Maui’s Fairmont Kea Lani: 13 tips for families

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The gorgeous Fairmont Kea Lani on the Wailea coast in South Maui, Hawaii is perfect for families. Set in 22 acres of lush tropical landscape, it’s Hawaii’s only all suite resort set on the beach. With the recent completion of a $70 million resort renovation,  the footprint of the 413 suites are the same – it’s the views that differ. Suites comfortably fit a family of 4 or 5 and have a main bedroom (with 2 queens or a California king), living area with queen sofa bed, pantry area with a small fridge and microwave and a large private lanai with outdoor furniture. 

Here are some tips for families we gathered from our stay:

  1. Each suite gets 1 beach umbrella with the room (2 for the villas). Go to beach services when they open at 8 am (sometimes a short line will form 15 minutes before) to get a front row spot. It will be yours for the day as long as you don’t vacate it for more than 1 hour.
  2. One hour of snorkelling equipment is included with every suite for each day of your stay. Make sure to use it! The Wailea coast is known for snorkelling and the rocky end of Polo Beach (in front of the Fairmont) is a good place to start. I saw a 3-foot diameter sea turtle within a few seconds of diving in. 
  3. If you can – bring your own body board or rent one from beach services. Body boarding is great on Polo Beach when South swell comes in. I even got behind a board (to the delight of my girls).
  4. Bring a Go Pro to film your underwater experiences (there will be many). You will have the utmost respect of every young Hawaiian dude (and so will your teenage girls).
  5. You get a beautiful lei greeting on arrival. Put it in fridge each night and it will last whole trip!
  6. Check out their award-winning Hawaiian cultural experiences programme – some of the experiences require booking, but for many you just show up. The Hawaiian canoe experience is especially popular – book before you get there!
  7. My girls really enjoyed the Hawaiian language class. Joelle, the full-time cultural director, will even look up your Hawaiian name! (Mine is Uki-Uki, which mean Hawaiian Lily)
  8. There are coffee machines in each suite – but if want to let the kids sleep in you can get complimentary in the lobby until 6.30 am.
  9. The Ciao deli serves all kinds of items to go. Two of our girls totally crashed after a day of sailing – so we got them pizza t0 enjoy in the room while we went out for rinks and appetizers.
  10. You can text the front desk with anything you need (including what is on for the day!)
  11. Make good use of the complimentary water in your suite. It’s easy for kids to get dehydrated easily.
  12. Book the last 2 weeks of August (when the US school are back in and UK schools are still out). I’ve seen specials for as much as 40% off published rates.
  13. If you join the Fairmont President’s Club (it’s free to join!) you get complimentary access to high-speed internet.

Enjoy your stay – we booked using United miles and loved every minute of out trip! We are definitely going back (maybe even next year – but don’t tell my girls!)

Photo Gallery:

Good morning from the balcony of our suite at the Fairmont Kea Lani in gorgeous Waliea, HI. Today we are going on a snorkelling trip to Molokini with @sailtrilogy We've got our bathing suits, sunscreen and huge smiles!

Good morning from the balcony of our suite at the Fairmont Kea Lani in gorgeous Waliea, HI. Today we are going on a snorkelling trip to Molokini with @sailtrilogy We’ve got our bathing suits, sunscreen and huge smiles!

 

2-year-old just asked what the caption to this photo of a hibiscus would be. She said .. and I quote ... "You always write something cheesy"

2-year-old just asked what the caption to this photo of a hibiscus would be. She said .. and I quote … “You always write something cheesy”

 

We just loved the lei greeting at the Fairmont Kea Lani. Keiki (kids) also got a turtle necklace. If you put the lei in the fridge at night it will last through your stay!!

We just loved the lei greeting at the Fairmont Kea Lani. Keiki (kids) also got a turtle necklace. If you put the lei in the fridge at night it will last through your stay!!

 

It's nice to sneak away to the tranquility of the adult pool at the Fairmont Kea Lani, if only for a few minutes to take this photo!

It’s nice to sneak away to the tranquility of the adult pool at the Fairmont Kea Lani, if only for a few minutes to take this photo!

 

Look what the girls made in the Keiki (Kids) Sushi Making class! It's all part of their Summer Experiences Program and included in your stay!

Look what the girls made in the Keiki (Kids) Sushi Making class! It’s all part of their Summer Experiences Program and included in your stay!

 

surfing 2My 12-year-old’s perspective

One of the activities for kids was making sushi. First the chef told us what all the available ingredients were and then he demonstrated how to make the sushi. I really liked it because you got to choose whatever you wanted to put inside! I choose smoked salmon, avocado, cucumber and pea shoots. When we finished the chef cut the sushi endgame us soy sauce and wasabi. It was my first time trying sushi! 

 

It looks like it's going to be a busy day on Polo beach!

It looks like it’s going to be a busy day on Polo beach!

 

surfing 3My 11-year-old’s perspective

The beach at the Fairmont Kea Lani was awesome! The water was really warm, the sand felt nice and there were lots of waves so it was perfect for boogie boarding. It was also good for snorkelling. I saw two turtles and I wasn’t even snorkelling (I saw them from the rocks). It was so good that even mum and dad came in the water and I realised mum had a secret talent for boogie boarding!

 

I took this picture of the moon on my iPhone! I had the help of an 8-lens telescope and a very knowledgable instructor. Star gazing is part of the Fairmont Kea Lani summer programme

I took this picture of the moon on my iPhone! I had the help of an 8-lens telescope and a very knowledgable instructor. Star gazing is part of the Fairmont Kea Lani summer programme

 

Ever wonder how all the tiki torches are lit each evening at the Fairmont Kea Lani? It's the torch lighting ceremony, every night at sunset in the summer. Just look for all the kids following him around!

Ever wonder how all the tiki torches are lit each evening at the Fairmont Kea Lani? It’s the torch lighting ceremony, every night at sunset in the summer. Just look for all the kids following him around!

 

IF YOU GO:

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753 +1 (808) 875-4100 fairmont.com/kea-lani-maui

United Mileage Plus United.com

Go Hawaii gohawaii.com/uk

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11 Comments

  1. 03/09/2016 / 15:55

    This looks incredible- Hawaii is somewhere I would love to go and the activities sound perfect for more than lounging on the beach. Although frankly that would be nice too!
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…City Tripping #42My Profile

  2. 28/08/2016 / 07:52

    Oh that sounds amazing, Hawaii has always been somewhere I’ve really wanted to visit.

  3. 25/08/2016 / 19:30

    What a beautiful place to holiday and learn about some of the native culture. A great top tip to book for the end of Aug when the USA is back at school!

  4. 25/08/2016 / 12:13

    I get so jealous reading holiday/travel post as I have a fear of flying and can’t do boats (even though I lived on a canal boat throughout my childhood!) so feel like I know I will never be able to visit these beautiful looking places!

    It looks and sounds like you had an amazing time! I was reading your tips and come over craving pizza aha! It’s great to see that worldwide dishes are served, that’s one thing I do worry about when travelling (if I do get over my fear) as both me and little man are fussy eaters! x
    Jade Lewendon recently posted…Five Ways To Make Your Grandparents Life Easier.My Profile

  5. 25/08/2016 / 11:36

    What a gorgeous looking place and your photos are beautiful – the one of the moon is stunning! My kids would love to visit.

  6. 18/08/2016 / 22:16

    What stunning pictures. An amazing place to visit…one day…fingers crossed x

  7. 16/08/2016 / 21:22

    I would love to visit Hawaii and your photos make it look very appealing. Having flown to the US this year for the first time, we definitely want to return.

  8. 16/08/2016 / 21:22

    Wow, what an amazing place. it is on our bucket list of places to visit. One day maybe!

  9. 16/08/2016 / 19:12

    Wow what amazing photos – I can imagine the sunsets are pretty special in Hawaii. Sushi making and scuba diving sounds like a dream holiday! x