It’s a time intensive process finding the optimal family-friendly accommodation for a group of families. I am typically the eager travel planner for our group of friends, and although we are seasoned travelers together, you never know how the property will work out until you get there. On our recent trip to Maui, we stayed at the relatively new Ho’olei at Grand Wailea. The Ho’olei is outstanding and offers the perfect marriage of renting a house AND getting pampered at a luxury hotel. At over 3500+ square feet, the property was outstandingly beautiful and spacious, with marble floors, a gorgeous and fully equipped kitchen, lots of open space and luxurious bedding and details. Each of the three spacious bedrooms had a king bed along with private bath split on two levels, with the master on the main that included a pull out couch and private lanai. Booking through the Grand Wailea starts at $1095 per night, however split between families, the value for Maui is unbeatable for the amenities. You can also rent the Ho’olei units through a private owner (some are listed on VRBO) to reduce the rental cost, but we chose to rent directly from the Grand Wailea hotel, which offered us full access to all of the Grand Wailea pools, spa and services. The Grand Wailea pool and property is spectacular and makes the Ho’olei an optimal choice for families with young kids looking for luxury and convenience in one neat package.

The Grand Wailea hotel property is a very short walk across the street from the Ho’olei villas, depending on where your unit is on the property, or you can call the front desk and they will send over a golf cart to come pick you up. We called several times for pick up and they were at our door within 10 minutes. Once you get there, you are treated just like any other guest of the hotel and can use the concierge, spa, order food, purchase gifts and snacks and make room charges to your villa. This was our third stay at the Grand Wailea and we return as often as we can. With kids under 5, we spend a lot of time in the resort for convenience and easy access to the pool, beach and room for naps. For our kids who have been cooped up inside during the Seattle winter, the pool is often the main attraction. There are a lot of wonderful family friendly luxury options in Wailea, but in our opinion, the pools at the Grand Wailea are the best on Maui for little kids, with endless water slides, a water elevator, hot tubs in hidden caves, waterfalls, a floating river, a rope swing and baby beach pool that sits just steps from the ocean.

Poolside is King

When you have small children, proximity from the pool to ‘home base’ for naps and meltdowns can be critical. For a change of pace from the busy Grand Wailea pools, the Ho’olei’s pool is absolutely gorgeous and very family friendly, with a rock sand baby beach pool, waterfalls and lots of sun and shade spots to spread out and relax for the day. There is no poolside service here, but you can pack your snacks, or take a short walk up the hill back to your villa to have some lunch and recharge. Towels are provided, there are changing and bathroom facilities and complementary ice tea and water. For fitness buffs, the adjacent fitness center is top notch and opens early/late so you can get your workout in anytime during the day.

Acres of Lush Gardens, Water Features

With the kids still adjusting to the time difference from Seattle, most mornings we were up before the sun so we had a chance to explore the endless trails, bridges, waterfalls and koi ponds around the Grand Wailea property. This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip. The girls are looking out over the man-made lagoon filled with beautiful tropical fish surrounding the HumuHumu restaurant.

Lazy Lanai Dinners

Eating out with several kids under 7 can be stressful and expensive, so being the foodies we are, many nights we took turns running to the grocery store and grilling at home on our very spacious lanai. We grilled up a feast each night with everything from Kalbi beef, to a fish sampler of fresh Ahi Poke, Mahi Mahi, Ono, Opa and Opaka. These were some of our best meals during our stay (and certainly the most relaxing). We’ll have more details on our Maui dining experiences in a future post.

Concierge Service is Top Notch

A personal concierge is assigned to each villa and was a great help prior and during our stay. When we arrived, we had everything we needed for the kids set up and ready to use – full size high chairs, cribs and air mattresses with extra bedding for the kids. You can also send them a list of groceries and they will stock the fridge when you arrive. The outstanding service, Baby’s Away, is also available on Maui and will deliver various items from diapers to baby gates. Because the villa is on two levels, we recommend getting a baby yard gate for the stairs as it is quite steep for the under 2 set. Camp Grande kids club is also available to guests with kids over 5, or you can arrange a nanny service, The Nanny Connection, that will come to your villa for a night out. The concierge can also arrange a variety of activities for the family including Luau, snorkeling, whale watching and sunset cruises depending on the ages and attention span of your kids. Icing on the cake was a mid-week maid service and check out was as easy as a hotel stay and a snap compared to other rental units.

All in all, the Ho’olei exceeded our expectations and brings the best of a vacation rental property together with the pampering of a hotel experience. I would most definitely recommend this property for families looking for a luxurious and convenient space to stay in Maui. It does not disappoint! Stay tuned for more hip travel tips for Maui including a review of the Hyatt Ka’anappali and some of our favorite places to eat and things to do with the kids. Have questions or comments about the Ho’olei or Grand Wailea? Email me at anne@hiptravelmama.com, or post in the comments to share your experience.

Note: We paid market price at the Ho’olei and did not receive any compensation for our review of this property.

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