Chapter 13 – Wailea
Wailea is your ticket to luxury in Maui. Situated on South Maui’s leeward coast, this 1,500-acre resort destination is about a 35-minute drive from Kahului Airport. Considered one of the world’s best destinations for golf, Wailea’s pride and joy is its three renowned golf courses: Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold and Wailea Emerald. And if golf doesn’t happen to be your thing, there’s also an award-winning tennis club, fine dining, five crescent-shaped beaches, premier shopping, spas galore and a plethora of cultural programs, including the annual Maui Film Festival.
Lodging options include six world-class hotels such as the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa and the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. The Grand Wailea overlooks Wailea Beach, which was named “America’s Best Beach” in 1999 and features a paved beach walk that winds through the area’s hotels, restaurants and shops.
Other nearby beaches include Keawakapu Beach, only a half-mile from the Wailea Resort, and Polo Beach, popular among the locals. Just south of Wailea is South Maui’s largest beach—Makena Beach, also known as Big Beach. Though large, Big Beach has a secluded feel with its golden sands, pristine waters and juxtaposition between two black-lava outcroppings that provide protection from the trade winds, not to mention the spectacular views of the islands Molokini and Kahoolawe.
Wailea’s resort vibe carries through to its residential community, with its up-scale condominiums and villas, exceptional private homes and gated entries. Wailea has been named one of the country’s 99 Best Recreational & Residential Private Communities in America. The master-planned community (population 5,938) adheres to strict guidelines to ensure low density and to preserve Maui’s island environment. All utilities are buried underground and every roadway is well manicured.
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