There's a reason for the potato analogy. At the award-winning Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui, in the luxury resort area of Wailea, they stock potato ware utensils, which are made from recycled spuds. And that's just the tip of the green iceberg for the Fairmont Kea Lani, which stands head-and-shoulders above most other resorts, when it comes to protecting the planet.
Kea Lani is Hawaiian for Heavenly White, and even though the lobby now boasts a smidgen of cocoa-tan paint, the resort still has the impeccable, plumeria-white, luxurious ambiance that you've been dreaming of. In fact, we'd have to say that if you're coming to Maui and are only going to stay at one resort - this popular paradise is it. (Its design is the architectural descendant of Las Hadas in Mexico and let's not forget - pineapples were first brought to Hawaii from Spain, thus emphasizing the Mexican/Spanish tradition.) Stay here and you'll be helping yourself - and the world around you. The hotel's Green Team has successfully implemented more than 50 - count 'em - 50 environmentally-friendly initiatives throughout the hotel. For example, there's Recycling Cents, in which recyclables are separated and placed under the Giving Tree, to await pickup from local non-profit organizations. They, in turn, redeem the items and keep the proceeds. The resort also installed a laundry water recycling system called Aqua Recycler; the system filters detergents from the water, to be re-used. The Kea Lani now also uses a variety of disposable food containers made from cornstarch, recycled paperboard and sugarcane bagasse. And the pool is cleaned with rock salt instead of chlorine!
We stay in luxury resorts all around the world, and the Kea Lani is by far one of our favorites. Here are some more reasons why. All the rooms are 840-square-foot suites, which means that you get more than a single hotel room, with lots of luxurious space to spread out in. (You'll never want to stay in an average, mere hotel room again.) Outside there's a gorgeous pool area - featuring a heated, adult pool, so you can dive in no matter the weather, and later, take a snooze in peaceful, sybaritic surroundings without listening to little kids splashing around (they have their own pool, thank you very much). The white sands of Polo Beach are just a quick walk away, across the lawn. There's also Restaurant Ko, offering an exciting, distinctive fusion of Hawaiian/Chinese/Filipino cuisine, based on the foods that the workers brought with them when they worked on the plantations. These are just some of the many reasons why we consider the Fairmont Kea Lani a tremendous Hawaiian treat.
Located on the pristine white sands of Wailea, the Fairmont Kea Lea encompasses 22 acres of tropical landscape and offers authentic Hawaiian cultural experiences, and warm and personal service that convey the essence of Aloha. We have always felt right at home in one of the suites - especially with their generously proportioned coffee station/wet bar with a small refrigerator and an endless supply of complimentary coffee. The attractive living room features a double sofa bed, full entertainment system including a DVD player and high-speed internet access. The large marble bathroom contains double pedestal sinks, deep soaking tub (with an array of Molton Brown amenities) and walk-in shower. When you're staying on Maui, this is definitely as good as it gets.
But wait a minute. If you're Jessica Simpson - or just a Jessica wannabee - you're going to love staying at one of the villas, which also serve as an exclusive playground for celebrities, dignitaries and executives who seek luxury and seclusion. The spacious two-story villas are set apart from the main hotel building and offer not only the comfort and convenience of a private home rental, but also all the amenities associated with a world-class resort - including three swimming pools, full-service spa, fine dining, personal concierge and twice-daily maid service. Spanning 1,800 to 2,200 square feet, these idyllic havens provide an escape within an escape. Each villa boasts its own private lanai with barbecue grill and plunge pool. Villa guests experience expedited check-in services; dedicated villa manager to offer personalized service; special welcome amenities that can range from fresh pineapples to chocolate-macadamia nuts; and a refrigerator stocked with water and juices. If you've got deep pockets, you can also opt for a grocery shopping service; garment packing/unpacking; in-room spa treatments; and a personalized barbecue meal prepared by a private chef, on the grill at your villa. No wonder these villas have become incredibly popular with the jet set.
The President's Club
The first thing you should do when booking your suite is to join the Fairmont President's Club, which offers a heightened travel experience. These benefits, for complimentary Club membership, include free in-room high-speed Internet access, free local calls, daily room delivery of a national newspaper, and at participating resorts, complimentary access to Lexus courtesy vehicles. Then, there's the wonderful Fairmont Fit program, which works in partnership with Adidas (just pay a onetime $10 fee per visit).
Translation: you don't need to lug your sneakers and workout clothing, as the hotel will provide you with fitness apparel and sneakers, pre-loaded MP3 players, yoga mats and more. Aveda Travel Kits are also available for a nominal $9 fee, so you don't have to carry all your lotions and potions.
There's also an R U Ready Fitness Program for guests aged 7 to 17; this innovative interactive program addresses the fitness needs of the resort's younger guests. In partnership with adidas and Trick It Out Sports, there are fitness challenges designed to improve kids' athletic skills in baseball, basketball, football, lacrosse, skateboarding, snowboarding, soccer and more. The goal is to teach kids how to improve their skills in each venue. Cost is $65 per class.
For the small fry, there's the Keiki Lani Kids Club, which offers everything for young tykes to have fun. There's a theme for every day (such as Under the Sea Day on Thursdays). The activity list includes boogie boarding, fish feeding, a cultural property tour, hula lessons, lawn crafts, scuba lessons and more. The cost varies, but a full day costs $85 per child, $60 for a sibling.