Monday, August 5, 2013

sun, sand, & sea: grand wailea

The Sun, Sand, & Sea adventure began on the 4th of July. Twelve plus hours on a plane and missing fireworks and general celebrations was rough, but eventually oh so worth it. I was headed to Maui for 9 days of work (working the annual conference for the members of the association I work for), followed by 5 days of vacation where Jacob would join me.

The adventures that were had were beyond grand, but I have to highlight each aspect of this trip that when combined made the perfect memory.

First up: location. The entire 2 week vacation was spent at the Grand Wailea in the Wailea area of Maui, Hawaii, which is in the southwest region of the island.

The hotel is about a half hour ride from the Kahului Airport. The Grand Wailea is in an area with other luxury resorts, so the drive in is really lovely. As you pull into the property, you are greeted by an amazing and lush waterfall display. Can we say Christmas card photo? The landscaping is pretty breathtaking.

This resort truly is top-notch. Even the most "basic" of rooms is beyond basic. I stayed in a terrace room and was still blown away when I walked in. The room had a king-sized bed, a sitting area, a desk area, the largest bathroom a girl could dream of, and a lanai with Mount Haleakala in the distance. 


View with the ocean in the distance.

The thing that is surprising is the slightly overwhelming size of this property. You can continuously explore the grounds and still not feel like you've seen it all. It took me a few days to get my bearings. With multiple restaurants, nearly ten pools, and gardens galore, I loved exploring each path. 

During my stay, I was fortunate to visit an acquaintance's room that had an amazing view. You could see the dolphin fountain and adults-only hibiscus pool, the chapel, and a few of the restaurants, like the Humuhumunukunukuapua'a and the Bistro Molokini. 

I loved that nothing went unnoticed---there were details everywhere that were so charming. 

Tiki torches were placed all around the resort and every evening they were lit. 

Again, the landscaping! It made me want to walk every path to see if I would discover something I'd never seen before. 

Koi ponds and rivers were everywhere. My favorite little moments? Seeing workers walk around in the afternoon to feed them all.

Again, the details. The Hibiscus Pool, one of my favorites on property, has intricate tile work that makes you feel like you are living a life of luxury and beauty. 

Art and sculpture are a big aspect all throughout the resort. When I walked by some, I'd stop and do double-takes. They all really embraced Hawaii and its culture. 

Another of my favorites? (Have you noticed everything is a favorite?) All the open-air spaces. With nearly impeccable weather, the main area of the resort is open-air. Walking straight into the lobby area and check-in area have the same feel. It's such a happy feeling, as something like this would obviously never work like this in Chicago.

Stumbling upon the water, natural flora and fauna, and small designed spaces always left a soothing feeling on my spirit --- just want you want to feel in a vacation spot. 

Another plus of the Grand Wailea? Steps from Wailea Beach. With luxurious grounds, relaxing and fun pools, restaurants, and the beach steps away, I knew the Grand Wailea was the perfect spot for my Hawaiian getaway. 

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