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Wailea Renaissance Beach Resort
www.weloveourlife.com. This is our page dedicated to our experiences while staying at The Wailea Renaissance in Wailea, Maui, Hawaii.
We believe this property has closed effective September, 2007.
We actually went to Hawaii with Lori's employer who gave her (and others) this trip as a reward for her hard work, so we did not get to choose the hotel or room. We had a room that overlooked the ocean and one of the dormant volcanoes, a most beautiful view. The room had a king-size bed, bamboo furnishings, and a spacious bath with an extremely quiet toilet. There was a nice terrace with table and chairs and a drying rack for wet bathing suits.
The resort boasts two pools, but one is only available to the select few who stay in a more expensive accommodation. The pool area was nice, but we felt the pool was somewhat small compared to the size of the hotel, and on more than one occasion, there were not enough lounge chairs by the pool to accommodate all those guests who wished to swim. There were two whirlpools outside...one more public, and one more private. The atmosphere was extremely appealing outside. There was extensive landscaping with streams and waterfalls and koi fish.
We ate lunch several times poolside at the Maui Onion. The food was fresh and tasty. The Maui Onion Rings are superb. We had dinner one night at the Palm Court. The food was fine, but not the best we had. We also ate breakfast nearly every morning at the Palm Court. The breakfasts were wonderful. We ordered items and chose not to patronize the breakfast buffet after we observed some birds patronizing the buffet as well. The eggs were unbelievable...we still can't figure out how they whipped up poached eggs that looked the way theirs did. Lori especially favored biscuits topped with crab, eggs, and hollandaise sauce. Keith enjoyed the traditional Eggs Benedict as well. Their iced tea was herbed, refreshing, and delicious. One morning we treated ourselves, and had breakfast delivered to our room, and we ate on our terrace. We also ordered a bottle of champagne and a carafe of orange juice to make Mimosas. It was relaxing and special.
We patronized the Sunset Terrace, which is sort of their lobby bar, on several occasions. It is open to the outside and overlooks the ocean. The bartenders and waitstaff were always courteous and friendly. There are big comfy chairs that are great to sit in - if you get there early. One evening we returned on the late side, and had an informal dinner of pizza, that was very good (brick-oven style). The views of the sunsets are fabulous and we took some great pictures. The in-house entertainer is a young man named Jamie Lawrence who has one of the most beautiful voices we have ever heard. He accompanies himself on guitar. He does great covers of standard acoustic pop standards, as well as traditional Hawaiian folksongs and some of his own. On one memorable evening, two hula dancers danced while he sang his enchanting versions of Hawaiian favorites. We enjoyed his music so much, we bought one of his CDs.
The people we encountered at the resort (mostly the waitstaff and bartenders) were extremely friendly. We noted that the people in Hawaii in general seem more friendly than many resort areas we've been to. Lori had been to Hawaii in the past (but not to Maui) and remembered how friendly the people are.
One day we took a catamaran trip over to the island of Lanai (pronounced Lah-nah-ee, we were told by locals). It takes a couple hours to get to the island. The water is somewhat choppy and those with motion sickness should be forewarned. (Fortunately, that doesn't affect us, but there were plenty on our boat with green faces.) We were in Hawaii in late February, prime whale time, and we saw plenty of whales and dolphins while on the boat. This was Keith's first close encounter with whales and he was mesmerized. Once on the island, we took the tame route and chose a van tour of the island which was actually very interesting. Our guide was a woman who had lived on the island all her life. At one time, all island inhabitants were employees of the Dole Corporation and much of the island was farmland. She showed us the town and the resorts (the island is now attracting tourists as its main industry). Other activities available are scuba, snorkeling, skeet shooting, canoeing, and the Jeep tour.
The main city on Maui is Lahaina, formerly a whaling center. It is a quaint town with a main street along the ocean full of shops and restaurants. If we return to Maui, we plan to stay in or near Lahaina, as Wailea was 45 minutes away. We had been looking for stained glass to hang in our windows at home, and found a great design with a whale tail at Wind, Wicks & Water, 701 Front Street, Lahaina, phone 808-662-3170. We purchased two stained glass hangings and had them shipped home (we received them within 10 days, in fine condition, no breakage had occurred during shipping).
One day Keith took a submarine tour from Lahaina. (Lori was too claustrophobic.) A ferry took him out into the bay where he boarded the submarine for his 45-minute ride under the water. He described the sub as something like the Disney ride 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. The views were great, but his pictures didn't turn out.
Probably the most interesting thing we did was took a 45-minute helicopter tour over Maui and the volcano known as Haleakala. Lori was mortified when they asked her how much she weighed (they have to balance out the helicopter). Apparently someone had made notations as to what they guessed those in the helicopter weighed. The one coordinator doubted she weighed what someone had written down so he simply asked her to write down what she thought she weighed. The point is, they are sensitive to the fact women do not like to yell out their weight. They put life vests on us and took us out to the helicopter. There were 6 of us and our pilot, who had a very good but dry sense of humor. We saw things we couldn't possible have seen from anywhere else, as a plane could not get as close as we did. It was exhilarating.
Most of our meals were eaten either at our hotel or at the Kea Lani Hotel, where the bulk of the employees were staying. Much of the food we sampled at the Kea Lani was good, but realize we were there for catered banquets and parties.
IO - 505 Front Street, Lahaina 808-661-8422 IO's Home Page
In Wailea, they roll up the sideawalks fairly early, although we're sure there are some nightclubs the locals probably know about. At the Renaissance, the bar seemed to close around 10 p.m. or so. Keep in mind that our bodies were on a much different time zone, so we were generally ready for bed before 11.
There are many bars in Lahaina. After our dinner at IO, we had an hour or so before returning the Wailea, and we stopped in at the Hard Rock Cafe and Keith had some Cabo Wabo tequila. One thing we expected and were not surprised by: Maui is not the place to go for big fans of micro-brewed beer. The choices are slim for beer lovers.
The weather in February was incredible. We did not have any rain. There was a breeze during the day which always seemed to die down at sunset. Wailea is actually a desert region and the humidity was very low. The days were pleasant, usually no higher than the low 80s, and the nights often had temperatures in the high 60s.
If you are staying on Maui and don't want to be confined to the resort view of Hawaiian life, stay near Lahaina so you can get out and experience a little more. Renting a car is a necessity if you are not in Lahaina. If you go to Hawaii between January and April, you can see lots of whales, which are a breathtaking and calming sight.