This past Thanksgiving week, my husband and I spent five days with my family at one of my favorite places on earth – Hawaii! We met up with my mom, stepdad and stepbrothers and all spent the week at one of my favorite resorts in Hawaii (and the world) the Four Seasons Maui. Our goal was to have a relaxing week where we could spend time together and apart and never have to leave if we wanted to. We definitely accomplished that and I wanted to share with you some of why I love this resort so much.
Starting with the view when you walk into the resort.
Yes! How can you not love this? A fountain overlooking another fountain in the middle of the main pool, surrounded by cabanas. The pool you’re looking at here was the biggest pool and was filled with happy children playing each day.
Once we checked in, my husband and I quickly went up to our rooms to lie around and grin about being in Maui. We were on the 7th floor (8th is the highest at this property, no mega high rises in Wailea) and were happy to discover that the rest of our group had already checked in and were all next to each other down in a row.
Our room was the standard size with ocean view, plenty of room for what we needed and everything was immaculate and comfortable. If I was traveling with kids though I might recommend the Maile Suite – which was on our floor and looked gorgeous.
The first night when we checked in, we also found some goodies in our room that had been left for us -both were actually really delicious (especially the passionfruit marshmallow!)
The bathroom was actually pretty huge in comparison to the room and had huge amounts of counter space, which is always appreciated by a messy girl like me. There was a whole marble slab on the lefthand side where you could put the rest of your things and I took full advantage of it!
Toiletries were larger sized L’Occitane, and the hair products were from a more moisturizing line that I prefer (usually hotels that have had L’Occitane have had items from their Verbana line which I’ve always found more drying). I’m a big whiner I know.
The best part of the room though? Definitely the view!
The gardens and landscaping are so beautiful with incredibly vibrant colors, with the expanse of the ocean going on forever. One day I’d love to take a room at the front of the buildings for full ocean views but honestly I really adored looking over the gardens each day as well. It was perfect. I would lay outside each day for at least an hour just enjoying the view and reading.
One of my other favorite activities to partake in outside on our little balcony? Eating. Room service would always bring up food and set it up outside for a delicious meal in a relaxing setting.
Pancakes, a fruit plate, fresh squeezed juices, and crab eggs benedict. I thought it was thoughtful that they hotel automatically brought the hollandaise sauce on the side for a healthier option.
I loved all the varieties of fruit (and all of their vibrant colors)! Believe it or not this was actually a half serving of the standard fruit plate.
Most mornings we actually went downstairs to DUO for their breakfast buffet. The first thing I noticed our first morning in DUO was actually the “kid’s” buffet section which I thought was a great idea. When I was young and my parents brought me to resorts I remember always feeling left out (and nearly trampled by hungry adults on several occasions).
There was always a great selection of hot foods and cold at the buffet.
Our second morning I ran into my stepbrother loading up at the fruit spread and had to take a picture of his shirt. He is one of those super genius engineers that you hear about who companies are always fighting over and throwing envy inducing stock packages at. Despite all of this his wardrobe seems to consist only of largely free company T-shirts with the occasional humorous selection thrown in.
After getting our food we’d always select a table near the pool and enjoy eating outside. The service was fabulous and whenever one of us would get up, someone would rush over to cover to plate so it wouldn’t get attacked by birds.
After breakfast we’d usually head down towards the pool. There were several large pools – the biggest was the one I mentioned earlier, which was surrounded by cabanas and open chairs. When using this pool we’d try and grab a cabana a little further away for more quiet and privacy, and then just head into the water when we felt like it.
This pool allowed children of all ages and was filled with happy families all enjoying the water.
Our favorite pool however was actually the Serenity pool – set on the second level and ending in an infinity edge overlooking the ocean. It had multiple hot tubs and regular pools all mixed together in a seamless flow.
The Serenity pool was named “serenity” for a reason – only adults 21 and older were allowed. You guys can do the math. It was a lot quieter than the main pool. There were also cabanas surrounding it (with Missoni bath towels!). This was my favorite place to spend an afternoon away.
One very thoughtful amenity which the hotel provided by each of the pools was a variety of sunscreen in different SPF strengths. For me, the higher the better so I went for the 30. They all smelled fabulous and had a light fruity scent. It was great to have this provided since I always forget my sunblock!
Also on that note – in our rooms were also two fairly large bottles of moisturizer – a L’Occitane ultra moisturizing shea butter one and also an after sun repairing balm. Thoughtful right? They’re next to a little shell that my husband found for me while diving. My only complaint was that they were in quite large bottles which made it difficult for me to scoop them up and pack away for keeps. Yes I am a hotel toiletry hoarder.
We typically were by the pool by lunch time, and thus tried a variety of pool side foods during our trip but my favorite was a definitely the ahi tuna + salmon poke with spicy chips.
Besides the pool there were plenty of places just to sit around the resort and enjoy the scenery and fabulous weather. Since my main goal of this trip was simply to eat and read a bunch of books, this was heaven for me! My favorite place was actually various “hammock huts” around the property, very quiet and serene.
One morning my husband decided to go on an early dive so my mom and I went down to the spa to have a massage and some treatments. The Four Seasons has an excellent spa and you had the option to do any treatment oceanside as well. After my husband came back from diving he was so jealous of how relaxed we were that he went ahead and booked himself a massage too!
Right next to the Spa there was an area which I can only describe as the “man cave” – there were large screen TVs playing various sports games, Foosball and pool tables.
So I’ve stated before that we were basically big lazy slugs on this trip. Well especially me, because I didn’t even go diving with my husband but instead gorged on room service and read detective novels.
As part of our slug like itinerary we didn’t leave the resort once during the entire trip except for a brief walking excursion to the Fairmont next door to eat at Nick’s (recommended and delicious!). Otherwise all of our eating was done at the Four Seasons. It was a great way to reconnect with the family easily each night since during the day a lot of us were wandering around. I also got to bring out and change into some of my favorite summer prints that had been stored away.
Like I just mentioned, all of our meals were had at the resort – though there were so many great options, it never got repetitive at all. My stepbrother once we arrived briefly embarked on a “no carb” spell in an effort to achieve an instant 6 pack in under 24 hours for the beach. Unfortunately all the food options were so tempting that he abandoned his ill conceived diet about 20 minutes after our first seating. Here are some of my favorite dishes over our stay.
This was a “healthy” Loco Moco at Spago, which had butterfish, a quail egg and avocado instead of the normal concoction I love of hamburger, gravy and fried eggs. Normally I am not happy with the healthy solution of any dish but this was fresh and delicious.
Another favorite: Pappardelle Bolognese at Ferraro’s for Thanksgiving. Yes I know we were in Maui with lots of fresh seafood but I have certain pasta + cheese cravings that must be met when they strike, all right? This was really yummy and the pasta was made fresh in house.
We were actually at Ferraro’s for our big Thanksgiving dinner and there was great live music playing the entire night. Totally set a happy relaxing mood.
My favorite dessert over our stay? Kaiserschmarren Souffle (a classic Austrian pancake dessert) at Spago, which apparently was a favorite child dish of Wolfgang Puck’s. I’ve eaten at a few Spago locations and the one is Maui was definitely the best so far. Actually first time I ever stayed at the resort, Wolfgang happened to be there as well and was walking around in the restaurant. The staff said this year they were expecting him back for Christmas.
Our final night in Maui, my husband and I took a walk on the beach and enjoyed the scenery and waves.
It was a fabulous week and I’d recommend the Four Seasons Maui for anything ranging from an extended family holiday to a romantic honeymoon – seriously! One of those few resorts in the world that really provides great service, fabulous food and a beautiful setting.
I hope you enjoyed this very long trip review, and please share some of your favorite resorts in Hawaii (or the world!). I’m always hunting for fabulous destinations.