Wailea: A Sanctuary of Beauty
South Maui’s Wailea is 1,500 acres of prime resort land and staggering ocean
views that include the stark red island of Kaho‘olawe and the quarter-moon
sliver of tiny Molokini islet, a popular snorkeling destination. Molokini,
a marine sanctuary, is the lip of a submerged volcano and one of the stellar
sights of Maui.
Wailea’s mile and a half of shoreline is notched into five crescent beaches,
fringed in palms and splashed by gentle surf. Five hotels are tucked into this
resort. Three times the size of Waikiki, exuding a sense of serenity, privacy
and freedom, Wailea also encompasses low-rise condominium villages and luxurious
private homes. All have been guided by a master plan that preserves and enhances
the natural beauty of the setting.
It was golf, however, that put this end of the island on the tourism map.
Stretched across Wailea’s gently sloping terrain are 54 Erin-green fairways
that make up the Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold and Wailea Emerald courses. The
latter two, designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones II, have
been named among the country’s best courses; and the Blue is consistently
ranked among the finest courses in Hawai‘i. Each winter, the Wailea Gold
Course is home to the ConAgra Foods Seniors Champions Skins Game and
ConAgra Foods LPGA Skins Game. Even Wailea Golf Club’s Gold and Emerald
clubhouse is an award-winner, and the state-of-the-sport training facility
is unlike any other in Hawai‘i. No matter how good the golf gets, however,
players are constantly distracted by the panoramic vistas of mountain, sky,
and sea - and the occasional whale.
Tennis is another big draw. Wailea’s 1,000-seat tennis stadium is the site
of one of Hawai‘i‘s largest local tournaments, and the Wailea Tennis Academy
offers state-of-the-art instruction. Both the tennis and golf facilities
include clubhouses, pro shops and instruction by resident professionals.
There’s a lot going on with the event scene in Wailea. In addition to the
televised Skins games, annual events include Whale Week in February, May Day
festivities in May, the Maui Film Festival in June, the Maui Writers
Conference in August, LifeFest Maui in September, and the XTERRA Championships
Other activities are sailing, swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving,
kayaking and whale watching. Guides and instruction are available in all
sports. Hawaiian cultural programs, art tours, and fitness programs are
all available, as well as prominent health and wellness facilities. For
the ultimate in rejuvenation, the resort houses five spas, some of which
have been ranked among the best in the world.
Maui’s newest shopping complex, The Shops at Wailea, is a destination in
itself, featuring world-class restaurants and shops with regular
There are dozens of restaurants in Wailea, including several national
award-winners. Ingenious, creative chefs highlight the celebrated products
of Maui in their exciting Hawai‘i Regional Cuisine. They serve fresh Maui
seafood, vegetarian fare, fine French and continental foods, steak, snacks
and ethnic cuisine. Some of the island’s finest Japanese and Italian
restaurants can be found in Wailea.
At night, Wailea is filled with music. The lounges and clubs of the hotels
pulsate with rock, dreamy cheek-to-cheek tunes, jazz, and the mellow,
soulful sound of Hawaiian music.
Article Courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau
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