There’s no better tropical active travel escape than Maui. And, after a day of hiking or water adventures, settling into a 5-star resort on the beach makes the escape even better. Nancy D. Brown, from What A Trip blog, shares her Fairmont Kea Lani review so that you know what to expect at this luxurious Maui property.
Are you looking to escape to Maui or a Hawaiian vacation? Experience the island’s mana (energy) with well-being offerings, cultural programs and locally inspired Maui spa treatments. Heart-pumping outdoor activities such as Hawaiian Canoe paddling await, or lounge in a private cabana by the adult-only pool.
Fairmont Kea Lani for the active baby boomer ticks all the boxes and more. Read on for 48 hours in this luxury Maui hotel from sunrise to sunset.
A luxurious Maui beach resort in Wailea
Upon arrival at Fairmont Kea Lani Resort, my husband and I were welcomed to 5-star luxury in Maui. The easy 35 minute drive from Kahului Airport to Wailea delivered us to white-washed buildings in a lush garden setting. I was greeted with a fresh floral lei, while my husband was welcomed with a kukui nut lei.
We loved the open-air hallways and mermaid-themed wood carvings in the cavernous lobby. After the ruckus sounds of birds had faded, we were drawn to the melodic crash of the Pacific Ocean waves beyond the hotel.
I have two hip replacements and participate in deep water aerobics daily when I’m not traveling, so the ocean was calling me! But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Fairmont Kea Lani Review: Oceanview Suite
Our oceanview suite was located on the 6th floor of the 7-story building. We are former Fairmont President’s Club members (Fairmont Hotels is now part of the Accor Hotel Collection) so the hotel put us in a room away from the elevator, yet accessible to everything. It costs nothing to join the Accor loyalty program, but you’ll receive complimentary internet and upgrades when available.
The Fairmont Kea Lani is an all-suite property, with 413 one-bedroom suites and several two and three bedroom villas. Our suite had a walk-in shower and separate bathtub. You can’t help but notice that you’re in Hawaii with the scattered fresh flowers on the bed and peeking out of fluffy, white bathroom towels.
I don’t know about you, but I always look forward to the Rose 31 baths amenities, white cotton robes and cozy Fairmont slippers waiting for me at turndown. Of course, the sound of the waves from the Pacific Ocean lulled me to sleep, as well.
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Maui beach resort for active boomers
As an active baby boomer, I like trying new activities when I’m on vacation. Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani did not disappoint when it comes to activities. Our daily resort fee included complimentary snorkel, mask and fins, beach towels & chairs and a paddle on an authentic Hawaiian canoe.
Hawaiian canoe experience
The six-man outrigger canoe weighed in at a whopping 450 pounds and while she is very stable, she will tip over if not handled properly on the water. We received our safety briefing and a quick lesson on how to paddle our Hawaiian canoe. Next, one of the guides led a chant while we pushed our canoe into the calm Pacific Ocean off Polo Beach.
The 30-minute Hawaiian canoe experience took us beyond the breaking waves and along the rocky shore of Wailea, Maui. Our guide spotted a whale fluke and the other guide dove into the Pacific to retrieve a Black Sea Urchin and Red Pencil Urchin for us to briefly touch before releasing them back to the ocean floor.
Snorkeling on our own in Wailea
We never did spot any green sea turtles so my husband and I donned our snorkels and fins, after our canoe experience, and headed back into the warm Pacific waters. We watched plenty of colorful saltwater fish swimming amongst the coral reefs when out of the corner of my eye, I spotted a sea turtle.
Like Dory in the Finding Nemo movie, I found myself swimming above this cute little guy. The phrase, “just keep swimming” repeated in my head, while a wide grin spread across my goofy-looking, mask-covered face.
Whether you are diving, swimming, snorkeling or stand up paddling, do keep in mind that it is illegal to touch or harass sea turtles. Always be respectful of the creatures on land and sea when you visit Hawaii.
Land-based activities at Fairmont Kea Lani
If you prefer land-based outdoor activities to water sports, fear not. There are plenty of cardio-options at Fairmont Kea Lani, including a 24 hour fitness center, nearby golf courses and tennis courts, as well as yoga classes.
If you find yourself on a multi-generational holiday, you can tag along on the nightly sunset torch lighting ceremony. Of course, you might get called out for your child-like behavior of running behind the torch- bearer if you aren’t traveling with any grandchildren!
Cabana time and Willow Stream Spa
While we found Fairmont Kea Lani perfect for the active baby boomer, we’re not above renting a private cabana and relaxing by the adult-only swimming pool. It felt rather decadent to lounge in our cabana for two while service-oriented cabana boys brought us a cooler full of non-alcoholic drinks and snacks of dried tropical fruits and macadamia nuts.
I turned to my husband and we both gave each other a knowing look while I whispered, “I could get used to this.”
After a few leisurely laps in the ocean blue pool, it was time to read my book. Soon a Bento box filled with steamed edamame, carrots, cucumbers and celery appeared. Our cooler was replenished and then it was time to head back to the hotel room and get ready for dinner.
Fairmont Kea Lani dining
There are several restaurants available at the Kea Lani. I had previously dined at Ko, with plantation-era inspired cuisine. On this trip, we enjoyed breakfast on the patio at Kea Lani Restaurant. The two-course Mauka Maki service is designed to arrive at the same pace if your dining companion opts for the breakfast buffet.
I splurged on the pipikaula and lobster Benedict, while my husband raved about the selection at the buffet. Either selection is sure to please, however, do try the macadamia nut sticky buns if you have a sweet tooth!
Willow Stream Spa at Kea Lani
I would be remiss in this hotel review if I didn’t mention a trip to Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Kea Lani. My husband and I jump at the chance for a spa experience whenever possible, be it a couples massage or a poolside cabana massage.
On this particular trip I didn’t have time for a spa day, but the rain experience shower and the Palalo Mud Bar was ideal for getting me ready to face the airplane ride back to San Francisco.
If you enjoy spa time, you’ll want to arrive 30 minutes early to take advantage of the relaxation area, steam rooms, sauna, paolo mud bar and rain experience showers. Additionally, there are 13 treatment rooms at the spa or try an outdoor massage.
I enjoyed a cup of lavender tea in the co-ed relaxation area, in addition to the granola bites and energy balls with peanut butter. Yes, I made a couple of trips to the snack bar; don’t judge.
All too soon, our active baby boomer holiday at Fairmont Kea Lani came to an end. As they say in Hawaii, “Hui Hou” until we meet again.
More things to do in Maui
- Be brave on a Maui ziplining adventure
- Experience sunrise at Haleakala National Park
- Continue driving past Wailea to explore La Perouse Bay
- Go paragliding over Maui
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Nancy received a media rate during her stay, however all opinions are her own.