maui travel guide + grand wailea hotel review
I’m both really excited and slightly sad as I write this post today, because Maui was so amazing and I can’t wait to share everything with you guys…but also a little sad because I miss it already and want to go back! Today I will be sharing a Maui travel guide with you as well as a review of Grand Wailea hotel where we stayed for 4 nights. (In case you missed it, last week I shared my Kauai travel guide!).
View from our room at Grand Wailea
When I asked you guys for Maui recommendations, Grand Wailea was probably the #1 most recommended hotel I got. And, as soon as we arrived, I completely understood why. Michael and I both said this is maybe the nicest, most beautiful hotel we have ever stayed at in our lives. So, the hotel is not cheap but IMO it’s worth every penny. Truly every inch of this hotel looks like a tropical paradise, and it’s right on the beach!
Grand Wailea pool
One of the things we loved most about Grand Wailea was the pool – or should I say, the pools. The one pictured above is the adults only pool that had tons of seating as well as cabana options. But there were also several pool options for kids and families – including a lazy river and waterslide! There were a ton of people staying at Grand Wailea while we were here but it never really felt that way because of how much space there is. We also ordered lunch at the pool two different days and loved the food. (The short rib tacos are amazing!)
Several of y’all also DM’d me saying we had to splurge and go to the spa at Grand Wailea, so we took your advice and holy cow…worth every penny. Probably one of the nicest, most elaborate spas I’ve ever been to. Michael and I got a couples massage, but we got there over an hour early to use all of the spa facilities. They have everything you could ever dream of – essential oil baths, hot tubs, sauna, steam room, cold plunge, and MORE. The spa facilities were gorgeous and so relaxing, and our couples massage was great! If you ever stay at Grand Wailea, I highly recommend making a spa appointment during your stay.
Probably what stood out the most to me about Grand Wailea was how beautiful the grounds were. The flowers, palm trees, the chapel, the pools…everything was just exquisite and truly felt like you escaped reality and entered into paradise. I took at least 200 pics while we were there haha. Below you’ll see what their main entrance looks like:
Both of the above photos were taken in the main entrance / lobby area of Grand Wailea! So gorgeous.
I would say the only downside of this hotel (which, it’s not even about the hotel necessarily) is Wailea wasn’t very close to a lot of the places / things we wanted to do. It seems like most of the restaurants and things on my list were at least 30mins – 1hr away from where we were staying. Not a huge deal because we had a rental car, but just something to factor in!
Overall we absolutely loved this hotel and had an amazing experience at Grand Wailea. I highly recommend it to anyone traveling to Maui!
Maui Travel Guide
Okay – now onto my Maui Travel Guide! I could probably make this post 100 pages long but I’m going to do my best to condense and just share my favorite things!
So, like I mentioned above…we weren’t necessarily close to a ton of the restaurants I wanted to try. We made the drive for a few of them, but unfortunately there were several spots on my list that will have to wait until next Maui trip! So, I’ll share our favorite spots we went to, as well as other super popular recommendations I got:
- The acai bowl above was from Wow Wow Lemonade which was just about 10ish minutes from our hotel. We only went once but they had tons of yummy bowls on the menu plus more lemonade options than you could ever dream of! My acai bowl was really yummy and this is a great option for a quick breakfast!
- Miso Phat sushi (this name makes me LOL). This was one of the restaurants that was pretty close to us, so we went for dinner one night and LOVED the sushi we got! They have really unique options, and everything was so fresh.
- Mama’s Fish House – the number one recommendation I got for Maui and I 100% understand why. Michael and I both said this is one of the best meals we’ve ever had in our life. Seriously. If you have a trip planned to Maui though make a reservation now because they book up! Life-changing sea food, amazing desserts, and a really intimate + fun atmosphere!
- Monkeypod – probably the second most popular recommendation I got! We actually went here twice we liked it so much! It’s a reasonably priced lunch or dinner with SO many options on the menu! Pizza, seafood, tacos, etc. Love this place!
- Lappert’s Ice cream – I forgot to include this in my Kauai travel guide, but there’s a lappert’s there as well! We went here nearly every single day while we were in Hawaii (lol maybe that’s why my jeans won’t button now!). But seriously they make the best ice cream and have amazing flavors.
- Ululani’s Shave Ice – Okay TBH I’ve never been a fan of shaved ice or understood why people love it so much. Like…it’s ice. But y’all this is different. This was sort of like some other form of an ice cream dessert and SO GOOD! We only got to go one time in Maui but I wish we would’ve gone like 100 haha. They have a few different locations!
- Other restaurants I wanted to try that we didn’t get to!:
- Lahaina Grill
- Gazebo (for breakfast)
- Leoda’s pie shop
- Star Noodle
Things to do
One thing I love about Maui is you can make it as busy or as relaxing as you want. We did a ton in Kauai – hiking, excursions, etc…so we took it a little bit easier in Maui! One thing we didn’t get to do which was so disappointing was see the sunrise at Haleakala. We had no idea that if you want to drive up there yourself, you have to make a reservation for that like MONTH’S in advance! Just to drive your own car! So, make sure you plan ahead if that’s something you want to do.
The photo above was taken at Makena Beach in Maui which was by far the prettiest beach we saw our entire trip! The water color was gorgeous. We rented snorkel gear and snorkeled here for a while and saw SO many fish and two sea turtles!!
The above photo was taken on the Road to Hana which I 100% recommend doing when you’re in Maui. I could do an entire blog post about the Road to Hana, but might save that for another date haha. I was a little hesitant to do it, because it’s an all day long road trip on windy roads and…I’m definitely prone to motion sickness right now, being pregnant. But, I took dramamine the night before and I was fine! And SO glad we did the trip. Not only was it absolutely gorgeous, but actually doing the road trip with Michael was so much fun and such great quality time.
A few quick tips about the Road to Hana:
- download an app called GyPSy – it’s basically like your own personal tour guide of road to hana. he tells you where to stop, history behind what you’re looking at, how much time to spend at a stop, etc. it was super helpful!
- bring snacks! we loaded up on snacks for the trip and it helped us not make too many random stops or get hangry haha
- if you are prone to motion sickness, take dramamine the night before. bring ginger chews with you, and anything else you take to help with car sickness.
- you can make it as long or as short as you want to – we probably made 5-7 stops total…and unfortunately it started raining towards the end of our trip, so we weren’t able to do the last hike. but, i think doing 5-7 stops was great for us…but you could also do way more than that if you wanted to!
Go to a luau! The one pictured above was the Feast at Lele’s and it was so much fun! It really gives you a taste of Hawaiian culture, the food is great, and the show is a lot of fun. I don’t have anything to compare this particular luau to because this was my first one…but I thought it was great and I would definitely recommend it!
this photo was also taken at one of our stops on road to hana! these rainbow trees were so beautiful
Like I said, I could go on and on with more things to do in Maui. I definitely want to go back and explore the rest of the island at some point! Maybe next time with baby sims!
Thanks for reading!