By { Beth Weitzman

A perfect getaway for families, friends, couples and solo travelers, the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui offers a wide array of guest accommodations, island-inspired restaurants, authentic Hawaiian cultural experiences, plus the state-of-the-art Willow Stream Spa, multiple pools, private cabanas and personalized service. Situated on the coveted south shore of Maui in Wailea, amongst 22 acres of tropical oceanfront on the idyllic golden sands of Polo Beach, Fairmont Kea Lani is Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury oceanfront resort. 

The distinctive resort is comprised of a main high-rise building offering 413 one-bedroom suites (860-1,100 square feet), as well as 37 private two- and three-bedroom villas (1,800-2,200 square feet). Inside, suites impress with spacious bedroom and living areas, full entertainment systems with two flat-screen TVs, an oversized marble bathroom with personalized Le Labo amenities, a foyer pantry area with convenient compact chiller and microwave, and a large private lanai with epic ocean and sunset, tropical garden and mountain views. The villas, meanwhile, feature a full gourmet kitchen with dining area, two master bedrooms with an oversized marble bathroom, full entertainment systems with multiple flat-screen TVs, and a private furnished courtyard with plunge pool and barbecue grill.

Eating in-suite or villa is always a tempting option, as is dining in any of the resort’s array of restaurants. The award-winning (open for lunch and dinner) specializes in sugarcane plantation era-inspired cuisine, featuring Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, Korean and Japanese menu items. Executive Chef Tylun Pang has created an expansive menu focusing on authentic island family recipes passed down from prior generations. He sources more than 90 percent of the sustainable, fresh and tasty fish, beef and produce locally. Two standout starters: Ahi on the Rock, You Sear It, featuring shichimi-spiced ahi tuna with orange ginger miso; and Lavender Honey Macadamia Nut Shrimp with seasoned shrimp served crisp, kula ali’i lavender honey sauce and candied macadamia nut. Must-try main courses include Kalbi Flat Iron Kobe and the fresh catch, ginger-steamed with Chinese sausage, shiitake mushroom, ginger, scallion, cilantro, shoyu sizzling oil and  jasmine rice. On Sunday and Monday evenings, be sure to order the Sunday Night Laulau, a modern take on a traditional Hawaiian dish that includes Maui fresh catch fish, shrimp, scallops, spinach, mushrooms and baby bok choy, all wrapped in ti leaf. Four-course twilight dinners also are available here, oceanfront or poolside, with a private table for two and wine pairings.

For something extra special, book the Kō Garden, an intimate outdoor venue surrounded by palm trees, exotic flowers and flickering tiki torches. Or indulge in the four-course Twilight Dinner in a private, candle-lit cabana next to the tranquility pool.

Meanwhile, Luana, which is open from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m., embodies Hawaii’s culture of pau hana—the time after work reserved for relaxing and socializing. Enjoy a taste of Hawaii’s modern culture with music, wine, craft cocktails, sushi, flatbreads and small plates. On Tuesday evenings, enjoy tiki drinks paired with live music, and on Friday nights, The Luana Experience Series with live music, progressive cocktails and happy hour specials is a fun time. 

AMA Bar & Grill, located at the upper lagoon pool, serves up lunch and dinner with flavors of Hawaii’s modern canoe lifestyle. Think: contemporary poke bowls, salads, burgers and tacos. The swim-up bar for refreshing cocktails and fruit smoothies is always a good and refreshing idea. 

It’s nice to have a spot to grab a juice, coffee and quick bite. At Makana Market + Cafe, the resort’s new gourmet marketplace, Maui and Hawaii Island grown and roasted coffees including nitro cold-brew coffees, espresso, matcha and exceptional Lot35 tea blends are on offer. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the cafe serves a selection of house-crafted pastries, sandwiches, salads and pizzas, smoothies, acai bowls and poke bowls featuring locally harvested fish.  

Finally, the resort’s beloved Kea Lani Restaurant, which recently embarked upon a $2.4 million makeover, will feature a totally new layout and decor once completed later this year.

Signature treatments include the Hawaiian Pa‘akai (60 minutes), which begins with a body scrub of Hawaiian sea salt, organic coconut oil and locally grown green papaya and lemongrass, followed by a Vichy shower and infra-red light therapy. An application of rich Hawaiian coconut oil tops off the treatment. The WaveMotion Massage (60 minutes), another top treatment,  employs a unique treatment table that moves with the rhythmic motions of the therapist for a truly relaxing experience. The table creates a sensation of weightlessness and allows the therapist to use joint-release techniques to stretch clients’ muscles. 

The spa recently added a few new treatments to its tempting menu of services. The Restorative Volcanic Foot Experience combines a foot, head and neck massage using a handcrafted lomi stick made from invasive guava wood with a volcanic clay foot mask to ease tired feet. Meanwhile, a new holistic facial experience addresses fine lines and wrinkles, puffiness, dryness and uneven skin tone with the addition of intention-setting and gemstones used to activate the chakras. The Vital Essence Facial is rooted in ancient Chinese medicine and designed to improve complexion and overall skin wellness. A massage cleanse, masks and custom product blend are paired with special techniques and a dynamic structured water elixir, leaving you feeling simply beautiful.

There are even more new guest amenities and programs in which to indulge and enjoy. Book the Inspire Your Energy wellness suite, a one-of-a-kind 860-square-foot one-bedroom suite designed to create the ultimate luxury retreat for health-minded travelers. Think specialty vitamin-infused showers, luxury linens designed to promote sleep, skin care and aromatherapy amenities, spa experiences and in-suite fitness equipment. Those who are seeking adventure should book the Luxe Villa Adventure package, which  includes personalized airport transportation, a five-night stay in a luxe two- or three-bedroom ocean-front or ocean-view villa, a signature villa barbecue prepared by a private chef, two 60-minute Willow Stream Spa wellness experiences and a two-hour yacht charter that can include whale-watching, sunset cruising, snorkeling and paddleboarding from the bow of the luxury power yacht. 

The newest offering on a full program of fitness activities is a 4-mile guided hike along the ancient Hoapili Trail. Also known as the King’s Trail, the Hoapili was designed in the 16th century to unify Maui’s 12 districts. Led by the resort’s Energy Ambassador along the coastline, the excursion reveals expansive ocean views, ancient stone walls and heiau sites. Mahalo, Maui!