Wailea Maui is 1,500 acres of prime resort land and staggering ocean views that include the stark red island of Kahoʻolawe and the quarter-moon sliver of tiny Molokini islet, a popular snorkeling destination. Molokini, a marine sanctuary, is the lip of a submerged volcano and one of the stellar sights of Maui.
Wailea's mile and a half of shoreline is notched into five crescent beaches, fringed in palms and splashed by gentle surf.
Five hotels are tucked into this resort. Three times the size of Waikiki, Wailea exudes a sense of serenity, privacy and freedom. Wailea also encompasses low-rise condominium villages and luxurious private homes. All have been guided by a master plan that preserves and enhances the natural beauty of the setting.
Resorts include the world renowned Grand Wailea Resort & Spa, the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui, the Four Seasons Resort Wailea, the Renaissance Wailea Beach Resort and the Wailea Marriott Resort.
The Grand Wailea Resort is repeatedly named one of the world's best resorts by Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure. It was golf, however, that put this end of the island on the tourism map.
Stretched across Wailea's gently sloping terrain are the Wailea Blue, Wailea Gold and Wailea Emerald courses. The latter two, designed by renowned architect Robert Trent Jones II, have been named among the country's best courses; and the Blue is consistently ranked among the finest courses in Hawaii.
Each winter, the Wailea Gold Course is home to the Wendy's Champions Skins Game. Golf facilities include clubhouse, pro shop and instruction by resident professionals.
Tennis is another big draw. Wailea's 1,000-seat tennis stadium is the site of one of Hawai's largest local tournaments, and the Wailea Tennis Academy offers state-of-the-art instruction.
The Wailea Tennis Club has 11 Plexipave courts, including three lit for night play. Clinics, lessons, game-matching services and a fully stocked pro shop are also available.
Other activities are sailing, swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving, kayaking and whale watching. Guides and instruction are available in all sports.
Hawaiian cultural programs, art tours, and fitness programs are all available, as well as prominent health and wellness facilities. For the ultimate in rejuvenation, the resort houses five spas, some of which have been ranked among the best in the world.
There's a lot going on with the event scene in Wailea. In addition to the televised Skins games, annual events include Whale Week in February, May Day festivities in May, the Maui Film Festival in June, the Maui Writers Conference in September, and the Nissan XTERRA Championships in October.
One of Maui's newest shopping complexes, The Shops at Wailea, is a destination in itself, featuring world-class restaurants, regular entertainment programs and international and national retailers intermingling with unique Hawaiian boutiques.
Internationally acclaimed favorites such as Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Cartier are just steps from tasteful galleries exhibiting original artwork by leading artists from Maui and around the world.
There are dozens of restaurants in Wailea, including several national award-winners. Ingenious, creative chefs highlight the celebrated products of Maui in their exciting Hawaii Regional Cuisine. They serve fresh Maui seafood, vegetarian fare, fine French and continental foods, steak, snacks and ethnic cuisine.
Some of the island's finest Japanese and Italian restaurants can be found in Wailea.
As the sun sets on another beautiful South Maui day, Wailea is filled with music. The lounges and clubs of the hotels pulsate with rock, dreamy cheek-to-cheek tunes, jazz, and the mellow, soulful sound of Hawaiian music.