Luxury and Leisure at Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani
Leah Walker August 12, 2013

Maui conjures up visions of white sandy beaches, brilliant blue waters, lush green landscapes, and picture-perfect weather. Considering that Maui has been named Best Island nineteen years by Conde Nast Traveler readers, I’d say that many people regard the Magic Isle as paradise.

Maui Fairmont Kea Lani Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Adventures

In May, I spent ten wonderful days in Jordan, and then took seven flights and a camel to get to Maui. Though exhausting, it was worth the thousands of miles and countless hours in the air to finally touch down in Hawaii, my first time to the state. For a week, I explored virtually every part of Maui and even managed to paraglide despite my fear of heights. Needless to say, after nearly two weeks on my Jordan journey and one week indulging in the best Maui had to offer, I was spent. Thus, instead of rushing home, I decided to stay one extra night on the island for a little rest and relaxation. Enter the Fairmont Kea Lani.

Located in Wailea, the Fairmont Kea Lani sits on 22 acres of prime Maui real estate. It’s Hawaii’s only luxury oceanfront resort that features suites and villas only. Situated on the white sands of Polo Beach, Kea Lani offers one of the best places for snorkeling and swimming on Maui. With gorgeous grounds filled with bamboo gardens, palm trees, tropical flowering plants, water features, and golf course worthy grass, the resort was the perfect place for me to enjoy a bit of solitude before heading back to Houston.

Maui Fairmont Kea Lani Resort

Auspicious Arrival

The greeting at Kea Lani is second to none. Valets and bellhops are all smiles and eager to help. Before I handed over the keys to my rental, a gorgeous pink lei was around my neck and a welcome drink was in my hand, which I think is an essential amenity for luxury hotels.

Lei Maui Fairmont

The grand, open-air lobby is spectacular. Huge arches frame the picturesque views onto the property, while trees, flowers, and plants bring the outdoors in. The check in is swift and friendly, which is just how I like it. In a matter of minutes, the key was in my hand and I was being shown to my suite.

Sweet Suite

Behind the door of room 628, I found 860 square feet of divine comfort. A living room with a large sectional sofa hugs the wall, while the bedroom calls for a morning of leisurely lounging in the summer-weight down bedding. The bathroom is exactly what I expect from a luxury property—marble and huge.

Maui Fairmont Kea Lani Suite

There are two flat screen televisions in the suite, but there’s no need to turn them on given the floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that showcase the stunning view of the property and Pacific Ocean. The large, private balcony has two seating areas and is the perfect place for a sunrise coffee or sunset cocktail. I happen to have enjoyed both.

Maui Fairmont Kea Lani Balcony View

Decadent Drinks & Dining

During my week in Maui, there was no danger of me going hungry or getting thirsty. There always seemed to be the freshest fish in front of me and the coldest cocktail in my hand. My time at the Fairmont Kea Lani continued that trend. And given their three restaurants, four bars, and bakery/deli/coffee shop, how could I expect anything less?

Maui Nick's Fairmont Kea Lani

Nick’s Fishmarket has a Mediterranean vibe and is a perfect place for dinner. With its large patio seating overlooking the resort grounds and views of the ocean, Nick’s is a gathering place for locals and Kea Lani guests alike. As one would expect, the menu is chock-full of fresh seafood with a Hawaiian twist. There’s also a large bar to enjoy a cocktail. Try Nick’s Lava Flow. Their version was by far my favorite drink in Maui.

Ko Maui at Fairmont Kea Lani

The open air Luana Lounge is just off from the main lobby and a perfect place for a fruity cocktail and to watch a famous Maui sunset. The atmosphere in the evenings is quite romantic, yet lively with local musicians performing.

It’s easy to see how , meaning ‘sugarcane’ in Hawaiian, was named Restaurant of the Year and Best Hawaiian Regional Cuisine in the 2013 Aipono Awards. Executive chef, Tylun Pang, was inspired by Maui’s sugarcane planation era, and draws on the influences of Korean, Portuguese, Chines, Fillipino, and Hawaiian dishes. Absolutely do not miss ordering Ahi on the Rock You Sear it. Chunks of beautiful tuna are spiced with shichimi and orange ginger miso sauce then grilled by you on a hot rock. It’s a deliciously good time.

Maui Ko Fairmont Kea Lani

It’s really hard for me to pass up lamb when I see it on a menu and Kō was no exception. If you’re a lamb lover like me, don’t miss out on these chops marinated in coconut milk, soy sauce, and curry. The mango mint salsa adds an island touch to the traditional mint sauce normally served with lamb. The side of mashed potatoes is made from Hawaiian purple sweet potatoes, which are as tasty as they are fun.

Restful Recreation

Given my action-packed adventures over the previous three weeks in Jordan and Maui, I really just wanted to relax. Leisurely meals and casual cocktails sipped on my balcony were the extent of my plans, but I couldn’t simply look at the pool from my suite. A little sun time was a must.

Maui Fairmont Kea Lani Pool Cabanas

Passing on the family-friendly pool with the water slides, I instead opted for the more tranquil option. Surrounded by private cabanas and plenty of comfortable loungers, the lower lagoon pool is just as it should be–relaxing. Towels are available, as is sunscreen, which I think is a very nice touch. The pool is also steps away from Polo Beach in case you feel like getting a little sand in between your toes.

Short and sweet is how I would describe my time at Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani. My body, mind, and spirit could have used an entire week rather than simply a day. As they say, all good things must come to an end. But that 24-hours wasn’t just good. It was great.

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I was a guest of the Fairmont Kea Lani. In no way was I swayed by the luscious lamb chops, divine Rose 31 toiletries, or their perfect pool. As always, opinions are mine. 

Note: There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I make a small commission if you make a purchase through my links. It costs you nothing more, but helps keep me stocked in French wine {and a roof over my head}.

Leah Walker

Leah has a marketing management company specializing in strategy, content creation and implementation for luxury brands and destinations. She's also a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. Leah documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. She sometimes freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, USA Today 10 Best, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel and wine ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's lived in Paris for five years, and was awarded additional time with a Passeport Talent visa. Though, her talent for speaking French is abysmal.


  1. The fact they had sunscreen available is the clearest sign that the Fairmont is THE place to go in Maui. Mental note for when I get to go!

    1. I think it’s an awesome idea to have the sunscreen. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten it when heading to a sunny locale.

  2. This is the type of place I can see me bringing the wifey so she and I can enjoy a nice romantic time together. Would be a long flight from FL but definitely looks worth it. The water and food look great and that is one heck of a room. Thats the size of some peoples apartment. Love the photos Leah!

    1. It would be a really long flight from Florida, but I absolutely think it’s worth the time. Heck, I flew all the way from Jordan, so a Florida flight would be nothing.

    1. I stayed in four Maui hotels, so you just let me know when you get out there. Obviously, Fairmont is a great choice.

  3. Looks like a fantastic vacation, Leah! Maui is on my list, but somehow it’s never “on my way” anywhere. But maybe I’ll take seven flights too someday. 🙂

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