Maui: Fairmont or Four Seasons???

Apr 18th, 2003, 04:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 167
Maui: Fairmont or Four Seasons???

Which is better??? We are a couple in our late 20's with NO kids.
Sara8374 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2003, 07:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 39
Please do a search for old posts. The question has been exensively discussed and debated.

Having been to both, I would say it depends on what you are looking for. Both would be good choices. I would shy away from the FS during school holidays. Although the Grand Wailea is more kid friendly, many families vacation at the FS because the parents prefer it. Because the pool area at the FS is small, it can get very crowded when there are many kids. I would rate the FS ahead of the Fairmont in terms of food and service. It is also more expensive. If you go to the luxurylink website, they often have specials at the Fairmont, but I haven't heard of FS discounts.

The Fairmont is more spacious, and has much larger pools (including and adults only one). Also the rooms are all suites so you get more space. I haven't stayed there recently, but some have complained that the rooms are in need of refurbishing. Don't expect the pool attendants and waiters that you get at the FS, however. The restaurant at the Fairmont, Nick's, has a good reputation but I didn't like it as much as Spago at the FS.
nyc is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 07:38 AM
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Haven't stayed at the Four Seasons. My wife and I stayed at the Fairmont Kea Lani last June for our Honeymoon. It is a fantastic place, a gorgeous hotel. I have to disagree with the previous poster about their opinion on the service you receive while pool-side. Each time we were pool-side we always had waiters/waitresses attending to our needs, i.e. fresh pineapple, cool towels, drinks, food etc. They have 4 pools there including an adult pool which we enjoyed very much. They even have private tents pool-side if you would like to get a massage. Also, Nick's Fishmarket at the Kea Lani is the best restaurant I've ever experienced. The food is excellent and the service was the best I've ever experienced. Regardless of where you stay make sure you go to this restaurant for dinner. The Kea Lani is all suites and we thought that they were beautiful. Each one has a very large balcony to lounge on. The beach has plenty of room and offers great views of Molokai and Lanai. The breakfast buffet every morning is outstanding. They have pretty much everything you could want. I know I haven't stayed at the Four Seasons or the Grand Wailea yet, but I can't imagine their service, food, pools, rooms, and beach being any better than the Kea Lani's. I'm not saying theirs is any less, I'm just saying I can't imagine theirs being any better. The Kea Lani is outstanding. I'm sure you will have a great time no matter where you stay. Have a safe trip.
Apr 19th, 2003, 11:38 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 346
Loungin, while you may have no perspective for comparison, believe me, there is much better service to be had than at Kea Lani. Very expensive resorts (more expensive than the Four Seasons Maui) must offer the ultimate in service to attract and maintain their clientele.
Services which are common (and available at many Four Seasons as well) include things like: an in-house secret record of guest preferences so that without the guest even asking, each time he or she checks in there are things waiting in the room like favorite foods and drinks specially ordered ahead of time, favorite newspapers and magazines waiting; valets who take the bags at the limo and not only bring them to the room but unpack them, press the clothes, and put them away; complimentary theater tickets for the asking; free chauffeured limo service anywhere in the area; chefs who cook room service to specification of the guest, with nothing off limits; butler service with one butler for every room to take care of absolutely anything a guest wishes (they'll even change the type of drapes, furnishings and linens on a moment's notice to suit the taste of the guest) etc.
There's a whole world of upscale products and services out there that most people aren't aware of. If you think a $90,000 Mercedes is plush, try on a $350,000 Bentley. There's always something better.
Four Seasons just happens to be the best mainstream, chain hotel organization in the world. And their service is a full notch above Kea Lani's. And that doesn't make Kea Lani less special. It's all about what the guest needs to make the visit perfect. Some need very little. Some more.
rwilliams is offline  
Apr 19th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Very well put and I'm sure that there is better service somewhere out there. But the question was asked whether to stay at the Kea Lani or the Four Seasons. My wife and I stayed at the Kea Lani, so I described our experience there. I never said it is the best hotel in the world nor did I say anything negative about the Four Seasons. Just felt that I owed it to the Fairmont Kea Lani since we were treated like royalty and had an unbelievable time there. Your opinion that the Four Seasons just happens to be the best mainstream, chain hotel organization in the world is simply, your opinion. I happen to believe that the Fairmont chain is the best, but that is my opinion. I'm sure there are others out there who think that the Hilton chain is the best. Oh, and I can't let this go, your anology of the Benz, Bentley is funny. Are you trying to tell me that a $360,000 Bentley is worth the extra $260,000 over the $90,000 Mercedes? If you ask me neither one is worth $90,000 let alone $350,000 and I love the Benz. I'd say you can justify spending $60,000 for either one, realistically. Take care.
Apr 19th, 2003, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 346
Opinions are just that.
And when it comes to issues of value and worth, people are all over the map.
If you ask, however, what hotel chain the majority of travel experts and actual travellers rate as the best hotel chain in the world, Four Seasons and Peninsula are virtually always tops, with Aman Resorts in Asia.

If you look for a Fairmont hotel in the various ratings lists you find: AAA 5 Diamond-20 Four Seasons and 1 Fairmont (Scottsdale Princess which was not built by Fairmont); Mobil 5 star list there are 6 Four Seasons and 0 Fairmonts; the Conde Nast Lists, Forbes, etc etc are dominated by FS.
FS is not everyone's style, to be sure, but it's very hard to argue that anyone else surpasses them in the chain hotel business.

As for value, well, that's a personal thing. To the guy making $30,000 a year, a $100,000 car is just plain ridiculous. To the guy who makes $3 million a year, it's more a question of why not. You can't take it with you. Might as well enjoy it while you're here if there is some extra laying around.

I love great hotels and resorts and spend a lot of time and money on them. On the other hand, I'm not at all a foodie, and I can say in all honesty that I've never eaten an entree costing more than about $25 that I thought was "worth it". Same with wine. While I've shared a lot of 3 figure bottles of wine, I simply don't enjoy tastes of food and wine enough that those things are worth the money to me. Cars, on the other hand, are the opposite. The visceral pleasure of a great performance car is worth a lot of $$ to me.

Vive la difference.
rwilliams is offline  
Apr 20th, 2003, 04:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 337
Sara, I'll try to be short and to the point...and get back to the original question.

We are in our late 20's also and just booked our first trip to Hawaii (Maui and Kauai). In the beginning we were considering just splitting up the time on Maui (5 nights in Kapalua area and 5 nights in Wailea) We looked into our options in Wailea, looked at a lot of website pics, reviews etc and decided that the Fairmont would have been more our style. The 4S is no doubt an outstanding hotel, but I thought we would have a better time at the Fairmont, the pool system seems better IMO, they have an adult pool so you can get away from the kids etc. The rooms look gorgeous, all-suites. The only thing we didn't care for was the architecture, it's beautiful, but looks more like greece than maui. Since we are going to Kauai now too, we only have 5 nights in Maui and are staying at the Kapalua Bay Hotel.

I don't think you can go wrong with either...but if it were us we would have gone with the Fairmont.

good luck with your decision! and happy honeymooning...
bogart is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 05:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 85
For our July '02 honeymoon, we had the same debate - FS or Fairmont. I actually booked both at first while we continued debating. (We are also late 20s) We picked the Fairmont b/c it seemed high-class but still fun. I found that to be true while we were there. We loved having a huge suite w/large balcony to ourselves. We also loved the adult pool, the cool poolslide, and the poolbar. While we didn't spend an enormous amount of time at the hotel anyway - we did utilize these features.
In addition, we personally found the staff to be most attentive.
From my understanding, the Four Seasons is also top notch, more known for service, maybe a little more reserved. Seemed almost too "luxury" for us - we wanted the large pools which FS didn't really have.
In the end, we were thrilled with our choice and would stay there again. we just felt you got a little more for your money there.
Just my opinion.
MMN is offline  
Apr 21st, 2003, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 56
We went to Maui in 2001 and I was disappointed the Four Seasons was booked. A friend who lives on Maui recommended Kea Lani (now Fairmont) and we loved it! No regrets at all.
ljagla is offline  

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