Hotel review: Country boy walks into the Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

The Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui is one of a handful of luxury resorts on a stretch of Maui’s southern shore called Wailea.

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Thanks to the no-longer-available Fairmont credit card from Chase, I had two free nights to use at any Fairmont.

The starting rate for a night at this hotel is ~$500, so I figured it’d be a good spot to use my free nights.

I was a tad underwhelmed.

Wait, why?

At that price tag, I was expecting to be blown away. I was very grateful, but not blown away.

I had two “free” nights, but still had to pay $38 per night for the resort fee that gave me parking and… access to the hotel pools?

To be fair, the hotel does have some nice amenities, including the option to have workout clothes and shoes delivered to your room, but it’s all stuff you’d expect to be included if you’re paying half a grand per night.

Plus, most resorts these days have a ridiculous resort fee.

In my mind, the Residence Inn down the street was just as nice for about half the price.

Nice room though?

Yeah, it was very comfortable and we definitely enjoyed staying in it.

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The Fairmont credit card comes with a free suite upgrade per year, so we used that for this stay.

The upgrade basically just moved us from a suite with a view of the beautiful mountains, to a suite with a view of the pool section of the hotel and a partial view of the ocean.

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View from our suite.

I think my favorite part of the suite was the bathroom.

Like a good steak, it was large and marbled, with tasty soaps and an open cave shower in the corner.

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Nice beach?

Yeah! The hotel has its own beach, but there wasn’t any snorkeling at it that I could find.

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So all the restaurants at the resort were out of my country boy budget, but we did try out the $37/person breakfast buffet one day:

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The breakfast was good, with fresh-squeezed juices and an omelette station, though I don’t think it’s worth $37.

There’s an area a few miles up the beach that has plenty of restaurants though.

Hotel breakfast tip: Prepare to shoo away hungry birdies. There’s a laser thing the hotel uses to humanely ward off birds, but it seemed like it was scaring people more than the birds.


Luxurious resort on a gorgeous beach. Great place for some relaxation.


It’s expensive. And I had to wait in line ~20 minutes to check in, though the lobby is pretty cool.

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How do I stay here?

If you didn’t get the Fairmont credit card, you could always shoot for Costco’s package for this resort, which starts at $1,500 for two people to stay four nights at the resort, and it includes the breakfast buffet and a rental car.

Here are some photos:

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Here’s a look at the original Fairmont in San Francisco.

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