Let’s face it, Maui is a pretty nice place. From the lush and relaxing highlands to some of the best beaches in the world, it is hardly a chore to vacation on this laid back Hawaiian island. Everything is relative though and even on this luxury island there are a wide variety of hotels and vacation rentals, from the basic to five-star palaces. But I think I found the ultimate in Maui luxury and seclusion in the beach community of Wailea.
It’s hard to imagine that during World War II the pristine beach area known as Wailea was a training area for US military. For decades after that not much happened until the 1980s when massive and organized development created one of the most luxurious resort areas in the world. Amidst the cacophony of 2,000 exquisite homes and condominiums and 6 major resort hotels is the super high-end and super-secretive Wailea Beach Villas.
I almost missed the turn; the gatehouse was placed surreptitiously from the road so as not to attract too much attention. Wailea Beach Villas aren’t just sought over for their unbridled luxury, but for their privacy and seclusion. Movie stars, athletes and yes, even Oprah have stayed here for the rare ability to vacation in total privacy.
The villas are 2-3 bedroom condos with an average of 3,000 square feet of living space. That’s larger than my first house. As I stepped in I laid down my bags and looked up and was met with a beautiful, tastefully decorated but modern house. Sure it was a condo, but it felt like a house and I was immediately at home. I shared the condo with three other people (including one couple) but we each had our own lavish room and space was never an issue. I was lucky enough to score the master and was thrilled by the suite. A massive four-poster bed dominated the room and doors revealed direct access to the condo’s private pool. My bathroom was equally massive and I could have lived in the walk-in closet for at least a week without inconvenience.
The rest of the condo featured a cook’s kitchen, dining room, living room, a beautiful lanai with grill kitchen, pool and plenty of lounge chairs for everyone. In short, it was the perfect in luxury vacation rentals and I couldn’t wait to spend some time relaxing among the stars. But the beach villas aren’t just about opulence, they’re about seclusion, security and convenience.
An attentive concierge is only a phone call away and will fulfill any request a guest may have, no matter how strange. Luckily the requests are usually pretty normal, ranging from coordinating babysitters to hiring chefs to cook meals in the condos. To celebrate the fact we were on Maui and enjoying life, a chef visited one evening to cook a dinner for all of the writers and guests.
Seeing the grill outside I assumed a simple BBQ dinner, which would have been fine with me. But in keeping with the luxury of the community, the chef instead spent most of his time inside in the professional kitchen creating an incredible but delicious meal. Fish, steak, salads, anything and everything you could have wanted was there and presented as well as any Michelin star restaurant could have done.
And that’s really what separates Wailea Beach Villas from their competitors. It’s not hard to find luxury accommodations in Wailea, they’re everywhere and most of them are right next door to the villas. What these luxury condos offer is something different, something special. They allow the guest to live as they would at home instead of in suitcases and a smallish hotel room. They give the visitor privacy and seclusion; an opportunity to enjoy Maui without being overrun by it. And most importantly, they offer a level of service that is hard to find. In my experience it is this service and commitment to detail that separates any luxury property, be it hotel or rental, from its competitors.