she hooked us up at their sweet group rate (you rock, Doris). Also joining us was Steve, our friend from Virginia.

Our balcony view of the ocean, Molokini and Kahoolawe. (07/02/07)
Our balcony view of the ocean, Molokini and Kahoolawe. (07/02/07)

Everything about the resort was awesome, especially the waterpark complex. This multi-faceted, 2,000 foot long, 25,700 total square foot, 770,000 gallon pool consists of nine free-form pools at six levels, beginning at 40 feet and dropping to sea level. The pools are connected by a river that carries swimmers along at varying speeds, from white water rapids to lazy currents.

An overall view of the property (from their website)
An overall view of the property (from their website)

The water park included four jungle pools, four tile slides, two long water slides, a white water rapids slide, a Tarzan pool with rope swing, the world's only water elevator (seriously, a water elevator!), a sand beach, six waterfalls, caves, three Jacuzzis, a sauna, an infant pool, and a swim-up bar that we "accidentally" found ourselves in on occasion. They even had a deep scuba pool where Tim and Jen took lessons.

Jen and Tim during their scuba diving lesson. (07/03/07)
Jen and Tim during their scuba diving lesson. (07/03/07)

The lobby was a huge open-air complex, with the Botero Bar in the center. It was a nice place to enjoy drinks and pupus amid the hotel's collection of sculptures by acclaimed Colombian artist Fernando Botero.

The lobby of the Grand Wailea. (07/04/07)
The lobby of the Grand Wailea. (07/04/07)

The other great feature was the Spa Grande, which is included with any massage treatment. It had everything, including two huge Roman Jacuzzi tubs, two cold-plunge pools, Swiss jet showers, regular showers, a eucalyptus steam room, a redwood sauna, a cascading waterfall massage, and five aromatic baths to soak in.

Plus, the spa attendant provides you a complimentary body scrub of Hawaiian exfoliants. I couldn't take pictures since it's clothing optional (separate men and women facilities, of course), so you'll have to settle for one from the resort website.

The Termé Wailea Hydrotherapy baths (from their website).
The Termé Wailea Hydrotherapy baths (from their website).

It was such a nice place, it's no wonder that we only really left the property two or three times during our entire five-day stay.

1 comment:

Tim said...

This indeed was an amazing vacation, especially starting with the Grand Wailea. It's a simply beautiful hotel, but also very expensive.

For breakfast one morning, James and I got a couple of breakfast sandwiches, a small bowl of fruit and two drinks. This cost us $36.18!!!! Something that McDonalds sells for probably less than half that amount. So, we went to the ABC Store and Whalers and purchased some breakfast snacks and minimized that expense.

The waterpark was truely fun. We actually spent most of our time just floating and sliding the day away in the water. The best part was the swim-up bar, so with each circle around the waterpark, we'd get a drink. I think our bar tab was the highest expense for that week. :)

I indeed took the scuba lesson with Jenn. This was my first time and it was quite enjoyable yet a little disconcerning. It's just weird to breath underwater!!! After these lessons we were to go out into the ocean with this group and scuba but this tour was cancelled each morning due to the ocean being too.

The spa was simply incredible. They had the most treatments that I've ever seen at a spa - jacuzzis, steam rooms, sauna, swedish showers, massage showers, etc. I got a lomi lomi massage which was incredible. Loved that day, didn't want to leave the spa.