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I stayed in a Waldorf Astoria in Maui, and here’s what happened

If you have been to Maui, you probably already know that it is an amazing place to be standing in. I mean, the weather is good year-round, it’s one of the most beautiful places on Earth, and well, it’s Hawaii, so, I really need not say more. In fact, Maui is Abroadwithabrain’s favorite place to visit in Hawaii. We love the beaches, the people, the sights, the sounds, and really all that Maui has to offer. Normally, we just crash at whatever reasonable hotel we can find. But, this time was different. This time, for whatever reason, all of the Maui hotels were especially expensive. I mean, even a hostel was over $100 per night. No, thank you! So, we decided to look at our travel points to see what we could book with those, and we made a quite surprising finding.

Wait, tell me more about the points!

We travel a lot, so we earn points in two different ways:

  1. Credit Card Points. We have various credit cards that award us points that we can cash in for flights, hotels, and more! For example, the Ritz credit card gives you a free Ritz stay every year, among other perks. Most credit cards have a minimum amount they want you to spend, but some give points just for making one purchase! One card got me a free round trip ticket for making just one purchase on some gum!
  2. Flight and Hotel miles. This one depends on the brand, so you need to do a bit of research. We are loyal to Marriott and IHG for hotels and then Star Alliance for flights. Basically, the more you stay loyal to a particular brand, the more they reward you! For instance, we get free breakfast and other cool perks when we stay in a Marriott with our Bonvoy status.

Okay, back to our stay…

On the list of places we could choose from with our points (in this case, Bonvoy points) was a Courtyard by Marriott for around 70,000 points. Gross. That, my friend, is a lot of points! However, after some more careful scrolling, the brain made a shocking discovery. The Waldorf Astoria was 92,000 points! Before you say anything, yes, 92,000 is a lot of points to spend on a hotel. But, before you judge, the monetary value of this particular hotel on this particular night was over $800. Eight. Hundred. Dollars. That’s more than the two of us typically spend on a whole vacation over multiple days. Again, gross. So, anyway, with not many better options revealing themselves to us, we decided to take the plunge and set free 92,000 of our points. Bye little guys!

So, let’s dive right into a review of the Waldorf Astoria in Maui. First, This is coming from someone who has never stayed in a Waldorf. After this experience, I do not see the need to stay in another Waldorf again and will gladly hold on to my precious savings. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t $800 good. I mean, for $800 I expect someone to knock on my door to provide a free nightly massage and at the very least turn down service and a mint on my pillow in the evening.

So, without further ado, here is my review of the Waldorf in Maui:


The Good:

This hotel is located in arguably the most beautiful section of Maui. It is called Wailea. It’s right on the beach and it is conveniently located next to a big shopping center that contains a market and restaurants, which is great if you are not big on resort food. And this resort food will definitely set you back. I highly recommend sneaking next door to said shopping center to the marketplace to try the Kalua Pork Loco Moco. It was truly delicious. The hotel is about a 30-minute drive from the airport. We rented a car since we wanted to have the freedom to leave property and go further away. However, you really can just stay in the area and not need a car, so it is really up to you.

The bad:

The location leaves little to the imagination as far as things to walk to. One annoyance is that there is one slim sidewalk to walk along the beaches. This is often plagued with runners (sorry guys!) who also have no room and have to interrupt their run or bump you into the grass. The path is not wide enough to walk with someone, so you must walk in a single file line. I feel bad for the runners. I feel bad for the walkers. However, this is not the fault of the hotel. I just thought it was an important mention. Since this really did not affect the hotel itself, I did not count it in my calculations.

Location score: 5/5

The grounds

The good:

From the moment you pull into the driveway you are wowed by the grounds. There is a beautiful waterfall (manmade, sorry) and statue right when you pull in. Walking through is nice. It’s nothing too flashy, but there are some nice touches, such as the artistic sculptures. There is a bar in the center, which is mostly open-air with separate wings for some of the rooms.  The lobby is set off to the right. Once you go through the center atrium, you will see a restaurant that opens up to a water view. Walking through the doors to the outside of the resort is where the real allure of the place comes in.

-The garden: A beautiful zen garden abounds complete with Koi fish, gorgeous trees and flowers, and Asian décor. Walking through is simply a relaxing experience. There are sculptures by various artists as well. The chapel on site is also a site to see with its unique stained glass.

The bad:

The grounds are a little confusing and awkward. To get to our room was a long journey fit for some explorer lugging our bags. The lobby is not immediately apparent as it is tucked away to the right. The building itself is dated and in need of repair. Since the outside grounds were so good and overcame the underwhelming inside, it earned a 5.

Grounds Score: 5/5

The pool(s):

The good:

This is my favorite thing about this resort, hands-down. They have nine pools, but that’s not even the most impressive part! The pools are on different levels and are connected by water slides! And believe me, it was not only kids taking advantage of that. They have one super slide called the Lava Tube that brings you all the way down from the top pool. They also have the world’s only water elevator. Waiting in line for the water elevator was so strange. All you can see is a metal door with a window that gets filled with water. I had no idea what to expect. It took a while as we watched the water go all the way up to the top while the guests in front of us rode up to the top pool. Then, the water went down and an employee happily slid down the waterslide next to us and opened the metal door. When the door opened, it revealed a circular seating area and a waterfall going right down the middle. The waterfall serves the purpose of flooding the chamber, which enables the water elevator to go up- almost. It also takes the employee using her brute strength to spin us up the chamber, each of us getting our chance to get pummeled by the waterfall. She told us the story behind the water elevator. Apparently, the old owner of the resort had a son who was paralyzed, so he created the water elevator to enable him to move around the different slides more freely and easily. What a cool story! When we finally reached the top, it was time to waddle through each of the individual pools to take the many slides down to the bottom, where you will find a sort of lazy river. Beware, however, as the last slide down leads you into a bit of a rapid and knee scuffs are definitely in the forecast.

The bad:

I have a hard time finding any bad with these pools. They were just really cool and unique.

Pool Score: 5/5

The beach:

The beach is not private, but it is nice.

The good:

The beach, as all Maui beaches are, is public. However, to use the loungers, you must be staying in one of the resorts in the area. After waiting for a slip of paper and a wristband from the one of two stands to get what you need, you can show your piece of paper to the vendor who will set you up. From there, this is a slightly protected cove, but it can have a bit of wave action as it is not enclosed. It seemed pretty safe to leave my stuff in the chair while I went for a swim. I swam two feet from a sea turtle who bit me adieu after he came up for a breath of air. You are allowed to leave your chair unattended for up to an hour before they give it away to someone else. This can be annoying if there are no chairs available. If you want a seat right on the coast, you need to go there first thing in the morning. It was nice, although close to other vacationers.

The bad:

The beach is small and you share it with people outside of the resort as well as other resorts. It is really hard to get a good spot if you don’t head straight down in the morning. The waves can get a bit choppy, but overall, it’s a good beach.

Beach Score: 3/5

The Room Accommodation:

Virtual Room Tour

The good:

The room is almost as nice as some of the nicer hotels I have stayed in. If it was between the room at this hotel and the room at a Hyatt Place, I would choose the Hyatt Place. But, wait, this is supposed to be the good, so I will get on that! The bed was fairly comfortable, but the bed’s orientation to the TV was bothersome as you had to view the TV from the side. There was a fan in the room, which was nice. The balcony was spacious with really nice chairs that could be adjusted for comfort, although only one chair had an ottoman. We had a nice partial ocean view as well as a view of the gardens. The bathroom was large, but it lacked any original décor. There was a walk-in shower as well as a tub, which was nice. The room had ample plugs to charge up, which was also a nice touch. There was a desk available. Albeit worn, the room served its purpose.

The bad:

The room was not the nicest I have stayed in. For $800 per night, I really expected to be wowed. It was definitely dated and at times smelled a bit musty. The bed was okay, but seemed a bit old. It lacked any elasticity and left much to be desired in the way of comfort. In the bathroom, there were dirty corners. When we checked in, there was some used toilet paper on top of the toilet. That was so strange as I have never had that happen, even in a motel. The shower door to the walk-in shower had water and soap stains as well as the handle. There was a large hole in the bathroom wall that was covered up by a painting. The lights would flicker in the bathroom if the exhaust fan was on.

Room Score: 2/5

The service

Warm Aloha Greetings!

The good:

The welcoming upon arrival was classic aloha. We were greeted warmly by the valet staff (even though we did not have a nice rental car). Upon entering, we were greeted with leis. The men’s lei was particularly cool. The women’s was made of fresh flowers. The woman who gave us our leis also walked us to the lobby, which was nice. The lady at check-in was also very nice. There was no welcome drink, but there was water available. The lines were plentiful, so there was no wait to check in.

The bad:

We stored our bags with staff our last day. I was worried about my laptop which was in my backpack. The man who stored it was rough with our stuff, and he seemed to care 0%. He did not crack a smile and was rather rude. Getting our car from valet we sometimes had rude service as well. One time, I left something in the car and the valet lady told me, “Well, it’s going to be a while!”

Service Score: 4/5

The activities:

The good:

Many amazing activities are included. My favorite was the beach yoga. It takes place on the grassy knoll overlooking the ocean. It was so relaxing to practice Yoga while listening to the waves crashing on the rocks below. They also offer free scuba lessons and free snorkeling lessons, among other activities like movies.

The bad:

Many activities require an extra fee. We did not really engage in most, but there were many fee based activities offered.

Activities Score: 4/5

Overall Score: 4/5

This resort is a winner due to its expansive pools and grounds. The room leaves a lot to be desired, which is why I do not think it is worth the $800 per night. If the rooms were really nice, I would definitely rate it a 5/5, but I would still think twice before staying again.

What do you think? Have you ever stayed at the Waldorf Astoria in Maui?


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