The Suite Life

Most of us can only dream of checking into a lavish suite of the sort that Hollywood celebs and industry moguls make their vacation retreats. Still, it’s fun to check them out — especially when those elegant offerings come with a perk: a coastal location on the world’s favorite Hawaiian island.


Story by Heidi Pool

Grand Wailea Resort & Spa

luxury-suites-grand-wailea2 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms | Square footage: 5,500 | Cost: $15,000/night | (800) 888-6100

  • 2 master bedrooms
  • Optional 3rd bedroom
  • Private bartender/butler service available
  • Private royal pool cabana
  • Grand piano

It’s no surprise the Grand Wailea Resort has the grandest suite on the island — and not only because, at 5,500 square feet, it’s grand in sheer scale. Wool and silk area rugs add rich texture to the living room’s marble floors. The furnishings are opulent, and the museum-quality artwork includes two original paintings by artist Zhou Ling. The piano (grand, of course) invites you to tickle the ivories or have staff arrange a private concert.

How better to end the day than in the soothing warmth of the suite’s cedar sauna and a soak in the koa bathtub, surrounded by marble and granite? Utterly relaxed, you slide between cool sheets in the carved koa bed. Royalty, U.S. presidents, Fortune 500 CEOs, and A-list celebrities have all slept here. Wouldn’t it be grand if you did, too?

Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

luxury-suites-the-ritz-carlton-kapalua2 Bedrooms/2.5 Bathrooms | Square footage: 2,550 | Cost: From $6,309/night | (808) 669-6200

  • 1,064-square-foot, oceanfront lanai
  • Kitchen with cooktop, two full-size Sub-Zero refrigerators, wine cooler, Wolf convection oven, microwave convection oven, dishwasher & koa cabinetry
  • Butler’s pantry; butler service available on request
  • Flat-screen LCD televisions, wireless Internet access, & iPod docking station
  • Toto Neorest Washlet commode in master bath

After you land your private plane at Kahului Airport, a short hop via helicopter brings you to the Ritz-Carzlton, Kapalua, and its secluded Royal Pacific Suite. More elegant manor than hotel suite, the Royal Pacific features classic lines, rich hardwood floors, and traditional furnishings. Tray ceilings add depth; handmade area rugs softly define living spaces. French doors open to striking views of serene Honolua Bay and nearby Moloka‘i.

Each bedroom boasts a private lanai and en suite bath with soaking tub (welcome reward after testing your skills on Kapalua’s two challenging golf courses); the master bedroom has a spacious dressing area, as well. Hawaiian-inspired artwork and a calabash bowl on the dining table — representing extended family, shared meals, and close friendships — contribute a sense of aloha to the opulent yet comfortable setting.

Fairmont Kea Lani

luxury-suites-fairmont-kea-lani-wailea-maui2–3 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms | Square footage: 1,800-2,200 | Cost: $1,750-$2,250/night | (866) 540-4456

  • Private ocean-view lanai with plunge pool, chaise lounges, and gas grill
  • Entertainment system with 42” HD flat-panel TV, Blu-Ray player/CD/AM-FM radio with iPod/MP3 capability, on-command movies, Nintendo Wii and wireless high-speed Internet
  • Complimentary luxury vehicle & valet parking
  • Grocery shopping service available
  • Garment packing/unpacking service available

Nestled between beach and pool at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Wailea are two rows of two-story villas whose curvilinear architecture brings a hint of the Mediterranean to this South Maui resort. Perhaps more than a hint — bathrooms are Italian marble, with generous soaking tubs.

Stay here, and your greatest conundrum may be choosing between a three-bedroom villa with two spacious baths, and a two-bedroom villa with two master suites. After this agonizing decision, how delicious to recuperate on a king-size, pillow-top bed!

With full kitchen and laundry room, this feels more like a deluxe townhouse than hotel suite — but cooking is strictly optional. Villa guests enjoy complimentary breakfast each day at the Kea Lani Restaurant, and can choose a dinner from the barbeque menu prepared by a private chef on the suite’s outdoor grill. Filet mignon and lobster, anyone?

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

luxury-suites-sheraton-maui-resort-spa1 Bedroom/1 Bathroom | Square footage: 1,600 | Cost: From $4,774/night | (808) 921-4646

  • Wraparound flagstone lanai with 180° views
  • Private lawn
  • Optional second bedroom & bathroom
  • Fully stocked kitchen
  • TV screen imbedded in master bathroom mirror

Situated atop legendary Black Rock on Ka‘anapali Beach, the Sheraton’s Ali‘i Suite is every inch befitting of its royal name. From this eighth-floor setting, the lanai affords panoramic views of the Pacific, all the way from the West Maui Mountains to the islands of Lana‘i and Moloka‘i. Tripod-mounted binoculars await your sightings of humpback whales by day, the starry firmament at night.

The master bedroom’s carved-koa four-poster is a seductive contrast to the suite’s contemporary decor; equally seductive is the Jacuzzi set against the backdrop of a lush garden window. If romance is on your mind, arrange for a Dinner under the Stars served at sunset on your private, heart-shaped lawn. Book a three-night stay, and enjoy even more royal amenities: a private poolside cabana with refreshments, and exclusive parking privileges.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa

luxury-suites-hyatt-regency-maui1 Bedroom/1.5 Bathrooms | Square footage: 2,307 | Cost: From $5,300/night | (800) 233-1234

  • Access to Regency Club Lounge with private concierge
  • 7 lanais
  • Library/den with full-size pullout sofa
  • 3 42” LCD flat-screen TVs; high-speed Internet access
  • Spacious TV area in master bedroom
  • Sauna & sunken Jacuzzi in master bath
  • Wet bar, full-size refrigerator, & microwave

It doesn’t take an act of Congress for the Hyatt Regency’s Presidential Suite to impress anyone fortunate enough to stay here. From the dramatic marble entryway, you step down into a great room accented with Asian artifacts and a panoramic ocean view — 180 degrees from the suite’s seven lanais. Mix up a few cocktails at the wet bar and play a game of Monopoly at the four-seat high-top table, or share a repast with seven of your closest friends at the sophisticated dining table.

The master bedroom’s appointments include a dressing room, Jacuzzi and sauna, and his-and-her vanity sinks; an inviting chaise lounge sits in between. A nifty alcove offers a comfy work desk complete with computer, printer and fax. Wait a minute . . . aren’t you supposed to be on vacation?


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