Earlier this year we showcased the two new Presidential Suites at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. I’ve included those highlights below in case you missed them the first time. The iconic resort has now completed a full renovation yielding more amazing suites worth a look.
Being a 5-star luxury hotel where you can lay by the pool, on the beach or take a couple spa treatments is no longer enough. The trend in the luxury segment of travel is to offer unique experiences that will help create memories, and while they may not interest you, if you are traveling with friends and family they provide diversity and more ways to keep your group entertained.
Travel Age West, a trade publication for travel agents recently wrote, “Ever since Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea opened in 1990, it has stayed ahead of the curve in terms of pampering guests. From its early days when it introduced poolside Evian spritzes to its 2009 debut of a $9 million adults-only Serenity Pool with underwater music, it has perfected the art of fantasy fulfillment.”
But first a quick step back. In December 2014, the resort’s owner with property and corporate management (Four Seasons in Toronto) met for a design review of rooms and suites, with “the goal of redefining luxury for today’s travelers and beyond.” The group challenged three leading hotel design firms to present their visions and after a lengthy process Wimberly Interiors (whose credits include the Chalet Suites at the Kempinski Dubai, looking out onto an indoor ski slope, The Bentley Suites at St. Regis hotels in New York, Dubai and Istanbul, and projects spanning the world) was selected.
One element where it is often hard to find information about a resort, but may be important to you is security. A recent article in Forbes noted, “The Four Seasons Maui is a leader in this area, has taken a number of steps to protect the security and privacy of their high-net-worth guests. First, the hotel has capitalized on the island topography. Resort suites are arranged into two seven-story towers that front the ocean, which creates an extra layer of inaccessibility. The towers provide not only elevated beautiful oceanfront views but also an extra level of security and privacy.”
The article also points out, “Suite guests are assigned a private assistant who can manage all details including coordinating security issues if needed (and) Public access to the hotel is constantly controlled and closely monitored.” An additional element “for guests flying private, the hotel’s car service is the only service on the island that can drive onto the private jet terminal tarmac to pick up people planeside. Helicopter service from the airport is also available.”
Security at the resort is not outsourced and the hotel can even provide additional security for a fee. Other privacy-focused elements include “numerous sanctuaries throughout the resort where high-profile guests enjoy themselves without being disturbed (as well as) digital peephole viewfinders are on the suite doors. Some suite floors can be completely locked off now since the resort recently installed antechamber doors.”
If you travel under an assumed name, the hotel also has an “ironclad” procedure for integrating this throughout your stay.
While security maybe the starting point enabling you to enjoy your vacation, Shermaine Rodrigues is where the experiential part of your stay begins. Generally hotels loath to single out employees by name as it is a high-turnover industry, so they instead focus on thread counts and branded amenities. In this case Shermaine leads a special VIP team as Guest Experience Manager. She is there to be your personal assistant if you are staying in the Maile 3-Bedroom Presidential, Lakeland 3-Bedroom Presidential, Elite 2-Bedroom Presidential, Club Ocean-Front Prime One-Bedroom Suites, and Ocean-Front Prime One-Bedroom Suites (details below).
Shermaine has done everything from getting a replacement laptop for a guest whose computer crashed, had important papers couriered to the mainland that needed to be there within 10 hours of signature, and secured a particular video game one young guest had left at home, having it delivered from Honolulu in time to play after dinner. She also had a basketball court built on property with just five days notice for a guest during March Madness! She arranged a Jackson chameleon hunt in the rainforest for a young guest and a wedding proposal that entailed hundreds of painted white coconuts on a black sand beach spelling out “Will you marry me” as the Four Seasons guests viewed it from the helicopter above. The answer was “yes” by the way. Anyhow, she’s up for whatever challenges you throw at her.
50-Bottle Wine Fridge
The Elite Suites (below) have a new amenity. It is a wine refrigerator holding up to 50 bottles. Christian Navarro, president of Wally’s Wines of Beverly Hills will curate the collection focusing on rare and unusual high-end wines. The wines will be at an additional charge. You can also specify specific wines or types of wines you would like to have stocked.
Lokelani Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite (Ground Floor)
The Lokelani Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite features a large living room with original art, a dining area with salon seating, media room with gaming, flat-screen TVs throughout, each with a DVD player and on-demand movies plus a “fully integrated” Sonos sound system. There is a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, espresso machine plus coffee and tea maker, toaster and juicer. There is a bar that will be stocked to your order.
The 4,500 sq. ft. suite can sleep up to eight adults or six adults and six children. There are three full bathrooms and two more ¾ bathrooms, including showers.
From the suite, there are 180-degree ocean front views as you have the entire width of the building overlooking your own private garden with views of the ocean and neighboring islands.
The signature feature is a 2,400 sq. ft. private terrace with sitting, lounging and dining areas, plus outdoor exercise equipment leading onto a 5,000 sq. ft. private garden with fire pits and sunning areas. Melchiorri says the huge garden gives the suite the feeling of being in a stand alone home and adds that the backyard makes it perfect for children and family activities as well as celebrations or a birthday party. “It’s secluded by shrubbery. It’s like your own private villa on the ocean,” he says.
Maile Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite (7th Floor)
The Maile Presidential Three-Bedroom Suite is on the top floor (7 th Floor) meaning you get amazing 180 degree views of neighboring islands and the Pacific Ocean from floor to ceiling windows and extensive terrace space. The suite sleeps six adults or six adults and five children. The suite is 4,000 sq. ft. plus a lanai that fronts the entire front of the wing. Each bedroom has a full bathroom, there is a guest powder room and the master has a full-size sauna. The dining room table seats eight.
Like its sister, there are flat-screen TVs throughout, each with a DVD player and on-demand movies plus a “fully integrated” Sonos sound system. There is a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, espresso machine plus coffee and tea maker, toaster and juicer. And same as Lokelani, there is a bar that will be stocked to your order.
Elite Ocean-Front Residential Suite (3)
Directly facing the beach and offering ocean views, there are three of these two-bedroom Elite Ocean-Front Residential Suites (1,800 sq. ft. plus lanai) located on floors 4, 5 and 6. Each offers extensive living, working and entertaining space, including a sit-down wet bar area. These can also be combined with an adjoining suite to create a three-bedroom configuration, with all configurations featuring oceanfront views. Dine or lounge on the expansive lanai that extends the entire width of each suite, or enjoy a moment of quietude in any one of its comfortable nooks and crannies. All bathrooms have oversize tubs and walk-in showers. In the multi-bedroom configuration you can have either six adults or four adults and five children.
Club Ocean-Front Prime One-Bedroom Suites (3)
At 1,400 sq. ft., there are three Club Oceanfront Prime One-Bedroom Suites, all located on the 8th floor, each with high ceilings, bright interiors and a top-floor location. Enjoy sweeping panoramas of the classic Hawaiian view – golden sands, swaying palms and shimmering waves – while dining or relaxing on one of two lanais, or make yourself at home and unwind in the suite’s pleasant living area. There is one full bathroom with deep tub and walk-in shower and a second bathroom with shower to make getting ready for the day or a night out easier.
Ocean-Front Prime Suites (13)
With a 180-degree oceanfront view, there are 13 Ocean-Front Prime Suites (at 1,400 sq. ft.) across floors 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Each incorporates Hawaiian artwork and evocative textures and patterns to create a comfortable retreat that is Maui. The living and dining areas are physically separated for privacy, and there is an extra bathroom. You can have these suites come in one-, two- (pictured above), three- or four-bedroom configurations.
Not Just A Suite, A Sweet Experience
Four Seasons Maui’s Signature Complete Suite Program includes a number of extras:
Round-trip transportation in a private SUV or an eco-friendly Tesla between the airport on Maui and the Resort (provided by the Resort); welcome flowers and amenities; daily breakfast for all guests in the suite (buffet breakfast at Duo or breakfast through In-Room Dining); private dinner experience once during your stay for all guests registered to the suite (for guests staying a minimum of four consecutive nights); up to two 50-minute massages total during your stay (for guests staying a minimum of four consecutive nights); complimentary laundry service as often as you like throughout your stay, with clothes folded and ready to wear or pack; complimentary high-speed Internet access, and complimentary parking for rental cars.
For some of you, that perfect lounge chair in a private corner of paradise is not enough. To fulfill those of you who need more, Four Seasons Maui’s team has created the following Unforgettable Experiences as examples, however, Shermaine is already ready for a new challenge, so wish away.
Maui Photo Adventure
Take a VIP photography tour with nationally acclaimed fine art photographer Daniel Sullivan. Having recently trekked 220 miles around Maui’s stunning coastline with the mission of documenting the legacy of the ancient King’s Highway, Sullivan knows every nook and cranny of the island. With Sullivan by your side, you will see things all of your friends missed, learning photography tips along the way. He will customize the adventure to your unique desires and photographic goals. Maybe you’ll even find your next career?
Private After Hours Serenity Pool Experience
Have you ever wished you had full run of a resort pool after it closed to the other guests. Well, this is your chance. Elevated above Wailea Beach, with panoramic views of neighboring islands and the West Maui Mountains, the Resort’s Serenity Pool is now available from dusk to dawn for you – yes, all night until the sun rises. To start there is a personally prepared multi-course dinner to your specs. Next is a couple’s massage in a private cabana outfitted by Missoni, and then, well…take a cooling dip in a saltwater pool lined with flickering candles. It’s your call on what’s next from here till the sun comes up.
For Coffee Nuts Only
If java is your jet fuel, get a first hand look at what how you get the perfect brew. In this case, even on Maui they acknowledge “Kona coffee holds the title of ‘world’s best.’”
Making a play on farm-to-table, this trip will give you a farm-to-cup experience. You’ll fly 78 miles from the lawn of the nearby Wailea Golf Course to the Big Island and Bolton Estate, home to the award-winning Kona Coffee & Tea Company. The company’s owner will guide you on a personal tour of the farm and provide a tasting of various beans and roasts. The adventure continues as you helicopter back to Maui, taking in the spectacular highlights for which the Big Island is famous. There is no better vantage point to see volcanic lava flows, the majestic Hamakua coast, and Waipio Valley, with 2,000-foot sea cliffs and 1,200-foot waterfalls.
A Taste Of Island Life
While you’re entitled to just flop on the beach, Hawaii, and Maui in particular, is one of those places that is worth exploring for its beautiful scenery and local life, a mix of the island’s descendants and those of us who chose a life living in paradise.
Helicopter to Maui’s famed Hana Ranch. You’ll view towering waterfalls and rain forested peaks –– and peer into Haleakala, the dormant volcano that composes 75 percent of the island. Guided by a local cultural expert, your expedition continues with a behind-the-scenes tour of this working ranch and organic farm, including a visit to the Four Seasons Garden, where you can work up an appetite foraging for your favorite herbs and vegetables. Edged by ocean and mountains, Hana Ranch is known for seasonal, sustainably grown produce, which is spotlighted during the main event: a private lunch personally prepared by Four Seasons Executive Chef Craig Dryhurst and Hana Ranch Chef Jon Watson. The duo will even incorporate your handpicked ingredients into the menu, customizing each dish to your taste preferences. As they cook, continue exploring the eastern coast of Maui with a waterfall hike, a horseback ride or an outrigger canoe excursion. Your meal is served in the ranch’s picturesque farmhouse, accompanied by a bottle of wine hand-selected by a Four Seasons sommelier to complement Maui’s freshest flavors.
Whale Watching Photo Tour (Dec-May)
You can join underwater fine-art photography duo, the Cesere Brothers, on a Hawaiian whale-watching adventure with whale experts and top photographers, Dan and John Cesere (Click on the photo above for a video). The brothers are part of the Keiki Kohala research team, an organization dedicated to preserving Maui waters as a nursery, where mother whales can safely raise their calves. They are also award-winning photographers and artists-in-residence at the hotel. This tour is perfect if you want to take your own above- or below-water shots of marine life, or if you simply wish to enjoy the show while the experts capture images for you to take home. Tours do not include underwater photography of humpback whales, but focus on Maui’s other plentiful and vibrant marine life. Whatever your preference, your custom whale-watching adventure will be one-of-a-kind.
More on Four Seasons Maui
Kahului Airport (OGG) has a 6,995 ft. runway and is open 24 hours with restrictions and sells jet fuel. It is also an international port of entry. It is 17 miles to the resort (about 30 minutes) or you can take a helicopter. Four Seasons has clearance to do pick-ups directly from your private jet on the tarmac. There are two FBOs, Air Service Hawaii and Signature Flight Support.
Four Seasons Maui Guest Experience Manager Shermaine Rodrigues at Shermaine.Rodrigues@FourSeasons.com or phone 808-874-2989
Four Seasons Maui Director of Marketing Mark Simon at Mark.Simon@FourSeasons.com or phone 808-874-2911