Four Seasons Resort Maui is not a secret. Not by a long shot.
Built in 1990, this five star and AAA Five Diamond Award winning slice of paradise has spent over two decades at the top of “Best Resorts in Hawaii” lists, and for good reason. Considered by many to be the brand’s flagship property, Four Seasons Resort Maui is home to 380 oversized rooms and suites, three world class restaurants, three spectacular pools and one amazing white sand beach.
But as a travel writer, I’m often caught up with what’s trending in the world around me, from hot restaurants, to emerging technologies to new hotels. So why am I writing about Four Seasons Resort Maui?
Well, I’ve found that it’s easy to be pulled in by the seductive lure of what’s trendy. But like many of you may agree, trendy doesn’t always equate to best. And although I’m on a never-ending hunt to discover new places, I appreciate, have respect for, and still want to experience the classics, the legends and the time-tested institutions — of which Four Seasons Resort Maui is one.
Before arriving in Maui for what would be my first stay at a Four Seasons property, I wondered: will Four Seasons be right for me?
I asked this question and visited Four Seasons Maui not only as a travel writer, but also as a member of a generation of travelers coming into their own. A generation of young professionals whose hard work affords them them the opportunity to play even harder. A generation in the midst of developing travel habits, preferences and loyalties that will last for decades to come. A generation, who, like me, is always on the lookout for what’s new and what’s trending.
Would I, and would this new generation of travelers feel at home here? Would we want to splurge here and would we want to continue splurging here for years to come?
It didn’t take long after arriving at Four Seasons Maui to answer these questions.
There were staff members who I had never met or seen before who greeted me by name, “Hello, Mr. Morrow, how are you today?” That amazed me. Everyone from the front desk staff, to the concierge, to the pool attendants, to the valets took personal responsibility for my happiness and radiated an energy that told me they truly wanted to help.
During my stay I saw all kinds of people: older couples, families, friends, and most importantly, a handful of happy young couples (members of the group of travelers I had in mind).
It was quickly apparent how Four Seasons Maui is able to feel like home to all these different types of travelers: they respect the individual.
Four Seasons isn’t one dimensional and only good at catering to a certain type of person or generation — they’re good at catering to you. They don’t require that you fit in with their brand, they mold to fit you, your style and your preferences.
So after four days and three nights at Four Seasons Maui, it turned out that the questions I had were incredibly easy to answer — I just needed to experience it for myself.
My answer: yes, without a doubt I found Four Seasons Maui was right for me, the generation of travelers I belong to, and really, anyone who steps through the doors.
Believe me, I won’t stop seeking out and experiencing what’s new and trending. But no matter what, I’ll always have time for Four Seasons Resort Maui.
If you’d like to learn more about Four Seasons Resort Maui’s rooms, food and property, just keep scrolling.
The resort is home to 380 rooms and suites ranging from 600 square feet (most guest rooms) to 5,000 square feet (the Maile Suite). Room views range from those with a mountain view (rooms facing into the island) and those with a 180 degree ocean view (suites directly facing the ocean).
One of the most important things to me when choosing a hotel room, especially when splurging, is the view. Not much makes me happier when traveling than waking up to an inspiring view out my window or relaxing on my balcony in the evening with an amazing scene to look at. Luckily I stayed in an Ocean View Prime Room (which has an angled view of the ocean but is situated closer to the beach side of the resort) so my view did not disappoint.
“The first thing I noticed upon walking into my room was something I don’t usually notice — it smelled so fresh, clean and relaxing. It immediately put me at ease.”
The first thing I noticed upon walking into my room was something I don’t usually notice — it smelled so fresh, clean and relaxing. It immediately put me at ease. After walking through the marble-floored entryway, the next thing I noticed was just how big the room was (the resort is known for its generously oversized rooms). My favorite features were the very comfortable king-size bed, the large lanai (Hawaiian for balcony) with an unforgettable view of the ocean and the gigantic (and quite sexy) marble bathroom, complete with a roomy rainfall shower.
Four Seasons Resort Maui has three world class restaurants, each with its own distinct style and personality. Luckily I was on Maui long enough to have dinner at all of them. They include:
Wolfgang Puck’s famous eatery has one outpost in Hawaii and it’s here at Four Seasons Maui. Located on the lobby level of the hotel, Spago looks out over both the fountain pool and ocean, and is comprised of both indoor and outdoor seating. I had a hard time choosing just one entrée, but followed the recommendation of my waitress and went with the fish curry. Thinking about that fish curry now, I’d fly back to Maui just to eat it again.
If you plan on eating steak while on the island, forgo ordering red meat at any other restaurant and wait to indulge at Duo. As Four Seasons Maui’s steak house, Duo offers a classic list of cuts and steakhouse sides. I had a delicious, medium-rare, Nebraska corn-fed rib eye with a few sides, including the truffled mac n’ cheese which you can’t leave without trying. After the meal, the waiter brought over something unique, a heaping serving of green, sour apple cotton candy — now that’s better than an after dinner mint!
Duo is also the the resort’s primary breakfast offering. Every morning, you can order à la carte from the menu or go for the buffet (I had enough waffles with coconut syrup to last me a year).
Easily won over by great atmosphere, Ferraro’s was my favorite of the three restaurants and is a must visit for a romantic sunset dinner. The restaurant is situated near the fountain pool and perched above the beach with an unbelievable view of the sunset. After the pink and orange sky burns aways and fades to black, flickering torches and candles set the perfect mood.
“Even if you’re not staying at Four Seasons Maui, make Ferraro’s the splurge dinner of your trip.”
I’d recommend ordering one of the specials which usually include a fresh, local fish. Also, make sure to order pre-dinner cocktails and dessert afterwords. Even if you’re not staying at Four Seasons Maui, make Ferraro’s the splurge dinner of your trip.
Ferraro’s is also the place to order lunch if you’re lounging by the pool (have it served in your cabana or order it to-go to eat on the beach). If you’re anything like me, you’ll also want to order a beer from Maui Brewing Company from the Ferraro’s bar.
The gardens and grounds are immaculately maintained (and you can enjoy them during a complimentary morning yoga session), but you’ll most likely just admire them as you b-line from your room to one of these three places:
Although not massive, the property doesn’t feel crowded and its design lends itself to finding quiet, private spaces. There are countless shaded cabanas set around the fountain pool and throughout the lush property between the fountain pool and the beach.
Nestled in a small hillside right above the beach are more private cabanas, each set in its own little nook. With fantastic views, these cabanas make for the perfect spot to chill out with the lucky person you brought along.
Both the cabanas around the pool and on the hillside are complimentary and offered on a first come, first served basis — so you may want to claim your spot early. All cabanas are serviced by the attentive and kind staff who will set up the cabana for you with fresh towels, as well as be on hand to take any food and drink orders (see more in “experience” below).
If you’d like an even more luxurious cabana experience, head to the serenity pool were cabanas come with ceiling fans, refrigerators with champagne, couches and oversized lounge chairs. There are even two extra-luxurious Missoni designed cabanas to choose from. All cabanas at the serenity pool can be reserved for a fee.
The Fountain Pool
As the resort’s main pool, the fountain pool is centrally located and the spot to come if you’d like to be a little more ‘in the action’. Surrounded by cabanas and lounge chairs, this shallow pool is a great place to cool off, heat up in one of two whirlpools, or enjoy a casual lunch. It’s also open 24 hours a day.
The Waterfall Pool
Complete with waterfall and slide, the waterfall pool is for the kids (and where I’d spend most of the day if I was seven years old).
The Serenity Pool
If there is one image that people associate with Four Seasons Maui, it’s one of the serenity pool. Perhaps the most iconic place at the resort, it’s the visual definition of ‘luxury Hawaiian vacation’.
Open to adults only, this infinity edge pool is set higher up on the property with an amazing view of the ocean and West Maui. There’s also a fantastic swim-up bar (the ultimate vacation symbol) and even underwater music. Grab a lounge chair here early or reserve one of the luxury cabanas.
Four Seasons shares beautiful Wailea Beach with a few other resorts. The soft, white sand beach has a friendly and active vibe with plenty of water activities on offer from Maui Undersea Adventures. But don’t worry about it being too active — Four Seasons is located at the end of the beach where it’s more peaceful and where there’s plenty of room to spread out.
If you get tired of lounging, go snorkeling with the resort’s complimentary snorkel gear. Grab flippers, a mask and a snorkel and head right off shore to the resort’s “house reef.” Check out my video of a sea turtle swimming right past me.
Here are a few standout experiences I had with the hotel staff:
During my time on the island, I rented a Jeep Wrangler. If you’ve ever taken the top on or off a Wrangler, you know the unclasping, unzipping, rolling and tucking can get a little annoying (and doing that after coming home, tired from a long day exploring isn’t fun). My thought was, “I rented this thing, I should be responsible for taking the roof on and off.” But the valets were more than willing to take care of it all for me and it made coming and going completely stress free.
Also, when I left at 2:30am to watch the sunrise at the Haleakala summit, there were warm blankets waiting in the car (the summit of haleakala can be 30 degrees fahrenheit in the early morning). How great is that!
Then two days later, one of the valets who had gotten my car ready at 2:30am for my departure to Haleakala asked me, “Mr. Morrow, how was the sunrise at Haleakala?” He must see and help countless people every single day, and to remember my face, my name and something that happened at 2:30am two days prior — well let’s just say I’d have a hard time doing that.
The Integrated Service
While at Duo for dinner I was flipping through the iPad cocktail menu and saw a drink I wanted to try. I didn’t want to try it then, I wanted to try it the next day at the pool. The waiter was at the table when I mention this and he said, “Fantastic, I’ll make a note of it.” I wasn’t sure what he meant by, “I’ll make a note of it” and didn’t think much of it.
When I went to the pool the next day, an attendant greeted me, set up a cabana for me, and asked me for my room number. I gave him my room number and sat down. A short time later he came back and said, “Mr. Morrow, would you like me to place an order for the drink you had your eye on last night at Duo.”
“It was a wow moment that I never saw coming.”
It was a “wow” moment that I never saw coming. So that’s what “I’ll make a note of it” meant. The seamless integration between staff members and their ability to remember the things you say and the things you like was absolutely incredible. And yes, I ordered that drink.
WHEN TO GO
There’s never a bad time to visit Four Seasons Maui — seriously, anytime of year is good. I think surprising someone special with a weekend at Four Seasons Maui “just because” is the perfect idea (unless your girlfriend, fiancé, wife, boyfriend, or husband hates surprises then maybe give them a few days notice to pack a bag). But, if you’d rather plan your trip to Four Seasons Maui around an event, here are a few ideas.
December through May – Whale Season
Every winter, humpback whales migrate south to the warm waters of Hawaii. It’s an amazing sight to see and various whale watching tours are offered during this time. With a keen eye, you may even see some from your lanai. Learn more about whale season at Four Seasons Maui here.
Fall 2014 – Unforgettable Events: Windsurfing Clinic
Four Seasons Maui offers a variety of sports clinics throughout the year. In their Windsurfing clinic, you’ll spend four days learning from world champion windsurfers and spend five nights at the resort.
December 2014 – Vintage Wine Weekend
For the wine aficionados, you may want t plan your trip around Vintage Wine Weekend, a three-day event which brings together some of the world’s leading wine experts, sommeliers and winemakers. Here’s last year’s rundown.
MAP (Zoom Out To Explore The Area)
Keep On Traveling! Explore These Other Article From Trevor Morrow Travel:
Photo Credit: Photos provided by Four Seasons Resort Maui. Gifs by Trevor Morrow.
I was a guest of Four Seasons Resort Maui, however all opinions are entirely my own. Honestly and amazingly, I could not find one thing wrong with my stay.